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Showing posts from December, 2015

We Have a Code Adam!

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“And when His parents saw Him, they were astonished. And His mother said to Him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for You in great distress.” And He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that He spoke to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them” (Luke 2:48-50). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! “We have a ‘Code Adam!” More than any other announcement I heard over the speakers during my three plus years of working overnights at Walmart, this was the one I dreaded most. “Code Adam” means that a child is missing. And though it usually only took a few minutes until the child was found, that time between the announcement and the order to cancel was extremely nerve wracking. In a “Code Adam” finding the child becomes the top priority of e…

Put Off the Old and Put On the New

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“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:12-15). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! For over three years I worked overnights as a support manager at Wal-Mart. And as you might suspect, the month of December is a real zoo. You have extra customers on the floor at all hours of the night making it even more challenging to get the freight out so it can be stocked. There are longer lines than usual at the checkout counters and service desks. There is extra freight on extra trucks, some of them…

Christmas in the Shadow of the Tree

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“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall crush your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! It is fitting, I suppose, that we speak tonight from the shadow of a tree. It is Christmas Eve, after all, and we Lutherans love our Christmas trees. In fact, it was a Lutheran pastor, Rev. H. C. Schwann, who is credited with putting up the first Christmas tree in an American church in 1851. What a beautiful tree we have here! Bright white lights! Shiny silver and royal blue ornaments! A dazzling star! But the fruit on this tree, though a delight to the eye, is obviously not good for food, nor does it promise to make one wise, like the forbidden fruit of the tree in Eden.  The Lord spoke the words of our text from the shadow of that tree on one of the worst days ever—the day that Adam and Eve fell into sin. God had created the man a…

A Body You Have Prepared for Me

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“Consequently, when Christ came into the world, He said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but a body have You prepared for Me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God, as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book’” (Hebrews 10:5-7). Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! “Frost glistens in the light as it melts from the back of wooly lambs, gleaming and shimmering and dripping as the animals doze. The lambs rise to stretch. They shiver, steam wafting from their warm legs and bellies. They look up expectantly toward a man standing near their gate. He leans on the edge of the pen and looks the herd over carefully, wondering which lambs to feed and which to choose for the morning sacrifice. It is a great and festive day—most holy. And yet, tomorrow he will have to choose again, and so the next day, and the next” (The Luther…

Blessed Are the Unoffended

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“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me” (Luke 7:22-23). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! We live in a day where it seems that everyone is easily offended. Just look at the news or social media. Some people are offended if you say, “Merry Christmas!”, others are offended by “Happy Holidays!” Some are offended by nativity scenes in public places, others are offended by red Starbucks cups that fail to mention Christmas. Some are offended by just about anything said by President Obama or Hillary Clinton, others are just as scandalized by Ben Carson or Ted Cruz. Only Donald Trump seems to be able to offend just about everybody and get more attention and gain popularity. What does it take for someone or something t…