Showing posts from November, 2017

Last Sunday of the Church Year + Matthew 25:1-13 + November 26, 2017

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
1)         Ten virgins wait for the Bridegroom to arrive. He has already married his bride. Now He comes to take her to her new home. In Jesus’ day, when a man and woman were pledged to be married, they were legally married at that moment. But they did not immediately begin living together. The bride went back to her parents’ home while the groom went back to his home and made it ready for his new wife. Then one evening, the man would gather his attendants, form a procession, and go to his bride’s home to fetch her and bring her to her new abode, where Bride and Groom, family and friends, and all their attendants would feast in joy over this life-long union between man and wife. That is what these ten virgins are looking forward to. They know the Bridegroom is coming that evening so they get their lamps and wait at the home of their newly married friend. All ten have lamps. All ten wait in eager anticipation. All te…

National Day of Thanksgiving + Psalm 103 + November 22, 2017

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1)         Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” That’s the point of a National Day of Thanksgiving, that we bless the Lord for all His benefits which He graciously gives to us. As Thanksgiving rolls around and we begin thinking about the things for which we are thankful, our thoughts first go to the daily bread that God gives us. Daily Bread is everything that we need for this body and life. Luther defined daily bread in the Small Catechism as “Everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as meat, drink, clothing, shoes, house, homestead, field, cattle, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful magistrates, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.
2)         Our thoughts immediately rush to daily bread, the physical blessings of this life, because w…

Second Last Sunday of the Church Year + 2 Peter 3:3-14 + November 19, 2017

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1)         Christ will return to judge the living and dead. The Lord promises this numerous times throughout the four Gospels. Today’s appointed Gospel lesson is one of those promises. Ever since Jesus ascended into heaven, Christians have lived in eager expectation of His return in glory. The New Testament even ends with the teaching of Christ’s return. The final words of Christ to St. John in Revelation 22:20 are, “Surely I am coming quickly.” When Christ returns He will take those who believe the Gospel to inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. On that day, everything you have now by faith you will have by sight. St. John writes in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” All who believe the Gospel are already sons of Go…

Third Last Sunday of the Church + Matthew 24:15-28 + November 12, 2017

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1)         At the beginning of Matthew 24, Jesus and His disciples are at the Jerusalem Temple. The disciples admire the beauty of the Temple and enjoy all the visible trappings of that blessed place. Jesus does not sit in awe of the external appearance of the Temple. He foretells its destruction. “Assuredly I say to you, that not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). Later that day, while they are on the Mount of Olives, outside the city limits, the disciples approach Jesus privately and ask, “When will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). The disciples think they are asking one question when they’re really asking two. They assumed that the temple would endure until the Last Day of the world, when in reality, it wouldn’t. Jesus takes the opportunity to teach them about both the end of the…

The Festival of All Saints + Matthew 5:1-12 + November 5, 2017

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1)         In the appointed Gospel text for All Saints Day, our Lord Jesus explains to us that true blessedness is not what the world thinks it is. In fact, true blessedness is the opposite of the things the world glories and rejoices in. The world fosters an attitude of spiritual pride people so that they imagine they are righteous and holy because of their good deeds and the occasional good disposition of the heart. The world teaches everyone that God should accept them because of their works and their goodness. To be spiritually proud, so that a person thinks he needs nothing from God, the world calls blessed. Not so Christ. He says, “Blessed on the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Presumption and relying upon one’s own goodness and righteousness is not blessed but damnable. Christ tells us that the saints are spiritually poor. This means that they are humble and contrite. Being …