The Keys of St. Peters

Sermon: Recompense – Christ Gets What’s Coming to You

Text: Isaiah 35:4–7a
Old Testament Lesson for Proper 18, Series B

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Introduction

How many of you like football? Imagine a game of football where no one was playing by the rules. It would be chaotic. That’s why in football, there are penalties for breaking the rules. The same is true in the game of life, and this is illustrated in our Old Testament Lesson. Read More

Sermon: The Scandal of Jesus’ Flesh

Text: John 6:51-69
Gospel for Proper 15, Series B

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Introduction

Have you noticed that our society is obsessed with scandals? The news, social media, and tabloids love to serve up stories about leaders, major athletes, or heroes who have fallen. But imagine for a moment, if you were to travel back in time to the first century city of Capernaum, right after the events of our Gospel text, what would you find in the tabloids and social media blogs of the day? You’d find Jesus of Nazareth caught-up in a scandal. Can you imagine the headlines? “Thousands disillusioned with Jesus after allegations of cannibalism.” “Messianic movement surrounding Jesus of Nazareth in trouble after scandal.” But what was the scandal all about?

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Sermon: Working for Real Food

Text: John 6:22-35
Gospel for Proper 13, Series B.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Free food always draws a crowd. You want people to come out in droves? Offer free food.  John chapter six records the events surrounding Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand. The crowd was enthusiastic about Jesus of Nazareth’s all you can eat fish-fry and bread buffet! After the meal, Jesus  sent his disciples sailing back to Capernaum. He rejoined them later that night by walking upon the water. The crowd chased them into Capernaum and after searching for Jesus, found him teaching in the Synagogue. They asked Jesus, “When did you get here?” They are really asking Jesus how he got to Capernaum. Jesus didn’t get in the boat with the disciples and he could hardly have walked around the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

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Sermon: The Righteous Reign of God

Text: Psalm 145 & Mark 6:45-56
Introit and Gospel for Proper 12B

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Introduction

Our Canadian government is plagued with problems, isn’t it? Then again, can you think of a government on this earth that isn’t plagued with problems? Instead of just leaders, we get corrupt and self-serving leaders. They make multitudes of promises to us while on campaign, and only keep a fraction of them. No sooner do they get into office, then they begin to dismantle everything the previous administration did, good and bad. We are cursed with leaders who are more concerned about winning the next election and pushing their own agendas than caring for the people.

Despite the fact that few here have political science degrees, we are nonetheless able to recognize our needs as a society. But with lots of problems, and very few solutions, it is quite easy to become jaded and cynical at the entire political process. We have lost hope that human governments will be able to free themselves from their corruption and unreliability. We are all too aware the no government can rid the world of poverty, crime, injustice, sickness and death. Despite the fact that we know the very real limitations of human government, we still recognize our need for good government. We see the need we have for good rulers. We hear stories from Syria and Iraq of how government fell and chaos arose, and we truly get it. We need a stable society.

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Sermon: When God Says, “Never Again…”

Text: Amos 7 LXX
Old Testament Reading for Prop. 10B

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Introduction

The Israelites were better off than they had ever been before. World events had propelled the northern kingdom of Israel to heights of power. The Assyrian Empire, which was the dominant world power, had a series of ineffectual rulers who were barely able to maintain their borders. Israel’s national enemy, the Arameans, were plagued with internal conflict. So, Israel capitalized the political situation and was able to retake all the territory which had been lost since the time of King Solomon.

Because the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah were at peace, they controlled all the major trade-routes in the area! Riches flowed into the two kingdoms. The result was a post-war boom; a prosperity such as no living Israelite could remember. They were so wealthy, that some in the upper class were paneling their houses with Ivory. It was a time of great optimism, and confidence in the future. But, despite the outward appearances, all was not well.

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Sermon: The Blessing of the Visitation

Text: Luke 1:39-45
Gospel for the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (obs.)

