Keyword: sermon

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • "Lazarus: The One Whom God Helps" (Sermon on Luke 16:19-31)

    09/24/2016 10:59:51 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 25, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Lazarus: The One Whom God Helps” (Luke 16:19-31) This is the tale of two men. Which one would you rather be? It’s in a story that Jesus tells. It begins like this: “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.” Well, this is quite a contrast between these two guys. Which one would...
  • "Faithful Stewards" (Sermon on Luke 16:1-15)

    09/17/2016 11:05:53 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 18, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Faithful Stewards” (Luke 16:1-15) In the Gospel for today, Jesus tells the Parable of the Dishonest Manager. This story is also known as the Parable of the Unrighteous Steward. The terms are interchangeable: dishonest or unrighteous; manager or steward. But keeping the titles straight is the least of the problems with this parable. This text from Luke 16, on its surface, is a difficult one to understand. It seems that Jesus is commending the dishonest manager, the unrighteous steward, for his unrighteousness! And what does Jesus mean by, “make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth”? What’s that all...
  • "Jesus Receives, Rejoices over, and Restores Sinners" (Luke 15:1-10; 1 Timothy 1:5-17)

    09/10/2016 7:28:50 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 11, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Jesus Receives, Rejoices over, and Restores Sinners” (Luke 15:1-10; 1 Timothy 1:5-17) Jesus receives sinners. Do you qualify? If so, great, I’ve got good news for you today. Or do you not think you’re not that bad of a sinner? Well, in that case, you’re on your own. Good luck with that. Jesus receives sinners. That’s the message that comes through loud and clear in our Gospel reading today, from Luke chapter 15. And when Jesus receives sinners, he rejoices over them, he rejoices that they’ve been found and brought back. And not only does Jesus receive sinners, and not...
  • "When You Walk through Fire You Shall Not Be Burned" (Funeral sermon on Isaiah 43:1-7)

    09/07/2016 3:56:12 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 7, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “When You Walk through Fire You Shall Not Be Burned” (Isaiah 43:1-7) “When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” This is the Lord’s promise to his people. You heard it in the reading from Isaiah 43: “When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” “But, but, Pastor,” you say. “There it says that if we go through fire we will not be burned. But here we are at Doris’s funeral, and she went through a fire, that terrible house fire of...
  • "Like a Tree Planted by Streams of Water" (Sermon on Psalm 1)

    09/03/2016 10:52:14 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 4, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Like a Tree Planted by Streams of Water” (Psalm 1) One of the delights of late summer is all the delicious fruit that we get to enjoy, fruit that the fruit trees have produced: peaches, apples, cherries. Juicy, ripe, sweet--the fruit is so delicious. I think the peaches are my favorite. But those fruit trees could not have yielded all that good fruit unless they had a plentiful supply of water. They need the water to produce the fruit. In a way, that is a picture of our lives as Christians. We need the “water” of God’s word in order...
  • "Friend, Move Up Higher" (Sermon on Luke 14:1-14)

    08/27/2016 3:10:15 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 28, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Friend, Move Up Higher” (Luke 14:1-14)Suppose you’re invited to a banquet--a wedding banquet, for instance--so you get dressed up in your best clothes, and you get there, and you see some seats that are open at the various tables. You figure you’re a pretty important person, or you’d like to be seen as such, so you go up and take a seat up front, maybe even at the head table. But then some other guy comes in, and he doesn’t look all that impressive, and the host or the waiter comes over and tells you that you need to move...
  • "Strive to Enter through the Narrow Door" (Sermon on Luke 13:22-30)

    08/20/2016 10:14:30 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 21, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Strive to Enter through the Narrow Door” (Luke 13:22-30) Suppose there’s a big party, a grand banquet that you’ve heard about, and you really want to go and be there for this great event. So you go to the banquet hall, and you see a door there, and you walk up to it and try the handle. It doesn’t budge. The door seems to be locked. “Okay, no problem, I’ll try another door.” Which you do. You pull on the handle, it doesn’t move, same thing. Hmm. What’s the problem? “Oh, wait! Let me see if there’s another door around...
  • "Fire, Distress, and Division: This Is the Gospel of the Lord?" (Luke 12:49-53)

