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  6.        <title>Atlantis » Atlantis</title>
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  9.        <description>The Domain of the Stingray</description>
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  11.        <managingEditor>[email protected] (Chisolm)</managingEditor>
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  14.        <pubDate>Sat, 25 Jan 2020 20:46:36 -0500</pubDate>
  15.        <ttl>60</ttl>
  20.        <item>
  21.            <title>The Baptism of Our Lord</title>
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  24.            <description><![CDATA[ <div class="pivotx-wrapper"><a href='' class="thickbox" title="The Baptism of Our Lord 2020 Wordle" ><img src="" alt="The Baptism of Our Lord 2020 Wordle" title="The Baptism of Our Lord 2020 Wordle" class='pivotx-popupimage'/></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonlinks"><div class="audiobox"><a href="">Sermon Audio</a></div><div class="pdflink"><a href="http://geoffrey.famwagner.comsermons-pdf/20200112.baptismofourlord.pdf">Download PDF</a></div></div><p>You probably know the story well enough.  You heard part of it this morning.  And while it is certainly not as grand a story as the parting and crossing of the Red Sea, it has similar elements, and there is similar typology involved.  This is how Joshua led the people of Israel through the Jordan and into the Promised Land.</p><p>The Children of Israel arrived beyond the Jordan from their 40-year exodus in the wilderness.  They camped near the eastern bank of the River Jordan, north of the Dead or Salt Sea at a place that came to be called Bethabara, or “Place of Crossing.”  When the time had come, God told Joshua to cross the Jordan, to have the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant set foot in the Jordan, and the waters would part so that the whole company could cross over on dry ground.  This they did, and the Children of Israel set foot in the Promised Land.</p><p>Joshua himself was commanded to have a man from each tribe pick a stone from the riverbed.  From these twelve stones a monument was made at the place where they next camped: Gilgal.  These had to have been large stones, for they were commanded,</p><blockquote class="quoted">Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you.  When your children ask in time to come, “What do those stones mean to you?” then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD.  When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.  So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever. <span class="biblereference">(Joshua 4:5-7)</span><br  />And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.  And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’  For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever. <span class="biblereference">(Joshua 4:20-24)</span></blockquote><p class="postblockquote">Furthermore, twelve more stones were placed as a monument in the middle of the river where the Children of Israel crossed.</p><p>The story was told again and again. Children would point to the stones at Gilgal and ask, “What does this mean?”  Parents would tell their children the story of how the waters were parted, how the Children of Israel passed through the Jordan, how they finally made it into the land that God had promised to give them—how they had left behind the wilderness and all of it’s hardships and killings and that land of sin and slavery and entered into the land of life and bread and iron and copper. <span class="biblereference">(cf. Deuteronomy 8:9)</span>  In short, they Children of Israel passed through the waters from death to life!</p><p>So, when I say that the crossing of the Jordan is a type of Baptism, you can see how that works.  For you, yourselves has passed over from death to life by way of the waters of the font.  Now, this font, and many like it, may never have or may never in the future contain Jordan water, but for your sake, the source of the water isn’t important, and that’s because your Baptism is connected to that of your Savior, Jesus Christ.</p><p>It was to the Jordan that Christ the Lord went in order to be Baptized by John.  Here’s where things really get interesting.  According to John the Evangelist, the location that John was baptizing as Jesus arrived was “in Bethany across the Jordan.” <span class="biblereference">(cf. John 1:28)</span>  Where is this?  Well, the name has changed slightly, but it’s all there in that phrase from St. John’s Gospel.  The place where John was baptizing was at Bethabara, the place of crossing.</p><p>It was no coincidence that John was baptizing there with a baptism of repentance, but was chosen deliberately.  Remember the stones in and across the river?  They served as a reminder of the people of the work of God to bring the people out of bondage.  The bondage then was slavery, but as John was baptizing with a baptism of repentance, the bondage he had in mind was to sin.</p><p>So, as it happened, before Jesus arrived, John spoke to the Pharisees and Sadducees who were coming to his baptism.</p><blockquote class="quoted">You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.  And do not presume to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father,” for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.  Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees.  Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. <span class="biblereference">(Matthew 3:7-10)</span></blockquote><p class="postblockquote">God’s wrath is coming, and it is inescapable.  If there would be anyone guilty of not repenting of sin, it would be the Pharisees and Sadducees, who thought themselves sinless, though I’m sure at times you might include yourself in that group.  Remember, it was of them that Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” <span class="biblereference">(Luke 15:31-32)</span>  So, John’s message was as much for them as it was for everyone who came to him at Bethany across the Jordan.  “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.  What greater place than this, where the bonds of slavery were removed from the Children of Israel and they crossed from death into life?”</p><p>And what about “these stones.”  It’s fascinating that that phrase is used both in Joshua and Matthew—these stones.  That might be an indication that John was using either the monument at Gilgal or the twelve stones in the Jordan to make his point to the Pharisees and Sadducees.  “God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.”  The prospect of that is exciting, if you ask me.  John points to a set of twelve stones, a reminder of God’s providence and mightiness, and tells them God can make from them His own children.</p><p>Anyway, to this spot—this spot from Joshua 3 and 4—Jesus, whose name in Hebrew is Joshua, arrives to be baptized, in order for He and John to fulfill all righteousness.  Down into this spot in the River Jordan the two men descend, the place where the Children of Israel passed through on dry land, and place where, for all rights, had they done so without divine providence, they should have all drowned and died, and Jesus takes that death for them, and comes out of the water as their very life.  But, He comes out of the water as your very life, too.</p><p>Remember that I said that your baptism is connected to His.  In every step of Jesus’ life, He was fulfilling the Law and all righteousness for you, and that includes His baptism.  He and John go down into the River Jordan at the place of crossing for you.  He did it with you in mind and carrying you in His own flesh and blood, only to come out of the water to the words thundering from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  So, if you are there with Him, by way of your own baptism into His death and resurrection, then those words are as much speaking of you as they are of Him.