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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Good Shepherd Lays Down His Life

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[Jesus said]: “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Let’s be honest. The idea of a shepherd laying down his life to save a sheep is ludicrous, even scandalous. No reasonable shepherd would lay down his life for his sheep. No sheep, not even a whole flock of sheep, is worth the life of one  shepherd. Even the most dedicated shepherd would not give his life up for his sheep. Oh, I’m sure he would be willing to experience discomfort for his sheep. He might spend sleepless nights keeping watch over his sheep. He might risk harm in order to keep predators away from his sheep. But he would not be willing to die for the sheep. It is generally the sheep that end up dying for the shepherd’s benefit—some to feed the shepherd and his family, others to provide the sacrifice for the sins of the shepherd and the rest of God’s people. And so, wh…

Sermon for the Funeral of Lucille Brockberg

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Click here to listen to this sermon. Dear members of Lucille’s family, her friends, and members of St. John’s: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! At a funeral service, I find that there are often younger people, and maybe some not so young, who are trying to find the place for religion in their lives. They’re asking themselves, “Does this mean anything to me? Is this just something my parents cared about?” But then, at some point, everybody faces something he or she can’t handle, something that shakes us up. Maybe it’s the biggest stress we’ve yet faced in this life. Maybe it’s the death of a loved one. Maybe it’s an unexpected diagnosis of a dangerous disease. Or maybe it’s the eventual realization that we have to face the endof this life. And suddenly we wish there could be some place to turn—or Someone to turn to—outside ourselves. Then maybe those who’ve gone before can teach us something after all. Turning to their example we see that as they lear…

Christ Is the Content, Center, and Key to All Scriptures

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“Then [Jesus] said to them, ‘These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem’” (Luke 24:44-47). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Mortimer Adler taught a class at the University of Chicago on “The Great Books of the Western World.” On one occasion Dr. Adler turned to one of his brightest students and asked her to summarize one of the books for the class. She had just gotten a high A on her examination for that very book, but she had to sheepishly admit: “I have no idea what it was about, Dr. Adler.” Adler insta…

The Resurrection of Our Lord: A Verifiable, Historic Fact of Your Life

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Click here to listen to this sermon. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Oh, but how do you know that He is truly risen? How do you know this is true? And, if it were not true, would it really matter whether or not Christ actually rose from the dead? There are those—even some who call themselves Christians—who dismiss the resurrection as myth. Others insist that Jesus’ resurrection was merely a spiritual resurrection. And still others are undecided, but say it really doesn’t matter because Christianity is all about being nice and doing good, and Jesus certainly was a good example and moral teacher. (But how good or moral could Jesus have been if He lied about or faked His own resurrection?) St. Paul certainly thinks the bodily resurrection of Jesus is important. He includes it as one of four clauses that summarize the Gospel: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ die…