TEXT: LUKE 2:1-20
INTO THIS FALLEN WORLD THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST BRINGS GREAT JOY!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


Joy to the world the Lord is come!  Joy to you this night for you are in this world and “God so loved this (fallen) world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  I bring you good news of great joy!


The first sermon proclaiming the actual birth of the Christ Child was delivered by God’s messengers from heaven.  There is this realm of God’s creation beyond your sight at present – beyond the sense of your feelings and mine.  The most tragic mistake we human beings can make is to relegate that realm to the category of “make believe” and then live as if we are god - as if we are in control.  You know those thought patterns for they tempt all of us – experience all you can – be helpful and make a difference here – take hold of all you can - for who knows if there is anything else. 

TEXT: MATTHEW 1:18-25
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To all those at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center who are loved by God and called to belong to Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even when nature is at work in the normal way, it is impossible to fully explain the miracle of how a child is knit together in its mother’s womb.  Miracle after miracle of irreducible complexity occurs - as the baby is conceived and grows.  For minds not too severely narrowed by the educational engineering of macro-evolution, these wonders of God’s design give the lie to accidental life!  The wonder of a baby – fearfully and wonderfully made – knit together in its mother’s womb – is impossible to fully explain.  If we think science has done so – good heavens – God open our eyes to how much of this marvel goes beyond our understanding.

Vicar Christopher Stout

 “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”  (Matt. 11:3).  “Shall we long for another one?  Should we expect someone else?  It doesn’t really seem that you’re fitting my description of you,” John’s thinking.  If there was ever one man on this earth that had more confidence in who he was and what his vocation in this world included than anyone else, it was John the Baptist.  John knew what he had to do.  He was to preach repentance, and he did.  He was to confess that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.  He was to prepare the way for one mightier than He, the King of Heaven and Earth who comes to reign. John knew who he was.  John began to wonder, however, if Jesus knew who he was – or maybe we should expect another.  “I preached that ‘his winnowing fork is in hand, and he will clear the threshing floor in the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire,’ (Matt. 3:12) so use that winnowing fork, clear out this chaff and burn them, I’m in prison here Jesus.  This doesn’t look like the Kingdom of God, should we look for another?”

TEXT: ROMANS 15:4-13
THE GOD OF ALL HOPE GIVES ABOUNDING HOPE!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To all those at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center, who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Isaiah says, “the root of Jesse will come even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Fellow-redeemed, Advent is a season of hope!  It is a new beginning that calls us to turn from this passing world to God’s gracious actions in Jesus Christ.  The voice of John the baptizer rings out – “repent” – pointing us to Christ!  Human confidence relies on controllable factors but hope is directed to Him who cannot be controlled.  The first Advent of Christ calls us to a general confidence in the God’s protection and help.  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  

Vicar Christopher Stout

   “Who is that?”  This question is sometimes asked when someone has just taken your breath away, either by what they are doing or how they look.  When have you ever asked this question?  Maybe it was when you saw your future spouse for the first time across the room.  You tapped your friend in awe and asked, “Who is that?”  Maybe it was when you saw an amazing athlete or musician.  As I was watching a talent show on TV, I saw an 8 year girl who had the voice of a professional singer.  I couldn’t help but wonder, “Who is this girl?”  This question is usually asked out of more than curiosity.  It normally has expectations, hopes, and wonders attached to it.  And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up saying, “Who is this?”  Jesus’ works and teachings demanded this question be asked.  His entry into the city, with pomp, circumstance, shouts, and worshipping made Jerusalem and the world be stirred, literally be shaken like as in an earthquake, and wonder “Who is this guy?”. 

TEXT: PSALM 103:1-5
JUST THINK ABOUT IT!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

The text for the Thanksgiving Day sermon twenty years ago – was drawn from the first verses of Psalm 103.  Bless the Lord O my soul…and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…” 

(Psalm 103:2) 

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all (or forget none) of His benefits!” 

Dear members of Luther Memorial, friends, family and guests on Thanksgiving Day; Language experts tell us that the words “thank” and “think” come from the same root word.  That means that thankfulness and thoughtfulness are very closely related.  A thankful heart is a thoughtful heart, and conversely, a forgetful, unthinking heart is thankless!

Vicar Christopher Stout

 “Jesus, with so much evil in this world – with so much persecution and hatred for your Church – how can you expect us not to panic and fear?”  As we celebrated Reformation Day 2 weeks ago, a group of 44 Christians, including two priests, were killed in Baghdad as a Cathedral was attacked by an organization affiliated with al-Qaeda.  The group falsely claimed the cathedral was holding Muslims and forcing them to convert.  They later said that Christians everywhere were “legitimate targets.”  “Jesus, with so many false prophets – with so many people and events that terrify us – with so much famine and natural disasters – with so much distress, how can you expect us to straighten up and raise our heads when there is so much in ourselves and in this world that bring us to our knees and make us shamefully place our heads down?” 

These may be questions asked by the Church of Christ throughout the world as it suffers.  They maybe questions that we ask ourselves as we heard our Gospel reading this morning.

TEXT: REVELATION 7:2-17/I JOHN 3:1-3/MATTHEW 5:1-12
YOU WILL BE LIKE HIM!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Dear saints of God, grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come and from the Holy Spirit (the seven spirits who are before his throne), and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead (Rev. 1:1, 2).

All Saints’ Day trumpets the truth that the church is not limited to our time and place or even to this passing world!  The Church of Christ is rooted in eternity and includes the Church Triumphant divided from us by the narrow stream of death!  Our sin includes our dullness of heart to this reality!  Our sin includes our default setting that focuses chiefly on earthly things, not eternal things.  We who now live and breathe on the earth are in the minority.  Jesus desires us to daily contemplate the majority – the great multitude in heaven that no one can number. 

Matthew 11:12-19
Vicar Christopher Stout

What’s this Reformation Day about? If it’s not what the Bible is about, if it’s not what Jesus is about, then why are we celebrating it today.  John the Baptist began his preaching about the kingdom of heaven with message of repentance.  Jesus’ first words in the Gospel of Matthew are, “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Hear these first words of the 95 theses, a document that basically began the reformation.  “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ says ‘Repent,’ he wills that the entire life of the Christian be one of repentance.”  Repentance.  “Confess your sins.  Reject the delusion that anything you do can in any way, whole, or in part, bring about your salvation.  Do it often.  Do it all your life. Constant repentance for you, dear Christian; and for me” too says Jesus and all the Law and Prophets.

TEXT: LUKE 18: 9-17
GOING HOME THE RIGHT WAY FROM GOD’S PRESENCE!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord; Dear brothers and sisters in Christ;

Thank God if you are not spiritually satisfied with yourself as you come to this house of worship!  Blessed are you if you know things aren’t the way they should be with you – that you are in need of serious help again today!  How fortunate you are if your vocation as a spouse or parent or student or friend or child or employer or employee or Christian or pastor or senior citizen accuses you with things you have left undone and with things you have thought or said or done that you shouldn’t have. 

Vicar Christopher Stout

 There are a few reasons for having an introduction.  One is to get your attention.  This might be one of the reasons a sermon might be introduced with an introduction about introductions.  Another might be to set up a thought that will be tied in to the rest of the sermon.  The most important part of an introduction, however, is to clarify the reason for what you are about to say.  Why do you think this is important?  Why are you getting ready to say what about you’re about to say?  “And Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”  Well, cool.  Thanks, Luke, we very much appreciate that.  We now know as we’re listening to this parable that its point was for the disciples to always pray and not lose heart.  


 Why would be struggling with this?  Haven’t they seen Jesus’ authority and what He can do?  Well, yes, but they’re also hearing what He has to say.  In recent weeks, right along with the disciples we’ve heard heavy words from Jesus.

Luke 17:11-19 (Ruth 1:1-19a; 2 Timothy 2:1-13)
Jesus Has the Healing Touch
Rev. Gary Gehlbach

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Listen to the Psalmist describe the mercy of the Lord – My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house (Psalm 84:2, 4).

TEXT: LUKE 17:1-10
A PRETTY GOOD CHRISTIAN/ A PRETTY GOOD PASTOR JUST WON’T DO!
Rev. Kenneth Wieting

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord…Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when you have done all that you were commanded say, “We are unworthy servants’ we have only done what was our duty.”

I have been pulled over by a police officer twice in my life.  The first time the officer did not say – “good job” with that 25 mph speed limit.  The second time, the officer did not say “nice job” in making a left turn as that stop light was changing from yellow to red.  Police officers don’t generally praise you for obeying the law.  They expect people to do their duty in driving on our roads.  If they pull you over for a personal conversation it is usually not to say “well done good driver, you’re doing excellent work.”

Text: Luke 16:19-31
Vicar Christopher Stout

Grace, mercy and peace to you, brothers and sisters, whose promised eternal place is at Abraham’s side.

It’s been said that the safest place for a baby to be is on the mothers’ or fathers’ bosom. This spot on the chest is where they feel the closest, safest, and the most connected.  We can picture in our minds a child gone missing, found again and pressed against their mother’s or father’s bosom – held tight and safe.  “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side”, literally, Abraham’s bosom as we just sang in our hymn. It’s an “I feel safe here” word, but in the ancient Middle East it’s also a reclining at the table, feasting word.  The Gospel of John records that in the upper room, right before the Last Supper, the disciple whom Jesus loved was reclining on Jesus’ bosom.  In this text, it emphasizes that this poor, hungry, and low beggar was now rich, filled with the greatest food, and comforted by a close and intimate presence of God with his fellow believer Abraham.  These are comforts for us as we suffer here on earth and as we hear these words from the Son of God this morning.  

TEXT: LUKE 16:1-15
CONCERNING THE MONEY AND MERCY OF YOUR MASTER,
TAKE A LESSON FROM A CROOK FACING A CRISIS!
Rev. Kenneth Wieting

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord; Dear hearers of the Word; I most love to preach to you when I learn much in preparation for a sermon.  That was the case in re-studying the Gospel this week.  I would invite your attention to an expanded thought from years ago: “Concerning the Money and Mercy of Your Master – Take a Lesson from a Crook Facing a Crisis!”

The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness.  For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.  And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

TEXT: LUKE 15:1-10/EZEKIEL 34:11-24/I TIMOTHY 1:5-17
AMID CLOUDS AND THICK DARKNESS
THERE IS JOY IN FINDING AND BEING FOUND!

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Dear hearers of the Word:

Yesterday reminded us of a day of clouds and thick darkness (9/11).  I remember standing in the student center with then Vicar Catherwood – watching - dark smoke billowing from the World Trade Center towers – then a thick, engulfing, smothering, mushrooming cloud of dust and ashes and debris when the first tower disintegrated – even more when the second collapsed - the people who could scattered – fleeing for their lives. 

The next evening a number of you and some people from the community gathered near our baptismal font for a service of Evening Prayer.  Five days later, on Sunday, we used the texts for a day of Humiliation and Prayer.  Nine years have passed since that tragic assault - by far the most deadly of the attacks of modern-day radical Islamic terrorists.  It is important to remember amid other clouds and thick darkness of our time. 

TEXTS: LUKE 14:25-35/DEUTERONOMY 30:15-20/PHILEMON
JESUS PAID THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To the Church in this house, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; dear brothers and sisters in Christ;

Hate causes many evils.  Hate can poison human hearts and relationships between individuals and even between countries. Hate can harden human hearts in bitterness and misery preventing their receiving love and rejoicing in life.  Some call hate - an intense, hostile aversion.  Luther once said hatred is old and deep-seated anger.

Yet, not all hate is sin!  Hate is sometimes also a beautiful gift of God that is the cause of much good!  God who is love can and does hate!  He hates evil, He hates idolatry, He hates false worship (Deut. 12:31; Is. 1:14).  The hate assigned to God in Scripture is a rejection in will and deed of evil - and God’s people are to lovingly hate as He does.  The righteous are to hate what is false (Prov. 13:5).  To fear God is to hate evil (Prov. 8:13).  Christians are to hate evil and love good (Amos 5:15; Rom. 12:9).

TEXT: LUKE 14:1-14/HEBREWS 13:1-17/PROVERBS 25:2-10
JESUS GIVES YOU HIS PLACE!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

In many and various ways God spoke to His people of old by the prophets, but now in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, through whom also He made the world (Heb. 1).  Dear hearers of the Word made flesh;

As a single vicar in North Carolina, I was the guest at lots of meals.  The dear people in our sister congregation no doubt understood my lack of culinary ability and took pity on me.  But those dinner invitations were also a time of sizing this Midwesterner up a bit – of asking lots of questions – and sometimes of suggesting things a vicar might attend to.  Dinner invitations can have more than one purpose.

