The Wittenberg Trail

Charles Henrickson's Blog (475)

"Authoritative Word, Marvelous Faith" (Luke 7:1-10)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on May 29, 2016 at 1:58am — No Comments

"St. Patrick’s Breastplate: I Bind unto Myself Today" (The Holy Trinity)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on May 21, 2016 at 9:23pm — No Comments

"Pentecost: A Firstfruits Harvest Festival" (Acts 2:1-41)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on May 14, 2016 at 9:33pm — No Comments

"Behold, I Am Coming Soon" (Acts 1:1-11; Revelation 22:1-6, 12-20)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on May 7, 2016 at 7:57pm — No Comments

"Tribulation and Peace, Guaranteed" (John 16:23-33)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on May 1, 2016 at 5:20am — No Comments

"A Whole New World" (Revelation 21:1-7)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on April 23, 2016 at 11:57pm — No Comments

"Our Guiding, Guarding Good Shepherd" (John 10:22-30; Acts 20:17-35; Revelation 7:9-17)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on April 16, 2016 at 11:24pm — No Comments

"Worthy Is the Lamb" (Revelation 5:1-14)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on April 9, 2016 at 8:48pm — No Comments

"Death Is Swallowed Up in Victory" (1 Corinthians 15:51-57)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on April 2, 2016 at 9:09am — No Comments

"If Christ Has Not Been Raised" (1 Corinthians 15:1-26)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on March 26, 2016 at 9:59pm — No Comments

"Not One of His Bones Will Be Broken" (John 19:31-37)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on March 25, 2016 at 4:30pm — No Comments

"Love One Another, as I Have Loved You" (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on March 24, 2016 at 11:17pm — No Comments

"He Humbled Himself" (Philippians 2:5-11)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on March 20, 2016 at 12:25am — No Comments

"Love God, Love Your Neighbor" (The Ten Commandments)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on March 9, 2016 at 6:23pm — No Comments

"The Prodigal Celebration" (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on March 5, 2016 at 9:44pm — No Comments

"Loving God with Our Mouth and Ears" (The Ten Commandments)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on March 2, 2016 at 6:09pm — No Comments

"Examples from the Exodus" (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on February 27, 2016 at 11:28pm — No Comments

"Our Citizenship Is in Heaven" (Philippians 3:17 – 4:1)

“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,…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on February 20, 2016 at 6:39pm — No Comments

"The First Commandment: Have No Other Gods" (The Ten Commandments)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on February 17, 2016 at 8:39pm — No Comments

"The Transfiguration--and Exodus--of Our Lord" (Luke 9:28-36)

“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…

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Added by Charles Henrickson on February 6, 2016 at 4:50pm — No Comments

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