By William Wrede Gift giving frequently accompanies celebrations. The birth of a child, the joining of man in woman in marriage, confirmation, graduation, and the like are all occasions for giving and receiving gifts. Some gifts are received with great joy and gratitude. Some gifts have caused recipients to express gratitude while simultaneously thinking of how that gift might ..
By Paul R. Raabe Acts 1:12–26 narrates what the followers of Jesus did after his ascension. They remained in Jerusalem as Jesus had commanded (Acts 1:4). Luke names the eleven disciples and then summarizes that they were together in unity dedicated to prayer. “All these were continuously devoted (present participle) with one accord to prayer together with women, also ..
By Michael J. Redeker Ascension Day is fast upon us. In the Gospel reading for today, Jesus assures his disciples that, even though he is leaving them, he will not leave them as orphans. He will send them the helper in the person of the Holy Spirit. The helper will comfort, lead, and guide them in truth. The ..
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 Bruce Schuchard So those who heard and received in faith the testimony of Peter on the day of Pentecost were all that day baptized, all three thousand of them (Acts 2:41). All were added to the communion, to the fellowship, of the saints. And so “they devoted themselves” not only to “the apostles’ teaching” but also to ..
By Jeffrey A. Oschwald Dear preacher, please restore this text to the Easter season! For many hearers this text will seem a “stealing of Pentecost’s thunder” rather than a proclamation of Easter’s good news. There is no better way to correct this skewing of the context of our reading than by preaching on it during Eastertide. It is ..
By David Wollenburg Collect: Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen. First Lesson: Acts 5:29–42, Acts 5:29: ..
By Joel P. Okamoto In this pericope, Peter portrays Christ’s resurrection as God’s vindication of his identity and his work. In the resurrection, God gives assurance that Jesus is Lord and the judge of the living and the dead. The resurrection also gives assurance that through his name sins are remitted (cf. Lk 5:20–25). The Jews who rejected ..
By Robert Kolb Introductory thoughts The final verse of the pericope governs our use of it and its context in chapter 42. The Lord takes pleasure (חפצ)—he gets a kick out of—placing his instruction, the script of the conversation he wishes to have with his human creatures (תורה), before them. He does so in accord with his righteousness. ..
By Arthur F. Graudin Preliminary Comments Three small word combinations in the Hebrew provided direction for this sermon study: 1. lek-leka (v. 1). lek is an imperative followed by leka a preposition with the second person masculine singular pronoun. “Go, as far as you are concerned” is a suggested translation. 2. weheyeh berakah (v. 2). ..
The Search Begins An initial caution must be sounded about beginning a sermon with Genesis 3. By divine design, Genesis 3 is an inseparable part of a unit (Gn 1–3), and neither Genesis 1–2 nor Genesis 3 should be discussed without the other. Genesis 1–2 provides an almost rhapsodic celebration of the Lord’s creation, punctuated ..
This Old Testament reading for Transfiguration stands as the complement and climax of the covenant ceremony that begins in Exodus 19. In broadest strokes, the text illustrates what it means for the God of Israel, after bringing his people out from bondage to the Egyptians and to their gods, to say, “I will be their ..
Choice Is More than Choosing Christians are confronted with many choices in this world of biomedical technology,and a rash of legal decisions has placed life and death decisions in the hands of loved ones. We face these choices and many more every day. Within the text of Deuteronomy 30:15–20, choice is a covenant theme, and ..
By James W. Voelz Editor’s note: An abbreviated form of this Homiletical Help appeared in the Spring 2013 Concordia Journal. The full commentary written by Dr. Voelz is provided here. Introduction The book of Colossians has had its authenticity questioned from the nineteenth century onward, though not before. Much of the problem lies in its similarity to ..
By Andrew Bartelt Literary and Canonical Background Our Lord’s ministry began with the notice that John the Baptist had been arrested (4:12). The words and deeds of Jesus now have been twice interrupted by the ongoing story of John, who sent his disciples to ask if Jesus was “the one to come” in 11:2ff. Jesus answered ..
By Henry Rowold “Feed Them!” As happens regularly in Scripture, this pericope is so rich that it can evoke an entire series of sermons, without stretching or duplicating: Jesus withdrew from the crowd (also 12:15, and other places specify his retreat for prayer); Jesus has compassion, and heals and feeds multitudes of people; Jesus’s grace ..