170226 Psalm 148:13

Sermon Text: Psalm 148:13
Sermon Theme: Praise the Name of the LORD Who Alone is Exalted!

For the past several weeks, our sermon messages have focused on our Savior's, "Sermon on the Mount." In his sermon message, Jesus teaches his disciples, he teaches you and me, how to live our lives in response to the love and forgiveness of sins that he won. But today, the focus of our sermon messages switches. Today isn't about you or me and how we can live God-pleasing lives. Rather, today is a day that is all about our one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. Today, as we do each time we gather for worship here in God's house, we offer our Savior-God the praise and glory he alone deserves as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. On this Transfiguration Sunday, you and I hear the encouragement from God's Word in Psalm 148: "Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens."

Read more: 170226 Psalm 148:13

170219 Matthew 5:38-48

Text: Matthew 5:38-48
Theme: Nothing Is Impossible With God

Today we come to the end of our sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount, not because we are out of sermon, but because we are out of Sundays in Epiphany. If you open up your Bible to the gospel of Matthew you will see that Jesus preaches for two more chapters on topics like prayer, fasting, worry and judging others. But the brief time we have spent studying the first part of this famous sermon should give us a pretty good feel for the overall message.

Recall that the Lord was talking to his disciples. Jesus was teaching his followers what it means to live as his disciples. And as I picture all those people crowded around Jesus, as I picture all those heads looking up at Jesus, as I study their individual body language and facial expressions, I can see a noticeable change.

Do you remember what brought this crowd together in the first place? The people wanted to see this miracle worker who cured diseases and drove out demons. And so they came from miles around to catch a glimpse of him, to listen to him and if they were lucky, to see him perform some more miracles.

Jesus introduced his sermon by making a list of blessings, but not what most people would consider typical blessings. He told his followers that they were blessed if they were poor, when they mourned, if they hungered and thirsted for righteousness. It wasn't the most encouraging start, but Jesus was just warming up. Maybe they were hoping that he would get past this part and get on to the good stuff.

Read more: 170219 Matthew 5:38-48

170205 Matthew 5:13-16

Text: Matthew 5:13-16
Theme: Blessed To Be A Blessing

Blessed. If you worshiped at St. Matthew's last weekend, there is a good chance that word was ringing in your ears when you walked out of church. In the opening words of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus used the word, "blessed," nine times in ten verses. And in my sermon on the opening words of the Sermon on the Mount, I used variations of "blessing/blessed/beatitude" a grand total of 29 times (I know because I went back and counted).

From the very beginning of his sermon, from the very beginning of my sermon, Jesus and I wanted to make one thing very clear. Even if we are poor in spirit, even when we are persecuted and insulted, even though there are times when it doesn't feel like it, even though there may be situations when it is difficult to recognize it, we are blessed.

So what? So what does that mean? What does that mean for our lives? And how should we respond to all of these blessings? Children are taught from little on that when they receive a gift they should say "thank you." But that is not what Jesus tells us to do, at least not here. As the Sermon on the Mount transitions from the opening beatitudes to the body of the sermon, the Lord makes a bold declaration.

In the inspired words before us today Jesus tells his followers what he wants us to do, but not before he tells us what we are. As disciples of Jesus we are blessed. We are...

BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING

Read more: 170205 Matthew 5:13-16

170129 Matthew 5:1-12

Text: Matthew 5:1-12
Theme: You Are Blessed!

Do you know when Easter is this year? It's quite a bit later than usual. Because of the way the calendar falls we won't celebrate the Festival of the Resurrection of our Lord until April 16. That's a long time to wait (over two and a half months), but if you can be patient there are some advantages to a late date for Easter.

Besides the fact that the weather should be warmer for wearing Easter dresses, a later Easter also means a longer Epiphany season. And a longer Epiphany means that we will have a chance to study some portions of Scripture that we don't get to all that often, like the gospel lessons from now until the end of February.

The gospel lessons for these four Sundays (Epiphany 4-7) are taken from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. And beginning today Pastor Schmidt and I will take advantage of this rare opportunity to preach a series of sermons on what is perhaps the most famous sermon of all time.

Every good sermon begins with a memorable introduction, and the Sermon on the Mount is no exception. There is a good chance you recognized the words of Jesus when I read them from the lectern. With crowds of people gathered around him, the Lord pronounced on them a series of blessings.

But these blessings, or beatitudes, weren't meant for everyone. Matthew makes it clear that Jesus was speaking to his disciples, and that means these words of blessing are also addressed to us. Beginning this morning and for the next four weeks our guest preacher will be Jesus, and in this morning's sermon he wants his followers to remember just one thing...

YOU ARE BLESSED!

Read more: 170129 Matthew 5:1-12

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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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