Happenings

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





20 April 2014

Sermon: Easter Sunday A (OT)

The Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord
20 April AD 2014

Title: A New Vineyard (MP3 Audio)

Christ the Firstfruits Summary: Ephraim, Samaria, the entire Northern Kingdom — all gone, overrun and carried off by the Assyrians. Now Judah’s inhabitants faced a similar fate at the hands of Babylon. Others would harvest their crops, drink their wine, and live in their land.

The Israelites, both the North and the entirety of God’s chosen people, had taken to “whoring after other gods” rather than remaining faithful to their Husband. Yet here as in so many places, the Lord announces His ongoing faithfulness even in the face of Israel’s idolatrous promiscuity.

However, He couldn’t let matters continue without losing all of Israel, so He sent afflictions and attackers to regain His people’s attention. And even as He was sending Judah into captivity, He was declaring a time of restoration and return. His people would again plant, harvest, and rejoice. Their vineyards would be a picture of the Lord’s planting of His people in the soil of the promised land.

The promise continued beyond Israel, however. Gentiles, by faith in Jesus, would be grafted into Israel’s vine and the Lord would celebrate that harvest. Christ’s resurrection is new life not only for Him but for all of us born dead in our sin, whether Israelite or Gentile. He is the Firstfruits of all who will live and we are being prepared as a bumper crop for the Resurrection into Eternal Life.

Vineyard Text: “At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.”

Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.

“Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of Ephraim: ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’” Jeremiah 31:1-6

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 New Vineyard.

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 16; Colossians 3:1-4; Matthew 28:1-10

Please visit Aardvark Alley to read The Resurrection of Our Lord, which includes Saint John Chrysostom’s Paschal homily celebrating death being swallowed up by the One whom it swallowed.

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19 April 2014

Sermon: The Vigil of Easter

The Resurrection of Our Lord
19 April AD 2014

Title: On the Seventh Day God Rested (MP3 Audio)

Christ's Rest in the Tomb Summary: On the Seventh Day, after God made the heavens and the earth and saw that they were “very good, (Genesis 1:31)” He rested from His creative tasks and thus hallowed a day of rest for mankind. Similarly, after Jesus completed His tasks in establishing the New Creation, He also took a Sabbath rest in a donated tomb.

While God first rested after the efforts of making and then rested again after remaking a Creation that He could call very good, He never withdrew from that which He’d made. He continued sustaining and preserving what He made that life might go on.

In the beginning, that first Sabbath rolled into the first day of earth’s second week. As the Sabbath of Holy Week ended, not only did the next week’s first day dawn — Christ also ushered in the Eighth Day, the Day of Resurrection and Everlasting Life. As we continue living in time, we also, by faith, live in that Eighth Day, trusting that even if we rest in the grave for many years, Christ will call us forth into everlasting life.

The Church’s funeral rite includes a collect appropriate for remembering Jesus’ brief Sabbath in the tomb before His glorious resurrection. As we pause in this time between death and life, may we also remember the One who leads us out of death to life:

Almighty God, by the death of Your Son Jesus Christ You destroyed death, by His rest in the tomb You sanctified the graves of Your saints, and by His bodily resurrection You brought life and immortality to light so that all who die in Him abide in peace and hope. Receive our thanks for the victory over death and the grave that He won for us. Keep us in everlasting communion with all who wait for Him on earth and with all in heaven who are with Him, for He is the Resurrection and the Life, even Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Text: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. Genesis 2:1-3

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 On the Seventh Day God Rested.

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 1:1-2:3; Genesis 7:1-9:13; Genesis 22:1-18; Genesis 14:10-15:1; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Daniel 3:1-30; Mark 16:1-8

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18 April 2014

Sermon: Good Friday

18 April AD 2014

Title: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (MP3 Audio)

The Crucifixion Summary: Those which the world calls “good deeds” are usually done at least partially for our own benefit. Even when performed altruistically, the deeds of natural man are not good in God’s eyes because the doers are not in a proper relationship with Him.

When the promised Servant, Jesus Christ, came, He could do good both according to His own nature and according to His relationship with His Father. The good that He chose to do wasn’t to merely live out His own life in righteousness but to live the life that fallen mankind should live — but never does.

In response to His faithful obedience, the Father then levied the punishment of our misdeeds and undone works upon His sinless Son. Blaming Jesus for our sinfulness, the Father effectively punished the only One whose deeds were pure and holy from beginning to end. Yet the piercing and crushing of the Servant won forgiveness for us fallen sinners and the chastisement of the Prince of Peace brought established lasting peace between the Father and all who believe in the Son.

