If you’re not familiar with the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale, Cinderella, I recommend clicking here to read the story before proceeding to my commentary. For many this is the most… Read more “Cinderella | Finding the Truth in Story”
I Follow Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10-18)
I preached this sermon at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Ferndale, CA on January 22, 2017, the Third Sunday after the Epiphany.
Tuning into the Big News (Luke 21:25-28) The fainting with fear and foreboding of what’s coming of the world, of which America is a part, is not shared… Read more “Tuning into the Big News | Sermon”
You and James in Christ (James 1:1-12) I preached this sermon at Christ Lutheran Church in Murray, Utah on October 23, 2016.
Faith and the Hymn of the Day (Habakkuk 2:4; 2 Timothy 1:5-7; Luke 17:1-10) I preached this sermon at Christ Lutheran Church in Murray, Utah on October 2,… Read more “Faith and the Hymn of the Day | Sermon”
If you’re not familiar with the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale, King Thrushbeard, I recommend clicking here to read the story before proceeding to my commentary. What sort of suitor would… Read more “King Thrushbeard | Finding the Truth in Story”
The Rich Man and the Lazarus: A Matter of Faith (Luke 16:19-31) I preached this sermon at Christ Lutheran Church in Murray, Utah on September 25, 2016.
You’re Treasured by God (Luke 12:22-33).
I preached this sermon at Christ Lutheran Church in Murray, Utah on August 7, 2016.
If you’re not familiar with The Elves, I recommend clicking here to read part one of the story before proceeding to my commentary. In Romans 7 the Christian learns… Read more “The Elves, Part I | Finding Truth in the Story”
If you’re not familiar with The Young Giant, I recommend clicking here to read the story before proceeding to my commentary. This is a delightfully bizarre tale… Read more “The Young Giant | Finding Truth in the Story”
Back before I was a pastor, before I left home to become a pastor, back when I was dreaming about being a pastor and making plans to… Read more “Thankful for an Opportunity to Serve”
If you’re not familiar with The Frog-King, I recommend clicking here to read the story before proceeding to my commentary. If Jesus had been a frog and the Church a beautiful princess… Read more “The Frog-King | Finding Truth in The Story”
God is Faithful One Hundred Percent (Mark 10:23-31).
I preached this sermon at Christ Lutheran Church on October 18, 2015.
“Simply put, the cross is the form that makes Christianity beautiful! The cross is the beauty of Christianity because it is at the cross that we encounter co-suffering love and costly forgiveness in its most beautiful form… The cruciform is the aesthetic of our gospel. It is the form that gives Christianity its unique beauty.”
— Brian Zahnd, Beauty Will Save the World
This photograph is of the crucifix at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Chester, California.
Copyright © 2014-2015 Tyrel Bramwell
I’ve been thinking about something all day long…
G.K. Chesterton once expressed that in his attempt to be theologically original, to stand alone apart from the rest of civilized religion, he realized that he actually stood with all of Christendom, that he had “only succeeded in inventing all by [himself] an inferior copy of the existing traditions of civilized religion.” He tried to “found a heresy of [his] own; and when [he] had put the last touches to it, [he] discovered that it was orthodoxy.”
This concept has stuck with me ever since I read it and as I think about today’s religious climate, and especially the state of Christianity within American protestantism, I see the truthfulness of such a sentiment to be ever present.
As I was studying the Gospel reading for this coming up Sunday (the 12th Sunday after Pentecost), Matthew 16:21-28, I came across another great thinker’s thoughts which caused me to pause as Chesterton’s wisdom pushed forward through the grey matter in my head.
Francis Schaeffer, in his book, True Spirituality, expounds on Luke’s parallel to my Matthew passage. He notes that Jesus provides an order to his coming substitutionary death – rejected, slain, raised – and then applies it to the Christian life, declaring that there is no other order with regards to true spirituality (a term he uses synonymously with “Christian life”). But the most profound idea, the thought that trapped me in my mind with “the master who left no masterpiece” (which is, by the way, a completely inaccurate title for the man who wrote Orthodoxy) comes next.
“If we forget the absolute uniqueness of Christ’s death we are in heresy. As soon as we set aside or minimize, as soon as we cut down in any way, as the liberals of all kinds do in their theology, on the uniqueness and substitutionary character of Christ’s death, our teaching is no longer Christian.” He continues that likewise “if we forget the relationship of this order to us as Christians, then we have a sterile orthodoxy, and we have no true Christian life. Christian life will wither and die; spirituality in any true biblical sense will come to an end.”
What was on your mind today?
Photo © 2014 Tyrel Bramwell
In Christ We’re More Than Meets the Eye
I preached this sermon at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Chester, CA. and First Lutheran Church in Greenville, CA. on August 24, 2014 (The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost).
Sermon text: Romans 12:2
I preached this sermon at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Chester, CA. and First Lutheran Church in Greenville, CA. on July 6, 2014.
Sermon Texts: Zechariah 9:9-12; Romans 7:14-25a; Matthew 11:25-30
A quick read stacked full of wisdom! Perfect for your dashboard while on the road.
© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell
You’re a Member of Christ’s Family
I preached this sermon at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Chester, CA. and First Lutheran Church in Greenville, CA. on June 29, 2014 (The Third Sunday after Pentecost).
Sermon text: Matthew 10:37-39
Numerous humanitarian and utilitarian reasons urge us to care about a twelve-year-old orphan half a world away. International responsibilities make it incumbent on developed nations to assist the developing world. Fundamental matters of human rights have been carefully defined and advanced by the United Nations, Western governments, and a host of nongovernmental organizations the world over. Global egalitarian and ethical reasons motivate democratic societies to offer aid because they ‘hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalieanable Rights.’ There are (sometimes misguided) missiological reasons for assisting the poor. Finally, there are self-serving motivations for aid that are often a prelude to exacerbating already complex and troubled circumstances.
However, for Christians, the bottom line is this: Who God is, is how we will be. Because we are God’s very own in Christ, we reflect who He is.
I joined the millions of people who’ve journeyed to the edge of the world, the west coast, that place known as California.
I was born in this land. I grew up hearing the stories and dreaming of beaches and sunshine. My Cali is different though. It’s mountains and snow, forests and volcanoes. It’s beautiful in it’s own right, a mad blend of my dreamland and my homeland.
© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell