By Paul Sieveking This week’s lessons are confrontational. The Old Testament lesson is a confrontation between Jeremiah and the people of Judah. In the Gospel we hear of the confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. They confront us with a “prophetic word” that our people and maybe we, ourselves, may not want to hear. In Luke ..
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 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). ..
By Robert Kolb Introductory thoughts “Walk this way,” Mel Brook’s Igor the hunchback said (from the movie Young Frankenstein). Following in his footsteps, Doctor Frankenstein imitated his awkward gait. Children imitate their parents, sometimes to their parents’ pleasure, sometimes to their embarrassment. Models of faithful following of Jesus are significant parts of the Holy Spirit’s ..
By Paul Devantier We have all had some strange requests during our lifetime. Many pastors tell stories of someone in their life who once said to them, “You should consider becoming a pastor.” And at the time, they may have thought the suggestion made no sense at all. And everyone can tell a story of ..
By Erik Herrmann “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified…” It was because of the signs that Nicodemus came to Jesus: “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs (σημεῖα) that you do unless God is with him.” So far, ..
By Jeffrey A. Oschwald The Lectionary for Year C provides little help for preacher or hearer in terms of placing this reading from Jeremiah 26 in a historical or narrative context. Three of the Sundays in the Epiphany season offer readings from Jeremiah, but they are neither consecutive nor sequential—and the “early” beginning of the ..
By Travis J. Scholl This second Gospel reading in the season of Lent begins with a significant geographic border-crossing. Jesus has left the friendlier confines of Galilee, heading north to Caesarea Philippi. The name itself suggests the heavy hand of the Roman Empire, and the city was a significant site of pagan worship. Jesus has ..
By Joel P. Fritsche, In the verses preceding our text, St. Paul beautifully proclaims the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. This is a gift of God that comes through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Since justification is purely God’s action, there is no room for boasting on the part of the ..