Free Republic 1st Qtr 2021 Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $84,412
95%  
Woo hoo!! And now less than $3.6k to go!! Let's get 'er done. Thank you all very much!! God bless.

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  • "'Follow Me': The Call to Discipleship" (Lenten sermon on Mark 1:14-20)

    02/24/2021 9:39:58 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 24, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “‘Follow Me’: The Call to Discipleship” (Mark 1:14-20) Today we begin a series of four messages based on the four “Follow me” sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. “Follow me”: In saying those words, Jesus was calling people back then to be his disciples. “Follow me”: Jesus is still saying those words to us today. He is calling us to be his disciples. So hear him now, as Jesus says to each one of us: “Follow Me.” Our first entry in this midweek series has to do precisely with “The Call to Discipleship.” We hear it in our...
  • "In the Wilderness" (Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent, on Mark 1:9-15)

    02/20/2021 3:17:31 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 21, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “In the Wilderness” (Mark 1:9-15)Today is the First Sunday in Lent, and every year on this Sunday the Holy Gospel is an account of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness. This year the reading comes from Mark’s gospel. It’s the shortest, and the most compact and condensed, of the three accounts, but still it has much to speak to us today. So now let’s join our Lord “In the Wilderness.” As I say, this account is very brief, just two verses, as follows: “The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being...
  • "Repent and Believe in the Gospel" (Sermon for Ash Wednesday, on Mark 1:1-20)

    02/17/2021 6:58:17 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 37 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 17, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Repent and Believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:1-20) Today is Ash Wednesday, the first of the forty days of Lent. And while we’re not able to meet in person today, due to adverse travel conditions, we still are able to meet here, online, to meditate on God’s Word. And we’re thankful for that. One thing we’re encouraging our people to do this year for our Lenten devotion is to “Read Mark.” That is, we have recommended a schedule for reading through the Gospel of Mark over the forty days of Lent. The readings average only about seventeen verses a day,...
  • "Christ's Transfiguration and Our Hope of Glory" (Sermon for the Transfiguration of Our Lord, on Mark 9:2-9)

    02/13/2021 8:39:05 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 14, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Christ’s Transfiguration and Our Hope of Glory” (Mark 9:2-9) O wondrous type! O vision fair Of glory that the Church may share, Which Christ upon the mountain shows, Where brighter than the sun He glows! So we just sang, and so we will now hear, under the theme, “Christ’s Transfiguration and Our Hope of Glory.” Our text is the reading from Mark chapter 9. It begins: “And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely...
  • "The Jesus Vaccine" (Sermon on Mark 1:29-39)

    02/06/2021 5:55:24 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 7, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Jesus Vaccine” (Mark 1:29-39) Have you gotten the vaccine yet? That’s a question that’s been going “viral” lately (yes, pun intended). Have you gotten the vaccine? Everybody’s talking about that, because the vaccine is supposed to protect you from the virus--the Coronavirus, Covid-19. And so, people are lining up at the various vaccination sites in order to get the shot--or two shots, as the case may be. There are a couple of different vaccines available. The two I’ve heard about are the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer. And so far, the results sound encouraging. The numbers I heard Friday...
  • "Exclamation Mark: Immediately! Authority! Astonished!" (Mark 1:21-28)

    01/30/2021 7:58:33 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 31, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Exclamation Mark: Immediately! Authority! Astonished!” (Mark 1:21-28) The featured gospel in our lectionary this year is the Gospel according to St. Mark. While all four gospels are telling the same story, the story of Jesus, and all four are inspired by the Holy Spirit, each gospel writer tells the Jesus story in his own individual style. And what all readers notice about the way Mark tells the story is the sense of urgency and action he conveys and how the story moves along. Jesus is thrown into conflict right away. We move from one event to another in rapid fashion....
  • "When Jesus Calls, We Follow" (Sermon on Mark 1:14-20)

