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  • "Unpacking the Nutshell" (Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, on John 3:14-21)

    03/18/2012 12:41:56 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | March 18, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Unpacking the Nutshell” (John 3:14-21)“John 3:16”: You’ll see that reference--just that reference, by itself, no other words with it--you’ll see “John 3:16” showing up in all sorts of places. You might see a guy with a rainbow wig at a sporting event, holding up a sign that says on it, simply, “John 3:16.” You might see quarterback Tim Tebow with “John 3:16” written on his eye black. They figure that just the reference is enough to get their message across, since the verse, John 3:16, is so well known. You all know it. You probably learned it by memory when...
  • "The LORD Will Provide" (Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent, on Genesis 22:1-18)

    02/25/2012 7:54:03 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies · 1+ views
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 26, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The LORD Will Provide” (Genesis 22:1-18)Our text today is the Old Testament Reading, from Genesis 22, the account of “The Binding of Isaac,” as it is often called. The binding of Isaac, upon an altar, by his father Abraham, at the direction of the Lord God, for the purpose of offering up Isaac as a sacrifice. God tested Abraham, to the limit, in this ordeal. God tested Abraham to see if he would believe that God would really keep his promise that Isaac would be his heir, the son of promise. And, by God’s grace and strength, Abraham passed the...
  • Lutheran leader sides with Catholics on contraceptives issue in fiery testimony

    02/20/2012 11:28:15 AM PST · by Mrs. Don-o · 11 replies
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch ^ | February 18, 2012 | TIM TOWNSEND
    On Thursday afternoon [Feb 16] in Washington, the Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, told a panel of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives that the St. Louis-based denomination "stand(s) with our friends in the Catholic Church" in opposition to a recent government ruling on contraception. The Missouri Synod has not traditionally embraced the notion of pluralism, at least when it comes to what the church calls "altar and pulpit fellowship." But in an interview Friday, Harrison, who lives in Ballwin with his family, made it clear that the Missouri Synod has "large consensus with the...
  • "The White Clothes of Jesus" (Sermon for the Transfiguration of Our Lord, on Mark 9:2-9)

    02/18/2012 6:48:49 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies · 1+ views
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 19, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The White Clothes of Jesus” (Mark 9:2-9)Today on this last Sunday in the Epiphany season the church celebrates a great, pivotal event in the life and ministry of Jesus, namely, the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Jesus goes up on a high mountain, taking along with him his inner circle of disciples, Peter, James, and John. There he is transfigured before them, that is, his appearance changes, and his clothes become dazzling white. Two great figures from the Old Testament, Moses and Elijah, appear with Jesus and talk with him. The disciples don’t know what to make of all of this....
  • (LCMS President) Harrison Speaks Before House Committee

    02/16/2012 12:25:31 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 22 replies
    lcms.org ^ | February 16, 2012
    Missouri Synod President tells House Committee: LCMS ‘religiously opposed to supporting abortion-causing drugs’ST. LOUIS—February 16, 2012—The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the St. Louis-based Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, was one of several witnesses to give testimony today during the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s hearing, “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” Following are Harrison’s comments to the committee: “Mr. Chairman, it’s a pleasure to be here. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a body of some 6,200 congregations and 2.3 million members across the...
  • (LCMS President) Harrison to speak before House committee

    02/15/2012 6:46:57 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 29 replies
    lcms.org ^ | February 15, 2012 | Adriane Dorr
    LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison will take part in a Capitol Hill hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington, D. C., on Thursday, Feb. 16. The hearing will focus on the issues of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience in relation to the Obama administration's recent health-care ruling regarding contraceptives. The panel also will include Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist and Jewish leaders. The Rev. John T. Pless, who teaches theological ethics and is an assistant professor of Pastoral Ministry and missions at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, and Ann Stillman, vice-president and general...
  • LCMS reacts to contraceptive mandate 'accommodation'

