Category Archives: Festival Sermons

In Service of the King

Text: John 8:31-36
Date: The Quincentenary of the Lutheran Reformation  Reformation Day (Observed) + October 29, 2017

Today we mark the Quincentenary or five-hundredth anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. For five centuries the church of the Augsburg Confession, evangelical catholics come to be known as Lutherans, have marked this day as the birthday of the Lutheran Church or shall we say the re-birthday of the Holy Church Throughout the World. But why this day? And what exactly are we celebrating or commemorating? Continue reading In Service of the King

King of Glory Now

Text: Matthew 28:16-20
Date: The Holy Trinity + 6/11/17

Who is God? We do not begin with the question of only whether there is a God since we have two reliable sources of evidence or information about God available to all. And the first is what is called the natural knowledge of God. Romans 1:20 says, “For [God’s] invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” I usually put it this way: everyone has it built in, or we say written on our hearts or in our DNA, first the awareness that there is a God. “Where did everything come from?” “Where did I come from?’ But there is a limit to our natural knowledge of God for we cannot discover His essence or attitudes other than coming to the conclusion that “He is mighty and He must be mad at us.” Hence every religion’s system of sacrifices to appease this angry God. For that the second necessary and reliable source of information about God is God’s own Word, the revelation of Himself in the inspired Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Continue reading King of Glory Now

Another Loud Voice

Text: Revelation 7:2-17
Date: All Saints Day (Observed) + 11/6/16

You can’t have All Saints Day without Reformation Day. Even though the Reformation is commemorated now for only 499 years since 1517 and All Saints was first attributed to having begun 1,643 years ago by St. Ephrem the Syrian in 373 ad, still you can’t have All Saints without Reformation. For the reality is more than a calendar issue, the celebration more than the mere commemoration, the spiritual transformation more than just signing up on the dotted line of the required document. Continue reading Another Loud Voice

With a Loud Voice

Text: Revelation 14:6-7
Date: Reformation (Observed) + 10/30/16

The best comment I’ve seen about Martin Luther and the Reformation lately shows Luther hammering his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Church door. Apparently, some men have asked him what he was doing. Luther turns and looks at them and responds, “Oh, the door is fine, I’m just fixing your theology!” It was the eve of All Saint’s Day in the year 1517, 499 years ago. It was but the beginning of fixing or reforming the Church’s theology. It was not an easy or short process. In fact, it wasn’t until another 13 years passed that the Lutheran Augsburg Confession was delivered in 1530, and yet another 63 years that the entire Book of Concord was published in 1580. Continue reading With a Loud Voice

At Last the March Shall End

Text: Revelation 7
Date: All Saints’ Day + 11/1/15

With the arrival of All Saints’ Day we approach the closing chapters of the church year, of our annual task and mission of proclaiming the whole Gospel of salvation and eternal life from beginning to end. It began with the call to be ready in repentance. It ends with the promised blessed hope of heaven. It centers in Jesus Christ. It’s all about Jesus. The Creed outlines everything from the creation to the one sacrifice that opens the door of heaven, to our entrance into the kingdom, born anew through the womb of the baptismal font, filled with faith by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament, kept safe all our days in the ark of the holy Christian Church. Today we are given a vision of it all. All people who are being saved together with those who have gone before us with the sign of faith are transformed from sinners into saints, the unholy become the holy ones, holy, that is set apart from the world of sin and death, set apart for the eternal life God originally intended for all people. Continue reading At Last the March Shall End