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 ..


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 10 · Romans 8:12-17 · July 13, 2008


Proper 10 · Romans 8:12-17 · July 13, 2008

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 ..


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 ..