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He is risen indeed!


On this day we celebrate yet again the objective fact that our Lord has indeed risen, and in doing so has conquered Death and the Devil!!!


He is Risen!!!


Yesterday and today I have been at a conference called “Lutheranism and the Classics”. Among the pieces of trivia I picked up from miscellaneous conversation is the fact that in Great Britain, the Jedi religion is the fourth largest religion in the country.

Go figure!


I am not one who generally posts sermons on-line. My thoughts are that these are written for a specific congregation, for a specific time. However, since this is the season of Easter, I thought I would post this past Sunday’s sermon. Comments are very welcome.


For those of you who do not attend a liturgical church, or one which follows the liturgical calendar, the season of Easter lasts for seven weeks. We have a three year schedule of readings that we follow, and that are read during the service. The usual pattern is to read three lessons, one from the Old Testament, one from the Epistles, and a Gospel reading. Currently we are in year “B” of the three year cycle, and this year our Gospel readings come from Mark and John. This Sermon is on the Easter Sunday Gospel reading.


Mark 16:1-8                                                               Easter Sunday




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


“When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him” (Mark 16:1)


These ladies were bound and determined to give the body of their Lord and teacher the proper Jewish burial treatment. This had not been possible on Friday afternoon as the Sabbath was about to start. At that time, the goal was to get Jesus’ body off the cross and into a tomb before the start of the Sabbath. Now it is Sunday morning, and these three faithful followers of Jesus were doing what needed to be done, in order that he might have a “proper” burial.


For three years, Jesus had traveled Galilee and Judea, teaching and healing, proclaiming to people the Kingdom of Heaven. For the last six months, Jesus had spoken more and more of what was going to happen in Jerusalem. Never in all this time did Jesus hide from his students the fact that he was going to die, and then rise again. This being the case, why do you suppose that these ladies were going to the tomb to anoint his body, to give him a proper burial?


If Jesus was going to come back to life after three days, what need would his body have for the traditional Jewish burial treatments?


The answer is simple, and obvious. These ladies, along with everyone else, expected that on Sunday morning, Jesus’ body would still be in the tomb. Mary, Mary and Salome along with the Disciples had been at Golgotha, they had seen the results of the scourging, a punishment which had left Jesus so weak that he had been unable to carry his own cross. These ladies had seen the nails driven into Jesus’ body, they had seen the cross raised up, and they had seen him die. Everything in their experience had told them that their teacher was dead, dead, dead.


Yes, Jesus had spoken of raising from death back to life, but everything in their lives up to this point told them that this man was dead. Thus all that remained was for them to treat the body with the respect that their customs called for. So on the first day of the week, these three faithful ladies went to the tomb to perform this one last service for their friend and teacher.


Put yourself in the place of Mary, Mary and Salome, as they walked along the road to the tomb. Consider how you would feel. You are on you way to pay your last respects to a beloved friend and teacher, to give his body the treatment called for by custom. What’s on your mind?


Perhaps you are talking among yourselves of the memories you have of your time with him. Perhaps you are wondering what the future holds. One thing is certain however. When you arrive at the tomb, you are expecting to find just that, a tomb, with a stone still sealing the entrance, and the body within.


Imagine your concern when you arrive at the tomb, to find that not only has the boulder been rolled away from the entrance, but the body itself is gone! What is going on! Has someone, in a final act of desecration, stolen the body of your friend?

As you enter the tomb, imagine your shock as you see the young man sitting there. Imagine how you would feel as he tells you that the man you had expected to find lying dead in this tomb was actually on his way to Galilee, and that he expects to see you there!


Mary, Mary and Salome fled. They simply did not know what else to do. The entire sequence of events was more than they could handle. They were frightened and confused, and just wanted to get away.


As we observed earlier, Jesus had been very clear about what was going to happen in Jerusalem. Why had these ladies and the rest of the Disciples not been expecting this? Why weren’t they expecting a resurrection? Why hadn’t they gathered at the tomb to welcome their Lord back? Why this lack of faith in the teachings of Jesus?


The simple answer is that like everyone else, the hearts of Jesus’ friends and students were blinded by the corruption of sin. Even though Jesus had plainly told them what was going to happen, and even though these people had faithfully followed Jesus for up to three years, The stain of their, of our sinful nature prevented them from seeing the entire picture. It took the empty tomb to begin the process of actually understanding what Jesus had been teaching.


It took an angel in the tomb telling the ladies that Jesus was alive, to actually get Jesus’ followers to begin to comprehend all that they had been taught.




The three ladies who visited the tomb had the benefit of an Angel announcing to them that their Lord was alive, and even then, their response was to flee in fear. How about you today?


The twenty first century Church has had the benefit of two thousand years of teaching, exposition, revelation and instruction about our risen Lord, and the gift of salvation his death and resurrection accomplished for us.


Is your ability to see the truth of our Lord any better than what it was for Jesus’ friends and students on that first Easter?


Here at St Luke, we are blessed to have a church family that is, if nothing else, faithful. Believe it or not, this is much more rare than it should be. As wonderful and as blessed as this is, how many times have you, in your lives, just not seen the teachings of our Lord?


You see, the challenge for us us somewhat different than it was for the three ladies in our Gospel lesson. We don’t have to worry about whether we are going to go into a tomb and see the body of a man, or an angel announcing the resurrection of the Lord. That has already happened.


Our challenge is to remain faithful believers in a world which is becoming increasingly secular. It seems hat every time we turn around, we are being told that the Bible is not true, that our God is just one way to “fulfillment”, or even that people who are mentally healthy do not need any god. That “God” is just a crutch that was created by man to explain that which science now explains.