Text: Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.

As many were astonished at you — his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind — so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.

Good Friday Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 52:13-53:12

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 No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

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 22 or Psalm 31; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42 or John 19:17-30

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17 April 2014

Sermon: Holy Thursday A (OT)

Maundy Thursday
17 April AD 2014

Title: The Lord’s Passover (MP3 Audio)

Passover: The Blood of the Lamb Summary: Just as the blood of lambs and goats protected Israel from the angel of death in Egypt, so the blood of the Lamb of God protects us from death in God’s righteous judgement against sin. Jesus’ blood sets us free to be children of God and grants us life now and forevermore.

Text: The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.

“Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.

“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.

“In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord.

“The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.” Exodus 12:1-14

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 Passover.

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 116:12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32; John 13:1-17, 31b-35

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13 April 2014

Sermon: Palm Sunday A (Psalm)

13 April AD 2014
The Sunday of the Passion

Title: The Gate of the Lord (MP3 Audio)

Palm Sunday Summary: Such a wild celebration! Jerusalem echoed the Psalmist, crying out, “Hosanna — save now!” and, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” as Jesus rode through the city gates.

In a few short days, He would be walking out another of Jerusalem’s gates on His way to Golgotha. Jeers replaced cheers and He heard curses instead of benedictions. Yet He knew coming in that this was how He would be going out — and He chose to do so willingly, in joyful obedience to His Father’s will.

He faced the yawning gate of the grave so that He might rescue us from eternal death. He carried our sins to the cross, putting our old selves to death in Baptism and raising us up as new creatures.

He calls us to continue forward through this life, faithful to Him and steadfast in our vocations. We walk through many gates along the way until, finally, the door of the grave opens before us. Yet this is truly the “gate of the Lord,” for through it the righteous enter paradise. He who leads us through life will also lead us through death and into life everlasting.

Good Friday 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: John 12:12-19 (Palm Sunday Procession); Psalm 31:9-16 (Alternate); Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew (26:1-27:10) 27:11-66; John 12:20-43 (Alternate Gospel)

See Aardvark Alley for more on Palm Sunday.

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06 April 2014

Sermon: Lent 5A (OT)

6 April AD 2014
The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Title: These Bones Live (MP3 Audio)

Lazarus Summary: “Can these bones live?” It’s not just a prophetic vision. Today’s Gospel shows that a four-day-dead corpse can hear the words of the Incarnate Word. So also, those who are born dead in their trespasses (that would be anyone born since Adam and Eve) can hear God’s words of forgiveness, promise, and life — and live.

We hear and gain life when God calls us forth from the grave of self-adsorption, self-centeredness, and self-worship. Through the Gospel and the Sacraments, God animates sinfully dead, lost and condemned creatures and grants them the life of His Son.

Even if we die, we still live in Christ. We believe that just as He rose from the dead, so we will be raised bodily on the Last Day. Yet we don’t need to wait until that day to be alive in Christ — this gift belongs to all who believe in Him, all in whom the Holy Spirit has worked faith.

Text: The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.”

Dry Bones Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’

“Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.

“Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.” (Ezekiel 37:1-14)

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 These Bones Live.

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 130; Romans 8:1-11; John 11:1-45 (46-53)

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30 March 2014

Sermon: Lent 4 (OT)

30 March AD 2014
Laetare — The Fourth Sunday in Lent

Title: A Time of Favor (MP3 Audio)

Benediction Summary: If God waited around until we were ready to enter His presence, He would wait literally forever. Since Adam’s fall, there has never been and will never be a time when we will have made ourselves favorable in His eyes.

Because of this, we know that the “time of favor” in today’s text is a time chosen, established, and accomplished solely by God. The favor is strictly His choice — it cannot be based on our merit.

God chose this time of favor, known also as “the fullness of time,” from all eternity. It was the time of His Son’s incarnation, birth, life, suffering, death, and resurrection. It was the time ordained for mankind’s salvation.

We are in a time of favor as we live under grace, being baptized, hearing the Gospel, and receiving Absolution and Communion. Here, we receive the blessings and benefits won for us by the Son upon whom God’s favor rested.

He who endured His Father’s disfavor and disavowal won pardon and peace, forgiveness and fellowship for all. Now all who believe receive God’s favor, His gracious forgiveness that we claim through faith in Christ Jesus.