</p><p>So, while you may have been baptized in this font or one quite like it, with water poured from this or another tap, with Christ you have been baptized in the River Jordan at the place of crossing.  Your baptism is connected to His by way of His word and command—for it is the Word of God which makes this washing the sacred thing that it is—Jesus entered the Jordan for and with you, and tells you to be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.  And it is because of the command and Word of Christ that Luther included this sentence in his flood prayer: “Through the Baptism in the Jordan of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, You sanctified and instituted all waters to be a blessed flood, and a lavish washing away of sin.”</p><p>Because Jesus was baptized for you, your baptism now grants you everything that His perfect life, death, and resurrection earned.  So, by way of your baptism, God reached down and turned your dead heart of stone into a living heart of faith and life and the Voice from heaven declared, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  At this font or one like it, you passed through the River Jordan on dry ground, passing from your bondage to sin the freedom in Christ, from the death of the wrath of God to life everlasting for the sake of Christ.  For, just as with the Children of Israel, without divine providence, you should be drowned and die yourself with your sin and all evil desire, but God has instituted baptism for a saving flood for you for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ.</p><p>Once you were enemies of God, but in Christ you have been reconciled.  Once, you lived on the east side of the Jordan, lost in sin and death, but in Christ, you have been crossed over to freedom and life.  And while it is so easy to plunge back into death and enmity—to succumb to one sin or another, to lose yourself in one vice or another—remember this, you are still covered in the blood of the Lamb, the one that John pointed to at Bethany across the Jordan, and proclaimed him to be the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” <span class="biblereference">(John 1:29)</span></p><p>You are one of those stones that John pointed to and said, “God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.”  The Sunday School kids get it right: “Father Abraham had many sons; many sons had Father Abraham.  I am one of them, and so are you, so let’s all praise the Lord!”  So, if you ever find yourself at Gilgal or Bethany across the Jordan, find that pile of stones, and see in them the Lord’s promise to you.  Remember that you were brought through water to the Promised Land of peace with God and salvation.  You have been taken out of death to life for the sake of Jesus Christ.  The Father has said of you, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  Jesus Christ was baptized there at Bethany across the Jordan for you and with you—into this you have been baptized, and you are forgiven for all of your sins.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonaudio" id="listen-">
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  34.            <category>Sermons</category>
  35.            <pubDate>Sun, 12 Jan 2020 15:55:00 -0500</pubDate>
  36.            <dc:creator>Stingray</dc:creator>
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  41.        <item>
  42.            <title>The Nativity of Our Lord</title>
  43.            <link></link>
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  45.            <description><![CDATA[ <div class="pivotx-wrapper"><a href='' class="thickbox" title="Name Year Wordle" ><img src="" alt="Name Year Wordle" title="Name Year Wordle" class='pivotx-popupimage'/></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonlinks"><div class="audiobox"><a href="">Sermon Audio</a></div><div class="pdflink"><a href="http://geoffrey.famwagner.comsermons-pdf/">Download PDF</a></div></div><p>“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” <span class="biblereference">(Hebrews 1:1-2)</span>  So the author of the letter to Hebrews reminds you of the means of God’s presence in the Old Testament.  God is always present in His Word, and long ago His Word was most often proclaimed by the prophets.  But, at many times and in many ways, God also spoke to the fathers.  Abraham had dinner with God. <span class="biblereference">(cf. Genesis 18:1-15)</span>  Jacob wrestled with God. <span class="biblereference">(Genesis 32:22-32)</span>  Moses spoke with God in a burning bush. <span class="biblereference">(Exodus 3)</span>  Isaiah was granted a vision of the heavenly throne room. <span class="biblereference">(Isaiah 6)</span>  Daniel had night visions.</p><p>But now, in these latter days, God’s presence among men is through His Son.  There are still prophets, so to speak, who relate to men the Word of God.  However, unlike the prophets of long ago, the prophets today speak the Word already revealed in the Scripture, nothing that was told them in a vision or dream, because that’s how God interacted long ago.  So, to you it is given to hear the Word of God as it has been handed down from the Apostles and Prophets, recounted for you again and again, because you need to hear it again and again, hear the message of the Gospel again and again, that the Son of God was incarnate of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, buried, and rose again, all for your forgiveness, life, and salvation.</p><blockquote class="quoted">In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.</blockquote><p class="postblockquote">The beginning—long ago—the Word existed as was given to man by way of dinners and wrestling matches and visions and dreams.  Now, the Word still exists and is given to man in flesh and blood.</p><p>First, the flesh and blood of the Word of God is the same flesh and blood as yours.  Assumed in the womb of the virgin Mary, the Word became flesh and dwelt among man.  God gave Himself as His own creation to mankind in order to walk with them, talk to them and teach them, eat with them—kind of like what He did long ago, at many times and in various ways.  But Jesus also healed them and forgave them.  And He charged His church to continue giving Him to His people in Word and Sacrament.</p><p>So, the people continue to hear and receive the Word of God as He is proclaimed to them—without the visions and the wrestling matches and the burning bushes and dinners.   None of those other things happen with any regularity or as a matter of new revelation—so, if they happen, they cannot be discounted out of hand, but must always be measured against the Scripture.  Well, maybe the dinners still count with some regularity, in a manner of speaking.</p><p>You see, in the second place, the Word of God is still become flesh for you.  In the simple means of bread and wine, the Word of God comes to you in flesh and blood, giving Himself for you for your forgiveness, life, and salvation.  Up there on the altar, the Word of God makes these means what they are for you, because He still dwells among you in order to walk with you, talk to you and teach you, and, yes, even eat with you.  He gives Himself to you to make you His own.  That is His glory, which He reveals to you.</p><p>It was revealed on the cross, a most inglorious death, but by His death on the cross, He shed His blood and gave His body over to death in order that you would be forgiven for all of your sins, won back from death to life, and saved from this body of sin.  In that, the Father and Son glory, for it is their victory over sin, death, and the devil—their enemies, and yours.</p><p>So, that you may continue in this, the Word of God, He continues to come to you in Word and Sacrament.  There is no need to look for the visions, burning bushes, wrestling matches, dinners, or any other such thing for God to interact with you.  He doesn’t promise to come to you that way.  But He does promise to come to you in His Word proclaimed to you—flesh and blood comes to you in order to teach and heal and forgive and renew and restore.  He does promise to come to you in Sacrament, Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper—flesh and blood comes to you in order to teach and heal and forgive and renew and restore.</p><p>He gives to you all that you need for your forgiveness, life, and salvation.  The Word became flesh and dwells among you.  God lived and died for you.  God rose again and ascended for you.  God continues to give Himself to you and be with you, flesh-and-blood, so that when He returns, He will take you to be where He is for eternity.  The Word became flesh, and you have seen His glory, full of grace and truth, and the truth is that you are forgiven for all of your sins.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonaudio" id="listen-">
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  56.            <pubDate>Wed, 25 Dec 2019 14:19:00 -0500</pubDate>
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  62.        <item>
  63.            <title>Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord</title>
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  66.            <description><![CDATA[ <div class="pivotx-wrapper"><a href='' class="thickbox" title="Name Year Wordle" ><img src="" alt="Name Year Wordle" title="Name Year Wordle" class='pivotx-popupimage'/></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonlinks"><div class="audiobox"><a href="">Sermon Audio</a></div><div class="pdflink"><a href="http://geoffrey.famwagner.comsermons-pdf/20191224.christmaseve.pdf">Download PDF</a></div></div><p>[ <i>NB: I'm getting over a cold, and my throat decided to seize up during the preaching of this sermon</i> ]</p><p>History is filled with young kings and queens, some of whom were even crowned as infants.</p><p>Tutankhamun—affectionately known today as King Tut—was a boy king.  He became Pharaoh at eight or nine years of age and ruled until his death at the young age of 18.</p><p>Mary Stuart was six days old when she assumed the throne of her father, James V, to become Mary I of Scotland.  You might know her better as Mary, Queen of Scots.  Regents ruled Scotland in her stead while she was young and lived in France.  Interestingly, her father was 17 months old when he became king, and her son was 13 months old when he became king.  Ruling young seems to run in the Stuart family.</p><p>Henry VI became king of England when he was eight months old.  On top of that, he became king of France when he was 10 months old.  His reign over France didn’t last long, though, as Joan of Arc was a force in taking the country back from England.</p><p>Ivan VI became Tsar of Russian at two months old.  His rule lasted all of a year before he was deposed and kept in solitary confinement in one fortress after another for over 20 years.  When he was 23, he was murdered by one of his prison guards.</p><p>John I became king of France on the day he was born!  He died five days later, though.  It is thought that his regent, Philip, who was also his uncle, poisoned him.  It was Philip who assumed the throne on the death of John.</p><p>Not to be outdone, according to legend, Shapur II became Shah of the Sassanid Empire (think modern-day Iran) while still in utero!  The legend states that Persian nobles put a crown on the belly of King Hormizd’s widow, and so was the first (and only, as far as I know), coronation of a fetal king.  How they knew he was a he is beyond me, so I wonder if they would have called him something other than Shah had he been born a girl or if the coronation would have been declared illegitimate.  I’m sure you could work some pro-life argument into this legend, too.  Nevertheless, Shapur II is considered a successful ruler, having done so for 70 years!</p><p>More recently, Oyo was crowned king of the Toro Kingdom in Uganda.  That happened 24 years ago, and he was three years old at the time.  At 27, he still rules the Toro Kingdom, though his reign is more as a cultural icon than an actual head of state.</p><p>So, it’s not unusual that a child would be made king or queen.  Such a monarch was surrounded by regents who would perform the duties of the king or queen in his or her name until such a time that the monarch was old enough to assume those duties him- or herself.  Their age and vulnerability would also have made them easy targets of those who sought to usurp the throne, such as (possibly) in the case of John I of France.  History is filled with young kings and queens, some of whom were even crowned as infants.</p><p>That said, there is only one case in history where a King became an infant.  In all of those cases where an infant became a king, it was done so in order to rule and reign, either as the puppet of another or to preserve the dynastic line.  There really is no other reason to crown an infant.  But, in the case of the King who became an infant, that was done in order to save.</p><p>The angel said to Joseph,</p><blockquote class="quoted">“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).</blockquote><p>The Son of God left His throne in heaven and took on the flesh of His creation.  He was conceived in a virgin’s womb and born.  Wrapped in swaddling cloths, nestled in the arms of Mary was the King of the Universe.  Joseph would do as the angel commanded him; eight days after He was born, this Infant gets a foretaste of another coronation that He would undergo as He is circumcised and given the name Jesus, “[F]or he will save his people from their sins.”</p><p>Mind you, dear hearers, that this is no simple or ordinary abdication, though.  In fact, this is no abdication at all.  When you hear that Jesus left His throne in heaven, even as you might sing in some Christmas songs, an abdication is not at all what is meant.  What is meant is what St. Paul described in his letter to the Philippians: “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” <span class="biblereference">(Philippians 2:6-8)</span></p><p>And so you have that wonderful hymn, found in Lutheran Service Book, number 539—Christ is the World’s Redeemer.  The third stanza in very brief fashion describes the work that Jesus did from His crucifixion on: “Down through the realm of darkness / He strode in victory, / And at the hour appointed / He rose triumphantly / And now, to heav’n ascended, / He sits upon the throne / <i>Whence He had ne’er departed, / His Father’s and His own</i>.” <span class="biblereference">(emphasis mine)</span>  From there, He lives and reigns to all eternity; His kingdom is everlasting—very much unlike the reign of any and all of those infants who became monarch.</p><p>It is well that He didn’t leave His throne in the sense that He abdicated it.  Had that been the case, then He wouldn’t have been the fulfillment of the prophecy, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.”  Immanuel—“God with us”—would be a lie.  When a king abdicates his throne, he is no longer king; if the Son of God would have abdicated His throne to become Man, He would no longer be God, so He would not have been “God with us.”</p><p>Were He not “God with us,” then He wouldn’t be your Redeemer.  Only God can redeem you from your sin.  Only man can shed his blood as propitiation.  Only “God with us” could do both!  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is your Propitiation, for He took on flesh and blood like yours in order to shed that blood on the cross and give that flesh over to death in order to save you from death; He is, therefore, your Redeemer, who bought you back from death to life with His own precious, holy blood the price.</p><p>But the Son of God did leave His throne, in the sense that St. Paul wrote.  He did not come as Infant in order to rule with a mighty arm.  The rod of iron is in His hand for those who reject Him, as the Psalmist wrote. <span class="biblereference">(cf. Psalm 2:9)</span>  But this King sets aside His throne to come in grace and with favor for man, to serve man with Salvation, and to do so by way of His death, resurrection, and ascension.</p><blockquote class="quoted">Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! <span class="biblereference">(Luke 2:10-11, 14)</span></blockquote><p class="postblockquote">He now rules from that throne as your most gracious King, ordering all things for your benefit, edification, and salvation.</p><p>And this King has regents, too.  This is not in the sense of the regents of those infant kings, but in the sense that He has given authority to certain men on earth to forgive sins in His stead, proclaim salvation on His order, and distribute His treasure, His recompense, His reward, the great mysteries of the Sacraments, as He has directed.  These regents, then, are stewards of the promises of God, pastors as you know it.</p><p>Therefore, in the stead and by the command of the King who became Infant, I joyfully proclaim to you that the Son of God is your Redeemer.  The infant in Mary’s arms, Jesus is your Salvation.  He is your Propitiation.  He has come for you, and so you are forgiven for all of your sins.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonaudio" id="listen-">