How do we, how do you remain faithful in this environment?


Once again, the answer is simple and sounds trite. All you have to do is to trust God. Your salvation and your faith is an unearned gift to you from God, and it is a gift that he pours out upon you again and again. God pours this gift out upon you in many ways, in the private reading of his word, in the public reading and proclamation of that word, in the regular gathering of his people for worship, in the waters of your Baptism and in the celebration of his Supper. God wants to strengthen you, all you have to do is to let him do what he already wants to do.


The bottom line? This resurrection we celebrate today, despite the fear it caused in those who first learned of it, is the victory which makes possible our salvation, and our eternal life. It is this which enables us to live lives of faith in today’s world.


May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.





Apologies If I am stepping on anyone’s toes. I chuckle every time I watch this.

[Why yes, Vicar, I’ll be happy to fix it for you. You’re most certainly welcome, sir.&#160 &#160 -Venomous]


The Death of May 21st

Pastor Fisk and I are not always on the same page, but in this matter, he is right on the money.

In his video piece, Rev. Fisk makes reference to a blog article by another Confessional Lutheran pastor. You can find that article here.


Thanks to the refusal of our President to do his constitutional duty, the subject of same sex “marriage” has once again heated up in our society. Unfortunately, over the past twenty or so years, more and more of our fellow citizens have bought into this idea that homosexuals should rightly be able to legally wed.

As a result, I fully expect to see same sex marriage fully legal in all fifty states within the next five years or so. While I am not so melodramatic as to claim that this will be the straw which breaks the camels back and sends our nation down the tubes, that camel is carrying a very heavy load.

Here is a very good video by one of our Lutheran pastors on what marriage is, and why a same sex couple cannot truly be “married.”

More to come.


Today is that day in the Church Year in which we commemorate the ascension of our Lord back to the Father.

Luke 24:44-53

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

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. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.


[ED. NOTE:&#160 Because my post on the Crist brouhaha eclipsed the Vicar’s post before you guys even had a chance to see it, I’m bumping it to today so it can have its place in the sun.&#160 Cthulu knows that The Six Or Seven&#153 wouldn’t even know I had anything underneath the top post if I didn’t remind them of it from time to time.&#160 -DV]

This is one of those messages which get forwarded endlessly in email. The Story, however, long predates email, having been around at least since I was a kid. A friend recently sent it to me.

The message is timeless, and having just posted it to the Church blog, I thought I would also post it here.

Sermon without a word

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending Services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the preacher Decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, Sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his preachers Visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the Fireplace and waited.

The preacher made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave Silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning Logs. After some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, Carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one Side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still Silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone Ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow And then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

The preacher Glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave He slowly Stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the  Middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the Light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear Running down his cheek, ‘Thank you so much for your visit and
Especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.


…you’re watching “Star Wars” in the theatre and when they say, “May the force be with you,” the theatre replies, “and also with you.”


Today was my first Sunday at a new church, and it really was an amazing Sunday. No one fell asleep during the sermon, and I did not spill the wine during communion.

In truth, the folks at St Luke Lutheran Church are a wonderful bunch, and I look forward to serving my Lord there for many years to come.


In Luke, chapter 2 we have the account of Mary, the mother of our Lord, visiting her distant cousin Elizabeth, who is pregnant with the child who will become known as John the Baptist.

For those churches who follow the liturgical year, this lesson will be the Gospel reading this coming Sunday(the fourth Sunday of Advent). There will be many fine sermons preached on this text, and some will even take notice of something which is yet another indication that life begins in the womb, not after birth.

In verse 44, Elizabeth said that as soon as the baby she was carrying heard Mary’s greeting, he “jumped for joy”. If that child had been nothing more than a lump of tissue, he would not have reacted to Mary’s voice.

As we move forward in our Advent preparations, as we prepare to celebrate the earthly birth of the Savior of mankind, let us never forget that children are a gift from God. No matter how they are conceived, to kill a child in the womb is murder of the most heinous variety. Instead of aborting these precious gifts, we should at every opportunity, celebrate our children, and thank God that we have been blessed to have them.

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.


Last week it was Darth, this week it is me.

As of 3 Jaunuary, I will be the vicar at St Luke’s Lutheran Church in Starkville MS. This means that for the next two weeks I have to keep up my duties here, get packed, and move.

For those of you who are Football fans, Starkville is the Home of Mississippi State University. State’s instate rival is Ole Miss. So, the new preacher is moving into Mississippi State’s back yard, and he is married to an Ole Miss fan. Think life is going to be interesting? 🙂


On today’s date 1517, a parish priest and university professor by the name of Martin Luther challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. In announcing his 95 “Theses”, or discussion topics, Luther wanted to reform the errors of the Roman Church. Unfortunately for Rome, they refused to be reformed, and the Protestant Reformation was born.

The Reformation had far reaching effects. In translating the Bible into German, Luther in effect, standardized the language. In addition, the churches of the Augsburg Confession (as the Lutheran churches were known in Luther’s day) held that Rome had no secular political authority, which meant that local governments no longer had to obey Rome.

The transition from the autocratic theocracy that was Europe in 1517, to the freedom we in the USA enjoy today did not come quickly, and more than a few people shed blood to make it happen. However in a very real way, the liberty which we enjoy (for the time being) in our nation had its roots in those 95 These nailed to the Church door in Wittenburg Germany all those years ago.

Luther did not set out to start a new Church, he wanted to fix the one he had. Luther also did not set out to change the world. he merely wanted to see the God’s word rightly proclaimed to the people. The amazing thing is that God used this unknown preacher in a backwater college to begin the process of reshaping the world.

We owe him and the other reformers thanks.


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