Happenings

Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.





25 February 2015

Sermon: Lent 1 Midweek

25 February AD 2015
A Lent — Easter Series on Christ and Creation

Title: In the (New) Beginning: Light (MP3 Audio)

Creation: Day One Summary: Jesus is the incarnate Word of God. He was present at Creation, active in creating, and re-creating a fallen Creation and a humanity dead in its trespasses.

Through His Son, God commanded light to shine “in the beginning.” He then sent the Son to shine the light of His love in our fallen world. Those who believe in Him now shine His light amidst sin’s darkness.

We trust that as the darkness will never overcome our Savior, so it cannot overcome us who believe in Him. We also know that we who confess Him among men will “shine ... like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)”

Text: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.

And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Genesis 1:1-5

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of In the (New) Beginning: Light.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 27; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 1:1-5, 9-14

Illustration: The First Day of Creation from Die Bibel in Bildern by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld at Wikimedia Commons.

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22 February 2015

Sermon: Lent 1B (OT)

22 February AD 2015
The First Sunday in Lent

Title: The Lord Will Provide (MP3 Audio)

The Crucifixion Summary: After sparing Abraham’s beloved son Isaac, the Lord provided a ram to take Isaac’s place in the sacrifice. In the fulness of time, the Lord provided the Lamb of God, His own beloved Son Jesus, to take our place under His judgment on sin.

The Father accepted Jesus’ suffering and dying in our stead, forgiving us and declaring us righteous in His sight. And as He once provided the sacrifice, God continues to provide for all of our needs of body, mind, and spirit. On the Last Day, He will provide resurrection and life everlasting for all who trust in Jesus as their savior.

Text: After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!”

And he said, “Here I am, my son.”

He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

So they went both of them together.

Abraham and Isaac When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.

But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” Genesis 22:1-18

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of The Lord Will Provide.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 25:1-10; James 1:12-18; Mark 1:9-15

Illustrations: Illustrations public domain from Web Gallery of Art. The Sacrifice of Isaac by Filippo Brunelleschi. The Crucifixion by Fra Angelico.

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18 February 2015

Sermon: Ash Wednesday (OT)

18 February AD 2015
The First Day of Lent

Title: You Will Be Satisfied (MP3 Audio)

Repentance Summary: Sinners are never satisfied. We want what we don’t have and have no great desire to receive the special blessings that God wants to give to mankind. Worse, God is in no way satisfied with anyone who isn’t absolutely holy and without sin.

Yet the Lord promises us as He did Israel: “You will be satisfied.” Forgiven by Christ, God lavishes His love on us, adopting us as His children and promising full restoration in the Resurrection. Even now, He washes us in Baptism, feeds us His Son’s body and blood, and constantly renews us by the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel.

As the Scriptures tell us, He opens his hand and satisfies every living thing (see Psalm 145:16) — particularly us believers in Christ. In Him, our satisfaction is guaranteed and everlasting.

Cross Text: “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.”

Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?

Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber.

Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”

Then the Lord became jealous for his land and had pity on his people. The Lord answered and said to his people, “Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.” Joel 2:12-19

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of You Will Be Satisfied.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 51:1-13 (14-19); 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Illustrations: First graphic from Art of the Church Year by Ed Riojas available through Higher Things Store. Second graphic public domain.

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15 February 2015

Sermon: The Transfiguration of Our Lord (Gospel)

15 February AD 2015
The Last Sunday after the Epiphany, Series B

Title: Transfigured and Transformed (MP3 Audio)

The Transfiguration Summary: Jesus’ revealed glory on the mountaintop hearkened back to Moses and Elijah each facing the Lord’s revealed glory on Mount Sinai. It testified to the disciples that Jesus was more than a good man but was, as the heavenly voice declared, God’s beloved son.

Christ’s transfiguration also prefigures the change awaiting each person who believes in Him. Now, we appear different to God for we are holy in His sight. In the Resurrection, the righteousness we have by divine declaration will be replaced by our total transformation in body, mind, and spirit into creatures having the same intrinsic holiness as our God.

And so on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus shows Himself to be the completion of the work of Moses and Elijah, the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, and the final and greatest redeemer. And because of Him, we do not fear God’s wrath as it was poured out on the Egyptians in the Red Sea or the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel.