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  75.            <guid isPermaLink="false">[email protected]/</guid>
  76.            <category>Sermons</category>
  77.            <pubDate>Tue, 24 Dec 2019 23:13:00 -0500</pubDate>
  78.            <dc:creator>Stingray</dc:creator>
  79.        </item>
  83.        <item>
  84.            <title>Mid-week Advent III</title>
  85.            <link></link>
  86.            <comments></comments>
  87.            <description><![CDATA[ <div class="pivotx-wrapper"><a href='' class="thickbox" title="Name Year Wordle" ><img src="" alt="Name Year Wordle" title="Name Year Wordle" class='pivotx-popupimage'/></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonlinks"><div class="audiobox"><a href="">Sermon Audio</a></div><div class="pdflink"><a href="http://geoffrey.famwagner.comsermons-pdf/20191218.midweekadvent3.pdf">Download PDF</a></div></div><p>μαράνα θά!</p><p>So cried out St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. <span class="biblereference">(cf. 1 Corinthians 16:22)</span>  It’s the Aramaic equivalent, written in Greek, of the prayer of the bride of Christ.  It is the prayer that John wrote as you heard in the text this evening: “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’  And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’”</p><p>μαράνα θά!  “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”  Or, perhaps more appropriately, “Come now, O Lord!”</p><p>What you heard from the Apocalypse this evening is the epilogue of the book.  After granting the Apostle the beatific vision of the end of creation, with the signs in the sun and moon and stars and trees, the creatures with multiple eyes and heads and wings and horns—enough to drive any man mad—the angel tells him, “These words are trustworthy and true.  And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”</p><p>Then Jesus tells him, “And behold, I am coming soon.”  μαράνα θά!</p><p>What John was privileged to see and relate to the church was enough to drive men mad.  To see creation being burned up, the sun and moon destroyed, the various beasts and creatures, and to hear the martyrs under the throne would be quite frightening.  But not so for one such as John; not so for those who bear the image of Christ as John did.</p><p>Even today, to see what goes on beyond these walls, out in this world where the devil is allowed to reign for a time, it can be a frighteningly maddening sight—even more so when that which is perpetrated is directed squarely at the Bride of Christ or the individual Christian.  Mockery and hatred and persecution and death—these are your lot in this Vale of Tears for bearing the image of Christ.  What does the angel say about this?  “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy…”</p><p>This can be your mantra, too, dear hearers.  While you face evil and hardship from all sides outside of this refuge (and perhaps even in it, as this place is still a location in this fallen world), you, too, can say, “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy.”  Dear Dr. Luther wrote as much in his quintessential Reformation hymn: “And take they our life, / Goods, fame, child and wife, / Let these all be gone, / They yet have nothing won; / The Kingdom our remaineth.”  Let the evildoers do their worst, they cannot rob you of your salvation!</p><p>Scripture is full of such exhortation for you.  Jesus said, “[D]o not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” <span class="biblereference">(Matthew 10:28a)</span>  Both Peter and Jude warn of the coming scoffers in the last day, but that they are nothing to fear.  Even Paul lets his listeners know that there will be evildoers to watch out for.  Watch and be warned, they all say, because they are out to get you.  But, do not fear them for what they can do to your body, but do not let them steal you of your salvation—do not let them drag out of the Church, do not let them cause you to doubt the faith that you have been given in Christ.  Let them do their worst, but watch out for their schemes and games.</p><p>Knowing that they’re out there, knowing that they mean to cause you harm, spiritual harm, at the devil’s guidance, you should all the more desire the imminent return of Christ.  After all, when He returns, those who do this evil will meet their end, and you will no longer have to concern yourself with them.  So, the prayer becomes urgent as a result of the terror and evil all around.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!  Come now, O Lord!  μαράνα θά!</p><p>“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.  Outside are the dogs  and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and the murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”  There it is!  Those who have washed their robes have a right to the tree of life.  The evildoers and filthy are on the outside; they do not have that access that those who are clean do.  You know it from another passage from Revelation.  Upon seeing a great, white host, an elder asked John, “Who are these?”  “Sir, you know,” he replied. “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation.  They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” <span class="biblereference">(Revelation 7:14)</span>  It’s nothing other than the blood of Jesus which makes them pure, which grants them access to the tree of life.  Those who are not purified by Christ are on the outside.  The difference?  Well, Jesus shed his blood on the cross for all; those on the outside refused the offer.  In other words, if you’re saved, it’s all Jesus’ doing, but if your damned, it’s all your doing.</p><p>So, Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done.”  As Dr. Louis Brighton wrote,</p><blockquote class="quoted">Christ calls it my reward, not their reward; it is the reward which Christ himself earned, and which he freely gives to all believers by grace.  The “reward” itself is the gift of eternal life in God’s holy presence, earned for God’s people by the death and resurrection of the Lamb of God.  This “reward” is represented by the tree of life.</blockquote><p class="postblockquote">The reward is Christ’s, not yours.  He’s the one who earned it.  He’s the one who merited it.  He’s the one who has done all the work in order to be rewarded—in order to be given a recompense.  It is His!  And what does He do with it?  He gives it freely to you.  To you, whom He has purified by His blood, given faith to believe and trust in Him for salvation, who take Him at His Word, He gives His reward: eternal  life with Him in paradise, a place at His victory banquet, to be one among that great, white host who have come out of the tribulation.</p><p>μαράνα θά!  Jesus said, “And behold, I am coming soon.”  He gives you a picture of what His coming again is going to look like.  It’s a frightening picture, but the outcome is a glorious one for the one who bears the image of Christ.  “Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book,” Jesus said.  The one who keeps these words are the one who is kept in the Word, who bears the image of Christ.  Therefore, the one who keeps the words of this prophecy is you, dear Baptized, one who is forgiven for all of your sins.  Therefore, the one who keeps the words of this prophecy is the one who hears Jesus say, “Behold, I am coming soon,” and replies, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus,” “Come now, O Lord!</p><p>μαράνα θά!</p><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonaudio" id="listen-">
