Sermon for Easter 7 – 5.21.23

+ 7th Sunday of Easter – May 21st, 2023 +

Series A: Acts 1:12-26; 1 Peter 4:12-19, 5:6-11; John 17:1-11

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA


“Suffering and Glory”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


When I’m out riding my bike I can’t avoid all the hills around Milton, but I usually go around the big one on 28th St. When my mom would drive our stick-shift truck around NE Portland, there were certain hills she would avoid on the drive home. Whether it’s the DMV or the dentist, we all have times where we’d rather avoid the suffering.


No wonder Peter’s words in the epistle reading this morning sound strange to us. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 


Peter’s first letter is addressed to scattered Christians, “exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithinia.” We don’t know where they began but they were suddenly scattered all over Asia Minor, presumably by persecution. They were forced to leave their homes, livelihoods, and families. Even exile wasn’t safe. They were easy targets, the outsiders, those “Christians.” They literally had bulls-eyes on their backs.


Although our time and place in history is different, we are also exiles in this fallen world. We find ourselves living in a day and age where our world, country, and state are increasingly hostile to Christians and the Christian faith. We lament this kind of suffering. We long for it to end. We cry out, Lord, have mercy.


These are all good things to do. Just don’t be surprised. For us who believe in Christ it is not if, but when, we will suffer for his name, sometimes in big ways, sometimes in smaller, subtle ways. But it will happen. It’s unavoidable, inevitable. Rather than avoid suffering because of your faith in Christ, Peter says…


But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 


Rejoice in suffering? God’s glory is revealed when I suffer for believing in Christ? Are you sure about that Peter? Yes, he is. Peter knows that the way of the Christian is the way of Christ, the way his cross. Jesus’ cross was both the greatest suffering and the greatest glory. We rejoice that through Jesus’ suffering he brings many sons to glory. We rejoice knowing that all our sufferings, especially the suffering for confessing his name, have been endured by Jesus on the cross.


Peter goes on, If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed. That doesn’t sound like a blessing. But it is. When someone insults you, mocks, or ridicules you because of the name of Christ, it’s like those backhanded compliments. “Yes, I am a Christian. I believe in Christ crucified for me and you. I believe he rose again from the dead for me and for you.”


With the Spirit of glory and God’s grace resting upon you there is nothing the devil or the fallen world can say that can remove Jesus’ death and resurrection from you. There’s no insult or injury or persecution that can remove you from his crucified and risen hands.


Peter is teaching us what Luther called the theology of the cross. That God reveals his glory for us in the most unexpected way, in Jesus’ suffering for you. Jesus came as the “Man of Sorrows, acquainted with suffering.” His suffering was our suffering. Indeed, no man has ever suffered to the degree Jesus suffered. We suffer for ourselves. He suffers for us. We suffer for our own sins. He suffers for the sins of the world. We suffer as one man, one woman. He suffers for humanity, Everyman, all of humanity as one suffering Man. His suffering was the great necessity of His mission – it was the will of God, it was prophesied in the Scripture, it was necessary the Christ must suffer and enter into His glory. The way to the right hand of the Father was the way of the cross, of death, of the tomb, of suffering.


That’s why when you are baptized, you are marked with sign of the cross. Your baptism joins you to Christ’s death and resurrection, cleanses, and saves you. Holy Baptism does something else to you too, though. It puts you squarely in the crosshairs of the devil, the world, and your sinful flesh.


Peter is preparing his hearers for suffering, not the general kind of suffering that humanity experiences because we live in a fallen world and or because of our own sinfulness. Peter is speaking of suffering for the faith. Suffering for being a Christian. He was preparing his hearers for the loss of home and livelihoods and land. Arrest. Imprisonment. Torture. Even death.


I don’t know about you, but I find myself more and more wondering if we will see similar fiery trials in our own country. If not us, will our children and grandchildren? The tide certainly seems to be turning that way. Storm clouds are on the horizon. Will the insults, mockery, and discrimination we see today turn more violent tomorrow? Will we face arrest, imprisonment, torture, or death for confessing the name of Christ? I don’t know. I pray we won’t. But whatever may come, we pray, Lord, keep us steadfast in your word.


