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“Where is the Lord to be Found?”

Looking for Jesus. That’s what the parents of Jesus were doing. They together, with Jesus, relatives, and acquaintances, had gone up to the city of Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. Passover was one of the three major feasts that God had commanded His people to keep. It was a memorial feast for the time that God had delivered His people Israel from slavery in Egypt. There, God sent His angel to destroy all the first-born males of the Egyptians. This was the last plague of ten, and afterwards, stubborn Pharaoh of Egypt finally let God’s people go. With a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, God saved His people, even through the death of the first-born. With a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm God saves us, even through the death of His First-Born, Jesus the Christ.

It was the Passover feast that Jesus and His family had gone up to Jerusalem for. And afterwards, on their way back, Mary and Joseph thought that Jesus, there son of twelve, was with others in their group. But He wasn’t. Of all places, He was in the temple, listening to the teachers, asking questions, and giving answers…

Lk02.40-52, Christmas 2, 2011A.pdf

“God’s Timing”

The confidence and the hope that God gives is not uncertain. It is not doubtful. It is just the opposite, for God always keeps His promises. Because God does not change, neither does His Word. His is the greatest comfort and the only true sure thing we have in life. People fail us. The world shorts us. Words of man become empty and meaningless.

But God’s promises do not fail. God never shorts us. What He says fills and gives meaning. His promises are as sure as Christ’s birth, His death, and His resurrection. The confession of our faith is nothing but certainty, for God Himself has given us what to believe. We don’t make our doctrines up, nor does God promise continuing revelations or new doctrines. God has given us the sure foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone (Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Mk. 12:10; Lk. 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:6, 7)…

Gal04.4-7, Christmas 1, 2010A.pdf

“The Love of God Made Manifest”

Both the Old and the New Testaments testify of our Savior-Jesus Christ. The Old Testament speaks of Him who is to come. The New Testament speaks of Him who has come and who is coming again.

From beginning to end, God’s promise of hope and deliverance culminate with Jesus Christ on the cross, where He put death to death, delivered you from your sins, and now gives you eternal life.

But this man Jesus, though truly flesh and blood as the Lord’s Word makes known, is also God, God in flesh and blood. This is what we call the Incarnation. God took on human flesh. And He did this in order to save you…

[tag sermon, Christmas, Incarnation, Jesus, Love]

1Jn4.9-10, Children’s Christmas Sermon, 2010A.pdf

“Be Perfect?!”

Upon two commandments, Jesus says, hang all the Law and the Prophets. The first is to Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). The first commandment here has to do with faith to God. The second has to do with love for neighbor. It is this second commandment which draws our attention in today’s Gospel reading. It is according to this commandment whereby we demonstrate whose we are in this life, whether we are of our own or whether we are of the Lord.

To be Christian does not mean simply to confess the Christian faith with the mouth. This anyone can do. And truly, there are many who merely say that they are Christian. They speak the Creed. They say that they are sinners. They say that they are Christian. They hold membership in a Christian congregation. Yet they don’t exhibit the very things that Jesus is talking about in our text. They hold grudges. They backbite. They do not forgive. They raise dissention and quarrel any chance they get. Their actions truly do speak louder than their words…

Mt05.38-48, Epiphany 7, 2011A.pdf

The Baptism of Our Lord

The text before us is a text that shows us what kind of Savior we have in Christ Jesus. It is also a text by which God Himself directs us to His Son—and only to His Son. It is a most amazing text because Jesus, “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made,” this same Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized by him in the Jordan river (Nicene Creed).

This is a most strange, yet wonderful doing of our Lord. It is most strange for no other reason than that John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3). Indeed, John the Baptist preached by saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near (Matthew 3:1).

Those who came to John to be baptized by him were to be repentant, that is, they were to be sorry for their sins. John’s preaching of repentance was a call to turn from unbelief to belief in the Lord and His word and promises.

This is what is strange about Jesus coming to John the Baptist to be baptized by him—Jesus had nothing to repent of. Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He had no need for forgiveness, for remission of sins, or for pardon. He was complete, whole, and without blemish. It was not Jesus who needed forgiveness. It was John himself and all who came to him, truly, everyone else but Jesus…

Mat03.13-17, Baptism Of Our Lord, 2011A.pdf

“Jesus–The Lamb of God”

Search for the word “Lamb” in the hymns found in Lutheran Service Book and you find quite a few, about 70. 70 hymns in our hymnal use the word “Lamb” in one or more verses, and more often than not, lamb refers, not to a child of God, but to Jesus.

Take for instance the hymn entitled, “The Lamb,” often sung during the season of Lent (and in the section entitled, “Redeemer,” LSB 547). The first verse alone is pregnant with meaning, and quite related to today’s Gospel:

The Lamb, the Lamb, O Father, where’s the sacrifice?

Faith sees, believes God will provide the Lamb of price!…

Jn01.29-42a, Epiphany 2, 2011A.pdf

“Jesus is the Light”

“Jesus Christ is the Light of the World.” “The Light no darkness can overcome” (Evening Prayer, Lutheran Service Book, p243, based on John 8:12; 1:5)

These words which begin the liturgy for Evening Prayer apply here and now just as much as the words from St. Matthew’s Gospel now apply. Isaiah the prophet, writing hundreds of years earlier by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, prophesied of the Light which was to come (Isaiah 9:1-2). That Light was Christ. That Light is Christ…

Mt04.12-25, Epiphany 3, 2011A.pdf

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