St. Mark 8:1-10 – Trinity 7 – 2016

St. Mark 8:1-10 – Trinity 7 – 2016
Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, McHenry, IL
July 10, 2016

loavesandfishesIn the Name of Jesus. Amen.  About thirteen years ago, some young pup nurse came into the room to talk to Amy and I and he looked at Sophia and looked at her chart and said, “Well, you might want to consider having your daughter committed. She’s going to be… well… she’s going to be pretty much nothing but a ‘bump on a log.’ She’ll be nothing more than a vegetable. I mean, if she lives very long at all.”

Yesterday, my little girl turned fourteen.  That’s fourteen more gifts than we expected.  And you know, the only bump on a log that Sophia knows is the bumps on the Lord’s cross.  He for her — Calvary much.  She on the receiving end of all His gifts.  Continue reading

St. Luke 6:36-42 — Holy Trinity 4 — 2016

St. Luke 6:36-42 — Holy Trinity 4 — 2016
Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, McHenry, IL
June 20, 2016
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H-58 Trinity 4  (Lu 6.36-42).jpgIn the Name of Jesus. Amen.  Be merciful as your Father is merciful.  The readings we have in church were picked for us by the Early Church.  It never fails to astound me how relevant the texts are even for us in our day.  Today is just a great Father’s Day text!  It’s just teed up perfectly!  Good thing with Buetow gone and you being left with the old man that it’s a Gospel lesson that not even I can’t hit a home run with!  It’s like there is a God.  Oh wait, there is!

How is your Father in heaven?  He’s merciful in the suffering and death of Christ.  He doesn’t want to judge.  He doesn’t like to condemn.  He wants to forgive.  He longs to have mercy.  He gives gifts.  He saves. Continue reading

Acts 2:1-21 – Pentecost Sunday 2016

Acts 2:1-21 – Pentecost Sunday 2016
Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, McHenry, IL
May 14-15, 2016
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pentecost-iconIn the name of Jesus. Amen.   Pentecost teaches us that God is for everyone. He is for all – for all, therefore, for you. 

And all people means all people.  He’s for reserved and super polite Midwesterners, and Southerners who have no grasp of the English language. 

But it’s more than that.  All means: Jerusalem Jews, Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia (must be a frigid place!) and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, Romans, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs. Continue reading

St. John 15:26-16:4 — Exaudi 2016

St. John 15:26-16:4 — Exaudi 2016
Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, McHenry, IL
May 8, 2016
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holy_trinityIn the name of Jesus, our risen and ascended Lord. Amen.   

I have said these things to y’all so that you would not be scandalized.

Scandalized.  Jesus knows the suffering and persecution in your life is awful.  He doesn’t want you to fall away, to deny Him.

So, He warns you.  They are gonna throw you out of church.  They are going to think they are serving God by killing you.  And you know what that means in this world, you know who does that sort of thing. Continue reading

St. John 16:5-15 – Cantate 2016

St. John 16:5-15 – Cantate – Easter 5 – 2016
Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, McHenry, IL
April 23-24, 2016

means-of-graceAlleluia!  Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!  He is risen indeed! Alleluia!  In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Alleluia!  His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. Alleluia!

That’s Cantate Sunday!  It’s about singing to the Lord!  Can you get any happier than that?

Singing.  We sing in church.  Well, except when I pick bad hymns.  But all kidding aside –  we sing every Sunday about what Jesus did for us.  We sing joyfully.  We sing because we have been saved. Continue reading

St. John 16:23-33 — Rogate 2016

St. John 16:23-33 — Rogate — Easter 6 — 2016
Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, McHenry, IL
May 1, 2016
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overcomeAlleluia! Jesus Christ is risen from the dead! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the name of Jesus. Amen.

When I was young, religion and faith was all about me. Forgiveness was earned. It was deserved — either by being good, or by being sorry enough or guilty enough when you were bad.

Prayer was a deal too: You put in the work, ask the right saint, pray really hard… and it might work out. “Dear God, if you do this, I’ll do this.” “If you save me from this mess I’ve created for myself, I’ll be a better person.” Continue reading

St. John 16:16–22 – Jubilate – Easter 4 – 2016

St. John 16:16–22 – Jubilate – Easter 4 – 2016
Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, McHenry, IL
April 17, 2016

jubilateAlleluia!  Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!  He is risen indeed! Alleluia!  In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice.  You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.

Death.  That’s the sorrow.  The Death of Jesus brought the disciples weeping and lamenting.   That’s what death does.  It brings gut wrenching sadness.  There is no dodging the pain of death, no running from its shot to our spirit.  Continue reading