1st Sunday In Advent.................................................November 27, 2022


The Lord Comes in Meekness and Humility to Save Us Now


The Lord Jesus enters Jerusalem “humble, and mounted on a donkey,” riding on “a beast of burden” (Matt. 21:5), as He Himself bears the sins of the world in His body. Now He comes by the ministry of the Gospel to save us from sin, death, the devil and hell. Therefore, we sing, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt. 21:9). For we are called “to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob,” His Holy Church, “that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths” (Is. 2:3). By His Word, we “walk in the light of the Lord” (Is. 2:5). That is to live in love, which “does no wrong to a neighbor” (Rom. 13:10). We “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light,” for “salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Rom. 13:11, 12). Hence, the entire Christian life is a time to wake and watch, “for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matt. 24:42).


2nd Sunday of Advent...................................................December 4, 2022


By the Preaching of Repentance, We Are Prepared for the Coming of the Lord


“John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent’” (Matt. 3:1–2). His preaching of repentance for the forgiveness of sins prepared people for the coming of Christ into the world. St. John’s work was historically complete with the incarnate advent of Jesus, but his vital ministry continues in preaching Law and Gospel. The Son of God has come in the flesh, “a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots” (Is. 11:1), and continues to bear the fruits of righteousness. His good tree of the cross is “a signal for the peoples” (Is. 11:10), by which He calls the nations to repentance. “With the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips” (Is. 11:4), He slays the wicked and brings the dead to life, making sons of Abraham out of lifeless stones. So also the “root of Jesse” comes to us, “even he who arises to rule the Gentiles” (Rom. 15:12), that “we might have hope” and be filled “with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:4, 13).


3rd Sunday of Advent.................................................December 11, 2022


The Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ Brings True Rejoicing, Even Under the Cross


Sometimes life requires the astonishing patience of Job. Like him, we are to rejoice in the midst of affliction, be grounded in repentance under the cross of Christ, and hope relentlessly in His resurrection, that we might see “the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11). In the promise of the Gospel, therefore, “be patient” and “establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7, 8). Like St. John the Baptist, whatever your own kind of prison or suffering may be, call upon Jesus and receive the strength of His Word from those He sends to you. For as “the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up,” so is the Good News of Jesus preached to you also (Matt. 11:5). He comes and restores the fortunes of Zion, His Holy Church, so that “sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Is. 35:10).


Past Services


Last Sunday Of The Church Year.....................November 20, 2022


By Faith We Are Prepared for Christ’s Return


“The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:1–11). The arrival of the bridegroom will be sudden and unexpected. Therefore you are to be watchful and ready like the five wise virgins. “For you know neither the day nor the hour” when the Son of Man is to return. (Matt. 25:1–13). The lamps are the Word of Christ. The oil in the lamps is the Holy Spirit, who works through the Word to create and sustain the flame of faith in Christ. The foolish are those who do not give proper attention to the working of the Holy Spirit in baptism, preaching, and the supper, and so their faith does not endure. The wise, however, are those who diligently attend to these gifts of the Spirit, and who therefore have an abundance of oil. The flame of faith endures to the end. By God’s grace they are received into the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth created by the Lord for the joy of His people (Is. 65:17–25).


22nd Sunday After Trinity........................................November 13, 2022


Walking humbly with our God and forgiving one another


With what shall we come before the Lord (Micah 6:6) who forgives all our sins, and how often shall our fellow Christians sin against us and we forgive them (Matt. 18:21)? Our gracious God on high does not need our “burnt offerings” or “thousands of rams” (Micah 6:6-7), which we could legitimately offer in thanksgiving. He is the Savior who gave His only-begotten Son for our transgression. He offers the fruit of His body, once hanging dead on a cross but now living and giving life in His holy Meal, for the sin of our souls (Micah 6:7). Because He releases us from our enormous debt of sin against Him, we need not imprison our fellow sinners with our lack of love and refusal of forgiveness (Matt. 18:24, 27, 30). As partakers of His grace, we yearn for one another “with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:8). As forgiven sinners, “filled with the fruit of Christ’s righteousness,” our “love may abound more and more, with knowledge and discernment” (Phil. 1:11, 9), for He leads us “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God” (Micah 6:8).


