By Jeff Gibbs This lection from John 16 shows how important it is to first interpret what a text meant before one can take in hand the question of what it means. These words of Jesus address his disciples in the upper room the night that he was betrayed, the day before he was crucified, ..
By Mark Rockenbach We have done no act of love, at any time, in any way to God (Is 53:6, Rom 3:10-12, 1 Jn 4:10). The love between us and God began with God and not with us. For the narcissist this might be difficult to accept. But consider what it means to be narcissistic: ..
By Todd Jones We all like to be a part of a winning team. Up to this point in the book of Acts, the church was the winning team. Yes, there had been arrests and there had been threats. However, the believers were bold, public preaching was well received, and the harvest was bountiful. The nature of “winning” ..
By Charles Arand The last chapters of Revelation provide a fitting bookend to the first two chapters of Genesis. It moves from the first creation (Gn 1–2) to the new creation (Rv 21–22). In this regard, a preliminary note is in order. Our text speaks of the first heaven and earth as passing away. It ..
By Andrew Bartelt Textual Notes Verse 26: The pericope is framed by the actions of “messenger of the Lord” (v. 26) and the “spirit of the Lord” (v. 39). The “mal’ak yhwh” emphasizes the special presence and activity of God, giving witness to God’s plan and purpose in Christ. Like the commands to the OT ..
by Charles Arand “And That’s the Rest of the Story” [This text provides an excellent opportunity for instruction on the Trinity. The following provides a potential pattern for how the sermon could be constructed. It moves from our knowledge of God in creation to our knowledge of the Father through Jesus Christ to the trinitarian ..
By Henry Gerike The Great Fifty Days of Easter continue as the Church explores how it stays alive. Christ’s resurrection certainly makes us alive. To remain alive in Christ is to stay connected to him through his Word and the Sacraments. The idea of the vineyard and the vine is not new; it was already ..
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 ..