The Wittenberg Trail

Charles Henrickson's Blog (365)

"The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat" (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

“The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

Last week we heard the Parable of the Sower, from Matthew 13. Today it’s the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat, also from Matthew 13. In fact, Matthew 13 is a chapter full of parables, seven of them altogether. Some of these parables are shorter, some are longer. Some are explained by Jesus, some of them are left unexplained. Today’s parable is one of the longer ones, and Jesus does explain it. So now let’s…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on July 20, 2014 at 11:28pm — No Comments

"When Sowing the Seed Seems Useless" (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

“When Sowing the Seed Seems Useless” (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

It can be very discouraging to be a Christian these days. It seems like our whole culture has turned against the Christian faith. It can be very discouraging to be a member of a congregation these days. It seems like every church all across the country is having to deal with lower attendance and financial difficulties. It can be very discouraging to be a pastor these days. It seems like all your work is falling on…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on July 12, 2014 at 9:25pm — No Comments

"Rest for the Heavy Laden" (Matthew 11:25-30; Romans 7:14-25a)

“Rest for the Heavy Laden” (Matthew 11:25-30; Romans 7:14-25a)

In New York Harbor there stands a famous statue, the Statue of Liberty. In her one hand, Lady Liberty is holding a tablet bearing the date July 4, 1776, the day of America’s founding. In her other hand, she is holding aloft a torch, symbolizing liberty enlightening the world. In the harbor, the Statue of Liberty stands right next to Ellis Island, our nation’s largest immigration station for many years. Millions…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on July 5, 2014 at 1:51pm — No Comments

"St. Peter and St. Paul: Losing Their Lives for Jesus' Sake" (Matthew 10:38-39)

“St. Peter and St. Paul: Losing Their Lives for Jesus’ Sake” (Matthew 10:38-39)

Today is the Third Sunday after Pentecost, but it is also June 29. And June 29 is the day in the church year for observing the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles. So that is what we are doing today. We just sang the hymn “By All Your Saints in Warfare” with the stanza for St. Peter and St. Paul. We heard lessons from Acts, 2 Timothy, and the Gospel of John that prominently feature…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on June 28, 2014 at 10:31pm — No Comments

"Have No Fear of Them" (Matthew 10:5a, 21-33)

“Have No Fear of Them” (Matthew 10:5a, 21-33)

Today is the start of the long green season in the church year. The festival seasons have passed--Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter--those months when we tracked Jesus’ birth, his baptism, his transfiguration, his suffering, death, resurrection, ascension into heaven, and his pouring out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Now today we begin the non-festival half of the church year, with several months ahead of us of more…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on June 21, 2014 at 9:11pm — No Comments

"The Living Room of Peter's Pentecost Sermon" (Acts 2:14a, 22-36)

“The Living Room of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon” (Acts 2:14a, 22-36)

Today is the Feast of the Holy Trinity. On this day we sing hymns emphasizing the Trinitarian nature of the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. On this day we say that really long creed with the funny name, the Athanasian Creed, which goes into the most detail on the relationship of the three persons in the Trinity. Today we are celebrating, not some dry doctrine with no connection to life, no, rather…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on June 14, 2014 at 6:00pm — No Comments

"The Front Porch of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon" (Acts 2:1-21)

“The Front Porch of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon” (Acts 2:1-21)

The purpose of a front porch is to get people into the house. The front porch may be small, the front porch may be large, but it does its job if it gets people into the building. The front porch is not the place where you want people to stay, but it should provide a good entryway into the house. And ideally, it should match, and be suitable for, the rest of the building.

That’s the way it is with the front…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on June 7, 2014 at 9:36pm — No Comments

"Glorious Suffering" (1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11)

“Glorious Suffering” (1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11)

Have you ever heard of the term “oxymoron”? An oxymoron is when you have two words placed next to each other in a phrase, but they really don’t belong together. For example, “jumbo shrimp.” “Jumbo” and “shrimp” would seem to be self-contradictory terms. Another oxymoron: “Rap music.” The two ideas don’t go together. Or this one, speaking as someone coming from Chicago: “St. Louis pizza.” Sorry, I couldn’t help…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on June 1, 2014 at 1:58pm — No Comments

"All Things under His Feet" (Ephesians 1:15-23)

“All Things under His Feet” (Ephesians 1:15-23)

Today is the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, always forty days after Easter, thus always on a Thursday. On Ascension Day we celebrate what Christ’s ascending into heaven means for us as the church. It means many things, certainly, and we could focus on many aspects of this great event: For instance, on how, after his resurrection and before his ascension, Jesus opened the minds of his disciples to understand the…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on May 29, 2014 at 2:47pm — No Comments

"Baptized, Saved, and Ready to Speak" (1 Peter 3:13-22)

“Baptized, Saved, and Ready to Speak” (1 Peter 3:13-22)

Are you ready? Let me ask you again: Are you ready? And you say, “Ready for what? Ready to do what?” So I say, “Ready to speak.” “Ready to speak about what?” Are you ready to speak about the hope that you have as a Christian? If someone were to ask you about your Christian faith, about your hope, would you be ready to answer? That’s the situation that St. Peter addresses in our text for today, the Epistle reading from…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on May 24, 2014 at 4:41pm — No Comments

"Living Stones and a Holy Priesthood" (1 Peter 2:2-10)

