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Keyword: sermon

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  • "A Whole New World" (Sermon for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, on Revelation 21:1-7)

    04/24/2016 12:00:44 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 24, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “A Whole New World” (Revelation 21:1-7) “A Whole New World”: Aladdin may sing about it, but God will deliver it. Are you looking forward to it? You should be, and today I’ll tell you why. Yes, a whole new world. That’s what John sees in our reading today from Revelation 21. A new heaven, a new earth, a new Jerusalem. And he who is seated on the throne says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” We’re coming into the last two chapters of the Bible now, and we get a glimpse of where all this is headed. And it...
  • "Our Guiding, Guarding Good Shepherd" (Sermon for Fourth Sunday of Easter; John 10; Acts 20; Rev. 7)

    04/16/2016 11:34:35 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 17, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Our Guiding, Guarding Good Shepherd” (John 10:22-30; Acts 20:17-35; Revelation 7:9-17) Today is “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Every year on this Sunday in the Easter season we focus our attention on Jesus as our good shepherd. On this day every year our psalm is Psalm 23, “The LORD is my shepherd.” On this day every year the Holy Gospel is a portion of John 10, the chapter in which Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Every year on this Sunday the other...
  • "Worthy Is the Lamb" (Sermon for the Third Sunday of Easter, on Revelation 5:1-14)

    04/09/2016 9:00:08 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 10, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Worthy Is the Lamb” (Revelation 5:1-14) In this presidential election year, we look around at the various candidates in both parties, and we ask ourselves, “Who is worthy? Who is worthy of holding the highest office in the land?” And we look at the candidates, and we examine and scrutinize their various failings and shortcomings, and we say to ourselves, “I’m not sure if any of them are worthy! Is there no one out there I can put my confidence in, someone I can trust to hold this high office and do the right thing? After all, the presidency is...
  • "Death Is Swallowed Up in Victory" (Funeral sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:51-57)

    04/02/2016 9:19:16 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 2, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Death Is Swallowed Up in Victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-57) Chuck, and the friends and family of our sister Gwen: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. First I want to say that you have our sympathy upon your loss. It is always tough to lose someone you have known and loved for many years. It is painful. It feels like we have a hole in our heart. And so we want to be with you at this time and give you our support. And certainly it is good to see the people here...
  • The Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom

    03/27/2016 12:49:39 PM PDT · by NYer · 9 replies
    Church of St. Michael ^ | March 27, 2016 | Fr. George Rutler
    This week in place of the regular Pastor's Column, we share the Paschal joy of the Hieratikon (Catechetical Sermon) of Saint John Chrysostom. Are there any who are devout lovers of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival! Are there any who are grateful servants? Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord! Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages! If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward; If any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast! And...
  • "If Christ Has Not Been Raised" (Sermon for Easter Day, on 1 Corinthians 15:1-26)

    03/26/2016 10:05:08 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 27, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “If Christ Has Not Been Raised” (1 Corinthians 15:1-26) Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!) Yes, he is risen indeed! Risen from the dead! Risen bodily. And everything depends on this. Your faith, your forgiveness, your future. Your eternal future. The future of your loved ones who have died in the Lord. Everything hinges on this great and glorious fact: that Christ has indeed risen from the dead. But what if Christ has not risen from the dead? What then? What would be the consequences? You know, not everyone believes that Christ has risen from the dead....
  • "Not One of His Bones Will Be Broken" (Sermon for Good Friday, on John 19:31-37)

    03/25/2016 4:32:38 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 11 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 25, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Not One of His Bones Will Be Broken” (John 19:31-37) It’s Friday, and darkness falls over the land. On a cross, a man who has been nailed there is dying a shameful and agonizing death. Yet this is no criminal. This is the most righteous and innocent man who has ever walked the earth. Indeed, this is the very Son of God, come in the flesh. Why is this happening? Why is God allowing this to happen? And couldn’t this man Jesus, who displayed such amazing power on other occasions--couldn’t he have stopped this? So was this one gigantic screw-up...
  • "Love One Another, as I Have Loved You" (Sermon for Holy Thursday, on John 13:1-17, 31b-35)