We pray because when faced with persecution temptations come in many forms. We’re tempted to avoid suffering for our faith in Christ. To give up the faith. Another temptation is to grow complacent, to let your faith and love in Christ grow cold, to let the worries and fears of this world choke away your faith like weeds. There’s also the temptation to go with the flow, change the church and teachings and worship to appeal to the culture. Jesus warned of the seed that falls on shallow soil, the Word that is heard in a shallow, emotional way, where initial joy and enthusiasm wilts under the noonday heat of persecution. Superficial Christianity cannot survive.


Peter reminds us that the devil is still a prowling lion, looking for someone to devour, literally to drink down your life. Peter says, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” Not “your faith” like some translations say. “The Faith” as in the faith once delivered to the saints. The objective and certain confession of our trust in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Savior. The Faith as in the creed we confess.


The devil would use times of testing as times of temptation to cause you to doubt and fear and waver and wonder if God is really in charge or even if God actually exists. He will cause you to doubt God’s verdict in Christ, that you stand justified before Him on account of Jesus’ righteousness. He will cause you to doubt your Baptism, that it saves you through Jesus’ death and resurrection. He will tempt you to look inward instead of outward, to look to self instead of Christ, to fix your eyes on what you do instead of what Christ has done.


When suffering for our faith in Christ comes our way, it’s like that old camp song about the bear hunt. We can’t go around it, over it, or under it; we can only go through it.


Peter is quick to remind us, however, that you do not suffer for your faith in Christ alone. The same sufferings are being endured by the brotherhood of Christians around the world. Not only that, you have Christ Jesus upon whom we cast all our anxieties, fears, worries, doubts, failures, and sins because he cares for you. He suffered for you. Stand firm in the faith. Resist the devil. How? You’re doing it right now. You’re in the place where Jesus promises to be present with you and for you. You hear his word, receive his body and blood where he is present with you, where he forgives you, and where he strengthens you for suffering in his name.


Whatever may come, we know this, Jesus is Lord, not Caesar, not presidents or politicians, not rulers and authorities, not the fallen world full of insults and persecutions, not even our sinful flesh. Jesus alone is Lord. Jesus is Lord over death. The Lord of the cross and crucifixion and suffering. The Lord of the empty tomb and resurrection and life. And in Jesus our Lord you are redeemed and rescued, baptized and blessed, yes, even when you suffer for his name.


And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sermon for Easter 6 – 5.14.23

+ 6th Sunday of Easter – May 14th, 2023 +

Series A: Acts 17:16-31; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA


“Another Helper”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


We’re used to thinking of Christmas as the season for gift giving, and for good reason. We give and receive earthly gifts mindful of the greater and greatest gift: God the Father gives and sends His Son, Jesus, born to save you.


And yet Easter is also a time of gift giving. Jesus gives his life for you in his sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus gives you the new creation through his resurrection. Jesus gives us his promise to be with us in his word wherever two or three are gathered in his name. Jesus gives us his perfect life, his dying and rising as he joins you to himself in holy baptism. Jesus gives you his crucified, risen, glorified, ascended body to eat and drink in his supper where he continues to be known and to abide in the breaking of the bread.


And, as we hear in John 14 this morning, Jesus also promises to give us the Holy Spirit.


I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.


God makes himself known to us in giving. The Father gives His Son. The Son gives his life for you. The Son gives the Holy Spirit to you. And the Holy Spirit gives you Jesus who gives you back to the Father.


Even though the events in John 14 happened before Jesus’ death, we hear them now in light of Easter, through the lens of Jesus’ death and resurrection for us. Because of all Jesus did on the cross, rising from the dead, we can be certain that when he promises to give and send the Holy Spirit, he will do it. He is faithful. As we celebrate Easter we rejoice that God the Son who was given to save us, also gives and sends to us the God the Holy Spirit.


As we continue to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, our Lord gives you the Holy Spirit to be your advocate and helper. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.


The Holy Spirit is the “other helper” Jesus is speaking about here in John 14. The word there is a strange word you might have heard before. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the paraclete. No, not those little birds people have as pets. Paraclete. It means a legal counselor or adviser in court. An advocate, a defender, or helper.


