By Joel Elowsky Crowds are always following Jesus looking for something. These crowds come from everywhere, not just the locals, and they’re filled with expectation. He always takes their expectations and transforms them into something more significant than they perhaps knew they needed. His Sermon on the Mount is a classic example. He ascends a mountain ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, January 1988. By Francis C. Rossow Our modern rockets are useful for other than scientific and military purposes. In addition, they suggest a profound spiritual truth. It is characteristic of rockets to go through multiple stages. At some point after the initial liftoff, the ..
By Erik Herrmann The celebration of saints has a checkered history in the church: raucous festivals around martyrs’ graves, prayers to saints to escape various kinds of sufferings, fantastical stories of their lives, and even trust in their merits. The reformers in the sixteenth century were concerned about these abuses and how such focus on the saints could supplant preaching ..
By Kent Burreson Looking Forward to the Family Reunion Certain feast days in the church calendar have a decidedly baptismal focus: Epiphany, the Baptism of our Lord, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, Pentecost, the Presentation of our Lord, and . . . All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day focuses upon the lives of all ..
By Joel Biermann Opportunities to preach on the Apocalypse are rare enough, but when presented with a text as powerful and beautiful as this, one should not pass it up. Not only is the imagery rich and vivid, but the gospel impact of the text is overwhelming. Deftly employing potent rhetorical tools, the narrative of ..
By Bruce M. Hartung Edward Blair suggested that Matthew’s understanding of salvation centered on “knowing, believing, being, and doing.”1 I have found that center point to be very helpful in meditating on, studying, and preaching on Matthean texts. Expounding on this, Blair states, “The disciple must be inwardly good, not externally correct . . . ..
by Kent Burreson Getting to Know the White-Clad Relatives The central question of chapter 7 in John’s vision, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” reminds me of the family gatherings of my youth. Even with the name Burreson—a small Norwegian clan, few in number—at the bi-annual reunion in ..
By Jeff Gibbs I would suggest that the preacher not try to “cover” the entirety of the Beatitudes; there’s too much here! For a relatively lengthy exposition, see Gibbs, Matthew 1:1-11:1 (CPH, 2006), 234-56. Below are only a few exegetical and homiletical suggestions. One of the major views regarding the structure of the Beatitudes sees 5:3-6 ..