Sunday - All Saints Day...............................................November 6, 2022


All Saints’ Day


Preaching in our churches on All Saints’ Day is always preaching to the saints on earth. This is not only the simple reality, but also the biblical model, since Jesus in today’s Gospel, is describing the life of the saints here on earth. But this day also connects us with the saints in heaven, pictured so vividly in the First Reading from the Revelation to St. John. Appropriately, it is also John who, in the Epistle for All Saints’ Day, makes the connection between the two: “children of God” is what we “are” (1 Jn 3:1), presently, now—wherever we are currently living our eternal life as saints. This, too, is the point of the Collect: “Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You. -

Rev. G. Robert Heimgartner, Emeritus



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Reformation Day..................................................................October 30, 2022


The Son of God Has Set Us Free from Sin and Death by His Grace


“Wisdom is justified by her deeds” (Matt. 11:19), and the true Wisdom of God, Christ Jesus, the incarnate Son, justifies us by His deeds. He prepares His way by the preaching of repentance, but He has suffered the violence of the Law and voluntarily handed Himself over to violent men, that we might eat and drink with Him in His Kingdom and “remain in the house forever” (John 8:35). For He is “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt. 11:19), and He has rescued us by His grace from the slavery of sin and death. By the proclamation of His eternal Gospel “to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people” (Rev. 14:6), “the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law” (Rom. 3:21), “that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). And by hearing the Gospel of Christ Jesus, “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom. 3:25), “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).



St. James of Jerusalem, Brother of Jesus and Martyr....................

October 23, 2022


St. James of Jerusalem, Brother of Jesus and Martyr


“A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household” (Matt. 13:58). James the Just was once offended at Jesus’ “wisdom and … mighty works” (Matt. 13:54). But he came to faith following His resurrection, when Jesus appeared to him (1 Cor. 15:7). He then became a leader of the Early Church in Jerusalem, present at the council recorded in Acts 15. There James recognized from the prophets that Jesus was the Lord “known from of old” and returned to rebuild David’s fallen tent and restore it, “that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name” (Acts 15:16–18). “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2–3). Josephus and other historians record that James was martyred by stoning in the 60s A.D. “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).


18th Sunday After Trinity...............................................October 16, 2022


In Life and Death, Christ Fulfills the Law of God


The Pharisees ask a Law question. Jesus asks a Gospel question. The Pharisees seek to test Jesus in His own words. Jesus seeks to “test” them in the saving reality of who He is as the Messiah (Matt. 22:34–46). The Law requires you to “fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” and to “love the sojouner” (Deut. 10:12–21). Failure to keep the Law perfectly brings judgment. On the other hand, the Gospel brings the grace of God given by Jesus Christ, that you may be blameless in the day of His return (1 Cor. 1:1–9). Jesus is David’s Son yet David’s Lord, true God and true man. He is Love incarnate who fulfilled all the demands of God’s Law on our behalf, that we might be saved from the Law’s condemnation and sanctified in the Gospel’s forgiveness. Thereby we see that “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9).





17th Sunday After Trinity..................................................October 9, 2022


Whoever Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted


“Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence” (Prov. 25:6–14). Rather, take the lowest position at the table. Humble yourself before Him. For your place is not for you to take but for Him to give. Conduct yourself with all lowliness and gentleness, bearing with one another in love (Eph. 4:1–6), that the King may give you glory in the presence of those at the table with you. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:1–11). Is this not the way of Christ? He is the one who took the lowest place, who humbled Himself even to the point of death for us. He is now exalted to the highest place at the right hand of the Father that penitent believers may be exalted together with Him in the resurrection. To the humble at His Supper He says, “Friend, move up higher,” giving you His very body and blood for your forgiveness that you may ascend to take part in the great wedding feast which has no end.



