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  • "The Last Enemy to Be Destroyed Is Death" (Funeral sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 51-57)

    08/14/2017 5:37:51 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 14, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Last Enemy to Be Destroyed Is Death” (1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 51-57) Over 25 years as a pastor, I have had a number of World War II veterans as members of the congregations I have served. Homer Rouggly was one of them. In fact, Homer Rouggly might well be the last one that I will have the honor of laying to rest. That “Greatest Generation” is quickly passing away, and they were quite a crew. By the way, for a number of years I had two World War II veterans sitting near each other in the pews at St. Matthew’s:...
  • "The Word Is Near You, in Your Mouth and in Your Heart" (Sermon on Romans 10:5-17)

    08/12/2017 2:01:10 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 13, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Word Is Near You, in Your Mouth and in Your Heart” (Romans 10:5-17) There is a wealthy author and art dealer in New Mexico by the name of Forrest Fenn. A lover of adventure, Mr. Fenn decided to fill a chest with gold nuggets, rare coins, jewelry, and gemstones, and to hide this treasure somewhere in the American West. He gave out clues, so that other adventure-seekers could search for the treasure chest and hopefully find it. The hidden treasure is said to be worth about two million dollars. Well, in the seven years since this began, dozens and...
  • "Come and Be Satisfied!" (Sermon on Isaiah 55:1-5)

    08/05/2017 9:53:22 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 6, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Come and Be Satisfied!” (Isaiah 55:1-5) Today the Lord is extending an invitation to you. He is saying to each one of us today: “Come and eat!” “Come and drink!” “Come and Be Satisfied!” “Come and be satisfied!” This is the message God is speaking to us today through his prophet Isaiah. Our text is the Old Testament Reading from Isaiah 55. Listen again to the first part of this text: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why...
  • "Inseparable!" (Sermon on Romans 8:28-39)

    07/29/2017 7:15:53 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 30, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Inseparable!” (Romans 8:28-39) Do you ever worry that God has given up on you? That he’s finally had enough and is ready to kick you to the curb? It’s like God is thinking: “Oh, my goodness! There he goes again! Haven’t I told him often enough not to do those things? What am I going to do with this one?” Yeah, how could God put up with a supposed Christian as lousy as I am? So I wonder if I’m going to make it with God all the way to the end. Or maybe you think God has forgotten about...
  • "Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest" (Sermon on Matthew 11:25-30 and Romans 7:14-25a)

    07/08/2017 9:12:53 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 9, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest” (Matthew 11:25-30; Romans 7:14-25a) “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Here in this verse from today’s Gospel, Matthew 11:28, Jesus issues a gracious invitation and makes a wonderful promise. “Come to me” is the invitation, and “I will give you rest” is the promise. And to whom does he address this invitation and promise? To “all who labor and are heavy laden.” What is it, then, to labor and be heavy laden, to be weary and burdened? What does Jesus mean...
  • "A Sword, a Cross, and a Life" (Sermon on Matthew 10:34-42)

    07/01/2017 10:35:25 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 2, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “A Sword, a Cross, and a Life” (Matthew 10:34-42) Today Jesus tells us that he came to bring us three things: “A Sword, a Cross, and a Life.” Are you sure you want these things? Let’s find out. Our text is the Holy Gospel for today, from Matthew chapter 10. Jesus has been instructing his disciples in this chapter, preparing them for what they’re getting themselves in for. And it’s not going to be a bed of roses. Because some of these roses are going to have thorns. Are you ready for this? Yes, are you ready for this? Because...
  • "Confessing the Faith with the Augsburg Confessors" (Sermon on Psalm 119:46)

    06/24/2017 9:53:18 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 65 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 25, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Confessing the Faith with the Augsburg Confessors” (Psalm 119:46) Today Lutheran churches around the world are celebrating the 487th anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession. On June 25, 1530, in the city of Augsburg, Germany, a group of Lutheran princes presented a confession of their faith, composed by the theologian Philip Melanchthon, Luther’s right-hand man--they presented their confession to Emperor Charles V. That document, called the Augsburg Confession, summarizes what our Lutheran churches believe, teach, and confess, on the basis of Holy Scripture. Today then we want to consider what it means for us to be “Confessing the...
  • "A Kingdom of Priests" (Sermon on Exodus 19:2-8)

