Sermon summaries and audio files
The Spirit who is the Comforter preaches by the Apostles' lips. He speaks of sin, when people are convicted of sin by the proclamation of the law; of righteousness, when people hear of Christ and the giving of his righteousness by imputation, and of judgment, when the message of the vindication of Christ's people which is to come sounds forth. Sermon for Cantate Sunday. The video is here.
Jesus laid down his life for the sheep, and took it up again, and said to Peter, Feed my sheep. So Peter and his fellow Apostles, and their successors, have been feeding his sheep over the centuries. Thousands of shepherds under Jesus, who through them feeds his sheep. Sermon for Miseericordias Domini. The video is here.
Jesus said to Peter in his third post-resurrection appearance, "Do you love me more than these?" It could mean, more than you love these, or, more likely, more than these other men do? Because he had recently boasted that he had. His insistence had been, "Even if they all should abandon you, not I. I will die with you." But he failed most miserably, instead denying him three times. So of course he was grieved when Jesus asked him the third time if he loved him. Now he might have remembered ruefully his boast and failure. Yet Jesus also taught that whoever is forgiven more, the same will love him more, so indeed Peter learned to love him much, for he knew he was forgiven much, and here commissioned to go forth, his unworthiness notwithstanding, and feed Jesus' sheep. How much do you love Jesus? Beware of the temptation to boast. Instead, consider how badly you need him, and from there perhaps begin to know how much you love him. Sermon for Midweek of Easter II. The video is here.
Thomas was so dejected that he went off to be alone, and was so crushed that he thought any hope of good things to come was a pipe dream, an idle tale, and he would not believe; until Jesus appeared to him and, as if to say I was there with you in your despair, bids him to inspect him. And Thomas repents of the folly of saying in his heart that there is no God. And takes seriously the admonition to preach, to gladden hearts who have not seen and believe. So today this word comes to you. Sermon for Quasimodo Geniti. The video is here.
4/17/2022 0 Comments
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lion of Judah has roared, and his roar has shaken all the wood and all that are therein, and the sun has arisen, and all the birds sing, and all the newborns suckle, and all the flowers bloom, and all the grasses flourish, for the eternal spring of souls has at long last arrived, and all Creation now rejoices, for Christ is risen from the dead.
At last, at long last! Today the sorrowing disciples went on their way to Emmaus, and he who is himself the Way came and walked with them, and and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Abraham received his only begotten son alive on the third day, his son who had carried the wood of his own sacrifice up the mountain. He bound him on that altar, and was ready to offer him but was stayed from doing so by the angel, and he took instead a ram caught in a thicket, and he saw in that thrilling moment a clear glimpse into this day of the Lord, and he was glad, for today Christ is risen from the dead.
Joseph was sold into bondage into Egypt, and there he waited on Potiphar, but because of the false witness of Potiphar’s wife against him he was thrown into the dark dungeon, but soon he became Lord of that prison, and was raised up to become the highest at the right hand of Pharaoh: see, Christ is risen from the dead.
And during the famine in all the land Joseph’s brothers, thinking him dead, came to Egypt for bread, and there he revealed himself alive before them, and they were glad, and they brought their gladdened father, and all of Israel, into that land of plenty: behold, Christ arisen from the dead.
All the poor children of Israel became slaves in Egypt, but at last came the Passover their Sacrament, for they sprinkled the blood of that lamb on their doorposts, so that the angel of death passed over their houses, as they ate unleavened bread, sweet bread, and Moses led them out of bondage into freedom: see, Christ arisen from the dead.
And they came to the border of the Red Sea, but when they saw the fierce advancing Egyptian army approaching, they were afraid; for alas, they had no weapons and no escape and nowhere to flee. But Moses lifted his wooden staff, and the waters parted, and they crossed that sea on dry land, and all of Pharaoh’s advancing army chased after them and were drowned in the same, and so Israel rejoiced with the rising of the sun, when they saw their enemies all dead on the seashore, and they rejoiced with loud song and jubilation. Do you see? Christ is risen from the dead.
After forty years in their Lenten wilderness they crossed over Jordan into the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey, and there they became heirs of houses full of all good things, which they did not fill, and wells dug, which they did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees which they did not plant. See here too, an abundant and full inheritance rich and free. Christ is risen from the dead.
And Samson that mighty judge, put to rout his enemies, as the hymnist declares, he carries hence hell’s cursed gates; all Satan’s power he devastates. Christ is risen from the dead.
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens; women received their dead raised to life again, and all of it, all, I say, a litany of countless repetitions of that deliverance that was yet to come, that deliverance that finally did come at long last, through ages upon ages, upon this Easter Day, this very day of days, to the delight and amazed gladness of the women at the tomb, and of the disciples on the Emmaus Road, and of all the disciples, for they heard and saw with their own eyes: Christ is risen from the dead.
Now you also, O man, whoever you are, join today in this delight, and welcome this eternal gladness into your heart, for the Lion of Judah has roared, and your Isaac was found alive; your Joseph has arisen out of his prison; your Moses has led you through the sea, through Lent and into Canaan; your Samson, your David, your Daniel, yea your Christ himself is risen from the dead.
