Happenings

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





31 May 2020

Pentecost A Sermon: Eldad, Medad, and You

Preached on Numbers 11:24–30
The Feast of Pentecost
31 May AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Eldad, Medad, and You.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Eldad, Medad, and You, to hear the MP3.

Numbers 11:24–30 Summary: When Moses led Israel’s elders out to the Tabernacle, two of them chose, for whatever reason, to remain in the camp. When the Lord set His Spirit on the men around the tent, He also reached into the encampment for these two, choosing them also to prophecy in His name.

God reaches out to us as He did Eldad and Medad, ignoring boundaries and borders. He sets the Holy Spirit on us, creating and strengthening faith and leading us to believe, live, and love as His people in word and deed.

Text: So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent.

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp.

And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.”

But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”

And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp. Numbers 11:24–30

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Eldad, Medad, and You.

Audio: Click Eldad, Medad, and You to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 25:1–15; Acts 2:1–21; John 7:37–39

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Pentecost A Sermon: Drink Up

Preached on John 7:37–39
The Feast of Pentecost
31 May AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Drink Up.

John 7:37–39 Summary: To those burdened by living in a sin-parched world, Jesus sends refreshing streams of living water. Through the Holy Spirit, He pours His life-giving Gospel into all who believe, filling them to overflowing. They, in turn, bring this refreshment to all they encounter.

Text: On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37–39

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Drink Up.

Other Readings: Psalm 25:1–15; Numbers 11:24–30; Acts 2:1–21

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

17 May 2020

Easter 6A Sermon: Baptism Now Saves You

Preached on 1 Peter 3:13–22
The Sixth Sunday of Easter
17 May AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Baptism Now Saves You.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Baptism Now Saves You, to hear the MP3.

Genesis 6–8 Summary: Peter draws us to examine the destructive power and life-giving nature of water. In the Flood, the wicked perished but the righteous were raised to safety. In Baptism, the sinful nature is drowned and the new creature raised up.

As we are baptized, we participate in Jesus’ death, which destroys sin and death. Baptism then also joins us to His resurrection, raising us to lives of faith on earth and opening the way to eternal life we are resurrected.

In the time of Noah, there was only one place of safety. So it remains in ours. Noah’s Ark was a chapel in Christ’s Church and those aboard were rescued from the temporal and eternal death outside.

There is no salvation outside the Holy Christian Church. God brings us aboard through water and the Word, provisions us with His Son’s body and blood, and takes care of navigation, bringing us not to the Mountains of Ararat but to His holy mountain, Zion — the New Jerusalem, city of the saints and forever blest.

Text: Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed.

Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. 1 Peter 3:13–22

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Baptism Now Saves You.

Audio: Click Baptism Now Saves You to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 66:8–20; Acts 17:16–31; John 14:15–21

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Easter 6A Sermon: Very Religious

Preached on Acts 17:16–31
The Sixth Sunday of Easter
17 May AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Very Religious.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Very Religious, to hear the MP3.

Acts 17:16–31 Summary: Many people are “very religious,” as Paul says of the Athenians. But only the true religion — faith in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ — brings peace with God and life everlasting.

Text: Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.

Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities” — because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’

“What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.

“Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

“Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:16–31

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Very Religious.

Audio: Click Very Religious to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 66:8–20; 1 Peter 3:13–22; John 14:15–21

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

02 May 2020

Easter 4A Sermon: They Devoted Themselves

Preached on Acts 2:42–47
The Fourth Sunday of Easter — The Good Shepherd
A Spoken Order of Morning Prayer (LSB 235)
3 May AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of They Devoted Themselves. Morning Prayer from the Lutheran Service Book begins with the Verse (235), the Psalmody (LSB 235–237) with the Venite and Psalm 23, and the Readings with Responses (LSB 238). The sermon starts at the 8:40 mark. The service concludes with the Benedictus (LSB 238–240), Collect of the Day, Prayer of the Church, Collect for Grace (LSB 241), Lord’s Prayer, Benedicamus (LSB 241), and Benediction (LSB 242).

Audio: Alternatively, choose They Devoted Themselves, MP3 audio of the sermon only.