“Living Stones and a Holy Priesthood” (1 Peter 2:2-10)



In the Epistle for today, St. Peter compares us Christians to, among other things, “living stones” and a “holy priesthood.” Both of these images are based on things that were realities in the Old Testament for the people of Israel. “Living stones” has to do with the temple, that great building in Jerusalem where the people worshiped, and a “holy priesthood” has to do with the priests who carried out their duties at the… Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on May 18, 2014 at 7:31pm — No Comments

"Redeemed: From What? With What? Now What?" (1 Peter 1:17-25)

“Redeemed: From What? With What? Now What?” (1 Peter 1:17-25)

To introduce the sermon today I’d like us all now to open our hymnals to page 322, to the Small Catechism, the part on the Creed. And under the Second Article, on pages 322 and 323, you will see Luther’s Explanation of the Second Article, starting with “What does this mean?” Let’s read that now together:

“I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on May 4, 2014 at 9:24pm — No Comments

"Born Again to a Living Hope" (1 Peter 1:3-9)

“Born Again to a Living Hope” (1 Peter 1:3-9)

Our reading today from 1 Peter 1 says a lot about your past, your present, and your future, and we can sum it up in this phrase from our text: “Born Again to a Living Hope.”

“Born again to a living hope.” The apostle Peter uses this phrase right at the beginning of his epistle. By the way, passages from 1 Peter will be the Epistle readings for the rest of this Easter season, starting today and going for the next five…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on April 27, 2014 at 12:57am — No Comments

"Amen" (The Lord's Prayer; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22)

“Amen” (The Lord’s Prayer; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!)

Yes, “Alleluia” of course is the word of the day for Easter Day. We’ve been saving it up all Lent, and now today we finally get to let it loose. And what a day to do so! Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on this day, winning the victory for us over death and the grave. If that doesn’t elicit an “Alleluia,” I don’t know what will. “Alleluia” is a Hebrew…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on April 19, 2014 at 11:08pm — No Comments

"But Deliver Us from Evil" (The Lord's Prayer; Luke 23:32-49)

“But Deliver Us from Evil” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 23:32-49)

“But Deliver Us from Evil”: The seventh and final petition of the Lord’s Prayer. And how appropriate that we should come to this petition on this particular day, Good Friday. For the greatest evil that has ever been perpetrated on this earth is the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. I mean, really, Good Friday could just as well be called “Evil Friday,” that is the magnitude of the evil committed against this…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on April 18, 2014 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

"Lead Us Not into Temptation" (The Lord's Prayer; Luke 22:1-46)

“Lead Us Not into Temptation” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 22:1-46)

During this Lenten season we’ve been doing a series on the Lord’s Prayer called “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” And that’s exactly what our Lord does on this Holy Thursday evening. He teaches us to pray. That’s what he instructs us to do, that’s what he gives us an example of doing, and, even more than that, he prays for us.

In particular, on this night Jesus instructs his disciples to pray for strength in the…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on April 17, 2014 at 10:46pm — No Comments

"Who Is This?" (Matthew 21:1-11; 27:11-66)

“Who Is This?” (Matthew 21:1-11; 27:11-66)

“Who is this?” That would seem to be the question of the day for this day that serves as both Palm Sunday and the Sunday of the Passion. “Who is this?” That’s what the people of Jerusalem were asking about the man who came riding into town on a donkey. That’s the question that swirled around this same man later in the week when he stood before Pilate and the crowd and when he went to the cross to suffer and to die. Who is this? Who…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on April 13, 2014 at 1:31pm — No Comments

"And Forgive Us Our Trespasses . . ." (The Lord's Prayer)

“And Forgive Us Our Trespasses . . .” (The Lord’s Prayer)

Today we continue our series on the Lord’s Prayer with the Fifth Petition, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” By the way, since this is the last of our Wednesday midweek services, and we’re only up to the Fifth Petition, you may be wondering how we’re going to finish out the Lord’s Prayer. Don’t worry. We’ll do the Sixth Petition, “And lead us not into temptation,” next week…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on April 9, 2014 at 10:40pm — No Comments

"Raising Lazarus--and Other Things as Well" (John 11:1-53)

“Raising Lazarus--and Other Things as Well” (John 11:1-53)

Today we come to another one of those memorable chapters in the Gospel of John. So far during this Lenten season we’ve had: John 3, Jesus and Nicodemus; John 4, Jesus and the Samaritan woman; and John 9, Jesus heals the man born blind. Now today we have John 11, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. But that’s not all Jesus raises here in this chapter, as we’re about to hear. Thus our theme today: “Raising…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on April 6, 2014 at 6:50pm — No Comments

"Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" (The Lord's Prayer)

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” (The Lord’s Prayer)

We continue with our Lenten series on the Lord’s Prayer, “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” Tonight we come to the Fourth Petition, “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.”

So finally we get around to praying for our own needs! Remember, up to this point, the first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer all have been about God’s concerns: “Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” Those are Jesus’ top priorities…

Continue

Added by Charles Henrickson on April 2, 2014 at 8:24pm — No Comments

Monthly Archives

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

 

 

Looking for a Liturgical Church near you?

 

 

Help us maintain the Trail on the web:


Add an item to the
Lutheran Calendar

 

 

 

 


© 2014   Created by Norm Fisher.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue to the WT Admin  |  Terms of Service