Psalm 90

A sermon for the Season of Lent

Some years ago, the beloved father of a family died, and his son asked to read Psalm 90 at his father’s funeral. It is a beautiful psalm, and it ends like this:

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”

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Out of the Depths

Psalm 130

A sermon for the Season of Lent

Why do we have Lent? For those of us in the Protestant tradition, it is not so obvious. It is important for us to realize why. We don’t have any trouble with Christmas. Christmas was first made a celebration in 346 A.D., 350 years after Jesus was born. We have no trouble getting kids ready for Christmas. But then there is Ash Wednesday, and maybe we should do something more? We don’t want to be like those who say we can’t eat meat on Fridays, that we have to do certain things. There is something about suffering, and maybe we should give up Lent for Lent. What’s it for?

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The siren song of “spirituality”

1 Cor 9:16-23

A sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

We have noted in this season of Epiphany that the great false religion of our day is spirituality. In fact, we could say spirituality is the heresy of all 2000 years that Christian faith has existed.

What is spirituality? Those who are spiritual are those who are dedicated, those who are devout, who are sincere, who are other worldly. Who knows what all is included?

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Gospel truth, Gospel freedom

A sermon for the Second Sunday after Epiphany

John 1:43-51

There was Phillip and Nathaniel, and the Lord said: “Follow me,” and they followed. It was like a military matter. It was not a matter for discussion; it was a command. The Lord spoke and it was done. It is like a military commander who tells recruits what to do, and that is the way it is.

More directly, it is like the first chapter in Genesis. The Lord spoke and it was done. That how creation takes place. The problem with this is that when we talk about the Word of God and how it is working as we in our culture look at this, we become confused.

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Every knee shall bow

Matthew 2:1-12

A sermon for Epiphany

We in the West celebrate Christmas from Christmas Day to Epiphany, and then we say the Twelve Days of Christmas are over. But in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, they celebrate Christmas on the sixth of January, yesterday, what we call Epiphany.

In the Western Church this means that we forget about Epiphany, and that is really too bad because it is a major festival. The word itself means “shining forth,” and it is celebrated at this time because the days are growing longer. The light is coming back. We’re celebrating the fact that we are no longer in darkness. You know the great place in Isaiah 9:2 that we use at Christmas: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” Over against the darkness, we celebrate the light.

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