Mark 9:29-39: How to Understand our Bodies

With His new disciples, beginning their three-year course of instruction, Jesus teaches them, and us, on how to understand our bodies.  Now, this isn’t judging your status by the morning mirror’s reflection.  No, our Lord tutors us to gaze on our physical bodies through faith-filled eyes.  From Him, we learn to judge our well-being and […]

The Baptism of Our Lord: Genesis 1:1-5: Creation Teaches Us About Re-Creation

To the first ticking of time, and before the creation of time, Moses takes us back to the beginning.  From his words, he allows us to peek into those moments of prehistory when only God existed, and we find primordial chaos.  One thing is evident—in the emptiness of the void, life is powerless to blossom […]

Galatians 4:4-7: The Firstborn’s Birth Brings Your Birth From Above into Being

The first Christmas makes the second one possible.  By conceiving Jesus, the life-breathing Spirit reveals Himself to be the Spirit, sent by the Son, who permits us all to become sons of God.  For the second Christmas is our Spirit-born birth, which is but an extension of the first. The Divine Spirit breathes Jesus into […]

Christmas Eve Sermon: The Humble Poetry of Jesus’ Birth

So distant are we from creation’s dawn.  A time forlorn, forgotten by our fragile minds, when the Father spoke all into being, and formed a humanity in His image.   Too soon did defect begin to breed, to blemish and blacken a perfect creation.  For the man and woman, Adam and Eve, feast on what is […]

John 1:6-9, 15: No Longer Need We Fear

In life, we face many tormentors, whether in school or those of the spiritual kind—sin and shame, guilt and blame.  The worst tyrant in town is the Devil, who is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).  With His deceit and slander, He seeks to destroy us, taking all the children of men […]

The Gospel According to Isaiah, Isaiah 52:1, 7-10: Y’shua is our Salvation

The attention-grabbing words and phrases soaring from the messenger’s mouth.  “Awake, awake,” are his first words flying out.  “Listen!” follows eight verses later.  What’s going on to demand such immediate attention?  No doubt, something vital.  So rouse to life and pay heed to what is happening! What’s going on?  The sleep overtaking us needs to […]

Matthew 18:1-5: The Hidden Hero within our Lord’s Advent

This is a confessional address our pastor preached for our Confessional Service, which is a Service of Confession before receiving the Lord’s Supper.   The Son of God humbled Himself to be the Son of Man so we, the children of men, might be exalted to become the children of God.  So, from heaven, the […]

The Gospel According to Isaiah: Isaiah 4o:1-11

The moving descriptions of a foretold Messiah earned Isaiah his nickname: “The Fifth Evangelist.”  Did our Old-Testament reading for today not confirm this?  Still, what a contrast to the dispatch God earlier directed Isaiah to deliver, in chapter 6. Go and tell the people: “Be ever hearing, but never comprehending; always seeing, but never perceiving.”  […]

The Gospel According to Isaiah: Isaiah 64:1-9

The poetry in Isaiah is striking.  The turns of phrase and imagery amplify and repeat.  The people are like grass, soon turning into flowers wilting in the intense, Middle-Eastern sun.  Next, valleys are twisting upward, reaching for the sky, while mountains flatten as they become molten.  Such power resonates in those well-crafted words.  A Hebrew […]

The Parables of Jesus, Lesson 8: Matthew 25:1-13: The Parable of the Ten Virgins

With burning lamps, ten virgins await their Groom’s arrival.  The waiting virgins are all dressed in white—but everything is not as the picture portrays.  Some are wise; some, foolish.  So, how can we tell which is which?  For they are all wearing the proper garments.  Each one uses the same hymnal and liturgy.  Every maiden […]