Peter Nafzger and David Schmitt discuss the craft of preaching topical sermons, with Ash Wednesday as the case study
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, January 1980. By William J. Schmelder The preacher needs to resist mightily the temptation to use this text as the occasion for letting the congregation have it. It would be easy to become a stern preacher of the law, and to use this text ..
By Michael J. Redeker The fourth Sunday in Lent is known as Laetare (rejoice) Sunday. It is the midway point in Lent and has been viewed as a day of celebration as the mood of Lent is briefly lessened. Luke 15 is filled with parables of rejoicing; the shepherd rejoices over finding the one lost sheep, ..
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 Kou Seying Confessing the truth means renouncing the false at the same time, “Do you renounce the devil, and all his works, and all his ways?” Often, the latter is ignored due to various theological lapses or cultural and individualistic reasons. In this text, we have a glimpse of the nature of truth and ..
By Todd Jones With its meaty theological content and rich poetic imagery, it is no surprise that the lectionary lifts this portion of Philippians from its context. Exegetical Notes Verse 6: Our English too often comes off sounding like Jesus was something less than God, as if he merely appeared to be God. However, a distinction between μορφή and ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, September 1979. by Andrew H. Bartelt Sermon Notes 1. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews continues his discussion of the “high priesthood” of Christ (and his commentary on Psalm 110) in 4:14. The importance of the office of high priest was obvious to a ..
by Wally Becker We are saved by God’s grace, through faith in Christ Jesus, for the purpose of living as God’s people to this world which he loves (Jn 3:16). This passage gives us a picture of “the two kinds of righteousness.” The first portion of the text focuses on the grace of God: dead in sin, ..
by Wayne Knolhoff The Word of the Cross We are no strangers to scandal, and we know a scandal when we see it. Whether it involves a politician, a Hollywood star, a sports figure, or even a church leader scandals are, unfortunately, rather common occurrences. Scandals involve shameful, distasteful, offensive behavior. A scandal is an action or event ..
Travis Scholl, editor of our own Concordia Journal, has recently published a new book that takes us on the winding path of Mark’s Gospel. Travis’ rediscovery of the ancient labyrinth one Lenten season led him to reflect on the pilgrimage of faith, especially as one follows Him whose path leads to the cross. A devotion, a spiritual auto-biography, an ..
In the piety of Lenten self-reflection, the confession of our sin holds a prominent place. Especially for Lutherans who recognize that, as simul iustus et peccator, our confession of sin is comprehensive. The words of Isaiah 64 quickly become our own: “we have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like ..