Sermon summaries and audio files
In giving thanks we recall that we routinely fail to do it as we ought; but thanks be to God that Jesus gave thanks perfectly and provides us with the Gospel of giving us credit for all his work freely, that we may rejoice in him and receive him: for on the night when he was betrayed he gave thanks, and said to his disciples, Take, eat, etc. Sermon for Thanksgiving.
The ten virgins all looked alike, all appearing with virginal purity, seemingly following the ten commandments, and all having lamps, that is, all having the Word of God. But only five believed that Word, as indicated by the oil for their lamps, their baptismal faith. So know this, that only to have the Word is not enough; you must believe it, embrace it. And considering that Word, faith comes, for it is by the Word that faith comes. The Word of Christ, who He is, what he has done. Embrace this, and be ready against the Day of Judgment. Sermon for Trinity 27; the video is here.
The servant who was forgiven ten thousand talents did not grasp the enormity of this mercy, for the master who forgave him was swallowing the great debt himself, even as Christ has taken our debt and paid its price at great cost to himself. So any servant who fails to forgive his neighbor who by contrast owes him so little is making it clear that he is not living in awareness of the great gift of the mercy he himself has received. Sermon for Michaelmas III. The Video is here.
When Jesus chided the nobleman for needing signs and wonders before believing, the nobleman didn't argue. He simply pleaded for Jesus to come before his son died. He already believed Jesus could heal him, and many believed Jesus could heal; but what they couldn't believe is that he is the Son of God, the God Incarnate. So when Jesus said, Go thy way, thy son liveth, by this word he kindled in him the faith to believe even this, that Jesus could heal even from afar, something no one had ever done. In him are all things. And he believed now, before he even saw it, going his way. When he heard that his son had indeed been healed the very hour Jesus had spoken, he believed again, or rather, more strongly. For this was the confirmation of the faith he already had. And his household too, they saw none of the exchange, but they believed when the nobleman told them. And they too had the confirmation that he was healed at that very moment. So we believe because of hearing the word of God, and receive confirmation of what we believe in the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus' own means of giving us confirmation of our faith. Sermon for Michaelmas III. The video is here.
When Jesus came to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the children sang hosannas to him, thus fulfilling what is written in Psalm 118, which had been a coronation Psalm for Solomon. And when, shortly after, his enemies complained about this, he used the same Psalm to warn them. The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. So it is that he receives the weak: children, the sick and poor, and rejects the strong: Pharisees who are righteous in themselves. Let us ever find our strength only in him. Sermon for Midweek of Michaelmas II. The video is here.
The King shall come in to see the guests at the feast, and find someone without a wedding garment, who shall be thrown out into outer darkness. We know that by Christ's work of our redemption, all things have been made ready, as the invitation in this parable says. All things, including the garment, that is, the faith which Baptism gives. For to be baptized is to be given this brilliant garment of Christ's righteousness whereby we gain a gracious God. Thus let us ever wear the garment of our baptismal regeneration, loving God and one another, for it would be foolish to cast off our regeneration and the faith we have received. Sermon for Michaelmas II. The video is here.
The disciples Jesus called became convinced that he was truly the Messiah, though they were not gullible men, as their continued need for proof throughout his three-year ministry demonstrated. But he did miracles before them, and so convinced them. Nathanial knew that the Messiah would not come from Nazareth, and had not yet learned that Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem. But he became convinced when Jesus told him of something only Nathanial could know, and then said he would see greater things, for he would see angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. That is, he is the fulfillment of all the Scriptures, for he is Jacob's ladder as well as the Lamb of God. He is the perfect sacrifice to take away the sin of the world. And he is here, in the blessed Sacrament. Sermon for Midweek of Michaelmas 1.
Since it is harder to say rise and walk than to announce the forgiveness of sins, therefore Jesus does the former to prove that he has done the latter, which is the greater and more important thing. He forgave this man's sins, which is an eternal healing, and though the miracle of healing this paralytic was the miracle by which he proved that he had truly forgiven him as well, the healing was only temporary, as are all the times in life when we are healed of various ailments. But to receive the forgiveness of sins that Jesus offers here every Sunday through is called minister is the greater healing, being that which gives life and salvation. Sermon for Michaelmas I. The video is here.
How very like Christ are the angels. Heavenly, with wings, yet in appearance as men. And Christ is their fulfillment, for He is our heavenly Man, the Son of God in the flesh. And thus it is that He directs His angels to care for His little ones who have no strength in themselves, angels who stand guard against the enemies of each. Sermon for St. Michael and All Angels. The video is here.