    08/13/2016 1:16:54 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 14, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Fire, Distress, and Division: This Is the Gospel of the Lord?” (Luke 12:49-53) “‘I came to cast fire on the earth. How great is my distress! I have come to bring division on earth. From now on households will be divided.’ This is the Gospel of the Lord.” Huh? Am I missing something here? “Fire, Distress, and Division: This Is the Gospel of the Lord?” How is this “gospel”? How is this good news? Yeah, this is one of those Gospel readings that make you shake your head and wonder what’s going on. The Jesus we meet here is not...
  • "Do Not Be Anxious: Faith Overcomes Fear" (Sermon on Luke 12:22-34)

    08/06/2016 11:02:53 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 7, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Do Not Be Anxious: Faith Overcomes Fear” (Luke 12:22-34) “Do not be anxious. Do not be worried. Fear not.” That’s what Jesus says to his disciples in our Gospel reading for today. He says we shouldn’t be so worried about our stuff, to not seek after more and more, like we’re obsessed about it. “Do not be anxious. Do not be worried. Fear not.” Well, OK, Jesus, I guess I’ll try. I’ll try not to be anxious. I’ll try not to be worried. I’ll try not to be afraid. And maybe I can do it. I mean, after all, I’ve...
  • "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry" (Sermon on Ecclesiastes 1-2, Luke 12, and Colossians 3)

    07/30/2016 9:55:53 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 31, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-26; Luke 12:13-21; Colossians 3:1-11) We all want to live the good life, don’t we? I mean, we want to have the best life now that we can have. Financial security, good health, no worries about our future, a nice place to live, happy family life, good friends and neighbors--who doesn’t want all that? Your best life now. Ah, wouldn’t that be sweet! A steak on the grill, a margarita in your hand, relaxing on the patio in the shade. Take life easy, eat, drink, and be merry! And is there anything...
  • "Raised, Rooted, and Walking" (Sermon on Colossians 2:6-15)

    07/23/2016 11:52:28 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 24, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Raised, Rooted, and Walking” (Colossians 2:6-15) “Raised, Rooted, and Walking”: This is the rhythm of the Christian life. “Raised, Rooted, and Walking”: This is God’s will for you, in your life. “Raised, Rooted, and Walking”: This is how Paul describes it in our Epistle lesson for today, from Colossians 2. Let’s take a look. Paul writes, in Colossians 2:6-7: “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Here we have all three aspects, the “Raised,” the “Rooted,”...
  • "Interdependence Day" (Sermon on Galatians 6:1-10, 14-18)

    07/02/2016 12:12:17 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 3, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Interdependence Day” (Galatians 6:1-10, 14-18) On July 4, 1776, the United States of America declared their independence from Great Britain. Ironically, just a few days ago, with its Brexit vote, Britain declared its independence from the European Union. What goes around comes around, I guess. But the point is independence. We don’t like other people, or nations, telling us what to do. “You’re not the boss of me!” we think about others. No, I’m not your boss. In fact, I’m your servant. And you know what? You’re called to be my servant, too. That’s how it works in the church....
  • "Following Jesus to the Cross" (Sermon on Luke 9:51-62)

    06/25/2016 9:52:00 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 26, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Following Jesus to the Cross” (Luke 9:51-62) Today Jesus says to us, “Follow me.” “Follow me,” he says. “Come, be my disciples.” “OK, we say. “Yes, Jesus I will follow you.” But do we know what we’re getting ourselves into? What all will following Jesus entail? Shouldn’t we know that before we answer too fast, “Yes, Lord”? Well, today we will hear what it will involve. For the truth of the matter is, we are “Following Jesus to the Cross.” That’s where Jesus himself is going: To the cross. That’s what it says in our text, the Holy Gospel from...
  • "Baptized Children of Our Heavenly Father" (Sermon on Galatians 3:23 – 4:7)