16th Sunday After Trinity..................................................October 2, 2022


Jesus Calls forth Life from Death


A large funeral procession carrying the only son of a widow is confronted by another large procession, Jesus and His followers. Death and Life meet face to face at the gate of the city (Luke 7:11–17). Filled with compassion, Jesus comes into direct contact with our mortality in order to overcome it. He touches the coffin and speaks His creative words of life, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” Jesus does what is neither expected nor requested. For through Christ, God the Father “is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think” (Eph. 3:14–21). Jesus bore our death in His body that we may share in His resurrection. Even as Elijah stretched himself out three times over the Zarephath woman’s son (2 Kings 17:17–24), God stretched Himself out over us in the threefold application of His name in the baptismal water, breathing new and everlasting life into us. “To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”


15th Sunday After Trinity.......................................September 25, 2022


Anxious Bondage vs. Confident Trust


“You cannot serve God and money” (Matt. 6:24–34), for they require two contrary forms of
service. Worry is the worship given to the false god of mammon, an unbelieving anxiousness and
focus on the things of this world. Faith is the worship of the true God, a confident trust that He is
a loving Father who will care for all of our needs in both body and soul. The widow of Zarephath
served God— that is, she believed the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah that the bin of flour
would not be used up nor would the jar of oil run dry (1 Kings 17:8–16). He who feeds the birds
and clothes the flowers will certainly provide for our daily needs. For He has already provided
for our eternal needs, clothing us with Christ’s righteousness in Baptism and feeding us His body
and blood for our forgiveness. With such confidence we are liberated from worry and freed to do
good with our material resources, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal.
5:25–6:10).


Holy Cross Sunday ....................................................September 18, 2022


The Cry of Faith: Lord, Have Mercy


The ten lepers cried out from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:11–19).
Their condition cut them off from God and others. So also do the works of the flesh cut us off
from God and others. “Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal.
5:16–24). Thus we cry out with the lepers, “Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have
mercy,” eagerly seeking His good gifts. Jesus said to the lepers, “Go and show yourselves to the
priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. So too, we walk by faith and not by sight, being
confident of Jesus’ help before we see any evidence of it, trusting that Jesus’ cleansing words of
forgiveness will restore us to wholeness in the resurrection. Let us be as the one leper who
returned to the true High Priest to give Him thanks and glory. For Jesus bore our infirmities in
His sacrifice at Calvary. His words are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh
(Prov. 4:10–23).


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13th SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY...........................September 11, 2022


Jesus Is Our Good Samaritan


The Law cannot help us or give us life. Rather, it confines everyone under sin as wounded and
naked before God (Gal. 3:15–22). So it is that two figures of the Law, the priest and the Levite,
passed by the injured man on the side of the road (Luke 10:23–37). Only the promised Seed of
Abraham can rescue us and make us righteous before God. Only the Samaritan, our Lord Jesus,
had compassion, as did the Samaritans of old (2 Chronicles 28:8–15). He came down to us in our
lost and dying condition, pouring on the oil and wine of the Sacraments. He placed us on His
own animal, bearing our sin and brokenness in His body on the cross to restore us. Jesus brought
us to the inn, that is, the Church, and gave the innkeeper two denarii, that His double forgiveness
might continue to be ministered to us. In this way the Lord, by whose Law we are torn and
stricken, heals us and revives us by His Gospel and raises us up with Himself.


12th Sunday After Trinity ..........................................September 4, 2022

Faith Comes from Hearing


A man who was deaf and therefore also had an impediment in his speech was brought to Jesus (Mark 7:31–37). In the same way, all are by nature deaf toward God and therefore also unable to confess the faith rightly. For “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:9–17). Jesus put His fingers into the man’s ears, and He spat and touched His tongue. Even so in Holy Baptism, water sanctified by the words of Jesus’ mouth is applied to us; and the finger of God, that is, the life–giving Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:4–11) is put into our ears in the hearing of the baptismal Gospel. Jesus’ sighing “Ephphatha” opened the man’s ears, and his tongue was loosed to speak plainly as Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, “In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book” (Is. 29:18–24) So also, He who sighed and breathed His last on the cross for us has given us to hear and believe in Him and has opened our lips that our mouths may declare His praise.




11th Sunday After Trinity...................................................August 28, 2022


The Lord Lifts Up the Lowly


“And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no
regard” (Gen. 4:1–15). For unlike Abel, Cain’s offering did not proceed from a heart that
revered and trusted in the Lord. Thus, the lowly tax collector who prayed, “God, be merciful to
me, a sinner!” was the one who went down to his house justified before God, not the respectable,
outwardly righteous Pharisee who trusted in himself and his own good living (Luke 18:9–14).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of
God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:1–10). The one who penitently
despairs of his own righteousness and relies completely on the atoning mercy of God in Christ is
the one who is declared righteous. For Christ died for our sins and rose again the third day (1
Cor. 15:1–10). Therefore, “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who
humbles himself will be exalted.”



