Showing posts from December, 2011

By His Blood and in His Name

The text for today, the Circumcision and Name of Our Lord, is our Gospel, Luke 2:21:  “And at the end of eight days, when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.”
Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Those of you growing up with brothers or sisters can probably relate to this scene.It’s one of the days following Christmas.As you shower, get dressed, and then eat breakfast, you plan out your entire day.It’s going to be a great day!You’re going to spend all your time playing with that favorite gift. But when you go to play with it, it’s gone!Immediately, you know where to start looking.You’ve seen that look in your brother’s eyes.You know he’s been coveting it ever since you first unwrapped it.Barging through his bedroom door, you catch him red-handed.“Give it to me!” you yell.“That’s mine!” And even though he knows full well it was your Christmas present, he replies, “I don’…

Commending Your Children to God in Prayer

When my children were growing up I made it a point to pray for each of them regularly and asked the Lord to fill in for my parental shortcomings. Sad to say, now that they have grown up, I don't pray for them as often as I ought. I should do much better. And, as I think about it, when I do pray for them I don’t always pray for the right things. This is one element of my daily devotional discipline I wish to improve.
Toward that end, I recently purchased a copy of the revised Concordia edition of Starck’s Prayer Book. Originally written in German during the 18thcentury and first translated into English in 1921, this wonderful little book stands up quite well to the test of time. It contains prayer for many occasions and situations, but the one that really caught my eye is entitled “Believing Parents Commend Their Children to God in Prayer.”
The prayer includes a number of things you would normally expect to hear in such a prayer: thanksgiving to God for the gift of children; as well…

The Lord Humbles the Proud and Exalts the Lowly

The text for today is our Old Testament reading, the Song of Hannah, 1 Samuel 2:1-10, which has already been read.

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The theme of our midweek Advent services is “My pride, my defeat.God’s pride my deliverance.”We’ve been talking about the dangerous sin of pride.Pride tricks us into believing that we are self-sufficient and self-made, that we don’t need anybody or anything to make our own way—not even God.But such an attitude keeps us from realizing our great need: Before God we are beggars; we must rely on His grace and mercy to save us.
Pride is a dangerous sin that separates us from God, and in order to rid us of its grip God will go to extreme lengths.As when King Nebuchadnezzar boasted of his mighty power and was driven out to live with the beasts of the field, his hair as long as eagle’s feathers and nails like bird claws.Or when King Saul thought he could order the worship of God in his own way, …