Acts 2:42 Summary: The Jerusalem Church kept sharp focus on what was truly needful. They were devoted to receiving correction and forgiveness through the Apostles’ teaching and preaching. They devoted themselves to each other so none would be in need.

The Emmaus Road disciples knew Jesus through the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:13–35). Here, a few weeks later, these Christians knew that the Lord graciously revealed Himself in His Supper to them also as they devoted themselves to “the breaking of the bread.” And they joined in corporate prayer and worship, devoting themselves to asking, thanking, and praising God in Jesus’ name.

Just as in the First Century, Twenty-first Century Christians learn and practice devotion to the things of God as they mirror Jesus’ devotion to His Father’s will and our salvation.

Text: And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.

And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.

And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42–47

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of They Devoted Themselves. Sermon begins at the 8:40 mark.

Audio: Click They Devoted Themselves for MP3 audio of just the sermon.

Other Readings: Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19–25; John 10:1–10

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Easter 4A Sermon: Open Door Policy

Preached on John 10:1–10
The Fourth Sunday of Easter — The Good Shepherd
A Spoken Order of Morning Prayer (LSB 235)
3 May AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Open Door Policy. Morning Prayer from the Lutheran Service Book begins with the Verse (235), the Psalmody (LSB 235–237) with the Venite and Psalm 148, and the Readings with Responses (LSB 238). The sermon starts at the 6:45 mark. The service concludes with the Benedictus (LSB 238–240), Collect of the Day, Prayer of the Church, Collect for Grace (LSB 241), Lord’s Prayer, Benedicamus (LSB 241), and Benediction (LSB 242).

John 10:1–10 Summary: When we come to our heavenly Father through Jesus, we will never find the door shut in our faces. Jesus opened our access that we might approach God in faith while we live on earth. He is also the door through which we’ll travel when we enter eternal life.

Text: [Jesus said,] “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens.

“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:1–10

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Open Door Policy. Sermon begins at the 6:45 mark.

Other Readings: Psalm 23; Acts 2:42–47; 1 Peter 2:19–25

Labels: , , , , , , ,

26 April 2020

Easter 3A Sermon: The Lord Preserves the Simple

Preached on Psalm 116:1–14
The Third Sunday of Easter (Series A)
Responsive Prayer 2 Suffrages (LSB 282)
26 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of The Lord Preserves the Simple. Responsive Prayer 1 Suffrages from the Lutheran Service Book begins with the Opening Verse (LSB 282), Lord’s Prayer (LSB 282), Apostles’ Creed (LSB 282), Psalm 116:1–14, Psalm 133, and the Readings. The sermon starts at the 9:00 mark. The service concludes with the Morning Sentences (LSB 283), Collect of the Day, Collect During an Epidemic, Morning Prayer(LSB 283), Benedicamus (LSB 284), and Benediction (LSB 284).

Psalm 116:1–14 Summary: Human pride leads us to say things like, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” Basically, this means that if we want His aid, we need to begin a godly task with noble desire and firm resolve.

Of course, unless He is already helping us, we don’t have a natural desire to be about godly tasks. And even if our hearts are in the right place, we’re often too weak to even begin a task that needs God’s aid.

The psalmist tells us, “The Lord preserves the simple.” He helps those who can’t help themselves. God doesn’t want us to be simple-minded but He does ask us to focus on one simple truth: Jesus died to save us. He died to save us from ourselves, from Satan, and from eternal death and endless suffering.

Text: I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

I believed, even when I spoke: “I am greatly afflicted”; I said in my alarm, “All mankind are liars.”

What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. Psalm 116:1–14

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of The Lord Preserves the Simple. Sermon begins at the 9:00 mark.