    02/14/2012 11:56:13 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 23 replies
    lcms.org ^ | February 14, 2012 | The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
    LCMS reacts to contraceptive mandate 'accommodation' Missouri Synod president says church remains ‘deeply concerned’ about health plan mandate despite White House statement ST. LOUIS—February 14, 2012—The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, issued a statement today in response to President Obama’s health plan “accommodation” for religious groups, which was announced last week: “In response to President Obama’s announcement Friday concerning an ‘accommodation’ to a previous mandate that health plans must cover all forms of birth control (even those that can kill the unborn), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) remains deeply concerned. We strongly object to...
  • "The Cleansing of Naaman: How Can Water Do Such Great Things?" (Sermon on 2 Kings 5:1-14)

    02/11/2012 11:06:52 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 11 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 12, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Cleansing of Naaman: How Can Water Do Such Great Things?” (2 Kings 5:1-14)Our text is the Old Testament Reading for today, the story of the cleansing of Naaman. Short version: Naaman was a man who had leprosy. He was told, “Wash, and be clean.” And, after some objections, Naaman did wash, and he did become clean. But there’s more here than meets the eye, as we will see. For one thing, this story raises the question: How could simply washing in a river--and a pretty unimpressive river, at that--how could that cleanse a man of leprosy? And what does...
  • Lutherans join chorus of voices slamming HHS contraceptive mandate

    KIRKWOOD, Missouri, February 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The President of the Missouri Lutheran Synod added his voice to the growing chorus of religious leaders from across denominational lines who are objecting to the HHS mandate requiring employers to cover sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plans. “The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod objects to the use of drugs and procedures that are used to take the lives of unborn children, who are persons in the sight of God from the time of conception,” wrote Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, in a statement issued February 3rd. “Increasingly we are suffering overzealous...
  • "And He Healed Many" (Sermon on Mark 1:29-39)

    02/04/2012 8:14:24 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | February 5, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “And He Healed Many” (Mark 1:29-39)Yesterday, on a pastors’ e-mail list that I’m a part of, one of the men, Pastor Jay Webber of Arizona, brought a prayer request to our group on behalf of his son Paul and daughter-in-law Ruth. He’s given me permission to share this with you, by the way. His daughter-in-law, Ruth Webber, is 23 years old, and she is six months into her first pregnancy. However, she has been diagnosed with advanced gastric cancer, stomach cancer. Her chances for survival, Pastor Webber reports, are not good. Right now she’s up at the Mayo Clinic in...
  • Churches balk at birth control rule - Catholics won’t comply, bishop says

    02/03/2012 3:40:14 PM PST · by SmithL · 20 replies
    Journal Gazette ^ | 2/3/12 | Rosa Salter Rodriguez
    FORT WAYNE – A federal rule requiring religious organizations to pay the full cost of birth control, possible abortion-causing drugs and sterilization under their employees’ health plans has aroused local ire, including the local Catholic church’s refusal to comply. On Sunday, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Roman Catholic Diocese will make the church’s case against proposed provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to the people in the pews with a statement that will be read at Masses. He issued a statement Thursday. District leaders of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are expected to discuss the...
  • "A New Teaching with Authority!" (Sermon on Mark 1:21-28)

    01/28/2012 7:26:42 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 29, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “A New Teaching with Authority!” (Mark 1:21-28)Our text today is the Holy Gospel, the story of Jesus teaching in the synagogue and rebuking an unclean spirit, and the people’s reaction to what he was doing. They rightly saw that this was “A New Teaching with Authority!” “Jesus entered the synagogue and was teaching,” our text says. We sometimes forget that Jesus was a rabbi, a teacher. During his ministry, he would travel around to various places and teach. And one place where he regularly went was to the synagogue. Now the temple in Jerusalem was the place for the nation...
  • "Net Growth" (Sermon on Mark 1:14-20)