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  96.            <guid isPermaLink="false">[email protected]/</guid>
  97.            <category>Sermons</category>
  98.            <pubDate>Wed, 18 Dec 2019 22:08:00 -0500</pubDate>
  99.            <dc:creator>Stingray</dc:creator>
  100.        </item>
  104.        <item>
  105.            <title>Mid-week Advent II</title>
  106.            <link></link>
  107.            <comments></comments>
  108.            <description><![CDATA[ <div class="pivotx-wrapper"><a href='' class="thickbox" title="Name Year Wordle" ><img src="" alt="Name Year Wordle" title="Name Year Wordle" class='pivotx-popupimage'/></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonlinks"><div class="audiobox"><a href="">Sermon Audio</a></div><div class="pdflink"><a href="http://geoffrey.famwagner.comsermons-pdf/20191211.midweekadvent2.pdf">Download PDF</a></div></div><p>The text tonight seems to describe Christ in His first coming to earth.  The selection of Matthew 1:18-25 would back up such an assumption.  There in St. Matthew’s Gospel is his short telling of the birth of the Messiah.  Mary, with child, gave birth to a Son, whom Joseph, her betrothed, named Jesus.  A little later in St. Matthew’s Gospel, after the visit of the Magi, the holy family flees into Egypt.</p><p>In the Second Reading for tonight, a woman is pregnant and giving birth.  In the text, John described the woman almost like a princess: she is adorned with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown on her head.  This woman gave birth to a male child who would rule all nations with a rod of iron.  This rod of iron hearkens to a Messianic prophecy in the Psalms:</p><blockquote class="quoted">“As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”  I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.  You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” <span class="biblereference">(Psalm 2:6-9)</span></blockquote><p class="postblockquote">This prophecy is confirmed to have been fulfilled in Jesus the Christ as Gabriel spoke to Mary,</p><blockquote class="quoted">And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. <span class="biblereference">(Luke 1:31-33)</span></blockquote><p>St. John continued with the sign of the red dragon.  This dragon makes himself out to look almost like the Lamb of God as described in Revelation 5.  There, the Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes to signify that Christ is all-seeing and all-knowing.  The dragon would use his seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns to make the deceptive claim that he and not the Christ is the all-knowing master and ruler of the earth.  This dragon awaits the birth of the woman’s male child in order to devour it and prevent the salvation of the world.  However, he didn’t succeed, as the child was caught up to God and His throne; more on that in a bit.</p><p>This very much sounds like Mary and Jesus, and much of Jesus’ life, death, and victory over the devil all wrapped up in a mere 6 verses.  John seems to be giving—seems to have been given—a recap of events he knew of and even witnessed in many cases, being one of Jesus’ disciples, but in a metaphorical sense common to visions, where there is an air of reality, but also much symbolism.  That is the case here, the woman is Mary, the male child Jesus, and the red dragon the devil.</p><p>Even the child being caught up to God and His throne fits into interpretation.  That sounds very much like Jesus’ ascension.  Dr. Louis Brighton, the now-sainted seminary professor and Revelation scholar, asserts however that,</p><blockquote class="quoted">[T]he incarnation and the entire ministry, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ are compressed into the words “snatched up to God.”  “The Seer shortens the Gospel history.”  John’s purpose is to emphasize the final outcome of Christ’s incarnation and passion and resurrection, that is, the dragon’s failure to destroy the Child and the victory of the Christ over the enemies of God’s people.</blockquote><p class="postblockquote">So, it is the ascension of Christ, and so much more.  And this “snatched up to God” phrase, as Dr. Brighton translated it, back-fills the rest of the pericope and makes is so much more than Mary and Jesus; more on that in a bit.</p><p>From there, the 12th chapter moves on the the War in Heaven, whereby Michael and his angels cast out the dragon and his angels from the counsel of God; he now prowls on earth defeated and with great fury, because he knows his time is short. <span class="biblereference">(cf. Revelation 12:7-12)</span>  Yet again, John relates how being “snatched up to God” is the victory of the Christ over the dragon, “that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan.”  The devil knows his time is short because he is defeated by the blood of the Lamb, the real Lamb of God.</p><p>The woman fled into the wilderness for 1260 days.  1260 days is 42 months, which is 3 and a half years.  This number signifies a time of tribulation.  It is likely based on the time that Antiochus IV Epiphanes terrorized Jerusalem from 167 to 164BC—roughly 3 and a half years.  Elsewhere, this period is noted as “a time, times, and half a time;” though not a specific length of time, but 1260 days isn’t supposed to be specific, either.  It is a time of tribulation.  Here, the male Child is “snatched up to God,” and Mary endures a tribulation…</p><p>But, as I said, the “snatching up to God” back-fills this text to make it mean something more than this.  You see, Jesus didn’t just come from Mary; He came from the whole people of Israel.  That is to say, that Jesus is Israel reduced to one and that He came from from the Jews.  The genealogies in the Gospels would indicate as much, for one thing.  Jesus is a Jew of Jews, a Hebrew of Hebrews, come from a long line of Hebrews and Jews, and even a member of the royal line!</p><p>Therefore, the woman adorned like a princess, with the crown and stars would indicate that she is God’s crown jewel, His pride and prized possession.  You might know it better as the Chosen Nation.  They were the least among the nations, a nation of slaves who had to be rescued from that slavery by divine intervention, but that divine intervention is also their chosen-ness.  God chose Israel out of all of the other nations precisely because they were the least of the nations—God has a way of working His will to His glory through the least and weakest among mankind, and even in the weakest of mankind’s moments.  Remember, victory over death, hell, and the devil was won by the death of God on the cross, a most ignominious death!</p><p>The woman, then, is the Chosen Nation of Israel.  The twelve stars are the twelve tribes.  From this nation came salvation, as God was incarnate of one of her members, a member of the tribe of Judah.  God comes to earth—to man—as a child, the least of all people, a member of the Chosen Nation, the least of all nations, and saves by dying on the cross, the least of all deaths.</p><p>And the child was caught up to God and His throne.  And the woman fled into the wilderness for 1260 days.</p><p>But, let me back up again.  The “snatching up to God” continues to back-fill this text and make it mean something more.  