Category Archives: Pentecost Sermons

Is God Deaf?

Text: Mark 7:31-37
Date: Pentecost XVI Proper 18 + 9/9/18

With Mark chapter 7 we have the end of the first part of Mark’s Gospel. As also the other Gospels reflect the earthly ministry of Jesus began with a bright ray of hope. The promised Messiah was predicted to come performing mighty works of healing as we heard in today’s Old Testament reading from the prophet Isaiah, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy” (Is 35:5-6). And there are so many more such passages. The first half of Mark’s Gospel is filled with mighty signs all intended to announce that the Messiah has come. Today’s sign especially reflects our Old Testament with the healing of a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. The people seemed to have gotten the idea as “they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well, He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’” Continue reading Is God Deaf?

Have You Forgotten?

Text: Mark 7:14-23
Date: Pentecost XV Proper 17 + 9/2/18

One of the final words from God to His people in our Old Testament reading for today from the last book of Moses reiterated the importance and blessing of the Law He gave to His people with the reminder, “listen to the statutes and the just decrees that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.” And to this day the Church, preachers and true theologians are careful, according to God’s command in this text, not to add to the word nor take from it. This Word will outshine the wisdom of the world so that people will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” But then one more warning, “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.” Did God have a hunch that they and we needed these reminders and warnings? Continue reading Have You Forgotten?

The Written Law of God

Text: Mark 7:1-13
Date: Pentecost XIV Proper 16B + 8/26/18

In our walk through Mark’s Gospel this year, a few weeks ago we left Jesus and the crowds in a desolate place just after He had fed the 5,000 from only five barley loaves and two fish. Then we invited the Evangelist St. John who told us everything else Jesus said on that occasion. For Jesus preached to them explaining the full significance of the miracle they had just experienced. Continue reading The Written Law of God

Real Eating

Text: John 6:35-51
Date: Pentecost XII Proper 14B + 8/12/18

We come to the second third of Jesus’ famous Bread of Life discourse. In the first third we saw God as giver of everything we need for life. As His highest gift He gave His Word, His Torah through His servant Moses. So also was His Word given through Jesus. As He gave quail and manna to His people of old in the exodus through Moses so now He gave bread and fish to the more than 5,000 who were following Jesus through a desolate place. The important difference between Moses and Jesus however is that Jesus is the Word of God and Jesus is the Bread of God, and not in just a metaphorical sense but in reality, in the flesh, with both feet firmly planted on the ground, the Incarnate Word. After years of wondering I am glad to say that I have finally sided with the early church fathers, Luther and those to this day who “in, with and under” these words identify eucharistic meaning to them. When Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh,” He spoke not only of faith in Him and His words but also of a real eating with the mouth, as real as the loaves and fish they had just feasted on, as real as the lamb eaten at the annual Passover Seder, as real as the sacrifice in His flesh on the cross for the life of the world. Continue reading Real Eating