    01/21/2012 10:20:03 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 22, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Net Growth” (Mark 1:14-20)Where are the fish? Where have all the fish gone? This is the question on the mind of most every church in America these days. And no, I’m not talking about trout and catfish. I’m talking about people. Where are the fish, where are all the people? Why aren’t we seeing them in the church like we used to? Whose fault is it? Whom can we blame? Our numbers are down. Attendance, offerings--that’s what we’re fishing for, isn’t it? Maybe we need to try a different net. Why aren’t we seeing any (if you’ll pardon the pun)...
  • JON CARROLL { The Lutherans seem so nice, too }

    01/16/2012 7:46:37 AM PST · by SmithL · 21 replies · 2+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 1/16/12 | Jon Carroll
    Let us first review the First Amendment as signed by those very Founding Fathers we so zealously quarrel about: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Naturally, various legal penumbras, as they say, have formed around each of these phrases, with freedom of speech bringing up one set of issues and freedom of religious expression another. The First Amendment is regarded by...
  • "Can Anything Good Come out of Nazareth?" (Sermon on John 1:43-51)

    01/14/2012 3:01:04 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 15, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Can Anything Good Come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:43-51)Can anything good come out of Bonne Terre? Can anything good come out of Potosi? Or let’s be more specific: Can anything good come out of St. Matthew’s? Can anything good come out of Redeemer? Those may be the kinds of questions in the minds of the people we meet and talk to. And the attitude behind the questions would be a rather dubious one. Believe it or not, some people may not think very much of those little podunk towns, Bonne Terre and Potosi, or of those little Lutheran churches, St....
  • "Christ's Baptism and Ours" (Sermon for the Baptism of Our Lord, on Mark 1:4-11 and Romans 6:1-11)

    01/07/2012 11:06:32 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 8 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 8, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Christ’s Baptism and Ours” (Mark 1:4-11; Romans 6:1-11)Today the church celebrates the Baptism of Our Lord. On the First Sunday after the Epiphany, every year, we hear an account from one of the gospels of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan by John. “OK, so Jesus got baptized,” you say. “Big deal. Why should I care? What does this have to do with me?” A whole lot. As we shall see. Our reading from Mark and our reading from Romans will make the connection, as we consider the theme: “Christ’s Baptism and Ours.” First, Christ’s baptism. What’s going on here? What...
  • "Friday Night Lights" (Sermon for the Epiphany of Our Lord, on Matthew 2, Isaiah 60, Ephesians 3)

    01/06/2012 3:37:11 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 6, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Friday Night Lights” (Matthew 2:1-12; Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12)“Pastor, have you lost your mind? What are you doing, dragging us out here to church on a Friday night, for goodness’ sakes! And in January, no less!” And my answer to that would be: The reason I’ve asked you all here tonight has to do with the “Friday Night Lights.” Friday night lights. Let me explain. Today is the Epiphany of Our Lord, a major festival of the church year. Epiphany is always January 6--it’s what we call a “fixed-date festival,” determined by the date on the calendar, regardless of the...
  • "Circumcision and Name Both Say 'Savior'" (Sermon on Luke 2:21)

    12/31/2011 7:23:44 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 8 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | January 1, 2012 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Circumcision and Name Both Say ‘Savior’” (Luke 2:21)Today is New Year’s Day, a day for looking forward to the year that lies ahead. It’s a day for plans and goals and New Year’s resolutions. “This is the year, finally, when I will get my weight under control, or when I will start exercising more regularly, or when I start being more faithful in my daily devotions.” All well and good. These can be good goals to have. January 1, 2012. This is also a day when we begin a new chapter in the life of our church. How is this...
  • "Christ's Birthday Is Our Birthday, Too" (Sermon for Christmas Day, on John 1:1-14)