    01/23/2021 5:55:08 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 24, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “When Jesus Calls, We Follow” (Mark 1:14-20) “Hark, the voice of Jesus calling, ‘Who will go and work today?’” Yes, true, Jesus calls us “to work for God’s kingdom and answer his call.” But first things first. Before our Lord calls us to go and work, he first calls us to come and receive. Jesus calls us to repent and believe. He calls us to come and follow him. Then we take up the tasks he gives us. And so our theme this morning: “When Jesus Calls, We Follow.” Our text today is the Holy Gospel from Mark 1. Jesus...
  • "Feasting and Fellowship Forever" (Funeral sermon on Isaiah 25:6-9 and Revelation 7:9-17)

    01/21/2021 7:13:00 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 21, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Feasting and Fellowship Forever” (Isaiah 25:6-9; Revelation 7:9-17) Our brother Ron has died, and we feel the loss. And especially you, John, for Ron was not only your brother in Christ, he was also your father in the flesh. But for all of us who knew him, we will miss Ron. For our congregation here at St. Matthew’s, Ron was a reliable and faithful presence, coming to church whenever he was physically able, stationed back there in his wheelchair, where I would bring him Holy Communion. And before he became wheelchair-bound, even when he was in not-great health, Ron helped...
  • "Leading a Chaste and Decent Life" (Sermon on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

    01/16/2021 10:29:09 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 17, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Leading a Chaste and Decent Life” (1 Corinthians 6:12-20) Have you seen the January issue of the Lutheran Witness? On the cover it has a quote from Luther’s Explanation of the Sixth Commandment. It says: “We should fear and love God so that we lead a chaste and decent life.” And that’s the theme of the issue: The articles are on how we as Christians should lead a chaste and decent life in what we say and do. And so, when I looked at the Scripture readings coming up for today, I thought, “Wow, the Epistle lesson ties right in...
  • "The Baptism with Our Lord" (Sermon for the Baptism of Our Lord, on Mark 1:4-11 and Romans 6:1-11)

    01/09/2021 12:02:15 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 10, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Baptism with Our Lord” (Mark 1:4-11; Romans 6:1-11) Today we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord. On Wednesday we celebrated the Epiphany of Our Lord. That makes today the First Sunday after the Epiphany. And that means that today, as we do every year on this Sunday, we hear an account of Jesus being baptized, whether from Matthew, Mark, or Luke. This year it’s the account from Mark. And Mark says, “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” And you say, “OK, so Jesus got baptized. Why is that...
  • "Why Have a Special Epiphany Service?" (Sermon for the Epiphany of Our Lord, on Matthew 2:1-12)

    01/06/2021 2:54:38 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 6, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Why Have a Special Epiphany Service?” (Matthew 2:1-12) So here it is on a Wednesday. And we’re having the Divine Service. How come? It’s not Sunday. “Pastor, why are you dragging us out here in the middle of the week, in January, to have church? What’s the big deal about Epiphany that we should come out on a non-Sunday?” In other words, “Why Have a Special Epiphany Service?” Well, that’s what I’m going to tell you now. There are a number of reasons, which I will explain. But first, what are not the reasons for having a special Epiphany service?...
  • "At Home in God's House, Growing in Wisdom" (Sermon for the Second Sunday after Christmas, on Luke 2:40-52)

    01/02/2021 10:04:28 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 3, 2021 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “At Home in God’s House, Growing in Wisdom” (Luke 2:40-52) We just sang: “Within the Father’s house the Son has found his home.” Even at twelve years old, Jesus was at home in God’s house. And earlier in this service, we sang: “For He is our childhood’s pattern, day by day like us He grew.” Jesus is our childhood’s pattern, but he is also our adulthood’s pattern, as well! Listen to these verses from today’s Gospel. At the start of the reading, Luke 2, verse 40: Jesus “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was...
  • "A Great Way to End Things" (Sermon for the First Sunday after Christmas, on Luke 2:22-40)

    12/26/2020 10:05:00 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 27, 2020 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “A Great Way to End Things” (Luke 2:22-40) Our text today is the story of Mary and Joseph presenting the infant Jesus at the temple and the reactions of Simeon and Anna. As we will see, what happens in this story is “A Great Way to End Things.” And that applies not only to the persons involved but also to us. A great way to end things. The first thing it ends is Mary’s time of purification. Reading again the opening verses of our text: “And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they...
  • "The Word: Tabernacled and Received" (Sermon for Christmas Day, on John 1:1-18)

