Second Sunday after Christmas · Luke 2:40-52 · January 4, 2009


Second Sunday after Christmas · Luke 2:40-52 · January 4, 2009

By Gerhard Bode Liturgical Setting The Gospel reading for the Second Sunday after Christmas again locates Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the Jerusalem temple—twelve years after Jesus’ presentation there as an infant. The boy—Jesus’ return to his “Father’s house” re-identifies him as the promised Messiah in the person of God’s own Son, and anticipates the ..


First Sunday after Christmas · Luke 2:22-40 · December 28, 2008


First Sunday after Christmas · Luke 2:22-40 · December 28, 2008

By Gerhard Bode Liturgical Setting The Gospel reading for the First Sunday after Christmas observes the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple. Textual Comments 2:22-23 After Mary’s forty-day purification is completed, she goes to the temple with Joseph and the infant Jesus. The couple offers sacrifices in keeping with the law, but the centerpiece ..


Advent 2 · Mark 1:1-8 · December 7, 2008


Advent 2 · Mark 1:1-8 · December 7, 2008

By Jeffrey A. Oschwald Advent 2 presents us with the New Testament doorkeeper par excellence: John. This should make it very easy for the preacher to connect this week’s message with the previous week’s and so build on the theme. Instead of using the same format for these “Helps,” however, I would like to focus ..


Advent 1 · Mark 13:24-37 · November 30, 2008


Advent 1 · Mark 13:24-37 · November 30, 2008

By Jeffrey A. Oschwald One of my greatest Advent frustrations over the years has been an ongoing encounter with a fundamental misunderstanding of the season’s purpose. Whether introducing the season to people unfamiliar with it, searching for materials to use in the classroom, or planning our own family Advent celebrations, I have for years seen, and ..


Proper 11 · Romans 8:18-27 · July 20, 2008


Proper 11 · Romans 8:18-27 · July 20, 2008

By William W. Schumacher, The previous text (Ro 8:12-17) presented us with “Life by the Spirit of Christ.” The present text, the second of three consecutive readings from this chapter, encourages us under the theme of “Hope in the Midst of Suffering.” Paul does not pretend that faith in Christ removes life’s difficulties. In fact, ..


Proper 8 · Romans 7:1-13 · June 29, 2008


Proper 8 · Romans 7:1-13 · June 29, 2008

By Anthony Cook, Textual Comments: In the section of Romans preceding this text (6:12-23), Paul illustrates our relationship with God as both instruments and slaves of righteousness, but in this section, the opening illustration is that of marriage. In the same way that a bride is bound to her husband until death, so too we are ..


Proper 7 · Romans 6:12-23 · June 22, 2008


Proper 7 · Romans 6:12-23 · June 22, 2008

By Anthony Cook, Introduction to the Sixth-Eighth Sundays after Pentecost As I began to prepare homiletical helps for Propers 7-9,I realized that the three sequential texts comprise the central portion of a larger section of Romans normally identified as Romans 6:1-8:39. This section transitions from the previous section, Romans 5:12-21, which contrasts Adam’s disobedience and its ..


Proper 6 · Romans 5:6-15 · June 15, 2008


Proper 6 · Romans 5:6-15 · June 15, 2008

By William W. Schumacher, This pericope is an interesting selection for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the assigned verses for this Sunday’s Epistle lesson combine two rather different thoughts. Verses 6-11 develop the theme of peace with God through justification, introduced in the beginning of the chapter. Verse 12 starts a new idea, vividly ..


Proper 4 · Romans 3:21-28 · June 1, 2008


Proper 4 · Romans 3:21-28 · June 1, 2008

By William W. Schumacher, It is always a challenge to preach on a very familiar text in such a way that people actually hear the message afresh. Familiarity breeds, if not contempt, then complacency and inattention. For Lutherans, these verses from the third chapter of Romans are perilously familiar, and both the preacher and his hearers ..