    12/24/2011 2:39:31 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 6 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 25, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Christ’s Birthday Is Our Birthday, Too” (John 1:1-14)Whose birthday is it today? Well, that’s a good question. Of course, we’re celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s Christmas, after all. But at the same time, it is through Christmas, through the birth of Christ in the flesh, that other children are born, too--namely, the children of God. That’s us. And so today we’re celebrating the birth of Christ, first and foremost, but also with it, our own birth as God’s children. I can put our message today into one sentence: The Son of God became man, so that the sons of...
  • "Home for the Holidays" (Sermon for Christmas Eve, on Luke 2:1-20)

    12/23/2011 7:21:39 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 24, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Home for the Holidays” (Luke 2:1-20)“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays.” So goes the familiar Christmas song. And it is good to be home, with family, at Christmas time. Renewed relations, good food, smiles on all the faces. There’s a fire in the fireplace, and you’re sitting in the living room, opening presents by the Christmas tree. Perry Como is singing in the background. Como, cocoa, cookies, and kids--a Christmas right out of Norman Rockwell. Very nice. But tonight I want to tell you about something even better than that. What it really means to be home...
  • "Good News Comes in Strange Packages" (Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, on Luke 1:26-38)

    12/17/2011 10:57:30 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 18, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Good News Comes in Strange Packages” (Luke 1:26-38)How’d you like to have a really scary guy come up to you unexpectedly and tell you: “Hey, I’ve got good news for you! You’re about to have a life-changing experience that will cause the person closest to you to think you have betrayed him, an experience that will make you into something of a social outcast and that will rearrange your whole life and plans from anything you expected. Yeah, this is some really good news I have for you!” How would you feel, and what would you say to such a...
  • "Blameless at the Coming of Our Lord" (Advent sermon on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)

    12/15/2011 9:04:56 AM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 14, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Blameless at the Coming of Our Lord” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)In this three-part Advent series, we have been looking at, and looking forward to, the coming of our Lord. And by that, I mean his Second Coming, the Last Day, the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns on clouds of glory to render judgment on the earth. Accordingly, we have been speaking of the need to be “Awake until, Waiting for, and Blameless at the Coming of our Lord.” This has been our series theme. We began two weeks ago by hearing Jesus’ parable from Mark 13, about the servants...
  • "The Messiah's Job Description" (Sermon for the Third Sunday in Advent, on Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)

    12/10/2011 8:23:53 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 7 replies · 1+ views
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 11, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Messiah’s Job Description” (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)As we just heard in the Gospel reading and sang in the hymn, St. John the Baptist came, proclaiming the arrival of the Savior and preparing the way before him. In doing this, John fulfilled the job description set forth for him in the prophet Isaiah, chapter 40, as John himself says, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” John came to proclaim the coming of the one coming after him. But what about that one coming after...
  • "Waiting for the Coming of Our Lord" (Advent sermon on 2 Peter 3:8-14)

    12/07/2011 4:59:52 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 7, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Waiting for the Coming of Our Lord” (2 Peter 3:8-14)Today we continue our three-part series, “Awake until, Waiting for, and Blameless at the Coming of Our Lord.” Last week we spoke of the need to stay awake until his coming again. Our focus now is on “Waiting for the Coming of Our Lord,” based on the text from 2 Peter 3. In this section of his epistle, Peter is talking about the Second Coming of Christ. At the time that Peter is writing this, it’s been several decades since Christ ascended into heaven, and Peter himself had heard the promise...
  • "A Trip out to the Wilderness" (Sermon for the Second Sunday in Advent, on Mark 1 and Isaiah 40)

    12/03/2011 7:26:22 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | December 4, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “A Trip out to the Wilderness” (Mark 1:1-8; Isaiah 40:1-11)Today and throughout the season of Advent, the church takes “A Trip out to the Wilderness.” We go out there and we meet John the Baptist, our wilderness guide. What John is doing out there is leading God’s people in two things, penitential preparation and hopeful expectation, as we await the coming of the Lord. Penitential preparation, hopeful expectation--these are the distinctive accents of Advent that we will hear in our trip out to the wilderness today. God does some of his best work out in the wilderness. In that desolate...
  • "Awake until the Coming of Our Lord" (Advent sermon on Mark 13:24-37)