Jesus sends Holy Spirit as the helper. By the Holy Spirit, the Helper, we see our sins for what they are: deadly and in need of repentance. By the Holy Spirit, the Helper, we confess our sins, for on our own we would not. By the Holy Spirit, the Helper, we trust in Christ our advocate, as John writes in 1 John 2, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 


By the Holy Spirit, our helper, we love and serve our neighbor in the good works God has prepared beforehand. By the Holy Spirit, our helper, we love and live in the words and teachings of Jesus. By the Holy Spirit, our helper, we guard, keep, defend, cherish, and treasure Jesus words.


This is what Jesus is teaching us several times in John 14 when he says, If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Or when he says, Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.


We hear the word “commandments” here, we usually think “do” or “obey.” Certainly that is part of what our Lord wants for us, to do and obey his word. But what Jesus says goes deeper than actions. When Jesus says If you love me, you will keep my commandments, He’s also telling us to keep, hold dear, treasure, cherish, and guard his word. So when we confess that we have not obeyed or followed all of God’s commands, we are in fact keeping with and holding dear His word for us.


We keep and guard Jesus’ word when we speak truthfully about his teachings in the Scriptures. We keep and treasure Jesus’ word when we speak his word to others around us. We keep and hold dear Jesus’ word when we look out for and care for the needs of others around us in our congregation, family, and community. We keep the commandments of Jesus when we admit that we have not always kept his commandments. We keep and hold dear Jesus word when we hear and receive his word of forgiveness.


It’s no accident Jesus promises the Holy Spirit right after he teaches us to live by keeping, treasuring, and guarding his words. This only happens in and through and by the Holy Spirit Jesus gives and sends to you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Jesus promises and gives and sends another Helper. The Holy Spirit. Your advocate. Your counselor. Your Helper.


And when Jesus promises to send you the Holy Spirit, Jesus is giving you the Holy Spirit so that you will keep, guard, and live in the very word he gives you.


When you confess your sins, the Holy Spirit is there, showing your sin, and greater than that, showing you your Savior Jesus who paid for your sin. When you live and serve in your vocations, the Holy Spirit is there, helping you to live and work and speak in the words and ways of Jesus. When you receive God’s gifts in water, word, body and blood here in his church, the Holy Spirit is there too, leading you into the truth of God’s word, advocating, counseling, helping you by continuing to give you Jesus and bring you to Jesus all by Jesus’ promise.


I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.


The Holy Spirit is one of Jesus’ many gifts to you this Easter season. By the Holy Spirit, Jesus your crucified and risen Lord lives and dwells with you and for you. By the Holy Spirit, the words and love and promises of Jesus abide with you now and forever. By the Holy Spirit you live in Jesus’ crucified and risen life now and forever.


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sermon for Easter 5 – 5.7.23

+ 5th Sunday of Easter – May 7th, 2023 +

Series A: Acts 6:1-9, 7:2, 51-60; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA


“I AM the Way”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Growing up we spent many summer weeks in Montana at Trinity Lutheran camp, swimming and playing on the NE shores of Flathead Lake. Several times we went white-water rafting down the middle fork of the Big Fork River. When you run a river you don’t need someone to point out the landmarks on a map, tell you where the class four and five rapids are, and send you off on your own. You need something more. Paul Pullman was a family friend and our river guide. Without him, we wouldn’t have made it down river safely. Not only did he know the way. He was the way.


I thought of that this week as I read Jesus’ words in John 14.


“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 


When Jesus declares, “I Am the Way,” what does this mean? Several things come to mind. We might think Jesus is saying that he is the way, as in he is a guide. And to be sure, Jesus does lead. But less like a tour guide on a bus calling out various landmarks, and more like a shepherd leading, guiding, tending sheep, like we heard last week.


We might think that when Jesus says he is the way that he means that he is our companion. And that is certainly true as well. Jesus promises his disciples, his church, you…I am with you always. This is good news. It’s true. And it’s comforting. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, not only in his birth for us, but also in his life lived for us, his dying and rising for us, his continued presence for us in His Word, water, body and blood.


When Jesus says he is the Way, we might think of a famous road or trail, that takes you from one place to another, like Route 66 or the Pacific Crest Trail. Jesus carries you on this journey out of darkness into light. Out of the grave into life. Out of sin and into God’s grace. No one comes to the Father, Jesus says, except through him.


