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Keyword: sermon

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  • "Christ Has Brought Us out of Darkness" (Sermon and hymn on 1 Thess. 5; Matt. 25; Zeph. 1)

    11/16/2014 6:47:39 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 16, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Christ Has Brought Us out of Darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30; Zephaniah 1:7-16) Well, here we are in the middle of November. It’s cold. It’s dark outside. The trees are growing bare. The days are growing shorter. The earth seems to be dying. Darkness seems to be winning. So it seems appropriate that at this time of year--every year, in November--in the church we focus our attention on the end times. We’re coming toward the end of the church year, before Advent comes and we start all over again. The end times, the last things, Judgment Day, the Second...
  • "The True Rapture" (Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

    11/09/2014 11:58:20 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 33 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 9, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The True Rapture” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) Maybe you remember a bumper sticker that was popular a few years back, which read: “In case of Rapture, this car will be unmanned.” What that bumper sticker meant is the idea that when Jesus comes again, all the Christians alive on earth at that time will be “beamed up” suddenly, leaving the rest of the people on earth behind. That’s why the cars and airplanes and so forth will be vacated when the Christians vanish. This is the so-called “Rapture theory,” and it has been the basis of a veritable industry of popular...
  • Conservatives Send More Than 1,000 Bibles to Houston Mayor Annise Parker After Sermon Subpoena

    10/31/2014 8:56:02 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 27 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 10/31/2014 | Leonardo Blair
    The mayor's office of the city of Houston in Texas confirmed Thursday that conservatives sent in more than 1,000 Bibles to the city's first openly gay mayor, Annise Parker, in protest after the sermons of five local pastors were subpoenaed in a legal dispute over a controversial ordinance some say will allow men to use women's restrooms in the city. Earlier reports noted that city officials in Houston were upset over a voter lawsuit filed after the Houston City Council rejected valid petitions to repeal the city's controversial Equal Rights Ordinance, which allows men who identify as female to use...
  • "Justification: The Heart of the Reformation" (Sermon for Reformation Day, on Romans 3:19-28)

    10/26/2014 2:02:43 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 18 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 26, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Justification: The Heart of the Reformation” (Romans 3:19-28) Today is the last Sunday in October, and so we are observing Reformation Day. It will be 497 years ago this Friday, on October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, thus setting in motion the great Reformation of the Christian church. We are the heirs of that Reformation, blessed to be so, and so we join with faithful Lutherans all around the globe in celebrating that historic event and all the blessings of pure doctrine and sound practice that came...
  • Who Are the 5 Pastors in the Houston Sermon Subpoena Scandal? Here are their names and background

    10/23/2014 2:48:23 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 43 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 10/23/2014 | Samuel Smith
    Although much has been reported regarding the ethics and legality behind the city of Houston's subpoena of five Houston-area pastors that had asked them to turn over all of their sermons that address homosexuality, gender identity, and the city's first openly-lesbian mayor, little attention has been given to who those five pastors actually are and the ministries they operate.Although those five pastors, Steve Riggle, David Welch, Hernan Castaño, Khanh Huynh and Magda Hermida, were not technically parties of the lawsuit against the city's new equal rights ordinance that sparked the need for the subpoenas, they all participated in the coalition...
  • "Render--But Don't Surrender--unto Caesar" (Sermon on Matthew 22:15-22)

    10/18/2014 10:16:31 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 19 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 19, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Render--But Don’t Surrender--unto Caesar” (Matthew 22:15-22) “Render unto Caesar”: I think most of us have heard that expression. In fact, I would say that most Americans, whether they’re in the church or not, have heard it. “Render unto Caesar.” The average person might say: “Let’s see, I think that has something to do with what we’re supposed to owe the government.” And they would be right. It does have to do with what we owe the government. But don’t stop the saying there. It goes on, you know. “Render unto Caesar . . . the things that are Caesar’s.” And...
  • Houston mayor, city attorney: On second thought, maybe those sermon subpoenas were a wee bit broad