    11/30/2011 5:27:17 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 30, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Awake until the Coming of Our Lord” (Mark 13:24-37)It is customary for midweek services in Advent or Lent for the preacher to come up with a theme, some connecting thread that ties together the services and sermons for that season. Last year, for instance, our Advent series, for both the Sundays and Wednesdays, was on the seven “O Antiphons” of the hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” It made for a nifty, handy-dandy series theme. But this year for Advent, I wasn’t sure what to do with these midweek services, what sort of a theme to come up with. Then...
  • "Advent Is Worth the Wait" (Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent, on Isaiah 64, 1 Cor. 1, Mark 11)

    11/26/2011 9:24:29 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies · 1+ views
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 27, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Advent Is Worth the Wait” (Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 11:1-10)We don’t like to wait, do we? I mean, we Americans. And especially when it comes to Christmas. Wait till the night of December 24 to start celebrating Christmas? No way! So the Christmas catalogues started coming--when, the day after Labor Day? Then came the Christmas movies: “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” came out November 4. The Christmas radio stations: “Santa Baby” was “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” already a couple of weeks ago. And the TV specials: “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” is this Tuesday. Apparently, Rockefeller...
  • "Unexpected Thanksgiving" (Sermon for the National Day of Thanksgiving, on Luke 17:11-19)

    11/23/2011 8:28:20 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 24, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Unexpected Thanksgiving” (Luke 17:11-19)It was an unexpected thanksgiving. I mean the thanksgiving recorded in today’s reading from Luke 17, the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers. The thanksgiving that we find there was quite unexpected. And that may give us some guidance and inspiration for the rest of our day today, that we too may do some “Unexpected Thanksgiving.” Oh, now you would expect people to give thanks to the person who healed them, when they had just been healed of a dreaded disease like leprosy. It was a kind of a walking death, in a way. It ostracized...
  • "Then Comes the End" (Sermon for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, on 1 Cor. 15 and Matt. 25)

    11/19/2011 2:03:57 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 12 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 20, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Then Comes the End” (1 Corinthians 15:20-28; Matthew 25:31-46)Today is the Last Sunday of the Church Year. The church year mirrors the life of Christ and the course of history, and so, naturally enough, as we come to the end of the church year, the lessons and themes of the last few Sundays concern the last things, the end times, and the return of Christ the King. So it is today. The Propers of the Day, the Introit, Collect, and Gradual; the Readings, the Old Testament, Epistle, and Holy Gospel; the hymns, “The Clouds of Judgment Gather” and the rest--all...
  • "But What Kind of Day Will It Be?" (Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

    11/12/2011 6:29:47 PM PST · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 13, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “But What Kind of Day Will It Be?” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)Perhaps you’ve heard of a radio preacher named Harold Camping. He was in the news, this Harold Camping was, earlier this year, when he made a prediction of when Christ would return. He even got it down to the day. After doing all his calculations, Harold Camping predicted that May 21 would be the day of Jesus’ return. Well, May 21 came and went, and Harold and his followers were not all beamed up in the Rapture. So then he revised his prediction. May 21, you see, was the spiritual...
  • "Blessed Are the Hungry and Thirsty" (Sermon for All Saints' Day, on Matthew 5:1-12)

    11/05/2011 9:15:43 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | November 6, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Blessed Are the Hungry and Thirsty” (Matthew 5:1-12)Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Yes? Good. That’s a good place to be. Blessed, in fact. That’s what Jesus says in our Gospel for today: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” And so our theme this morning: “Blessed Are the Hungry and Thirsty.” Now it may sound strange to hear Jesus say that the hungry and thirsty are actually “blessed.” It doesn’t sound like any kind of a blessing to be suffering from hunger or thirst. But strangely enough it is. Because Jesus says...
  • "'Fear God and Give Him the Glory!': The Slogan of the Lutheran Church Reformation" (Sermon)

