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Showing posts from February, 2016

Why Will You Die?

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Click here to listen to this sermon. “As I live,” declares the Lord God, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!  We pray in The Litany: “From all sin, from all error, from all evil; From the crafts and assaults of the devil; from sudden and evil death; From pestilence and famine; from war and bloodshed; from sedition and from rebellion; From lightning and tempest; from all calamity by fire and water; and from everlasting death; Good Lord, deliver us.” In one of our funeral hymns we sing: “All trials and all griefs are past, A blessed end has come at last, Christ’s yoke was borne with ready will; Who dieth thus is living still” (LSB #759). There is such a thing as an “evil death” and such a thing as a “blessed death.” What makes the difference?     In the book of N…

Jacob the Heel Comes Home

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Abram's Exodus Before the Exodus

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Tempted in the Wilderness for You

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Click here to listen to this sermon.

“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil” (Luke 4:1-2). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! The first Sunday of Lent brings us to the temptation of our Lord in the wilderness, and it is good that we take some time and reflect upon what He does for us there. I’ll tell you this from the start: This is a text that should humble you and me, and rightly so, for we can hardly be proud of our ability to resist temptation. But there is also Good News: As we understand our weakness the Lord’s strength for us grows all the more apparent and all the more comforting. It is no accident that Jesus finds Himself in the wilderness for forty days after His Baptism. The Holy Spirit has led Him there, because this is part of His journey to the cross. This “forty days” is part of Christ’s active obedience for our sake. He is living …

The Ashes of Paradise Lost

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From the Clouds of Glory

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Click here to listen to this sermon.

“As He was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!’” (Luke 9:34-35). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! From here on out, it’s all downhill—in more ways than one. Peter, James, and John had gone up this mountain with Jesus to pray. Waking from another careless sleep, they are astonished at what they see. Jesus is transfigured, shining. Not like under a spotlight from above. No, He’s glowing from the inside out. His clothes are white as lightning. Elijah and Moses have appeared and are speaking with Him about events to come. And then, to top it all off, a cloud envelops them and the Father’s voice declares, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Now, take a moment to review what happens there; for if this does not convince the disciples of Jesus’ identity, one wonders w…