The Secret to Church Growth

On one occasion after Jesus finished teaching in the synagogue, a number of his disciples were offended at His teaching and said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” and many of His disciples turned back and … Continue reading

Poem on the Introits for Lent

A good devotion for Lent, and really any time of the Church year, is to review the Introit for each upcoming Sunday. At Trinity and St. Paul we use the Historic Lectionary, and the following is a poem I have … Continue reading

“Our Citizenship Is in Heaven” (Sermon on Philippians 3:17 – 4:1, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Our Citizenship Is in Heaven” (Philippians 3:17 – 4:1) Citizenship is a big deal in our country right now, especially since this is an election year. There is talk about how to keep non-citizens out, how to keep them from … Continue reading

“The First Commandment: Have No Other Gods” (Sermon on the Ten Commandments, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The First Commandment: Have No Other Gods” (The Ten Commandments) “You shall have no other gods.” OK, that sounds pretty simple. “Have No Other Gods”? Yeah, I can do that. After all, I don’t bow down to any idols of … Continue reading

“Father, Forgive Them” — Sermon by Pastor Rolf Preus

Ash Wednesday February 10, 2016 “Father, Forgive Them” Luke 23:32-34 “There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the … Continue reading

Satan, the World’s First Feminist

Adam did battle with Satan in the Garden Paradise and lost. It was a no-contest, really. By the time round two came around, Eden had been a distant memory and Satan had home-field advantage. The desert wilderness couldn’t have been … Continue reading

“What Great Love!” – Homily for Good Friday

“What Great Love!” John 18-19 When we began the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, we prayed: “Almighty and everlasting God, You hate nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new … Continue reading

“Eloi, Eloi, Lema Sabachthani?” (Sermon for Good Friday, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Eloi, Eloi, Lema Sabachthani?” (Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12; Psalm 22; Mark 15:1-47) “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” This is one of the seven words from the cross, that is, one of the seven times Jesus spoke during his crucifixion. “Eloi, Eloi, … Continue reading

“Washed and Fed to Love” – Homily for Holy (Maundy) Thursday

“Washed and Fed to Love” John 13:1-15, 34-35 A new commandment I give to you, Jesus said, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (Jn. 13:34). That’s were we … Continue reading

“Blood of the Covenant” (Sermon for Holy Thursday, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Blood of the Covenant” (Exodus 24:3-11; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; Mark 14:12-26) “Blood” and “covenant” go together in the Bible pretty much all the time. Whenever God establishes a covenant with people, generally it is sealed with blood. And tonight is … Continue reading

“Ride On…to Die!” – Homily for Palm/Passion Sunday

“Ride On…to Die!” Philippians 2:5-11 & Matthew 27:11-54 St. Paul sums it up well. Jesus “made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). You see, the “likeness of men” comes … Continue reading

“Your Committed and Determined King” (Sermon on Mark 11:1-10; 14:12-26; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Your Committed and Determined King” (Mark 11:1-10; 14:12-26) Today is a Sunday that goes by two names, “Palm Sunday” and the “Sunday of the Passion.” As such, we get readings for both of these emphases. There is the Palm Sunday … Continue reading

The Most Dangerous Situation You’ll Ever Encounter: A Sermon for Wednesday of Judica on Psalm 130

Click here for a free, downloadable Bible study of Psalm 130 from Around the Word. Out | of the depths*      I cry to you, | O LORD! O Lord, | hear my voice!*      Let your ears be attentive … Continue reading

“The Tree of Life in the Paradise of God” (Revelation 21:22 – 22:5, 22:14)

“The Tree of Life in the Paradise of God” (Revelation 21:22 – 22:5, 22:14) And so we come full circle. One month ago, we began this series on “The Tree of Life” back there, at the tree of life in … Continue reading

Bible Studies That Don’t Ask You to Talk about Your Feelings

This Lent I began editing and co-authoring a weekly free, downloadable PDF Bible study with Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller on the Penitential Psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) for Around the Word. We’ve had a number of people tell us how useful they’ve … Continue reading

“To Serve and to Give His Life as a Ransom” (Sermon on Mark 10:32-45, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“To Serve and to Give His Life as a Ransom” (Mark 10:32-45) These boys just don’t get it. The disciples, I mean. There’s a whole lot of misunderstanding going on in our text for today, the Holy Gospel from Mark … Continue reading

“A Growing Tree” (Sermon on Ezekiel 17:22-24; Matthew 13:31-32; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“A Growing Tree” (Ezekiel 17:22-24; Matthew 13:31-32) The image of a tree, which may have started out rather small and insignificant, but which grows and expands until it becomes a very large tree, with branches and leaves where the birds … Continue reading

“By Grace You Have Been Saved” (Sermon on Ephesians 2:1-10, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“By Grace You Have Been Saved” (Ephesians 2:1-10) Our Epistle reading for today is one of the outstanding passages in all of Scripture for putting together in one package several important realities. And they are: man’s natural condition; God’s great … Continue reading

“A Fruitful Tree” (Sermon on Galatians 5:16-25; John 15:1-5; Psalm 1; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“A Fruitful Tree” (Galatians 5:16-25; John 15:1-5; Psalm 1) We just heard a bunch of readings from a variety of places in the Bible–Psalm 1, Proverbs, Jeremiah, Paul’s letter to the Galatians, and words of Jesus from the gospels of … Continue reading

“The Cross of Christ, the Tree of Life” (Sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Cross of Christ, the Tree of Life” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31) What a joy it is to be back here in the house of the Lord! Because of the snow and ice, we lost four out of the first five … Continue reading

“A Tale of Two Trees” (Sermon on Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17; 3:1-24; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“A Tale of Two Trees” (Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17; 3:1-24) This is “A Tale of Two Trees.” Oh, there were a whole bunch of other trees besides, lots of them, but this story will focus on just two. Our story begins … Continue reading

Lenten Bible Studies in the Penitential Psalms, from Around the Word

Beautiful for the Lenten season, Around the Word Bible Studies offers a series of excellent studies on The Seven Penitential Psalms. These Psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) teach us the Biblical doctrine of repentance, sorrow over our … Continue reading

“But Deliver Us from Evil” (Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer and Luke 23:32-49, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“But Deliver Us from Evil” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 23:32-49) “But Deliver Us from Evil”: The seventh and final petition of the Lord’s Prayer. And how appropriate that we should come to this petition on this particular day, Good Friday. … Continue reading

“Lead Us Not into Temptation” (Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer and Luke 22:1-46, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Lead Us Not into Temptation” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 22:1-46) During this Lenten season we’ve been doing a series on the Lord’s Prayer called “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” And that’s exactly what our Lord does on this Holy Thursday … Continue reading

“Who Is This?” (Sermon on Matthew 21:1-11 and 27:11-66, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Who Is This?” (Matthew 21:1-11; 27:11-66) “Who is this?” That would seem to be the question of the day for this day that serves as both Palm Sunday and the Sunday of the Passion. “Who is this?” That’s what the … Continue reading