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 ..
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 ..
William W. Schumacher, The story of Abraham (or Abram, as he is called in the parts of Genesis to which Paul refers) shows that God’s promises are received by faith. By pointing to the patriarch, Paul underscores that everything depends on what God says, on His word of promise. The part of the Abraham story ..
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 ..
By Leopoldo A. Sánchez M. The apostle Paul had long planned to visit the brethren in Rome who had heard the Gospel from other Christian preachers (1:13). When Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, he had yet to deliver a collection to the poor Jewish Christians in Jerusalem before making the long-awaited trip to the ..
By Leopoldo A. Sánchez M. On Holy Trinity Sunday, it is tempting to find in Luke’s portrayal of the life of the Jerusalem community, where all brothers and sisters confess the same apostolic teaching and share all things in common, an analogy of the three divine persons in communion with one another who share the same ..
By Leopoldo A. Sánchez M. Some have referred to the Acts of the Apostles as the “Acts of the Holy Spirit.” However, neither tide does full justice to the focus Luke wants to give to the risen Christ as the mediator of the Spirit of the Father to the apostolic church and through her to ..
By Charles P. Arand, “On the Prowl” Peter portrays an aspect of the Christian life that may sound more than a little scary. “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour.” This does not portray the Christian life in rosy colors as one of increasing peace and prosperity. Instead it ..
By Charles P. Arand, “There’s A New Lord in Town” Ascension Day is included as one of the milestone events in the grand narrative of the Gospel as set forth by the Apostles and Nicene Creeds. And yet, it doesn’t seem to receive its due among Lutherans. Is it decreasing in importance? Ascension Day seems to ..
By Thomas E. Manteufel, In this Easter season we hear the apostle Peter exhorting the Christians to live righteously, turning from evil and doing good, seeking peace and pursuing it (1 Pe 3:8-12). In doing this he wants us to look at: Jesus Christ, the Guide to Right Living I. The followers of Christ are ..
By Erik Herrmann, Easter is the start of something new: the resurrection of Jesus is the dawn of new creation. As Carl Michaelson puts it, Jesus is the “hinge of history.” In Him the story of the world has made a decisive turn; indeed, He is the fulcrum upon which history turns. The First Epistle of ..
By David I. Lewis, Introduction: In the three year lectionary the Fourth Sunday of Easter is also designated “Good Shepherd Sunday” with readings from John 10 as the Gospel text dispersed over the three years. Today’s Epistle is read on this Sunday perhaps especially because of verse 25 which does relate to this theme—”For you were ..
By Arthur E. Graudin, Textual Considerations: The words “judges each one according to each one’s deeds” (1:17) (ESV) are a reminder of the final judgment described by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46. Good deeds do not earn salvation but are the evidence of faith. The words εv φοβω (1:17) have been translated “with fear” (ESV), “in fear” ..
By Glenn A. Nielsen, Good Hopes that Die; The Better Hope that Lives Hope is good. In a book by John Ortberg (If You Want to Walk on the Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001], 159), he cites medical research that studied men after they had had their first ..
By Jeffrey A. Gibbs, This well-known reading from Colossians presents two (at least!) opportunities for mis-interpretation in our present context. The first might be called an overspiritualizing of the reading. The second would be a moralizing of the text. I will offer brief comments on the text itself, and then speak to each of these ..