    10/16/2014 7:39:40 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 31 replies
    Hotair ^ | 10/16/2014 | Ed Morrissey
    Quelle surprise. After news of their subpoenas for sermons given by religious leaders went viral yesterday, Houston’s mayor and city attorney backpedaled away from its “wording,” although the city attorney initially attempted to defend the demand. Later, he shifted the blame to outside legal representation: Amid outrage from religious groups, Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman on Wednesday appeared to back off a subpoena request for the sermons of certain ministers opposed to the city’s equal rights ordinance, with Parker calling it overly broad.The subpoenas, handed down to five pastors and religious leaders last month, came to...
  • Pastors to mayor: Don’t mess with Texas pulpits

    10/15/2014 1:14:37 PM PDT · by dware · 78 replies
    Fox News ^ | 10.15.2014 | Todd Starnes
    Christians across the nation are mobilizing to defend a group of Houston pastors who were ordered by the city to turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity issues or Houston mayor. Their message is simple – Don’t Mess with Texas Preachers.
  • "Decliners and Recliners" (Sermon on Matthew 22:1-14)

    10/12/2014 12:20:33 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 12, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Decliners and Recliners” (Matthew 22:1-14)Do you ever get an invitation to an event--a party, say--and they ask you to RSVP? So you check your calendar, and you see you’ve got a schedule conflict, and so you’ve got to decline the invitation. There’s something more important going on that day--you’ve got to work, or a family obligation--just something that’s a higher priority to you than going to that party. But now say you’ve gotten an invitation to a party, and it’s from someone who you know throws the best parties around--fabulous dinner parties, with the best food, the finest wine, gifts...
  • "St. Paul's Rubbish Sale" (Sermon on Philippians 3:4b-13)

    10/05/2014 12:00:46 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 5, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “St. Paul’s Rubbish Sale” (Philippians 3:4b-13) Yesterday our Ladies’ Guild here at St. Matthew’s held a rummage sale. You know how a rummage sale works. People donate their old, obsolete items that they don’t want or need anymore, and then those items are resold, usually at a much lower price than the original purchase price. And when I say much lower, I mean much lower! I saw a television set downstairs that someone may have paid a couple hundred bucks for originally, but now it was being sold for a mere $5.00. And that was at the start of the...
  • "You Shine as Lights in the World" (Sermon on Philippians 2:1-18)

    09/27/2014 10:14:14 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 28, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “You Shine as Lights in the World” (Philippians 2:1-18) In our Epistle for today, from Philippians 2, St. Paul appeals to us Christians to live as who we are, namely, “children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.” Did you hear that? “You Shine as Lights in the World.” Yes, you do! And today we’ll find out why and how. But before you can shine, first you have to be children of God. How did that happen? God...
  • "Following Jesus with St. Matthew" (Sermon on Matthew 9:9-13)

    09/21/2014 4:24:09 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 7 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 21, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Following Jesus with St. Matthew” (Matthew 9:9-13)On the church year calendar, September 21 is the day for commemorating St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. And since this year September 21 falls on a Sunday, today we are celebrating the Festival of St. Matthew. Who exactly was this St. Matthew, you ask, and why should we remember him? Well, first of all, as to who he is, as I mentioned, we refer to him as St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. Each of those terms, apostle and evangelist, puts Matthew in pretty select company. St. Matthew is an apostle, and there were only...
  • "But We Preach Christ Crucified" (Sermon for Holy Cross Day, on 1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

    09/13/2014 10:27:21 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 14, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “But We Preach Christ Crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:18-25) You’ll notice that the color of our paraments today is red--in other words, something different from the ordinary green that we use in the non-festival half of the church year. This means that we’re observing a special festival today, one that happens to fall on a Sunday this year. And this festival is called Holy Cross Day. What is Holy Cross Day, you ask? Well, let me tell you the background of this observance. Back in the early 300s, the Roman Emperor Constantine became a Christian. Then in the year 326, his...
  • "Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law" (Sermon on Romans 13:1-10)

    09/07/2014 5:23:07 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 7, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law” (Romans 13:1-10)Do you want to know what you should be doing this week? I can tell you with sure confidence what God’s will is for you this week. It’s pretty simple, actually. I can sum it up in one word: Love. That’s right. Love. In terms of how you deal with the people you encounter this week, that’s about the size of it: Love them. How can I be so sure of this? Because God’s Word tells me this is so, that this is God’s will for each one of us. It’s no...
  • "Peter Gets the 'Who' But Not the 'How'" (Sermon on Matthew 16:21-28)