Vicar Christopher Stout

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?”  And Jesus said to him, “Strive to enter through the narrow door.  For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” (Luke 13:23-24)

It’s called “breaking the wall.”  It’s a movie and television trick that I’m sure you’re all familiar with though the name doesn’t sound familiar.  You’re watching a movie and the characters are talking, one to another, just like they always do.  Then they stop, look at you, and address you.  The movie Ferris Bueller does this quite often.  He’s talking with his friends, and then he stops, looks at you and says, “What are you doing?  Go on, the movie is over.  You can go now.”  He addressed you and there’s no doubt about it.

TEXT: LUKE 12: 49-53/Hebrews 11:1-16
JESUS IS THE GREAT DIVIDER!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


In many and various ways God spoke to His people of old by the prophets.  But now in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son…through whom also He made the world (See Heb. 1:1, 2).  Dear hearers of the Word made flesh;

Heavy words spoken into our ears by Jesus!  Do you think I have come to give peace on earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.  From now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three.  Our age admires compromise and external accord.  Our culture despises truth claims as divisive and detrimental.  Our sinful nature would like everyone to agree with our own superior, personal view of reality.  As a child of this age and culture, dealing with your own Old Adam, how do you receive these heavy words of the Son of God?  They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother. As Jesus continues, even the in-laws become outlaws over Him.

TEXT: LUKE 12:13-21 (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2 :18-26; Colossians 3:1-11)

A FOOL AND HIS MONEY ARE SOON PARTED
Rev. Gary Gehlbach


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

      There is an old English proverb that goes like this – ‘A fool and his money are soon parted.’ Today’s Gospel may be the background behind this proverb, when our Lord says to the rich man, Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? The rich man was impressed by his own riches and possessions, but the Lord separated the man from his wealth in a mere moment, in the twinkling of an eye.

DOXOLOGY Encore Retreat, Springfield, IL
TEXT: LUKE 12:13-21
YOUR LIFE CONSISTS IN THE RICHNESS OF GOD SHOWERED UPON YOU THROUGH THE POVERTY OF CHRIST!
Rev. Kenneth Wieting

To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ gathered at the Chiara Center; Grace to you and peace from God our Father (see Col 1:2).  “But God said to him, ‘Fool!  This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”


Dear Hearers of the Word; Jesus was setting His mind on things above – not on the vanities of this passing life!  He had just taught a crowd of thousands that God heard all the secret things they ever said (Lk. 12:2, 3).  He taught them not to fear those who had power to kill the body but the one who had authority to cast into hell (v.5).  He taught that the one denying Him before men would be denied before the angels of God (v.9).

DOXOLOGY Encore Retreat, Springfield, IL
TEXT: ECCLESIASTES 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-26
CHRIST FOUND ETERNAL JOY IN HIS TOIL UNDER THE SUN!
Rev. Kenneth Wieting
 

To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ gathered at the Chiara Center; Grace to you and peace from God our Father (see Col 1:2).  What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun?  For all his days are full of sorrow and his work is a vexation.  Even in the night his heart does not rest.  This also is vanity.  There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil.  Dear hearers of the Word;


The Hebrew title of the book means congregation or assembly.  The Greek title, Ecclesiastes, means preacher or speaker in a public setting.  That is a good combination for this gathering of pastors and lay leaders!

TEXT: LUKE 10:38-42
Vicar Michael Larson

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).

We are busy people.  Running here and there.  Racing down and up highway 43 – speeding back and forth on interstate 94.  Certainly busy with work – important meetings – getting things done.  Also busy with leisure – campouts and cookouts – tailgating – brewers games.  Children need to be taken to basketball practice, baseball games, music and dance lessons.  Pick up – drop off – pick up – go to Walgreens – then the grocery store.  Race home and get some paperwork done.  There are bills to pay.  For us students, loans that need to be addressed.  Chores and responsibilities keep heaping up. There is leaking from the ceiling, flooding in the basement.  Gutters need to be cleaned.  Lawns need to be mowed.  Getting together for a family meal begins to seem like an antiquated idea from times past – a funny little activity they did on “Leave it to Beaver” or one of those other old black and white shows.

TEXT: LUKE 10:25-37; LEVITICUS 18:1-5; 19:9-18; COLOSSIANS 1:1-14
WHAT’S THIS GOT TO DO WITH INHERITANCE?
Vicar Christopher Stout

As we have already heard at the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father, dear saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.”

“I know I hurt your feelings, but….I know I’m late to work, but….I know this project was due today, but….”  We love to make excuses.  We don’t mind taking partial blame for things, but it’s never fully our fault.  We can always come up with a good reason why we did what we did, or can’t do what we are asked to do.  Ask the lawyer in our Gospel lesson about excuses.

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”(Luke 10:25) – asked the lawyer to put Jesus to the test.  He asked this question because it was a question that was floating around his circles during that time. Or maybe he asked this question because it’s been a question that many had asked before him.  Or maybe he asked this question because he knew this question would be asked throughout all time and in all places.  “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25)  Nonetheless, it’s this question that prompts the remaining discourse that we have in Gospel lesson.  The answer was simple, one that this expert of Torah, Old Testament Law, knew well.  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).  Jesus says, “Do this and you will live” (Luke 10:28).

EMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH, FORT WAYNE, IN
TEXT: JOHN 10:11-16/ISAIAH 52:7-10
THE GOOD SHEPHERD’S VOICE
THE GOODSHEPHERD’S FOOD
THE GOOD SHEPHERD’S ETERNAL GIFTS
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins – to deliver us from this present evil age.  Greetings to Christ’s Church at Emmanuel Lutheran, Fort Wayne (Soest) from the members of Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center in Shorewood, Wisconsin.  By their partnership in the Gospel and kind permission and encouragement I am able to be with you on this day.  Among us at Luther Memorial pastor-elect Krueger just completed a year of service and learning on vicarage.  You are included in the thoughts and prayers of many there who cannot be with you in person on this day.  Dear pastors; dear Kyle and Kim; dear brothers and sisters in Christ;


Dr. Martin Luther once described seven holy possessions or identifying marks of the church (LW 41:148-166)  The first four were the Word of God; the Sacrament of Holy Baptism; The Sacrament of the Altar; The Office of the Keys (forgiving and retaining sins).  The sixth was prayer; such as the Lord’s Prayer and the Psalms.  The seventh was the Holy Cross of Suffering and persecution. That seventh one is not easily seen as an identifying mark or a holy possession.  By nature we would rather not possess but rather give away persecution and suffering and the cross Jesus lays upon us.

TEXT: LUKE 9:51-61; 1 KINGS 19:9B-21; GALATIANS 5:1, 13-25
HE SET HIS FACE TO GO TO JERUSALEM!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, to deliver us from this present evil age. (Gal. 1: 2, 3).  Dear brothers and sisters in Christ;

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.  It is a simple statement of the deepest commitment, the firmest resolve, and the most astounding journey this world has ever witnessed.  These words mark a turning point in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Son of God turns his face toward the city of sacrifice with one unalterable purpose - to make the supreme sacrifice…he set his face to go up to Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him.  But the people did not receive him because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 

Right at the beginning of this final journey they refused His Word as spoken by His messengers.  This brush-off called forth the anger of James and John.  “Lord do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 

CONFIRMATION DAY TEXT: GALATIANS 3:27/LUKE 8: 26-39
YOU ARE CLOTHED BY CHRIST AND BY HIS GRACE IN YOUR RIGHT MIND!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins, to deliver us from this present evil age (Gal 1).  Dear hearers of the Word made flesh; Dear Ellis and Isabel and Richard and Daniel on the day of your confirmation;

The rite of confirmation is not commanded by God and it will not deliver you from this present evil age.  It is not a means of grace by which God promises to bestow forgiveness of sins, life and salvation on you.  Rightly understood it is a church rite that holds wonderful value for those baptized into the Christian faith.  Wrongly understood it will not keep one confirmed from falling away from “the faith once delivered to the saints.”

Dr. Martin Luther wrote the Small Catechism for the father in the home to teach the children – not for the pastor to teach the youth.  Luther was totally against anything that gave the impression that somehow confirmation “completes” or “confirms” Baptism.  That is not what is happening today!

TEXT: LUKE 7:36-8:3
SELF-DECEPTION
Vicar Kyle Krueger

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  Usually when we think of sin we do so in an action or deed sort of way.  Because of this the meaning of sin or transgression is something we do; it is an act, or an intentional procedure of wrong doing.  To confess our sins before God and one another we must first know that we have indeed committed sins; that we are need of forgiveness.

Our confession of sins this morning identifies sin as self-deception.  Sin clouds us in such a way that we cannot even recognize or acknowledge that sin is in us.  Some may define self-deception as a personal altering of what the objective reality is.  One could also call this -being delusional- or perhaps even insane from a mental heath point of view.  Delusions can cause one to see or perceive things that really don’t exist and also to not think something is real when it is very much a matter of fact.

As humans, enemies of God from birth, we love to practice self-deception.  Sin is not just simply found and identified in the action of wrong doing like lying or stealing, but it is a condition, a state of being we cannot free ourselves from.

TEXT: LUKE 11-17
IT’S ALL ABOUT LIFE AND DEATH AND LIFE!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins, to deliver us from this present evil age (Gal 1: 3, 4).  Dear brothers and sisters in Christ;


Don’t you just hate life’s opposite - death – death by accident – death by illness – death by abortion - death on the highways – death in hospitals – death through criminal violence – death through terrorist bombings - death in disasters?  Death comes to over 200,000 in a few hours in a Haitian earthquake – death comes to scores in Guatemalan floods and mudslides.  Death comes to roughly about 3.5 million (born and unborn) each year in America.  In Wisconsin in the past week death came to a 33 year old mother trying to rescue her 9 year old daughter from drowning – death came to a Sheboygan couple in their early 50’s who struck a deer on their motorcycle – death came to a 15 year old Franklin youth going for a swim.

Today’s texts are all about LIFE AND DEATH AND LIFE!  Beloved – your life is no guess - what you believe from Scripture is not speculation!  The Bible clearly reveals that man is not an appendage but the very crown of God’s creation.

TEXT: ACTS 2:1-21/GENESIS 11:1-9/JOHN 14:23-31
THROUGH THE WORK AND WORDS OF JESUS
THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES THE LOVE OF THE FATHER
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, dear friends in Christ: Ten days after Jesus ascended the eleven were gathered together at the third hour of the day. That means it was 9:00 AM on a Sunday morning!  Sounds familiar!  Gathered together like you are today suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind…and divided tongues as of fire rested on each one of them.  The Greek gives the impression of one flame initially that then separated.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Sunday morning at 9AM on the Day of Pentecost and what do you get?  Tongues and words from the Holy Spirit proclaiming Jesus Christ and repentance and baptism and the forgiveness of sins in His name!  Sunday morning at 9AM in the year 2010 and what do you get?  Tongues speaking words from the Holy Spirit proclaiming Jesus Christ and repentance and baptism and the forgiveness of sins in His name!

Text: John 17:20-26
Unity in the Word’s of Jesus
Vicar Kyle Krueger

The word unity, in a religious context, seems to mean almost the opposite these days.  So called “unity” often happens when the words, will, and commands of Jesus are moved far out of the way.  Unity, of this kind, which is much desired by the world, is often spoken about simply for showing a happy and flowery front between religious bodies for a unity that simply does not exist.

Unity then does not become about scriptural truths, teachings, or a common confession of faith in one God, but rather it is spoken about under the façade of uniting everyone together out of a generic “humanitarian love”.  In this context, what everyone is united around cannot dare be spoken about.  It simply does not exist and if it were sought after the emptiness would reveal the shocking reality that at best people have agreed to disagree, and unity, then is just a word itching ears like to hear.  It is sweet to the deceitful ears because there is little need then to be justified in what one confesses and believes and often responsibility for actions does not need to be taken because of there being no real standard.  If sin can be taken out of the equation by a denial of it, then Jesus as savior can be abandoned.  For we remind ourselves of it in the words of confession when we speak, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 

The Ascension of Our Lord
Text: Luke 24:44-53
Our Crucified, Resurrected, Ascended, and Present Lord!
Vicar Kyle Krueger

The Ascension of our Lord may well be one of the most difficult doctrines of the Christian faith to understand.  It can be expressed this way simply when the question is asked, “Why did Jesus have to leave?”  Couldn’t He have just stayed here on earth through the generations bearing witness to His work and His Father in heaven?  Wouldn’t it have been better for all of us and the course of history if Jesus would have just stuck around?  Think of all the lives that would have been saved from the religious crusades, all the religious turmoil that never would have happened if He would have simply continued to walk the earth proclaiming His identity.

