Posts

Showing posts from December, 2017

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…

Gaudete, the 3rd Sunday in Advent + Matthew 11:2-10 + December 17, 2017

Gaudete, the 3rd Sunday in Advent
Matthew 11:2-10
December 17, 2017


Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1)         John the Baptist sends two of his disciples to Jesus. They’re sent with one question, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Perhaps John was riddled with doubt. He had, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, preached, “One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.   His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire” (Luke 3:16-17). None of that was happening. Jesus preached repentance, just as John had done. But there was no baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire, at least at that point. There was not sweeping out the threshing floor in judgment. Jesus had not gathered the wheat, believers, into His heavenly garner wh…

Populus Zion, the 2nd Sunday in Advent + Luke 21:25-36 + December 10, 2017

Populus Zion, the 2nd Sunday in Advent
St. Luke 21:25-36 December 10, 2017
Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1)         As Christmas gets closer Christians will, without a doubt, lament the commercialization of Christ’s Mass. The day the Church celebrates the birth of Christ with the service of Christ’s Word and Christ’s Sacrament, His Mass, has been overrun by the moneychangers. Christmas, for the vast majority of the population, means something entirely different than the celebration of birth of the Son of God according our flesh. The angels sang “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). The peace and goodwill which God promised to mankind was wrapped up in the baby wrapped up in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. God was making peace with the world through Jesus. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing men’s trespasses to them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). But the world has t…

Ad Te Levavi, the 1st Sunday in Advent + Matthew 21:1-9 + December 3, 2017

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1)         Behold, your king is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” You might ask why the season of Advent, and the beginning of a new church year for that matter, begins with such a text. It does seem curious that the season before our celebration of Christ’s birth starts with the account of Jesus’ arrival into the Jerusalem the week of His suffering and death. This text makes perfect sense on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, since the events in the Gospel lesson happened on the actual Sunday before Christ’s suffering and death. But three weeks before Christmas? At the beginning of a new church year? On the first Sunday in the season of Advent? But in that one word lies the answer. The season which we enter today is called Advent, meaning “coming” or “arrival.” It is not so much a season of preparation for Christmas. We do look forward to celebrating Chris…