    08/31/2014 2:15:07 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 31, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Peter Gets the ‘Who’ But Not the ‘How’” (Matthew 16:21-28)Last week’s Gospel was Matthew 16:13-20. Today’s Gospel is the verses that follow, Matthew 16:21-28. Last week we heard Peter say something that brought a hearty commendation from Jesus, who told Peter that he was the rock on which he would build his church. This week Peter says something that brings a harsh rebuke from Jesus, with Jesus basically calling Peter “Satan” and telling him to get behind him. So in just a few verses, Peter goes from commendation to rebuke, from being called a rock to being called Satan. What...
  • "Jesus and the Church: Inseparable" (Sermon on Matthew 16:13-20)

    08/23/2014 10:55:07 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 7 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 24, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Jesus and the Church: Inseparable” (Matthew 16:13-20) “I love your Christ, but I dislike your Christianity.” That is a quote that has been attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, the leading figure from India of the 20th century. Sometimes it’s quoted as “I like your Jesus. I don’t like your Christians.” Or something like that. Whether Gandhi actually said this or not, the point is the same: Some people want to have Jesus--or at least the Jesus of their imagination--they want to have Jesus, but without the church. They try to pit the two against each other, Jesus and the church. Now...
  • "Jesus and People on the Fringe" (Sermon on Matthew 15:21-28)

    08/16/2014 8:25:22 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 8 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 17, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Jesus and People on the Fringe” (Matthew 15:21-28)People on the fringe. That’s what you might call them. People on the fringe of respectable society. Sometimes beyond the fringe. These are not the good, upstanding people who have their act all together and are living their best life now. No, these are people with problems in their life. People who have gotten off track and maybe now are regretting the bad choices they have made. Perhaps they’re looking for a better way, but they don’t know where to find it. People on the fringe. And guess what? Jesus specialized in dealing...
  • 3 Views on How Long a Sermon Should Be

    07/30/2014 2:02:22 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 36 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 07/30/2014 | Thom S. Rainer
    What is the trend? Are church members and church leaders saying sermons should be longer or shorter? The answer is "yes." If my answer is confusing, I understand. But the reality is there are two major trends taking place related to sermon length. I have been following these trends through anecdotal information and social media polls for three years. There are growing numbers of respondents who believe sermons should be longer. There are also growing numbers of respondents who believe sermons should be shorter. And there aren't many people in the middle of those two divergent views. By the way,...
  • "The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat" (Sermon on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

    07/20/2014 11:10:46 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 10 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 20, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) Last week we heard the Parable of the Sower, from Matthew 13. Today it’s the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat, also from Matthew 13. In fact, Matthew 13 is a chapter full of parables, seven of them altogether. Some of these parables are shorter, some are longer. Some are explained by Jesus, some of them are left unexplained. Today’s parable is one of the longer ones, and Jesus does explain it. So now let’s consider this parable and what Jesus is saying to us in it, in...
  • "When Sowing the Seed Seems Useless" (Sermon on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

    07/12/2014 9:35:52 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 13, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “When Sowing the Seed Seems Useless” (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)It can be very discouraging to be a Christian these days. It seems like our whole culture has turned against the Christian faith. It can be very discouraging to be a member of a congregation these days. It seems like every church all across the country is having to deal with lower attendance and financial difficulties. It can be very discouraging to be a pastor these days. It seems like all your work is falling on deaf ears, and you wonder where the zeal for the gospel is, even among your own...
  • "Rest for the Heavy Laden" (Sermon on Matthew 11:25-30; Romans 7:14-25a)

    07/05/2014 2:03:24 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 6, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Rest for the Heavy Laden” (Matthew 11:25-30; Romans 7:14-25a)In New York Harbor there stands a famous statue, the Statue of Liberty. In her one hand, Lady Liberty is holding a tablet bearing the date July 4, 1776, the day of America’s founding. In her other hand, she is holding aloft a torch, symbolizing liberty enlightening the world. In the harbor, the Statue of Liberty stands right next to Ellis Island, our nation’s largest immigration station for many years. Millions of immigrants made the long sea voyage from Europe in those days and came through Ellis Island, passing the Statue of...
  • "St. Peter and St. Paul: Losing Their Lives for Jesus' Sake" (Sermon on Matthew 10:38-39)

