About Pastor Eric Andersen

Pastor Andersen serves Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Summit, IL and Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hodgkins, IL.

He is also the Associate Editor of Brothers of John the Steadfast, Bible Study editor for Around the Word, and teaches at Wittenberg Academy. You can read his sermons here.

What Happens to the Sacrament (the Reliquae) after Distribution?

It is not by accident that there is a great deal of reverence in the Divine Service associated with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The Words of our Lord are chanted deliberately and carefully,[1] the body and blood of … Continue reading

In This Together: A Sermon for the Baptism of Our Lord on St. Matthew 3:13-17

So far this liturgical year we’ve prepared for the Lord’s coming, celebrated His Incarnation, witnessed the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, and looked on as God drew the Magi to worship Him by the leading of a star. Today, for the first … Continue reading

Jesus in the Lions’ Den: A Sermon for the Nativity of Our Lord

Our celebration of the Savior’s birth can become so routine that we become numb to the joy—and the horror— of it all. On the one hand, it’s really odd that the Incarnation of our Lord is one of the Church’s … Continue reading

“Inviting Some and Keeping Back Others”: Who is Welcome to the Lord’s Table?

Christ established His Church on earth so that sinners might receive His gifts of Word and Sacrament. Put another way, the Church exists to give sinners Jesus. The last thing we want to do is to put a barrier between … Continue reading

Löhe on Koinonia, Novelty, and the “Modern” Pastor

A great deal of practical wisdom for the church today can be found in Wilhelm Löhe’s “Three Books about the Church.” In this first excerpt, Löhe considers the possibility that a communion might need pruning from time to time, especially … Continue reading

Meditation: Jerome, Translator of Holy Scripture

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:16). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you … Continue reading

Sacramental Entrepreneurship or Franchise Corruption?

The first Lutherans didn’t use the term “Lutheran” to describe themselves. They identified themselves by the much more apt term “evangelical.” After all, the Lutheran church is founded on the pure proclamation of the Gospel and not the man Luther. So … Continue reading

Satan’s Angelic Disguises

If you were to stop and consider the devil’s appearance for a moment, you might imagine something frightening.  He very well may show up in your mind’s eye complete with horns, hoofs, and pitchfork. Maybe you’d dream up something that looks like … Continue reading

The Godly Kind of Mercy Killing

There’s a ungodly type of mercy killing that receives a great deal of sympathy, if not support, in our world today. Consider the Terri Schaivo case that lasted from 1990—2005. Terri had been diagnosed by her doctors as being in … Continue reading

The Problem of Denominational Loyalty

It’s not uncommon these days to hear people lament the loss of denominational loyalty, particularly in congregations which were once thriving but are now experiencing a decline in membership. Denominational loyalty does not seem to be particularly high these days, … Continue reading

Thrivent: Repent or Take Off the Fleece

Last week a financial representative from Thrivent stopped by my house. The purpose of his visit was 2-fold: to drop off some materials advertising an upcoming seminar he wanted me to promote in my congregations, and also to respond to … Continue reading

Complaint without Restraint- A Sermon for Septuagesima on St. Matthew 20:1-6

Complaining is something we do all too naturally. Consider the children of Israel. When they were in slavery, the Egyptians were ruthless toward them and made their lives bitter with hard service (Exod 1:14). In their misery, they cried out for help. God heard their complaint and had mercy on … Continue reading

Why Church? A Sermon for the Third Sunday after Epiphany on St. Matthew 8:1—13

If you ask people why they come to church, they might say, “It makes me feel good.” There’s nothing quite like gathering together around Word & Sacrament with God’s people. Church often makes us feel good, and when it does, thanks be … Continue reading

Dumber than a Rock?

It’s easy to think we’re smarter than we actually are. We live in a time when technology has put unprecedented amounts of information at our fingertips. When compared to most people in most places at most times, we live in … Continue reading

Free Devotions, Courtesy of Around the Word

Around the Word Journal produces weekly devotions for family and individuals, which are emailed every Wednesday. Signing up is free. The devotions include: • A Psalm • Verse • Prayer • Hymn of the Week • Daily Readings • A … Continue reading

The Holy Boast (Sermon on Ephesians 6:10-17)

In the name of Jesus, Amen. Beloved in the Lord: it’s good to be here with you. Praise be to the Lord of the Harvest for sending laborers into His field, and for bringing us together! Well, this is my first … Continue reading

Rejoice, O Gentiles: An Offertory for Epiphanytide

Here’s my setting of the offertory “Rejoice, O Gentiles”, from the 1969 TLH Worship Supplement. Feel free to reproduce for congregational use. Audio: … Continue reading

Parallels of Pornography and “Praise” Music

Warning: this post contains sexually explicit material Pornography is wicked. So is the sinful flesh, which is why porn sells. One source reported a “conservative estimate” of U.S. pornography revenues around $8 billion in 2012. Pornography is just as damnable a sin … Continue reading

Christmas Catharsis

There’s nothing like a family gathering to raise the blood pressure. If your family is anything like mine, you’ve probably experienced your share of holiday drama (but that’s why we love our families, right?). Things are said and done—often not … Continue reading

Into the Chaos: A Sermon for the Nativity of Our Lord on St. John 1:1-14

Glory be to God on high, and on earth, peace, good will toward men! But instead of peace on earth, chaos often reigns. We long for the peace of this silent, holy night. All too often, the chaos disrupts the … Continue reading

Dialogueolatry

Dialogue is not the infallible cure-all that we often make it out to be. There comes a point when we simply need to call a spade a spade, to call sin to repentance. To have dialogue after endless dialogue is … Continue reading

Equal, but Not Interchangeable

There is perhaps no greater threat to both the Gospel and to the family today than the sexual identity crisis in our culture. Liberal feminism and LGBT advocates are fighting the same battle. Both deny the essential difference between the … Continue reading

Brainwashing Our Children?

Are parents- especially Christian ones- brainwashing their children? Dr. Chester M. Pierce, Emeritus Professor of Education at Harvard Medical School and Psychiatry, thinks so. When speaking as at the 1973 International Education Seminar, he said: “Every child in America entering school … Continue reading

Rejoicing in the Violence of the Cross: A Sermon for Gaudete on Matthew 11:2-10

The introduction to this sermon has been adapted from Pastor Ken Kelly’s excellent Gaudete homily. You can read the whole thing at: http://homofactusest.com/2013/12/10/gaudete-rejoice-in-the-lord/. That John the Baptist was in prison should come as an absolute shock to everyone who reads the Gospel of Matthew. John doesn’t … Continue reading

Burned Alive: A Sermon for Populus Zion (Malachi 4:1-6)

Virgil Solis (1514-1562), “Malachi” Malachi speaks to the people about the return of Elijah. In the background, John the Baptist points to Jesus. A burn is a bodily injury resulting from exposure to heat, caustics, electricity or certain radiations. Burns result in varying … Continue reading