Happenings

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





02 August 2020

Proper 13A Sermon: Rich Food for the Poor

Preached on Isaiah 55:1–5
The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
2 August AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Rich Food for the Poor.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Rich Food for the Poor to hear the MP3.

Isaiah 55:1–5 Summary: How odd! The Lord calls us to come to Him to buy our staples and to pay for all manner of “rich food.” Yet when we reach for our wallets, checkbooks, and charge cards we discover that everything He offers costs more than we can afford.

How can we cover the cost? Faith is the only coin accepted in this realm. In His suffering and death, Jesus completed the purchase of everything we need to sustain us in this life and until life everlasting. We buy “without price” because the price is paid for us.

Along with the daily bread that even the wicked enjoy, God sustains His people with Jesus, “the living bread that came down from heaven. (John 6:51)” He nourishes us through Absolution, the preaching of Christ, and Holy Communion. The Baptismal water that first refreshed us flows freely whenever we claim the forgiveness that is ours.

Text: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

“Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.” Isaiah 55:1–5

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

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Rich Food for the Poor.

Audio: Click Rich Food for the Poor to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 136:1–9; Romans 9:1–13; Matthew 13:44–52

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Proper 13A Sermon: The Lord’s Suppers

Preached on Matthew 14:13–21
The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
2 August AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of The Lord’s Suppers.

Audio: Alternatively, choose The Lord’s Suppers to hear the MP3.

Matthew 14:13–21 Summary: Since God placed mankind on earth, He has continued to feed us, whether in ways mundane or miraculous. Seedtime and harvest, manna and quail, loaves and fish, or body and blood — He looks after His people.

Throughout this continuum of feedings, the Lord weaves one thread. He continually invites us to dine at His table at His expense. At times, we barely notice, at others we cannot help but see that something special is happening.

In the midst of this is the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Rooted not only in Israel’s past but in the history of all people, it looks forward to another meal with Jesus and these same twelve disciples. That meal “on the night He was betrayed” wasn’t the final “Lord’s Supper” because He continues to feed us daily and richly with our daily bread and with Word and Sacrament.

God showers us with all of this sacred sustenance in order to bring us to the last “Lord’s Supper.” It awaits us in the Resurrection. There we’ll join “the marriage supper of the Lamb,” a never-ending feast in His kingdom.

Text: Now when Jesus heard [about the death of John the Baptist], he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”

But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.”

And he said, “Bring them here to me.”

Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 13:44–52

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

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of The Lord’s Suppers.

Audio: Click The Lord’s Suppers to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 136:1–9; Isaiah 55:1–5; Romans 9:1–13

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28 July 2020

Proper 12A Sermon: Nothing and Everything

Preached on Romans 8:28–39
The Week of Pentecost Eight
28 July AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Nothing and Everything.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Nothing and Everything to hear the MP3.

Deuteronomy 7:6–9 Summary: God works everything together for the good of His children and nothing can separate us from His love in Christ Jesus our Lord. He didn’t abandon Job during his trials and He doesn’t abandon us. He stayed with Joseph through his captivity in Egypt and He stays with us now.

As Christ carried our sins, He also experienced the pain and suffering common to all. He carried our woe to cross and grave so that He might carry us to the peace and joy of the Resurrection.

Even in the worst of times, God works good for those who believe in Christ. He restored Job many-fold and lavished wealth and authority on Joseph. Finally, He will unmake all the sin that is a part of us and all the evils that have happened to us when He raises us to eternal life and will bless us with more than we can imagine.

Text: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:28–39

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 Nothing and Everything.

Audio: Click Nothing and Everything to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 125; Deuteronomy 7:6–9; Matthew 13:44–52

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26 July 2020

Proper 12A Sermon: Treasured

Preached on Deuteronomy 7:6–9
The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
26 July AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Treasured.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Treasured to hear the MP3.

Deuteronomy 7:6–9 Summary: Even as Israel in the Wilderness was “a people holy to the Lord” and His “treasured possession,” so today is the Christian Church — that is all who believe in Jesus as their Savior.

Text: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations....” Deuteronomy 7:6–9

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 Treasured.

Audio: Click Treasured to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 125; Romans 8:28–39; Matthew 13:44–52

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Proper 12A Sermon: Pearl of Great Price

Preached on Matthew 13:44–52
The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
26 July AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Pearl of Great Price.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Pearl of Great Price to hear the MP3.

