The Lord Who Saves

Sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on the 2nd Sunday after Christmas, 5 January 2014 Text: Matthew 2:13–23 You can listen to the sermon here. What’s in a name? For us moderns, not a lot. Names are labels chosen from a stock of traditional or (increasingly) non-traditional stock. We name children after relatives or…

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Jesus’ silence

Sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on Reminiscere Sunday Genesis 32:22–32 Matthew 15:21–28 24 February 2012 A recording of the sermon is posted here. In the name of ✠ Jesus. Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? I say to God, my rock: “Why…

Non, je ne regrette

[Health warning: the first part is mildly technical and a little dry, but 'contemporary application' follows further down!] In today's NT reading in the Lutheran Service Book Daily Lectionary (Matt. 27:1–10), the ESV tells us that Judas, seeing that Jesus was condemned to death, "changed his mind" and attempted to return the 30 pieces of…

Hanging on like a pig to a loaf

Sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Fareham, on Reminiscere Sunday, 4 March 2012. You can listen to the audio here. Readings: Genesis 32:22–32 1 Thessalonians 4:1–7 Matthew 15:21–28 The Christian faith has recently been in the media more than usual. In addition to the usual disparaging voices by various loud atheists, several benign outsiders…

Sorcerers from the East

A sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Fareham, on 5 January 2012 Epiphany (observed) Matthew 2:1–12 To hear the sermon, click hear to go to the Our Saviour website. It’s commonly known to anyone who cares to notice: the Western world is changing, it’s changing rapidly, and much of it is not for the…

Do not be anxious

A sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on Trinity 15, 2 October 2011. Text: Matthew 6:24–34 A recording of the sermon can be found here. There’s no denying it: today’s Gospel reading is a difficult text. But it’s not your typical difficult text. Usually we find passages of the Bible difficult because we find…

Leaving your gift at the altar

I grew up in Lutheran circles in Western Finland that can only be described as pietist orthodoxy. For many (most?) English-speaking Lutherans, that's supposed to be a contradiction in terms, but take my word for it, it isn't necessarily. My experience is of a rich, deep spirituality rooted in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.…

It’s not fair

Sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on Septuagesima Sunday, 20 February 2011. Text: Matthew 20:1–16 It’s not fair! It isn’t even nearly fair. A group of men had been working in the same vineyard. Some had worked the full day, probably nearly 12 hours; some for 9 hours, some for six, some three, and…

Faith

A sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on the feast of the Holy Innocents, 2 January 2011, by Pastor Charles Varsogea. Text: Matthew 2: 13-23 I’m not from here. Which means that I need you to answer the following question for yourselves. Do you think of yourself as a country at war? You’re shrinking…

Fulfilling all righteousness

Homily preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Fareham, on Sunday 9 January 2011. Text: Matthew 3:13–17 It really made no sense. John the Baptist had been preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins in anticipation of the coming of the kingdom of God. The Lord’s Messiah was coming and he would baptise…