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Is This a Day Acceptable to the Lord?

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Click here to listen to this sermon. “Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord (Isaiah 58:4-5). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Imagine a world that is cold and silent toward pain and human suffering. Try to envision a place where everything is driven by self-indulgence and life is all about financial profit, business transactions, and the bottom line. A society where politics and government are more about attaining and maintaining power than serving and protecting the nation and citizens. Countless people are being dehumanized. The sanctity of human life is determined by usefulness, cost-benefit analysis, convenience, and the god of choice. In this world there are no prayers, liturgies, hymns, sermons, or Sacraments. And so, love and compassion are rare commodities. This i

Winning or Waning Light?

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Click here to listen to this sermon. When [Jesus] heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth He went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned” (Matthew 4:12-16). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! The ministry of Jesus seems to be filled with ups and downs, highs and lows. In Matthew’s account (as in our lives), it’s not always easy to tell if the Light that has dawned on God’s people is winning or waning? In the verses immediately preceding our Gospel, Jesus emerges victorious from His battle in the desert with Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). Our Champion stands toe-

Behold, the Lamb of God

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"John the Baptist Points to the Christ" by Bartolome Esteban Murillo Click here to listen to this sermon. The next day [John] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because He was before me.’ I myself did not know Him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that He might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him. I myself did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God” (John 1:29-34). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Well-versed in Scripture, the disciples of John the Baptist knew all about the lambs. There were stories of one-time

The Necessity of Baptism

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"The Baptism of Jesus" by James Tissot Click here to listen to this sermon. 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.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:13–17). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! God’s plan for your salvation, first decreed in Genesis 3, has reached a milestone with the incarnation of His Son. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, He takes on human flesh. At eight days of age, He is made a son of Abraha

The Law and the Name

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  Click here to listen to this sermon. "The Circumcision of the Child Jesus" by Guido Reni

Sermon for the Funeral of Joshua Hellwinckel

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  Click here to listen to this sermon.

That's What Christmas Is All About

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"The Angel and the Shepherds" by James Tissot Click here to listen to this sermon. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! I’m guessing that most of you have seen “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the Christmas special featuring Charlie and all the other “Peanuts” characters. First aired in 1965, it, more than any other Christmas special, captures the true meaning of Christmas. On their way to join their friends ice skating, Charlie confides in Linus that, despite all the things he likes about the Christmas season, he is still depressed. When Linus offers little help, Charlie visits Lucy, who suggests that he direct the group’s annual Christmas play so he might get in the Christmas spirit. As he heads for rehearsal Charlie becomes even more discouraged by the commercialization of Christmas. Lucy laments not receiving real estate for Christmas; Snoopy decorates his doghouse for a neighborhood lights and display context; and Charlie’s younger sist