Tag Archive for Luke

“The Past, Present, and Future of the Ascension” (Sermon on Luke 24, Ephesians 1, and Acts 1; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Past, Present, and Future of the Ascension” (Luke 24:44-53; Ephesians 1:15-23; Acts 1:1-11)

“He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead.” That’s what we just confessed about our Lord Jesus Christ, isn’t it? This portion of the Apostles’ Creed captures what this day, Ascension Day, is all about. These three things: He ascended into heaven. He sits at the right hand of the Father. And he will come again. A past act. A present reality. And a future hope. And all of these things are good news for you. So now let’s consider these blessed truths, under the theme: “The . . . Read All

“To Understand the Scriptures” (Sermon on Luke 24:36-49, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“To Understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:36-49)

Have you ever thought about what the Bible is all about? I mean, if you had to boil it down to just a few short sentences, what would you say is the main message of the Scriptures? You know, a lot of people have a lot of different opinions about the Bible and what it is saying. They pull this verse or that verse out of context and twist it like a wax nose to make it suit their purpose. People approach the Bible with their presuppositions and then find in the Bible what they want to find. But what really is the main message of the Bible, if you had to sum it . . . Read All

“A Twelve-Year-Old Boy, Filled with Wisdom” (Sermon on Luke 2:40-52, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“A Twelve-Year-Old Boy, Filled with Wisdom” (Luke 2:40-52)

When I was twelve years old, I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Pretty impressive, eh? No, pretty stupid, actually. Because, at twelve years old, I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon . . . without telling anyone. Let me explain. This was back in the days of train travel, and my mother, grandmother, sister, and I were taking the train from Chicago to Los Angeles for a family reunion. When we got to Arizona, there was an option to get off the train, get on a bus, and take a day trip to see the Grand Canyon. Which we did. When I saw it, I thought the . . . Read All

“Depart in Peace” (Sermon on Luke 2:22-40, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Depart in Peace” (Luke 2:22-40)

Are you ready to go? What I mean is, are you ready to leave? No, I don’t mean right at this very moment. It would be nice if you would stick around till the end of the service. But then, at the end of the service, will you be ready to leave? By that I mean, will you be ready to leave in peace, satisfied and content and ready for whatever comes next?

What makes you ready to leave, to leave any situation? For instance, this year is coming to a close. Are you ready to put 2014 behind you and move on to whatever 2015 may bring? What makes you ready to leave, even . . . Read All

“What Christmas Is All About: God Saving Us, in a Humble Way, to Be His People” (Sermon by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“What Christmas Is All About: God Saving Us,
in a Humble Way, to Be His People”
(Luke 2:1-20; Titus 2:11-14; Isaiah 9:2-7)

What is Christmas all about? How do people view Christmas and celebrate it? Why do they look forward to it? Or do they? Some people get burned out on Christmas and want to avoid it. But most folks still like to maintain the custom of celebrating Christmas. Why? What is it about this holiday that makes it so special? I think there is something about this holiday that is special, but it may not be the same as what most people think.

For most people, for most Americans, at least, I think it’s sort of a nostalgic glow . . . Read All

Herrenhuter readings for Wednesday, the 24th December 2014

“The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them – the shepherds – , and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. … Continue reading . . . Read All

“Mary, What DID You Know?” (Sermon on Luke 1:26-38, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Mary, What DID You Know?” (Luke 1:26-38)

Every year several of the radio stations in St. Louis start playing nothing but Christmas music. I think they start sometime around mid-August, but that’s beside the point. They play Christmas music, and a few of the songs even have something to do with the birth of Christ. Yes, it’s true! And one of the most popular of these songs is a song called, “Mary, Did You Know?” You’ve probably heard it, I’m guessing. The idea of the song is that someone is asking Mary, the mother of our Lord, if she knew what would become of her son. Did she know at the time of his birth what her son would do . . . Read All

+ Saint Luke, Evangelist +

18 October, New Testament

Saint Luke Saint Luke the Evangelist was a physician (Colossians 4:14) and a companion of St. Paul on some of his missionary journeys (see Acts 16:10ff; 20:5ff; 27-28).

Material found in his Gospel account and not elsewhere includes the Annunciation and almost all we know of Jesus' birth, infancy, and boyhood. He recounts some of the most moving parables, including the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. He also provides three of the sayings of Christ on the Cross: "Father, forgive them (23:34)"; "Today, you will be with me in Paradise (23:43)"; and "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit! (23:46)"

Luke's Gospel account emphasizes the human love. . . Read All

“Lead Us Not into Temptation” (Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer and Luke 22:1-46, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Lead Us Not into Temptation” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 22:1-46)

During this Lenten season we’ve been doing a series on the Lord’s Prayer called “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” And that’s exactly what our Lord does on this Holy Thursday evening. He teaches us to pray. That’s what he instructs us to do, that’s what he gives us an example of doing, and, even more than that, he prays for us.