    06/17/2017 10:27:48 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 18, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “A Kingdom of Priests” (Exodus 19:2-8) “You shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” What did this mean for Old Testament Israel? What does it mean for the church today? What does it mean for you in your life? That’s what we’re going to explore now as we consider the Lord’s calling for us to be “A Kingdom of Priests.” Our text is the word that the Lord spoke to Israel at Mount Sinai, shortly after he had brought...
  • "Created, Redeemed, and Sanctified by the Triune God" (Funeral sermon on the Apostles' Creed)

    06/16/2017 3:20:06 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 17 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 16, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Created, Redeemed, and Sanctified by the Triune God” (Apostles’ Creed)Bob, Karen, Michele, friends and family of our dear sister Dottie: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. A Christian funeral service is both a time of sadness and a time of hope. It is a time of sadness, because we will miss our dear loved one. And so we grieve. However, as St. Paul tells the Thessalonians, we grieve, but not as those who have no hope. We do have hope, the only hope that works. For the Christian, our hope is firmly...
  • "The Athanasian Creed: Incomprehensible?" (Sermon for the Holy Trinity)

    06/10/2017 6:05:06 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 11 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 11, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Athanasian Creed: Incomprehensible?”Today is Trinity Sunday--or, more properly called, the Feast of the Holy Trinity--and as such, this is the one day in the year when we confess the Athanasian Creed. Actually, we believe, teach, and confess the Athanasian Creed 365 days a year; it’s just this is the one day in the year when we speak it aloud in church during the service. You see, the church confesses three ecumenical creeds: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. They are called “ecumenical” creeds, because they are held all across Christendom. The Apostles’ Creed is the...
  • "From Tabernacles to Pentecost" (Sermon for the Day of Pentecost, on John 7:37-39)

    06/03/2017 10:02:11 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | June 4, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “From Tabernacles to Pentecost” (John 7:37-39) Today is the Feast of Pentecost, a major festival in the Christian church year. Today we celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit, whom our ascended Lord Jesus Christ poured out on his church, as we read about in the second chapter of Acts. That was the beginning of the worldwide spread of the gospel, and you and I are here today as Christians because of what began on that first Pentecost. Actually, though, that was not the first Pentecost. For the Christian Feast of Pentecost has its roots in the Jewish Feast of...
  • "Our Anxieties and God's Care" (Sermon for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, on 1 Peter 4-5 and John 17)

    05/27/2017 10:09:00 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 28, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Our Anxieties and God’s Care” (1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11) What are your anxieties? What are you worried about? Anxiety is really another way to say worry. They pretty much mean the same thing. To be anxious, to be worried, means that something is weighing on your mind that you’re thinking about, almost obsessing about. You’re worried about what might happen in the future. It’s the negative prospect of what might happen that keep hanging around in your head. That’s anxiety, that’s worry. So what are your anxieties? We all have them. From time to time, some negative possibility...
  • "Ascension Day, the Forgotten Festival" (Sermon for the Ascension of Our Lord, on Luke 24, Acts 1)

    05/25/2017 3:27:13 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 25, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Ascension Day, the Forgotten Festival” (Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:1-11) Welcome to the Forgotten Festival! Today is Ascension Day, or, as it’s more properly called, the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. But there is reason to call it, as I say, the “Forgotten” Festival. Because even though Ascension Day is classed in the church year as a major festival, which means it’s a day for all churches to hold the Divine Service of Word and Sacrament, the sad fact is that in recent decades many congregations and many Christians have forgotten all about celebrating this important festival. It used...
  • "A Living, Loving Family" (Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, on John 14:15-21)