    03/24/2016 11:26:53 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 24, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Love One Another, as I Have Loved You” (John 13:1-17, 31b-35) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” So said Jesus to his disciples on the night when he was betrayed. “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” So says Jesus to his disciples here on this night, as we are gathered in his name and he is here with us. Thus our theme for tonight, Jesus’ commandment to his disciples both then and now: “Love...
  • "He Humbled Himself" (Sermon for Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion, on Philippians 2:5-11)

    03/20/2016 12:28:40 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 20, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “He Humbled Himself” (Philippians 2:5-11) Have you ever been humbled? Yes, humbled, brought low. Maybe you were humbled when you got beat really badly in a game of Scrabble. Maybe you won that game of Scrabble, and you got the big head, so God had to humble you in some other way. Or think about the March Madness that’s going on right now. Sometimes there is an occasional upset, but usually, when a #16 seed has to face a #1 seed in the opening round, it can be pretty humbling. To be humbled is not a pleasant experience. Often when...
  • "Love God, Love Your Neighbor" (Sermon on the Ten Commandments)

    03/09/2016 6:48:32 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 7 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 9, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Love God, Love Your Neighbor” (The Ten Commandments) “Love God, Love Your Neighbor”: Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? And it is. It is simple. And it is good and right and holy. This is how life is meant to work. This is how God created us to live. Love God and love your neighbor. If everybody operated like this, life would go along pretty swimmingly. If I operated like this--in every decision, in every situation, in every thought, word, and deed--being guided by these two principles, loving God and loving my neighbor--well, I suppose I’d have to get a whole...
  • "The Prodigal Celebration" (Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)

    03/05/2016 9:51:43 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 6, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Prodigal Celebration” (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32) Our text today is the Holy Gospel from Luke 15. It is the famous and well-loved Parable of the Prodigal Son. But today I want to suggest to you that we might also call it the Parable of “The Prodigal Celebration.” More on that later. But first we should set the scene for this parable in the ministry of Jesus. Thus far in his ministry Jesus has been preaching the good news of the kingdom. He has been calling sinners to repentance, so that they would receive from him forgiveness for their sins. Jesus...
  • "Loving God with Our Mouth and Ears" (Sermon on the Ten Commandments)

    03/02/2016 6:48:03 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 2, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Loving God with Our Mouth and Ears” (The Ten Commandments) We started off this series on the Ten Commandments with, obviously, the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods.” There is but one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, namely, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is no other. We should fear, love, and trust in this God above all things. So this is the First--and foremost--Commandment, the one that encompasses all the commandments and runs through them all. “You shall have no other gods.” That’s what we should not do. But Moses also...
  • "Examples from the Exodus" (Sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent, on 1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

    02/27/2016 11:37:07 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 28, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Examples from the Exodus” (1 Corinthians 10:1-13) Some good examples can be instructive for us on what to do. We learn from watching others. Children learn from their parents, about how to speak, how to tie their shoelaces, about how to treat other people. We also learn from reading about others and how they handled things in the past. The example of some outstanding figure from history can inspire and instruct us on how we should conduct ourselves. Good examples are important. But then so are bad examples. We can learn from bad examples of what not to do, of...
  • "Our Citizenship Is in Heaven" (Sermon for the Second Sunday in Lent, on Philippians 3:17 - 4:1)

    02/20/2016 6:55:05 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 21, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Our Citizenship Is in Heaven" (Philippians 3:17 - 4:1) Citizenship is a big deal in our country right now, especially since this is an election year. There is talk about how to keep non-citizens out, how to keep them from entering our country. There is talk about which candidate or candidates may or may not be "natural born citizens" and thus eligible to run, and about what that term "natural born citizen" actually means. Our attention is drawn to our rights as citizens, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. And we think of our duties as citizens, to be well-informed...
  • "The First Commandment: Have No Other Gods" (Sermon on the Ten Commandments)

    02/17/2016 8:47:22 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 20 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 17, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "The First Commandment: Have No Other Gods" (The Ten Commandments) "You shall have no other gods." OK, that sounds pretty simple. "Have No Other Gods"? Yeah, I can do that. After all, I don't bow down to any idols of wood or stone. I don't worship the Buddha or that crazy god of the Muslims, Allah. No, I'm a good American! You won't catch me worshiping any other gods than the good old-fashioned American God, you know, the Big Guy upstairs. So I guess I'm good to go. If the rest of these Ten Commandments are as easy as the...
  • "The Transfiguration--and Exodus--of Our Lord" (Sermon on Luke 9:28-36)

    02/06/2016 5:03:56 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 7, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "The Transfiguration--and Exodus--of Our Lord" (Luke 9:28-36) Today is the Transfiguration of Our Lord. This is the festival we celebrate every year on the last Sunday after the Epiphany. We have seen Christ's glory as the incarnate Son of God being manifested throughout the Epiphany season, beginning with the visit of the wise men on Epiphany itself. At the Baptism of Our Lord, Christ's messiahship was attested and affirmed by the Holy Spirit descending on him in the form of a dove and the voice of the Father coming from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am...
  • "Life and Love in the Body of Christ" (Sermon on 1 Corinthians 12:1 - 13:13)

    01/30/2016 8:04:45 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 31, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Life and Love in the Body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:1 - 13:13) I don't know if you noticed it, but today and for the last two weeks our Epistle reading has come from 1 Corinthians. That's One Corinthians, by the way, not Two Corinthians. I haven't preached on these texts, having preached instead on the Holy Gospel readings from John and Luke, respectively. But today I think I will preach on these 1 Corinthians readings, taking all three of them together. I've been saving them up for today, because today we have our annual voters' meeting to elect new...
  • "Jesus' Inaugural Address" (Sermon for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany, on Luke 4:16-30)

    01/23/2016 7:27:17 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 24, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Jesus' Inaugural Address" (Luke 4:16-30) In just about one year from now, the new President of the United States of America will give his (or her) inaugural address. Having just been inaugurated into office, the new president will give a speech outlining the plans and priorities of the new administration. Often these are stated in lofty terms, trying to capture the hopes and aspirations of the people, which the new president will seek to accomplish. The inaugural address is intended to set the tone for the administration, right from the outset, to be conveyed in memorable terms and phrases. The...
  • "The Wedding at Cana" (Sermon for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, on John 2:1-11)

    01/16/2016 11:55:56 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 10 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 17, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "The Wedding at Cana" (John 2:1-11) It is sometimes the case with a biblical text that one can draw various points from it without exhausting all the points that are there to be had. I think that is the case with our text for today, Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana, from John chapter 2. There are a number of points or sub-points we can draw from this passage without getting to what I think is perhaps the main point. So let's see how that goes now with this story of "The Wedding at Cana." So...
  • "When You Pass through the Waters" (Sermon for the Baptism of Our Lord, on Isaiah 43:1-7)

    01/09/2016 9:06:37 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 10, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "When You Pass through the Waters" (Isaiah 43:1-7) With the recent floods of late December and early January, we certainly witnessed the destructive impact those waters can have. Highways were shut down. A stretch of I-55 was closed for days. Highway 141 at I-44 was underwater for a week. Homes were damaged. I think the most dramatic and memorable image I saw was video of a house literally floating down the Meramec River. And the people affected by the flooding went through and, in many cases, still are going through, a rough time. Maybe you yourself were not affected by...
  • "Epiphany: Mystery Made Known" (Sermon for the Epiphany of Our Lord, on Ephesians 3:1-12)

    01/06/2016 8:40:17 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 6, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Epiphany: Mystery Made Known" (Ephesians 3:1-12)I love a good mystery. Whether it's Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, it's fun to track with the detective as he discovers the clues and uses his "little grey cells" and eventually comes to the solution of the mystery. What had long been hidden now is revealed, and we the readers finally know "whodunit." I love a good mystery. And tonight, on Epiphany, we have one. A good mystery, I mean. A very good mystery, full of good news for you and me. What was long hidden has now been revealed. It was there all...
  • "The Things of My Father" (Sermon for the Second Sunday after Christmas, on Luke 2:40-52)

    01/02/2016 6:09:05 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 3, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "The Things of My Father" (Luke 2:40-52) Maybe you've seen the GEICO commercial of Peter Pan going to a class reunion. Peter Pan is portrayed as a twelve-year-old boy who has never grown up. His classmates, though, have aged naturally, and now they're all in their upper sixties. As a twelve-year-old boy, Peter is still young and immature and kind of smart-alecky. He tricks one man into going for a high-five, but then Peter pokes him in the stomach. And to a woman who presumably is about 67 or 68, he says, "You don't look a day over seventy, am...
  • "The Word Became Flesh and Tabernacled among Us" (Sermon for Christmas Day, on John 1:1-18)

    12/24/2015 9:14:48 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 25, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "The Word Became Flesh and Tabernacled among Us" (John 1:1-18) "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." This verse, John 1:14, is one of the most profound sentences ever written. Because it expresses and puts into words one of the most profound mysteries that has ever occurred in human history: that the eternal Son of God, through whom all things were created, at a certain point in time took on human flesh, became our brother, and that this...
  • "Born for You a Savior" (Sermon for Christmas Eve, on Luke 2:1-20)

    12/24/2015 8:15:25 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 24, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Born for You a Savior" (Luke 2:1-20) "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." So the angel brought the good news of great joy to the shepherds. And so the good news comes to us tonight: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Let's consider now, and let us rejoice in, this glorious announcement, under the theme, "Born for You a Savior." In particular, I want us to zero in on three terms the angel uses...
  • "Spirit-Given Faith Greets the Savior" (Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, on Luke 1:39-56)

    12/19/2015 10:03:52 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 20, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Spirit-Given Faith Greets the Savior" (Luke 1:39-56) We're coming near the end of Advent, and it's time to greet the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ--not only at Christmas, but also when he comes again. Are you ready? Are you prepared? How will you greet him? Our Gospel reading today shows us how to greet him when he comes. In faith. What does that mean, "in faith"? And where does that faith come from? We'll find that out, too, as the word of the Lord comes to us today, under the theme, "Spirit-Given Faith Greets the Savior." In the Holy...
  • "A Ruler from Bethlehem" (Advent sermon on Micah 5:2-5a)

    12/16/2015 7:03:05 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 16, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "A Ruler from Bethlehem" (Micah 5:2-5a) So which is it? "Too little" or "by no means least"? We're talking about Bethlehem here. On the one hand, the prophet Micah says that Bethlehem is "too little to be among the clans of Judah." But then on the other hand, in Matthew 2, we hear the chief priests and the elders saying that Bethlehem is "by no means least among the rulers of Judah." So what gives here? This sounds like two opposite views about Bethlehem: on the one hand, "little," and on the other hand, "by no means little." Well, there...
  • "Or Shall We Look for Another?" (Sermon for the Third Sunday in Advent, on Luke 7:18-35)

    12/12/2015 10:48:41 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 13, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Or Shall We Look for Another?" (Luke 7:18-35) Options, options. Comparison shopping. Never satisfied. Always looking. The grass is always greener. That's how people are these days. They swipe a new profile on an online dating site, and they think, "Well, he looks interesting," or "She looks kinda nice," but, "but maybe I can find someone better." That's how our culture is these days. 500 channels to choose from. 6,000 websites to browse. Moving on, moving on. Always looking for something or someone better. Never content. Never satisfied. Always disappointed. No one ever lives up to our expectations. Well, we...
  • "The Messenger of the Covenant" (Advent sermon on Malachi 3:1-7b)

    12/10/2015 12:54:25 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 9, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "The Messenger of the Covenant" (Malachi 3:1-7b) Which messenger is which? There are two messengers mentioned in our text for today from Malachi 3--in fact, three messengers, if you include Malachi himself. So which messenger is which? We'll try to explain and untangle all this now, and we'll direct our attention especially to the most important of these messengers, namely, "The Messenger of the Covenant." The messenger of the covenant--he certainly is prominent in our text. But there's a messenger who comes before him, and he's mentioned too--that's the messenger who will prepare the way before the Lord. So that...
  • "Bear Fruits in Keeping with Repentance" (Sermon for the Second Sunday in Advent; Luke 3:1-14)

    12/05/2015 1:15:44 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 6, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Bear Fruits in Keeping with Repentance" (Luke 3:1-14) It's Advent. Advent is a season of hope and anticipation, as we look forward to our Lord's coming, both at Christmas and on the Last Day. But besides hope and anticipation, Advent is also a season of repentance. It is a penitential season. And this mood of repentance is also tied to our Lord's coming. For it is by repentance that we prepare the way of the Lord. Repentance is the proper preparation that befits the coming of our Lord. And not just a vague, nebulous feeling of repentance. But more than...
  • "A Righteous Branch" (Advent sermon on Jeremiah 33:14-16)

    12/02/2015 9:18:27 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 2, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "A Righteous Branch" (Jeremiah 33:14-16) Yes, God did speak to his people of old by the prophets, and in many and various ways. And yes, now in these last days, God has spoken to us by his Son. But what I want us to do during this midweek Advent series is to see the connection between the two, namely, between how God spoke by his prophets and how God has spoken by his Son. There is a connection between the two. For those prophets of old, the Old Testament prophets, spoke of the coming of God's Son. They prophesied his...
  • "Blessed is the King Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!" (Sermon, First Sunday in Advent, Luke)

    11/28/2015 4:07:25 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 29, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Blessed is the King Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!" (Luke 19:28-40) As you can tell from the change in the color of the paraments and from the presence of the Advent wreath and from one candle being lit on the Advent wreath, today is the First Sunday in Advent. And the traditional Gospel reading for the First Sunday in Advent is the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem to the acclaim of the crowds, as you just heard. But now you may be wondering, "The triumphal entry into Jerusalem--isn't that a reading for Palm Sunday? Why are we...
  • "Thanking God for This Good Land" (Sermon for Thanksgiving Day, on Deuteronomy 8:1-10)

    11/25/2015 9:43:09 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 26, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Thanking God for This Good Land" (Deuteronomy 8:1-10) Today is the Day of National Thanksgiving. This is the day set aside for Americans to go to their churches and give thanks to God for his many blessings on our nation--which is why we are here today. And surely we have much to be thankful for, not least of which is this good land God has given us. So many natural resources, in such abundance! As we reflect on this, we are reminded of what Moses told the Israelites: "And you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land...
  • "Therefore Let Us Draw Near, Hold Fast, and Stir Up" (Sermon on Hebrews 10:11-25)

    11/15/2015 2:09:53 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 15, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Therefore Let Us Draw Near, Hold Fast, and Stir Up" (Hebrews 10:11-25) Last week we looked at Hebrews 9, where we are told that Christ is our high priest. Today we continue on into Hebrews 10, where the writer expands on what it means that Christ is our high priest and then goes on to say what the implications of that are for our life. And we can sum those up this morning in three ways. Since Christ is our high priest, "Therefore Let Us Draw Near, Hold Fast, and Stir Up." Draw near, hold fast, and stir up. Let...
  • "Born a Priest, Made a Pastor" (Sermon on Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16)

    11/11/2015 2:10:39 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 7 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 10, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Born a Priest, Made a Pastor" (Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16)Circuit Pastors' Conference, November 10, 2015Today is Martin Luther's birthday. He's 532 today, although I'd say he doesn't look a day over 490. Yes, it was on this day, November 10, in the year 1483, that Hans and Margaretha Luther had a baby boy, in the town of Eisleben, Saxony. The next day, November 11, that little squirming baby was taken to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, there in Eisleben, and he was baptized. Since it was November 11, the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, the boy...
  • "Christ Is Our High Priest" (Sermon on Hebrews 9:24-28)

    11/08/2015 10:46:22 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 8, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Christ Is Our High Priest" (Hebrews 9:24-28) Our Epistle reading today from the Book of Hebrews talks about a high priest entering into holy places made with hands. It talks about this high priest entering these holy places every year with blood not his own. And when we hear these kinds of references, which are all over the place in the Book of Hebrews, we may be asking ourselves, "What is all this 'high priest' business? Where are these 'holy places'? And what does this have to do with me?" Well, hang on, we'll explain these things and what they...
  • "Church Militant, Church Triumphant: All Saints" (Sermon for All Saints' Day, on Revelation 7:2-17

    10/31/2015 8:35:05 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 1, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    "Church Militant, Church Triumphant: All Saints" (Revelation 7:2-17)Today, November 1, is All Saints' Day on the church-year calendar. This is a day for remembering our departed fellow Christians--those saints of old, as well as those from our own past--who have fallen asleep in Jesus and who now rest from their labors. Today we give thanks to God for keeping them in the faith; we are encouraged by the example of their perseverance amid affliction; and we rejoice and are filled with hope as we look forward to the glory that awaits us all. All Saints' Day serves all of these...
  • "The Law and the Prophets Bear Witness" (Sermon for Reformation Day, on Romans 3:19-28)

    10/24/2015 7:22:27 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 25, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Law and the Prophets Bear Witness” (Romans 3:19-28)Today being the last Sunday in October, this is the day we observe Reformation Day, celebrating what happened 498 years ago, when, on October 31, 1517, Dr. Martin Luther went to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, and there posted 95 Theses questioning the sale of indulgences. That was the beginning of the great Reformation of the church, and as Lutherans we are here today as the beneficiaries of that movement and that heritage. We thank God that he used Luther as his instrument to bring the clear gospel of Christ to...
  • "Entering His Rest" (Sermon on Hebrews 4:1-13)

    10/17/2015 11:44:07 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 18, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Entering His Rest” (Hebrews 4:1-13) If you’ve ever had to work and work and work, if you’ve ever been worn out and exhausted, when you feel like you can’t go on but you have to, when you’re drained and tired and spent--at times like those, you know how refreshing it is, and what a relief it is, to finally get a rest. Rest: It can be such a welcome word. To be able to just kick back and relax. The pressure is off, the burden is lifted. Take a load off and chillax, bro! A little R & R is...
  • "You Will Have Treasure in Heaven" (Sermon on Mark 10:17-22)

    10/10/2015 3:50:03 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 11, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “You Will Have Treasure in Heaven” (Mark 10:17-22) Today we have the story of the rich young ruler. It’s a story of idolatry, repentance, and faith--the declining of repentance and faith, actually, even though Jesus lovingly calls this young man to it. And so this is a story about Jesus, ultimately, and how he calls each of us to give up on our idols and to follow him in faith. This is a story about the love of Jesus for sinners--it is a story for you, so that you will inherit eternal life, that “You Will Have Treasure in Heaven.”...
  • "Receive the Kingdom of God like a Child" (Sermon on Mark 10:2-16 and Hebrews 2:1-18)

    10/04/2015 2:34:52 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 4, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Receive the Kingdom of God like a Child” (Mark 10:2-16; Hebrews 2:1-18) How would you like to enter the kingdom of God? I know I would. After all--literally, after all--the kingdom of God will be the only thing going. It is an everlasting kingdom, filled with peace and joy and life and blessing, and it will last forever. So who would not want to enter it? You’d have to be a fool not to. No, the kingdom of God--it’s the best thing going, and there’s nothing else like it. So the question arises: How do you get in? How do...
  • "It Is Better for You" (Sermon on Mark 9:38-50)

    09/27/2015 2:08:48 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 27, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “It Is Better for You” (Mark 9:38-50)You don’t hear a lot of people talking about hell. It’s not a very popular topic. Modern ears are too sensitive to hear any talk of God actually judging people and sending them to hell. How dare he! Who does he think he is, God? Well, yeah. He can make that call. He is the almighty Judge, who is always righteous in his judgments. But the Bible does speak of God’s judgment and eternal damnation. Even so, you don’t hear a lot of sermons that even mention hell. Well, today you will. Because Jesus...
  • "The Rhythm of the Christian Life: Repentance, Faith, and Servanthood" (Sermon on James 3-4, Mark 9)

    09/19/2015 11:36:03 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 20, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Rhythm of the Christian Life: Repentance, Faith, and Servanthood” (James 3:13 – 4:10; Mark 9:30-37)As I was reading through the lessons for this day, I was thinking, “What would make a good message for us to hear today, something timely and fitting and that would apply to us all? What is God’s word saying to us through these readings?” And as I mulled those questions over in my mind, what began to emerge from the lessons--particularly from the Epistle of James and the Gospel of Mark--what I began to see is this: These readings portray very vividly and plainly...
  • "Taming the Tongue" (Sermon on James 3:1-12 and Isaiah 50:4-10)

    09/13/2015 1:38:42 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 13, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Taming the Tongue” (James 3:1-12; Isaiah 50:4-10)Maybe you’ve seen it in the news this past week: There are wildfires raging throughout California, burning out of control. Large stretches of forests are being destroyed; homes are being threatened. What started these fires? Who knows? In one case, it might have been a lightning strike, starting with just one or two trees catching on fire and then spreading rapidly. In another case, it may have just been a careless campfire, left unattended. Something small like that can start and spread and cause untold damage. That’s how wildfires go. But did you hear...
  • "The Deaf Hear and the Mute Speak" (Sermon on Mark 7:31-37)