In particular, on this night Jesus instructs his disciples to pray for strength in the face of temptation. “Pray that you may not enter into temptation,” Jesus tells them more than once. It was a word they needed to hear. It’s a word we need to hear, also. For . . . Read All

“The Day Is Coming” (Sermon on Malachi 4:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-28; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Day Is Coming” (Malachi 4:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-28)

“The Day Is Coming.” “The Day Is Surely Drawing Near.” What day am I talking about? Thanksgiving? No, nobody cares much about Thanksgiving anymore, except for eating turkey and watching football and getting a head start on . . . Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, the big shopping day of the season–now that’s a day that lots of people get excited about! But no, that’s not the day I’m talking about. Oh, OK then, Christmas, that must be it. Only 37 shopping days left till Christmas! The Christmas songs are already playing on the radio and in the stores. But no, that’s not it, either. That’s . . . Read All

“The God of the Living and the Sons of the Resurrection” (Sermon on Luke 20:27-40, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The God of the Living and the Sons of the Resurrection” (Luke 20:27-40)

In these days of November, as we near the end of the church year, our thoughts turn to the end times, the return of Christ, and, as we just confessed in the Creed, “the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” Our Scripture readings during these weeks reflect this emphasis. So it is with our lessons today. In particular, I want to direct our attention this morning to the Holy Gospel for today, from Luke 20, where Jesus speaks of “The God of the Living and the Sons of the Resurrection.”

The original setting for this text was during Holy Week, in Jerusalem, as Jesus was . . . Read All

“A Parable of Persistent Prayer” (Sermon on Luke 18:1-8, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“A Parable of Persistent Prayer” (Luke 18:1-8)

The parable Jesus tells in the Holy Gospel for today, from Luke 18, is traditionally called the Parable of the Importunate Widow. “Importunate” is an old-timey kind of word. It means “persistent in making a request,” even to the point of becoming something of a bother. And that would describe the widow portrayed in this parable. She was importunate. She was persistent in her seeking justice from an unjust judge. And Jesus is saying, through this parable, that this is how we in the church should be–importunate, persistent. Thus our text today is “A Parable of Persistent Prayer.”

The parable is introduced with a brief explanation that sums up the main point: “[Jesus] . . . Read All

+ Saint Luke, Evangelist +

18 October, New Testament

Saint Luke Saint Luke the Evangelist was a physician (Colossians 4:14) and a companion of St. Paul on some of his missionary journeys (see Acts 16:10ff; 20:5ff; 27-28).

Material found in his Gospel account and not elsewhere includes the Annunciation and almost all we know of Jesus' birth, infancy, and boyhood. He recounts some of the most moving parables, including the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. He also provides three of the sayings of Christ on the Cross: "Father, forgive them (23:34)"; "Today, you will be with me in Paradise (23:43)"; and "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit! (23:46)"

Luke's Gospel account emphasizes the human love. . . Read All

“Mercy for the Marginalized” (Sermon on Luke 17:11-19, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Mercy for the Marginalized” (Luke 17:11-19)

The Holy Gospel for today from Luke 17, about the cleansing of the lepers, happens to be the assigned Gospel for the Day of Thanksgiving. And that makes sense. Jesus’ words about the one who came back to give thanks make it a natural for that occasion. But this text also shows up as a regular Sunday reading during the three-year lectionary, and thus it appears today. So this morning we’ll take a slightly different approach to this text than we would on Thanksgiving. Today we’ll emphasize the text’s theme of “Mercy for the Marginalized.”

Mercy for the marginalized: What do I mean by that? Let’s talk about those two words, “mercy” and “marginalized.” . . . Read All

“Faith for Living in Community” (Sermon on Luke 17:1-10, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Faith for Living in Community” (Luke 17:1-10)

In our Gospel reading for today, from Luke 17, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, and he is giving instructions to his disciples. At first glance it may seem like these are just several disconnected sayings strung together rather loosely. First there’s something about woe to anyone who causes a person to sin. Then there’s something about forgiving your brother. Then there’s a request about increasing our faith and Jesus’ response about faith like a mustard seed. And then there’s something about unworthy servants who only do their duty. Now all this could sound like three or four random instructions pieced together without rhyme or reason. But I don’t think that’s the . . . Read All

“Managing the Master’s Money” (Sermon on Luke 16:1-15, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Managing the Master’s Money” (Luke 16:1-15)

Do you remember the name Bernie Madoff? He was in the news a few years back. Bernie Madoff was the investment-firm guy, the money manager, who, over the years, defrauded his wealthy clients out of billions of dollars–that’s “billions” with a “b.” Madoff made off with billions–for a while, at least. He finally was caught, and he’s in the jailhouse now, awaiting his release in the year 2159, when he will be 221 years old. But Bernie Madoff had to have been a rather shrewd character, he must have had something on the ball, to get away with what he did for as long as he did.

