The Sower_van Gogh_sketch

The Sower

Mark 4 is filled with parables about sowing, and the Gospel text for today consists of two of them. Unlike the first parable (vvs 3-9) these parables are not about the soil but rather the one who sows. After He has explained the first parable, Jesus transitions to our text: “Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? And not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.… Read the rest

crucifixion of Jesus Christ outside the city gate

Christ Killed Death For You

Jesus loves you.  Jesus is for you every day.  Only because Jesus hung on the cross and rose from the dead for you are you able to see in faith what he has done for you.  Only with your closest relatives and fellow members of the body of Christ do you ever come close to knowing what it means to have someone be “for you” and love you as much as Christ loves you. Read the rest

John 3.16 Jesus, Nicodemus and the bronze serpent

“So must the Son of Man be lifted up”

Nicodemus came to see Jesus under the cover of night. He was a leader of the Jews, so he couldn’t risk coming to see Jesus—their perceived enemy—during the day when other Jewish leaders might see him. Despite the railing of the other Jewish leaders, Nicodemus knew that Jesus was not the enemy of the Israelites because no one could do the things that Jesus did unless He was sent by God. However, Nicodemus didn’t understand what Jesus meant when He spoke of being born again, i.e., being born of water and the Spirit.  … Read the rest


The 16th Sunday after Pentecost – September 28, 2014 – Psalm 25

“Remember not the sins of my youth…” Vs. 7  The psalmist gives voice to a prayer with which many of us can identify. As a life-long sinner, I know, that the sins of my youth are as near as yesterday and will be just as near tomorrow. I need to be taught again and again in the way of the Lord. I need instruction daily on the Lord’s steadfast love and mercy. Thank God that I have a preacher to put such a word in my ears as he delivers Jesus Christ crucified and him alone.… Read the rest

Mt 18.12-14 LOST SHEEP FAMOUS PIC untitled

Growing–not shrinking–the Herd

Jesus Christ became incarnate, died on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven to reconcile His creatures–His baptized “children” of all ages–to God, their creator, and usher them into His kingdom for all eternity. At times, however, it seems like the church is more about shrinking the herd in God’s kingdom than being His instruments to make it grow! Some synods go on a “witch hunt” from time to time to get rid of people who disagree with them.… Read the rest


“Who do you say that I am?”

The lectionary splits this text over two weeks, but let’s live in the moment and experience it all together, like it happened.  “Who do you say that I am?”  “Well,” think the disciples, “what should we say?  Some say you’re Elijah.  Some say you are John the Baptist.”  But Jesus pushes harder.  “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter instantly blurts out, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Wow! If that isn’t enough to blow you away Jesus says Peter didn’t figure this out by himself but rather it has been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit.  … Read the rest

Mt 14.22ff__ArtBook__043_043__JesusWalkingOnTheWater____

“Take heart! I am with you always!”

We all face challenges every single day of our life. As Scott Peck wrote, “Life is difficult. You have not been singled out for persecution!” A young couple loses their still-born baby at eight months. A soldier discovers he has a heart condition that might bring his career to a premature end. After 60 years of marriage a man dies and his widow is left alone to grieve and find a new rhythm and purpose for her life.… Read the rest

lord is my fortress

Your God comes down deep in the flesh to deliver you.



David, the composer of this psalm, knew he was a “goner”.  His enemies—Saul and his armies—had surrounded him.  David was as good as dead; nothing lay before him but the grave.  Yet his Lord heard his prayer.  The Lord came down (vs. 9).  The Lord delivered him.  (cf. Ex. 3:7-8)  Notice where David locates his help:  It’s all located in the Lord.  In the helplessness of death, David has no strength but the Lord is his strength. … Read the rest


The Scepter of Wickedness

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
July 27, 2014 – Psalm 125
“the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous” Vs. 3
Immoveable, that’s how the psalm depicts those who trust in the Lord: immoveable like a mountain. Not any mere mountain, this mountain is Zion, Jerusalem, the Lord’s holy hill. Where the Lord rules, wickedness has no authority. Oh, it may still have power but it has no authority. Wickedness, without a “scepter,” has no ruling authority, only a besetting power.

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mt 13 parable-of-the-sower (hand)

The Sower went out to sow

Jesus brought grace and truth into the world, but the world didn’t know what to do with Him or His announcement that God forgives your sins and reckons the gift of faith as righteousness.  They were used to the misunderstanding that the law saves those who keep it and the misconception that one can actually keep the law!  Many opposed the Gospel of salvation that Jesus preached.  Eventually they had Jesus crucified on a tree outside the city gates.  … Read the rest