Pastor James Hopkins preached this sermon on the Second Sunday after Easter, 4/23/2023. The service was broadcast live on the FLC youtube channel. To follow along from home, the bulletin is available as a PDF: Easter2 Bulletin

The text for the sermon was the day’s gospel lesson. To read the Bible texts for the second Sunday after Easter, click here. 

If you have not heard, this weekend, Boston will officially be hosting SATANCON. That is, a convention, presented by the Satanic Temple. Three days, all day, in Copley Square. It is a sold-out event. 

Here are just a few of the presentations: “Reclaiming the Trans Body: A/theistic strategies for self-determination and empowerment,” “Re-imagining Lilith as an Archetype for Reproductive Justice,” and next Sunday, at 9 A.M. a so-called “Sober Mass,” on a day they refer to as “Hexennacht” (don’t ask me why they had to use German), which is a sort of perverted version of All Saints Day. 

This makes sense. Satan hates the incarnation, and so, he yearns to mock it by tarnishing the dignity of the human body; to undo what God did when He made us male and female. 

Satan knows that it is God who gives life, who opens the womb in blessing, and so, abortion has become the chief sacrament of his inverted church. 

Friday night features a Satanic Ball. Semi-casual: Cash Bar. Because, if the Lord is not your shepherd, you will pay for everything. 

Of course, much of that seems a bit too on-the-nose, doesn’t it? What person who bears the name, “Christian,” would dare to utter a word in support of Satan’s published agenda? These traps are artless and boring. You see them, and you wouldn’t fall for them anymore than you would go alone to investigate the screams and the abandoned mansion. But you don’t need to. 

Satan is an opportunist. He’s happy to bring in folks who’ll literally or figuratively sacrifice kids to Baphomet, but he’s equally thrilled to just keep you away from Church and Bible Study. He doesn’t need you to seek the company of prostitutes, when he can convince you that gaining experience for your future spouse is actually pretty thoughtful of you. 

In fact, he’s wary of your conscience. It is not so broken that you can’t tell right from wrong. And if he were to draw you in to some great shame and vice, you might realize it, and repent. 

So, just repent now. Step back for a moment. Detach. Look at your life. Consider how you are being tempted. What pastures are you being led to? What is being offered to you for comfort? Status. Relationships. Stability. Financial security. 

God may desire for you to have all those things, but I don’t know. He doesn’t tell me. But Jesus does know. And Jesus is your Good Shepherd. He will give you what is best. 

You will not be in want. You are led by the waters in which you were baptized. You are fed in the pure pasture of God’s Word, which restores your soul. You are led in paths of righteousness for the sake of Jesus. 

Even in the valley of the shadow of death, you will fear no evil; to say nothing of the evil that presents itself to you this week. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

God’s guidance, exhortation, and discipline are a comfort. They are a reminder that He goes with us, and will not leave us to our own devices, but he will chasten those whom He loves. 

He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. This Holy Supper, the Body and Blood of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is the antidote to all the poison that the evil one has presented to you. And there is no lack. You can sip of you like, but this cup overflows. 

On Friday night, there will be a Satanic Ball. Cash bar – figures. 

If the Lord is not your Shepherd, you end up paying for everything. For admission to the satanic temple, for watered down cocktails, for your sins: the bill stays with you. 

But that’s just a ridiculous option, when Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has already paid. Jesus has laid down his life for the sheep, for you. The price is paid. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life, and you shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

First Lutheran Church Sermon Archive


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