Other Readings: Psalm 133; 1 Peter 1:17–25; Acts 2:14a, 36–41; Luke 24:13–35

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Easter 3A Sermon: Necessary Evil

Preached on Luke 24:13–35
The Third Sunday of Easter (Series A)
Responsive Prayer 2 (LSB 285)
26 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Necessary Evil. Responsive Prayer 2 from the Lutheran Service Book begins with the Opening Versicles (LSB 285), Psalm 116:1–14, and the Readings. The sermon starts at the 7:45 mark. The service concludes with the Kyrie (LSB 285), Lord’s Prayer (LSB 285), Apostles’ Creed (LSB 286), Versicles (286), Collect of the Day, Collect During an Epidemic, Morning Prayer (LSB 287), Benedicamus (LSB 287), and Benediction (LSB 287).

Audio: Alternatively, choose Necessary Evil, MP3 audio of the sermon only.

Luke 24:13–35 Summary: When we talk about “necessary evils,” we normally mean something harsh or painful that we must endure in order to reach a satisfactory and pleasing conclusion. At times, we even use “necessary evil” as another way of saying, “The ends justify the means” — in other words, an excuse to take short-cuts or to sin in some way in order to achieve our goal.

Jesus enlightened the disciples on the Emmaus Road by showing them from the Scriptures that He endured the necessary evil of suffering before achieving His goal and entering glory. Because He endured the necessary, prophesied evils of betrayal, abandonment, torture, and death, the Lord destroyed the power of sin and death and won for us everlasting life.

Text: That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?”

And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

And he said to them, “What things?”

And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.

“Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Luke 24:13–35

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Necessary Evil. Sermon begins at the 7:45 mark.

Audio: Click Necessary Evil for MP3 audio of just the sermon.

Other Readings: Psalm 116:1–14; Acts 2:14a, 36–41; 1 Peter 1:17–25

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

19 April 2020

Easter 2A Sermon: Breathless

Preached on John 20:19–31
The Second Sunday of Easter (Series A)
19 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Breathless. Includes reading of the Gospel, Collect for the Word, Luther’s Evening Prayer, and Benediction.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Breathless, MP3 audio of the sermon.

John 20:19–31 Summary: We shouldn’t be surprised that Jesus breathes on His disciples as He bestows the Holy Spirit. In Scripture, both the Hebrew ruach and the Greek pneuma are commonly used for breath, wind, and spirit. Therefore, His breathing out is a physical sign of the divine gift He gives. Later, on Pentecost, the sound of a “mighty rushing wind (Acts 2:2)” announces the coming of the Holy Spirit even before the tongues of fire appear.

So what happens when that breath is withheld? In common usage, you might be breathless if you exercise vigorously and are aching for oxygen. People with asthma often find themselves breathless, as do those with lung or circulatory troubles. We even talk about “breathless anticipation,” as if we’re afraid that drawing a breath might scare off good news.

What else can be breathless? Among other things, a rock, a statue, or a corpse. None of these can breathe on its own. Just as the first man needed God’s breath in order to have life, so we need His breath in order to move from spiritual death into new life in Him.

With this in mind, we see how Jesus’ breathing the Spirit into the disciples echoes the Creation, when “the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7)” Jesus signals the dawning of the New Creation by building on what was done in the beginning. Just as He brings life to Adam, so He brings new life to all who believe on His name.

The Holy Spirit now breathes into every believer. He is our breath of life and a cleansing wind that blows through us, carrying off sin and decay. He inspires us to listen to God’s Word and to follow His ways — and we note that the Latin spiritus, from which we take our word “spirit” also means breath, as in “respiration.” So when the Spirit “inspires” us, He breathes into us, not air to support physical life, but Himself, in order to support spiritual life and to preserve us unto eternal life.

Text: On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.”

But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:19–31

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Breathless. Includes reading of the Gospel, Collect for the Word, Luther’s Evening Prayer, and Benediction.

Audio: Click Breathless for MP3 audio of the sermon.

Other Readings: Psalm 148; Acts 5:29–42; 1 Peter 1:3–9

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Easter 2A Sermon: God Rather Than Man

Preached on Acts 5:29–42
The Second Sunday of Easter (Series A)
A Spoken Order of Morning Prayer (LSB 235)
19 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of God Rather Than Man. Morning Prayer from the Lutheran Service Book begins with the Verse (235), the Psalmody (LSB 235–237) with the Venite and Psalm 148, and the Readings with Responses (LSB 238). The sermon starts at the 9:40 mark. The service concludes with the Benedictus (LSB 238–240), Collect of the Day, Prayer of the Church, Collect for Grace (LSB 241), Lord’s Prayer, Benedicamus (LSB 241), and Benediction (LSB 242).