    06/28/2014 10:44:12 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 29, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “St. Peter and St. Paul: Losing Their Lives for Jesus’ Sake” (Matthew 10:38-39)Today is the Third Sunday after Pentecost, but it is also June 29. And June 29 is the day in the church year for observing the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles. So that is what we are doing today. We just sang the hymn “By All Your Saints in Warfare” with the stanza for St. Peter and St. Paul. We heard lessons from Acts, 2 Timothy, and the Gospel of John that prominently feature Peter and Paul. We used those readings in place of the...
  • "Have No Fear of Them" (Sermon on Matthew 10:5a, 21-33)

    06/21/2014 9:19:37 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 7 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 22, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Have No Fear of Them” (Matthew 10:5a, 21-33)Today is the start of the long green season in the church year. The festival seasons have passed--Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter--those months when we tracked Jesus’ birth, his baptism, his transfiguration, his suffering, death, resurrection, ascension into heaven, and his pouring out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Now today we begin the non-festival half of the church year, with several months ahead of us of more general teaching, much of it dealing with the life of discipleship that we Christians are called to live. This is not an easy life, this life...
  • "The Living Room of Peter's Pentecost Sermon" (Sermon for the Holy Trinity, on Acts 2:14a, 22-36)

    06/14/2014 6:36:53 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 15, 2014 | The Rev . Charles Henrickson
    “The Living Room of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon” (Acts 2:14a, 22-36)Today is the Feast of the Holy Trinity. On this day we sing hymns emphasizing the Trinitarian nature of the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. On this day we say that really long creed with the funny name, the Athanasian Creed, which goes into the most detail on the relationship of the three persons in the Trinity. Today we are celebrating, not some dry doctrine with no connection to life, no, rather we are celebrating a living reality--the reality of who God is, as he is, as he...
  • "The Front Porch of Peter's Pentecost Sermon" (Sermon for the Day of Pentecost, on Acts 2:1-21)

    06/07/2014 9:50:30 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 8, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Front Porch of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon” (Acts 2:1-21)The purpose of a front porch is to get people into the house. The front porch may be small, the front porch may be large, but it does its job if it gets people into the building. The front porch is not the place where you want people to stay, but it should provide a good entryway into the house. And ideally, it should match, and be suitable for, the rest of the building. That’s the way it is with the front porch of a house. That’s the way it is with...
  • "Glorious Suffering" (Sermon for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, on 1 Peter 4 and 5; John 17)

    06/01/2014 2:02:33 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 1, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Glorious Suffering” (1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11)Have you ever heard of the term “oxymoron”? An oxymoron is when you have two words placed next to each other in a phrase, but they really don’t belong together. For example, “jumbo shrimp.” “Jumbo” and “shrimp” would seem to be self-contradictory terms. Another oxymoron: “Rap music.” The two ideas don’t go together. Or this one, speaking as someone coming from Chicago: “St. Louis pizza.” Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Well, a couple of our readings today seem to have an oxymoron going on, two self-contradictory ideas being placed right next to each...
  • "All Things under His Feet" (Sermon for the Ascension of Our Lord, on Ephesians 1:15-23)

    05/29/2014 2:56:27 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 29, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “All Things under His Feet” (Ephesians 1:15-23) Today is the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, always forty days after Easter, thus always on a Thursday. On Ascension Day we celebrate what Christ’s ascending into heaven means for us as the church. It means many things, certainly, and we could focus on many aspects of this great event: For instance, on how, after his resurrection and before his ascension, Jesus opened the minds of his disciples to understand the Scriptures, that they are fulfilled in his death and resurrection, and how he told them to preach repentance and forgiveness...
  • "Baptized, Saved, and Ready to Speak" (Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, on 1 Peter 3:13-22)

    05/24/2014 4:58:08 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 25, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Baptized, Saved, and Ready to Speak” (1 Peter 3:13-22)Are you ready? Let me ask you again: Are you ready? And you say, “Ready for what? Ready to do what?” So I say, “Ready to speak.” “Ready to speak about what?” Are you ready to speak about the hope that you have as a Christian? If someone were to ask you about your Christian faith, about your hope, would you be ready to answer? That’s the situation that St. Peter addresses in our text for today, the Epistle reading from 1 Peter 3. There Peter encourages the Christians hearing his letter,...
  • "Living Stones and a Holy Priesthood" (Sermon for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, on 1 Peter 2:2-10)