And your sins have been put away, as far as the east is from the west, and your fallenness has been restored; for you are the penitent David, whose adultery and murder are remembered no more; you are the woman caught in sin, brought trembling before your Lord, who will not condemn you today; you are the publican in the temple unwilling to raise your eyes so much as unto heaven, pleading, God be merciful to me a sinner, who went down to your house justified; you are the penitent thief, and today you are received into Paradise, for Christ is risen from the dead.
Behold, all ye weary of heart: all ye that mourn, for you shall be comforted. Your dead are alive, for you are the widow of Nain, and your son has been raised. You are the ruler of the synagogue to whom Jesus said, Go your way, your son liveth. Yea, you yourself have come forth out of the tomb, for you are Lazarus! See now in advance your own resurrection from the dead, and the resurrection of the loved ones you have buried; see it all today, for Christ is risen from the dead.
Today the Lion of Judah roars, and his roar shakes all the wood and all that are therein, and the sun arises, and all the birds sing, and all the newborns suckle, and all the flowers bloom, and all the grasses flourish, for the eternal spring of souls has at long last arrived, and all Creation now rejoices, for Christ is risen from the dead.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Yea, a thousand times alleluia!
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Vigil of Easter. The video is here.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Behold, there was a great earthquake. The angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.
For the earth itself gave birth. A new creation is born from the dead. This was the second earthquake, for we recall that the first had happened when Jesus had died, and had cried with a loud voice, the earth did quake, and the rocks brake. These were the earth’s labor pains. The earth was in travail and sorrow, because her hour was come: the Creator of the world had died, and so all of creation was in turmoil. Labor pains, that continued until this great moment at last.
Creation itself has been refashioned and recapitulated and reborn. Second birth! Jesus springs forth out of the womb of the grave. And behold, all things are made new. And all things recoil at this transformation. And the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
For these were the men that Pilate had sent to keep watch; they shook and became as dead men. They shook because they were overcome by the fierce angel of the Lord who descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it, whose countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. They shook with fear and trembling, for they were bound to the old creation that was consumed by the new at this moment. The lightning-white appearance of the angel was as overwhelming as the earthquake. Judgment fell upon them who were bound to the old creation. The time had come for them to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. There was no escape. They became as dead men, for they were as dead men, and so also was all the fallen world. It was over, it was all over. The old is dead and gone, and so the keepers shake, and rocks, hills, and plains.
And the new is born! So now did the earth shake not with death but with life, and rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy. Christ is born again! He steps out of the womb of the earth. Man is born again. The earth gives up her dead, and is delivered of the child, and the new creation rejoices, and remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a Man is born into the world.
For the Creator had died as man, to whom he had bound himself; and now he rises as man, and so raises the earth with him and in him. Behold, says he, I make all things new.
And the angel said unto the women, Fear not ye! Fear not, O Christian heart, for you have been born from above, born anew, born again. Fear not, for the judgment that came upon the world does not fall upon you. The angel of death passes by, passes over your house, and you are delivered from Pharaoh and all his host, who have drowned in the sea. But you were saved by that sea, for the waters that destroyed your enemy have rescued you from him. The same glorious event that brought an end to the old has brought a new beginning and new life to you.
For Christ is the firstborn from the dead. Now you may expect that the rest shall surely follow. For Jesus already has taken his stand upon the earth, and the women came and held him by the feet and worshipped him. Behold, he lives. He who was dead dieth no more. He has been raised incorruptible and he has been changed. And so shall they be changed, and so shall you be changed, O Christian.
The earth dies and the earth is born! For Christ died and was born. Yes, Nicodemus, a man can enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born, and indeed he has, for his first mother was Mary, and his second mother is the earth itself, from which his very flesh was first fashioned.
Rejoice, O Christian, and fear not! Your redemption has come. Not only have your sins been done away, but your Righteousness has descended from heaven, white as snow, with a shout. The darkness and misery of Friday’s death gives way to the sunrise and light of Easter’s life. The dry ground that came up out of the water on the third day of creation reaches its fulfillment in the new ground that came up out of the Baptismal font of the earth on the great third day, the day of Christ’s resurrection. And joy replaces fear, and gladness replaces mourning, and good replaces evil, and God crushes the devil, as life replaces death forever.
For the earth has quaked, and given up her dead, and has given birth to Christ who had died but is now risen from the dead and dieth no more, and heaven and all its angels now sing for joy. O sing with them, sing, and rejoice and be glad. For your Salvation has taken his stand upon the earth.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
As Adam was made in the image of God, so Christ is the image of God. And as we see this image especially in Adam's love for his new bride, so we see Christ loving to the end, and ironically Pilate is the one who says, Behold the man. For if you would see Christ's abiding love, look no further than his cross. And as a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, so Christ left his Father, who abandoned him on the cross, and his mother, whom he gave to the beloved disciple, to be joined to his bride, the Church. And as Adam slept and God took a rib from his side to fashion Eve, so Christ slept in death, and from his side there came blood and water, from which Sacraments the Church was created and brought to him. And the two become one flesh in the blessed Supper. Sermon for Good Friday. The video is here.