All of these thoughts and questions assume that Jesus has totally abandoned us, leaving us to fend for ourselves in this world that cannot figure out what to believe.  One thing that the Ascension of Jesus is not- is the withdrawal of Christ’s merciful and giving presence.  We learn from our Gospel ascension text that the Disciples did not return to Jerusalem moping around town because of Jesus’ departure from them, but rather with, “great joy!”



TEXT: JOHN 16:23-33
WHATEVER YOU ASK OF THE FATHER IN MY NAME
HE WILL GIVE IT TO YOU!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from His who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven spirits who are before His throne (that is, the Holy Spirit) and from Jesus Christ…the firstborn from the dead.  Dear hearers of the Word made flesh;

Nowhere is the devastation of sin seen more clearly than in our difficulty with prayer.  Do you have a sense for how much you leave un-prayed for – regarding your pastor and your fellow members here – and your family and your friends – regarding mothers and their duties 365 days a year (not just one) - regarding God’s Name and God’s kingdom and God’s will – regarding the church under persecution – regarding your neighbors need and your daily bread – regarding our country and its leaders and other nations and peoples – regarding the unborn and the aged – regarding yourself, your faith and your response to the Gospel – regarding youth in this culture of decay – regarding the cheerfulness you should have in giving – regarding the hatred you should have for evil - regarding businesses seeking relief to employ workers – regarding Moslems – regarding the poor (in increasing numbers in this country and in places like Ghana where members of our sister church may have only one daily meal and lack funds even to purchase communion elements) – regarding the wealthy and how difficult it is for them to enter the kingdom of God – regarding our seminaries and our church body – regarding giving thanks in all circumstances - regarding Christ’s return and the holy city heavenly Jerusalem and the Lamb’s Book of Life – even so, “Come quickly Lord Jesus”.  If you don’t think you are a spiritual giant in this matter of prayer, if you believe that your prayer-life merits forgiveness rather than applause then praise be to God.  Nowhere is the devastation of sin seen more clearly than in our difficulty with prayerTruly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.


TEXT: JOHN 16:12-22
CHRIST BLESSES US WITH “LITTLE WHILES”!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne (that is the Holy Spirit) and from Jesus Christ…the first-born from the dead (Rev. 1:4).  Dear friends in Christ Jesus:

Your partnership in the Gospel and your encouragement to speak to others about our book led to two wonderful days at my alma mater –South Dakota State University.  The first day I presented on campus to LSF students.  The second day I preached and taught Bible Class at the congregation that is involved with campus work there as LMC is here.

I have been back to campus only once since college days and this opportunity brought a flood of memories.  I was reminded of the “little while” of home life before college (and blessings that must be left behind) – and the “little while” of university years that are so full of activity and speed by so quickly – and the “little while” of being single although for me it was over three decades.

As such thoughts continue moving for me they include the “little while” since God gave to Barbara and me the gift of marriage – and the “little while” of raising a family in Wautoma and in the parsonage here before the house is way too quiet. – and the little ones are big ones going to college and raising families of their own.  There has also now been the “little while” of nearly twenty years that Christ has called me to serve you as pastor.

TEXT: JOHN 10:29
NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from Him is and who was and who is to come and from the seven spirits who are before His throne (that is the Holy Spirit) and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness and the firstborn of the dead (Rev. 1).  Dear hearers of the voice of the Good Shepherd:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.”


A few of Jesus’ words here are the most profound in Scripture, going to the heart of the mystery of the Holy Trinity.  I and the Father are one.  The word “one” means one in essence – a unity!  The cults such as Jehovah’s Witnesses add their own words of false doctrine to say “one in purpose.”  This, of course, as cults are wont to do, is done to deny that Jesus is Very God of Very God, of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.  But what Jesus said is, “I and the Father are one.”

John 21: 1-14 (15-19)
Sermon Preached at Luther Memorial Chapel, Shorewood, WI
Rev. Gary Gehlbach

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Grace and peace to you from our Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    For the disciples, it begins again as it began the first time. Although unique, the events of today’s Gospel sound familiar. You have the disciples fishing and catching nothing. This is very similar to our Lord’s first calling of the disciples (Lk 5). Afterwards they come to land and see a fire with bread and fish cooking. Then John records that Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. Now listen to what John wrote in chapter 6, Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted (Jn 6:11) and 5000 were fed.

Text: John 20:19-31
“Doubting Doubts”
Vicar Kyle Krueger

 What a bunch of chickens the disciples were!  They can’t even stick it out a few more days before going into hiding?  The text says that they were gathered together on the evening of the first day of the week!  Jesus was crucified on Friday and now Sunday evening they are hiding behind locked doors!?  They are so quick to doubt the promise of Christ to be raised on the third day.  It was easier for them to doubt Christ’s teachings and promises then to doubt their own doubts! 

Test: John19:17-30
Victory in Disgrace
Vicar Kyle Krueger

    One cannot help to feel slightly bad for Pontius Pilate.  He goes down in history not for trying to prevent Jesus cruel and unwarranted suffering and death, but causing it.  He becomes the root historical figure under whom Jesus suffered and was crucified.  The church’s ancient creeds bear his name in the most ominous sense; “Crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate” and “Suffered under Pontius Pilate”.  Among the great articles of the Christian faith found in the creeds the, reference to Pontius Pilate presiding over Jesus execution can also be verified by secular historical sources.  In this one reference it seems Pilate’s name is dragged through the mud.

    The Bible depicts Pilate trying to be a fair man, but ultimately he falls to the demands and pressures of the crowd and the Jewish authorities behind Jesus’ arrest.  Pilate tells the crowd, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him. The Jews answered him, we have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God. When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.  He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.  So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?”  Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”  From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar…  He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”  So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.”

Text: Luke 23:33-46
“The Words and Wounds of Jesus”
Vicar Kyle Krueger

  Christ’s Christmas incarnation finally comes to its pinnacle, “And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him…”  Christ the Son of God came to serve and not to be served and His crucifixion offers the greatest and most holy service to men.  Christ faces the one thing that humanity wishes not to acknowledge or at best covers over it with superficial actions and language, that thing being death.  No matter how much philosophers ponder, as much as scientists study- death is unavoidable and irreversible.  Death becomes more of a skirted question for modern society rather then something that can be explained away by fancy rhetoric. 

    Death confronts everyone in a different way.  People can have very different responses to it.  Some may be scared of it because of the uncertainty beyond the grave and therefore will not talk about it.  Some may be so confident in this world that death is just another process of life and nothing but non-existence lies ahead.  Still others may be pushed to reconsider what they have believed or their actions in this life as death creeps in.  Despite what the world tells you death is not natural!  Death was and is not in God’s design.  This is why we see Christ on Good Friday not cooperating with the ridiculing shouts to come down off the cross if He is the Christ.  He has to see it all the way through.  Christ’s incarnation, becoming flesh, is nothing less then submitting himself to the claws of death. 

TEXT: LUKE 24:1-12/I COR 15:19-26
TITLE: THE EIGHTH DAY DELIGHT OF THE NEW MAN!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Alleluia! Christ is risen!  His is risen indeed!  Alleluia!  The suffering and death of one man on a Friday afternoon was the greatest moment in the history of this fallen world!  As His death struggle drew to a close Jesus voiced an astounding cry – a cry of victory – “it is finished!”  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world claimed to have done just that – to have taken away the sin of the world!  In that horrible, brutal scene of blood and dust and death Jesus claimed that our redemption had been won – “it is finished!”  

Then came a day of rest – rest in the tomb.  Then - on the morning of the third day The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit spoke the “amen” to Jesus’ cry of finished victory on Calvary!  Alleluia! Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed! Alleluia!  The confirmation of the greatest news the world has ever heard came from a graveyard.  From the garden tomb came the proof of the cry of the Savior on the cross that proclaimed the total success of His sacrificial and saving work!  “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen.  Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”  

TEXT – Luke 23:1-56/John 12:12-16
LIFE DOESN’T ALWAYS TURN OUT THE WAY YOU EXPECT!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

This Sunday – Passion Sunday/Palm Sunday is one of competing emotions.  We sing “All glory laud and honor” but also “A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth”.  The Gospel holds before us the Second Adam – dying naked – as the first Adam lived in Paradise – naked.  In the shameful degradation of His public crucifixion, the crowd rages against Him.  While they rage against Him He prays for them.  

They impale Him between two deserving of death – just like us!  One of the thieves confesses this suffering, praying One whom His disciples denied.  The penitent thief saw dignity in His shame, hope in His humiliation, God in the beaten, bleeding flesh of this dying man.  He believed his fellow-sufferer was a King who had a kingdom.  He believed his fellow-sufferer was willing and able to give it to others even as He hung near death.  Life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect.  This man’s life would have been considered wasted by most – beyond hope.  Yet he cries out, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”    

Text: Luke 20:9-20
Owners of the Vineyard!
Vicar Kyle Krueger

In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

“The scribes and chief priests sought to lay hands on Him at that very hour, for they perceived that He had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.  So they watched Him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch Him in something He said, so as to deliver Him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.”

This was no empty threat from the scribes and the chief priests.  The next time Jesus would enter the temple would be from the fulfillment of this cunning and wicked scheming by these religious authorities.  The next appearance of Jesus in the temple would be under guard being tried by the Sanhedrin.  They would from there send him to Pilate, and thus the creed goes, “He was crucified under Pontius Pilate”.  This parable marks the beginning of the end for Jesus’ Journey to the cross.  The wheels are set into motion as Jesus sends a warning shot across the scribes and chief priests bow.

 

TEXT - LUKE 15:1-3; 11-32
THE SEARCHING, FORGIVING, PRODIGAL
LOVE OF THE FATHER IS FOR YOU
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


To the Church of God at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center, called as saints, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is much concern in our country these days about reckless, wasteful spending.  Billions and trillions are words regularly thrown about.  Earmarks and back room deals drip with wasteful spending while mountains of debt balloon their shadow over the future. 

If reckless, wasteful spending troubles you, which ever political direction it comes from, then you have some inkling of what the Father in our text saw in His lost younger son.  The word “prodigal” is often used to describe him.  It is the Latin word for “lavish”.  Its primary meaning is reckless, wasteful spending.



Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

"The Spirituality of God in Christ"

Luke 4:31-44

The new creation begins where the old creation ceases- on the Sabbath day in the Fathers House.  It is not the least bit ironic that the Epiphany season started with the young boy Jesus in His Fathers house.  Now, over half way through the Epiphany season we see Jesus as a grown man about His Fathers business teaching and healing still in His Father’s house.  This account brings up a question that you may not first see.  That question is this, “What is Spirituality?” or “What does it mean to be spiritual?” or yet another way to put it, “What is it to be Spirit-filled?”



TEXT: LUKE 4:16-30
THE CUSTOMS THAT JESUS CONTINUES TODAY!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To the Church of God at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center called as saints, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  

True Christianity is often misunderstood!  A common misconception is that “you Christians think you’re better than everyone else.”  That error extends itself to perceptions of why Christians go to weekly worship – as do-gooders - to put yourselves above others – to do one more thing to add to your spiritual resume.

The true realities are quite the opposite.  Christians know they are full of sin – in daily, deep need of forgiveness - not better than others.  They do not find comfort in comparing themselves with others nor do they attend weekly worship to put themselves above other people.  Understanding their spiritual sickness and their essential poverty before God, Christians gather in the Divine Service to receive the medicine and healing and gifts that no one but the risen Christ can give them.

Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

"Sign, Sign everywhere a sign"

John 2:1-11


“Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine.”

It is often common party practice for a host to serve the higher quality Lakefront microbrewery beer first, and then the perhaps less vibrant and lower flavor filled beer such as Miller High life.  People have plenty of good quality drinks at first, and then when their sense of taste has been dulled the cheaper product is brought out.  People, then do not notice a distinction in taste and the host can save a few dollars by a smaller number of the expensive beverages being consumed.a

 

 

Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?
Luke 2:41-55

46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parents [6] saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” [7] 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

Vicar Kyle Krueger

A very Merry Christmas to you once again and a happy ringing in of the New Year in the coming days.  Ah yes, the Sunday after Christmas.   All the excitement of the season seems to have led up to Christmas day and the coming Christ Child- with angels announcing His birth, Churches being filled with all our favorite Christmas hymns and then the Sunday after Christmas.  It may seem like there is nothing left to talk about.  The story has reached its climax with the Virgin giving birth to the messiah proclaimed from the prophets of old.  God has become flesh and dwelt among us.  Maybe you have been to church more in the last week then usual (perhaps more then you wanted), so what could be left to talk about?  There is a lot left to talk about.