    05/18/2014 7:47:21 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 18, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Living Stones and a Holy Priesthood” (1 Peter 2:2-10) In the Epistle for today, St. Peter compares us Christians to, among other things, “living stones” and a “holy priesthood.” Both of these images are based on things that were realities in the Old Testament for the people of Israel. “Living stones” has to do with the temple, that great building in Jerusalem where the people worshiped, and a “holy priesthood” has to do with the priests who carried out their duties at the temple. “Living stones” and a “holy priesthood.” But these are not just some quaint figures of speech...
  • "Redeemed: From What? With What? Now What?" (Sermon for Third Sunday of Easter, on 1 Peter 1:17-25)

    05/04/2014 9:37:58 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 4, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Redeemed: From What? With What? Now What?” (1 Peter 1:17-25)To introduce the sermon today I’d like us all now to open our hymnals to page 322, to the Small Catechism, the part on the Creed. And under the Second Article, on pages 322 and 323, you will see Luther’s Explanation of the Second Article, starting with “What does this mean?” Let’s read that now together: “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased...
  • "Born Again to a Living Hope" (Sermon for the Second Sunday of Easter, on 1 Peter 1:3-9)

    04/27/2014 1:07:02 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 27, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Born Again to a Living Hope” (1 Peter 1:3-9)Our reading today from 1 Peter 1 says a lot about your past, your present, and your future, and we can sum it up in this phrase from our text: “Born Again to a Living Hope.” “Born again to a living hope.” The apostle Peter uses this phrase right at the beginning of his epistle. By the way, passages from 1 Peter will be the Epistle readings for the rest of this Easter season, starting today and going for the next five Sundays. And to go along with that, we’ll be starting...
  • "Amen" (Sermon for Easter Day, on the Lord's Prayer and 2 Corinthians 1:18-22)

    04/19/2014 11:17:41 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 20, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Amen” (The Lord’s Prayer; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22)Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!) Yes, “Alleluia” of course is the word of the day for Easter Day. We’ve been saving it up all Lent, and now today we finally get to let it loose. And what a day to do so! Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on this day, winning the victory for us over death and the grave. If that doesn’t elicit an “Alleluia,” I don’t know what will. “Alleluia” is a Hebrew word originally, and it means “Praise ye the Lord.” And praise is...
  • "But Deliver Us from Evil” (Sermon for Good Friday on the Lord's Prayer and Luke 23:32-49)

    04/18/2014 10:48:34 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 18, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “But Deliver Us from Evil” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 23:32-49)“But Deliver Us from Evil”: The seventh and final petition of the Lord’s Prayer. And how appropriate that we should come to this petition on this particular day, Good Friday. For the greatest evil that has ever been perpetrated on this earth is the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. I mean, really, Good Friday could just as well be called “Evil Friday,” that is the magnitude of the evil committed against this wholly innocent man, the most innocent man who has ever lived--indeed, the only truly innocent man to have ever...
  • "Lead Us Not into Temptation" (Sermon for Holy Thursday, on the Lord's Prayer and Luke 22:1-46)

    04/17/2014 10:57:35 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 17, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Lead Us Not into Temptation” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 22:1-46) During this Lenten season we’ve been doing a series on the Lord’s Prayer called “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” And that’s exactly what our Lord does on this Holy Thursday evening. He teaches us to pray. That’s what he instructs us to do, that’s what he gives us an example of doing, and, even more than that, he prays for us. In particular, on this night Jesus instructs his disciples to pray for strength in the face of temptation. “Pray that you may not enter into temptation,” Jesus tells them...
  • "Who Is This?" (Sermon for Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion, on Matthew 21:1-11; 27:11-66)

    04/13/2014 1:47:39 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 13, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Who Is This?” (Matthew 21:1-11; 27:11-66) “Who is this?” That would seem to be the question of the day for this day that serves as both Palm Sunday and the Sunday of the Passion. “Who is this?” That’s what the people of Jerusalem were asking about the man who came riding into town on a donkey. That’s the question that swirled around this same man later in the week when he stood before Pilate and the crowd and when he went to the cross to suffer and to die. Who is this? Who is this man, Jesus of Nazareth, the...
  • "And Forgive Us Our Trespasses . . ." (Sermon on the Lord's Prayer)