Matthew 13:44–52 Summary: God wants us to value His kingdom every bit as much as he values us.

Text: [Jesus said,] “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all these things?”

They said to him, “Yes.”

And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” Matthew 13:44–52

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

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Pearl of Great Price.

Audio: Click Pearl of Great Price to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 125; Deuteronomy 7:6–9; Romans 8:28–39

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19 July 2020

Proper 11A Sermon: There Is No God but the Lord

Preached on Isaiah 44:6–8
The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
19 July AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of No God but the Lord.

Audio: Alternatively, choose No God but the Lord to hear the MP3.

Isaiah 44:6–8 Summary: Pick a god ... any god. It makes no difference because none of them can deliver, protect, and sustain you — except for one.

The only god worth choosing is the Lord who has already chosen you to be His own. He sent His Son to be not only Israel’s Redeemer but the Savior of all mankind. All who believe in Jesus possess this salvation.

His Holy Spirit calls us through the Gospel, washes us clean of our sins in Baptism, and guides us through this life into life everlasting. He establishes us on the Lord our Rock and nothing in the natural or the spiritual realms can tear us away, knock us down, or destroy us.

Text: Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.

“Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.

“Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:6–8

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 No God but the Lord.

Audio: Click No God but the Lord to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 119:57–64; Romans 8:18–27; Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43

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Proper 11A Sermon: Growing Among the Weeds

Preached on Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43
The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
19 July AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Growing Among the Weeds.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Growing Among the Weeds to hear the MP3.

Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43 Summary: As God seeds believers in the soil of this world, so Satan plants a crop of wickedness in the hearts of evildoers. The Church’s task is not to remove sinners from this earth. Even the angels are forbidden to do so until the Last Day. Until then, we live and grow side by side with the unbelievers.

It is enough for us to know that Jesus continues to tend to His field, feeding and watering us through Word and Sacrament that we may bear good fruit. And while we still grow among the weeds, there is opportunity for us to speak and live the Gospel to and for them that they, too, might become new plantings and join us in the harvest unto life everlasting.

Text: [Jesus] put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.

“And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’

“He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’

“So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’

“But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”

He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.

“Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

“He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43

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 Growing Among the Weeds.

Audio: Click Growing Among the Weeds to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 119:57–64; Isaiah 44:6–8; Romans 8:18–27

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13 July 2020

Proper 10A Sermon: No Empty Words

Preached on Isaiah 55:10–13
The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
12 July AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of No Empty Words.

Audio: Alternatively, choose No Empty Words to hear the MP3.

Isaiah 55:10–13 Summary: We quickly tire of the empty words of commercial advertisers and politicians. No matter what the promise, we’ve learned to prepare for a letdown when results are tallied.

This isn’t so with God’s Word. Every bit of it is truth and packed with power. It accomplishes His purposes. Primarily, the Lord tasks His Word with forgiving sins, with reconciling and saving sinners. Conversion, absolution, love for neighbor, and lives lived faithfully are all part of the “everlasting sign” testifying to the Word’s effects and its glorious goodness.

Text: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 55:10–13

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of No Empty Words.

Audio: Click No Empty Words to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 65:1–13; Romans 8:12–17; Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23

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12 July 2020

Proper 10A Sermon: Divine Dirt Farming

Preached on Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23
The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
12 July AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Divine Dirt Farming.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Divine Dirt Farming to hear the MP3.

Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23 Summary: The God who formed the first man out of the soil continues to involve himself with us creatures made of earth. He sows His Word in the soil of our beings and rejoices when it sprouts, grows, and bears fruit. The Holy Spirit prepares us for this planting, that our “soil” might be rich and fertile. The yield of this planting is the faith and good works into which He leads us.

Text: That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach.

And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.

“Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.

“Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.

“Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.

“As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.

“As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23

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 Divine Dirt Farming.

Audio: Click Divine Dirt Farming to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 65:1–13; Isaiah 55:10–13; Romans 8:12–17

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05 July 2020

Proper 9A Sermon: Because of the Blood

Preached on Zechariah 9:9–12
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
5 July AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Because of the Blood.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Because of the Blood to hear the MP3.