Now imagine Jesus told a parable in . . . Read All

“The Great Reversal: The Humble Exalted” (Sermon on Luke 14:1-14, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Great Reversal: The Humble Exalted” (Luke 14:1-14)

Up is down, and down is up, in the kingdom of God. Or so it seems sometimes. Actually, the kingdom of God is all about turning things rightside-up. It’s just that rightside-up may look upside-down from our cockeyed perspective. From God’s perspective, though, the way things are in his kingdom is just right, the way things ought to be.

Such is the case with our text for today, the teaching of Jesus that we find in Luke 14. Here Jesus makes one of his many paradoxical statements, which he seems to do all over the place in the gospels, statements that sound like the reverse of what you might expect. Today’s example . . . Read All

“Strive to Enter through the Narrow Door” (Sermon on Luke 13:22-30, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Strive to Enter through the Narrow Door” (Luke 13:22-30)

Do you ever wonder about who all will be saved? When people die, and when this world comes to an end, how many will make it into heaven? How many will end up in hell? And on what basis? “Pastor, what about people who did the best they could? What about people who never heard the gospel, like in Borneo or Papua New Guinea? Will they get in? If they don’t, how is that fair? What kind of a God would send anybody to hell? If that’s the God of the Bible, then I don’t want to believe in him.” You see where these questions lead.

Pastors get asked these questions . . . Read All

“The Lawyer and the Good Samaritan” (Sermon on Luke 10:25-37, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Lawyer and the Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37)

Our text today is one of the most familiar and well loved of Jesus’ many parables. It’s the story of the Good Samaritan. But really, we could call it the story of “The Lawyer and the Good Samaritan.”

You see, there’s something that happens that prompts Jesus to tell the parable of the Good Samaritan. It’s a little exchange that Jesus has with a lawyer in the crowd: “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the . . . Read All

The Kingdom of God – Part 3

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot - they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all - so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17: 26-30).

As previously discussed, Jesus had told his hearers that the Kingdom . . . Read All

The Kingdom of God – Part 2

Luther Preaches Christ
And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation” (Luke 17:22-25).

Jesus, having answered the Pharisee’s question regarding the coming of God’s kingdom in a most remarkable way, he turns to his disciples. Jesus seems to be telling his . . . Read All

The Kingdom of God

Jesus and the Pharisees
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you" (Luke 17:20-21). 

What do the Pharisees mean when they say, "The kingdom of God"? The Pharisees of Jesus' day are descendants of the Jewish religious leaders who led Israel during the time of the Macabean revolt (Harrison, Bromiley, & Henry, 1990). After the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians, the Persians, led by Cyrus the Great, conquered Babylon. Cyrus allowed the captive Israelites to return . . . Read All

“Hands of Blessing” (Sermon on Luke 24:44-53, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Hands of Blessing” (Luke 24:44-53)

“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.” This is our text.

“Lifting up his hands he blessed them.” On this Ascension Day, I invite you to consider with me those hands of Jesus. The hands with which he blesses us, as he ascends into heaven. For these hands of Jesus are “Hands of Blessing.”

As I was thinking about the lessons for tonight’s Ascension service, it was those hands that caught my attention. Why does Jesus lift up his hands as he blesses? After all, to give a blessing does not . . . Read All

Preacher’s Roundtable: Preaching Luke, Part 2

The three-year lectionary offers pastors and people the opportunity to meditate upon a specific gospel throughout the liturgical year. This year, in series C, we read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Gospel of Luke.  As we preach from Luke for Series C, Dr. David Schmitt hosts a conversation with Dr. Jeff Kloha and Dr. Jeff Oschwald (who is writing the CPH commentary on Acts) about the themes and preaching possibilities we will encounter in Luke.  Come to the table, enter the conversation, and enjoy.

Part 2 deals with preaching Luke in the non-festival half of the church year (Pentecost). Part 1 dealt with . . . Read All

“O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken?” (Sermon on Luke 23:1-56, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken?” (Luke 23:1-56)

“O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken?” Short answer: None. But then why all this pain and sorrow and death on this day when Jesus is sentenced and crucified and buried? What could possibly be good about this Good Friday? The hymn we sang will lead us into the answers.

O dearest Jesus, what law hast Thou broken
That such sharp sentence should on Thee be spoken?
Of what great crime hast Thou to make confession,
What dark transgression?

These, of course, are rhetorical questions. The expected answer is obviously “None.” No law broken, no great crime, no dark transgression. Nothing of the sort did Jesus commit. And the . . . Read All

“The New Covenant in My Blood” (Sermon on Luke 22:7-20, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The New Covenant in My Blood” (Luke 22:7-20)

“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” So said Jesus on this night, this night on which he was betrayed, this Holy Thursday when he instituted the Blessed Sacrament of his Body and Blood. “The New Covenant in My Blood”: What does Jesus mean by that? This is our theme for this evening.

The first thing we ought to clear up is this word “covenant.” It’s not a word we use every day. What is a covenant? Simply put, a covenant refers to a solemn relationship between two parties. In its broadest usage, it can mean something like a contract entered into by two . . . Read All

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