Yes, the male child is Jesus.  Yes, the woman is Mary.  Yes, the woman is Israel.  The woman is also the Church.  The Church is the crown jewel of God, His prized possession, or so writes St. Paul: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” <span class="biblereference">(Ephesians 5:25-27)</span>  Jesus may have come from the Jews, but He came for all of mankind!</p><p>Christ has come, died, rose, and ascended and His Word is spread throughout all the world.  The death of Christ is proclaimed to a world in need for the forgiveness of sins, because the world is very evil, and you have a part in that!  Word of Him spread by the Apostles, now making those twelve stars in the woman’s crown the 12 Apostles.  The Church, Old Testament and New Testament, is bound up in the woman from whom and for whom the male Child came.</p><p>So, Christ has been “snatched up to God” and His throne.  Jesus sits on the throne in heaven.  The woman—the Church—is fled into the wilderness for 1260 days.  Remember, that number is indicative of a time of tribulation.  Jesus’ visible presence is removed from the Church, but His physical and manifest presence is not.  The Church is in a time of tribulation, the 1260 days between Christ’s ascension and return.  Notice, though, that while the church is in the wilderness—in this realm of sin—that God continues to nourish Her there because He has prepared a place for Her there.</p><p>Dear hearers, this is that place—well, this is one of many such places.  Here, you find refuge as you live in this wilderness of sin, a place of solace, comfort, and peace, because the male Child, Jesus the Christ, was “snatched up to God.”  Christ has come, Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again—and all of this for you.  And because Christ is for you, you are forgiven for all of  your sins.</p>
  109. <div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonaudio" id="listen-">
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  117. </div>audio recorded on my digital recorder</div> ]]></description>
  118.            <guid isPermaLink="false">[email protected]/</guid>
  119.            <category>Sermons</category>
  120.            <pubDate>Wed, 11 Dec 2019 23:22:00 -0500</pubDate>
  121.            <dc:creator>Stingray</dc:creator>
  122.        </item>
  126.        <item>
  127.            <title>Mid-week Advent I</title>
  128.            <link></link>
  129.            <comments></comments>
  130.            <description><![CDATA[ <div class="pivotx-wrapper"><a href='' class="thickbox" title="Mid-week Advent I 2019 Wordle" ><img src="" alt="Mid-week Advent I 2019 Wordle" title="Mid-week Advent I 2019 Wordle" class='pivotx-popupimage'/></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonlinks"><div class="audiobox"><a href="">Sermon Audio</a></div><div class="pdflink"><a href="http://geoffrey.famwagner.comsermons-pdf/20191204.midweekadvent1.pdf">Download PDF</a></div></div><p>“Behold, he is coming!”</p><p>This isn’t the message of some crazed street-corner preacher.  Nevertheless, even if it was, he would be right!</p><p>This is the message of St. John in his Apocalypse.  “Behold, he is coming…”  John wrote of Jesus, the King, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and everything in between.  All of that is a poetic way of saying, “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” <span class="biblereference">(John 1:3-4)</span>  So, the Creator of all things in Whom is life is coming.</p><p>“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.  Even so.  Amen.”  “Every eye will see him,” John wrote.  I said it once a couple of weeks ago:  When Jesus comes, every eye will see it, know that it s Jesus, and know why He is coming.  He will come on the clouds of heaven, return a glorious king, much to the consternation of those who derided Him and denied His being the Messiah.  “Even so.  Amen.”</p><p>He is the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty…  That is how He will be coming when He comes, and, “Behold, he is coming!”  He is coming not as an infant; He’s done that already.  He is coming not as a teacher; He’s done that already.  He is coming not as a sacrifice—as THE Sacrifice—He’s done that already.  He is coming not as a conqueror; for He’s done that already, too.  He came once before in grace and favor: conceived and born into a royal lineage, but appearing as little more than a common teacher.</p><p>In fact, in His coming once, He came in blessing.  He addressed your ill—the ill of your sin; yet came in a lowly likeness.  He ruffled some feathers, for His first coming was just as the prophets predicted, but those in power were not interested in having their power base pulled out from under them.  So, in that lowly likeness, He bore the cross—but He bore it as your punishment for sin, gave His life as your ransom, to give you hope and freedom.  If this sounds very much like a familiar hymn, that’s because it is, and you’ll be singing it on Sunday.</p><p>So, if He is not coming as any of those things, how will He be coming?  He will be coming as the Almighty, as the King who has conquered and is victorious.  He has conquered your enemy—the devil, the world, and your sinful flesh.  Now, He will return as the one who has put that enemy under His feet and yours.  He comes as the King, just as Daniel saw in his night visions: “And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” <span class="biblereference">(Daniel 7:14)</span></p><p>Is it any wonder, then, that those who pierced Him and denied Him would wail on account of His return?  They have been conquered in their piercing of Him—and He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven—now He will return to take what is His to be with Him forever, and they are not His.  He will proclaim to them, “I do not know you.” <span class="biblereference">(cf. Matthew 25:12)</span>  They wanted no part with Him, and He will give them exactly that.</p><p>Behold, He is coming with the clouds of heaven, with His angels, and with the glory of His Father.</p><p>Behold, He is coming for you!</p><p>You heard from St. Matthew’s Gospel this evening that He will repay each person according to what he has done. <span class="biblereference">(cf. Matthew 16:27)</span>  You’ve heard what “those who pierced Him” will be getting, or to state it better, what they won’t be getting.  But, as for those who wept for Jesus at His crucifixion and rejoice over His resurrection, the repayment will be the opposite; it will not be, “I do not know you,” but, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” <span class="biblereference">(Matthew 25:34)</span>  But what have you done?</p><p>Well, you might just say you have only done your duty, that you are an unworthy servant. <span class="biblereference">(cf. Luke 17:10)</span>  And when given the list of things you have done, you may even wonder when you did those things. <span class="biblereference">(cf. Matthew 25:37-39)</span>  But, to put it simply, the thing that you have done is trusted in this King for your Salvation, not trusted in your own worth or merit, and even that was not your own doing, but His.  God has given His Word, and you’ve taken Him at His Word.  His Word declares to you that you are a sinner in need of redemption, and Jesus is your redemption.</p><p>And with Jesus as your Redemption, you are prepared for when He comes with the clouds of heaven, with His angels, and with the glory of His Father.  That preparation comes through Jesus, your King’s, call to repentance.  Remember that repentance has two parts: first, that you confess your sins (and your confession is given to you by God), and second, that you receive forgiveness from God.  Confession and absolution—it happens again and again, and each time, you are readied for the return of the Son of God.</p><p>That’s why, following tonight’s text, John relayed seven letters to seven churches.  These letters contain praise for the churches and warnings—calls to repentance.  