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Showing posts from April, 2013

A Little While (2.0)

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The text for today is our Gospel lesson, John 16:16-22, which has already been read. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Before I begin, I must issue the following warning: This sermon contains an illustration featuring the exploits of one of my adorable grandchildren.But then, since I plan on being here for awhile you might as well get used to it. A few years ago we were in the van headed to Gillette, Wyoming for a wedding.My grandson Abbott started fussing, so I just said: “Ten more minutes and then we’ll stop.”Much to my surprise, he quieted down.And in ten minutes, I kept my promise.After a quick diaper change and a bottle of formula he was good to go for another 200 miles.Then he started fussing again.Since it worked the first time, I decided to try the same line again: “Ten more minutes.”It seemed to work so well that I used it over and over again the whole trip. Now as biased as I may be about my gran…

A Good Shepherd for Dirty, Wandering Sheep

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! No image of the Lord and His relationship with us strikes closer to the core of our being than the one we see as our theme for today: the image of the Lord as our Shepherd and us as His sheep.We sing about this relationship in our hymns for today: “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb,” “Have No Fear Little Flock,” and “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.”We hear it in the 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.”In Revelation: “The Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd” (7:17).And in our text for today, John 10:27, Jesus tells us, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Shepherd and sheep: Why do you suppose this image has such power for us?Perhaps it’s because we link them together with peace and quiet.“He makes me lie down in green pastures…He leads me beside quiet waters.”Or maybe it’s because of how we think of sheep.A nu…

Who Is Worthy?

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The text for today is Revelation 5:1-2: “Then I saw in the right hand of Him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’”This is the Word of the Lord. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Three readings today, three different views of Jesus.Each of them, vitally important.All of them together give us a picture of who Jesus is for us and what He is doing.We’ll look at them chronologically (at least from an earthly perspective).(1) Jesus as He appeared on earth to His disciples sometime during the forty days between His resurrection and ascension.(2) As He appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus about three years after His death and resurrection.And (3), Jesus as He appeared to St. John during His exile at Patmos shortly before the end of the 1st cent…

Coming through Closed Doors, Hearts, and Minds

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The text for today is our Gospel lesson, John 20:19-31, which has already been read. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I have some discouraging news for you on the religious front.A study released by Rasmussen Reports on Good Friday found that 64% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.That is down significantly from only a year ago when Rasmussen released a poll finding that 77% of Americans believed the resurrection to be a historical fact.A staggering 13 point drop! Now, polls can be misleading, but you have to admit those numbers are discouraging.But not near as discouraging as it would have been on that first Easter.You see, the 64% of Americans who reportedly believe in the resurrection in 2013 is 64 percentage points higher than the total number who believed in Jesus’ resurrection on Good Friday in 33 A.D.No one believed it!And that includes all of Jesus’ disciples, who were huddled together…