Showing posts from August, 2012

Not a Small God, But a Great God Who Hides Himself

In the writing for the observance of The Martrydom of St. John the Baptist in Treasury of Daily Prayer, Martin Luther once again speaks of God "hiding" Himself in the midst of Christian suffering.  I find these words a great encouragement to hold on in faith especially in the toughest days knowing that the greatness of God's glory will one day be revealed for all.  For now we live in the shadow of the cross, where God's glory is hidden and His strength is seen as weakness, but we believe that word of the cross, of Christ crucified, is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:18 ff.).  As children of God, "we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him" (Romans 6:16).  

May the Lord grant us each greater patience and faith as we await the day for this to all be revealed, trusting that Christ is indeed in control of all things and working them for the good of His people. 

"Christ is risen from the dead, has ascended to h…

You Turn Things Upside Down!

The text for today is our Old Testament lesson, Isaiah 29: 11-19, which has already been read. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like the plot of a good action thriller it goes down to the wire.  At the last minute God mercifully intervenes to deliver Jerusalem from the Assyrian horde poised at the city gate.  But something is wrong.  The people do not see beyond the immediate threat they have just avoided.  They fail to recognize the hand of the Lord or their sin and idolatry that brought them so close to utter ruin.  God’s deliverance does nothing to turn them to repentance and the promises of the Messiah.  And so the deliverance will only buy them a few more years until the Babylonians come and destroy Jerusalem and the temple.  Now that’s judgment! But Isaiah reveals another aspect of God’s judgment: He will give the people of Jerusalem what they want!  They are to continue in their unbelief and rejection as long as they wish.  T…

Put off Depravity; Put on the Likeness of God (Ephesians 4:17-24)

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I don’t remember the details exactly.  Let’s just say, a particular Moeller boy, probably around the age of three, had carelessly broken one of his mom’s “pretties,” and then had hidden the evidence under his bed.  (In hindsight, it was not exactly the brightest strategy, considering it was his Mom who cleaned his room; but then you can’t expect a three-year-old to come up with really brilliant plans, no matter how precocious he may be.) Anyway, I do remember his Mom finding something destroyed that should not have been, and asking him if he knew anything about its mangled state.  From the look on his face, his Mom knew he did.  She also was pretty sure she knew who it was who had done the damage and the hiding!  Just to be certain, however, she stated simply and clearly: “You broke it and then tried to hide it.”  That did it.  Tears flowed.  His hands went up to his ears.  His mouth opened and out …

Ask a Stupid Question; Get a Perfect Answer (John 6:22-35)

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I’m sure you’ve heard this before: “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.”It’s my experience that this is the kind of thing said at a question and answer session when nobody is asking questions.It’s meant to encourage more interaction between the speaker and listeners.And it’s been said so often that it’s become a truism—an “accepted fact of life.”But is it true? No, there really are stupid questions—at least questions that have less merit than others.Some people seem to ask questions just to gain attention.Others people like to “play devil’s advocate” or “stir up the pot a bit.”A few already know the answer but want to test the speaker or to prove their own expertise.And some people just plain don’t think before they speak.So, yes, there are stupid questions.But have you ever noticed how a skillful teacher can take even a stupid or off-point question and still use it for a teaching opportunit…