Showing posts from November, 2019

Last Sunday of the Church Year + Matthew 25:1-13

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
We’re used to waiting. We do a lot of it throughout our lives. We wait for our next meal. We wait in line. We wait for other people. We wait for test results and doctor’s appointments. We want for things to happen. We wait for things to change. We’re no strangers to waiting. On this last Sunday of the church year Jesus tells us that we must also wait for Him. He tells us how to wait for His return lest, through impatience or ingratitude, we give up. He says, “The kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.” The church consists of virgins. Not physical virgins but spiritual as St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:2. He writes, “I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” Christians are virgins in that they are pure, not by their own works and preparations but because they trust Christ for their salva…

2nd to Last Sunday in the Church Year + Matthew 25:31-46

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
St. Paul tells the Athenians in Acts 17:31 that God “has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” The man by whom God the Father will judge the world is His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified, died, and was buried, yet rose from dead on the third day. As His resurrection is true, so is His second coming to judge the living and the dead. But as it goes for the resurrection, so it goes for His return. Mockers and scoffers who don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead have no reason to believe that He’ll return in judgment. The unbelieving world stops up its ears. People go on with their lives imagining that such a day will never come. And if there are some who think that that day might actually come, they calm their consciences by imagining that God will judge them base…

3rd Last Sunday in the Church Year + Matthew 24:15-28

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
At the beginning of Matthew 24, Jesus tells shows His disciples the beautiful Jerusalem temple and says, “Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (24:2). Later they ask Him, “When will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (24:3). In the mind of the disciples, these two events would happen together. The temple, they imagined, would last until the Last Day. Jesus answers their two questions with one answer. He tells when the Temple will fall so that not one stone will be left upon another. Then immediately He tells them the sign of His second coming and the end of the age. Christ combines the destruction of the Temple and His second coming, not because the disciples think that’s the case, but to show them, and you, that as it will go for Jerusalem one day, it will go for the entire world.
When wil…

20th Sunday after Trinity + Matthew 22:1-14

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Many are called but few are chosen.” With today’s parable Jesus teaches us the doctrine of predestination or eternal election. The Greek work translated “chosen” is also translated “elect.” Whenever Christ or the Apostle Paul begins speaking about eternal election we’re tempted to think it as something it’s not. The idea in the mind of most is that God, from eternity, made an arbitrary and absolute decree of who would be saved and who would be damned. People imagine God gathering the entire human race before Him and electing this one and that one to eternal life, while electing the rest to eternal damnation. The idea of a “double” predestination, that God predestines some to life and others do damnation, is not found in the Holy Scriptures but comes from the imagination of sinful man. Neither is the idea that predestination is absolute, without regard for anything whatsoever, found in Holy Scripture. Chr…