The Transfiguration Text: And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.

And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified.

And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”

And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.

And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. Mark 9:2-9

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Transfigured and Transformed.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 50:1-6; 2 Kings 2:1-12 or Exodus 34:29-35; 2 Corinthians 3:12-13 (14-18) 4:1-6

Illustrations: Art of the Church Year by Ed Riojas available through Higher Things Store.

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08 February 2015

Sermon: Ephphany 5B (OT)

8 February AD 2015

Title: Don’t You Know? (MP3 Audio)

Isaiah 40:22` Summary: “Don’t you know?” Most of the times that we hear this question, the person asking assumes that we should know but don’t — and is then calling attention to our ignorance.

That’s what God is doing here. Already earlier in the chapter He has extolled His own virtues and chastised the people for choosing idols over him.

Now it’s back to basics: How can His people not obey the One who created everything? How can they not trust the God who establishes rulers and who brings kingdoms to naught? How can they not know the Lord whose knowledge is infinite?

Yet after chastening them, the Lord offers words of comfort and consolation. Almighty God offers might to the meek, power to the powerless, hope to the hopeless, endurance to the exhausted.

He continues to forgive, uphold, strengthen, and preserve His people. He laid our sins and our weaknesses on His Son and offers us new lives in Christ. He promises that even though the task will not be completed until this world ends, we will be raised healthy, hearty, and whole in the new Creation and will live in His presence forever.

Isaiah 40:31 Text: Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:21-31

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Don’t You Know? — preached at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Warrensburg, Missouri.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 147:1-11; 1 Corinthians 9:16-27; Mark 1:29-39

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07 February 2015

Sermon: Ephphany 5B (Gospel)

7 February AD 2015

Title: Service on the Sabbath (MP3 Audio)

Mark 1:3` Summary: Jesus didn’t wait for the Sabbath to end to resume His “work.” He brought true Sabbath rest to Simon’s mother-in-law by taking her illness from her.

In response, she didn’t wait to thank Him in the way she best knew. Instead, she got out of bed and resumed her vocation, serving Jesus and the others in the way she knew best.

Jesus’ vocation as Savior led Him to continue healing, feeding, and casting out demons. He didn’t specialize merely in “saving souls” but ministered to all human needs. What He began during His life on earth will be completed in the Resurrection.

Text: And immediately [Jesus] left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her.

And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”

And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:29-39

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Service on the Sabbath.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 147:1-11; Isaiah 40:21-31; 1 Corinthians 9:16-27

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01 February 2015

Sermon: Ephphany 4B (OT)

1 February AD 2015
also The Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Series B

Title: A Prophet Like No Other (MP3 Audio)

Deuteronomy 18:15 Summary: The time drew near for Israel to enter the Promised Land. The Lord had already told Moses that his leadership would end before the people crossed the Jordan. He also prepared a successor to Moses — Joshua, Moses’ trusted assistant, would both lead Israel and intercede on its behalf.

Was this the “prophet like me” whom Moses foretold? Or was God holding back on revealing Moses’ true successor until sometime later? The Lord certainly blessed Joshua’s leadership. Israel’s crossing of the Jordan under him hearkened back to their crossing of the Red Sea under Moses. And in Canaan, Israel prospered when they listened to Joshua’s voice and found trouble when then didn’t — much as it was with Moses during the Exodus.

However, it wasn’t until many centuries had passed that the true and ultimate Prophet came. He not only was like Moses, leading people from captivity to freedom, but like no other prophet. He didn’t merely speak and act on behalf of the Lord but did so as the Lord. He rescued not only one nation from earthly bondage to another but delivered all people from everlasting bondage to sin, death, and Devil.

Text: [Moses said,] “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers — it is to him you shall listen — just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’

“And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.

“‘But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’” Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of A Prophet Like No Other.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28

Illustration: Composite of images from Free Bible Images: The Word in Pictures.

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25 January 2015

Sermon: The Conversion of St. Paul (Psalm)

25 January AD 2015
also The Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Series B

Title: Brilliant Blessings (MP3 Audio)

Aaronic Benediction Summary: This Psalm is based on the benediction that the Lord gave to the Hebrew people at Sinai. Now it is our song for God’s blessing rests on us. Through Christ, He reached out beyond Israel, inviting all nations to receive His grace and blessing. Paul was His chosen instrument to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.