    10/30/2011 10:52:15 AM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 30, 2011 | C. F. W. Walther, Joel Baseley, and Charles Henrickson
    “Fear God and Give Him the Glory!”: The Slogan of the Lutheran Church ReformationReformation Festival Sermon on Revelation 14:6-7 by C. F. W. Walther (1881) Translated by Joel Baseley. Abridged by Charles Henrickson.“Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth, all the earth is full of your glory.” This we cry out today, O Lord our God, along with the cherubim and seraphim. For today we remember the glorious work of the Reformation of the church, which you began and gloriously brought to completion in the sixteenth century. Your glory had been taken from the very midst of your church, the glory...
  • "A Faith Worth Imitating: C. F. W. Walther" (Sermon on Hebrews 13:7)

    10/22/2011 10:48:05 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 23, 2011 | Cameron Mackenzie, William R. Wangelin, and Charles Henrickson
    “A Faith Worth Imitating: C. F. W. Walther” (Hebrews 13:7)Reading from Hebrews 13: 7: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” This is our text. Fifty years ago, “Walther” was a household name in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. After all, the synodical youth group was called the Walther League. Today, however, the league is long gone, and for many so is the man for whom it was named, Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther. In fact, there are probably some here today who are wondering...
  • "Your Work of Faith and Labor of Love and Steadfastness of Hope" (Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)

    10/15/2011 5:11:43 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 16, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Your Work of Faith and Labor of Love and Steadfastness of Hope” (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)Pastor Henrickson, to the church of the Bonne Terrians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. And as long as I’m imitating the opening of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, I’ll continue by saying to you what he said to them: “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus...
  • DOJ: Feds Can Tell Church Who Its Ministers Will Be

    10/12/2011 11:27:49 AM PDT · by Dr. White · 77 replies
    Townhall ^ | 10/12/2011 | Terry Jeffrey
    In yet another stunning attack on freedom of religion, President Barack Obama's Justice Department asked the Supreme Court last week to give the federal government the power to tell a church who its ministers will be. The case involves a former teacher at Lutheran school, who along with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is pushing a claim that a Lutheran congregation should be forced to restore her ministry position. Americans United for Separation of Church and State and American Atheists, Inc. have filed briefs siding with the Obama administration against the church. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Church...
  • "The Battle for the Mind" (Sermon on Philippians 4:4-13)

    10/08/2011 8:42:17 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 9, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Battle for the Mind” (Philippians 4:4-13)There’s a battle going on, a fierce battle, although the battlefield is relatively small. It’s only about six inches wide, that battleground. It’s the space between your ears. Yes, your mind, a Christian’s mind, is the place where the warfare is waging, and you are not exempt. There are various forces at work, seeking to take control of your mind, whether you like it or not. The devil, the world, and your own sinful flesh are conspiring to take your mind captive. Will you let them? Are you going to surrender those six inches...
  • "Counting Your Gain as Loss" (Sermon on Philippians 3:4b-14)

    10/01/2011 6:56:46 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | October 2, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Counting Your Gain as Loss” (Philippians 3:4b-14)I was trying to think the other day of something where, if you gained, it was actually a loss. What would it be? You have a gain, but really it should be counted as a loss. The first thing that comes to mind is if you’re trying to lose weight. You step on the scale, you see that you’ve gained three pounds--well, you would probably think of that as a loss. You had lost ground in reaching your goal. That’s an example of counting your gain as loss. But there’s another area in which...
  • "Have This Mind among Yourselves" (Sermon on Philippians 2:1-18)