God's Favor Through Christ's Suffering Text: Thus says the Lord: “In a time of favor I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages, saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’

“They shall feed along the ways; on all bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.

“And I will make all my mountains a road, and my highways shall be raised up. Behold, these shall come from afar, and behold, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene.”

“Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.” (Isaiah 49:8-13)

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 Time of Favor.

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 132:8-18; Galatians 4:21-31; John 6:1-15

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24 March 2014

Sermon: Lent 3A (OT)

23 March AD 2014
The Third Sunday in Lent

Title: Thirst Quenched (MP3 Audio)

Jesus and the Woman at the Well Summary: “Massah and Meribah” — Quarreling and Testing — how many markers in your life could bear these names? How many times have you doubted the Lord’s presence, forgotten His blessings, or resisted His guidance?

If God held your rebellions against you, you would certainly dread His current presence. You would turn away from Word and Sacrament and would certainly attempt to flee the Son’s return on the Last Day. Yet because He refreshes us with the Living Water of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we trust that He forgives His people’s quarreling, testing His promises, and fleeing His presence.

He leads us back to the promises of our baptism. He returns us to the preaching of the Gospel and to the blessed communion of His Son’s body and blood that we might be forgiven, refreshed, and restored. He pardons us and returns to work good through us. He will never abandon us in this “Wilderness of Sin” into which we are born but instead shepherds us onward, leading us toward the eternal green pastures and still waters that await His beloved sheep.

Bacchiacca: Moses Striking the Rock Text: All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?”

But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”

So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.”

And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” (Exodus 17:1-7)

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 Thirst Quenched.

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 95:1-9; Romans 5:1-8; John 4:5-26 (27-30, 39-42)

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16 March 2014

Sermon: Lent 2A (OT)

16 March AD 2014
The Second Sunday in Lent

Title: Blessed (MP3 Audio)

Abram's Caravan Summary: God blessed Abram and through him blessed all mankind. Abram didn’t earn the Lord’s favor — he received it as gift and thus also became a gift to future generations. This wasn’t because of what he did but because of what God did through him.

The Lord promised a landless man a homeland and guaranteed a family to a man without children. Thus did God also provide a homeland and a family for His Son — and an eternal family and an everlasting homeland for all who would, like Abraham, trust His promises and believe in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Text: Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan.

When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.

And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb. (Genesis 12:1-9)

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 Blessed.

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 121; Romans 4:1-8, 13-17; John 3:1-17

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12 March 2014

Sermon: Second Wednesday of Lent

12 March AD 2014

Title: Silent Innocence (MP3 Audio)

Zurbarán: Lamb of God Summary: If anyone had the right to curse His opponents, to scream invective against those torturing Him, wouldn’t it be Jesus? Guiltless, He carried the guilt of all mankind’s sin. Found innocent by Pilate, He was still sentenced to die. He was abandoned by His followers and forsaken by His Father.

However, the Son fulfilled His Father’s will, suffering silently on the cross that He might then raise the victory shout at His resurrection. He chose to bless rather than to curse, to calmly and quietly carry our transgressions rather than to damn the transgressors. His silent suffering paid the cost for our joyful songs of Easter triumph.

Text: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7-9)

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 Silent Innocence.

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 130; 1 Peter 1:17-21; John 1:29-34

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09 March 2014

Sermon: Lent 1A (OT)

9 March AD 2014
The First Sunday in Lent

Title: Got You Covered (MP3 Audio)

Weimar Altarpiece Summary: Where does one go to escape the eye of a wrathful God? Behind what can we hide that His vision cannot penetrate? Even our best efforts at concealment are no more effective than were the ridiculous fig leaf loincloths donned by Adam and Eve.

No, we receive protective cover only when we are forgiven. Nothing less than Christ’s blood is able to shield us from judgment, death, and damnation. That crimson stream covers us in Baptism with the white coat of righteousness: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27)” Only then does God see us as He sees Jesus.

We continually put on this protection as we receive forgiveness through the Absolution, in Holy Communion, and by the preaching of the Gospel. We remain blessed and covered as we remain in Christ, trusting in His sacrifice and hoping for the Resurrection into new, full, and sinless lives.

Text: Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Temptation from Sistine Chapel And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”

He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

Domenichino: Adam and Eve The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. (Genesis 3:1-21)

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psalm 32:1)

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 Got You Covered.

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 32:1-7; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11

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