Sunday, January 13, 2019

Bible Study: Proverbs 18:1-11, January 13, 2019

A Bible Study taught by Pastor Lewis Polzin on January 13, 2019 at St. Peter–Immanuel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, on Proverbs 18:1-11. Play the audio by clicking here.

Sermon Audio: Luke 3:15-22, January 13, 2019

A sermon preached by Pastor Lewis Polzin on January 13, 2019 at St. Peter–Immanuel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, on Luke 3:15-22. The text of this sermon may be found by clicking this link and you may play the audio of the sermon here.

Sermon Text: Luke 3:15-22, January 13, 2019

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The text this morning is from the Gospel according to Luke, the third chapter:
As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” 
Thus far the text.

My dear friends in Christ,
     Last week, we celebrated the Epiphany of our Lord.  There we are reminded that the Christ Child has been revealed to the nations by the example of the Wise Men.  As we move ahead many years in our Lord’s life in just a week’s time, we’re reminded that there is another revelation of the Lord in today’s text.  That’s what the word Epiphany means, revelation.  Our Lord was revealed as King to the nations with the Magi.  Today, He is revealed as the very Son of God in His Baptism.  In fact, today, we have for us revealed the entire Trinity, one of a very few rare instances in which this happens.

     But that’s the climax of the story; that’s the reward at the end of the journey.  First, we see the Lord coming to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.  It’s not because our Lord needed to be baptized, and thank God for that, actually.  The sinless Lamb of God needs no Baptism for His own sins, but that He needs Baptism for our sins.  And we should give thanks this day that we see the Lord coming to John that they may fulfill all righteousness, do the righteous thing, by having Jesus, the sinless Jesus, baptized in the water, not repenting of His sin, but taking to Himself the sins of the entire world.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Bible Study: Proverbs 17:15-28, January 6, 2019

A Bible Study taught by Pastor Lewis Polzin on January 6, 2019 at St. Peter–Immanuel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, on Proverbs 17:15-28. Play the audio by clicking here.

Sermon Audio: Matthew 2:1-12, January 6, 2019

A sermon preached by Pastor Lewis Polzin on January 6, 2019 at St. Peter–Immanuel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, on Matthew 2:1-12. The text of this sermon may be found by clicking this link and you may play the audio of the sermon here.

Sermon Text: Matthew 2:1-12, January 6, 2019

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The text this morning is from the Gospel according to Matthew, the second chapter:
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “ ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. 
Thus far the text.

My dear friends in Christ,
     The visit of the Wise Men marks for us in our liturgical year the end of the Christmas season.  Christmas is not just a single day on December 25th, but an entire season, 12 days in fact, in which we contemplate and celebrate the incarnation of Christ, His coming into our flesh to save us.  It used to be that the Church would celebrate all the feast days of the Church year.  We’ve mostly left them behind, which I’m not sure this is the best thing for us, but if we did celebrate them, we’d be reminded of much.

     The festivals of the Church inform us of the lives of the saints and remind of the good that Christ has done in them and through them.  The word festival actually comes out of Church language, and it just means a time when we celebrate a feast.  So, when the Church has a festival day, it means that there’s a theme of the day and it centers on the Feast of the Lamb, the Lord’s Supper.  We know the big festivals: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Reformation Day.  But the Church celebrates, or can or should celebrate, hundreds more.  We feast around the lives of the Apostles,  Matthew, John, Thomas, etc.  We feast around the idea that God brought truth into His Church by the Church Councils of the first millennia.  We feast around the reformers of the 16th century.  We feast around angels and mothers, the Confession of Peter, the Holy Cross, the martyrdom of John the Baptist, and others.  We feast.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Sermon Audio: John 1:1-14, December 25, 2018

A sermon preached by Pastor Lewis Polzin on December 25, 2018 at St. Peter–Immanuel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, on John 1:1-14. The text of this sermon may be found by clicking this link and you may play the audio of the sermon here.