160320 Philippians 2:5-11

Text: Philippians 2:5-11
Theme: No Ordinary King

The time: spring in about the year 30 A.D. The place: somewhere on the short stretch of road between Bethany and Jerusalem. Thousands of faithful Jews had made the pilgrimage to celebrate the Passover, now only a few days away. As Jesus made his way down from the Mount of Olives into the Kidron Valley, the buzz began to grow.

"Is it really him? Is this Jesus of Nazareth, the one everyone has been talking about? Did you hear about his friend Lazarus? He had been dead for four days, and Jesus came to the tomb and called out to him, 'Lazarus, come out,' and he did. What kind of man is this? What kind of powers does he possess? Could this be the Messiah, the Promised One, the Redeemer of Israel?"

As Jesus entered the city, the noises grew louder and the crowds grew larger. Some threw their coats down in front of him. Others took palm branches and waved them in the air. The adoring crowds bowed down and exclaimed: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord (Luke 19:38)!

The combined gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John give us a vivid picture of what we now call Palm Sunday. The triumphant scene had all the makings of a grand procession, a homecoming parade for a victorious king. But a closer look reveals that Jesus did not exactly receive a royal welcome.

There were no armies marching ahead of him, no trumpet blasts, no flags snapping in the breeze. Jesus didn't sit atop a majestic steed covered in gold. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a colt, a beast of burden. Instead of giving a stirring speech before huge crowds, Jesus wept alone. He wept for Jerusalem because he knew that the city would be destroyed in the not-so-distant future. Even the people who lined the streets and hailed Jesus as the son of David were not the most faithful of followers. Where would they be a few days later, when the crowds were shouting: "Crucify him, crucify him?"

Those people probably didn't realize it, but they were not far from the truth. Jesus was the son of David. And yes, Jesus was a king. But he was different. He didn't come to establish an earthly kingdom in Israel. He came to establish an eternal rule in heaven. The words of Paul recorded in Philippians 2 remind us of that. They give us the assurance that Jesus was and is...


Read more: 160320 Philippians 2:5-11

160313 Psalm 73

Sermon Text: Psalm 73 (verses taken from Christian Worship)
Sermon Theme: Surely, It is God Who Saves Me!

For the past two weeks, we have spent some time taking a closer look at two of the "Penitential Psalms" of the Bible. As we sang the refrains for these Psalms found in our hymnals, two weeks ago we pleaded with the Lord in the words of the refrain for Psalm 38, "Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned." And, as we sang the refrain for Psalm 32 last week, we prayed, "Remember your mercy, O Lord; remember your mercy and love." Now today, as we turn to Psalm 73, with a joy-filled and a thankful heart, you and are able to sing out in the words of the refrain: "Surely it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid. For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and he will be my Savior." It is because of Jesus, and only because of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that you and I are able to say: SURELY IT IS GOD WHO SAVES ME!

Read more: 160313 Psalm 73

160306 Psalm 32:1-5

Text: Psalm 32:1-5
Theme: Talk About Sin With A Smile

The Oxford Dictionary 2015 word of the year was not an actual word. Instead, it was this (show emoji on the screen). If you use a smart phone, there is a pretty good chance you recognize that face. But if you are not plugged into the world of technology, let me explain. This is what is commonly called an emoji, or more specifically the "tears of joy" or "LOL" emoji.

An emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication. And there are literally hundreds of different emojis to choose from. If you want to show your wife/girlfriend how much you love her, you might send her this one. If you are feeling a little flirtatious, you might send this one. If you are sitting through an especially boring presentation at work, you might send your co-worker across the room this one.

You get the idea. You can find an emoji to express just about any emotion or sentiment or feeling. So let me ask you this: What would a Lent emoji look like? Would it look like this? Or would it look more like this? Which one would you choose (show both side by side)?

Lent is a season of repentance, a season we associate with darkness and dirges, a time for us to remember our sin and our Savior's suffering. And so I wouldn't be at all surprised if your Lent emoji was a sad one.

The author of Psalm 32 (one of the seven penitential psalms) was a man who had come to grips with his sin. David had committed adultery. He had committed murder. He had committed thousands of other sins that aren't recorded in the Bible. And he was sorry. He was sorry for his sin, but his mood was anything but sad.

David freely acknowledged that he was a sinner, but he also rejoiced because his sins had been forgiven. And he was so joyful, so grateful for God's forgiveness that he wrote a psalm about it. As we take a closer look at his inspired (and inspiring) words, David will help us to see that even now, even during the somber season of Lent, we too can...


I. Suppression is the problem
II. Confession is the solution

Read more: 160306 Psalm 32:1-5

160302 Luke 23:6-12

Sermon Text: Luke 23:6-12

Sermon Theme: He Had Been Wanting to See Jesus

On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends--before this they had been enemies.

What do you do for entertainment? Maybe you enjoy attending a professional sporting event, or going concerts, or traveling from place to place to watch your child or children participate in whatever activities they are a part of. Maybe at home you enjoy watching television, playing video games or simply sitting down and reading a good book. There are all kinds of things that we can do to entertain ourselves. In our reading tonight, we hear of Jesus being sent away to King Herod. Herod was excited because HE HAD BEEN WANTING TO SEE JESUS. But, we will quickly see, that it wasn't for the right reason that Herod wanted to see him. Herod simply wanted to be entertained by Jesus.

Read more: 160302 Luke 23:6-12

More Articles...

  1. 160228 Psalm 38:1-22

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.


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