5/2/21 – Easter 5 – “Love One Another” – 1 John 4:7-12

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. The 4th-century theologian Jerome, in one of his commentaries, tells a story about the Apostle John. John was old and frail, unable to walk, so his disciples would carry him into the gathering of believers on the Lord’s Day. Every week these were his words to the congregation: “Little children, love one another.” This went on week after week, until at last, more than a little weary of these repeated words, his disciples asked him, “Master, why do you always say this?” Continue reading

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4/25/21 – Easter 4 – “The King is Coming!” – Isaiah 52:7-10

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. This morning we celebrate the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist. He’s a man who is remembered for his work alongside some of the great Christian missionaries—men like the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, and even his cousin Barnabas. He’s a man who is remembered for the legacy he left in Alexandria, Egypt, where he founded the church that produced some of the most brilliant and important theologians in church history—men like Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria. Continue reading

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4/18/21 – Easter 3 – “Bearing Witness to the Truth” – Acts 3:11-21

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this morning is the First Reading from Acts chapter 3. This portion of Acts 3 is actually only part of a much larger story which starts at the beginning of chapter 3 and continues into chapter 4. The story begins with Peter and John going into the temple together. As they’re passing through, they see a lame man sitting there begging for money. The man looked at Peter and John and asked if they had anything to give him. Then Peter looked directly at the man and acted as if he was going to give him something. But then Peter said to him: I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk! (Acts 3:6). And then something amazing happened. Continue reading

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4/11/21 – Easter 2 – “Believing Thomas” – John 20:19-31

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. I’m not entirely sure why the Apostle Thomas has gotten such a bad reputation. In the church, when we think of the Apostle Thomas, we tend to think of “Doubting Thomas”—our story for today. But, believe it or not, Thomas is the Apostle who church tradition credits with bringing the Gospel message to India where he was later martyred for his faith. In John’s Gospel, Thomas is portrayed as loyal, though admittedly some-what pessimistic man. Though he maybe wasn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier, he was undeniably a dedicated, passionate man. The first time Thomas makes an appearance in John’s Gospel is in the episode with Lazarus in John 11. Continue reading

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4/4/21 – Easter – “You Will Not Abandon My Soul” – Psalm 16:8-11

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this morning is from Psalm 16—a biblical text that from the earliest of times has been associated with the resurrection of our Lord. If you read the story in Acts 2 of that first Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles, you’ll find that Peter stood up to preach. As a part of his sermon, he said: Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. Continue reading

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3/28/21 – Palm Sunday – “The Unexpected King” – John 12:12-19

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this Sunday of the Passion is from John 12:12-19: The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13). Today is the Sunday of Holy Week, a day that we know as Palm Sunday. But what is the deal with these palm branches anyway? We’ve become quite accustomed to them in our celebrations as we do what the crowds did in welcoming Jesus, but what is the deal with these palm branches? Continue reading

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3/21/21 – Lent 5 – “Greatness in the Kingdom of God” – Mark 10:32-45

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. What does greatness look like? That’s a question humans have sought to answer for all of recorded history. Think, for example, about the ancient Greeks. Some would say that greatness looks like a mighty Spartan warrior who was a world-class soldier and afraid of no one. Others might say that greatness looks like one of the great Athenian minds, like Socrates or Plato, who literally changed the course of human thinking. Or think in more modern times. Some people would say that greatness looks like Steve Jobs—a man who started a small computer company out of his garage and then went on to lead the charge in some of the most significant technological advances our world has ever seen which literally changed the way that our world operates in just about ever way imaginable. Continue reading

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3/14/21 – Lent 4 – “The Poison of the Serpent” – Numbers 21:4-9

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this morning is the Old Testament reading from Numbers 21:4-9. It’s this strange, short episode that occurs in the middle of two of the most important moments in the book of Numbers. In chapter 20, Moses infamously rebells against God at Meribah by disobeying the Lord’s command. Then in chapter 22, the incident involving Balaam and his talking donkey is told, which is, in a lot of ways, the climactic moment of the book of Numbers. But here, in the middle of chapter 21 is a small story of rebellion that would be easy to overlook. But there’s something incredible that happens in this story as God’s justice is transformed into a source of life. Let me show you what I mean. Continue reading

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3/7/21 – Lent 3 – “Loving the Law” – Exodus 20:1-17

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. A number of years ago, my family drove from our home in St. Louis, Missouri to visit my brother in California…yes, we drove that whole way! We got on I-70 in Wentzville, Missouri and drove all the way across the states of Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and into Utah. Eventually we made our way south through Arizona and Nevada into California. But I’m not going to lie, out of all of the states that we drove through on that trip, my favorite by far to drive through was Utah. Why? One simple reason: the speed limit. Continue reading

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2/28/21 – Lent 2 – “Peace Through Our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5:1-11

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this morning is the Epistle Reading from Romans 5:1-11. And in this reading we learn that God gives us peace through our Lord Jesus Christ, which sounds really nice, especially in our current world, doesn’t it? I mean it just seems like one thing after another that throws our lives into chaos…If it’s not a global pandemic or a highly contentious presidential election, then it’s vaccine headaches or legislations passing through Congress. Continue reading

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