Sermon summaries and audio files
The one leper who returned to give thanks knew the source of his gift and all things, and fell at his feet. For Jesus is the true God and eternal life. So let us do as this leper did. Sermon for Thanksgiving.
The parable of the ten virgins makes it abundantly clear that not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven. Even some who appear fit will not enter: five of the ten virgins. But why ten virgins? We think of the ten commandments and the importance of keeping them. Yet only five were wise and truly kept them by embracing Christ and his merit; for it is only by his work that one can be saved. So the wise live by a baptismal life of faith in him. Sermon for the Last Sunday after Trinity.
Jesus pointed with approval to the widow who gave two mites gave all that she had, her whole livelihood. How poor she must have been, made so by the evil of the scribes who devour widows’ houses. And yet she gives up all that she does have, which is only two mites. Does this not remind us of Jesus himself, who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, and gave everything he had for us, to redeem us by his two mites, namely his body and blood. So this widow, trusting that God will provide, even as the widow at Zarephath had done, also gives all that she has. In this she is like the holy Christian church and her martyrs: the willingly gave all that they had, trusting in the goodness of God as they had learned it from the grace of Jesus. Let us rejoice in his goodness, and learn a like willingness to entrust ourselves entirely into his keeping. Sermon for Midweek of Trinity XXIII.
Jesus has a special love for little children, and it is critical for us to remember this. So we must be utterly apposed to the atrocity of abortion, and the ghastly treatment of children by the transgender industry. Why does Jesus love the little ones so? Because they are so helpless. And thus we must also learn how helpless we are and learn by faith to depend on him in all things, and embrace firmly his help toward us, as the Psalmist says, Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. Sermon for Midweek of Trinity XXII.
The unforgiving servant was unaware of the great gift he had received, and because of this he sealed his own condemnation. Do we dare refuse to forgive when we ourselves have been forgiven because of the great sacrifice of the Son of God for us? Sermon for Trinity XXII.
Jesus’ two parables in St. Matthew 21:1-14 are directed against the Pharisees, but they teach all of us. On the two sons, though the first was insolent and brash in saying to his father that he refused to go work for him, yet because he later repented and went, it was not counted against him. So also we know that God does not hold our sins or shames against us either, when we repent and turn to Him for grace. This also the publicans and harlots did coming to Jesus. But the Pharisees would not; thus their hypocrisy is laid bare. In the second parable, it is clear that the landowner’s fury against the wicked tenants was indeed carried out in God’s judgment against the Jews in Jerusalem in ad 70 as a result of their killing of Jesus. But let us beware, for if He did not spare even His chosen people when they refused to repent, neither will He spare us without repentance. Thus let us gladly learn that His mercy is abounding and His forgiveness for Christ’s sake is complete, and in learning this, let us also go to work in His vineyard, each according to his station in life. Sermon for Midweek of Trinity XX.
Jesus in this Gospel speaks of the prophets who went to the Jews (the servants sent by the king) whom the Jews did not receive. Then he sent other servants. Here he speaks of what was currently about to happen, namely the sending of the apostles with the Gospel. But they were mistreated and killed. And this made the king angry and he destroyed those murderers and burned up their city. Here he is prophesying the events soon to come, namely the destruction of Jerusalem in ad 70. And the reason for that was the anger of God. This was a foretaste of the final judgment. And at that judgment the king will inspect the guests and see who is and is not wearing a wedding garment. The one who refuses to wear it, who is speechless, finds out just like the Jews in Jerusalem that although God is kind, he is not without justice and truth. Anyone not wearing the wedding garment of Christ’s righteousness will likewise be condemned. Thus let us approach the altar at this wedding feast today to receive that righteousness again, by mouth, and embrace Christ and the gift of his salvation here. Sermon for Trinity XXII.
Jesus’ words to the paralytic are the sweetest words ever heard: “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” Let us rejoice in these words, for they are a bulwark against the devil and an evil conscience. He who receives them must acknowledge that he is a sinner, and must also reckon with the fact that for Jesus’ sake his sins are put away. And this, in spite of the world and those who cry blasphemy or all manner of attempts to pull these words away from us. Yet they are as true as the fact that Jesus then healed this man. And for us, likewise, they are as true as the fact that we have been baptized and receive the holy Supper. For we receive mercy through the ear and on the tongue, a guarantee from heaven. And see also, what follows this forgiveness is healing; and for us what follows is life and eternal salvation. Sermon for Trinity XIX.
Jesus is the vine, and his word is the sap that feeds the branches; without him we can do nothing; that is, apart from his word his apostles and pastors can do nothing. But with his word the fruit is produced from the vine through the branches; and the people of God receive Christ, his mercy, his Sacraments, and his life. And without his word they too can do nothing; but in him they are heirs of salvation and possess all things. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Sermon For Midweek of Trinity XVIII.