Sermon summaries and audio files
Ye cannot serve God and mammon. So consider Jesus' practical advice on how to leave that idol and be dedicated to your Savior. Look to the birds, and to the flowers. Neither worry or fret, and you are of much greater value than they. For you are clothed with the blood of Christ in Baptism and fed with His own body and blood in the Supper, and therefore have nothing to fear or over which to worry. Sermon for Trinity XV. The video is here.
Jesus called Matthew out of a depraved lifestyle in which he had been taking from people, taxing them heavily, into a life in which he began giving to them freely, for he wrote the Gospel and it has become the means whereby we learn of Jesus. Yet Matthew was not ashamed to admit the past out of which he came. For although Luke and Mark, in deference to him, record his call from the tax office by referring to him by another name, Levi, thus seeking to preserve his Christian integrity, Matthew himself uses the name by which he was now known: Matthew. For he who covers his sin shall not prosper, but he who confesses and turns from his sin shall have mercy, as the Book of Proverbs declares. Let us follow his example, never wishing to make a name for ourselves, but trusting only the merit of Christ. Sermon for St. Matthew's Day. The video is here.
The difference between the leper who returned and the other nine is that only to him did Jesus say that his faith had saved him. Not only was his infirmity healed, but his faith embraced the Healer, and gave him thanks. And Jesus acknowledges this, saying that only this one gave glory to God. So let all give glory to God only by acknowledging Jesus as God and recognizing him as our Redeemer, for without him there is no faith at all. And so let us ever return to him to thank him, as we do here in this place this day. And every time you stay away you are with the nine, and imperiled by the wicked and godless generation among whom you live. The do not sleep unless they make someone fall, and they are everywhere. And only those who return to hear him speak again to grant and sustain our faith are safe, to whom he says, your faith has saved you. Sermon for Trinity XIV. The video is here.
The many fabulous stories about the relics of the cross may or may not be true, though this feast has been celebrated since the fourth century. But what is true is that the holy cross is the very instrument upon which the Savior of the world was laid. There he was suspended between heaven and earth, and though this was though of as an indication that the victim was not worthy of either, our Lord made it the means by which they were reconciled together. No greater or more valuable thing has ever existed than this, that redeemed the world and brought us back to God. The very body that was crucified here, and the blood that was shed, are now given to us in the holy Supper, and we have gained a gracious God by it, this marvelous, dreadful, wonderful cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. And we know this because of his glorious resurrection from the dead. Sermon for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The video is here.
The law of love requires that we help our neighbor not merely because we know we should, but because of true compassion of our hearts. And this condemns our hearts. So we are glad to know that our own Good Samaritan is none other than Jesus, who came to us in compassion and bound up our wounds of sin, gave us his mercy, and brought us to the inn, which is the Church. And he shall return for us. Therefore in the meantime we are to go and do likewise; learn to be like he is and to love as he does. Sermon for Trinity XIII. The video is here.
Jesus took this man aside from the multitude, just as he has done for each baptized Christian. You are the apple of his eye. He Then attached his healing power to tangible things: his hands, earth, his spittle. So also does he attach his Gospel to tangible Sacraments. And he charged them to tell no one, so that his preaching would not be impeded by people who came for healing. But they could hardly be blamed for speading this wonder. And he also could not restrain himself for helping this poor man. So does he manifest his love for every Christian. Sermon for Trinity XII.
The Pharisee in Jesus' story is a picture of piety: fasting and tithing more than the law requires (for he tithes on all he has, not merely on all his income), and he thanks God for the way he is; he thanks him for the grace given to be this way. But it is not enough; it did not justify him, he was excluded. And whether your piety is this good or not even, you have reason to be ashamed. See, the publican was ashamed of himself, as is right for a Christian. He did not belong there; nor do you belong here, where angels, archangels, saints, apostles, and martyrs congregation around the Body and Blood of Christ. And so like the publican, be ashamed of yourself like the publican standing in the back who did not even lift up his eyes. Yet the publican was also confident. He cry for mercy was a cry for a just mercy, rooted in the mercy seat, that is, in the propitiation, the atonement for sin that only Christ can make. Mercy and truth are met together in Him, and therefore the publican, citing the atonement, is confident about mercy, even though he marks himself as the sinner, the one for whom atonement was necessary. He was confident in his justification and his salvation. Let us also gain this confidence. Sermon for Trinity XI. The video is here.
Jesus weeps over Jerusalem because they didn't recognize him as their God in the flesh, and they therefore rejected his peace, that which came to pass when he gave himself into death for the sin of the world. They sought an earthly kingdom and earthly glory, much as the Joel Osteens of the world and the megachurches seek after worldly glory in place of the simplicity of Christ in his humility and today also in his simple sacraments. So let us know the things that belong unto our peace, the body and blood of the Incarnate One which bring to pass peace between heaven and earth. Sermon for Trinity IX. The video is here.
Jesus provides clear and comforting words to every Christian when he says, "Fear not, little flock. It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." It is his gift, purchased in the blood of Christ and guaranteed to all who, having been baptized, now trust his Word and come to him. So that's settled. But now let us not think we ought to relax. For he also says, Watch. Wait for his return. Therefore everything else in life must be in a distant second place. This is all that really matters. Since we have been given the kingdom, let us life pious, faithful lives, expecting him and waiting patiently. Sermon for Trinity IX midweek. The video is here.