TEXT: GAL 3:23-29/LUKE 2:21
LIVING FROM THE RESOLVE OF HIM NAMED “JESUS”!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age…

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:  Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2010?  The experts say that annual favorites of “losing weight” and “exercising more” have been surpassed at the top of this year’s resolution list by “saving more.”

The experts also say that only about 40% of resolutions last for a few months and less than 20% get to the second year.  In other words, getting “psyched up” with good intentions at the start of a year doesn’t have a good track record.  Willpower seldom gets past the rush of duties and the discouragement of desire that can come a few days into another year.

So, have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2010?  Do any resolutions from previous years come to mind that have made your life seem different and improved?  Do any resolutions come to mind that you have made again and again that haven’t carried through for very long?





Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

"A giant Santa Claus?"

Luke 2:22-40

A very Merry Christmas to you once again and a happy ringing in of the New Year in the coming days.  Ah yes, the Sunday after Christmas.   All the excitement of the season seems to have led up to Christmas day and the coming Christ Child- with angels announcing His birth, Churches being filled with all our favorite Christmas hymns and then the Sunday after Christmas.  It may seem like there is nothing left to talk about.  The story has reached its climax with the Virgin giving birth to the messiah proclaimed from the prophets of old.  God has become flesh and dwelt among us.  Maybe you have been to church more in the last week then usual (perhaps more then you wanted), so what could be left to talk about?  There is a lot left to talk about.        










TEXT: HEBREWS 10:5-10/Luke 1:49-56
REMEMBER WHAT JESUS SAW IN CHRISTMAS!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Then He (Christ) said, Behold, I have come to do your will, O God…  Dear Advent worshippers of the Son of God, by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

On this fourth Sunday of Advent, we stand on tiptoe (as it were) in anticipation of celebrating again the birth of Christ.  As the world’s calendar wends its way toward December 25th many ideas associate themselves with this season.  The word “Christmas” easily associates itself with “trees” and “gifts” and “cards” and “carols” and “vacation” to name a few.  And if we do associations with the word “Christmas” within the church, no doubt richer thoughts would be included – “the virgin birth of Jesus” and “angels” and “Bethlehem”. 

TEXT: LUKE 7:18-35; ZEPHANIAH 3:14-20; PHILIPPIANS 4:4-7
REJOICE WITH ALL YOUR HEART, O DAUGHTER OF JERUSALEM!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion…Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.  Dear Advent worshippers of the Son of God:

What a refrain of joy!  Unless you use blue candles, the third Sunday of Advent comes with a pink candle and with readings jam-packed with joy!  The Holy Gospel reveals that John the baptizer is in prison.  Yet it joyfully trumpets to John the good news that Jesus preaches to the poor.  Even if His forerunner is imprisoned, the good news of Jesus merits beautiful flute music worthy of dancing!  

St. Paul said it this way: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!  Even those words of joy come from prison - for St. Paul wrote to the Philippians while he was in chains.  He also states clearly that his death was close at hand.  In this context we might well be tempted to ask if this is some kind of shell game.  Joy is all over the place!  Yet voices in two of the three readings speak from the darkness of dungeons – Paul to the Philippians – John the baptizer to Jesus through his disciples’ question. 

ARE YOU READY?
Luke 3:1-20 ? Advent 2 C
Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

Are you ready?  That is the common question of the Christmas season.  Are you ready for Christmas?  Are you ready for family to come in or you to go to see them?  Are you ready with all your Christmas cards and gifts?  Are you ready with all the decorations and lights in and on your house?  There is an increase of urgency this time of year.  We spend weeks, even months of preparation for this one single day.  The next day the world speedily moves on like it never happened.  No more Christmas music on the radio, the streets become lined with used Christmas trees.  The world sets its sights on new years in a blink of an eye.

The Churches Season of Advent is a season of preparation also, but its message does not stop after the single 24 hour period we call “Christmas”.  Christmas echoes continue through the season of Epiphany all the way to Lent.  The lectionary will constantly remind us of the central doctrine of the Christmas story, the incarnation.  God taking on real flesh, real blood and coming down from heaven in the God-man Jesus Christ to redeem us lost and condemned creatures.  But for now we are still in Advent, the preparation continues.

TEXT: LUKE 19:28-40
THE KING COMES TO HIS KINGDOM
Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

The season of Advent is about the arrival of the King to His kingdom. The Church’s Advent season begins today with the arrival of Jesus on a colt, a donkey to the cheers of the crowd.  The rest of the world began an Advent season of sorts, a coming if you will, a few days ago with the arrival of the biggest shopping day of the year, “Black Friday”.  People cheering to the stores opening at 5am. Clothes and branches laid down at the feet of Jesus. Check books and Visa cards laid down at the feet of retailers. Two questions deserving of an answer this day.  One asks, what’s in your wallet? The other asks, what’s in your heart?  The one has done all the clever advertising and offers us just what we want on sale. The other knows us better than we know ourselves and offers us just what we need for free. Two voices reaching out for our attention. The one voice says, Behold, the X-Box 360 and all the other latest and greatest gadgets. The other, Behold, the Lamb of God

 

TEXT: MARK 13:24-37
KEEP WATCH BECAUSE...  THE OWNER OF THE HOUSE WILL COME BACK!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

To those who are called, beloved of God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ; mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you (Jude 2).  Dear hearers of the Son of Man who will come again in judgment;

 

“Stay awake – for you do not know when the master of the house will come…lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.  And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

 

With this Sunday, the church year draws to a close.  As it does God’s Word calls our attention to the end of this earth and the end of our lives on this earth.  The heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner – the prophet Isaiah (51:6).  O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! – The Introit (Psalm 39). 

TEXT: MARK 13:1-13/HEBREWS 10:11-25
LET US DRAW NEAR WITH A TRUE HEART IN FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH
WITH OUR HEARTS SPRINKLED CLEAN FROM AN EVIL CONSCIENCE
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

In many and various ways God spoke to His people of old by the prophets, but now in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son.  Dear hearers of the Word made flesh;

I express to every vicar my aversion to a diet of “French salad” sermons.  By that I mean we should not often include a host of “may we” and “let us” language.  “May we” do this – “let us” do that.  These expressions aren’t inherently bad but easily become stock and stale.  Also, we are the doers in both expressions – hence - although they are often meant to be gospel-like, they are law freighted – “let us” try harder – “may we” be more joyful – “let us” do better, etc.  In addition, “may we” can too easily be heard as a mere wish – “may we give more generously”.

TEXT: MARK 12
Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger


Honor and shame.  These seem like common threads through out all of History.  And we learn this paradigm, this way of thinking at a young age don’t we?  If a young child wets their pants in school and everyone laughs at them, they feel shame.  If they win an award in a science fair they feel honor.


Teenagers may understand these two feelings the best.  It is an honor and shame social system in High school.  If you don’t party enough or at all, if your not sexy enough or not cool enough, if you don’t wear just the right name brand clothing and shoes, if you don’t hang out in the right crowd you often feel intense shame and are put to shame by others for not living up to these sociological demands. And if you ignore the right people, if have the juiciest gossip you maybe honored for such things.  

REFORMATION SERVICE – WEST POINT BIBLE INSTITUTE
ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, BANCROFT, NEBRASKA
TEXT: MATTHEW 11:12-19; ROMANS 3:19-28
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS GIVEN BY CHRIST!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ from the West Point Circuit of the Nebraska District of the LCMS and other friends in Christ here today – called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Your sister congregation Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center, in Shorewood Wisconsin extends warm Reformation greetings to you.  It is by the kind permission and partnership in the Gospel of the members there that I am able to be with you today.

HIS STORY, OUR STORY
Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

Do you ever wonder why it is we like stories so much?  I’m sure many of you where read the traditional night time story when you where little and maybe you read them to your children now.  Or think about how much money is spent every year on movies and television shows.  We love our movies to have a good story line, we want them to have good actors, and we want them to be exciting and filled with mystery and suspense.  Most of us get involved with sitcoms, we enjoy getting to know the characters, and we cannot wait to see what will happen in the next episode.  We love a good story. 


Text: Mark 10:23-31
Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

Jesus words cut right to the heart of American culture.  “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”  You have to wonder how others around the globe view Americans as an entire community gathers around one television set to see what is happening in the United States via a satellite stream once a month. 

Believe it or not the whole world does not have Time Warner Cable or U-verse running into their home for their personal TV or TV’s.  What do other people around the world think of houses with more then one room or what do they think of us having a room just for our vehicles?!  What astonishment others must have as they find out that we can’t decide what to wear as we sift through a closet full of colorful and warm garments while some find their entire wardrobe consisting of the clothing they have on their backs? 

TEXT: Genesis2:18-25/Mark 10:2-16
CHRIST REMAINS FAITHFUL TO HIS CHILD-BRIDE!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

In many and various ways God spoke to His people of old by the prophets.  But now in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son (Heb. 1:1, 2).  Dear hearers of the Word made flesh;

“From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate.”




Text: Mark 9:38-50
Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

We don’t talk about hell to much do we?  We usually hear more about the goodness and gifts of God in Christ.  And this is a good thing.  For the freeing message of the Gospel should predominate in our preaching, teaching and conversation.  But in order for the Gospel to be sweet to our ears and dear to our hearts there must be something to be saved from, something to be rescued from, something to be delivered from.  It is with that that we must speak as clearly and carefully about hell as Jesus does in our Gospel text.


TEXT: MARK 9:30-37
RIGHTLY AFRAID TO ANSWER,
YOU SHOULD NEVER FEAR TO ASK!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Every good thing…and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17).  Dear children of our never changing heavenly Father; God continue to bless you with His perfect gifts from above through Jesus Christ our Lord:

Most of us recognize that big talk is rarely a sign of strength.  Pushing people around physically or verbally, acting tough, seeking recognition are often actions of people with deep insecurities.  Outward swagger regularly hides inward weakness they don’t want us to see. 

Mark 9:14-29: “I Believe, Help My Unbelief!”
Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

You just came out from Church.  You heard a great sermon where law and gospel were properly distinguished and applied to your life. The preacher used a few witty phrases to give you a chuckle.  The saving message of Christ Crucified and risen was proclaimed so clearly you put an extra twenty in the plate.  The communion liturgy had a heavenly character about it.  You where singing A mighty Fortress with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven as you approached the Altar to receive the wonderful gift of Christ’s body and blood.  You felt the words of the benediction had real meaning for you and truly gives you peace.   All seems to be right with the world and you are thankful for the gifts God has given you physically and spiritually.

TEXT: MARK 7:24-37
HEARING AND SPEAKING FROM THE TOUCH OF JESUS!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Every good thing…and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17).  Dear children of your perfectly giving, never changing heavenly Father;

The deaf man came from the Gentile region of no-name towns – ten of them - the Decapolis.  We don’t know his name either – only his health problems.  They brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment.  Those among us with hearing aids sometimes help the rest of us understand the loss that occurs when the gift of hearing is blunted or dulled.

TEXT:  MARK 17:14-23
JESUS GOES FOR OUR HEARTS?
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To the saints who are at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center and are faithful in Christ Jesus, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ.

The rabbis had attacked Jesus’ disciples for not washing their hands before eating.  Now Jesus turns the tables on the fault finders and lays open their hearts.  In so doing, he also lays open our hearts if we can but see with our ears.  Hear me all of you and understand:  There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him…  


Preached by Seminarian Benjamin Hertel

Beloved in the Word of God: the Man Christ Jesus; Grace and Peace will be yours in the fullest measure.

A few verses further into the Gospel of St. Mark and Jesus gives us His main point for this chapter when He says “There is nothing outside of us that we can take and put in us to make us evil or unclean.  Only the things that come out of us can make us that way.”

Do we like when things are clean?  Yes, we do especially when it comes to what we eat with.  How many times do you use a plate before you wash it?  How many times do you use a cup?  Let me ask you this, if you wanted a cup of water and you saw a cup sitting by the sink, ready to be used, would you use it? 

TEXT: JOHN 6:51-69

"HARD SAYINGS"

Preached by Vicar Kyle Krueger

There are a lot of hard sayings for us in this life.  Everything from “that will be $500 for a new alternator” or “I’m sorry we are going to have to let you go. We just don’t have the money for your position anymore” or “the cancer is back, you only have months to live”.  Its times like this that we try to understand “why?” We grumble toward God and one another about them.  We may even find these sayings so offensive that we become angry toward God and those around us because of them.

