170416 Matthew 28:1-10

Text: Matthew 28:1-10
Theme: The Greatest Sermon Ever Written

What do Joe Namath, President George Bush the elder and I have in common? Besides the fact that we are all males, besides the fact that we have all played sports, each one of us has made bold predictions about the future.

Three days before the 1969 Super Bowl, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath appeared before the Miami Touchdown Club. He tossed a few footballs into the audience, made a few jokes and then announced: "The Jets will win on Sunday, I guarantee it."

Such a pronouncement was almost without precedent in American sports, especially because the Jets were 23 point underdogs. But as they say, that's why they play the game, and in one of the greatest upsets in football history Joe Namath's Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts 16-7 to win Super Bowl III.

During the 1988 presidential campaign, George Bush promised that, if elected, he would not support a tax increase. Some of you may even remember his now infamous pledge: "Read My Lips. No New Taxes." Bush won the election, but he later accepted tax increases to push a deficit-cutting budget deal through Congress, at the time controlled by the Democrats. This change in policy was used against him in his re-election bid, and some believe it was the reason he lost to Bill Clinton in 1992.

There is a chance you did a double take when you looked at the service folder or up on the screen and saw the sermon theme for today. I will admit that it is a pretty bold claim, but I stand by it. Just like Joe Namath, I guarantee that my prediction will come true. But unlike George Bush, I promise that I will not go back on my word. Not because I've been working on this sermon for weeks and weeks. Not because I think a little too much of myself either. I stand by this statement because the sermon I am referring to didn't originate with me.

When the women approached the tomb on Easter morning and saw that it had already been opened, they were confused. "What happened to Jesus? Where did he go? Who took him?" And so God sent an angel to explain what had happened: "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said" (6).

That declaration, spoken by the angel and recorded by Matthew, was the first ever public proclamation of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. And as such it rightfully deserves to be called...


Read more: 170416 Matthew 28:1-10

170413 1 Corinthians 11:23-28

Text: 1 Corinthians 11:23-28
Theme: Turn To Jesus And Receive A Special Assurance Of Your Forgiveness

How many of you grew up like me thinking that this day was called "Monday" Thursday? I remember being very confused about the name until someone explained to me that Maundy Thursday comes from the Latin, Dies Mandati, which means "the Day of the Commandment." On this night Jesus gave his disciples two very specific commands. We heard one of them at the end of tonight's gospel lesson when Jesus told his disciples: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34).

The other command can be found not once, but twice in our sermon text for this evening. After the Lord had given thanks, after he broke the bread and shared it, after he took the cup and passed it around the table, Jesus commanded his disciples to "do this" (24, 25). And two thousand years later disciples of Jesus are still doing this. This evening we have gathered as disciples of Jesus to celebrate this sacred meal.

Why? Because our Lord has commanded us? Yes. To remember what our Savior has done for us? Certainly. Those are good reasons, but they are not the only reasons. Tonight we turn our attention to the Upper Room to be reminded of the blessings God gives us in the sacrament. Tonight we turn to the one who is seated at the head of the table to receive the blessings he gives us through the sacrament. Tonight we...


Read more: 170413 1 Corinthians 11:23-28

170410 Zechariah 9:9-10

Sermon Text: Zechariah 9:9-10

Theme: Rejoice That Your King Comes Proclaiming Peace!

Talk with a parent who has been up all night with their crying, newborn baby and they will tell you that what they are really looking forward to is some peace and quite. Talk with families who are busy at school or at work and running from this activity to that activity, and they will tell you that they just need to "get away from it all" and find a few moments of peace and rest. Talk with someone who is fighting some type of illness, going from one doctor appointment to the next, and they will tell you all they want is some peace of mind that everything will be all right.

As we gather together here in God's House today, we see Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, ride in to Jerusalem in fulfillment of the prophecy that is before us from Zechariah chapter 9. As we celebrate this Palm Sunday, I invite you to join with me and rejoice that your King comes proclaiming peace!

Read more: 170410 Zechariah 9:9-10

170402 John 11:17-27, 38-45

Text: John 11:17-27, 38-45
Theme: A Sneak Preview Of Easter Sunday

Last Thursday night over 200 members and friends of St. Matthew's went to see the new Martin Luther movie, A Return To Grace, recently released to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. I enjoyed the documentary style format and the fact that every word Luther spoke was taken directly from his writings and lectures. But I was a little surprised by what I liked most about the film. The movie was supposed to start at 6:30 pm, and it started right at 6:30 pm because there was not a single preview.

Does that annoy you as much as it does me? You pay good money to see a movie, but before it starts you have to watch the previews of about a half dozen other films. And some of the previews are so long you don't need to see the actual movie because it feels like you already have.

Previews are supposed to pique our interest, but sometimes they have the opposite effect. Previews are designed to give people a glimpse of a story, to make them want to see more, but too many previews or too much information can turn a person off.

Would you like to see a preview that does what previews are supposed to do? Do you want to read a story that makes you want to read more? Then I encourage you to open up your Bibles to John 11. In today's sermon text the Lord gives us a glimpse of his glory and more importantly...


I. Comforting words
II. Powerful deeds

Read more: 170402 John 11:17-27, 38-45

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Our Mission Statement:

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.


Worship Schedule

8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

Monday at 7:00 P.M.

Television Broadcast
Thursday at Noon & 7:00 P.M.
Sunday at 10:00 A.M.
on Charter Cable Station 985 or on-line


St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066




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