By Gerhard Bode The Epiphany season highlights the revelation of Jesus as Savior to the world. The Gospel reading for this Sunday continues the identification of Jesus as God’s own Son and the promised Messiah, with a focus on Jesus as one who speaks and acts with divine authority. At the same time Jesus’ authority ..
By Francis C. Rossow Sermon notes 1. Like our text, the Epistle for this Sunday (1 Cor 7:29-31) has something to say about time. Paul’s comment that “the time is short” echoes the urgency of our Lord’s announcement, “The time has come” (v. 15)—the only difference being that Paul is speaking of the quantity of ..
By Robert Kolb Context Jesus has begun to gather his disciples. John the Baptist’s advertising of this “Lamb of God” has attracted the curious (1:15-37). Simon and Andrew have come to Jesus, and Simon has already begun to experience what it means when Jesus takes over a person’s life. Jesus changed his name, gave him a ..
By William W. Schumacher Jesus Christ, the Son of God—that is who Mark identifies in the opening tide verse of his gospel (1:1). As such, of course, Jesus was in no personal need of the “repentance and the forgiveness of sins” attached to John’s baptism (1:4). Yet, there he is, going down into the water ..
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 ..
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 ..
By Jeffrey A. Oschwald Year Β is far and away the most evangelically diverse Adventtide of the three-year series. Years A and C are devoted entirely to their respective Gospels, Matthew and Luke. In Year B, on the other hand, we have readings from every Gospel except Matthew (whose Gospel does provide the reading for ..
By Jeffrey A. Oschwald The Gospel for Advent 3 from John seems to overlap extensively with the previous Sunday’s Gospel from Mark. Both provide an introduction to John the Baptist, and both describe details of his ministry. Our goal this week, then, will be to discover the ways in which this text builds upon the ..
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 ..
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 ..
By Travis J. Scholl Is there any better way to preach on the last Sunday of the church year than to preach Christ “raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (v. 20)? This pericope falls in the middle of Paul’s great resurrection chapter. What precedes it is his theological ..
By Travis J. Scholl “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you” (v. 1). Indeed, we do not need to be told that our world is in crisis. Global and local events cascade into a rapid succession of actions and reactions. Some of ..
By William W. Schumacher, We sketched a connected theme in the previous two lessons, both of which dealt with the struggle of faith in a fallen world. The first focused on “Life by the Spirit of Christ,” and the second celebrated “Hope in the Midst of Suffering.” This third of our consecutive readings turns our eyes ..
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, ..
By William W. Schumacher, The texts for Propers 10-12 are consecutive readings from the eighth chapter of Romans, closely related thematically, and therefore can naturally be grouped as a three-week sermon series. All three texts deal profoundly and realistically with a common theme: The struggle of faith in a fallen world. The first part, following this ..
By Anthony Cook, Textual Comments: Proper 9 presents a sobering reminder of the Christian’s constant struggle to walk in the newness of life. The reader can hear the anguish in Paul’s voice, “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against ..