    06/19/2016 2:40:17 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 19, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Baptized Children of Our Heavenly Father” (Galatians 3:23 – 4:7) Today is Fathers’ Day, a day when we honor our fathers for the blessing that they are to us. And it is good and right that we do this. Now for many of us, our fathers are long gone. But that does not mean we don’t have a Father to honor today. In fact, I want to suggest to you that this is a great day to thank and praise our Father, that is, our heavenly Father. For you and I, we are “Baptized Children of Our Heavenly Father.” But...
  • "David's Sin and David's Son" (Sermon on 2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:10, 13-14)

    06/12/2016 2:19:59 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 12, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “David’s Sin and David’s Son” (2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:10, 13-14) Sin has its consequences. But sin can be forgiven. That’s what we learn today in the story of “David’s Sin and David’s Son.” First of all, though, I suppose we should review who this David fellow was. We’re talking about King David, the king of Israel, one of the most important figures in the whole Bible. If you can think back to your Sunday School days, you probably remember some things about this David. Remember that it was Saul originally who was king of Israel. But Saul disobeyed the...
  • "Authoritative Word, Marvelous Faith" (Sermon on Luke 7:1-10)

    05/29/2016 2:08:16 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 29, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Authoritative Word, Marvelous Faith” (Luke 7:1-10) It is hard to surprise or shock Jesus. It is hard to amaze him or cause him to marvel. It rarely happens. But today it does. It’s the story of the centurion asking for a healing for his servant, and how he asks it. This centurion causes Jesus to marvel. But it’s not just the story of the man’s faith. More so, it’s the story of what prompts this faith, what it is about Jesus that calls forth this faith. And so our theme this morning, “Authoritative Word, Marvelous Faith.” Let’s start with the...
  • "St. Patrick's Breastplate: I Bind unto Myself Today" (Sermon for the Holy Trinity)

    05/21/2016 10:13:12 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 22, 2016 | Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “St. Patrick’s Breastplate: I Bind unto Myself Today” In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! “What??” you’re saying. “Pastor, have you lost your mind? St. Patrick’s Day was back on March 17. This is now May something. What’s up with this ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’?” Well, alright, I’ll tell you, since you asked. This day is not really St. Patrick’s Day. But it is a day on which St. Patrick can teach us something about what this day really is about, and that is, it’s Trinity Sunday....
  • "Pentecost: A Firstfruits Harvest Festival" (Sermon for the Day of Pentecost, on Acts 2:1-41)

    05/14/2016 9:44:46 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 15, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Pentecost: A Firstfruits Harvest Festival” (Acts 2:1-41) What do you know about the Feast of Pentecost? If you’re like most people in the church today, I’m guessing not too much. Oh, maybe you know it has something to do with the coming of the Holy Spirit. And you would be right. But there’s more to it than that. OK, let’s see. Maybe you’ve heard that Pentecost is called “the birthday of the church.” Well, alright, there’s something to that. Maybe somewhere along the line you heard that people can wear red to church on Pentecost Sunday. And that does match...
  • "Behold, I Am Coming Soon" (Sermon for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, on Acts 1 and Revelation 22)

    05/07/2016 8:07:17 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 8, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Behold, I Am Coming Soon” (Acts 1:1-11; Revelation 22:1-6, 12-20) Take a look at the picture over our altar. Of course, it’s a painting of the Ascension of Our Lord, that time when Jesus ascended into heaven. But if you didn’t know that, and you just look at Jesus there midway in the sky, you might wonder: Is he going up or is he coming down? It looks like it could be either. For just as Jesus ascended into heaven on Ascension Day, so too will he come down from heaven when he returns in glory on the Last Day....
  • "Tribulation and Peace, Guaranteed" (Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, on John 16:23-33)

    05/01/2016 5:28:12 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 1, 2016 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Tribulation and Peace, Guaranteed” (John 16:23-33) There are very few guarantees in life, very few things you can be sure of. For instance, there are no guarantees about the success of your baseball team. The Chicago Cubs were riding high in April, but who knows if they will be shot down in May? No guarantees. You have no guarantee that you’re going to be rich, or, if you are, that you’re going to stay that way. Things could go south in a hurry. You have no guarantee about your health. You could be fit as a fiddle one year and...
  • "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...