    09/24/2011 9:06:49 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 25, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Have This Mind among Yourselves” (Philippians 2:1-18)In last week’s Epistle reading, from Philippians 1, St. Paul told the church at Philippi that he wants to hear they are “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by (their) opponents.” Standing firm in one spirit, striving with one mind for the defense and advance of the gospel, unafraid. And we emphasized that this matter of having one spirit, having one mind--that this transforming of our mind comes about as we dwell upon the Word of God...
  • "Standing Firm in One Spirit" (Sermon on Philippians 1:12-14, 19-30)

    09/17/2011 5:07:07 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 1 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 18, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Standing Firm in One Spirit” (Philippians 1:12-14, 19-30)Today we are observing what we call “St. Matthew’s Sunday.” Our congregation is named in honor of St. Matthew, the great apostle and evangelist, and his festival comes up on the church year calendar this week. So we’ve taken to using one of the Sundays closest to St. Matthew’s Day, September 21, as a time to call special attention to the life and ministry of our congregation. We thank God for this little church we have here in Bonne Terre. It is an outpost of the gospel where can come and be refreshed...
  • "Sour Grapes in the Vineyard" (Sermon on Matthew 20:1-16)

    09/12/2011 6:33:01 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 13, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Sour Grapes in the Vineyard” (Matthew 20:1-16)When someone expresses negativity about a situation after the fact, only after they’ve been disappointed about the outcome--we call that kind of a reaction “sour grapes.” A candidate loses an election, and then afterward he says some nasty stuff about those dumb voters who chose the other guy. That’s “sour grapes.” A man loses out on a job, and then he speaks behind the back of the employer he was just flattering to his face. Again, sour grapes. It’s not a very becoming or noble characteristic, this sour-grapes attitude after a disappointment. But it...
  • "Jesus Raises the Debt Ceiling" (Sermon on Matthew 18:21-35)

    09/10/2011 8:35:31 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 13 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 11, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Jesus Raises the Debt Ceiling” (Matthew 18:21-35)We’ve heard a lot lately about “the debt ceiling” and “raising the debt ceiling.” Now when our government does this, raising the debt ceiling way beyond our ability to repay--and the bill will come due--many people think this is not such a good thing to do. But in the government of God, that is, in the kingdom of God, raising the debt ceiling is the only way that you and I will ever live. And that same principle applies, then, to how we treat our brothers and sisters within the kingdom. We’re all here...
  • "How God Uses His Law in Our Lives" (Sermon on Romans 13:1-10)

    09/03/2011 1:59:03 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 11 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | September 4, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “How God Uses His Law in Our Lives” (Romans 13:1-10)Our text today is the Epistle, from Romans 13, and our topic is “How God Uses His Law in Our Lives.” And he does. God uses his law in several ways in our lives, all ultimately for our good. Traditionally we talk about three “uses” of the law, and our text today especially deals with two of those three, what we commonly call the “First Use of the Law” and the “Third Use of the Law.” Oh, we won’t forget about the Second Use. And St. Paul hasn’t either; it’s just...
  • "Genuine Love: Instructions Connected to Our Life Together in Christ" (Sermon on Romans 12:9-21)

    08/27/2011 4:16:46 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 2 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 28, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “Genuine Love: Instructions Connected to Our Life Together in Christ” (Romans 12:9-21)In 1927, a writer by the name of Max Ehrmann wrote a poem called “Desiderata.” “Desiderata” means “the things desired.” You may have heard of this poem. It begins like this: “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.” And the poem goes on like that. And on. And on. For example: “Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. . . . Be yourself....
  • "What Do You Give the God Who Has Everything?" (Sermon on Romans 11:33 – 12:8)

    08/20/2011 10:18:38 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 9 replies · 3+ views
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 21, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “What Do You Give the God Who Has Everything?” (Romans 11:33 – 12:8)Some of you probably remember the old advertising slogan, “What do you give the man who has everything?” You’d hear it during the Christmas shopping season, or maybe coming up on Father’s Day, when you were out looking for just the right gift for that special man in your life, your father, your husband, maybe your pastor. The idea was, the fellow you’re shopping for is sitting at home in his recliner, wearing his bathrobe and smoking his pipe--he’s a successful man who’s made it, he’s got everything...
  • "The Particularity of God's Mercy for All" (Sermon on Romans 11)

