Isaiah 48:17-22: Flee!

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Last week, on Ash Wednesday, we heard God call Himself “your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” And that’s where our Old-Testament reading for today begins: “The Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” But then God gets wistful and reminisces. We hear Him speak some of the saddest words in any language: “You […]

Genesis 3:1-21, Matthew 4:1-11: Jesus Succeeds where Adam Failed

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent (610x352)

Can you believe it? The serpent attacks, not through brute force, but through words. And Adam just stands there. He doesn’t say or do anything. He just stands there next to Eve as the serpent twists the truth. Did you catch that in our Old-Testament reading? After Eve tasted the forbidden fruit, she gave some […]

Ash Wednesday Sermon: What’s the deal with being a worm?

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When you read through the Scriptures, you may find something that, at first, seems odd. But then, as you make your way through more books of Scripture, you start to see a pattern. At first, it’s a phrase here, and then a phrase there. What was, at first, an odd turn of phrase then becomes […]

Matthew 17:1-9: Jesus’ Glory

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A chapter before today’s Gospel reading, we hear Peter tell Jesus that He is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). And “from that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer much… be killed, and be raised on the third day” (Matthew 16:21). And […]

1 Corinthians 13: Love

1 Corinthians, Life of Love (610x352)

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus told His disciples of His impending death. Someone will betray Him; others will ridicule, spit on, and kill Him. And although Jesus’ words were straightforward and clear, His disciples didn’t understand them. For this world doesn’t understand true love, the love that drove Jesus to die to give us His […]

Luke 8:4-15: The Parable of the Sower and the Four Soils

Sower and the Four Soils (610x351)

When we say, “The Bible is the Word of God,” we mean that it originates from God. After all, God the Holy Spirit inspired various writers of old to put words to parchment. And the Holy Spirit inspired His Church to copy, preserve, and collect those writings into what we, today, call the Bible. But […]

Confession of St. Peter: Petros or Petra?

Petros vs Petra (610x351)

Texts: Mathew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-38, Acts 4:8-13, and 2 Peter 1:1-15   Each Christian congregation is to be a living embodiment, in a particular place and time, of the Church of Jesus Christ. And that just makes sense. After all, don’t Christians believe that the Jesus in heaven is the same Jesus who rose from […]

Matthew 3:13-17: The Baptism of Our Lord

Early Church Baptismal Mosaic (610x352)

As Christians, we usually point to Jesus’ death on the cross and say, “That’s why I’m saved.”   And, yet, we often miss that we could just as easily point to Jesus in the water of the Jordan River and say the same: “There is my salvation, forgiveness, and life!” But how can we say that? […]

Isaiah 60:1-6: Shined On By Christ

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Have you ever looked out the window and marveled on one of those winter nights when a full moon lights up the entire sky?  But no matter how brightly that moon may shine, it has no light of its own.  If there were no sun, the moon would be dark, as dark as dark can […]

Romans 8:31-39: A Happy New Year in Christ Jesus!

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The words on many of our lips today and tomorrow, even as some of you may be leaving the service tonight, will be this familiar greeting: Happy New Year! But what will make the new year, just a few hours away, happy? Will it be a big celebration tonight, watching the ball drop in Times […]