In these letters, Jesus is preparing His Church for His return, preparing you, for these seven letters are meant for the Church on Earth, and for you, Her members.  In some way, at one time or another, you are like the members of one or all of these seven churches, worthy of praise for one or another work, but Jesus has something against you for which He calls you to repent.  He is preparing them—preparing you—so that when He comes on the clouds of heaven, with His angels, and with the glory of His Father, He will take you to be where He is, in the room that He has prepared for you in His Father’s house. <span class="biblereference">(cf. John 14:2-3)</span></p><p>Therefore, for you, who trust in Christ as your Redeemer, the coming of the King in the clouds of heaven is nothing for which to be afraid.  For those who pierced Him, it is, but not for you.  Jesus is coming for you, to take you into His glorious, eternal presence.  You’ll hear it again on Sunday, that Jesus said,</p><blockquote class="quoted">And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.  For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. <span class="biblereference">(Luke 21:25-28)</span></blockquote><p class="postblockquote">“…Straigthen up and raise your heads,” Jesus said.  This isn’t just encouragement to look to the clouds for Jesus’ coming, but that when He comes with those accompanying signs, you can stop looking down in shame and fear for the world around you, but up in relief and joy, “because your redemption is drawing near.”  This you can do because in Christ you have done well, as mentioned in this evening’s Gospel—that is to say, you have been accounted as righteous for His sake.  Jesus say, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one.  I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades,” and with those keys, He binds up these enemies of yours.</p><p>Behold, He is coming with the clouds of heaven, with His angels, and with the glory of His Father; holding the keys to Death and Hades, He comes to take you to Himself, because for His sake, you are forgiven for all of your sins.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of Jesus.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonaudio" id="listen-">
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  139.            <guid isPermaLink="false">[email protected]/</guid>
  140.            <category>Sermons</category>
  141.            <pubDate>Wed, 04 Dec 2019 22:05:00 -0500</pubDate>
  142.            <dc:creator>Stingray</dc:creator>
  143.        </item>
  147.        <item>
  148.            <title>Ad Te Levavi</title>
  149.            <link></link>
  150.            <comments></comments>
  151.            <description><![CDATA[ <div class="pivotx-wrapper"><a href='' class="thickbox" title="Ad Te Levavi 2019 Wordle" ><img src="" alt="Ad Te Levavi 2019 Wordle" title="Ad Te Levavi 2019 Wordle" class='pivotx-popupimage'/></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonlinks"><div class="audiobox"><a href="">Sermon Audio</a></div><div class="pdflink"><a href="http://geoffrey.famwagner.comsermons-pdf/20191201.adtelevavi.pdf">Download PDF</a></div></div><p>It’ll happen right there in the middle of the Sanctus during the Service of the Sacrament.  You will sing the very same words sung to Lord Almighty, Jesus Christ the Savior, as He rode into Jerusalem to accomplish the taking away of the sins of the world.  The King entered the royal city to claim His throne, the cross, in order to give His life as the ransom for the sinful, that they would be cleansed and purified and brought into His kingdom, and the people said, “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”</p><p>Hosanna: “Lord, save us now,” they proclaimed, and Jesus was coming to do just that.  This is the Advent of the King, on His way to fulfilling the promise for which He was conceived and born—for which He took on flesh and blood like yours and became one like you, the Son of Man who is the Son of God.  In three-and-a-half weeks, that fact will be celebrated, and the marvel at the Infant who is God will commence, but right off the bat as preparation is made for that celebration, the rubber is hitting the road.</p><p>So, this fact is inescapable: that Infant which is wrapped in swaddling clothes and suckling at the breast of Mary is the same Man who will shed His blood on the cross as your propitiation and gave His life as your ransom.  You cannot get through Advent and to Christmas without acknowledging Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday—you cannot only celebrate the incarnation of the Son of God without the shedding of blood, death, and resurrection of the Son of Man.  It works the other way around, too: you cannot praise God for the shedding of the blood, death, and resurrection of the Son of Man without celebrating the incarnation of the Son of God.</p><p>The logic is undeniable, for one thing: in order for the Son of Man to shed his blood and die and rise again for the redemption of mankind, the Son of God has to assume human flesh and blood.  So, the Son of God was conceived and born in the natural way—in other words, He became man just like you—in order to die and give His life as your ransom.  Without that flesh and blood, He would not have flesh to give and blood to shed, and in order for that shed blood and given flesh to be a complete sacrifice for you, He assumed it in the same fashion in which you become a man, knit together in your mother’s womb. <span class="biblereference">(cf. Psalm 139:13)</span>  He could have appeared on the scene as a fully-grown man, but then every stage of life would not be bound up in His flesh and blood.  Given Jesus’ incarnation, life, and death, you can say without doubt that Jesus came for all: infant, child, and adult.</p><p>And that leads into the second, more important point: your salvation and redemption is tied into the entire life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.  In His incarnation, Jesus was at work to save you.  In His birth, Jesus was at work to save you.  In His death and resurrection, Jesus was at work to save you.  In His ascension, Jesus is at work to save you.  It may be difficult or impossible to comprehend how, in part, Jesus was and is at work to save you in every aspect of His life, but to confess that Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ is your salvation is to confess that salvation is bound up in everything that Jesus is and embodies.</p><p>So, when the crowd proclaimed, “Hosanna,” Jesus could have answered, “I am.”  And I mean that as much in the Johannine sense as in the simpler response to the request, “Oh Lord, save us now.”  It’s the same thing as if Jesus could have said, “I am right here,” to the petition, “Thy kingdom come.”  In the person of the Son, the kingdom is at hand and salvation is ever present.  Jesus Christ is your Savior, from conception and unto life everlasting, and your entire self is wrapped up in the salvation that He is and that He brings.</p><p>Hosanna: “Lord, save us now,” the people proclaimed.  They needed it.  They knew it, though to what extent is debatable.  Still, they knew that they needed saving, either from an oppressive foreign government or from themselves, they needed saving and they knew that Jesus was the One who would and could deliver.  How right they were, who knew they needed to be saved from themselves.  Inwardly, they knew themselves to be sinful, not measuring up to the demands of a holy God who created them.  God gave them His expectations—the Ten Commandments and numerous other statutes—and the people said, “Hosanna.  Lord, that is the good I want to do, but in my fallen flesh, I am unable to do what you expect or fulfill the demands that they require for my inability to do them.  Please, save now.”</p><p>In a week’s time from that ride into Jerusalem, Jesus would shed the blood that He assumed in the womb of the Virgin and give His life for their ransom.  