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Showing posts from August, 2018

13th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 10:23-37 + August 26, 2018

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The expert in the Law of Moses had asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Go and do likewise” is Jesus’ final answer to that question. Don’t be like the robbers in the parable who fall upon others, strip them of their clothing, wound them, and leave them for dead. That much is obvious. But neither are you to be like the priest or the Levite, who know every line of the law but imagine that it only applies to the outward act. The priest and the Levite think they don’t break the commandment because they weren’t the ones to harm the man, steal his things, wound him, and leave him half dead. Even though they did no harm, they missed wide the mark of the Law which reads: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). Instead, Jesus says if you want to inherit eternal life, be like the Samaritan. He saw his neighbor in need. He went to the man, bandaged him, treated his wounds, set him on h…

12th Sunday after Trinity + Mark 7:31-37 + August 19, 2018

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Today’s Gospel lesson shows us Christ’s compassion on a deaf mute. The man is brought to Jesus and those who bring him ask Jesus to put His hand on him. They had heard how Christ had touched others and healed them. Christ takes the dead mute away from the crowd and touches him, though probably not in the way that the man’s friends intended. Jesus sticks His fingers into the man’s ears. He spits and touches the man’s tongue with the spit. By doing these things Jesus communicates to the man that He intends to unstop his ears and loosen his rigid tongue. He then looks up to heaven since “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). Then He speaks one word. “Ephphatha,” and with that word commands the man’s ears and mouth to be open. The man is healed at once because the One who has commanded the ears and mouth to open is the one whom formed man’s ears and tongue in the beginning. Jesus…

11th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 18:9-14 + August 12, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Jesus tells a parable of two men in today’s Gospel lesson. The first is a Pharisee. The Pharisee goes to the Temple, the house of the Lord, to pray. He approaches God purely out of thanksgiving, but not thanksgiving for what God has done for him. He thanks God that He is not like other men. He is not an extortioner. He’s not ravenous for other’s possessions or property. He hasn’t gotten his goods by threat or force. He thanks God that he is a hardworking and industrious fellow. And this is a good thing. He thanks God that he is not unjust. He is not an unrighteous person who wallows in the sins of the flesh like lust and covetousness. And this, too, is a good thing. His litany continues. He gives thanks that he is not an adulterer. He is faithful to his marriage vows and this, too, is a very good thing. Then he gives thanks to God that he is not like the man standing at the back of the Temple, head bowed,…

10th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 19;41-48 + August 5, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The first part of this Sunday’s Gospel lesson takes place on Palm Sunday as Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. Surrounded by shouts of ‘Hosanna,’ Jesus looks upon the city of David and weeps. He weeps because He desires the Jew’s salvation but knows they will reject it. He says, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Christ’s coming to Jerusalem is the gracious visitation of God Himself. But they will crucify Him and for the next forty years, reject His apostles sent to them. For this rejection, the city will be l…

9th Sunday after Trinity + 1 Corinthians 10:6-13 + July 28, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
St. Paul warns the Corinthians, and all Christians, against the false belief that Christians can never lose their salvation. The Corinthians had become cocksure and arrogant. They were baptized. They had the Lord’s Supper. The Lord had called them out of the darkness of slavery to sin. They imagined themselves to be secure in God’s grace and free to do as they pleased. The Corinthians had become secure in their sins and abandoned the life of repentance, imagining that they could not lose what God has so graciously given them. Paul writes to correct this impious notion, and we would do well to heed Paul’s warning as well. We see this deception of the devil today in many who teach and believe that once a man is saved he will always be saved, regardless of what he does with the rest of his life. This is a false notion of security. Although God has promised never to revoke His promises and grace, it is entirely possib…