Showing posts from February, 2019

Sexagesima + 2 Corinthians 11:19-12:9 + Luke 8:4-15

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Last Sunday Christ taught us about the grace of God. He calls us to enter His vineyard out of sheer grace and undeserved mercy. He promises us forgiveness of sins, life, and eternal salvation to all who believe, solely for Christ’s sake and not on account of any work, merit, or worthiness on our part. But He also warned us against receiving God’s grace in vain so that we grow to despise it and imagine that we really are worthy of the vineyard and the denarius. Christ teaches us about His kingdom while warning us against rejecting it. Today Christ teaches us in a similar way about the power of His Word by comparing it to seed that is sown into the ground. He not only teaches us about His Word and its effects in our hearts, He warns us to careful how we hear His Word so that we don’t ignore it and let it be taken from us, and with it, our salvation.
A sower went out to sow his seed” and the “the seed is the word of…

Septuagesima + 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:5 + Matthew 20:1-16

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. The landowner is Christ. The vineyard is the Church. And the laborers are all those whom Christ graciously calls to work in His vineyard. Those whom Christ calls don’t earn their way into Church. They don’t merit their place in the vineyard. They’re called to enter the vineyard by Christ out of sheer grace. When the gospel call is proclaimed, that’s Christ calling men, women, and children to enter His vineyard and receive the denarius. The invitation isn’t because you’re a good person. “No one is good but One, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). You haven’t merited this place in Christ’s vineyard. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). He calls you into His vineyard by forgiving your sins and cl…

The Transfiguration of Our Lord + Matthew 17:1-9

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Throughout His earthly life Jesus gives brief glimpses of the glory He had with the Father before the creation of the world. Through this season of Epiphany Jesus shows us His glory bit by bit, miracle by miracle, that He is “the brightness of [God’s] glory and the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3). He shows it bit by bit because He conceals His eternal glory by assuming our human flesh. He hides His divine glory under what Paul calls a “form of a servant” in Philippians 2:5. The son of God became incarnate, not to display His glory to but to give His life as a ransom for all are under the slavery of sin. He came to fulfill the Law on our behalf, being perfectly righteous in every thought, word, and deed since we sinners cannot do God’s righteous will and merit only wrath and condemnation. But in this state of humiliation He gives His disciples glimpses of His divine glory so that they might believe that H…

4th Sunday after Epiphany + Matthew 8:23-27

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Jesus calms the raging sea with just a word. “Peace, be still” were His words, according to St. Mark’s account. To these men in the boat with Jesus He reveals Himself to be the Lord of creation, the creator Himself, the one of whom the Psalmist said, “You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them” (Psalm 89:9). This shows His divine power to be His own. For “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” says the apostle John (John 1:3). Christ is the Word of God the Father by whom God the Father made all things, so as creator He rules all things, even the violent winds and vicious waves.
He reveals His almighty power by first leading His disciples into a boat. He had spent His day preaching to the multitudes and healing the infirmed. He takes the lead and get into the boat and “his disciples followed him.” It was then that this great tempest arouse on the s…