This begins to give you a glimpse into the thoughts and emotions that where going through the Jews and disciples minds when Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh”.

TEXT: JOHN 6: 35-51
IN CHRIST, ETERNAL LIFE IS YOUR PRESENT POSSESSION!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To the saints at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center who are faithful in Christ Jesus, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear hearers or the Word; I don’t usually read the Sunday comics, but a few weeks ago a family member brought to my attention this one from “Pearl’s Before Swine”.  The goat says, “My neighbor Fred died suddenly – he was only 42”.  The mouse then asks a series of questions – “Was he super fat?” – “Smoke four packs a day?” “Family history” –To all of these the goat in turn answers “no”.  With a panicked look, the mouse continues – “Previous heart problems?  – “Use drugs?” The goat again answers “no”.  The frightened mouse continues “Drive super fast motorcycles in the rain?” 

TEXT: JOHN 6:21-35
THE THRILLING ANSWER OF JESUS!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To the saints at Luther Memorial Chapel who are faithful in Christ Jesus, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ;

“What must we do to be doing the works of God?” they asked Jesus.  After His feeding of the five thousand, after they followed Him and he scolded them for working for perishable food, they asked “What must we do to be doing the works of God?”  His simple answer is our life!  His unexpected answer is our joy!  His thrilling answer is your one unshakable hope in this dying world!  And you don’t believe it as you should – nor do I!  That stubborn sin clings to us everyday – unbelief in our absolute need for and God’s free gift of His love and goodness for us in Christ!  “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered, “This is the work of God that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

Text: Mark 6:45-56; Genesis 9:8-17; Ephesians 3:14-21

Preached by: Vicar Christopher Amen


They saw what their wicked hearts imagined and deceived them to fear, an apparition, a phantom of the night coming to steal their lives.


What they thought they saw and feared would have been something like that out of Harry Potter. Their eyes blinded by the fog of their sinful hearts could not clearly see that this was no mythical figure, but it was Jesus. In terror they cried out. After all, men can’t walk on water. Then Jesus spoke,






It Takes Courage to Be a Christian
Text: Amos 7:7–15; Mark 6:14–29; Eph 1:3–14
Preached by Rev. Nathan Jastram


The three texts for today are just about as opposite as you can get. The Old Testament lesson has all sorts of strife: Amos curses the nation of Israel and then is told that he had better run for his life. Will Amos be killed? Will the nation be destroyed? Life hangs in the balance—how is it going to turn out? The Epistle lesson has no stress—it’s full of comfort and peace that no one can take away from you, because God has predestined your salvation from eternity. Does it matter that the Devil sets traps, raises obstacles, fights battles? Not at all—the Devil can’t undo what God has already done. God chose you, sealed you in baptism with the Holy Spirit, and guaranteed that you will be with him forever, no matter what. Then the Gospel reading takes us right back into strife: John the Baptist confronts Kind Herod about his sexual sin, so Herod puts him in jail and finally cuts off his head.

Text: Mark 6:1-13; Ezekiel 2:1-5; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Preached by Vicar Christopher Amen

A weak prophet. A weak apostle. A weak Messiah in His home congregation. If you’re looking for displays of divine muscle, you’re a week too late. Last week we had two healings for the price of one - a woman cured of a twelve year bleeding and a twelve year old girl raised from the dead.

Today we get the prophet Ezekiel, preaching to the exiles, without so much as a single miracle in his pocket. And we hear the apostle Paul “boasting” about how he prayed three times and didn’t get what he prayed for. (Try making a best selling book on prayer out of that one!) And then we hear about Jesus in His hometown of Nazareth, in the synagogue of His boyhood, greeted by skepticism, scandal, unbelief, rejection. Hardly the power and the glory we expect from the God who made the heavens and the earth with a Word!

Mark 45:21-43 (Lamentations 3:22-33; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15)
Preached by Rev. Gary Gehlbach

CHRIST MAKES YOU WELL

In the Acts of the Apostles after a lame man was healed, St. Peter declared, By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:10-12). Listen again: There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Text: Mark 4:26-34 (Ezekiel 17:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 [12-17])
Preached by Rev. Gary Gehlbach

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In today’s OT reading from Ezekiel, we hear our Lord say, I, the LORD, have spoken and have done it (Ezk 17:24). These clear words from our Triune God should leave no doubt in your mind – THE LORD HAS DONE IT. From the creation of the world to the judgment of the world on the last day, it is the Lord who has done everything to bring you to Him so that you might rest in safety. He brought life. Man brought death. So God did what was necessary. God destroyed death and gave new life. Death and life are the two words which can sum up today’s readings and indeed sum up all Scripture. It is in death and life that Christ our Lord accomplished His work of forgiving all your sins and giving you life and salvation.

Text: John 3:1-17, Isaiah 6:1-8, Acts 2:22-36
Preached by Vicar Christopher Amen

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

It is no accident that the liturgy leads the pastor to begin the Divine Service, “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and not, “We begin in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In the invocation we are not telling ourselves what we are about to do. In the invocation we are not simply reminding ourselves who the one true God is. Rather, in the invocation, we are calling directly on the Holy Trinity Himself with trust that He comes into our midst as He has promised.




TEXT: JOHN 15:26-27: 16:4b-15
THE ADVANTAGE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE GIFT OF LIFE IN CHRIST!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

“I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.  But if I go, I will send him to you.”  Dear hearers of the Word (both members of Luther Memorial Chapel and guests with us today), dear Sophia, and Nikki on your confirmation day – God grant that the Spirit of truth continue to work to your advantage by declaring Christ to you!



Text: John 17:11-19
Vicar Christopher Amen

[Jesus] is in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is about to be arrested and parted from His disciples, and crucified. And so He prays. Not for Himself, but for His disciples, for His Church. Because that is what is in His heart. We are what matter to Him. For this is why He came – for them. For us. And so in His final hours, He doesn’t waste words by saying what isn’t important. He prays for what really matters. He prays for what we really need. And what He prays is what we really need to hear.


So what does Jesus pray?....

...

Text: Luke 24:44-53, Acts 1:1-11

Preached by Vicar Christopher Amen

 

The Ascension of Jesus is a big deal. A very big deal. If Christ be not ascended, then we’ve got a big problem. Where in the world is He? On this Thursday evening, forty days after Easter, many people question, “Ascension Day, so what?”

TEXT: JOHN 15:9-17
GOD MEANS FOR YOU TO ENJOY THE LOVE OF JESUS!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


“Behold what manner of love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called children of God.  And that is what we are” (I John 3:1).  Dear children of God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

In a city congregation, with members spread over many villages and suburbs, with work and school and family spreading precious time over so many schedules, how do we do what Jesus calls for in today’s Gospel?  How do we love one another as He loved us?  How do we lay down our lives for our friends here in this congregation?

Apart From Christ You Can Do Nothing:
In Christ You Produce Much Fruit
Text: John 15:1-8
Preached By Vicar Christopher Amen

Dear fruitful saints at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” If you can imagine for a moment that you don’t know that Jesus is the one who said this, what would be your immediate reaction to it?

Text: John 10:11-16
Preached by Rev. Gary Gehlbach
THE GOOD SHEPHERD LAYS DOWN HIS LIFE FOR YOU

Our Lord and God gives us the definition of love and that He Himself is love with the imagery of a shepherd and his sheep.



TEXT: JOHN 20:19-31
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN
AND YET HAVE BELIEVED!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


The most precise portrayal of Jesus’ physical appearance in Scripture is given by the prophet Isaiah.  The Holy Spirit caused Him to describe the Messiah this way...

...

TEXT: I COR 15:1-15/MARK 16:1-8
JESUS’ CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRCTION
IS THE MATTER OF FIRST IMPORTANCE IN YOUR LIFE!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

 

Alleluia.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

 

This is the matter of first importance for this dying world – for you – for your family – for your friends!  Moral philosophers, great inventors, admired celebrities, we have those in abundance.  But men who rise from the dead after being nailed to a cross are another matter.  There is only One in human history who died and rose from the dead never to die again.  Either He is who He claims to be – this world’s Savior – your Savior – whom comes to serve you with gifts of forgiveness as He promised or He must be discarded as a fraud, along with His Word and the Word of the Apostles He sent out to speak His Word.

GOOD FRIDAY – APRIL 10, 2009
TEXT: MARK 15:46
REMEMBER WHAT CAME BEFORE!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

 

Let your mind rest for a moment this evening on the inside of that tomb.  All is quiet - there is no sound.  All is black – there is no light.  All is still – there is no life.  There is only darkness – total darkness - and death....

...

Text: Mark 15:21-32
Vicar Christopher Amen


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Some think that there is nothing “good” about today. So, they say, it should be called “Sad Friday” or “Dark Friday.” To be sure, this is not everyone's favorite day. Deep down, we find this day to be sad and painful. We would rather skip Lent and jump to Easter. There is a part of us that would rather focus on the healing and feeding and the glory of Jesus instead of the cross. Why? Deep down, we want to avoid suffering and focus on glory. But also deep down, Good Friday is a day of contrition and deep reflection. It should be, because our sin caused Jesus to die.

TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 10:16-17
JESUS COMES THIS CLOSE – TO YOU!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Do you ever think or say or hear others say, “I wish I could get closer to God?”  That expression could be one of repentance and recognition of the rebellious Old Adam and the distance he desires to keep from God and His Word.  But that expression could also indicate a lack of trust in God’s promises and a desire for God to satisfy us according to our perception of how He should come close to us. 


The truth is that God promises to come no closer to us in this life than in the manner we remember (today) tonight.  On the night of His betrayal Jesus gave holy means of communion with Himself.  On the night of His betrayal Jesus took the initiative and gave a Holy Mystery the way He wanted to give it, in order to have intimate fellowship with us. 

TEXT: PHIL 2:5-11/MARK 15:1-47
IN LIFE AND IN DEATH - HOW COULD YOU STOOP SO LOW?
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:


Palm Sunday was and is about death and life!  For four days the corpse of Lazarus had lain, rotting in a tomb in Bethany.  Then Jesus shouted “Lazarus come out!” And He did!  From stinking corpse to saving sign, the man Lazarus was full of life again.  The people knew it!  The reason this crowd gathered to receive Jesus is because they knew it.  The Pharisees knew it too and feared everyone would follow Jesus because of it!  They were seeking all the more to kill Him.

TEXT: MARK 10:32-45
Adapted by Pastor Wieting from Dr. Timothy Quill’s sermon


The sermon this evening is drawn from Dr. Timothy Quill’s sermon preached here yesterday but with a freely adapted ending.


Jesus took the Twelve aside and confidentially explained to them in very clear terms the central message of the Christian faith. He was going up to Jerusalem to suffer, die, and rise on the third day. His message was unmistakably clear.

James and John then took Jesus aside from the other ten and made this request, “We want you to do for us whatever we ask.” “What do you want me to do for you,” he asked. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left.”

Fifth and Sixth Commandment

Passion Text: Mark 15:1-15

Preached by Vicar Christopher Amen

 

Just as a culture rejects God gift of life, so it rejects His gift of marriage. Willful and stubborn people presume to change God’s definition of love.  They want love to serve them.  God defines love to serve the neighbor, not the self.  The popular view of love defines love precisely in the opposite way.  We want what we want when we want.  That, of course, is idolatry, because God alone is the One to whom we must never say no.  The new morality or the old immorality rejects the authority of God.  The disciples of this religion see something and they want it so they take it. And if two people consent in using one another’s bodies and in idolizing one another, who are we to say that’s wrong?  You are God’s child – that’s who – one who speaks the truth in love.

JOHN 3:14-21
Preached by Vicar Christopher Amen


Isn’t it fascinating how the cure for many viruses comes from the virus itself? The deadly disease of polio is vaccinated by injecting into infants a stain of polio. So it is with other viruses, the vaccine involves the very virus itself. In a fallen world, our bodies suffer from attacks from the outside world.

Passion Reading: Mark 15:53-72
Fourth and Eighth Commandments

Preached by Vicar Christopher Amen

 

“How can you believe is such nonsense?” the world exclaims. Science has proven that the earth is billions of years old and we formed through an evolutionary process. Life in the womb is not really a life, homosexuality is not a choice but something that people are born with, and we are really all good people at heart and saying we are sinners is just offensive. So, are you saying you are a Christian, one of “them”?