This also means that when Jesus says, “I am the Way,” that he, and he alone, is the one who brings us along the way to the Father. Just like Mr. Pullman was the only way we were going to make it down the Big Fork River safely, only in a far greater way, when it comes to faith and life and eternal life in God’s presence. Jesus not only knows the way, leads you on the way, is present with you on the way, but he is the Way. Without Christ we are lost. Without Jesus there is no truth. Without Jesus there is no life.


The opposite is true as well, and this is good news. With Jesus, we are found, no longer lost in sin and death. Rescued in the words and wounds of Jesus. Jesus speaks the truth, objectively, concretely. Jesus is your life. His life laid down for your sin. His life raised up again for you.


For the disciples in the text, Jesus knows the way is going to get rough. He is about to be crucified and He knows His disciples will struggle with following Him. His disciples are troubled in spirit (14:1). Strange things have been happening. Resistance to Jesus has been growing. Rumors have it that the religious leaders are seeking to kill Jesus and not just Jesus but even Lazarus whom He raised from the dead (11:53, 57, and 12:10). The life Jesus brings (1:4) is now leading to His death and the disciples are distraught. They are anxious. And afraid.


Jesus has just washed his disciples’ feet, celebrated His last supper, identified His betrayer, and predicted Peter’s denial. He is about to go the way of the cross. But before He goes, He wants to comfort His disciples so they can continue to follow in the struggling days to come.

For this reason, Jesus speaks words to comfort His disciples. At the heart of these words is this “I am” statement. Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (14:6).

Jesus says these words to us, as he did to his disciples, knowing that in this world we will have trouble. There’s rough water ahead. And yet, Jesus is the Way.

Wherever life takes us, whatever twists and turns, Jesus promises. I am the Way. Jesus leads and guides. Jesus is the road, the way. Jesus is with you as he promised to be. Jesus is with you, carrying you safely to the Father by His word, by his life, by the way of his dying and rising.

The way of Jesus is the way of forgiveness. He bore His Father’s wrath so that no sin can ever separate you from His love. His way took Him through the grave and brought Him to life so that no threat of the Devil, no force of evil, not even the cold stone of death can take you away from Him. Jesus has risen and rules over all things.


“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Is your heart troubled? By your past, by your present, by your future? By your sins, your failings, your death? Whatever the cause of the trouble, whatever the anxiety or terror or fear, trust the Father, trust Jesus His Son. Jesus has gone the way of death and resurrection to glory and has brought you along with Him in His humanity. You are baptized. You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s treasured possession. You are a part of the body of Christ, you are a member of the household of God, you are a priest in the royal priesthood of Jesus. He’s gone to prepare a place for you. He will raise you from the dead on the Last Day so that where He is you also will be. In Him you are already there.


Do not fear the way through this fallen world, for Christ Jesus who is the Way, is with you, and you are with him. Jesus points to his cross and empty tomb and says this is the way. I did this all for you. In Jesus, you are never lost, but always found. In Jesus, you are never dead, but always alive. In Jesus, you are brought along the way of his dying and rising, by him who is the way, the truth and the life.


Let us pray…

Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.



Sermon for Memorial Service for Moki Kaahui – 4.29.23

+ In Memoriam: (Moki) Naomi Mokihana Kaahui – April 29th, 2023 +

Psalm 84; Isaiah 65:17-25; Revelation 21:1-7; Luke 23:39-43

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA


“Longing for Paradise”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


When God exiled Adam and Eve from Eden what do you think they talked about as they fled Garden? As got used to wearing those newly made garments of animal skins that God had sacrificed to cover them? As they walked past the cherubim with flaming sword in hand? Now, this may be a complete guess on my part, but I don’t think a day went by where they didn’t talk about the joys of paradise lost, of the promise that God gave them that he would send a son born of a woman to restore and rescue what was lost in death. I think they spent a part of every day longing for paradise.


Many years later, as God’s people inched closer and closer to their own exile in Assyria and Babylon, God sent his prophet Isaiah to preach warning and promise. Isaiah preached repentance for Israel’s idolatry, but also restoration, a new creation – vineyards, houses, a holy mountain, and the presence of God himself with his people. Isaiah and Israel were longing for paradise.