    09/05/2015 10:06:18 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    http://stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 6, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Deaf Hear and the Mute Speak” (Mark 7:31-37)Maybe you’ve seen the videos on YouTube or through your Facebook feed. They’re videos of deaf people who hear sounds for the first time. It’s really quite remarkable. You see, there are implants now that doctors can put into people’s ears, called cochlear implants, and when these devices are activated, the deaf person can immediately hear sounds for the first time. And so these videos record the reactions of these people who are hearing for the first time in their lives. They show babies who are hearing their parents’ voice for the...
  • "Marriage, God's Way" (Sermon on Ephesians 5:22-33)

    08/22/2015 9:53:13 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 23, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Marriage, God’s Way” (Ephesians 5:22-33)News story from this summer: Jared Fogle, former spokesman for Subway sandwiches, pleads guilty to criminal sexual charges, and now his wife is filing for divorce. News story from this summer: Josh Duggar, one of the stars of the reality program, “19 Kids and Counting,” is discovered to have an account with a web service designed for arranging extramarital affairs. News story from this summer: The United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, strikes down state laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, thus allowing same-sex “marriage” in all fifty...
  • "Wisdom for Your Walk" (Sermon on Proverbs 9:1-10; Ephesians 5:6-21; John 6:51-69)

    08/16/2015 1:15:29 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 16, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Wisdom for Your Walk” (Proverbs 9:1-10; Ephesians 5:6-21; John 6:51-69)If I had to sum up a theme running through our lessons for today, and one that will be helpful for you, it is that here you will find “Wisdom for Your Walk.” You see, the Old Testament lesson from Proverbs is the call of wisdom to walk in the way of insight. The Epistle reading from Ephesians calls us to walk as children of the light and to look carefully how we walk, not as unwise but as wise. And in the Holy Gospel for today, from John 6, we...
  • "The Bread of Life" (Sermon on John 6:35-51)

    08/08/2015 11:30:48 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 9, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Bread of Life” (John 6:35-51)Today is the second of three straight Sundays in which the Holy Gospel is a portion of Jesus’ “Bread of Life” discourse from John chapter 6. “I am the bread of life,” Jesus declares, several times in John 6, and that is the motif running through this chapter. Last week we heard Jesus say, “My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” And then he said, in the verse that concluded last week’s reading and also...
  • "Receiving God's Gifts: Grumbling or Grateful?" (Sermon on Exodus 16, John 6, Ephesians 4)

    08/01/2015 11:00:05 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 2, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Receiving God’s Gifts: Grumbling or Grateful?” (Exodus 16:2-15; John 6:22-35; Ephesians 4:1-16)There is a theme that runs through all three of our lessons today. Did you spot it? It is the theme of God’s gifts. In the reading from Exodus, in the reading from Ephesians, and in the reading from John--in each of those readings, God is busy giving gifts to his people. Our God is a gracious and giving God, there is no doubt about that. But how God’s people receive his gifts--how we receive the gifts God gives to us--now that can be quite another question. Do we...
  • "God's Building Project" (Sermon on Ephesians 2:11-22)

    07/18/2015 10:51:01 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 19, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “God’s Building Project” (Ephesians 2:11-22) “Built on the Rock the Church shall stand.” “Christ is our cornerstone.” “The Church’s one foundation.” These hymns that we’re singing this morning--they’re all drawing on the imagery of our text today, the Epistle reading from Ephesians 2, specifically, from verses 19-22: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in...
  • "Blessings in Christ: Past, Present, and Future" (Sermon on Ephesians 1:3-14)

    07/11/2015 8:01:12 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 12, 2015 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Blessings in Christ: Past, Present, and Future” (Ephesians 1:3-14)Today is the beginning of eight straight weeks in which the Epistle reading is a portion of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. And at the same time, as soon as we wrap up our study of Mark, I plan to start Ephesians for our Bible class on Sunday mornings. So I encourage you to read through this wonderful epistle, perhaps even a couple of times, over these coming weeks. If I had to choose my favorite epistle in the New Testament, I just might pick Ephesians. There is so much here,...