Spark your thoughts for January 7, 2024! Tune in to “Lectionary Kick-start” for a discussion about the texts for the baptism of our Lord
By Robert Kolb I am not particularly fond of John the Baptist. It is not his strange clothes or his strange diet that puts me off. I know lots of people with strange clothing eating strange foods. His threatening me with fire is the reason I would rather avoid John. Fire hurts, a long time. ..
By Jeffrey A. Oschwald This pericope has all the dangers of a familiar text: we recall parts of it perfectly but may not remember how those parts all fit together. The themes of this passage are, no doubt, regular themes within our preaching. This day, however, can provide us with an opportunity to present this passage as something ..
Editor’s Note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, October 2003. By Thomas Manteufel It can be exciting to meet a famous personality. In this Scripture text, God, by the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, introduces someone whom he wants his people to meet. Behold! Look! He calls out in the original Hebrew. See the ..
By Henry Rowold There are fewer occasions more pleasant for the family of God than baptism. For an adult, it marks a capstone of growth in faith and identity. For an infant, it marks, in the presence of family, initial steps of faith and growth as a Christian child of God. For both, baptism brings ..
by Jeffrey Kloha Perhaps no passage bears as much gravitas—and controversy—as Genesis 1:1. In our context, the text will immediately bring to mind the modernist “science vs. faith” controversy. The philosophical and cultural issues that prevent hearing this text are many, on both sides. And the exegetical difficulties pile up in this short section; the meaning ..
by Dale A. Meyer Still Waters Run Deep Introduction: Over time you get to know some people well enough to know how they’ll react. You have a good idea how friends, family, and co-workers will react in certain situations. Some people you know keep a calm composure on the outside but inside are deeply intense. ..
By Reed Lessing “He Only Has Eyes For You!” Overview of the text The verb יצר creates an inclusio around Isaiah 43:1-7, as it appears in 43:1b and 7b. In the middle is Yahweh’s love for his people: “Because you are precious in my eyes, (and) valuable and I, I love you” (43:4). In order to ..
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 ..