The Transfiguration of Our Lord + Matthew 17:1-9 + January 21, 2018

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain, probably Mount Tabor, the highest mountain in Galilee. ThereHe was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as with as the light.” In that moment Jesus shined with the glory and radiance that was His because He is true God. Since His conception, though, the only begotten Son of God had hidden this glory. From eternity He is the “brightness of God the Father’s glory and the express image of His person” (Heb. 1:3). But when He assumed human flesh in the incarnation, St. Paul says He took the form of a slave and came in the likeness of men, being found in appearance as a man. Thought His entire life Jesus looked like any other man, even though He was the Word of God in human flesh. Throughout His ministry He reveals His glory through miraculous healings: water into wine, cleansing lepers with a touch, rebuking wind and …

2nd Sunday after Epiphany + John 2:1-11 + January 14, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory.” It is tempting to despise this first miracle of Jesus and think little of it. When we compare this first sign of Jesus to the miracles He would later perform, this one feels different. Healing a leper by touching him, exorcising demons from people, healing a paralytic with just a word, raising Lazarus from the dead, all these seem to be more in line with Jesus’ divine power. It also seems that the need that Jesus meets in this miracle is different from His later miracles. The leper, the demoniac, the paralytic, and the mourning sisters of Lazarus all have dire need of Christ’s help. They struggle against deformity, decay, and death. At this wedding in Cana, the need appears less serious. A man and a woman were married. They are so poor and destitute that they run out of wine during their wedding feast. This is a terrible…

1st Sunday after Epiphany + Luke 2:41-52 + January 7, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Mary and Joseph have been frantically searching Jerusalem for three days. After celebrating the Passover in the holy city, as the Lord commanded through Moses, Joseph and Mary set off on their journey home. They’re travelling in a large caravan of worshipers who are heading north toward Nazareth. Jesus was such a good natured boy that they assume He is with his friends or distant relatives that are part of the caravan. It isn’t until the end of the first day’s journey that His parents realize He’s missing. They experience one of every parent’s worst nightmares. They have no idea where their son is. Therefore they have no idea if He’s even safe. No one probably wants to admit it, but this is something that happens to every parent at one point or another. Except Mary and Joseph’s anxiety have another angle to it. It’s not just their own son whom they’ve lost. Their child is the only begotten Son of God in h…

Sunday after Christmas + Luke 2:33-40 + December 31, 2017

The Sunday after Christmas
Luke 2:33-40
December 31, 2017

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
In the twelfth chapter of Leviticus Moses wrote that forty days after a woman gives birth to a son, she is to appear before the Lord. He writes, “When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting” (Leviticus 12:6). Today’s Gospel lesson finds Mary and Joseph doing just that. After the days of Mary’s purification are complete, she and her husband, Joseph, are in the temple doing what the Lord has commanded them through Moses. They’re so poor that they can only afford to offer turtledoves, the cheapest of the assigned offerings. As they doing this an aged man, Simeon, approaches them. Simeon “was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, an…

Christmas Day + John 1:1-14 + December 25, 2017

The Nativity of our Lord
John 1:1-14
December 25, 2017

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Lord says in Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” The prophet records that the Messiah, the Christ, would be born in the little town of Bethlehem. So Joseph of Nazareth goes to Bethlehem to be registered for Caesar’s tax “because he was of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4). He takes his legally betrothed wife, Mary, with him and she gives birth to her firstborn, a son. The Scriptures cannot be broken. The Lord will not let any of His words fall useless to the ground. He fulfills that which He prophesied through the mouth of the prophet Micah.
Micah’s prophesy is about more than just the Christ’s birthplace though. The one who will be born in Bethlehem will be “Rul…

Christmas Eve + Luke 2:1-20 + December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve
Luke 2:1-20
December 24, 2017

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
 “It came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.” Perhaps that is better translated in our day as “to be assessed.” This registration was for the purpose of taxation. Caesar decrees that everyone throughout the wide expanse of the Roman Empire be registered. In order to be registered you had to go your own city. Joseph, who had been living in Nazareth, which is Galilee, travels to humble Bethlehem in Judea, the city of David whom we know as king. He took Mary with him. She was his betrothed wife which means that she was already legally his wife. So she went along. “So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” The Scr…

Rorate Coeli, the 4th Sunday in Advent + John 1:19-28 + December 24, 2017

Rorate Coeli, the 4th Sunday in Advent
John 1:19-28
December 24, 2017

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
John is in the business of preparing hearts for the coming Christ. Not much else matters to him, not even the glamour of being approached by an envoy from the Jews in Jerusalem. These men come to interrogate John. The Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Jews, want to know just who John thinks he is. Countless others had gone into the wilderness to see a prophet, indeed, more than a prophet, the messenger who would go before and herald the Christ. But these priests and Levites aren’t interested in the message. They don’t come to hear and repent. They don’t come to be baptized by John. They come to ask, “Who are you?” There must’ve been buzz that John was the Christ because that is what first comes out of his mouth, “I am not the Christ.” Are you Elijah? They were asking this because Lord said in Malachi 4:5, “I will send you Elijah the pro…