As the anonymous thief hanged on his cross, guilty of his crime as the day is long, as he hanged there, this thief saw the utter scandal of the moment. To his fellow criminal he cried out, we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” The innocent for the guilty. For Moki. For me. For you. For all. As the thief hanged on his cross next to Jesus on his cross, he was longing for paradise. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 


When John the evangelist and apostle was exiled on the island of Patmos for teaching, preaching, and confessing Christ crucified and risen, he found himself in a vision the Lord gave him to give comfort to God’s people, the Church, the bride of Christ who faced and are still facing persecution and suffering for the name of Jesus. For people who, like John was, yearned for days when tears, pain, mourning, and death will be no more. For people like John and you and me and Moki….God’s people longing for paradise. Longing to be where Christ is present with us and for us.


That was certainly how our sister in Christ, Moki, lived her life as well. Longing for paradise with her crucified and risen Lord Jesus.


I think just about every conversation I had with Moki included two things: her love of Hawaii, her earthly home and paradise, and her faith in Christ and the everlasting paradise he has purchased and won for her by his dying and rising.


This is no surprise for those of you who knew Moki well. No matter where she lived, Olowalu was in her blood. She was a true princess of Hawaii. Not the Disney princess kind, but the real deal. She wore her royal family crest around her neck. Proud of her heritage, her home, her island. She longed to return to her earthly paradise, where, now her body rests as she awaits with all the saints an everlasting paradise that is promised to her and to all who believe. Together we long for paradise in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.


This paradise is the real deal too. A sure and certain promise for Moki. And for you. A new heaven and a new earth. The kind Isaiah foretold and John got a glimpse of and the Psalms sing about. Scripture is full of our longing for paradise.


How lovely is your dwelling place,
    O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.


For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

“For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
    or come into mind.

These are the words that gave hope to us, as they did to Moki, in our days of longing and pain, of anxiety and trouble, of illness, sin, and death.


For as much as Moki longed to return to Hawaii, she longed even more for the paradise Christ prepared for her, and for you, and for all the saints, from before the foundation of the world. The promised eternal rest and the resurrection of the body given and purchased and won for you by Christ. Jesus’ death has conquered death for Moki and for you. Jesus’ glorious resurrection has opened the way to paradise for her and for you.


And so we confess, and cry out, and pray with the thief on the cross. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 


And what’s his reply? Not rejection. Not dismissal. Not judgment. He has endured all of that already for you. Jesus says to you as he said to the thief on the cross. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


This is what our Lord for all who are baptized. Today, in the water and word and by the Holy Spirit, you are with me in paradise. This is the promise that Moki lived in as she, the girl from the island of volcanoes, was brought into communion fellowship here at Beautiful Savior on May 18th, 1980, as Mt. St. Helens was erupting.


And so it was that throughout her life, our Lord answered Moki’s longing for paradise with his own eternal, ever-present, never-failing promise: Today you will be with me in paradise.


Jesus answers our longing, with a sure and certain word: “Behold, I am making all things new.” “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 

Did you hear that? Jesus calls us sons. You know what that means, don’t you? That you’re royalty too. Maybe not Hawaiian royalty. But a royal family…Ohaha. The royal family crest of Jesus rests on Moki and all the baptized marking and you as ones redeemed by Christ crucified. We rejoice to be called sons and daughters of the crucified and risen King, brothers and sisters in Christ crucified and risen. Heirs of heaven, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession called out of darkness into his marvelous light and life, and yes, paradise.

Until that day when our Lord Jesus returns to raise all the faithful departed from their graves; until that great day of the resurrection of the body; until we reach paradise restored, and body and soul are reunited in a bodily, glorious resurrection, we live as Moki did. Longing for paradise, and rejoicing in Christ’s promises:

“Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”










Sermon for Easter 4 – 4.30.23

+ 4th Sunday of Easter – April 30th, 2023 +

Series A: Acts 2:42-47; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA


“Your Good Shepherd”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 


“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 


As Jesus says these words imagine that he is a locomotive pulling miles of Old Testament freight train cars behind him, each one loaded with words, images, and metaphors of shepherds and sheep.