Audio: Alternatively, choose God Rather Than Man, MP3 audio of the sermon only.

Acts 5:29–42 Summary: We don’t always grasp exactly what the Scriptures are saying without careful thought. For example, obeying God rather than man doesn’t mean that Christians always try to get their way, even if their government isn’t the friendliest to them. However, if we are commanded to sin against God or other people, God then commands us to take a stand.

Similarly, not every Bible passage describes thoughts and behavior that Christians should embrace. In today’s text, Gamaliel says that if the disciples undertaking is of man, it will fail while if it’s of God, there will be no stopping it. Obviously this isn’t always true, since many false teachers rose up in the past and still have followers in the thousands, even the millions. And while God’s ultimate plan will never fail, not everything He initiates continues successfully in holiness. Many things that He wants to happen and that He sets in motion are sidetracked, stalled, or stopped by sinful humanity.

Yet when we follow God in faith, accepting His Law’s rebuke and the full and free forgiveness of His Gospel, the Lord prospers that which is truly vital. He continues to guard our way and lead us from this life to life everlasting.

Text: Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while.

And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered.

“So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”

So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. Acts 5:29–42

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of God Rather Than Man. Sermon begins at the 9:40 mark.

Audio: Click God Rather Than Man for MP3 audio of just the sermon.

Other Readings: Psalm 148; 1 Peter 1:3–9; John 20:19–31

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Easter 2A Sermon: Tested Genuine

Preached on 1 Peter 1:3–9
The Second Sunday of Easter (Series A)
A Spoken Order of Morning Prayer (LSB 235)
19 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Tested Genuine. Morning Prayer from the Lutheran Service Book begins with the Verse (235), the Psalmody (LSB 235–237) with the Venite and Psalm 148, and the Readings with Responses (LSB 238). The sermon starts at the 9:35 mark. The service concludes with the Benedictus (LSB 238–240), Collect of the Day, Prayer of the Church, Collect for Grace (LSB 241), Lord’s Prayer, Benedicamus (LSB 241), and Benediction (LSB 242).

1 Peter 1:3–9 Summary: We join Peter in blessing “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” because He sent His Son to die for us, forgive our sins, and give us the gift of everlasting life. This salvation is ours by faith in Jesus.

However, our faith isn’t completely fulfilled until the Last Day. Then we will finally receive the fulness of our inheritance.

Until then, we’ll face trials and temptations because we are still weak and sinful. Many will also endure testing especially because of their faith in Christ. No matter the cause or source of our trials, Peter compares them to the “testing” or refining process where precious gold is separated from rocks and base metals.

Yet there’s an important difference. Gold may be lost or stolen. Given a hot enough fire, it can even be burned away. But the faith that endures through our trials is “more precious” because faith is what receives God’s gift of salivation in Christ. When we triumph through earthly testing, Jesus presents us to His Father as complete pure and infinitely more valuable that the costliest of precious metals.

Text: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3–9

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Tested Genuine. Sermon begins at the 9:35 mark.

Other Readings: Psalm 148; Acts 5:29–42; John 20:19–31

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 April 2020

Easter Day Sermon: Peter Opened His Mouth

Preached on Acts 10:34–43
The Resurrection of Our Lord (Series A)
A Spoken Order of Matins (LSB 219)
12 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Peter Opened His Mouth.

Order of Matins from the Lutheran Service Book begins with the Versicles (219). Then follow the Psalmody (LSB 220–221) with the Venite and Psalm 16, the Readings (LSB 221), and the Responsory for Easter (LSB 222). The sermon starts at the 11:05 mark. The service concludes with the Te Deum (LSB 223–225), Kyrie (LSB 227), Lord’s Prayer, Salutation, Collect of the Day, Collect for Grace (LSB 228), Benedicamus, and Benediction.

Note: I’m still working to get better sound for the music.