    05/20/2017 8:38:07 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 21, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “A Living, Loving Family” (John 14:15-21) Christ establishes his church to be “A Living, Loving Family.” And you are a part of it. A living, loving family. Now how do you hear that? Do you hear it as heavy demand, something we cannot possibly do? Or do you hear it as gift, something that Christ has graciously made us part of? Does Christ’s call for us to be a living, loving family--do you hear this as burden or gift? As pressure or joy? And besides how we hear it, there is also the question of how we do it. How...
  • "Hope for the Future and a Present Priesthood" (Sermon, Fifth Sunday of Easter; John 14, 1 Peter 2)

    05/13/2017 11:45:07 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 14, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Hope for the Future and a Present Priesthood” (John 14:1-14; 1 Peter 2:2-10)You gotta have hope. Hope is faith facing the future. You and I, we need something to look forward to. Otherwise, we lose heart, we get depressed, and our hopelessness paralyzes us. So we need hope, hope for the future, in order to function well in the present. And really, we need hope for the big future, the eternal future. Because the reality is, at some point, we’re going to depart this life. At some point, something is going to do us in, and death is going to...
  • "The Good Shepherd Gives Gifts to His Sheep" (Funeral sermon on John 10:1-18, 22-30)

    05/11/2017 4:07:21 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 10, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Good Shepherd Gives Gifts to His Sheep” (John 10:1-18, 22-30) “The forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” So we just said we believe when we confessed the Apostles’ Creed. This is the faith all Christians believe. This is the faith Dorothy believed. It’s the faith into which she was baptized. “The forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” These are gifts given us by the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ. They are gifts given to Dorothy. They are gifts given to you. The good news today is...
  • "The Good Shepherd for Straying and Suffering Sheep" (Sermon, Fourth Sunday of Easter, 1 Peter 2)

    05/06/2017 8:22:48 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | May 7, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Good Shepherd for Straying and Suffering Sheep” (1 Peter 2:19-25) I’m guessing by now you’ve picked up on the theme of the day. You’ve heard it throughout the service so far. For example, in the Introit, the words of Jesus: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, and I lay down my life for the sheep.” In the Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd.” In the Holy Gospel, where Jesus calls himself “the shepherd of the sheep.” In the Hymn of the Day, “The King of Love My Shepherd Is.” Yes, no...
  • "Opening the Scriptures, Breaking the Bread" (Sermon for Third Sunday of Easter, on Luke 24:13-35)

    04/29/2017 3:43:34 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 30, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Opening the Scriptures, Breaking the Bread” (Luke 24:13-35) One of my favorite paintings is one we happen to have hanging in the hallway here at St. Matthew’s. I’ve brought it forward this morning, because it goes with the Gospel reading for today. The painting is called, in German, “Gang nach Emmaus,” “The Road to Emmaus,” by a 19th-century Swiss artist, Robert Zünd. I love this painting, because it really activates my imagination. You’re looking from a distance at Jesus walking with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, while Jesus is opening the Scriptures to them. You wish you could...
  • "Easter Joy Continues!" (Sermon for the Second Sunday of Easter, on John 20, Acts 5, and 1 Peter 1)

    04/22/2017 7:52:29 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 23, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Easter Joy Continues!” (John 20:19-31; Acts 5:29-42; 1 Peter 1:3-9) Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!) Yes, he is risen indeed! And guess what? He is still risen! Christ didn’t stop being risen once Easter Day was over. And so the Easter season continues--and with it, our Easter joy. It’s the Second Sunday “of” Easter! Thus our theme for this morning: “Easter Joy Continues!” The Easter joy was certainly evident last Sunday. Easter Day at St. Matthew’s was a day of great joy. As soon as the resurrection was announced at the start of the service, we...
  • "Raised with Our Risen Lord" (Sermon for Easter Day, on Colossians 3:1-4)

    04/15/2017 7:22:32 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | April 16, 2017 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Raised with Our Risen Lord” (Colossians 3:1-4) Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!) Yes, indeed Christ is risen! And because he is, guess what? You are risen too! That’s our message this morning on this beautiful Easter Day: “Raised with Our Risen Lord.” Our text is the Epistle, from Colossians, where it says that we have been “raised with Christ.” But of course that is predicated on Christ himself having been raised. If Christ has not been raised, then everything else falls apart. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, and so everything holds...