He did so for your ransom, as well.</p><p>For you, too, as I said, will be singing the same song once again.  You come into this place and confess your sins.  You hear the absolution, and those words give you the very thing they proclaim to you, the forgiveness of your sins for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whose stead they are spoke to you.  But as the Service of the Sacrament starts, you also cry out to God, “Lord, save us now.”  And He does.  “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”  You confess that Jesus, the blessed, comes to you to save you now, because He does.  He gives His body as bread and bread as His body.  He gives His blood as wine and wine as His blood.</p><p>It’s the same body that He assumed in the womb of the Virgin and gave on the cross.  It’s the same blood that He assumed in the womb of the Virgin and shed on the cross.  On the cross, where He gave Himself as your ransom, He gave His body so that you may eat it now as bread and be saved, and He shed His blood so that you may drink it now as wine and be redeemed.  So, your cry of “Hosanna” is fulfilled, not only in the incarnation, birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God, but also as the body and blood are on the altar.</p><p>And it is for the same reason that you cry out “Hosanna” as it was for the crowd that day outside of Jerusalem.  You are confessing that you cannot save yourself.  You acknowledge the expectation of God in His Law and statutes are not met in your flesh—both in what they demand that you do and what they demand of you for not meeting those demands—but that they are met for you in the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.  Jesus lived His life according to the Law of God for you, and He gave His life as justice according to the Law of God for you—Law kept and fulfilled.  Now, Jesus comes to you today, another Advent of the King, to give Himself to you in Word and Sacrament in order that you would have His fulfillment, in order that you would be cleansed and purified and forgiven.</p><p>Following your cry of “Hosanna,” you also pray the Lord’s Prayer, and that petition is repeated once again, “Thy Kingdom come.”  From there, look to the altar, for on it you will see bread and wine that will be for you the body and blood of the Son of God, the Kingdom of God come to you and into you.  Jesus answers the prayer, and comes to give Himself to you, a gracious King who is your propitiation, your Redeemer, your Savior.</p><p>Hosanna: “Lord, save us now.”  “Thy Kingdom come.”  Jesus is come and will come again.  He is the King who has come—incarnate, born, live, died, and rose again—and has saved you.  To you, He comes again and again, bringing you His Word, His body, His blood, His kingdom.  By this, you are forgiven for all of your sins.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.</i></div><div class="sermonaudio" id="listen-">
  152. <div class="audioholder">
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  154.         <source src="/sermons/20191201.adtelevavi.mp3" type="audio/mpeg">
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  156.    </audio>
  157.    <div class="pivotx-media-audio-download">Download media: <a href="">20191201.adtelevavi.mp3</a> (4.3 MiB)</div>
  159. </div>audio recorded on my digital recorder</div> ]]></description>
  160.            <guid isPermaLink="false">[email protected]/</guid>
  161.            <category>Sermons</category>
  162.            <pubDate>Sun, 01 Dec 2019 14:43:00 -0500</pubDate>
  163.            <dc:creator>Stingray</dc:creator>
  164.        </item>
  168.        <item>
  169.            <title>Another Ubuntu</title>
  170.            <link></link>
  171.            <comments></comments>
  172.            <description><![CDATA[ <p>So, the last update was about a box that I normally use for my own computing.  I've also had some other linux adventures.</p><p>First, I got a Raspberry Pi, a little ARM-based computer that packs a pretty good punch given it's size and processing.  I had tried to use it for a media server, and it works okay for that, but it isn't the best, especially with the media being in a network attached storage device (well, sort of; it's on a USB3.0 external HDD attached to the router).</p><p>Second, that laptop that I had Ubuntu 10.10 on?  Well, since switching to another machine, I installed Linux Mint on it.  The computer, itself, is in pretty rough shape thanks to some poor handling by the children, but it runs Mint just fine.  It's a nice little operating system, too.</p><p>But, I also have another Ubuntu machine.  I don't recall when, but I got a micro tower Dell (think the kind you can find in ER rooms) that came with Windows 10.  Of course I would put something else on there&#x2014;Ubuntu Budgie.  It is our more powerful media server for the detached media drive.  Intel i5 with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD.  We have it attached to our TV as the monitor, so we also use it to Skype as a family from the living room.  I've thought about putting a USB3.0 card in so that I could attached the HDD directly to it, but it's working well enough as it is.</p><p>So, there's the updated update.  Another works.</p> ]]></description>
  173.            <guid isPermaLink="false">[email protected]/</guid>
  174.            <category>Ubuntu</category>
  175.            <pubDate>Wed, 27 Nov 2019 19:54:00 -0500</pubDate>
  176.            <dc:creator>Stingray</dc:creator>
  177.        </item>
  181.        <item>
  182.            <title>Ubuntu Update</title>
  183.            <link></link>
  184.            <comments></comments>
  185.            <description><![CDATA[ <p>I kinda forgot about this category, too.  This one, for a much longer time.</p><p>When I last wrote in this category, I had gotten a new laptop on which I installed Ubuntu 10.10.  Since then, I really hadn't updated that computer.</p><p>I have, however, since then acquired a new laptop on which I installed Ubuntu Budgie 18.04.  It's a nice machine.  It came with 4GB of RAM, which I upgraded to the maximum of 16 so that I can use the virtual machines that I also install on it (primarily Windows 7 so that I can use Logos on it).  It's been almost two years, now; I got this machine at about the same time that Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 was released (by the version number, that would have been April 2018).</p><p>As with all of my Ubuntu experiences, this one has been good, too, so far.  I don't expect that to change.</p> ]]></description>
  186.            <guid isPermaLink="false">[email protected]/</guid>
  187.            <category>Ubuntu</category>
  188.            <pubDate>Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:08:00 -0500</pubDate>
  189.            <dc:creator>Stingray</dc:creator>
  190.        </item>
  194.        <item>
  195.            <title>MacBook Update</title>
  196.            <link></link>
  197.            <comments></comments>
  198.            <description><![CDATA[ <p>Seems I had completely forgotten about this category.  Well...</p><p>When I first got the MacBook, I mentioned that it needed to have the battery serviced.  That was over three years ago.</p><p>In July 2018, I purchased a new battery for it.  The old one finally got to the point that it was swelling and pushing the track pad up, causing it to break through the deck.</p><p>Otherwise, I'm using it still, transporting it back and forth to the office for work and using it at home for general computing needs.</p> ]]></description>
  199.            <guid isPermaLink="false">[email protected]/</guid>
  200.            <category>MacBook</category>
  201.            <pubDate>Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:01:00 -0500</pubDate>
  202.            <dc:creator>Stingray</dc:creator>
  203.        </item>
  207.    </channel>
  208. </rss>

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