“Parthians and Medes at Pentecost” (Acts 2:1-21)
One of the ironic things about the readings for the Day of Pentecost is when the lector--that is, the person reading the lessons--when the lector comes to Acts 2, verse 9, and has to read the following list of persons and places: “Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on May 18, 2013 at 1:31pm — No Comments
“Jesus Prays for Us” (John 17:20-26)
Did you know you are mentioned in the Gospel reading for today? You are. Jesus is talking about you--in fact, he is praying for you--in the passage known as his “High Priestly Prayer” in John 17. In the first part of that chapter, Jesus has been praying for his disciples, the ones he would be sending out soon as his apostles. You know, Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew--those guys. But then at verse 20 of John 17, Jesus shifts his…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on May 11, 2013 at 8:23pm — No Comments
“Hands of Blessing” (Luke 24:44-53)
“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.” This is our text.
“Lifting up his hands he blessed them.” On this Ascension Day, I invite you to consider with me those hands of Jesus. The hands with which he blesses us, as he ascends into heaven. For these hands of Jesus are “Hands of Blessing.”
As I was thinking…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on May 9, 2013 at 3:23pm — No Comments
“In Jesus, Peace; In the World, Tribulation” (John 16:23-33)
Hear again the words of Jesus at the end of John 16, verse 33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” This is our text.
“In Jesus, Peace; In the World, Tribulation.” This is what our Lord says his followers can expect. It was that way for his disciples back then. It is that way for his disciples…Continue
“A Little While” (John 16:12-22)
“We do not know what he is talking about.” Maybe you say that sometimes towards the end of my sermons. “We don’t know what he’s talking about!” Well, if so, then I’m in good company, because that’s what the disciples said about a sermon Jesus was preaching. We heard it in today’s Gospel from John 16. “We do not know what he is talking about,” the disciples said. What was it they were puzzled about?
It was this. Jesus had just told…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on April 27, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments
“The Good Shepherd Cares for His Sheep” (John 10:14-15, 22-30; Acts 20:17-35; Revelation 7:9-17)
Today is what is usually called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Every year on this Sunday in the Easter season, the theme of all the parts of the service is Jesus as the Good Shepherd of the sheep, his flock, the church. He lays down his life for the sheep and takes it up again--that’s the Easter connection. On Good Shepherd Sunday, the Holy Gospel is always a portion of John 10, in…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on April 20, 2013 at 8:00pm — No Comments
“By the Charcoal Fire” (John 21:1-19)
It’s been a couple of weeks now since Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. Last Sunday, Jesus came and appeared to them a second time, on that occasion especially to bring Thomas to repent of his unbelief and confess his faith. Now today Jesus appears to the disciples--seven of them, at least--he appears to them a third time, this time not in Jerusalem, as on the previous two occasions, but now back up in Galilee, the…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on April 13, 2013 at 1:54pm — No Comments
“Words of Life” (John 20:19-31; Acts 5:12-32; Revelation 1:4-18)
To those sitting in prison, facing a death sentence, filled with fear at what awaits them, nothing is more welcome than someone coming with a message of pardon and release. Those words come as words of life in a world of fear and death.
“Words of Life.” That’s what we hear in our readings today--in all three of them: the First Reading, from Acts; the Epistle, from Revelation; and the Holy Gospel, from…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on April 6, 2013 at 2:37pm — No Comments
“Lessons from the Paschal Candle” (John 1:4-5)
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John chapter 1, verses 4 and 5.
On this Easter Day, the most glorious day of the year, we join with the whole Christian church around the world in proclaiming and rejoicing in the Resurrection of Our Lord: “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” (“He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”)
Not only do we…Continue
“O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken?” (Luke 23:1-56)
“O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken?” Short answer: None. But then why all this pain and sorrow and death on this day when Jesus is sentenced and crucified and buried? What could possibly be good about this Good Friday? The hymn we sang will lead us into the answers.
O dearest Jesus, what law hast Thou broken
That such sharp sentence should on Thee be spoken?
Of what great crime hast Thou…
Added by Charles Henrickson on March 29, 2013 at 10:37am — No Comments
“The New Covenant in My Blood” (Luke 22:7-20)
“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” So said Jesus on this night, this night on which he was betrayed, this Holy Thursday when he instituted the Blessed Sacrament of his Body and Blood. “The New Covenant in My Blood”: What does Jesus mean by that? This is our theme for this evening.
