Sermon summaries and audio files
The wedding of a king's son is a great affair, because it means the kingdom continues. So those who make light of it are wicked indeed, because the scorn the king himself, and are cut from the same cloth as those who murdered his servants. So let us take the invitation seriously, and consider the great invitation to the wedding feast. Christ marries his holy church and she wears the baptismal gown provided. Let us rejoice, ever looking to him. Sermon for Michaelmas II. Video is here.
Jesus forgave this man before healing him, and told him to be of good cheer. He was not yet healed; nothing had changed. In fact this created a stir of controversy against Jesus, while the man still lay paralyzed before him. Thus let us learn that the forgiveness of sins if of paramount importance, and if we have this, if we receive this here in the holy absolution and at the altar, we already have the greatest thing, and have reason already to be of good cheer. As Jesus said, Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added. Sermon for First Sunday in Michaeltide. Video is unavailable while Facebook is down.
His enemies were watching him, looking for opportunity to charge him. This wickedness is a shredding of the eighth commandment, for rather than putting the best construction on his actions they condemn him. And so they miss his glory and seal their own fate. Beware, and come to this feast, sitting in the lowest place. Claim no merit, but come in humility. And by this Sacrament you are raised to the highest place, being united to Him who sits at the right hand of God. Sermon for Trinity XVII. The video is here.
The Evangelist St. Matthew embodied the difference between a sinful lifestyle and a sanctified one. For when he was called and converted, he changed from one who was always taking, and stealing, to one who was giving to the poor, to the Church, even to the point of his own martyrdom. So glad he was to have receive mercy that he welcomed this calling to bestow mercy. Sermon for St Matthew's Day. The video is here.
So very like Jesus' own death and resurrection is this event. The mother is a widow, even as Jesus' mother was when he died. The son is an only-begotten, as Jesus also is. The dead man was met outside the city, and Jesus was also crucified outside the city. The raising of the widow's son is an easy way for us to see and remember and rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord, as we do every Sunday. For there is another way these are similar. It was the woman's sorrow that evoked Jesus' pity and help. And so also, it was the sorrow and affliction of the human race that brought him in pity to become incarnate, and to suffer, and to be himself raised from the dead. All that he might wipe every tear from our eyes. Sermon for Trinity XVI. The video is here.
You cannot serve God and mammon, because mammon demands your fear. But God is your heavenly Father, having become so because the eternal Son has become your brother and has given his life for you, all that you may gain the privilege of calling God your father. And God alone can help. So consider the birds, how they are fed without sowing, reaping, and harvesting. Likewise are we fed here at the altar with meat for which Someone else labored. And the birds are majestic, having wings, soaring high, and singing beautifully. Yet these creatures are far less valuable than are you; indeed they were made for you to enjoy. Let the birds remind you of your value to God, who would never leave you, since you are the apple of his eye. And consider the lilies of the field. Today it is, and tomorrow it is harvested and made into flour and into dough and thrown into the oven, so that it may become your bread. And then bread becomes, by the grace and word of Christ, his own body for you to eat. And consider also how the lilies are clothed; yet you are clothed better, by holy Baptism. Therefore cast all your cares on him, for he cares for you. Sermon for Trinity XV. The video is here.
Why did nine lepers not return? We don't know, but we do know that Jesus had sent them to the priests, who were his sworn enemies. Surely they would not want them returning, and might have preached a strong sermon against it. And then there's the peer pressure. Just like today, whose societal influences pull us away from Jesus. But there's the one leper who returned. What about him? He was a Samaritan, so perhaps already used to being an outsider. And perhaps his prior confession of faith, then, was already stronger. Perhaps he was thrilled just to be in Jesus' presence, even before he was healed, and then went and did as Jesus bade him. But then, when he was healed, he was overwhelmed, and now glad that he could return and draw near to him rather than stand afar off. So he fell on his face before him. No law or commandment told him to do this, but he knew that he must. So let us learn: no law or commandment tells us to come here to worship. The Third Commandment tells us to remember the Sabbath Day, only obliquely bidding us to fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His word but gladly hear and learn it. But it doesn't say when, or how often. Yet how can we stay away, knowing what Christ has done for us. We find ourselves in the very same place as this leper, returning even if nine will not return with us, even if our society should tell us not to go, even if all the world should speak against it. For we know who He is, and what He has done for us. Sermon for Trinity XIV. The video is here.
The lawyer didn't even know who his neighbor was, so how can he know the Law? He is truly blind, unlike the disciples whose eyes were blessed. For he did not see himself in the man lying half dead by the road. His friends were the priests and Levites with whom he consorted. These will never help him. But the Good Samaritan, our Lord Jesus, comes to bind up wounds with the forgiveness of sins. To pour in the oil and wine of the Sacraments. To set him on his own beast, the ass that carried Christ to his place of sacrifice for our sins. To bring him to the inn, that is, the church. To tell the innkeeper, that is, the pastor, to take care of him, until the great day of his returning. And so he does for us, and bid us to do likewise, for in him alone we not only gain the inheritance of eternal life, but the beginnings of being like him, and loving like he does. Sermon for Trinity XIII. The video is here.
The way Jesus healed the deaf man is informative, for he also took each of us aside from the multitude, in Baptism, and water from his mouth, that is, the waters of Baptism made holy by his word, have been applied to us, and the sigh of Jesus is his Spirit, which he breathed out. But the Spirit proceeds also from the Father, indicated by Jesus' look up into heaven. And he spoke, for with his Spirit is always his word, and his word opens our ears and minds to hear and believe the truth of his holy word, and we, like the man here, speak plainly. No longer let us lie and deceive, but speak plainly as the Spirit has given us this ability. So we confess this most holy faith and live by it. Sermon for Trinity XII. The video is here.