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Introduction

Do you like having visitors to your home? Some visitors are rather intrusive. They’re like your relatives at Christmas who remind you of Proverbs 25:17, “Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, otherwise the neighbor will become weary of you and hate you.” Other visitors are merely tolerated. You don’t enjoy them much, but you can get through it with God’s help. And, you usually feel good that you endured it. But some visitors refresh you. They are very welcome, and you come away as a better person. You are glad to roll out the red carpet for them because they stimulate you and leave you never the same. After they leave you feel like saying, “You know, that visit was really a blessing!” Our Gospel lesson is about two very unlikely mothers who end up together for a visit which was a great blessing.

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Sermon: Lunatic, Liar, or Lord?

Text: Mark 3:20-35
Gospel Lesson for Proper 5, Series B

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Introduction

How’d they do that? Have you ever seen a feat of architecture and wondered that? Maybe it was one of those majestic Medieval Cathedrals. Or perhaps it’s the pyramids. Think about the pyramids: architects in the twenty-first century would find it a daunting task to build something similar, even with all the technology available. “How’d they do that” is the question that has baffled Egyptologists and archeologists. But the question, “How’d they do that” isn’t limited to ancient architecture. Go to see a talented musician play a complicated piece of music, or perhaps an acrobat or a magician. It’s the natural question to ask when we see something that seems way beyond our normal capabilities.

That’s the question the crowds asked about Jesus. The scene opens with Jesus entering a house. As Jesus enters, a crowd presses around and seeps inside, watching as he casts out demons. Now, casting out demons is not the kind of thing one can do by artistry and technology like a building. Nor is it a matter of practicing long and hard like a musician. The only way someone could cast out demons the way Jesus did was by having power. That power had to come from somewhere. And the source of Jesus’ power was exactly the point of controversy. Some of the crowd, including some of Jesus’ relatives, concluded from his behavior that Jesus was clearly out of his mind. Calling Jesus’ sanity into question was a serious enough charge, but the teachers of the law went a step further. They knew where Jesus got his power from: collusion with the Devil. Jesus wasn’t the type of messiah they wanted, and so they told the crowd that Jesus’ exorcisms were all an elaborate ruse to get them to follow the Devil.

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Sermon: The Testimony of God

Text: 1 John 5:9-15
Epistle Lesson for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, Series B

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

I. Some Claim that there are many paths to God.

A group of four blind men heard that a strange creature had been brought into their town. None of them knew anything about its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “Let’s go and

Image result for four blind men and elephant

inspect this creature and try to figure out what it is.” So, they sought it out, and when they found it they started to grope about it with their hands. The first blind man felt something and said, “The creature must be like a tree because it is large and round like a pillar.” The second man and replied, “Actually, the creature is like a rope because it is small and coarse.” The third man contradicted the others and said, “No, no, the creature is like a fan because it is flat and thin.” The fourth man was confused and said, “The creature is not like any of those. It is like a thick snake because it is long and curves.”

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Sermon: Jesus Christ – The Word of Life

Text: 1 John 1:1-2:2
Epistle for the Second Sunday of Easter, Series B

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

What is it about meeting someone famous that makes people act like they’re winning the lottery? Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who was boasting about meeting someone famous? Maybe they had a wall full of selfies taken with celebrities. Any chance they get, they’re name dropping some important person whom they’ve met. Even ordinary people sometimes go crazy when meeting someone famous. Every famous person seems to have becomes a highly visible target for “groupies”, paparazzi, and fans claiming to be long-lost friends or relatives. Sometimes, fans will even rip off pieces of their clothes for souvenirs! Read More

Sermon: In FACT Christ Has Been Raised…

Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 17-22.
Epistle for Easter

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Today is Easter Sunday, the Sunday of the Resurrection. This is the day when we, together with all Christians, proclaim to one another and to the world that Jesus Christ who was crucified for the sin of the world rose bodily from the dead. It is NOT, as you sometimes hear, the “day Christians celebrate their belief that Jesus rose from the dead.” The resurrection of Jesus, His empty tomb, the eyewitness appearances, are not matters of faith. They are matters of fact. The fact is that Christ rose from the dead. The faith is that as in Adam all die so in Christ will all be made alive. That is a matter of faith. But the resurrected body of Jesus is a matter of fact.

So, as they used to say on the old Dragnet programme, here’s “just the facts.”

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