    12/24/2020 8:50:53 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 25, 2020 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Word: Tabernacled and Received” (John 1:1-18) On this great festival of the Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas Day, the Holy Gospel every year is St. John’s profound prologue that opens his gospel. And today, as we look at this text, I want to zero in on three portions of this prologue, under the theme, “The Word: Tabernacled and Received.” First, the Word. And that literally is the first thing John writes about in his gospel, namely, the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the...
  • "Christmas in Three Acts" (Sermon for Christmas Eve, on Luke 2:1-20)

    12/23/2020 11:26:44 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 24, 2020 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Christmas in Three Acts” (Luke 2:1-20) The Gospel reading that we hear every year on Christmas Eve, Luke 2, verses 1-20--this account naturally falls into three sections, three parts, corresponding to the three paragraphs you find in your bulletin. In a way, it’s like a play that has three acts. Only this play is entirely factual; nothing fictional about it. It really happened this way. And when I say it has three “acts,” I not only mean that the story presents itself in three scenes, but I also mean that these are acts of God. In other words, God is...
  • "The Handmaid's Tale" (Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, on Luke 1:26-38)

    12/19/2020 6:43:51 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 20, 2020 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Luke 1:26-38) I’ve never seen the program, but I have heard about a television series called “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The premise of the show is that there is a tyrannical, theocratic government that is oppressing women. Of course, the religious people are portrayed as evil. The women that they are oppressing and enslaving are called “handmaids.” Well, the American Left have seized upon this, and in some of their marches, their women dress in the handmaids’ costumes as a way of protesting how religious people in our country are oppressing women. However, in the Holy Gospel for...
  • "The Genealogy of Jesus Christ: From the Deportation to the Christ" (Advent sermon on Matthew 1:1, 12-17)

    12/16/2020 10:35:49 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 16, 2020 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Genealogy of Jesus Christ: From the Deportation to the Christ” (Matthew 1:1, 12-17)During this Advent season, we are preparing to meet and greet our coming king. The king is coming--to us, for us--coming at Christmas, coming at the end of time, coming now into our midst through Word and Sacrament. So we prepare to meet him--in repentance, in faith, in holy joy. That’s what Advent is all about. But this king we are preparing to meet--this king who comes to us--this is a lowly king. Lowly, not high. Lowly, humble, coming in a way you might not expect. Our...
  • "The Year of the Lord's Favor" (Sermon for the Third Sunday in Advent, on Isaiah 61:1-4, 10-11)

    12/12/2020 7:01:58 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 13, 2020 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Year of the Lord’s Favor” (Isaiah 61:1-4, 10-11) We’re coming to the end of this year, and what a year it has been! 2020--a year that will live in infamy! Our country has had a very tough year: Covid-19, economic shutdowns and lockdowns, people losing their jobs, people losing their businesses, people losing their lives. We had rioting in the streets, looting and burning, and governors and mayors letting it happen. We had a tense election season, with the results very much in dispute. What a year it has been! Those “year in review” retrospectives you’ll see at the...
  • "The Genealogy of Jesus Christ: From David to the Deportation" (Advent sermon on Matthew 1:1, 6b-11)

    12/10/2020 8:50:34 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 9, 2020 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Genealogy of Jesus Christ: From David to the Deportation” (Matthew 1:1, 6b-11) Last week we began looking at how Matthew begins his gospel. He begins with a genealogy, a genealogy that takes in much of Old Testament history. It is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. But Jesus was, first of all, the Savior of Israel. He is the promised Messiah, who fulfilled the promises given to Israel’s forefathers. Jesus came into the world as the culmination, the climax, of Israel’s history. And so Matthew writes: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the...
  • "Messengers Marking Out the Messiah" (Sermon for the Second Sunday in Advent, on Mark 1:1-8)

    12/05/2020 10:57:45 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 6, 2020 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Messengers Marking Out the Messiah” (Mark 1:1-8) In centuries past, in lands where there were kings, when the king was about to go visit various parts of his realm, messengers would be sent out, heralds, to go ahead to each town and announce the soon arrival of that mighty monarch. “The king is coming! Everybody get ready! The king is on his way!” And the people would know what to do. They would clean up any trash littering their town. If there were potholes in the roads, those would get filled in. Got to have everything in order for the...