Rather than fearing the harsh glare of His judgment, we welcome God’s face shining upon us in love. For Jesus’ sake, each of us who justly deserves to be condemned as the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) rightly claims the title of God’s beloved in whom He is well pleased.

Text: May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!

The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him! Psalm 67

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Brilliant Blessings.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Acts 9:1-22; Galatians 1:11-24; Matthew 19:27-30

Illustration: Bas relief of the Aaronic Benediction from The Ratner Museum.

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18 January 2015

Sermon: The Confession of St. Peter (Psalm)

18 January AD 2015
also The Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Series B

Title: The Gate of the Lord (MP3 Audio)

Tombstone Summary: The Church has long celebrated Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. This Psalm confesses God’s salvation of His people — a salvation that was completed by Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection.

The text praises the gates of the temple, for they open to allow the Lord’s people to enter. Yet it is also used as part of the committal rite in many Christian burials. It reminds us that death and grave are also a gate opening into eternal life.

And so we use this Psalm today. Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ. Because he is, He leads His sheep through the gates of death and grave into His eternal presence. The gates may close behind us but they open before us into the joys of life everlasting

Jerusalem Temple Text: Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.

The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 118:19-29

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of The Gate of the Lord.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Acts 4:8-13; 2 Peter 1:1-15; Mark 8:27-35 (36-9:1)

Illustrations: Tombstone created with the Gravestone Generator. Model of the Second Temple photo by Juan R. Cuadra. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons and linked from the Wikipedia article on the Temple in Jerusalem.

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11 January 2015

Sermon: The Baptism of Our Lord (Psalm)

11 January AD 2015
The First Sunday after the Epiphany, Series B

Title: The Lord’s Voice over the Waters (MP3 Audio)

Baptism Summary: If we’ve lived any time at all, we’ve likely experienced one or more jaw-dropping, knee-shaking, awesome, terrifying events. Violence natural and man-made surrounds us. When we think about it, we realize that we can plan for the worst — but must still realize that “worst” can be worse than we ever imagine.

If natural disaster and human wickedness weren’t powerful and terrifying enough, David today reminds us that God is even more powerful and more terrifying. Even His voice is enough to level forests, shake mountains, and command the waters.

Yet with us, God chooses to use His “inside voice,” for in Baptism, we are brought inside — into His presence, in His family, inside His temple. We know that His Son who heard the thundering words in Jordan’s water is also the Word of God made flesh.

Jesus heard God’s destructive, damning voice judging Him for our sins. With His own voice, He cried out to His Father not for His own rescue but for our forgiveness. Therefore, we know that we will on the Last Day hear His voice call us to live with the Triune God, with saints and angels. in life everlasting.

Jesus' Baptism Text: Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace! Psalm 29

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of The Lord’s Voice over the Waters.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Genesis 1:1-5; Romans 6:1-11; Mark 1:4-11

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04 January 2015

Sermon: Christmas 2B (Gospel)

4 January AD 2015
The Second Sunday after Christmas

Title: Getting into Dad’s Things (MP3 Audio)

Jesus in the Temple Summary: When we think about children getting into their parents things, we usually imagine the little ones making a mess of Mom’s cosmetics or losing Dad’s tools. We visualize a trail of loss and destruction strewn in their wake.

However, there’s also an upside to getting into the good habits and God-pleasing vocations of our parents. In times gone by, whatever Dad did, his sons followed suit and the works of Mom became the works of her daughters.

So it is with Jesus: He gets into the “things” of His Father. Divine things such as forgiving sins, redressing wrongs, and undoing sin’s damage belong to Father and to Son. So when Jesus responded to Mary and Joseph when they found Him in the temple, He gently reminded them that this was the place He was meant to be and these were the things He was meant to do.

Because Jesus attended well and completely to His Father’s business, He lived the sinless life that eludes us, then died the cursed death that should be our lot. He effected our salvation exactly as His Father intended and then blessed us with fruits of His labors and by the power of His Spirit moves us to take up and likewise to do the things that our heavenly Father would have done.

Jesus in the Temple Text: [Jesus] grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom.

And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished.

And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.”

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:40-52

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Getting into Dad’s Things.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 119:97-104; 1 Kings 3:4-15; Ephesians 1:3-14

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