By Robert Kolb Sometimes it seems as if our lives have wandered into one of the survival shows on television and we are about to be eliminated, or at least have questions about lasting longer than a few more weeks or months. Too many false calculations, too many wrong-headed decisions. Paul tells us in this lesson that this ..
By Kent Burreson The Just Way of God “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” This phrase leads Yahweh through Ezekiel to address Israel’s whining as they blame Yahweh for their woe and suffering in the destruction of the land and in the exile under Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar. The preacher is encouraged ..
By Paul Philp A lot has happened since Joseph’s brothers left him for dead in the desert. The brothers have been reunited with Joseph, and now their father, Jacob, has died. It is as if they are back in the desert staring into the pit where they left Joseph dying. Joseph’s brothers are face-to-face with the guilt of their ..
By David Wollenburg I actually cringe every time I encounter this text. It isn’t that I don’t like it, or don’t understand what is being said. It is, rather, that the message is too clear. It is God’s warning, repeated time and again, that we ignore his word to our own peril. And it isn’t just for us preachers; ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, July 1999. By Ernest Bernet On the second Sunday after Pentecost we heard Jeremiah 28:5–9. Here the prophet Jeremiah must deal with the false prophecies of prosperity and peace instead of the pending judgment that he foretold. (See Concordia Journal 40:2, 173–174.) Now, on this Eleventh ..
By Francis C. Rossow This passage is about the end times in which the gospel is not only present (as it is in all such readings) but in which it predominates. Not only does the gospel occupy more space in this reading than is customary, but the overall impression conveyed is a bright and positive one—despite the stark reminder ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, July 1999. By Robert W. Weise Salvation Is for All I. Introduction A. Most people detest any form of discrimination or exclusionary activity. It is no fun being left out of the group or not being invited to the birthday or graduation party, as well as ..
By David R. Maxwell This text emphasizes the transcendence of God. The question for the preacher is, “Why do we need to know that God is transcendent? How does God’s transcendence function in our theology and our lives?” In the context of Job, God’s transcendence serves to undermine any claim we may have on God. We like to ..
By David Schmitt In 1538, the Dance of Death made its way into the Bible. In their printing of the Old Testament, the Treschel Brothers included Life after the Fall, a woodcut by Hans Holbein. In his woodcut, Holbein pictured Adam and Eve both involved in postlapsarian labor. Adam is tilling the ground and Eve is nursing a child. ..
Editor’s Note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, January 1984. By Thomas Manteufel According to the context of this pericope, Israel was to have no fellowship or covenant with the heathen. She was to war against their blasphemous religion. In a similar way, Christians of the New Testament are to distance themselves from the ..
By Tony Cook Isaiah 44:6–8 is nestled within a larger discourse of the chapter that glorifies the God of creation over the idols made by man, while reminding the reader that the Creator God is also a redeeming God. Below are three approaches to preaching this text. Each one utilizes the text and the surrounding context to explore different ..
By James W. Voelz Preliminary Thoughts It is easy to treat this text non- or a-historically, preaching a generalized sermon about the word of God and its power, especially in verses 10–11. Such a sermon would not be unorthodox, but it would not be textual. These four verses, as all pericopes, are situated in a context, first literarily/textually, and ..
By David Peter Context Considerations It might come as a surprise that this Old Testament text is appointed for the fourth Sunday after Pentecost when we are used to it being read on Palm Sunday. Why does it make an appearance at this time? Most likely, the reason is its thematic association with the Gospel reading, Matthew 11:25–30, in ..
By William W. Schumacher On May 13, 1940, Winston Churchill addressed the British parliament as he was about to become prime minister. Hitler’s troops had already invaded Poland, and they had just begun their Blitzkrieg advance into France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. War was crashing upon the world as Churchill stepped into leadership. And unlike so many politicians, Churchill did ..
By Victor Raj Conflicting Messages On this day the church in worship ponders God’s “unfailing love” (gradual) and “never-failing providence” (collect). The church prays to God to put away from her all hurtful things and provide for her all things profitable. As in the prophetic words of Jeremiah, in Matthew 10 our Lord’s words ring true that the ..
By Jason Broge As with any pericope there are a number of directions a sermon based on this text could take. When one considers the average parishioner’s familiarity with the creation account—and given that this is Trinity Sunday—one is also confronted with the reality that people will bring expectations to the service and the sermon in particular. A close reading ..