Sermon teaser ~ The Feast

The following is the opening paragraph of the sermon I am preaching tomorrow; Sunday, October 11, 2020, on Matthew 22:1-14 – the Parable of the Wedding Feast. To God be the glory!

We live in the here and now, but through faith in Jesus, we also live with one foot in the Kingdom of God and with our noses enjoying the savory fragrances of the Wedding Feast. We are not yet seated at the table, but the invite has been proclaimed. All is ready. Come to the Wedding Feast. And so that savory fragrance is a reminder of our King’s grace and faithfulness as we live in the hope that everything has been prepared for us. And upon entry into the Feast, a garment will be given. No, not something from Macy’s or dare I say, Kohl’s, or anything else of our creation or effort, but rather something far more glorious. Something that only can come from the King of kings. It is a garment like none other, washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. But in the meantime, our Shepherd sets a table for us in the midst of our enemies; anointing us with oil and refreshing our souls, until that day we dwell in the house of the Lord forever, feasting sumptuously on fine wine and fine food. Come all is ready. Come to the Wedding Feast.

Our Muddy Glory

Holy God,
the beauty of your glory is something to behold,
yet we seek after a glory that is dim in comparison;
a glory that only reflects from the muddy water of our sin.
And we have no idea how bad it is
until we drink from the water
and taste that we are drinking unto our death.

May we come to the well that is pure and life giving.
May drink that we may never thirst again.
May we seek to know Your Law better and better.
May we soak in Your precepts that we may shine forth Your glory.

Oh God,
You are the holy law giver
but you are also the glorious one
who redeems our lives through Jesus Christ.
May we taste and see that You are Good
and may we ever seek Your ways.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray,

The Pastor -|—

Rejoicing in Victory


What a powerful and reassuring couple verses. I wish more people would take this to heart and cling to this promise. There’s a lot of crap happening in our nation and our world today but our Lord and Savior and King reigns supreme. His victory did not happen through an election but rather through the cross. Seek JESUS and you will be found safe and secure. Seek JESUS and rest in him.

Holy Father,
words don’t and can’t adequately express my thankfulness,
as I gaze upon the cross and see
I see my Lord suffering and dying there,
I see my King reigning supreme,
I see my Savior with my life in 
How can possibly express my thanks with mere words.
And so I worship
I praise Your holy
I rest in Your mighty
Holy Father,
may I not fear this world,
but rather,
rejoice the victory through

The Pastor -|—

Bread is bread…right?

I know that there are many various beliefs on what kind of bread “should” be used for Holy Communion.  Among the various beliefs is the popular notion that it must be unleavened bread.  I know scripture talks about unleavened bread.  I for one have never used it for Holy Communion…not that I am against it, I just haven’t used it.  Here at Salem we have used flat bread, bread machine bread, super market bread, bread bowl bread, wafers, etc.  My main criteria is that I don’t want any sliced bread.  But at our final First Communion class I asked the kids and parents if they wanted to make their own bread or just have me take care of it.  One of the students suggested that they would like cinnamon bread.


…because bread is bread…right?

In Luther’s Small Catechism, Luther poses the question:  How can eating and drinking do all this? He then answers his question by saying “It is not eating and drinking that does this, but the words, ‘given and shed for you for the remission of sins’.  These words, along with eating and drinking, are the main thing in the sacrament.  And whoever believes these words has exactly what they say, forgiveness of sins.”  That says to me that bread is bread…and what is important is hearing the words of promise.  So…is cinnamon bread OK?

My faith tells me that it is OK…but I can see how some people might be a little put off and maybe even a little offended.  So with that I go back to Paul where he says that if eating meat causes someone to stumble in their faith, then I won’t eat meat (etc…).  Basically…he won’t exercise his Christian freedom in such a way that might cause someone who is weaker in the faith to stumble.  I can respect that.

But then I was thinking that I could explain the cinnamon as representing the “sweetness of Christ”.  I am not sure if that would fly.  So I don’t know.

Would you use cinnamon bread for Holy Communion or any other “usual” bread?

Just something I am pondering…


All the craze

I have been utterly amazed at this wild thing called “the Wii craze”.  My sister and I got one for our parents for Christmas.  A number of our friends got one for Christmas and a number of my students got them.  And since then, Connie and I have been looking for one.  Every store we go into there is no Wii to be found.  A sales person at Best Buy said that there are people that come in everyday asking about them.  And since we live no where near a place that would stock a Wii, we are at a disadvantage. Before Christmas I never gave too much thought in getting a Wii.  I knew they were out there, but I haven’t had a gaming system since the Atari 2600 (now that dates me) so I never got captured by this craze.  But after we got my parents one and started playing it…well…I got hooked.  And then we heard about the Wii Fit…that right there convinced my wife.

So we have been looking online and the story has been the same…”Out of stock”…until last night.  Connie’s brother put us onto and sure enough…a Wii…so I ordered one.  I should have one by next week.  I guess I gave in to “the craze”.

Today is January 20 and our 44th president is being sworn into office.  Today…January 20…we (officially) begin a new era.  It’s an era that worries me because of what I have heard from people in the media and in my own little world here in SW MN.  I have heard comments that suggest people are putting their hope and faith in Obama.  People are putting this president up on a pedestal.  It is almost as if they view him as a savior.  I guess one could say we are in the midst of an “Obama craze”.  But this is one craze I am not going to get caught up in.

I am not here to express my political beliefs.  As a pastor and as a Christian I am going to pray for Preisdent Obama and for the congress and for all elected leaders.  They all have a tough road ahead of them.  But I am not going to put my hope and faith in any person of this world…no matter how popular they are.  Our hope and faith needs to be in one person and one person alone…JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!

I hope and pray that God uses Obama to work for peace.  I hope and pray that God uses Obama to stabilize this country.  And I hope and pray that Obama is faithful and listens to God.  I hope and pray that Obama puts his agenda aside and asks for wisdom from God our Father.  I hope and pray that the people of this county recognize the fact that Obama is a sinful human being (like we all are) and not our savior.  I hope and pray that the people of this country (and the world) recognize Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Only one person can save us.  Only one person can restore peace in this world.  Only one person can lead us in ways of truth and justice.  And it is not our president or any world leader…it’s JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!

When I was a kid, the Atari 2600 was all the craze…but that faded away.  In the 80’s Rubik’s Cube was all the craze…but that faded away as well.  Today, Wii is all the craze…but that too will fade away.  As with anything of this world…all things will eventually fade away (Yes…even the “Obama craze” will fade away), but one person has not and will not fade away…and that is…JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.