THIRD COMMANDMENT
PASSION READING MARK 14:26-42
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To find the mother lode of what someone believes, look at a hymn they compose. A good hymn stanza can’t use empty words. Foundational thoughts must be boiled down, fit together and firmly summed up. To combine meter and music with clear substance takes talent and targeted thought.
TEXT: JOHN 2:13-25
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple…“Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

The problem in the temple was not a Bernie Madoff rip-off scheme that cheated people out of their money. The problem in the temple was not Brewer Stadium or movie theatre prices charging multiple times the cost of an item elsewhere.
Text: MARK 8: 27 – 38
Profit And Loss! Life and Death! Cross and Christian!
Peeached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Profit and loss is something we currently hear about all the time – financial profit and loss! How much have you lost in the last year? As the meltdown has continued these past few months I’ve heard a phrase new to me. It pertains to taking funds out of other investments and simply putting them in a bank.
THE FIRST AND SECOND COMMANDMENTS
PASSION READING: MARK 14:10-25
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Dear Lenten worshippers of Christ our Lord; Christianity is a religion for broken people. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick…I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Nothing can diagnose our sin-sickness and break us so thoroughly as the Ten Commandments.
TEXT: JAMES 1:12-18/MARK 1:9-15
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE FORGIVEN!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Beloved, count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life (From James 1:2, 12).

Text: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Joel 2:12-19
Preached by Vicar Christopher Amen

Lent is a curious season. 40 days of purple. Somber and serious. Sackcloth and ashes. Prayer and penitence. It seems so out of place in our culture of consumption and comfort. Contrition cuts against the grain of self-esteem and our expectations that every day will be sunny and happy. Lent is like a cold shower in a world of warm, fuzzy religion. A time to stand before the mirror of God’s law and face our sin and death squarely as men and women redeemed by Jesus.
Text: PSALM 146/IS.35:3-7/1 COR. 14:1-13/LUKE 18:31-45
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting at Catalina Lutheran Church and Christ Lutheran Church – Marana

Jesus said of Himself to the twelve, “they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” But they understood none of these things. Jesus asked the blind man near Jericho, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover you sight; your faith has made you well.”
Text: Mark 9:2-9
Christ’s Hidden Glory Is Revealed
Preached by Rev. Gary Gehlbach

Who was this Jesus? By many, he was mocked and ridiculed. His enemies saw Him as a disturber of Israel, a carpenter’s son, a person of questionable parentage. He was not numbered with the rich, the famous, or the powerful, but He was numbered among the poor, the ordinary, and the weak.  He was numbered with sinners and transgressors.
TEXT: MARK 1:40-45/II KINGS 5:1-14
PERFECT CLEANSING – SO SIMPLE YET SO PROFOUND!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Consider two lepers – one a successful military commander, a man of valor from Syria (a General Petraeus of his day and his nation) – the other – just a leper!  One knew he was on empty – the other learned that truth.
 
EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR THIS… WE RECEIVE THAT
Texts: Mark 1:29-39, Isaiah 40:21-31
Preched by Vicar Christopher Amen

For a day of rest, Jesus certainly had a busy day. First he preaches in the synagogue in Capernaum and casts out a demon. Then he makes a house call to the house of Simon and Andrew to visit Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. She had to miss the service because she was sick with a fever. Jesus comes to her bedside, takes her by the hand and raises her up. She feels completely better, the fever is gone.
TEXT: MARK 1:21-28
WHAT IS THIS? A NEW TEACHING WITH AUTHORITY!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Talk is cheap they say – but not the words God speaks through Jesus Christ – not the words He combined with the water and used to baptize Patrick and John this morning. Today God give you ears to hear His words spoken first in the synagogue in Capernaum.
TEXT: Mark 1:14-20; 1 Corinthians 7:29-35; Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Preached by Vicar Christopher Amen

Time keeps on ticking, time seems to fly by. There doesn’t seem to be enough time. And yet, for something far off, maybe weeks or months away, there is plenty of time – until time goes by and the next deadline or big event is upon you.
TEXTS: ROMANS 6:1-11/MARK 1:4-11
BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Baptized into His death! Jesus isn’t on the cross anymore but He doesn’t want you to stop thinking of Him there or picturing Him there. The risen Lord had appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, converting Him and renaming Him Paul. The Lord then sent Him out to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles.
TEXT: LUKE 2:40-52
WHY HAVE YOU TREATED US SO?
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Little children – little problems! Big children – big problems! That’s what Barbara and I were told as young parents more than once. That advice generally came from parents whose children had left home or were about to – you know, 17, 18 years – on up to…well on up…because you never lose your love and concern for your children.
Text: Luke 12:35-40, Romans 8:31-39
In an Instant....
Preached by Vicar Amen

In an instant, we fell into Satan’s trap and into sin. In an instant we deserved nothing but death. In a minute of our fall, God promised a Savior. A day like any other, and suddenly the birth of a baby inBethlehem changed how the day would be celebrated. A Friday like any other, and the skies turned black, theTemple curtain was torn in two, and our Lord cried out, “It is finished,” and death was conquered. A day like any other and Christ was raised, conquering death. A day like any other, and you were baptized into his death...

...
Text: John 1:1-18
And the Word Became Flesh!
Preached by Vicar Amen

In one short and shattering expression, God reveals the heart of the Christian faith.  The place of God’s dwelling is the flesh of Christ.  The tiny body of the baby that grew in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the infant body of the baby that lay in the Bethlehem manger, was the body of both God and man. He upholds the universe, yet his infant body is upheld by his mother’s arms. In one sense that is a mystery.  It is indescribable and unspeakable.  But in another sense it is very describable and revealing for that is what words do.  Words reveal and explain and clarify.  And Jesus is the Word made flesh.
Text: Luke 1:26-38
THE LORD IS WITH YOU:
        NOT AN IMPOSSIBLE WORD!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Whatever other preparations and expectations weigh on your heart these next few days - let your joy in this one weigh more.  By His grace and mercy He came to lift the sins that weigh you down.  This is Immanuel, God with us! 
Text: John 1:6-8, 19-28
SENT FROM GOD TO BEAR WITNESS TO THE LIGHT!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

One thing that sticks in my mind from the time you sent me to Siberia was the atmosphere - dreary and gray in November. The buildings also were rather colorless – white or gray outside – inside the hallways of my building - gray cement block. The economic outlook after so many decades of communism was also lackluster and bleak.
Text: Mark 1:1-8/Isaiah 40:1-11
You Are Given Grace To Start Over In Christ!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Just like that he appeared! He came to stir things up – especially human hearts! He came on the scene in the Jordan wilderness where God had taken Elijah off the scene. He wore a leather belt after the fashion of Elijah (II Kings 1:8). He inherited the power and the poverty and the prophetic ministry of Elijah.
TEXT: MARK 11:1-10/ISAIAH 64:1-9
ISAIAH AND THE ADVENT OF CHRIST
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Dear worshippers of the coming Christ; the Church is so unlike the world that she has her own year. She is in the world but not of the world! Today we note how her year starts all over again in this season we call Advent!
TEXT: Luke 17:11-19, Philippians 4:6-20
Thankful for Mercy and Pardon
Preached by Vicar Amen

Separated from their homes, from society, this dreaded disease of leprosy not only led to inevitable death but took the joy out of living.  So you too are as good as dead. Your sin leaves you with nothing else, only separation from your heavenly home and nothing that you can do to escape death.
Text: Matthew 25:31-46
WHICH SIDE IS YOUR SIDE?
Preached by Rev. Gary Gehlbach

Even before their works are revealed, those who gathered before the throne are identified as sheep or goats. It is not their works which make them sheep or goats. It is their status as sheep or goats which make their works good or evil.
Ready to Give an Account
Text- Matthew 25:14-30, Zephaniah 1:7-16, I Thessalonians 5:1-11
Preached by Vicar Amen

The Gospel is not about fairness--it is not about our getting what we deserve. If it were, it surely would not be Gospel, good news.

Text: Matthew 25:1-13
WAITING WITH WISDOM FOR THE BRIDEGROOM
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

"The parable of the ten virgins is not about avowed atheists or humanists or Buddhists or Mormons or any such known group. It is about Lutherans and other professing Christians!"
Text: Matthew 22:15-22, Isaiah 45:1-7
Render Unto Caesar What Is Caesars, and to God What is God’s
Preached by Vicar Christopher Amen

Dear Christians bearing the image of Christ,

Politics can be a slick game. We see and hear strategies done by politicians seeking favor among most of the people. This is nothing new, it has been done throughout American politics and it has been done among political groups throughout history. And we see it being done in today’s Gospel reading.

The right wing conservative Pharisees were highly religious laymen who opposed the governmental rule of Rome. The left wing liberal Herodians were the loyal party of the Roman empire, the puppets to Rome’s king in Galilee. The Pharisees and Herodians had nothing in common, except their opposition to Jesus. These two opposing groups band together, attempting to be very slick and entrap Jesus. “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances;” flattering words from scheming hearts. Following this setup was the real trap, “Tell us, then, what do you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”

TEXT: MATTHEW 22:1-14
YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS CELEBRATION!
COME TO GOD’S WEDDING FEAST!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice. Dear invited guests of the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ:
You don’t want to miss this grand celebration! It is the King’s gathering and all the work is done! Everything is in readiness for you! It is all free to you! He wants you there! Just come!

This parable is about the kingdom of heaven. In Revelation heaven is called the “marriage of the Lamb” (19:7). “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” (19:9). Therefore blessed are you! The King says to you, “come to the wedding feast of my Son.”

Jesus gives two emphatic warnings in this parable that separate it from just an earthly celebration. The first warning is that some of the servants extending His gracious invitation were killed! How out of place is that? A normal wedding invitation may be ignored or snubbed or met with all manner of excuses. But kill the messenger – “no”. Jesus’ second warning is the improperly dressed guest being bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness. There is no outer darkness surrounding an ordinary wedding. Even a rude guest would not be bound hand and foot. Jesus uses this parable to teach that hell is no parable. His words are for our ears as well as the religious leaders to whom He spoke during holy week.
TEXT: LUKE 10:17-20/REV 12:7-12
GOSPEL PREACHING/SATAN’S FALL/ANGEL’S JOY
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven spirits who are before His throne (that is the Holy Spirit)… and from Jesus Christ…the firstborn of the dead. Dear children of our Father in heaven;

This morning think with me about what we pray each day in the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer – Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Did you know that in the Greek, the extension – on earth as it is in heaven – could well apply to all of the first three petitions? That is, Hallowed be Thy Name – on earth as it is in heaven. Thy kingdom come – on earth as it is in heaven. Thy will be done – on earth as it is in heaven.

Contemplate the phrase on earth as it is in heaven. The words “on earth” teach us that our heavenly Father’s concerns are earth-wide. They go beyond our limited line of sight in Wisconsin and the circle of connections in our family and friends. The one who gave His only begotten Son out of love for the world cares for the whole wide earth and teaches us so to pray – Thy will be done on earth – that is on all the earth.
TEXT: MATTHEW 22: 34-46
IN CHRIST JESUS GOD LOVES US WITH ALL HIS HEART!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting at Grace Lutheran, Columbus, Indiana

To the Church of God at Grace Lutheran, Columbus, Indiana…called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Drawn from I Cor. 1:2, 3).

Greetings from your sister congregation Luther Memorial Chapel, located in Shorewood, WI (a village of Milwaukee). It is by their kind encouragement and partnership in the Gospel that I am able to be with you today. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ;

When the Pharisees heard that (Jesus) had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. It wasn’t easy to silence the Sadducees! They were the high achievers of their day, those who aced the ACT and SAT tests. They were socially elite and theologically liberal. They believed in what they could see and feel and therefore belonged to the “death-ends-it-all” school. When you’re dead, you’re dead - they thought. So they sought to trap Jesus with a question concerning seven brothers married successively to a serial widow. “Which of the seven will have her as wife in heaven?”
HEAR, THEN, THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER!
TEXT: MATTHEW 13:3-9, 18-23
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To all at Luther Memorial Chapel, loved by God and called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

A key attitude in life is the attitude of listening. Husbands don’t listen to wives the way they should. Often what a wife desires most from her husband is not that he try to fix a problem or come up with his idea of a quick answer, but that he listen and understand, that he truly knows his wife in her vocation and struggles. Husbands don’t listen to wives the way they should. It is also true that wives don’t always listen perfectly to their husbands in the role that God has given them.
Come to Me All Who Labor...
Text: Matthew 11:25-30
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

Beloved of the Lord Jesus Christ, here at Luther Memorial Chapel. Grace to you and peace. Amen.

