Free Republic 3rd Quarter Fundraising Target: $85,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $21,368
25%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 25% is in!! Thank you all very much!!

Keyword: sermon

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • "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...
  • "To Fulfill All Righteousness" (Sermon for the Baptism of Our Lord, on Matthew 3:13-17)

    01/11/2014 5:07:04 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 10 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 12, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “To Fulfill All Righteousness” (Matthew 3:13-17)The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ is an event recorded in, or referred to, in all four gospels. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the account of the baptism itself is recorded. In John’s gospel, it is referred to. Clearly God wants us to know that this is an important event in the life and career of Christ, an important event for us to know about. And so it is. Thus the church has set aside the First Sunday after the Epiphany every year for us to focus on the Baptism of Our Lord. As...
  • A Funeral Sermon designed to teach on the Last Things, and inspire prayer

    11/12/2013 3:03:08 AM PST · by markomalley · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 11/12/2013 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On yesterday’s blog post, I discussed some of the more common problems that arise with funerals these days. That blog post provides the kind of background to the homily I present here. In this homily, I try to teach on what I think are important and central themes that need emphasis in Christian funerals today.The homily is broken into three parts: The Praise of the divine goodness of our God. For at every liturgy, funerals included, the first and primary work is the praise and worship of Almighty God, who has been good to us, and through faith has saved...
  • "Rachel Weeping, and a Son Called out of Egypt" (Sermon for First Sunday after Christmas; Matthew 2)

    12/28/2013 4:09:13 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 29, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Rachel Weeping, and a Son Called out of Egypt” (Matthew 2:13-23) “To us a child is born, to us a son is given.” And his name is Jesus, of course. This child born in Bethlehem at Christmas. This son--Son of God, son of Mary--this son given to us to be our Savior. But what happens when Jesus is born? What happens when God gives his Son to the world? A whole bunch of bad stuff, apparently. A king goes crazy. A family has to flee to Egypt. Babies are killed. Mothers are weeping. And this is a gift?? Some kind...
  • "The Miracles of Christmas" (Sermon for Christmas Day, on John 1:1-18)

    12/24/2013 2:40:38 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 25, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Miracles of Christmas” (John 1:1-18)On this Christmas morning, I want to tell you about the miracles of Christmas. That’s right, “miracles,” plural. There are two great Christmas miracles proclaimed in our text today from John chapter 1. One is that the Son of God became man, and the other is that, because he did, we become the children of God. These are “The Miracles of Christmas” I want to talk to you about today. First, the Son of God became man. What a profound mystery this is for us to ponder! There is nothing more marvelous or wonderful than...
  • "Where Is God? Answer: Immanuel" (Sermon for Christmas Eve, on Matthew 1:18-25)

    12/23/2013 8:17:34 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 12 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 24, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Where Is God? Answer: Immanuel” (Matthew 1:18-25)Where is God in the midst of all of this? You hear this question all the time these days. Whenever there is a tragedy in the news, you hear people asking this question. “Where is God,” and then fill in the blank. Where is God when a tornado levels Moore, Oklahoma, or a typhoon devastates the Philippines? Where is God when there is a terrible school shooting--in Connecticut, in Colorado--and innocent children die? Where are you, God? Why did you let this happen? Or let’s bring it closer to home. Where is God when...
  • "Rejoicing in the God Who Has Taught Us" (Sermon on Psalm 71:17-18)

    12/21/2013 1:55:03 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 22, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Rejoicing in the God Who Has Taught Us” (Psalm 71:17-18)“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” These words from Philippians remind us that we have much to be joyful over. And indeed we do. Think of it: It’s Advent, almost Christmas, and so we rejoice over the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, first at Christmas, coming in the flesh to be born and live and die and rise again as our Savior, and coming again at the Last Day, a day we look forward to with great hope and anticipation, knowing that God will raise our...
  • "Hope of the Gentiles" (Advent sermon on Romans 15:4-13)

    12/11/2013 10:29:21 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 10 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 11, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Hope of the Gentiles” (Romans 15:4-13)In the reading from Romans that we just heard, there are two words that jump out at me. One of those words is found in the first verse of our text, which reads: “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” And this same word that I’m thinking of occurs again--twice--in the last verse of our text, as follows: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power...
  • "Advent Trees" (Sermon for the Second Sunday in Advent, on Matthew 3:1-12 and Isaiah 11:1-10)

    12/07/2013 4:37:17 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 8, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Advent Trees” (Matthew 3:1-12; Isaiah 11:1-10)You’ve heard of Christmas trees. But have you heard of “Advent trees”? No? Well, I hadn’t either. In fact, I just made that term up as I was thinking about our lessons for today. For in both the Holy Gospel and the Old Testament Reading, there’s quite a lot of “tree” talk going on: “tree,” “root,” “fruit,” “shoot,” and so on. It’s like an Advent arboretum. So let’s see what we are to make of all this, under the theme, “Advent Trees.” We’ll start in the Holy Gospel from Matthew 3. There John the Baptist...
  • "Light in the Darkness" (Advent sermon on Romans 13:8-14)

    12/04/2013 9:18:17 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 4, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Light in the Darkness” (Romans 13:8-14) Advent is a season of light. In fact, you could say that Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany--the whole three-month sequence centered around Christmas--each of these seasons could be called a season of light. Think of it: You’ve got the Advent wreath, with its candles for the four Sundays in Advent. You’ve got the Christmas tree, of course, with its tradition of being adorned with lights. And at Epiphany we think of the star that led the Wise Men to the Christ Child, and so we put an Epiphany star on top of the Christmas tree....
  • "Who Is This Jesus?" (Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent, on Matthew 21:1-11)