Zechariah 9:9–12 Summary: When God cut His covenant with Abraham, He alone passed among the sacrificed animals. In so doing, the Lord pledged Himself not only to keeping His side of the promises but ultimately also to upholding the obligations of Abraham and his heirs. We hear this through Zechariah, when the Lord speaks not of “our covenant” but “My covenant.”

The blood of the covenant with Abraham points to the blood of the covenant He would make to all people through Christ. He also made a covenant in which He pledged Himself to faithfully uphold the obligations of both parties.

In His life, suffering, and death, Jesus poured out the blood of the New Covenant. Fully divine, He established and keeps God’s promise of salvation to mankind. Fully human, He faithfully kept mankind’s obligations unto His death and continues in His resurrection to uphold humanity’s responsibilities.

Because His Son kept God’s Law on our behalf, the Father accepted the sacrifice of the blood of the covenant that Christ shed on Golgotha. God then honors His covenant obligations and credits Jesus’ faithfulness to all of us who believe in Him.

Text: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double. Zechariah 9:9–12

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Because of the Blood.

Audio: Click Because of the Blood to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 145:1–14; Romans 7:14–25a; Matthew 11:25–30

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Proper 9A Sermon: Revealed to Children

Preached on Matthew 11:25–30
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
5 July AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Revealed to Children.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Revealed to Children to hear the MP3.

Matthew 11:25–30 Summary: Simple, ordinary, basic: These aren’t the gaudy descriptions for ourselves that our sinful flesh craves. Christians rejoice that salvation is fully revealed and freely given to us “little children.”

There’s nothing we can add to the certainty of forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus. Those who are wise unto salvation rather than wise in the ways of the world occupy themselves not with plans and theories of salvation but rather how we can live out our lives in faith toward God and in fervent love for all people.

Text: At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:25–30

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 Revealed to Children.

Audio: Click Revealed to Children to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 145:1–14; Zechariah 9:9–12; Romans 7:14–25a

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28 June 2020

Proper 8A Sermon: Amen! But...

Preached on Jeremiah 28:5–9
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
28 June AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Amen! But....

Audio: Alternatively, choose Amen! But... to hear the MP3.

Jeremiah 28 Summary: Jeremiah’s “Amen!” to Hananiah wasn’t because he agreed with the false prophet’s prediction but rather because he also earnestly desired peace. Peace between Judah and Babylon, of course, but more importantly, between God and Judah.

After apparently giving his seal of approval to Hananiah’s words, Jeremiah turned around and reminded his opponent how their prophetic predecessors “prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms.” The prophet reminds us that peace is a rare and precious gift and the one who accurately proclaims it is worthy of honor.

True peace comes only when sins are forgiven and we are right with God. Even when Satan and this sinful world resist the Church and “war, famine, and pestilence” are commonplace, Christians live in peace with God through the gift of the True and Greatest Prophet, Jesus Christ. This peace dwelling in us is God’s pledge of absolute and everlasting accord with Him and with all who believe in His Son when we are raise up to life without end.

Note that a few of of my comments during the sermon are directly addressed to the young people who would be confirmed later in the service.

Text: Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to Hananiah the prophet in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord, and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord make the words that you have prophesied come true, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles.

“Yet hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes to pass, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.” Jeremiah 28:5–9

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 Amen! But....

Audio: Click Amen! But... to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 119:153–160; Romans 7:1–13; Matthew 10:34–42

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Proper 8A Sermon: Not Worthy ... Worthy

Preached on Matthew 10:34–42
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
28 June AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Not Worthy ... Worthy.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Not Worthy ... Worthy to hear the MP3.

Matthew 10:34–42 Summary: No matter how worthy we or others think we are, by nature we have no true worth in God’s eyes. Our value comes not from building ourselves up but rather by admitting that we are nothing and can do nothing without Christ.

When we believe in salvation through Jesus and begin to know His love for us, His Spirit works love for Christ in our hearts. And as we grow in love toward Christ, the Spirit also moves us to truly love others. Our Savior counts us worthy not because of who we are but whose we are — for we are His.

Text: So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” Matthew 10:34–42

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 Not Worthy ... Worthy.

Audio: Click Not Worthy ... Worthy to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 119:153–160; Jeremiah 28:5–9; Romans 7:1–13

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21 June 2020

Proper 7A Sermon: Deceived

Preached on Jeremiah 20:7–13
The Third Sunday after Pentecost
21 June AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Deceived.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Deceived to hear the MP3.