Joseph declared to his sons in Genesis 48 that “God has been my shepherd all my life long.”


Through Moses, the Lord appointed Joshua to lead Israel out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.


In memorable, beautiful, and comforting words, David sings The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness  for his name’s sake.


Here in John 10, our Gospel reading for today, Jesus declares that he is the Good Shepherd and the door of the sheep gate that all of those prophets had foretold, sang, and promised. Not only is Jesus the Good Shepherd. Jesus is your Good Shepherd. Jesus, the Good Shepherd is everything we need, gives us all we need, and gives you life abundantly in his name, in his dying, in his rising.


Jesus does all of this the same way he did in the Old Testament, through by His word. By his word YHWH called Israel away from their idolatrous, selfish, self-centered ways. By his word YHWH sent prophets like Ezekiel and Jeremiah to rebuke faithless shepherds who led God’s sheep astray. By his word YHWH promised a Good Shepherd. By his word Jesus spoke against the faithless shepherds of his day as well, the pharisees, for their spiritual blindness, for their self-centered ways, for their leading God’s sheep astray, for their failure to hear, listen, and keep the words of the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd.


The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 


Ever noticed how many times throughout the Scriptures our Lord tells us his sheep, his people, to hear. Listen. Keep my words. He says it a lot. And for good reason. It’s easy to close our ears to his voice. Ignore his word. Listen to other voices, especially our own, that will scratch our itching ears. All we like sheep have gone astray, each to his own way.


This is why sheep need a shepherd. Without a shepherd to lead us, without our Lord’s voice and word to guide us and give us life, without his laying down his life to save us we wander, get lost, and become easy prey for the devil who prowls like a roaring lion ready to devour us.

This is why Jesus came, to be the Good Shepherd, to be your Good Shepherd. Jesus, the Good Shepherd is everything we need, gives us all we need, and gives you life abundantly in his name.


So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 


Jesus is not one shepherd among many. There is no other shepherd. No other voice. No other word No other way. I am the door of the sheep gate. Anyone else promising you life and happiness and abundance,, whether it’s inside of you or out in the world around you, is a thief and robber, Jesus warns us. He alone is the Good Shepherd. For he alone speaks the words of eternal life. He died for you. He rose for you.


Jesus, the Good Shepherd, speaks and ordinary water becomes a refreshing, renewing, regenerating, and rescuing water for your soul and body. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, speaks and by his voice he leads you into the green pastures of his word where his living voice awakens faith in you to desire more of his word and to follow his voice. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, speaks and when he opens his mouth he prepares a table for you in the midst of your enemies of sin and death; ordinary bread and wine overflow with the goodness and mercy of your Good Shepherd’s body and blood. Jesus, the Good Shepherd is everything we need, gives us all we need, gives you life abundantly in his name, and brings you by his grace into the Father’s sheepfold.


I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 


Luther picked up on this imagery when he said that as we read Scripture, we should meditate on it, ruminate on it, like a cow chewing some cud or a sheep chomping on some fresh alfalfa. Haven’t we all at one time or another wanted to hear God speak to us; to have him talk to us; to hear his voice? If you want to know what God says, if you want to hear the voice of God look – and listen – no further than the words of Jesus.


When you hear Jesus you hear the Father. When you hear the Good Shepherd you hear the living voice of God himself. Read, mark, learn, inwardly digest his word. Not just here on Sunday mornings, but every day. Hear the voice of your Good Shepherd in your homes, around your dinner table, with your children and grandchildren. The four gospels are full of Jesus’ life-giving, abundantly good and gracious words. And the more you hear Jesus’ words in the gospels and New Testament and throughout the all the Scriptures, the more you hear the voice of your Good Shepherd.


And the more you will want to share that voice, that living and life-giving word with your family, friends, and neighbors. Lost sheep need a shepherd too. Tell them where they can hear his voice and receive his gifts, here in the sheepfold of Beautiful Savior.


There are plenty of voices out there vying for our attention, calling to our ears. But only one voice has good news, salvation, and true, abundant life now and forever. Jesus, the Good Shepherd is everything we need, gives us all we need.


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

By appointment only June and July


2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
(253) 922-6977
(253) 922-6977