The Wittenberg Trail

Charles Henrickson's Blog (455)

"Life and Love in the Body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:1 – 13:13)

“Life and Love in the Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:1 – 13:13)

I don’t know if you noticed it, but today and for the last two weeks our Epistle reading has come from 1 Corinthians. That’s One Corinthians, by the way, not Two Corinthians. I haven’t preached on these texts, having preached instead on the Holy Gospel readings from John and Luke, respectively. But today I think I will preach on these 1 Corinthians readings, taking all three of them together. I’ve been…


Added by Charles Henrickson on January 30, 2016 at 7:50pm — No Comments

"Jesus' Inaugural Address" (Luke 4:16-30)

“Jesus’ Inaugural Address” (Luke 4:16-30)

In just about one year from now, the new President of the United States of America will give his (or her) inaugural address. Having just been inaugurated into office, the new president will give a speech outlining the plans and priorities of the new administration. Often these are stated in lofty terms, trying to capture the hopes and aspirations of the people, which the new president will seek to accomplish. The inaugural address…


Added by Charles Henrickson on January 23, 2016 at 7:13pm — No Comments

"The Wedding at Cana" (John 2:1-11)

“The Wedding at Cana” (John 2:1-11)

It is sometimes the case with a biblical text that one can draw various points from it without exhausting all the points that are there to be had. I think that is the case with our text for today, Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana, from John chapter 2. There are a number of points or sub-points we can draw from this passage without getting to what I think is perhaps the main point. So let’s see how that goes now with…


Added by Charles Henrickson on January 16, 2016 at 11:45pm — No Comments

"When You Pass through the Waters" (Isaiah 43:1-7)

“When You Pass through the Waters” (Isaiah 43:1-7)

With the recent floods of late December and early January, we certainly witnessed the destructive impact those waters can have. Highways were shut down. A stretch of I-55 was closed for days. Highway 141 at I-44 was underwater for a week. Homes were damaged. I think the most dramatic and memorable image I saw was video of a house literally floating down the Meramec River. And the people affected by the flooding went through…


Added by Charles Henrickson on January 9, 2016 at 8:42pm — 1 Comment

"Epiphany: Mystery Made Known" (Ephesians 3:1-12)

“Epiphany: Mystery Made Known” (Ephesians 3:1-12)

I love a good mystery. Whether it’s Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, it’s fun to track with the detective as he discovers the clues and uses his “little grey cells” and eventually comes to the solution of the mystery. What had long been hidden now is revealed, and we the readers finally know “whodunit.” I love a good mystery.

And tonight, on Epiphany, we have one. A good mystery, I mean. A very good mystery, full of…


Added by Charles Henrickson on January 6, 2016 at 8:32pm — No Comments

"The Things of My Father" (Luke 2:40-52)

“The Things of My Father” (Luke 2:40-52)

Maybe you’ve seen the GEICO commercial of Peter Pan going to a class reunion. Peter Pan is portrayed as a twelve-year-old boy who has never grown up. His classmates, though, have aged naturally, and now they’re all in their upper sixties. As a twelve-year-old boy, Peter is still young and immature and kind of smart-alecky. He tricks one man into going for a high-five, but then Peter pokes him in the stomach. And to a woman who…


Added by Charles Henrickson on January 2, 2016 at 5:59pm — No Comments

"The Word Became Flesh and Tabernacled among Us" (John 1:1-18)

“The Word Became Flesh and Tabernacled among Us” (John 1:1-18)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” This verse, John 1:14, is one of the most profound sentences ever written. Because it expresses and puts into words one of the most profound mysteries that has ever occurred in human history: that the eternal Son of God, through whom all things were created, at a certain…


Added by Charles Henrickson on December 24, 2015 at 9:08am — No Comments

"Born for You a Savior" (Luke 2:1-20)

“Born for You a Savior” (Luke 2:1-20)

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” So the angel brought the good news of great joy to the shepherds. And so the good news comes to us tonight: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Let’s consider now, and let us rejoice in, this glorious announcement, under the theme, “Born for You a Savior.”

In particular, I want us to zero in on…


Added by Charles Henrickson on December 24, 2015 at 7:47am — No Comments

"Spirit-Given Faith Greets the Savior" (Luke 1:39-56)

“Spirit-Given Faith Greets the Savior” (Luke 1:39-56)

We’re coming near the end of Advent, and it’s time to greet the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ--not only at Christmas, but also when he comes again. Are you ready? Are you prepared? How will you greet him? Our Gospel reading today shows us how to greet him when he comes. In faith. What does that mean, “in faith”? And where does that faith come from? We’ll find that out, too, as the word of the Lord comes to us today,…


Added by Charles Henrickson on December 19, 2015 at 9:27pm — No Comments

"A Ruler from Bethlehem" (Micah 5:2-5a)

“A Ruler from Bethlehem” (Micah 5:2-5a)

So which is it? “Too little” or “by no means least”? We’re talking about Bethlehem here. On the one hand, the prophet Micah says that Bethlehem is “too little to be among the clans of Judah.” But then on the other hand, in Matthew 2, we hear the chief priests and the elders saying that Bethlehem is “by no means least among the rulers of Judah.” So what gives here? This sounds like two opposite views about Bethlehem: on the one hand,…


Added by Charles Henrickson on December 16, 2015 at 6:55pm — No Comments

"Or Shall We Look for Another?" (Luke 7:18-35)

“Or Shall We Look for Another?” (Luke 7:18-35)