How’s your search coming? All around us, people are looking. The wise and understanding look within science, that is in math, biology, chemistry or physics. The cultured are looking in the arts, whether modern or ancient, it doesn’t matter. The historians flip through the pages of history looking for the answer. Yet, in all these places, the answer to the question will not be found.
WHEN PEACE IS BAD! WHEN ENEMIES ARE FAMILY!
TEXT: MATTHEW 10: 34-42
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

To all who are beloved of God at Luther Memorial Chapel, called as saints, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus did not want the twelve to be unprepared when confessing Him caused strife in their lives. Do not think that I have come to bring peace, but a sword. The Greek can be understood that Jesus came not only to bring peace, but also the sword of division.
Do Not Fear Those Who Can Kill the Body...
Text: Matthew 10:5a, 21-33
Preached By Vicar Roy Askins

Confessing Christ before family members is a dangerous proposition. “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death...” (Matthew 10:21).

What does [Jesus] mean, here? He means that if you follow Him, and your brother or sister or parents or children don’t follow Him, they’ll betray you, they’ll rise up against you; they’ll murder you the same way that His enemies murdered Him. But for must of us, it hasn’t come to that yet. For most of us it hasn’t come to complete betrayal or revolution or murder.
JESUS THROWS OUT THE APOSTLES TO FREELY GIVE TO THE HARASSED AND HELPLESS!
TEXT: MATTHEW 9:35-10:20
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

In the Name of Jesus; Amen.

Have you ever wondered what type of fathers the apostles were? On a Father’s Day scale of 1 to 10 how would they rate? We know that Peter was married but aren’t told if the couple was blessed with children. Paul in speaking of his rights to the church at Corinth implies that the apostles who had wives generally took them along with them (I Cor. 9:5). That would imply the presence of their children as well.
I Desire Mercy and Not Sacrifice
Text: Matthew 9:9-13
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

“The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting” (Psalm 50:1). What does the Mighty One say? He says, “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’” (Matthew 9:13)
Beware of False Prophets...
Text: Matthew 7:15-29
Preached by Rev. Greg Grenyo

Their messages can be heard on the radio and television, and read on the internet. You can hear them speak on Sunday mornings at places, which bear the name Christian. They write and sing hymns. They present papers at theological convocations, and even quote the Word of God in an attempt to support their ideas. They have written confessions of their beliefs. They encourage your children to come to Vacation Bible School and sit at their feet and hear their messages. They have programs set up to help the poor and needy.
CONFIRMATION SUNDAY
TEXT: MATTHEW 6:24-34/ROMANS 1: 8-17
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

In the Name of Jesus – Amen. Dear Alden and Aleksandra and Sensei:
this present moment is so important to you - so drink it in! Dear hearers of the Word, this present moment is equally important to all of you, - so drink it in. Its chief importance comes not from the fact that three of us are confirmed today. The chief importance of this moment comes from the fact that it is this moment - the present - the point at which time touches eternity. The risen Christ is in your midst right now to bring you heavenly gifts. The risen Christ is here in the present to cast worry and anxiety out of your heart. The present is always a precious moment in your life – so drink it in!
ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH
Text: Matthew 28:16-20
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

How much authority does your voice have? Most of us, in fact probably all of us, don’t have much authority in our voices. We cannot send tens of thousands of men into war. We cannot influence the livelihood of a company of 100,000 employees by either saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to one health plan or another.
PENTECOST IS STILL HAPPENING!
TEXT: ACTS 2:1-21
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

When accused of being drunk Peter reminded them that it was only the third hour of the day, that is – 9 AM. It was ten days after Jesus ascended and 50 days (a week of weeks) after He rose from the dead, that is – a Sunday! They were gathered together at nine o’clock on a Sunday morning. Sound familiar? What are you normally doing on Sunday morning at 9AM – like this morning? Exactly what the eleven were doing on the Day of Pentecost!
HOLY FATHER, KEEP THEM IN YOUR NAME
TEXT: I PETER 4 & 5/JOHN 17:1-11
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ – Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus, our Lord.

The readings for the Ascension of our Lord on Thursday evening proclaimed that everything has been put under His feet. How blessed we mortals are by His glorious enthronement as God and Man! Yet how uncertain and even untrue it sometimes seems! If the risen and ascended Christ is ruling all things then why this crumbling culture, why this personal crisis, why this continuing painful condition?
SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – APRIL 27, 2008
TEXT: ACTS 17; I PETER 3; JOHN 14:15-21
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Having recently attended a funeral in Missouri for a cousin on Barbara’s side and having just returned from the funeral for my father in S. Dakota, our family is reminded once again that every enduring gift we have comes from one Man, the crucified and risen Christ. Thank you for your kind expressions of sympathy and your prayers anchored in Him, Jesus, the Son of God.
THE SON IS ENOUGH!
Text: John 14:1-14
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

“Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us,” (John 14:8). Is it ever enough? You know how it works with money. When a raise comes or a bonus, you think, “Finally, this will be enough to make it.” And yet, though the new funds are there, the money always gets consumed. There’s always something more that becomes necessary to life whenever there is extra money on the table. Once you’ve ‘adjusted’ to the new income level, your thoughts turn to the next financial rung and you think, “If only we had another .... you put the number in the blank.... dollars per month, we’d be good.” We all know how this reasoning goes.
BECAUSE YOU KNOW HIS VOICE...
Text: John 10:1-10
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Amen.

Children know the voice of their parents. Not only have they heard their parent’s voices their entire lives, but They’ve also heard their parent’s voices while still in their mother’s womb. Instinctively they know and trust in those voices. When the terrors of the night are overwhelming and they cry out in fear, they expect to hear their parent’s voices. They expect to hear and be comforted.
WHAT MORE IS THERE TO SAY?
TEXT: LUKE 24:13-25
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

What more can I say to you about this text than you have heard me say in nearly two decades? The risen Christ walked with the Emmaus disciples and taught them of Himself from the Old Testament Scriptures. He set their hearts burning as He opened the Scriptures to them. When they invited Him to stay He went in with them. Then He quickly took over the meal and Himself became the host, not the guest. We read, He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.
"PEACE BE WITH YOU!"
Text: John 20:19-31
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.

So what now? Last Sunday we celebrated Jesus’ conquering of Satan, hell and death. His victorious cry from the cross, “It is finished!” marked the defeat of Satan. His resurrection was God the Father’s stamp of Amen! on the death of His Son. So what now?
JESUS WHO WAS CRUCIFIED HAS RISEN!
TEXT: MATTHEW 29:1-10
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

Alleluia, Christ is risen! HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA! An earthquake! An angel of the Lord! A stone rolled back from the mouth of the tomb! Security guards like dead men! Fear would have gripped anyone present at that early dawn, you and I included. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead…”
STONE COLD DEAD
Text: Ezekiel 36:24-28
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

Stone cold dead. That’s how God describes the hearts of the Israelites. They had abandoned God’s ways and played the harlot with other nations (Ezekiel 16). They refused and failed to be obedient and walk in the statutes of God. How did God then respond?
IT IS FINISHED!
TEXT: JOHN 19:30
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

Excerpt:
What is finished? A life, for one thing! The life of the one who took on human flesh in the Virgin’s womb; the life of the one human being who was human by His choice; the life of the one human being whose humanity was not corrupted by the poison of sin; the life of the one who went around doing good and healing every kind of disease; the life of one who chose us in spite of the fact that we did not choose Him.
A NEW ROBE
Text: Matthew 27:27-36
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

In the name of Jesus, Amen. Dear Christians, how closely did you examine the clothes you put on today? How closely did you look in the mirror to make sure the garments were arranged just so? Perhaps a different question: how closely did you look at your spiritual garments before worship this Good Friday?

CHRIST GIVES HIS FORGIVENESS-BLOOD FOR YOU!
TEXT: HEBREWS 9:22/MATTHEW 26:28
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

Blood, blood, blood! Half of the blood Moses threw against the altar. Half the blood he threw on the people. They beheld God and ate and drank. The first covenant, the giving of the law, was inaugurated with blood.

Blood, blood, blood! Do you realize how much blood flowed during the Passover celebration of Holy Week? Estimates of the lambs killed in the temple during that Passover range from 16,000 to 18,000?

HIS FACE IS SET LIKE FLINT!
TEXT: ISAIAH 50:7 MATTHEW 27
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

In the Name of Jesus amen; The face of Lazarus was set like flint in death – stone cold dead for four days. Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice “Lazarus come out”, and the face of Lazarus was its old self again. This miracle however, set like flint the faces of the religious leaders against Jesus. From that day on they plotted to take His life (John 11:53). Amazingly their twisted reasoning went something like this, “He can raise the dead- the world has gone after Him – let’s kill Him.”
Mid-Week Lent 5
Text: John 19:17-27
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

Americans don’t like kings. The American Revolution removed all kings for us Americans. We don’t have kings in America. We’re free people, guaranteed the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As Americans, we have a natural fear of kingship but as Christians, we have a king, an otherworldly king. We have a king unlike all the kings the colonial Americans fought against, a king unlike the entire world has ever seen.
Can These Bones Live?
TEXT: John 11:1-53
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

“Can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3) When this question is spoken over your grave as the dirt thunders down on your casket, and as your grave is covered in grass and adorned with flowers, what will the answer be? When they ask “Can these bones live?” what will the people say?
MID-WEEK LENTEN SERMON – MARCH 5, 2008
TEXT: John 19:5
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

On Palm Sunday this man was hailed as the Son of David and the King of Israel. Amid the shouts of praise as he entered Jerusalem one could have understood the attention spotlight, behold the Man! Indeed, what a man of admiration and honor.
HOW CAN ANYONE BE SO BLIND?
TEXT: JOHN 9:1-41
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

In the Name of Jesus, amen; “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”

The birth of a baby is generally a highly anticipated, eagerly expected event. Vicar and Eliza could give us a fresh description of that! There is so much to learn about the little one who has lived in its mother’s womb, being knit together there by God. There is the desire to hold and see and know this little gift from God. There is so much delightful surprise to look forward to.
MIDWEEK LENTEN SERMON THREE
JOHN 18:33-38
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

Dear Lenten worshippers of Jesus Christ;

Down through the ages of history questions have been asked that never lose their relevance – timeless questions. There is the question of God to Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world?” There is the question of Jesus to His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” There is also the question of Pilate to Jesus in the Passion history read tonight, “What is truth?” In the midst of the conspiracy and confusion of the trial, Pilate asked one of those rare, timeless questions. Jesus had said, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Pilate responded, “What is truth?”
THE STRICKEN CHRIST POURS FORTH THE WATER OF LIFE!
TEXTS: EXODUS 17:1-7 AND JOHN 4: 5-30; 39-42
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Physical thirst can be intense. Deprive the body of water and actions can be unpredictable, even deadly. When the USS battle cruiser Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese torpedo in 1945, only 319 of 1200 crewman survived. The chief medical officer was one of the survivors and later described his efforts to keep the men from drinking the ocean’s water during four days adrift. He said, when the hot sun came out, and we were in this crystal clear ocean, we were so thirsty. You couldn’t believe it wasn’t good enough to drink. The real young ones…would drink the salt water and they would go fast. I can remember striking the ones who were drinking the salt water to try to stop them.
MID-WEEK LENT SERMON TWO
Text: John 18:15-25
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

The almost innocent question invites Peter to say ‘no.’ “You’re not one of those disciples, are you?” The tempter who deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden saying, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1), tempts Peter also. He asks questions which set up Eve and Peter to answer, “No. God did not forbid us to eat of any tree in the garden,” or “No, I am not one of His disciples.” The tempter makes it easy; the answer rolls off the tongue. “I am not” (John 18:25).
BORN FROM ABOVE
TEXT: JOHN 3:1-17
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Excerpt:
Nicodemus came to Jesus at night with good things to say about Him. But Jesus cut off the polite personal talk of this teacher of Israel with words that mean “Nicodemus, you must be born again”! “Kind, respected leader of leaders that you are - you are in a stinking mess of sin and death - you must be given rebirth”! Nicodemus replied, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” He recognized that Jesus spoke of something very radical. Jesus’ conveyed that not only was it radical, it was also very mysterious. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”.
MID-WEEK LENTEN SERMON ONE
TEXT: JOHN 18:1-14
Preached By Rev. Kenneth Wieting

