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Showing posts from January, 2013

They Spoke Well of Him and Drove Him Out of Town

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The text for today is our Gospel, Luke 4:16-30, which has already been read. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We have in our assigned readings for today examples of one of the longest sermons in Scripture and the shortest.  Ezra reads the Book of the Law of Moses “from early morning until mid-day”—a period of about six hours.  Jesus reads two verses of Isaiah and preaches a one sentence sermon.  When Ezra finishes, the people bow their heads and worship the Lord with their faces to the ground.  When the people in the synagogue hear all Jesus has to say, they are filled with wrath, rise up, and drive Him out of town, so that they can throw Him down the cliff. It would seem that in ancient days the longer the sermon, the better it is received by the hearers.  But I somehow suspect that would not be the case today. So, what is going on here?  The Old Testament Reading takes us to a remarkable …

Good News for the Desolate and Forsaken

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The text for today is our Old Testament lesson, Isaiah 62:1-5, which has already been read. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Imagine a prisoner, sitting chained in a dark dungeon for years.The hopelessness, the loneliness, the desolation, the feeling of being totally forsaken by everyone, including God.Nothing could be sadder, could it? Actually, it could be sadder.It is sadder.Because what this prisoner doesn’t realize is that she is not alone.The darkness has kept her from seeing that there are many other sisters and brothers right there all around her.The silence—hers and that of her fellow captives—has kept her from realizing that she is not alone.Many others are held in the same chains. And to make matters even worse, the darkness and silence have kept all of them from realizing that the doors to their prison were flung wide open long ago.They’ve sat silently enduring this feeling of desolatio…

Heaven Is Now Opened

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The text for today is our Gospel, especially Luke 3:21-22: “Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened,and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.’”Here ends the text. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! “I can’t believe how quickly time passes.It seems like it was only yesterday when we brought our little boy home.Now he’s all grown up, and has started out on his own career.”I’m sure that many of you have already pondered or expressed similar thoughts.As a father of four and a Papa of three (soon to be four), I can assure you, if you haven’t yet, you probably will.And much sooner than you’d ever think.Time flies.Children grow up so quickly.You just turn around and they’re all grown up.And so it seems with Jesus—at least according …

Merry Christmas of the Gentiles!

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The text for today is our Gospel, Matthew 2:1-12, which has already been read. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas!  Actually, to be more specific: Merry Christmas of the Gentiles!  Those of you who follow the Church year perhaps noticed that yesterday was the twelfth and final day of Christmas.  Today begins Epiphany, the season in which the Child who was born in Bethlehem is manifested to the world as God.  Epiphany has been called the “Christmas of the Gentiles,” because the story of the magi has been associated with it.  The magi were the first Gentile worshipers of the Messiah.  Until then, the only ones to worship Jesus were Israelites: a bunch of shepherds from the fields near Bethlehem, and Simeon and Anna in the temple courts in Jerusalem.  But the magi were Persians, (from the region of modern day Iraq and Iran).  They were about as uncircumcised and Gentile as you could get.  Yet,…