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Showing posts from January, 2017

Lord v. the People

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“Hear what the Lord says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against His people, and He will contend with Israel” (Micah 6:1-2). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Hear ye, hear ye. Court is now in session. Calling the case of the Lord God versus the People. The Honorable Hills and Mountains presiding. Your Honor and ladies and gentlemen of the jury: the defendants have been charged with the breach of covenant. The evidence presented will prove the defendants are guilty of apostasy and countless acts of unfaithfulness. Through His prophet Micah, the Lord challenges His people to a public hearing before the mountains and the hills of the Promised Land. The high places serve as the witnesses, judge, and jury because for centuries they have witnessed the L…

Light Has Dawned in the Land of Darkness

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Click here to listen to this sermon. “But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time He brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time He has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isaiah 9:1-2). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! With the arrest of John the Baptist, Jesus relocates to Capernaum on the sea of Galilee. It’s the north country, despised by the Judeans in the south, the ancient equivalent of what the political elite today call “flyover country.” It was once some of the most beautiful, fertile land in the region, but by Jesus’ day, it had been decimated by centuries of warfare. Time and again, foreign kings had invaded Israel from the north, making Zebulun and Naphtali their first victims. In the pa…

Why a Womb?

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This sermon is an adaptation of a sermon written by James Lamb in 2007 when he was the executive director of Lutherans For Life. “The Lord called Me from the womb, from the body of My mother He named My name” (Isaiah 49:1). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Why a womb? If you were God and wanted to bring salvation to the “end of the earth”… if you were God and wanted to defeat sin, death, and Satan… if you were God and wanted to be glorified in all of this… why enter the world through a womb? Why not ride in on a white horse brandishing a sword accompanied by legions of angels and blazing chariots? Why a womb? The Word of God before us today provides answers to this question. God will teach us that the Messiah would be called from the womb to identify with and bring salvation for all humanity. Why a womb? First, it took a womb to properly equip the Messiah for the task of bringing salvation to the “end of the earth.” …

The Lord Is My Shepherd: A Funeral Sermon

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The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23). Dear beloved of Arnie, honored friends, and guests: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,” writes the psalmist, and even in his last days Arnie confessed this to be true. But to the human eye, it surely looked as if Arnie did want at times in his life. I have to think that growing up in a family of fifteen…

Fitting to Fulfill All Righteousness

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“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?’ But Jesus answered Him, ‘Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness’ (Matthew 3:13-14). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! It all started at the Jordan. Clothed in camel hair and leather, eating locusts and wild honey, John was the very picture of the prophet Elijah, who had called Israel to repentance in the days of King Ahab. The people who flocked out into the wilderness believed he was the forerunner of the Messiah, as Malachi had foretold. John identified himself as the “voice of one crying in the wilderness.” Centuries before, Isaiah had predicted such a messenger would appear to “prepare the way for the Lord” (40:3). And so, John preached his message of repentance, and many people, confessing their sins, were…