Sermon: Epiphany 8.2011

Text: Matthew 6.24-34
Date: 2011.2.27
Continue seeking first 
the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

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

There is an evil that constantly befalls God's children. To use the imagery Jesus uses as He continues His great Sermon on the Mount, this evil is: double-mindedness (confident in Jesus, while at the same time distracted by worldly concerns); this concept is often translated “do not be anxious”. Whatever the specific wording, the point Jesus is making is that we ought to be of one mind; unified by the Holy Spirit in what we say, do, believe; in the things we love, grounded in the same faith, confessing together as the Church, but also unified in our own mind and heart. Embracing the things of God (His kingdom and righteousness), while also renouncing and repenting completely of the things of Satan, of the evil world, and most especially of your own fallen sinful flesh.

Sermon: Epiphany 7.2011

Text: Matthew 5:38-48
Date: 2011.2.20
Occasion: Baptism of Nolan George Bayer
You will be perfect,
as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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

A Christian has no enemies.

Jesus is infinitely profound here as He continues to preach to His disciples. As He speaks, He weeds out the immature disciples from the mature ones. It's as if He says, Do you really know what it is to be Christian. I've already told you the key to understanding who you are in Me, now I'm getting a bit deeper into the mystery. If you fail to understand even these things, then you prove that you really don't get it, that you really haven't been paying attention.

Sermon: Epiphany 5.2011

Text: Matthew 5:13-20
Date: 2.6.2011
I have not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets,
but to fulfill them.

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

And Jesus continues preaching to his disciples: “you all are the salt of the earth...You all are the light of the world.” You are these things because I am these things in and through you. A saying not unlike what preceded it in this sermon, Jesus just uses some illustrations now.

“You all are the salt of the earth, but if the salt might be made dull [or lose it's saltiness], with what will it be made salty? It is good for nothing more except being cast outside and trampled down under men.”

Salt, a preservative and a preventative, also adding flavor to common nourishment. A hard analogy, for salt is salty, that's just the way it is; it can't be anything else and if it is to remain salt, then it can't ever lose it's saltiness. On the other hand, if salt does somehow cease to be salty then surely it is no longer salt. It's completely improbable then, that there would be salt-less salt. And that's Jesus' point. I'll say it another way, to explain the illustration: A Christian has Christ, nothing else makes Him a Christian except Christ, and if he is to remain a Christian, he can't ever lose Christ. If a Christian does lose Christ, then surely he is no longer a Christian. It's completely improbable, no what's more it's completely impossible then, that there would be a Christ-less Christian.