10th Sunday after Trinity ................................................. August 21, 2022

Jesus Weeps for Jerusalem

Our Lord wept over Jerusalem for the destruction that would soon come upon her. For she did
not recognize the time of God’s visitation in Christ, who had come to bring her peace (Luke
19:41–48). Through His prophets God had consistently called His people to turn from their
deceit and false worship. “But My people do not know the judgments of the Lord” (Jer. 8:4–12).
They sought to establish their own righteousness rather than receive Christ’s righteousness
through faith (Rom. 9:30–10:4). So it was that God was in His temple to cleanse it, a precursor to
the once-for-all cleansing from sin which He would accomplish in the temple of His own body
on the cross. God grant us to know the things that make for our peace—His visitation in the
Word and Sacraments—that by the Holy Spirit we may penitently confess “Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor. 12:1–11).



                                     

                                       The Steward’s Shrewdness Sanctified

“The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness” (Luke 16:1–9). The
steward’s shrewdness is praiseworthy for two reasons. First, he knew the master would be
merciful. He trusted that the master would honor the debts he forgave in the master’s name. In
the same way, though we have squandered our heavenly Father’s possessions in selfishness and
sin, Jesus is the Steward who has canceled our debt, knowing that His forgiveness will be
honored by the Father because of the holy cross. Secondly, the steward was shrewd in using oil
and wheat to provide for his earthly welfare. So also do these earthly elements aid us when
pressed into heavenly use in the anointing of baptism and the wheat of the Lord’s Supper. Those
who have the Sacraments will have an eternal home when their earthly home fails. These provide
us aid in times of temptation (1 Cor. 10:6–13). For the Lord is our strength and a shield to all
who trust in Him (2 Sam. 22:26–34).



8th Sunday after Trinity ..................................................... August 7, 2022

Beware of False Prophets

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Matt. 7:15). Deceit has its strength in masquerading as the truth. False prophets speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord (Jer. 23:16-29). They deny the judgment of the Lord, speaking peace to the unrepentant, when in truth there is condemnation and wrath. "You will recognize them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:20). The "fruits" of a true prophet are not outward righteousness or success but faithfulness in proclaiming the Word of the Lord. This is the will of the Father in heaven, that pastors take heed to the flock, the Father's adopted ones (Rom. 8:12-17), warning them against the wolves and their lies, and shepherding the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:27-38). For indeed, the cross is that good tree bearing good fruit-namely, the body and blood of Christ, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.


7th Sunday after Trinity ........................................................... July 31, 2022

Jesus Restores Paradise and Feeds Us Freely

In the Garden of Eden, our first parents received food freely from the gracious hand of God, apart from any burdensome work (Gen 2:7-17). But after the fall, food would be received only through toil and labor. The curse declared, "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground . . ." (Gen. 3:19). In other words, "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). But into this wilderness world came Jesus the Messiah to restore creation. Having compassion on the weary multitudes, He renewed the bounty of Eden on the third day, freely granting an abundance of bread to the 4,000 (Mark 8:1-9). So also our Lord Jesus, having endured the burden of our sin, was raised on the third day to bring us back to Paradise. He now miraculously turns the bread of death into the Bread of Life in the Sacrament, giving you His very body and blood for your forgiveness. For "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).


6th Sunday after Trinity .......................................................... July 24, 2022

Our Only Hope Is in Christ's Righteousness

"Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:20). God demands nothing less than perfection and holiness from you in regard to His commandments (Ex. 20:1-17). Your only hope, then, is not in your own goodness but in the goodness of Christ, who did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them for you. In Christ, your righteousness does indeed exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. For you have been baptized into Christ's death and your sinful nature crucified. Therefore, he who has died has been freed from sin (Rom. 6:1-11). You are now raised with Christ to walk in newness of life and to share in His resurrection on the Last Day. Christ has brought you through the baptismal sea "out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (Ex. 20:2). Therefore, "consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11).


