Sermon: Epiphany 4.2011

Text: Matthew 5.1-12
Date: 2011.1.30
Blessed are you...
rejoice and be glad.

In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Law or Gospel? Your work or God's? Condemnation or Forgiveness? Repentance or Absolution? If Scripture is understood properly (as we believe) only when rightly distinguishing Law and Gospel, and what's more, if preaching must have this distinction (if it is to be true preaching), then what do we have here in Jesus' sermon? Law or Gospel? Hopefully both, but where is the line?

Sometimes it's not so easy to discern. Well, it should be, we should get it, Scripture should be easy to understand and at all it's major points, it is easy to understand, even children get it: “Jesus loves me. Even though I'm a sinner, Jesus died on the cross to forgive my sins, taking my punishment for me.” That's simple enough, plain and clear, that's the Good News. But perhaps one of the most difficult passages to distinguish Law and Gospel is the one we hear today, The Beatitudes, the beginning of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the first public proclamation Jesus makes according to the Gospel of Matthew, and it isn't what we would expect.

Sermon: Epiphany 2.2011

Text: John 1.29-42
Date: 2011.1.16
Behold, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!

In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today we revisit John's preaching. Or rather, it revisits us. And from it we learn that John's preaching of “repentance of sin” was not a complete message. It couldn't be. Something was missing. As when someone begins to tell you something of great importance, of great interest to you, and then stops abruptly in the middle of the conversation and you're left waiting for more.

Sermon: The Baptism of Our Lord.2011

Text: Matthew 3.13-17
Date: 2011.1.9
This One is My Beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased

In the name of the Father of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“And answering Jesus said unto [John], 'Permit it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he permitted him.”

For thus it is fitting. It is suitable. It is becoming of Jesus and John that this fulfillment of righteousness be done in a certain way. Jesus has come, has been born, and in Jesus, the Christ has come, has been born. This is fulfillment in itself; but that is not all. There is more to be fulfilled, more to be revealed, more to do.

Sermon: Christmas 2.2011

Text: Luke 2.40-52
Date: 2011.1.2
And after three days they found Him in the temple 
sitting in the midst of the teachers.

In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

"Where is Jesus?" This is the first question you should ask when looking at any Scripture. Jesus is there. What is He doing? What is He saying? Where is He?

Now, on most occasions in Scripture when we hear about St Mary and St Joseph, we can take them as examples. When Mary is pondering and treasuring things up in her heart, we would do well to imitate her. When Joseph is being a righteous man before God by faith, rather than a righteous man before man by deed, we would do well to imitate him. The Holy Family, as they are called, are good examples for us. But not in our Gospel reading for today, at least not at the beginning of the story; St Mary and St Joseph lost sight of Jesus, they didn't bother to ask: “where is Jesus?”.

For us, the meaning of this goes beyond parenting. As important as it is for us parents to take seriously our God-given responsibility as protectors and providers, there is One thing of greater importance for us, and for our children, and for every man, especially for every single individual in our congregation: We must never lose sight of Jesus.

Sermon: Eve of The Circumcision and Name of Jesus.2010

Text: Luke 2.21; Galatians 3.23-29
Date: 2010.12.31
And when He was circumcised,
                          His name was called Jesus.

In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tomorrow is a big day; A principle feast in the life of Christ's Church: The Circumcision and Name of Jesus. So this evening we cotinue in the Christmas season as we meditate upon what Christ does: He is circumcised and He is named. And it is all for you, you offspring of Abraham, you are Christ's own.