Dear Christians, throughout history, one person has sacrificed him or her self or been sacrificed for the good of others. A parent may defend a child at the cost of their life. A soldier may be ordered to take an action that means certain death in order to save the lives of others.
WITH GOD’S WORD - JESUS DEFEATS SATAN FOR US
TEXT: MATTHEW 4:1-11/GENESIS 3:1-21
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

What a great time to be a Lutheran - in Madagascar! Our former vicar, Dr. Albert Collver now travels worldwide for the synod’s department of human care. He described being in Madagscar two years ago on this Sunday of the church year, the first Sunday in Lent. When he arrived for the early service at 6AM 2000 Lutherans gathered to hear the Gospel of Jesus’ temptation, as you just heard....
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Be Reconciled to God
Text: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

Imagine for a moment the final day. The Son of Man has returned and He has separated all people, either onto His right or to His left. Those on His right are the sheep, those on His left the goats. The Son of Man commends those on His right for doing good works. But those who are as the sheep stand in utter amazement that they have done such things. They are, as it were, unaware of them. Then the Son of Man condemns those on His left, those who are as the goats, for not doing such things. But those on His left stand in utter amazement that their supposed good works which they loudly proclaimed in the streets were not seen by God. How could He miss all those works?
The LMC tubing outing has been canceled due to dangerously cold weather conditions on Sunday. Since another Sunday will not likely be available until after Easter, it will most likely be canceled until next winter.
GLORY AND THE CROSS
Text: Matthew 17:1-9
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins

Excerpt:
Where is this hill? It is known to you and me as Golgotha, the hill of the skull. On this hill, with blood coursing down His body, with His hands and feet nailed to a rough wooden cross, His head encircled with a crown of thorns, clothed in nakedness, here Jesus’ glory outshines all the glory of the Transfiguration. Here the angels in heaven and God the Father rejoice as the moment of Truth bursts over a world covered in sorrow and sin when Christ says, “It is finished!” His humiliation is complete; He now stands in glory upon a cross covered in His own blood. This is the glorious Transfiguration of sinners into saints.
LMC Hits the Slopes

On February 10th, after the Divine Service and Bible Class, members of LMC will be heading to the slopes of Sunburst for around 2 hours of tubing. They will make a quick stop at the Carlton's for light lunch (12:30-1:15pm) before heading to grab the tubes and the tube lift at Sunburst. The approximate cost is $12 per person which covers two hours of tubing. They plan to head to the slopes around 1:30pm, thus allowing tubing from 2:00-4:00pm.

For more information or directions, please call the church office at 414.332.5732.
THE GREAT LIGHT PREACHES “REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!”
TEXT: ISAIAH 9:2 AND MATTHEW 4:16
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting

Dear guiltless ones in Christ Jesus, there is a 14 mile stretch of water off the North Carolina Coast known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. Due to colliding currents, shifting sandbars and wicked winds, that region has claimed hundreds of ships and scores of lives. For that reason, in the 1870’s the government built Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It could cast a beam of light miles and miles out to sea. For decades that lighthouse provided light for a safe passage in a region of darkness and death on the Outer Banks in troubled seas.
THE LAMB OF GOD WILL SUSTAIN YOU GUILTLESS!
JOHN 1:29-42a/I COR 1:1-9
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Dear saints, dear guiltless ones in Christ; in one sense the Christians at Corinth were anything but guiltless! They had a laundry list of personal problems and a slew of congregational troubles! From personality divisions in the church to the threat of lawsuits to struggles over church discipline to the abuse of the Lord’s Supper to the pull of false teachers, Paul addressed sins of pride and greed and factionalism.
Christ Takes On Our Sin
Text: Matthew 3:13-17
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins
Excerpt:
And yet, we have to wonder, why was it necessary for the Son of God, revealed by Father, who is perfect and without sin, to come to Baptism? John recognized his sin and the perfection of Jesus and so would have prevented Jesus from coming, yet Jesus still ‘needed’ this Baptism in order to “fulfill all righteousness.” This Baptism in which John participated, for which reason Jesus says, “for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,” (Matthew 3:15), all sins are washed onto Jesus so that His righteousness might be imputed to sinners.
WISE MEN WORSHIP CHRIST IN THE FLESH!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting
The 3rd window from the pulpit on this side of the nave is pictured on page 11 of the new booklet explaining God’s Word in our stained glass windows here at LMC. That window is entitled, “The Adoration of the Magi”. The wording that accompanies it calls Epiphany the Christmas Day of the Gentiles. In other words the real Christmas Day for most of you! Merry Christmas to you!
THE KING IS ON THE RUN IN THE FULNESS OF TIME!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting
Dear hearers of the Word made flesh; When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law. “The fullness of time”! Doesn’t that phrase imply that all things were in readiness for Christ’s coming? “The fullness of time”! Might we not then ask, why is the heavenly King running from the earthly king?
THE AWSOME MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, …through whom…he created the world. Dear hearers of the Word made flesh; Merry Christmas to you one and all.
A SAVIOR, CHRIST THE LORD
IS GOD’S SUPREME GIFT OF LOVE TO YOU
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting
... It happened! He who gave this world its light is born in the darkness of a stable! He who created Adam from the virgin earth this night comes forth from the Virgin’s womb. He who built woman from the rib of man without the help of woman, this night is born of virgin woman without the help of man....
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What's in a Name?
Preached by Vicar Roy Askins
As a parent to be, I’m learning the fine art of naming a child. What goes into a name? Do you use a name that has a particular meaning, or belongs to a relative, or does the name have to be unique? There are so many options; so many choices. There have only been a few children whose names were rather easy to pick...
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AGAIN AND AGAIN, THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST DISPELS THE DARKNESS OF DOUBT!
Preached by Rev. Kenneth Wieting
John the Baptist who prepared the way for Christ doubted whether or not Christ was the one to come. Just as for us today, the comfort to John that Jesus is the Christ is found in the words of Jesus, "And the poor have the Gospel preached to them."
In the first of 31 letters, Screwtape writes to his nephew and junior tempter, Wormwood bemoaning the central meaning of the Advent season, and of every season of the church year for that matter. Speaking of God, Screwtape writes, Remember, he is not, like you, a pure spirit. Never having been a human (Oh, that abominable advantage of the Enemy’s!) …
Preached by: Pastor Wieting
Dear Christians, true repentance is not a good work you can produce by your own will. True repentance is not an outward religious act, even the act of receiving John’s baptism. ... True repentance is a God-worked change of heart that that makes a sinful heart honestly insecure in itself (God help me, I am lost). True repentance is a God-worked conviction of heart that there is absolutely nothing one can do to make it right (God help me, I cannot set myself straight).
The King is coming! Are you prepared? While this season of Advent involves preparation for family and friends, it also involves the preparations of the King. We often hear how we are to be prepared for the coming Savior. How can we be prepared, particularly in a time of abundant activity?
Text: Luke 23:27-43
“Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) The Gospel text seems out of place for this time of the year. As we pass through the final Sunday of Pentecost and prepare to receive Christ during the Advent season, the crucifixion seems to take a step back instead of moving us forward. Crucifixion business belongs in March and April, what is it doing here?
The disciple’s request seems strange: “Lord, teach us to pray.” Who doesn’t know how to pray? These are the disciples we’re talking about. They’re Jesus’ closest companions. They’re with Him all the time. Surely they’ve seen Him pray before. After all, it’s not that hard. We certainly know how to pray, don’t we?
Today’s Gospel records two terrible tragedies in this passing world. The first was brothers fighting over their father’s inheritance. This caused Jesus to tell a parable of the second tragedy - a rich man who hoarded his wealth. The immediate background for Jesus’ teaching is dramatic. He had just taught a crowd of thousands that God heard all secret things they ever said (v.2,3). He taught them not to fear that which killed the body (like a collapsing bridge for instance) but the one who had authority to cast into hell (v.5). He taught that the one denying Him before men would be denied before the angels of God (v.9).
Jesus spoke the parable of the rich fool to a crowd of thousands. He warned them that life without being rich toward God has eternal consequences. Then He addressed only His disciples showing the close connection between richness toward God and the removal of fear and anxiety. Right after the words, “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God” St. Luke records Jesus saying this and more to His disciples: “Therefore (for this reason) I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?...Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Most people don’t think of the Berlin wall as beneficial. The Iron Curtain has not been extolled as advantageous. Prison walls topped with barbed wire do not evoke beautiful poems from the pens of poets. Trenches filled with spent artillery shells and bodies of soldiers do not make for posters placed on palace walls. Rather artists spend lifetimes attempting to picture peace in their art. They attempt to capture, in colorful detail, whether with the plumage of beautiful birds or by the varied array of wild flowers all the beauty of creation, hoping to convey in some small fashion their understanding of peace. They strive to convey that peace to those who see their art. Many times, when we think of peace, the picture we imagine is of Jesus holding his lost lamb and gently guiding his flock. Why then does the Prince of Peace speak so brashly of the fire he has come to cast upon the earth? Why does he bring into the picture of peace the fire of division?
At the Christ on Campus conference here in June, campus pastors and vicars from a dozen states discussed the struggles of and threats against university students today. One conclusion of the participants and the speakers was that there is a pressing need for studying the theology of the cross, for understanding the foundational place of suffering in the life of a Christian on a college campus.
Did you know that tickets for this upcoming season opener for the Packers range in price from $138 to $25,002. Can you imagine, $25,002? That is a seat of honor, a seat not everyone can sit in. I know I’ll never be in that seat. I might be able to make it into the scrabble for the $140 seats if I’m lucky, but not the $25,002 seat. It is a place of honor.
Dear Christians, in the most gracious, all-encompassing, life-changing way, Christ on Calvary said of the world’s sin; “Charge that to my account”. “I hereby take care of all of it”. If you do not believe that Jesus’ sacrificial death settled accounts for us sinners, if you do not believe that He said “paid in full” to you at your baptism, baptizing you into the death of Christ, then you will not be able to rightly hear the words of Jesus in our Gospel today.
It’s big entertainment for millions and big money for a few. Interest in spirit beings is high. This fall’s TV lineup is littered with fantasy shows about super spiritual beings, including angels. They rescue people in a fix. They do battle with politically correct bad things. All in all they make believe about another dimension of life. In one segment of “Touched by an Angel” an angel is sent to help a troubled teenager. Unfortunately however, this angel has an attitude problem and ends up using drugs with the teenager at a party. Such is the fairy tale world of angels as seen on TV. It is largely counterfeit nonsense that is spiritually harmful and destructive of the Christian fait
Grace mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions.” Dear managers of God’s gifts; the same Greek word is used for this wasteful and dishonest manager as for the Prodigal Son who squandered his father’s property. It was a sobering charge – like embezzlement or committing fraud or misappropriating. The word indicates a single-minded devotion to himself, his needs, his pleasure, his profit. His office as manager implied loyalty to his master but his service in that office revealed self-centered loyalty to himself. He wasted on himself that which was given him to administer and use for another.
You don’t have to look long and hard to find a charity case these days. Suffering is here and it needs someone to clean it up. So also with Lazarus who sat at the gate of the rich man, the rich man who feasted sumptuously every day! In fact, feasted so sumptuously that he has more than three meals a day. But there was still suffering there and someone needed to clean it up.
Jesus didn’t think such a possibility was far fetched for He is really asking His disciples if they expected God to say thank you to them. “Will any of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?
As Jesus journeyed up to Jerusalem, one leper out of the ten returned to praise God. With His face on the ground at the feet of Jesus, Jesus said to Him, “Rise and journey; your faith has made you well.” Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
GOD’S KINGDOM IS NOT TAKEN BY FORCE!: Grace to you and peace from Him who was and who is and who is to come, and for the seven Spirits who are before His throne (that is the Holy Spirit) and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead (Rev. 1:4, 5). Dear children of the Reformation; “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Today we celebrate All Saint’s Day. We remember the saints who have entered their eternal dwellings. We remember the saints who are beneath the altar in Revelation, crying out for God to take vengeance for their blood which was shed in persecution. We remember those clothed in white robes (Rev. 7:9), the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 7:14) These we remember.
YOU ARE THE SONS OF THE RESURRECTION: Jesus said, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”
I quote: “We must understand that God is not joking, but that he will be angry and punish us if we do not pray, just as he punishes all other kinds of disobedience.” (Large Catechism, Kolb, pg. 443 paragraph 18) Thus wrote Dr. Martin Luther in the Large Catechism. Luther contended that the failure to pray is failure to be obedient to God. Luther spoke this way to explain the necessity of prayer. We ought to pray because God has commanded it.

Luther Memorial Chapel & University Student Center | 3833 N Maryland Ave | Shorewood, WI  53211
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