    08/13/2011 8:34:53 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 3 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | August 14, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Particularity of God’s Mercy for All” (Romans 11:1-2a, 13-15, 28-32)The question of Jews and Gentiles is not a big deal for us today. Most all of us here are Gentiles, I think, that is, non-Jews. The Christian church around the world is almost entirely made up of people who are not ethnically Jewish. For that matter, the world itself--there are just not that many Jews to go around. So the question of Jews and Gentiles is not at the forefront of our consciousness, and naturally so. We do not normally think in those terms. However, the question of Jews...
  • "If God Is for Us" (Sermon on Romans 8:28-39)

    07/23/2011 6:30:02 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 16 replies · 2+ views
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 24, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “If God Is for Us” (Romans 8:28-39)“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Well, indeed, if God is for us, then it really wouldn’t matter who is against us, would it? I mean, who could be greater and more powerful than God? No one. By definition, no one or no thing can be more powerful than God; otherwise, that person or thing would be God. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” But that question then raises another question, one that could be a little ominous, depending on the answer: Is God for us?...
  • [LCMS's] Harrison issues 'Letter to the Church' concerning military chaplaincy ministry with ELCA

    07/22/2011 2:12:37 PM PDT · by rhema · 2 replies · 1+ views
    LCMS Reporter ^ | 7/18/11
    In a "Letter to the Church" released Monday, July 18, LCMS President Dr. Matthew C. Harrison announced that, beginning in 2012, the Synod will no longer co-sponsor its training conferences for military chaplains with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The decision, which Harrison said was not made lightly, was based on input from the Synod's Ministry to the Armed Forces committee and from active- and reserve-duty LCMS chaplains. It ends a cooperative ministry that began in 1941 between the LCMS and two other Lutheran church bodies at that time -- The American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church...
  • Lutheran divide could affect social programs

    07/21/2011 8:52:47 AM PDT · by SmithL · 18 replies
    AP via STLToday ^ | 7/21/11 | RACHEL ZOLL • Associated Press
    NEW YORK • One of the largest social service networks in the United States, working in areas ranging from adoption to disaster relief, faces a shake-up because of Lutheran divisions over the Bible and homosexuality. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a theologically conservative denomination headquartered in Kirkwood, Mo., said Wednesday that direct work with its larger and more liberal counterpart, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has become "difficult if not impossible," because of doctrinal conflicts, including the 2009 decision by liberal Lutherans to lift barriers for ordaining gays and lesbians. Neither denomination would discuss the potential financial impact Wednesday. Many...
  • "The Glory That Is to Be Revealed" (Sermon on Romans 8:18-27)

    07/16/2011 4:37:22 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 4 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 17, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Glory That Is to Be Revealed” (Romans 8:18-27)Today we continue in Romans 8. Last week we heard that we have received “The Spirit of Adoption as Sons,” that is, that God has changed our status from slaves to sons, that he has given us the Holy Spirit, so that we would know this, and that we have an inheritance waiting for us in the future, which gives us hope even now. So continuing on from that point, today St. Paul tells us more about the inheritance to come, what it is we are waiting for. And so our theme...
  • "The Spirit of Adoption as Sons" (Sermon on Romans 8:12-17)

    07/09/2011 8:33:53 PM PDT · by Charles Henrickson · 5 replies
    stmatthewbt.org ^ | July 10, 2011 | The Rev. Charles Henrickson
    “The Spirit of Adoption as Sons” (Romans 8:12-17)Romans 8 is one of the great chapters of the Bible. It is certainly one of the most familiar and best-loved chapters in the Bible. So many memorable passages in Romans 8! The chapter opens with the great assurance, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” It goes on to say, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” And it closes with the great crescendo, “In all these things we are...