5th Sunday after Trinity ........................................................... July 17, 2022

Jesus Makes Fishers of Men

The Lord called fishermen to be fishers of men (Luke 5:1-11). The net they would use is the message of the cross, which is foolishness and a stumbling block to the world (1 Cor. 1:18-25). The power of God to save is not in spectacular signs like wind and fire and earthquakes (1 Kings 19:11-21), nor is it to be found in human intelligence and wisdom. The power of God to save comes in the still, small voice of the preaching of Christ crucified. In worldly darkness the disciples could catch nothing. But in the light of Christ, whose Word was attached to the water, the boats were filled with fish. So it is that in Baptism you have been drawn in to the ship of the Church. Though the nets are breaking and some who hear the Word do not believe, pastors continue to cast the net of the Gospel and the Sacraments, that Christians may abide in the boat of the Church and that we may be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:8-15).


4th Sunday after Trinity ........................................................... July 10, 2022

Christ's Mercy Is Ours to Show to Others

"Be merciful, even as your Father also is merciful" (Luke 6:36-42). The old Adam in us wants to condemn and seek vengeance. But the Lord says, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay" (Rom. 12:14-21). To condemn, to avenge yourself, is to put yourself in the place of God. It is to fail to trust that He is just. Ultimately, it is to disbelieve that Jesus suffered the full vengeance for all wrongs. Only Christ is merciful as the Father is merciful. He is the one who overcame all evil with the good of His cross, forgiving even His executioners. Jesus is our Joseph, who comforts us with words of pardon and reconciliation (Gen. 50:15-21). He is the One who does not condemn but gives life that runs over. Only through faith in Christ are we sons of the Father-being merciful, forgiving, doing good to our enemies. For in Christ we know that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:8-13).

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3rd Sunday after Trinity ............................................................. July 3, 2022

Jesus Receives Sinners

"This man receives sinners and eats with them" (Luke 15:2). The Pharisees' statement of judgment against Jesus is in fact a proclamation of Gospel truth. For our God is one who delights in mercy, who casts all our sins into the depths of the sea through the cross (Micah 7:18-20). "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15). Those who refuse to be counted as sinners also refuse Jesus who came only for sinners. Those like the older son (Luke 15:11-32), who think they are righteous of themselves, will not join in the heavenly celebration over the sinner who repents and so remain outside of the Father's house. Let us therefore be on guard against self-righteously trusting in our own merits. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you" (1 Peter 5:6). Rejoice that Jesus receives sinners like us and that He still sits at table with us in the Holy Supper, bestowing His forgiveness and life.

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Presentation of the Augsburg Conf. (Obs.) ............ June 26, 2022

The Augsburg Confession, the principal doctrinal statement of the theology of Martin Luther and the Lutheran reformers, was written largely by Phillip Melanchthon. At its heart it confesses the justification of sinners by grace alone, through faith alone, for the sake of Christ alone. Signed by leaders of many German cities and regions, the confession was formally presented to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at Augsburg, Germany, on June 25, 1530. A few weeks later Roman Catholic authorities rejected the Confession, which Melanchthon defended in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1531). In 1580 the Unaltered Augsburg Confession was included in the Book of Concord.


1st Sunday after Trinity .......................................................... June 19, 2022

Faith Trusts in Christ for Life Eternal

When the beggar Lazarus died, he was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. For he was truly Abraham's seed. Like Abraham, he believed in the Lord, and the Lord "counted it to him as righteousness" (Gen. 15:6). The name Lazarus means "God is my help." The unnamed rich man, on the other hand, did not love and trust in God. For he evidently cared little for the beggar at his gate. And "he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20). He who loved and trusted in possessions and prestige died and was in torments in Hades (Luke 16:19-31). Repentance and faith are worked only through Moses and the prophets-that is, the Word of God, for it points us to Christ. Only through His death and resurrection are we brought the comfort of life everlasting.


Trinity Sunday .............................................................................. June 12, 2022

The Holy Trinity Reveals Himself to Sinners

When Isaiah beheld the glory of the Lord, he cried out "Woe is me!" For the sinner cannot stand in the presence of a holy God and live (Is. 6:1-7). But God the Father lifted up His Son Jesus for us on the cross, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. This eternal life of Christ is given us according to the Holy Spirit's good pleasure in Baptism. "Unless one is born [again] of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). To sinners in fear of death, the messengers of God place on our lips the living body and blood of Christ and speak His words of absolution, "Your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for" (Is. 6:7). Having received forgiveness and life from the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit, we join with the angels in praising the blessed Trinity, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!" (Is. 6:3). "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:33-36).