The first thing we ought to clear up is this word “covenant.” It’s not a word we use every day. What is a…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on March 28, 2013 at 2:06pm — No Comments
“From Palms to Passion” (Luke 19:28-40; 22:1 – 23:56)
Today is a day that goes by two names. The one that we’re probably more familiar with is “Palm Sunday.” For it was on this day that Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, greeted by the cheering crowds, and the people used palm branches to welcome him. Palms to indicate victory and triumph. Palms to symbolize success and long life. And so on Palm Sunday Jesus is hailed as the messianic King of Israel, coming to…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on March 25, 2013 at 12:54pm — No Comments
“The Joy of Zacchaeus” (Luke 19:1-10)
The story of Zacchaeus is a very famous and familiar story in the Bible. Most of us probably remember it from our Sunday School lessons and from that children’s song we all learned. You know the one I’m talking about. It goes like this:
Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
A wee little man was he;
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see.
And when the Savior passed that way,
Added by Charles Henrickson on March 19, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments
“What Will the Owner of the Vineyard Do?” (Luke 20:9-20)
In the Holy Gospel for today, from Luke 20, Jesus tells a parable. It’s the Parable of the Tenants, also called the Parable of the Vineyard. It goes like this: Some tenant farmers are supposed to take care of a vineyard for its owner, but instead they take over the vineyard for themselves. They beat and mistreat the servants whom the vineyard owner sends to them, and they even kill the owner’s son. Jesus then asks the…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on March 16, 2013 at 6:30pm — No Comments
“The Joy of Jesus” (Luke 10:21-24)
Our theme for this midweek Lenten series is “A Little Lenten Lukan Joy.” We’ve been looking at the passages in the Gospel of Luke where the words “joy” or “rejoice” occur. And in most of those places, we find the people around Jesus rejoicing, or they are told by Jesus to rejoice.
For instance, when we talked about “The Joy of Christmas,” we saw that the people around Jesus were rejoicing as they anticipated or heard about his…Continue
“The Lost Boys” (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)
Gather round, and today I’ll tell you the story of “The Lost Boys.” No, not the Lost Boys from Peter Pan. This is a different story. It’s a story that Jesus tells, actually. It’s the tale of two boys that get lost. They get separated from their father, through their own stupidity and pig-headedness, and yet their father is very gracious and kind toward them, patient beyond all measure, and he wants to welcome them back with open…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on March 9, 2013 at 6:27pm — No Comments
“The Joy of Names Written in Heaven” (Luke 10:1-20)
President Kennedy famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” And, in the civil realm, that’s fine. But is it so fine when we come to the ecclesiastical realm, the realm of the church, in other words, in the spiritual realm? When we’re talking about our relationship with God, is the important thing what we can do for God or what God can do for us? That is a question that…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on March 6, 2013 at 9:10pm — No Comments
“Jesus’ Take on Mass Tragedies: ‘Repent or Perish’” (Luke 13:1-9)
Whenever there’s a mass tragedy in the news--a building collapse or a mass murder, for instance—it’s become customary in our society to get opinions and comments from various high-profile individuals, celebrities or influential public figures. That’s what happens in our culture now, and it’s also what we see going on in Jesus’ time. In the Gospel reading for today, from Luke 13, some people ask Jesus for his…Continue
“The Joy of Persecution” (Luke 6:20-36)
Two weeks ago, on Ash Wednesday, we started this series on “A Little Lenten Lukan Joy.” And you may have thought that the theme that night, “The Joy of Repentance,” was a little strange. What does joy have to do with repentance? Well, if you thought that was strange, then tonight’s message will strike you as very strange. It’s called “The Joy of Persecution.”
“‘The Joy of Persecution’? What joy can there be in being…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on February 26, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments
“A Man on a Mission, a Man of Compassion” (Luke 13:31-35)
In the Holy Gospel for today, we see two aspects of Jesus’ character come to the forefront: 1) He is a man on a mission. And 2) He is a man of compassion. And in both aspects, both his mission and his compassion, Jesus’ focus today is on Jerusalem. Let’s find out what all of this has to do with us.
First, Jesus is a man on a mission. That comes through loud and clear in the first half of our text, where it…Continue
Added by Charles Henrickson on February 23, 2013 at 6:36pm — No Comments