Acts 10:34–43 Summary: Today’s text begins, “So Peter opened his mouth.” He has a rather spotty record through the previous instances where he does so. We wonder what words might come out and dread just how far his foot might go in.

He confesses Jesus as the Christ, then tells Him that He doesn’t dare go up to Jerusalem to suffer and die. The Lord responds first with a glowing condemnation, then with the stern rebuke, “Get behind me, Satan.”

Overwhelmed by the Transfiguration, Peter blurts out the suggestion to build three tents as shrines for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. From the bright cloud, the Father cuts him off, telling him along with James and John, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

At the Last Supper, when Christ told the disciples that they would all fall away, Peter argued. Jesus responded that not only would Peter cut and run with the rest, he would also deny his discipleship three times.

Yet here, when Peter opens his mouth, he’s prepared to give good testimony concerning Jesus. He now realizes and confesses that the Savior’s death and resurrection were not only for Israel but for all people. God is completely impartial and baptismal regeneration and new life in Christ belong to Roman centurions just as much as to Galilean fishermen.

The gifts that Jesus won also belong to us. God is pleased when we open our mouths to speak of Christ’s love, when we forgive and ask forgiveness, when we call on Him in Jesus’ name, and when we remain steadfast in prayer for loved ones and for enemies alike. Like Peter, our best words are those God gives us in His Word — words of reconciliation, of peace, of joy.

Text: So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

“As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.

“They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

“And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:34–43

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Peter Opened His Mouth. Sermon begins at the 11:05 mark.

Other Readings: Psalm 16; Colossians 3:1–4; Matthew 28:1–10

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Easter Sunrise Sermon: Recognized

Preached on John 20:1–18
The Resurrection of Our Lord (Series A)
A Service of Prayer and Preaching (LSB 260)
12 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Recognized.

Service of Prayer and Preaching from the Lutheran Service Book begins with the Versicles (260). Then follow the Psalmody, Scriptures, Responsory (263), Apostles’ Creed (LSB 264), and Lord’s Prayer. The sermon starts at the 14:15 mark. The service concludes with the Prayer of the Church, Collect of the Day, Collect for the Word (265), Morning Prayer (266), and Blessing (267).

Note: I’m still working to get better sound for the music.

John 20:16-17 Summary: Mary Magdalene truly and deeply knew Jesus. He cast demons from her. She followed Him, hanging on His words and watching Him feed, heal, even raise people from the dead. After the Twelve, she’s the one we’d expect to know what Jesus looked like, to be able to instantly identify His voice.

Yet on that early Sunday morning outside His tomb, Mary didn’t recognize Him. Perhaps she couldn’t because Christ kept Himself veiled from her perception in order to give her a special gift. She saw Him and heard Him ask why she wept. She mistook the Lord for the gardener! But when Jesus called her name, she absolutely recognized Him.

We don’t usually find ourselves weeping beside a tomb outside of Jerusalem. Yet the tears and trials of our days can prevent us from clearly recognizing Jesus. Instead of finding Him in Word and Sacrament, we often construct an image of the Lord from our own thoughts and desires.

We don’t know the next time that He will call any of us individually by name. But we know that He did so in our baptisms and that He continues to speak to our hearts and minds in His Word. He shows His gracious self to us in the Holy Supper of His body and blood and comforts us with His Absolution.

The Good Shepherd recognizes His sheep and loves us dearly. We likewise recognize Him when we listen to Him and as we reach out to receive His gifts of forgiveness and new life. When we pay attention to His Word and receive His Sacraments, no tears can blur Him, no tumult can keep us from hearing His call.

Text: Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”

Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” — and that he had said these things to her. John 20:1–18

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Recognized. Sermon begins at the 14:15 mark.

Other Readings: Psalm 118:15–29; Exodus 14:10–15:1; 1 Corinthians 15:1–11

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

10 April 2020

Good Friday Sermon: Sympathy with Our Weakness

Preached on Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:7–9
Good Friday
Scriptures, Prayers, and Sermon
10 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Sympathy with Our Weakness.

