Sermon summaries and audio files
Eckardtesian Thought: I think, therefore I write . . .
From the days of John the Baptist the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, because the devil knows his enemy, and hell's darkest power does its worst. But the devil knew this was coming for generations, and sought to prevent it. He sought to kill David by lions and bears, by Goliath, and by Saul; and he failed. He sought to destroy David's kingdom by warfare and bloodshed; and he failed. He sought through Athaliah to kill all the seed royal, but failed, for Josiah was kept safe in his infancy by Jehoiada. He sought most especially when the Kingdom of David became the Kingdom of Heaven by John's proclamation: the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. So John was imprisoned and beheaded, but still our Christ arose; then the devil sourged him, beat him, crucified him, killed him, buried him. And the Kingdom of Heaven died. But on the third day the Kingdom was revived as Christ was raised from the dead. Yet the Kingdom still suffers violence, as the apostles are killed, and martyrs after them; and through history the Kingdom suffers. But the violence of faith has always responded with a stubborn resolve to persist. This is what the Reformation is about: Martin Luther declaring to the emperor: here I stand. The Lutheran reformers refused to submit. And in the nineteenth century the King of Prussia sought to force them to compromise their most holy faith, and they refused, instead leaving all and coming to America. And in the late 20th century their own teachers sought to teach them that the Bible was a myth, and they refused them as well. And even today, here in this place, this little congregation is in peril, but continues and soldiers on by this faith. For faith will not yield, but is stubborn and unmoving and stalwart, being worked by the Holy Ghost himself. Faith knows that only the Gospel and the Sacraments will bring Christ's saving strength, so faith will not yield: the violent take the kingdom by force. Sermon for Reformation.