Jeremiah 20:7–13 Summary: Jeremiah complained that being the Lord’s prophet wasn’t the easy job he might have expected and decried the nation’s resistance, even among his supposed friends. Yet he remained faithful and confessed faith that, no matter the odds, the Lord fought for him and his cause would finally prevail.

Text: O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me.

For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long.

If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my close friends, watching for my fall. Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him.”

But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.

O Lord of hosts, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.

Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers. Jeremiah 20:7–13

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.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Deceived.

Audio: Click Deceived to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 91:1–10 (11–16); Romans 6:12–23; Matthew 10:5a, 21–33

Agnus Day

About the Cartoon: Jeremiah 20:7-13 cartoon by James Wetzstein at Agnus Day: The Lectionary Comic Strip.

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Proper 7A Sermon: Hated

Preached on Matthew 10:5a, 21–33
The Third Sunday after Pentecost
21 June AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Hated.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Hated to hear the MP3.

Matthew 10:5a, 21–33 Summary: The Church shouldn't be surprised when the world dismisses, demeans, or threatens to destroy it. We know this hatred will come to naught because we belong to Christ and world, death, and devil have no power over us.

Text: These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them ... “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:5a, 21–33

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 Hated.

Audio: Click Hated to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 91:1–10 (11–16); Jeremiah 20:7–13; Romans 6:12–23

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14 June 2020

Proper 6A Sermon: On Eagles’ Wings

Preached on Exodus 19:2–8
The Second Sunday after Pentecost
14 June AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of On Eagles’ Wings.

Audio: Alternatively, choose On Eagles’ Wings to hear the MP3.

Exodus 19:4 Summary: As the Lord bore Israel from Egyptian bondage to the Promised Land “on eagles’ wings,” so He carries us from sin and death into everlasting life through His Son.

Text: They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, while Moses went up to God.

The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. Exodus 19:2–8

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 On Eagles’ Wings.

Audio: Click On Eagles’ Wings to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 100; Romans 5:6–15; Matthew 9:35–10:8

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Proper 6A Sermon: Perfect Timing

Preached on Romans 5:6–15
The Second Sunday after Pentecost
14 June AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Perfect Timing.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Perfect Timing to hear the MP3.

Romans 5:6–15 Summary: Adam brought sin and death into the world through his fall but at the absolutely correct time Jesus reconciled us to God through His suffering and death and gave us life by His resurrection.

Text: For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned — for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. Romans 5:6–15

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 Perfect Timing.

Audio: Click Perfect Timing to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 100; Exodus 19:2–8; Matthew 9:35–10:8

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07 June 2020

Trinity Sunday Sermon: Recreation

Preached on Genesis 1:1–2:4a
The Feast of the Holy Trinity
7 June AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of Recreation.

Audio: Alternatively, choose Recreation to hear the MP3.

Genesis 1:1–2:4a Summary: In normal recreation, we’re only treating symptoms while missing the cause and the cure. We mispronounce it and look for it in the wrong places. We need what the word clearly says: re-creation. We need to be remade in God’s image, not to merely clean and polish our fallen sinful images.

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

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

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights — the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night — and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds — livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

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.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. Genesis 1:1–2:4a

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 Recreation.

Audio: Click Recreation to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 8; Acts 2:14a, 22–36; Matthew 28:16–28

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Trinity Sunday Sermon: To the End

Preached on Matthew 28:16–28
The Feast of the Holy Trinity
7 June AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of To the End.

Audio: Alternatively, choose To the End to hear the MP3.

Matthew 28:16–28 Summary: Just as with His apostles, so Jesus continues to remain with all believers "to the end of the age." By the power of the Holy Spirit, He comes through Word and Sacrament. He protects and provisions us, leading us through earthly life into life everlasting.

Text: In normal recreation, we’re only treating symptoms while missing the cure. We mispronounce it and look for it in the wrong places. We need what the word clearly says: re-creation. We need to be remade in God’s image, not to merely clean and polish our fallen sinful images.

Text: Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16–28

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 To the End.

Audio: Click To the End to listen to the MP3.

Other Readings: Psalm 8; Genesis 1:1–2:4a; Acts 2:14a, 22–36

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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

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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

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