    04/09/2014 10:54:48 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 9, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “And Forgive Us Our Trespasses . . .” (The Lord’s Prayer) Today we continue our series on the Lord’s Prayer with the Fifth Petition, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” By the way, since this is the last of our Wednesday midweek services, and we’re only up to the Fifth Petition, you may be wondering how we’re going to finish out the Lord’s Prayer. Don’t worry. We’ll do the Sixth Petition, “And lead us not into temptation,” next week on Holy Thursday; the Seventh Petition, “But deliver us from evil,” on Good Friday;...
  • "Raising Lazarus--and Other Things as Well" (Sermon for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, on John 11:1-53)

    04/06/2014 7:04:07 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 11 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 6, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Raising Lazarus--and Other Things as Well” (John 11:1-53)Today we come to another one of those memorable chapters in the Gospel of John. So far during this Lenten season we’ve had: John 3, Jesus and Nicodemus; John 4, Jesus and the Samaritan woman; and John 9, Jesus heals the man born blind. Now today we have John 11, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. But that’s not all Jesus raises here in this chapter, as we’re about to hear. Thus our theme today: “Raising Lazarus--and Other Things as Well.” The chapter opens with Jesus far away from Lazarus. He only hears...
  • "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" (Sermon on the Lord's Prayer)

    04/02/2014 8:36:15 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 2, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” (The Lord’s Prayer) We continue with our Lenten series on the Lord’s Prayer, “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” Tonight we come to the Fourth Petition, “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.” So finally we get around to praying for our own needs! Remember, up to this point, the first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer all have been about God’s concerns: “Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” Those are Jesus’ top priorities for us to pray, and of course rightly so. That at the forefront of our...
  • "Thy Will Be Done" (Sermon on the Lord's Prayer)

    03/26/2014 12:36:32 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 26, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Thy Will Be Done” (The Lord’s Prayer) We continue in our series on the Lord’s Prayer, “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” And tonight we come to the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, namely, “Thy Will Be Done.” “Thy will be done.” Are we sure we really want to pray this? You know, sometimes we think of “Thy will be done” as just a resigned afterthought, after we’ve prayed for what we really want. “Lord, here are the things I really want you to do for me, but I know you probably won’t answer me the way I would like,...
  • "The Samaritan Woman at the Well" (Sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent, on John 4:5-30, 39-42)

    03/22/2014 6:40:09 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 23, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Samaritan Woman at the Well” (John 4:5-30, 39-42) Have you ever felt like you’re a bit of an outsider? Like you didn’t belong? That maybe you’re being looked down upon by others--whether fairly or unfairly. Maybe you’ve done something to bring some shame upon yourself. And maybe you feel some guilt before God. If this is the case, then I’ve got good news for you today. And we’ll find it out at the side of a well, where a Jewish man has come and meets “The Samaritan Woman at the Well.” The Jewish man, of course, is Jesus, a...
  • "Thy Kingdom Come" (Sermon on the Lord's Prayer)

    03/19/2014 9:18:12 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 19, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Thy Kingdom Come” (The Lord’s Prayer) We continue our Lenten series on the Lord’s Prayer, a series that we’re calling “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” We come now to the Second Petition, “Thy Kingdom Come.” I have three main points to make about this petition: 1) In this petition, our Lord is teaching us to seek first the kingdom of God. 2) In this petition, we are praying that God’s kingdom would come in our midst now. And 3) In this petition, we’re praying that God’s kingdom would come with Christ’s return at the Last Day. We’ll take these points...
  • "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (Sermon on the Lord's Prayer)

    03/12/2014 8:46:44 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 12, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (The Lord’s Prayer)For our midweek Lenten services this year we’re doing a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. I’m calling it “Lord, Teach Us to Pray,” because that was the request of the disciples to Jesus, as you heard in the reading from Luke 11. And Jesus responded by giving them the words of the Lord’s Prayer. Notice, by the way, that the request was “Lord, teach us to pray,” not just “Lord, teach us about prayer.” And notice that Jesus’ response starts out, “When you pray, say. . . .” Not “When you think about...
  • "If You Are the Son of God" (Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent, on Matthew 4:1-11)

