Sermons

Sermon 3-26-2017

Today’s sermon by Reverend David Bott is based on:

John 9: 1-5

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Sermon 3-19-2017

Today’s sermon by Reverend David Bott is based on:

Exodus 17: 1-7

All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?”But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah[a] and Meribah,[b] because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Judge Ruth Neely censured

Judge Ruth Neely censured but will remain on the bench

We are in legal Never Never Land — uncharted territory within a society and a legal system increasingly averse to Christians living faithfully in their vocations. Pastor John Hill, president of the LCMS Wyoming District, filled me in yesterday. The decision of the Wyoming Supreme Court on the case of Wyoming Judge Ruth Neely has landed. By a 3-2 majority, they ruled Judge Neely — a faithful member of an LCMS congregation — is guilty of 3 of 4 ethics violations filed by the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics.

Here’s part of the ruling:

“We decline to remove Judge Neely from her position as a municipal court judge; such a punishment would ‘unnecessarily circumscribe protected expression,’ and we are mindful of our goal to narrowly tailor the remedy;” and “We conclude that Judge Ruth Neely shall receive a public censure; Judge Neely shall either perform no marriage ceremonies or she shall perform marriage ceremonies regardless of the couple’s sexual orientation.”

It will be up to the circuit court judge to decide if she shall continue as a circuit court magistrate. Both the seriousness and the ridiculousness of this ruling are amply demonstrated by three paragraphs from the minority decision of two Wyoming Supreme Court justices:

[109] A reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts would know that Judge Neely was never asked to perform a same-sex marriage, and had never refused such a request. He or she would know that all who work with her have expressed unreserved confidence that she will be absolutely fair and impartial to all litigants, whatever their sexual preference. Such a reasonable person would know that Wyoming law does not require Judge Neely to perform any marriage. He or she would know that the law prohibits judges and other public officials in Wyoming from denying marriage to same-sex couples, and no same-sex couple has been denied marriage by or because of Judge Neely’s statements. Further, a reasonable person would know that there is no indication that any same-sex couple is likely to be denied or delayed in obtaining a civil marriage because of Judge Neely’s statements or religious beliefs. A reasonable person would know that if asked to perform such a marriage, Judge Neely would assist in finding an appropriate officiant, and that there is no shortage of such officiants. A reasonable person, apprised of these facts, could not conclude that Judge Neely’s statements gave the appearance of impropriety nor that they eroded public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary. To the contrary, a reasonable mind would conclude, as Ms. Anderson did, “it would be obscene and offensive to discipline Judge Neely for her statement … about her religious beliefs regarding marriage.”
[161] In our pluralistic society, the law should not be used to coerce ideological conformity. Rather, on deeply contested moral issues, the law should “create a society in which both sides can live their own values.” Douglas Laycock, Religious Liberty and the Culture Wars, 2014 … That is precisely how Wyoming has approached the matter since its founding.
[163] There is no cause for discipline in this case, nor for concern if Judge Neely is not disciplined or precluded from performing marriages. Same sex couples have full access to marriage, all persons before the courts can be certain of an unbiased and impartial judiciary, and religious individuals can remain in public office even if they hold a traditional religious view of marriage. Judicial positions are filled without either side insisting on a religious test for who may serve. There is room enough in Wyoming for both sides to live according to their respective views of sex, marriage and religion.

District President Hill writes, “Our thanks to you and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for the encouragement, prayers and support offered on behalf of Judge Neely and her family, her pastor Kevin Rose and her congregation in Pinedale.”
Our thanks to YOU, District President Hill, Pastor Rose and all the great folks in Wyoming and beyond who stand with us, the First Amendment and the truth of God in Holy Scripture. Thank you, Judge Neely, for the civil and Christian conviction to stand in the face of tyranny.

Pastor Matthew C. Harrison
President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
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Sermon Feb 12, 2017

Today’s sermon by Reverend David Bott is based on:

Matthew 5: 21-22

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[c] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[d] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[e] of fire.

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Sermon Feb 5, 2017

Today’s sermon by Reverend David Bott is based on:

Matthew 5: 17-19

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

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Sermon Jan 29, 2017

Today’s sermon by Reverend David Bott is based on:

Matthew 5: 11-12

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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Fourth Sunday of Advent 2016

Today’s sermon by Reverend David Bott is based on:

Matthew 1: 18-21

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “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. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

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Third Sunday of Advent 2016

Today’s sermon by Reverend David Bott is based on:

Matthew 11: 2-6

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers[a] are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

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