Sermon starts at the 12:55 mark, following appointed Scriptures and collects for the day. Service concludes with the Bidding Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer.

Apology: I’m sorry for video quality. A camera setting was changed and I didn’t notice until the filming was complete.

Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:5-7 Summary: How many times have you heard or said, “I know how you feel”? Usually intended as words of comfort and support, they usually ring hollow because no one truly and completely knows how another feels. We may guess well, come close, or share identical or near-identical trials but each of us still experiences our pains personally and individually.

So how can the writer of Hebrews tell us that our High Priest Jesus sympathizes totally with every one of us? Your pains and struggles are so very different from mine — yet Jesus not only sympathizes with each of us but also feels each of our individual pains so deeply that it defies our comprehension.

Jesus faced the pains and pleasures that confront us and so often lead us astray. However, none of these could bully, scare, persuade, or entice Him from the path that He walked toward His death and our redemption. He knows what we fear and what we crave. His resistance to the temptations that accompany threats of pain or promises of pleasure paid for our failure to overcome.

When the Holy Spirit creates faith and ignites Christ’s love in us, He leads us to believe in and embrace our cross-won forgiveness. He also increases our ability and our desire to love others and helps us to power through temptations that would otherwise trip us up. The deeper we know Jesus’ sympathy for us, the better equipped we are to truly sympathize with others.

Jesus learned our pain as He passed through life and death before He reentered bliss as He ascended through the heavens to His Father, in whose presence He intercedes on our behalf. He leads us to follow Him, that we might live here in faith toward God and fervent love toward others. He promises that we then will also enter eternal joy in the presence of His Father.

Text: Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:7–9

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Sympathy with Our Weakness. Sermon begins at the 11:20 mark.

Other Readings: Psalm 22; Isaiah 52:13–53:12; John 19:17-30

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

09 April 2020

Holy Thursday Sermon: Blood for Forgiveness

Preached on Hebrews 9:11–22
Maundy Thursday Series A
Spoken Vespers
9 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Blood for Forgiveness.

Video begins with Vespers from Lutheran Service Book 229. Sermon starts at the 11:20 mark, following Versicles (LSB 229), Psalms, and Scriptures. Service concludes with Magnificat (LSB 231), Kyrie (LSB 233), Lord’s Prayer, Collect of the Day, Collect to Be Sustained Until Reception of the Sacrament, Collect During an Epidemic, Collect for Those Who Mourn, Collect for Those Who Minister to the Sick, Collect for Peace (LSB 233), Benedicamus and Benediction (LSB 234), and a reading from Psalm 22:1-21.

Hebrews 9:22 Summary: The Book of Hebrews speaks to a people steeped in Israel’s sacrificial system. They grew up knowing the Scriptures that spoke of blood sacrifice to pay for their sins. The author reminds them that these slaughtered animals all pointed to the suffering and death of the One who won forgiveness for all people.

Israel’s high priest made special sacrifice on the Day of Atonement for the sins of all of Israel. God’s High Priest goes even farther: His suffering and death atoned for all sins, for all people, for all time. Jesus offered Himself that we might receive the benefit of that sacrifice, with sins washed away and peace with God restored.

Text: But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.

Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:11–22

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Blood for Forgiveness. Sermon begins at the 11:20 mark.

Other Readings: Psalm 116:12–19; Psalm 42; Exodus 24:3–11; Matthew 26:17–30; Psalm 22

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

05 April 2020

Palm Sunday Series A Sermon: Self-Sacrificing Savior

Preached on Isaiah 50:4–9
The Sunday of the Passion
With Responsive Prayer 2 and Scripture Readings
5 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Self-Sacrificing Savior. Sermon begins at the 11:25 mark, following the Opening Versicles from Lutheran Service Book 285, Psalm, Scriptures, Kyrie, Creed, Lord’s Prayer, and Versicles. Service concludes with the Prayer of the Church, Morning Prayer, and Blessing.

Isaiah 50:6 Summary: Today’s text is the third of Isaiah’s four “Servant Songs.” In them, the Lord addresses His Servant and the Servant also speaks of Himself and His saving vocation. As the songs point toward the life and work of the coming Messiah, they grow progressively more intense, emphasizing ever more the coming suffering and death of the One who would redeem sinners.

Now that we know the story of the Christ, it becomes easy to see in these songs the suffering and death of our Savior. How could anyone familiar with Jesus’ arrest and trial not realize that here in Isaiah 50, the Servant speaks of His own ill treatment at the hands of the Jewish leaders and the Romans?

The Gospels record the fulfillment of the prophecies that the Servant would faithfully carry out God’s will. Jesus would continue onward to the end of His tasks. He allowed His back to be beaten, His beard pulled, His face spat upon.

And though the world looks at what happens as disgraceful and shameful, Jesus accepts His wounds as badges of glory bestowed by His Father. They are signs that our adversary Satan cannot accuse us. Death can’t claim us as guilty sinners and and the grave can’t keep us for all eternity. God won’t listen to the Accuser as he tries to point out our sins. God instead listens to His Son who calls us His own and presents us to His Father in our robes of righteousness that He won in His Passion and granted in our baptisms.

Text: The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.

Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.

I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.

But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.

Behold, the Lord God helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up. Isaiah 50:4–9

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Self-Sacrificing Savior. Sermon begins at the 11:25 mark.

Other Readings: John 12:12–19 (Palm Sunday Procession); Psalm 118:19–29 or Psalm 31:9–16; Philippians 2:5–11; John 12:20–43 or Matthew 26:1–27:66 or Matthew 27:11–66

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Palm Sunday Series A Sermon: Emptied, Humbled, Dead

Preached on Philippians 2:5–11
The Sunday of the Passion
With Daily Prayer for Morning and Scripture Readings
5 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Emptied, Humbled, Dead. Sermon begins at the 6:00 mark, following Responses from Lutheran Service Book 295, Psalm, and Scriptures. Service concludes with Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Litany (LSB 288), Collect for Vocation, Morning Prayer, and Benediction.

Philippians 2:5-11 Summary: Christ emptied Himself. He poured out His blood and His life onto the ground below His cross on Golgotha. His perfect obedience paid the price for sinners’ disobedience as He took every transgression from every person who had lived, was living, or would live from Eden to the end of time.

The Father honored His Servant-Son’s sacrifice. Per the angel’s instructions to Mary and Joseph, He already bore the name “Jesus,” meaning the Lord (YHWH) saves. From resurrection and ascension onward, His remains “the name that is above every name,” for “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts Acts 4:12)”

Text: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5–11

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Emptied, Humbled, Dead. Sermon begins at the 6:00 mark.

Other Readings: John 12:12–19 (Palm Sunday Procession); Psalm 118:19–29 or Psalm 31:9–16; Isaiah 50:4–9a; John 12:20–43 or Matthew 26:1–27:66 or Matthew 27:11–66

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

29 March 2020

Lent 5A Sermon: These Bones Live

Preached on Ezekiel 37:1–14
Fifth Sunday in Lent
With an Abbreviated Service of Prayer and Preaching
29 March AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of These Bones Live. Sermon begins at the 13:10 mark, following Responses, Scriptures, Creed, and Lord’s Prayer. The service concludes with the Prayers of the Church, Collect of the Day, Collect for the Word, Morning Prayer, and Benediction.

Ezekiel 37:-14 Summary: When they are caught up by the Spirit of the Lord, His people end up in some interesting places. Today we witness Ezekiel, prophet to the exiles in Babylon, receiving a vision of restoration for Israel in a valley of dry bones. These are not the recently deceased, as was Lazarus in today’s Gospel. They are long-dead, barely a memory among the people. Yet they receive new lives as a gift of God.

Just as the Spirit reassembles and reanimates the dry bones, so the Lord promises to revitalize the Children of Israel and to return them to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Furthermore, we know that the same God who grants life to all creatures and spiritual life to all who believe in Him will lead us from mortal life in this fallen Creation to everlasting life through Christ in the New Creation.

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.”

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of These Bones Live. Sermon begins at the 13:10 mark.

Other Readings: Psalm 130; Romans 8:1–11; John 11:1–53

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,