Options, options. Comparison shopping. Never satisfied. Always looking. The grass is always greener. That’s how people are these days. They swipe a new profile on an online dating site, and they think, “Well, he looks interesting,” or “She looks kinda nice,” but, “but maybe I can find someone better.” That’s how our culture is these days. 500 channels to choose from. 6,000 websites to browse. Moving on, moving on. Always…


Added by Charles Henrickson on December 12, 2015 at 10:42pm — No Comments

"The Messenger of the Covenant" (Malachi 3:1-7b)

“The Messenger of the Covenant” (Malachi 3:1-7b)

Which messenger is which? There are two messengers mentioned in our text for today from Malachi 3--in fact, three messengers, if you include Malachi himself. So which messenger is which? We’ll try to explain and untangle all this now, and we’ll direct our attention especially to the most important of these messengers, namely, “The Messenger of the Covenant.”

The messenger of the covenant--he certainly is prominent in…


Added by Charles Henrickson on December 9, 2015 at 9:18pm — No Comments

"Bear Fruits in Keeping with Repentance" (Luke 3:1-14)

“Bear Fruits in Keeping with Repentance” (Luke 3:1-14)

It’s Advent. Advent is a season of hope and anticipation, as we look forward to our Lord’s coming, both at Christmas and on the Last Day. But besides hope and anticipation, Advent is also a season of repentance. It is a penitential season. And this mood of repentance is also tied to our Lord’s coming. For it is by repentance that we prepare the way of the Lord. Repentance is the proper preparation that befits the coming…


Added by Charles Henrickson on December 5, 2015 at 1:11pm — No Comments

"A Righteous Branch" (Jeremiah 33:14-16)

“A Righteous Branch” (Jeremiah 33:14-16)

Yes, God did speak to his people of old by the prophets, and in many and various ways. And yes, now in these last days, God has spoken to us by his Son. But what I want us to do during this midweek Advent series is to see the connection between the two, namely, between how God spoke by his prophets and how God has spoken by his Son. There is a connection between the two. For those prophets of old, the Old Testament prophets, spoke of…


Added by Charles Henrickson on December 2, 2015 at 9:09pm — No Comments

"Blessed is the King Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!" (Luke 19:28-40)

“Blessed is the King Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:28-40)

As you can tell from the change in the color of the paraments and from the presence of the Advent wreath and from one candle being lit on the Advent wreath, today is the First Sunday in Advent. And the traditional Gospel reading for the First Sunday in Advent is the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem to the acclaim of the crowds, as you just heard. But now you may be wondering, “The triumphal entry…


Added by Charles Henrickson on November 28, 2015 at 3:52pm — No Comments

"Thanking God for This Good Land" (Deuteronomy 8:1-10)

“Thanking God for This Good Land” (Deuteronomy 8:1-10)

Today is the Day of National Thanksgiving. This is the day set aside for Americans to go to their churches and give thanks to God for his many blessings on our nation--which is why we are here today. And surely we have much to be thankful for, not least of which is this good land God has given us. So many natural resources, in such abundance! As we reflect on this, we are reminded of what Moses told the Israelites: “And…


Added by Charles Henrickson on November 25, 2015 at 9:22pm — No Comments

"Therefore Let Us Draw Near, Hold Fast, and Stir Up" (Hebrews 10:11-25)

“Therefore Let Us Draw Near, Hold Fast, and Stir Up” (Hebrews 10:11-25)

Last week we looked at Hebrews 9, where we are told that Christ is our high priest. Today we continue on into Hebrews 10, where the writer expands on what it means that Christ is our high priest and then goes on to say what the implications of that are for our life. And we can sum those up this morning in three ways. Since Christ is our high priest, “Therefore Let Us Draw Near, Hold Fast, and Stir…


Added by Charles Henrickson on November 15, 2015 at 1:51am — No Comments

"Born a Priest, Made a Pastor" (Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16)

“Born a Priest, Made a Pastor” (Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16)

Circuit Pastors’ Conference, November 10, 2015

Today is Martin Luther’s birthday. He’s 532 today, although I’d say he doesn’t look a day over 490. Yes, it was on this day, November 10, in the year 1483, that Hans and Margaretha Luther had a baby boy, in the town of Eisleben, Saxony. The next day, November 11, that little squirming baby was taken to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, there in Eisleben,…


Added by Charles Henrickson on November 10, 2015 at 2:51pm — No Comments

"Christ Is Our High Priest" (Hebrews 9:24-28)

“Christ Is Our High Priest” (Hebrews 9:24-28)

Our Epistle reading today from the Book of Hebrews talks about a high priest entering into holy places made with hands. It talks about this high priest entering these holy places every year with blood not his own. And when we hear these kinds of references, which are all over the place in the Book of Hebrews, we may be asking ourselves, “What is all this ‘high priest’ business? Where are these ‘holy places’? And what does this…


Added by Charles Henrickson on November 8, 2015 at 5:43am — No Comments

"Church Militant, Church Triumphant: All Saints" (Revelation 7:2-17)

“Church Militant, Church Triumphant: All Saints” (Revelation 7:2-17)

Today, November 1, is All Saints’ Day on the church-year calendar. This is a day for remembering our departed fellow Christians--those saints of old, as well as those from our own past--who have fallen asleep in Jesus and who now rest from their labors. Today we give thanks to God for keeping them in the faith; we are encouraged by the example of their perseverance amid affliction; and we rejoice and are…


Added by Charles Henrickson on October 31, 2015 at 7:56pm — 1 Comment

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