7th Sunday of Easter ............................................................... May 29, 2022

Jesus Is with Us in His Holy Christian Church

On the night when He was betrayed, Jesus interceded for His Church - for His apostles and all who believe in Him through their word - that all of His disciples "may become perfectly one" in the Father and the Son (John 17:21–23). For Jesus became flesh and dwells among us in order to reveal the Father and His name, to share with us the glory of His righteousness, and to bring us to the Father in Himself. As the Father loved the Son from "before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24), so He loves the whole world (John 17:23, 26). Through the apostolic witness to the Baptism, cross and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:21–22), the Lord gathers His disciples throughout the world "with one accord" as one Body in Christ (Acts 1:14). And so with one voice and by one Spirit, His Bride prays, "Come" (Rev. 22:17). And He comes to us. He gives us "the water of life without price" to wash our robes and quench our thirst (Rev. 22:17); He feeds us from "the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit" (Rev. 22:2).


Feast of Pentecost ..................................................................... June 5, 2022

The Holy Spirit Gives Peace

Following the flood, Noah's descendants failed to spread out and fill the earth as God had spoken. Rather, they exalted themselves; with "one language and the same words" (Gen. 11:1), they spoke proudly and arrogantly. The Lord humbled them by confusing "the language of all the earth," dividing and dispersing the people (Gen. 11:9). That dispersal was reversed on Pentecost Day (the 50th day of Easter), when God caused the one Gospel of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to be preached in a multitude of languages. "At this sound the multitude came together" (Acts 2:6), for the preaching of Christ is the primary work of the Holy Spirit, whereby He gathers people from all nations into one Church. The Holy Spirit teaches and brings to our remembrance the words of Jesus, which are the words of the Father who sent Him. These words bestow forgiveness and peace to those who keep and hold on to them in love for Jesus. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:27).


Feast of the Ascension ........................................................... May 26, 2022

Christ Ascended Is with You Always

In His resurrection, the Lord Jesus presented Himself alive to the apostles, "appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). Then He ascended to the right hand of the Father, not orphaning His Church, but filling all things in heaven and on earth, and giving gifts to His disciples. So today, He continues to preach "repentance and forgiveness of sins" (Luke 24:47) through "the apostles whom he had chosen" (Acts 1:2), even "to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Jesus comes among us today by His Word and Spirit, whom He pours out upon "the church, which is his body" (Eph. 1:22–23). In His Church, He blesses us with forgiveness, lifts us up in His hands and seats us with Himself "in the heavenly places" (Eph. 1:20).


6th Sunday of Easter ................................................................ May 22, 2022

We Pray to the Father in Jesus' Name

"In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Jesus has opened the way to the Father so that "whatever you ask of the Father" in Jesus' name, "he will give it to you" (John 16:23). We pray, therefore, in the confidence that we will be heard and answered, that our "joy may be full" (John 16:24). We pray because the Gospel has been preached to us and the Lord has opened our hearts to believe the Gospel (Acts 16:10, 14). We pray in the name of Jesus because we have been baptized into Him, as Lydia and her household were baptized (Acts 16:15). We have been healed, and we live and walk and pray in newness of life (John 5:8–9). For we stand upon the firm foundation "of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Rev. 21:14), and our temple is "the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb" (Rev. 21:22).


5th Sunday of Easter ................................................................ May 15, 2022

Jesus Turns Sorrow into Joy

On earth "you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy" (John 16:20). Already the Spirit grants you peace and joy through the forgiveness of your sins. For by the cross of Christ, "God has granted repentance that leads to life" (Acts 11:18). His Gospel is "a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household" (Acts 11:14). He gives freely "from the spring of the water of life" (Rev. 21:6), "and death shall be no more" (Rev. 21:4). He dwells with His people, adorning His Church as a bride for her husband, "making all things new" (Rev. 21:5). Therefore, as the Son of Man is glorified by His cross, "and God is glorified in him" (John 13:31), so He is glorified in us by our "love for one another" (John 13:35), which His Spirit works in us by His grace.