    11/30/2013 5:03:53 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 1, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Who Is This Jesus?” (Matthew 21:1-11)Today is the First Sunday in Advent. As it’s the beginning of Advent, and the word “Advent” means “Coming,” our readings today--particularly the Holy Gospel--focus our attention on the one who will be coming to us at Christmas, namely, the one who comes to us now in every church service, and who will come again on the last day at the end of time. So who is this one who comes to us in these ways? That’s what our text today gets at. And because today is the First Sunday in Advent, it is also...
  • "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" (Thanksgiving sermon on Lamentations 3:22-33)

    11/27/2013 10:28:10 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 7 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 28, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-33)“Great Is Thy Faithfulness”: The hymn our choir sang earlier and which we all will sing at the end of this service--this is definitely an appropriate hymn of thanksgiving and praise on this Day of Thanksgiving. How true are the words of the refrain: Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me! And since today is the Day of National Thanksgiving, we can also say the same thing about the Lord’s blessings on...
  • "Transferred to the Kingdom of His Son" (Sermon, Last Sunday of the Church Year, Colossians 1:13-20)

    11/23/2013 1:06:58 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 24, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Transferred to the Kingdom of His Son” (Colossians 1:13-20)Have you ever been transferred? People get transferred or relocated due to their work from time to time. The transfer can be a good thing or a bad thing; sometimes it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Just this past Friday, the third baseman for the Cardinals got transferred from St. Louis to “Los Angeles of Anaheim.” There will be plusses and minuses in this for Mr. Freese. On the downside, he won’t be a hometown hero out there, and the team he’ll be playing on is not as good as the...
  • "The Day Is Coming" (Sermon on Malachi 4:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-28)

    11/16/2013 7:55:01 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 17, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Day Is Coming” (Malachi 4:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-28)“The Day Is Coming.” “The Day Is Surely Drawing Near.” What day am I talking about? Thanksgiving? No, nobody cares much about Thanksgiving anymore, except for eating turkey and watching football and getting a head start on . . . Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, the big shopping day of the season--now that’s a day that lots of people get excited about! But no, that’s not the day I’m talking about. Oh, OK then, Christmas, that must be it. Only 37 shopping days left till Christmas! The...
  • "The God of the Living and the Sons of the Resurrection" (Sermon on Luke 20:27-40)

    11/09/2013 9:03:28 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 10, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The God of the Living and the Sons of the Resurrection” (Luke 20:27-40)In these days of November, as we near the end of the church year, our thoughts turn to the end times, the return of Christ, and, as we just confessed in the Creed, “the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” Our Scripture readings during these weeks reflect this emphasis. So it is with our lessons today. In particular, I want to direct our attention this morning to the Holy Gospel for today, from Luke 20, where Jesus speaks of “The God of the Living and the...
  • "Who We Are and What We Will Be" (Sermon for All Saints' Day, on 1 John 3:1-3)

    11/02/2013 10:02:20 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 3, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Who We Are and What We Will Be” (1 John 3:1-3)Today as we observe All Saints’ Day, we look back and remember with thanksgiving the saints who have gone before us, who now rest from their labors and are with the Lord. We look around us, and even though we cannot see them, we know that we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses to the faith, all of us united in the one great communion of saints, the whole church on earth and in heaven. And we look ahead, we look forward with hopefulness to the day...
  • "A Reformation in Catechesis" (Sermon for Reformation Day, on John 8:31-36)

    10/26/2013 4:02:44 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 11 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 27, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “A Reformation in Catechesis” (John 8:31-36)“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This is the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he spoke in John 8:31-32. His word is truth, and this truth sets us free. Free from all our sins, and from our slavery to sin. Free from the burden of the law, which would crush us with its demands we can never meet. Free from our bondage to death and the grave, free to live forever. Yes, “if the Son...
  • "A Parable of Persistent Prayer" (Sermon on Luke 18:1-8)

    10/19/2013 7:13:48 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 20, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “A Parable of Persistent Prayer” (Luke 18:1-8)The parable Jesus tells in the Holy Gospel for today, from Luke 18, is traditionally called the Parable of the Importunate Widow. “Importunate” is an old-timey kind of word. It means “persistent in making a request,” even to the point of becoming something of a bother. And that would describe the widow portrayed in this parable. She was importunate. She was persistent in her seeking justice from an unjust judge. And Jesus is saying, through this parable, that this is how we in the church should be--importunate, persistent. Thus our text today is “A...
  • "Mercy for the Marginalized" (Sermon on Luke 17:11-19)

    10/12/2013 8:01:55 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 13, 2013 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Mercy for the Marginalized” (Luke 17:11-19)The Holy Gospel for today from Luke 17, about the cleansing of the lepers, happens to be the assigned Gospel for the Day of Thanksgiving. And that makes sense. Jesus’ words about the one who came back to give thanks make it a natural for that occasion. But this text also shows up as a regular Sunday reading during the three-year lectionary, and thus it appears today. So this morning we’ll take a slightly different approach to this text than we would on Thanksgiving. Today we’ll emphasize the text’s theme of “Mercy for the Marginalized.”...