Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on Fourth Sunday in Advent, December 20, 2020 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn
To follow along with the bulletin, you can find one at https://holycrossrocklin.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2020-12-20.Fourth-Sunday-in-Advent-Pre-recorded.pdf
Sermon Text: Luke 1:26-38
Sermon Theme: “Let It Be According to Your Word“
Old Testament: 2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16
Epistle: Romans 16:25–27
Holy Gospel: Luke 1:26–38
The Lord Builds a House for David: Jesus Christ Who Comes in the Flesh
When King David “lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies,” he piously supposed that he would build a house for God (2 Sam. 7:1–2). But the Lord would turn it around: He would establish a house for David and an everlasting throne. This He has done not only for David, but also for all His people, in the Son of David, Jesus Christ, “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary” (Apostles’ Creed). That holy child, the incarnate “Son of the Most High,” receives “the throne of his father David” and begins to reign “over the house of Jacob forever” (Luke 1:32–33). Having given Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, His body is the true and eternal temple of God in which His people have their own place of peace and rest. That is “the mystery that was kept secret for long ages” but is now “made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God” in order that we may have faith and life in Christ (Rom. 16:25–26).
Old Testament: Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
Epistle : 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
Holy Gospel: John 1:6–8, 19–28
The Coming of the Christ Brings True Rejoicing in His Forgiveness
When he preaches repentance, John the Baptist points us to Christ Jesus. John was sent by God “as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him” (John 1:7). He baptizes with water in order to “make straight the way of the Lord,” who shall redeem His people from their sins (John 1:23). That Lord Jesus “who comes after” John now stands among us and makes Himself known to us (John 1:26–27). He has been anointed by the Holy Spirit “to bring good news to the poor” and “to bind up the brokenhearted” (Is. 61:1). By the washing of the water with His Word and Spirit, He clothes His Church with “the garments of salvation” and adorns her with His own righteousness “as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Is. 61:10). Therefore, we “rejoice always” in the Lord, “pray without ceasing” and “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:16–18). For “the God of peace,” who has called you by the Gospel, will surely “sanctify you completely,” so that “your whole spirit and soul and body” will “be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23–24).
Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on Second Sunday in Advent, December 6, 2020 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn
Sermon Text: Mark 1:1
Sermon Theme: “The Beginning“
Old Testament: Isaiah 40:1–11
Epistle: 2 Peter 3:8–14
Holy Gospel: Mark 1:1–8
You Are Prepared through Repentance for the Coming of the Lord
“The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1) begins when John the Baptist appears and comes “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). As the prophet Isaiah had written, John is the messenger of the Lord, sent before His face to prepare His way. To this day, the ministry of the forerunner continues in the preaching of the Law and the Gospel and in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. By these ways and means, “the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Is. 40:5), and the Good Shepherd “will gather the lambs in his arms” (Is. 40:11). He speaks “tenderly to Jerusalem,” and He comforts His people by pardoning their iniquity (Is. 40:1–2). What is more, He promises “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). Repent, therefore, and humble yourself as you wait for His coming in peace (2 Peter 3:14), because He “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on First Sunday in Advent, November 29, 2020 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn
Sermon Text: Mark 13:24-37
Sermon Theme: “God’s Good Judgment For You“
Old Testament: Isaiah 64:1–9
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 1:3–9
Holy Gospel: Mark 13:24–37
The Lord Jesus Comes in Meekness and Humility to Save Us
Although we pray that God “would rend the heavens and come down” (Is. 64:1), that He would take vengeance against our enemies, we ourselves “have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Is. 64:6). We have continued in our sins for “a long time, and shall we be saved?” (Is. 64:5). Yet, the Lord does not punish us in anger. He comes in voluntary meekness and humility to save us by His grace. Just as He once came into Jerusalem to sacrifice Himself for us upon the cross (Mark 11:4–8), He still comes to His Church with the fruits of His Passion. By His ministry of the Gospel, we are “enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge,” and so He will “sustain you to the end” (1 Cor. 1:5, 8). Although “heaven and earth will pass away,” His words “will not pass away” (Mark 13:31). As He sends disciples to call us to Himself in the fellowship of His Church, so will He “send out the angels” to gather us and all of His elect “from the ends of the earth” to Himself in heaven forever (Mark 13:27).
Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on the Last Sunday of the Church Year, November 22, 2020 by Pastor Charles Froh
Sermon Text: Matthew 25:40
Sermon Theme: “Done Unto Me: God Serving God Through His Brothers“
Old Testament: Ezekiel 34:11–16, 20–24
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 15:20–28
Holy Gospel: Matthew 25:31–46
By the Cross of Christ, We Enter the Kingdom of Our God and Father
When the crucified and risen Lord Jesus comes to judge the living and the dead, “he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:32). “To those on his right,” who have been crucified and raised with Him through repentance and faith in His Gospel, He will grant the blessed kingdom of His Father (Matt. 25:34). Having been justified by His grace, they live unto righteousness in Him (Matt. 25:35–40). But “those on his left,” who trust in themselves and despise their neighbor, will depart “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). Until that day, the Lord searches for His sheep “as a shepherd seeks out his flock” (Ezek. 34:11–12). Through His preaching of repentance, He disciplines the proud sheep and goats, “the fat and the strong,” but through the preaching of forgiveness He rescues the lost, binds up the injured, strengthens the weak and feeds “the lean sheep” (Ezek. 34:16, 20). In this way, He destroys the power of death in the children of Adam by His cross, so that “in Christ shall all be made alive” by His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20–26).
Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on the Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost, November 15, 2020 by Pastor John-Paul Meyer, Sermon Text: Matthew 25:14-30
Sermon Theme: “Fear Not in Christ“
Old Testament: Zephaniah 1:7–16
Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11
Holy Gospel: Matthew 25:14–30
God’s Gift of Forgiveness Engenders Our Forgiveness of Others
The Day of the Lord is “near and hastening fast,” and it will be “a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation” (Zeph. 1:14, 15). The Lord will search out and punish “the men who are complacent” concerning His Word, “who fill their master’s house with violence and fraud” (Zeph. 1:9, 12). Then all their works and efforts will be for nothing: “Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them” (Zeph. 1:13). But those who fear, love and trust in the Lord are “good and faithful” stewards of His property (Matt. 25:21). They live by faith in His free gift of forgiveness, and they multiply His goods in the loving forgiveness of their neighbor, and “the master of those servants” settles His accounts with them by the gracious reckoning of His Gospel (Matt. 25:19). Likewise, “God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:9). Therefore, let us also “put on the breastplate of faith and love” in our dealings with one another (1 Thess. 5:8).
Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on The Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost, November 8, 2020 by Pastor Charles Froh
Sermon Text: Matthew 25:1-13
Sermon Theme: “Jesus Is Still Coming“
Old Testament: Amos 5:18–24
Epistle : 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18
Holy Gospel: Matthew 25:1–13
The Gospel Prepares Us for Our Heavenly Bridegroom’s Coming
The Day of the Lord is “darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18, 20) for all who trust in their own righteousness and piety. The Lord will not accept their “burnt offerings and grain offerings,” nor will He look upon their “peace offerings” (Amos 5:22). Instead, He desires a heart of faith that trusts in Him, which lets “justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24) in love for the neighbor. In order for the “lamps” of our lives to burn brightly with such love, we must be filled with the “oil” of forgiveness through faith in our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ (Matt. 25:1–4). Therefore, as we await His coming, wisdom directs us “to the dealers” (Matt. 25:9), that is, to the ministers of His Gospel. Thus, we wait upon the Lord, and we “encourage one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18). Waking or sleeping, we are prepared to meet Him when He comes “with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God,” and “we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16, 17).
HCLC – November 1, 2020 – All Saints’ Day – Divine Service
HCLC – November 1, 2020 – All Saints’ Day – Sermon: “Jesus Our Hope” – 1 John 3:1-4
Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on Reformation Sunday, November 1, 2020 by Pastor John-Paul Meyer.
Sermon Text: 1 John 3:1-4
Sermon Theme: “Jesus Our Hope“
First Lesson: Revelation 7:(2–8) 9–17
Epistle: 1 John 3:1–3
Holy Gospel: Matthew 5:1–12
Saints Are Blessed in the Eternal Presence of Christ
“A great multitude … from all tribes and peoples and languages” cry out, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne” (Rev. 7:9–10). Faith-filled saints from every place and time with unified voices eternally magnify the Lamb of God. As His beloved children, we, too, “shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Joined with the throng of angels and myriad saints, we shall “serve him day and night in his temple” (Rev. 7:15). In our earthly tension vacillating between saint and sinner, faith and doubt, sacred and profane, we earnestly seek Jesus to calm our fears, comfort our spirits and forgive our sins. The Holy Spirit, through faith in Christ, propels us forward to our eternal home, fortifying us in Word and Sacrament. In the midst of our constant struggle as believers, we need to be blessed. And so we are. The poor in spirit, the meek, the hungry, the thirsty, the merciful, the pure and the persecuted are all blessed, and we will most certainly inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:1–12).
Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on Reformation Sunday, October 25, 2020 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn.
Sermon Text: Romans 3:19-28
Sermon Theme: “What Is the Reformation?“
First Lesson : Revelation 14:6–7
Epistle: Romans 3:19–28
Holy Gospel: Matthew 11:12–19
The Son of God Has Set Us Free from Sin and Death by His Grace
“Wisdom is justified by her deeds” (Matt. 11:19), and the true wisdom of God, Christ Jesus, the incarnate Son, justifies us by His deeds. He prepares His way by the preaching of repentance, but He has suffered the violence of the Law and voluntarily handed Himself over to violent men, in order that we may eat and drink with Him in His Kingdom and “remain in the house forever” (John 8:35). He is “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt. 11:18–19), and He has rescued us by His grace from the slavery of sin and death. By the proclamation of His eternal Gospel “to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people” (Rev. 14:6), “the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law” (Rom. 3:21), “that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). And by the hearing of that Gospel of Christ Jesus, “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom. 3:25), “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).
Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on the Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost, October 18, 2020 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn.
Sermon Text: Matthew 22:15-22
Sermon Theme: “The Things of God“
Old Testament: Isaiah 45:1–7
Epistle : 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10
Holy Gospel: Matthew 22:15–22
We Are Recreated in the Image of God by the Cross of Christ
Plotting against Jesus, the Pharisees attempted “to entangle him in his words” by asking about the payment of taxes to Caesar (Matt. 22:15). The Lord pointed to coins required for the tax, and He answered that we should “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21). But if coins bearing the image of Caesar should be rendered to him, then man — who is made in the image of God — must be rendered to the Lord. That tax is paid for us by the Lord Jesus, the image of God in the flesh, by His self-offering on the cross. And from His cross, as the Lord’s anointed, He reigns as the true Caesar over all nations “from the rising of the sun and from the west” (Is. 45:6). The Lord once called and anointed Cyrus “to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings” (Is. 45:1). Now by the preaching of the Gospel, “in power and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:5), foreigners from all over the world are “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9–10).