4th Sunday of Easter ................................................................... May 8, 2022

The Good Shepherd Cares for His Sheep

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came from the Father and became flesh among us in order to rescue us, His sheep. He laid down His life for us and took it up again in order to give us eternal life. By the preaching of His Gospel, He calls His sheep to Himself and keeps them with Him forever. As they hear His voice and follow Him, "they will never perish" (John 10:28), for "no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand" (John 10:29). In the same way, faithful pastors (literally, "shepherds") "care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood" (Acts 20:28), "testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Therefore, with all the company of heaven, the Good Shepherd gathers His flock in worship, as they cry: "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Rev. 7:10).


3rd Sunday of Easter ................................................................... May 1, 2022

The Good Shepherd Feeds His Lambs

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain" (Rev. 5:12), who by His cross has conquered sin and death. With His blood, He has "ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Rev. 5:9). This same Lord Jesus visits people of all nations and calls them to Himself by the Gospel, even as He "was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead" (John 21:14). He restored Simon Peter to faith and life and commissioned him to feed His lambs and tend His sheep (John 21:15–17). Likewise, He revealed Himself to Saul of Tarsus and brought him to repentance, so that the persecutor of Jesus might carry and confess His name "before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15).


2nd Sunday of Easter .............................................................. April 24, 2022

That You May Believe and Have Life in His Name

On the Lord's Day, St. John the apostle was given a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. He is the Living One, "the firstborn of the dead" (Rev. 1:5). He died for all people, and behold, He is alive forevermore! Therefore, He has "the keys of Death and Hades" (Rev. 1:18). For His death atoned for sin and conquered death, and in His resurrection He opened the kingdom of heaven to us. The "sharp two-edged sword" of His mouth (Rev. 1:16) calls you to "believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God," that by such faith "you may have life in his name" (John 20:31). To that end, He sends His ministers of the Word, as the Father sent Him, "to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31).


Easter Sunday ............................................................................... April 17, 2022

Christ's Resurrection Is the Firstfruits of the New Creation

The Lord has promised to "create new heavens and a new earth" (Is. 65:17), in which His people shall abide in peace and joy. That new creation has begun in the bodily resurrection of Christ Jesus. All the baptized belong to that new creation. Reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, they are "the offspring of the blessed of the Lord" (Is. 65:23). The Lord rejoices and is glad in them; He hears and answers their prayers. For "if in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied" (1 Cor. 15:19). But Christ Jesus has been raised, "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Cor. 15:20). We may be "perplexed about this" (Luke 24:4), perhaps even frightened and brought to our knees, because it seems like an "idle tale" (Luke 24:11). But faith clings to the Word of Christ and finds His resurrected body - not in the tomb, but in His Holy Supper.


Easter Sunrise Service ............................................................ April 17, 2022

Our Redeemer Lives!

In Adam, all die because all sin. The children of that first gardener have been driven out of Paradise and return to the dust whence they were taken. But now another Gardener has come, who has made His bed in the dust of the earth, and in His resurrection He has opened paradise for all the children of Adam. For "death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:54), and God "gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:57). So we each confess that "my Redeemer lives" and "in my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:25, 26). As He has called us out of darkness into light and wiped away our tears, we behold Him now by faith and recognize His voice in the Gospel. We enter His tomb by the death of Holy Baptism, and we also share His resurrection. For as surely as He has risen, so we also one day "must rise from the dead" (John 20:9).


Easter Vigil ....................................................................................... April 16, 2022

We Live and Love in the Peace and Promise of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus

The disciples of Christ Jesus, like St. Joseph of Arimathea, deal in love with the Body of Christ, in the sure and certain promise of the Resurrection (St. Matt. 27:57–60). For they also remember what He said, that after three days He would rise, though His enemies conspire against Him and seek to thwart Him (St. Matt. 27:63). Indeed, we find a type and promise of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ already in the Prophet Daniel. For he was blameless and faithful, and "an excellent spirit was in him" (Daniel 6:3–4, 22). Although he was accused and delivered over to death, the Lord preserved his life and raised him up in righteousness, "because he had trusted in his God" (Daniel 6:23). So let us also pray and give thanks to God (Daniel 6:10), finding peace and Sabbath rest in Jesus Christ. And knowing that "the end of all things is at hand," let us be "self-controlled and sober-minded," and "keep loving one another earnestly" (1 Peter 4:7–8).