Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.
Here is an audio file from the Divine Service celebrating the Resurrection of our LORD at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah. It begins with the Scripture readings and includes the Gradual Hymn, "Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds," as well as the Hymn of the Day, "Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands," and the Prayer of the Church. The sermon begins at the 13:05 mark :
Have a blessed week living in the Resurrection of our Lord.
Here is the preaching manuscript:
Text: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
He is risen! - He is risen indeed!
Alleuia! - Alleluia!
Dear Baptized, dear sinners, dear people of God,
Welcome to the resurrection! Christ is risen for you. And you have come to this place, which is called Trinity after the God of your Baptism, much like the women of our Gospel lesson this morning:
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
They came to do a favor for their Lord only to find He didn't need their favors at all. Surprise! They came expecting to weep and fawn over a corpse, that is the helpless inanimate object that used to be Jesus of Nazareth.
What about you? Come on. Admit it. Who of us is any different when it comes to church? Somewhere we all harbor that same attitude—I'll give the Lord His hour today. Hour? That's just the time for the service—if we're lucky.
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.
So you enter this place hewn out of rock of sorts through the open door and you too see a man, not y oung, but he is dressed in a white robe. And you are alarmed. You know this is going to take more than an hour. It's Pr. Hering, and it's Easter so there will be more people, communion will last longer. Then, what's this? A baptism too? Oh nuts! Hour and half minimum. I'll be lucky to get home in time to see Tiger crank it up on the first tee.
And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here.
Here is where things change. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
And I am here to deliver this risen Christ to you today. Over your head. Into your ears. And upon your tongues. I am here to give you the risen Christ by His call and command.
So it was, while [two disciples] conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. Luke 24:14-15
Now when [Mary Magdalene] had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. John 20:14
They did not know Him though He was right there with them.
Mary did not know until he spoke and called her by name—Holy Baptism.
Clopeas and the other disciple of Jesus did not know Him until He spoke to them from Scripture and showed them His wounds—Holy Communion.
Why? Why do they, why do we not recognize Him?
Because He is not what we expect. Even the victorious, resurrected Christ is not what we expect. He does not come to us the way we picture a hero to come. He does not do what we expect a champion to do. This One who is risen for you—you can't even see Him. So what's the big deal? From what has he risen? Why did He die? Why did God come to earth at all?
The answer to all of these questions is the same really. He did it all for you, sinner.
Look at your life.
You'd rather have sex outside of marriage than according to God's gift.
You would rather have what you don't have than what you do.
You want to tell God where to be and what to do rather than listen to His precious Word for His terms.
I.e. you want to be God—to be in control
How is that working out for you?
That stuff you would rather do how is it holding up?
Let's take just one example—the stuff you would rather do on Sunday, is it really worth it?
Sleep. Recreation. One time sporting events. Family time. Charitable work even.
The very best time that you have had, the very best thing you have done instead of being in Church to hear the Word and receive the body and blood of your risen Lord—what has it meant, what has done for you at the end of the day? Does it last? Will it stay with you when you die or get you into heaven?
Did you ever think that there is a reason that God created a 7 day week and told us to keep one of them holy—just one—as a day to rest from your labors of trying to do it all, trying to get it all, trying to be it all?
We should have learned from the OT prophets:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
We should have learned it from His own mother:
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. Luke 2:49
We should have learned it from Peter—walking on water, cutting off the soldier's ear, trying to save Christ from the cross--get behind me Satan.
We should have learned it from Martha:
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
But no. We come to show the risen Christ we are here, that we still love Him, we still have Him in our heart even though nobody would see it by our lives or hear it in our talk.
So let us learn from little Kirin today, from her baptism that is your baptism as well.
She was helpless, rescued.
Jesus has to be and do what you cannot be and do. He must give you what you cannot be or do.
Who he is and what He does and what He gives isn't just a Christmas and Easter thing either. It is a Christmas through Easter thing. All of it for you.
And all of it is lived out through the life of the church throughout the year. All of it, in fact, is given to you every Sunday.
This is the life of Christ for you.
And if you are not in His church you just don't get it—you can't get it.
And if you don't get forgiveness then you haven't been in His church.
The church is where the Holy Spirit keeps you with Christ by forgiving your sins, giving you His body and blood.
The church isn't just for Easter celebrations. It's for you. Just as He has risen for you that you can receive the forgiveness of sins and know that heaven is open to you and life is yours forever—in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.
Send Rev. Kurt Hering an email.