Isaiah 53:7-9: Where’s the Justice?

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“Where’s the justice?” People have felt so slighted so often that we even have an experssion that has become part of our language: “Where’s the justice?” Part of it is true: we do live in a world where justice is, at best, imperfect. At worst, the “system” that’s supposed ensure justice even becomes the perpetrator […]

John 8:42-49: For you and because of you

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For you—two words of supreme significance! Without them, a Christian veers away from Word and Sacrament, trying to find some assurance that he really is saved. He could look to his good works, thinking he must be saved because of what he has done. He could look to his emotions, trying to find in his […]

Isaiah 53:4-5, Wisdom 2:17-24, Matthew 27:41-43: Jesus eternally heals us

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During these Lenten midweek services, we have pondered passages from the Prophet Isaiah. We considered the startling contrast between what Christ physically looked like in His suffering and how beautiful He is based on what He did, and does, to save us. Jesus had no stately form or majesty that we should look at Him, […]

John 6:1-15: Jesus calls into being what was earlier not there

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Like the crowd in today’s Gospel reading, you have many worries. They were hurting. They started to follow Jesus because they had seen Him heal the sick. Like you, they were sick and tired of being sick and tired. And when they saw Jesus feed the crowd, when they saw Him multiply bread and feed […]

Isaiah 52:14, 53:2-3: No one is too ugly for Jesus

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Let’s face it: we’ve all seen people who aren’t considered the height of beauty.  Some of you may even look at yourselves in the morning and remember days gone by when your skin was smooth, glowing brightly with life and vigor.  But now, you may feel as if your skin is sallow and dry, the […]

Matthew 15:21-28: Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table

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Did you ever feel that God has ignored your prayers, not by answering “no,” but by taking no notice of them?  If so, then today’s Gospel is for you.  Have you ever felt that God has treated you in a cold or cruel way, allowing you to experience so much pain in this life?  If […]

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

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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 […]