    03/08/2014 8:27:24 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 9, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “If You Are the Son of God” (Matthew 4:1-11)Apparently there is a movie out in the theaters now called “Son of God.” I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t plan to, but it’s supposed to tell the story of Jesus. However, I understand that this movie doesn’t even include the account of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness--which is pretty ironic for a movie that calls itself “Son of God,” since a central issue in the account of the temptation is precisely Jesus’ identity as the Son of God. Well, I haven’t seen the movie, but I have read...
  • "Our Father Who Art in Heaven" (Sermon for Ash Wednesday on Matthew 6:1-21; The Lord's Prayer)

    03/05/2014 12:33:12 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 5, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Our Father Who Art in Heaven” (Matthew 6:1-21; The Lord’s Prayer)You know, during Lent there is a strong tradition to do a series on some part of the Catechism. And that’s what we’re going to do for this Lenten season. Today we begin a nine-part sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. I’m calling it “Lord, Teach Us to Pray,” which is what the disciples asked Jesus to teach them. And Jesus responded by giving them the Lord’s Prayer, as well as other teaching about prayer. Apparently, Jesus wants his Christians to pray. He thinks it’s important. He gives us instruction...
  • "Full of Good Works, Dearly Missed, in Resurrection Hope" (Funeral sermon on Acts 9:36-42)

    02/28/2014 4:39:47 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 28, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Full of Good Works, Dearly Missed, in Resurrection Hope” (Acts 9:36-42) Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the...
  • "Jesus Really Means What He Says" (Sermon for Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany; Matthew 5:38-48)

    02/22/2014 9:18:37 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 7 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 23, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Jesus Really Means What He Says” (Matthew 5:38-48)Listen again to what Jesus says to us in today’s Gospel reading, and tell me what you think: “But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would...
  • "Life and Blessing in God's Commandments" (Sermon, Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Deut. 30:15-20)

    02/15/2014 9:35:21 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 16, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Life and Blessing in God’s Commandments” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)I am going to say something that may surprise you today: There is life and blessing in God’s commandments. “What?!” you say. That’s right, I said there is life and blessing in God’s commandments. But you respond, “But, Pastor, I thought the Commandments were there to show us our sin, that God’s Law actually condemns us. How can there be life and blessing in that?” Spoken like a true Lutheran. And true enough, as far as it goes. But there is even more to say about the Ten Commandments than just that. And...
  • "The Word of the Cross, the Power of God" (Sermon for Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany; 1 Cor. 1-2)

    02/08/2014 9:22:16 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 9, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Word of the Cross, the Power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 – 2:12)As many of you know, these past two weeks I was at our seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to take a continuing education course on the life and work of Bo Giertz. Who was Bo Giertz, you ask? Let me tell you. He was a very important churchman, theologian, and author who lived in Sweden during the 20th century. He was born in 1905, and he died in 1998 at the age of 92. When I was in seminary, I read a book by Bo Giertz called...
  • "On Us a Light Has Dawned" (Sermon for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany, on Matthew 4:12-25)

    01/25/2014 9:22:50 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 26, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “On Us a Light Has Dawned” (Matthew 4:12-25)After Jesus was born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth and was baptized in the Jordan, now it is time for him to undertake his public ministry. So the question arises: Where will he do this? What will be his base of operations? Now you might think that the Messiah, the king of Israel, would set up shop in Jerusalem, the most important city in the land, the religious and political capital, the city of kings, the city of the temple. But if you’re thinking Jerusalem, you would be wrong. Jerusalem will...
  • "Gifted Speakers" (Sermon for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, on John 1:29-42a, 1 Cor. 1:1-9)

    01/18/2014 6:44:42 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 19, 2014 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Gifted Speakers” (John 1:29-42a; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9) Have you ever heard of the St. Louis Speakers Series? Every year there’s a series of lectures, held in St. Louis, given by famous speakers from around the country. Well-known authors, politicians, broadcasters, and the like are brought in, and they’ll give an hour or so talk, followed by questions and answers. The event is held at Powell Hall, and people buy tickets to hear these famous personalities speak. Often in the advertising for these events, the description will say something like, “So-and-so is a gifted speaker who has delighted audiences around the...