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Emmanuel Lutheran Church

Emmanuel Lutheran Church

By Emmanuel Lutheran Church Aurora Illinois

Emmanuel is a member congregation of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. We unreservedly confess the Holy Scriptures to be the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and we hold fast to the Confessions of the Lutheran Church as a correct exposition of the Scriptures.
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By Faith We Are Prepared for Christ's Return

Emmanuel Lutheran Church Nov 26, 2023

By Faith We Are Prepared for Christ's Return

By Faith We Are Prepared for Christ's Return

"The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:1-

11). The arrival of the bridegroom will be sudden and unexpected.

Therefore you are to be watchful and ready like the five wise virgins.

"For you know neither the day nor the hour" when the Son of Man is to return. (Matt. 25:1-13). The lamps are the Word of Christ. The oil in the lamps is the Holy Spirit, who works through the Word to create and sustain the flame of faith in Christ. The foolish are those who do not give proper attention to the working of the Holy Spirit in baptism, preaching, and the supper, and so their faith does not endure. The wise. however, are those who diligently attend to these gifts of the Spirit, and who therefore have an abundance of oil. The flame of faith endures to the end. By God's grace they are received into the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth created by the Lord for the joy of His people (Is. 65:17-25).
Nov 26, 202316:59
The Strength of the Lord Is Our Salvation from Sin, Death, and Darkness

The Strength of the Lord Is Our Salvation from Sin, Death, and Darkness

A shroud of darkness engulfs us. Sin, death, and disease threaten to sever us from life's fullest measure. Without new life in Christ Jesus, there would be no light to dissipate, dispel, or curb grief and sadness.

But Jesus has qualified us "to share in the inheritance of the saints of light" delivering us from the dark domain (Col. 1:9-14). "I have put my words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of my hand,.. You are my people" (Is. 51:9-16). The presence of Christ, in word, wine, bread, and water, confronts our sinful nature with forgiveness. In the sacraments, God claims us to be His very own children, creating, and sustaining our faith. So in Christ, we humbly receive the words, "your faith has made you well" (Matt. 9:18-26).

On the last day God will surely awaken us also from slumber in resurrection glory.
Nov 19, 202319:30
Render to God the things of God

Render to God the things of God

Guest Pastor, Rev Emmett Bartens is with us today. When confronted with the civic duty of paying taxes, our Lord Jesus, Wisdom incarnate, walked "in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice" (Prov. 8:20) and discerned that wisdom "is better than jewels" and "better than gold, even fine gold' (Prov. 8:11, 19). When we set our minds on earthly things, such as wealth and passing glory, our "end is destruction" (Phil. 3:19). However, our humble and prudent Lord has rendered "to God the things that are God's "
Nov 12, 202318:03
Saints Are Blessed in the Eternal Presence of Christ

Saints Are Blessed in the Eternal Presence of Christ

A great multitude from all tribes and peoples and languages,
cry out "salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne" (Rev. 7:9-

17). Faith-filled saints from every place and time with unified voices eternally magnify th589 Lamb of God. As His beloved children, we too, "shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:1-3). Joined with the throng of angels and a myriad of saints, we shall "serve him day and night in his temple" (Rev. 7:9-17). In our earthly tension vacillating between saint and sinner, faith and doubt, sacred and profane, we earnestly seek Jesus to calm our fears, comfort our spirits, and forgive our sins. The Holy Spirit, through faith in Christ propels us forward, fortifying us in Word and Sacrament, to our eternal home. In the midst of our constant struggle as believers, we need to be blessed. And so we are. The poor in spirit, the meek, the hungry, the thirsty, the merciful, the pure, and the persecuted are all blessed and we will most certainly inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:1-12).
Nov 05, 202319:12
The Son of God Has Set Us Free from Sin and Death by His Grace

The Son of God Has Set Us Free from Sin and Death by His Grace

"Wisdom is justified by her deeds" (Matt. 11:19), and the true Wisdom of God, Christ Jesus, the incarnate Son, has justified us by His deeds. He prepares His way by the preaching of repentance, but He has suffered the violence of the Law and voluntarily handed Himself over to violent men, that we might eat and drink with Him in His kingdom and "remain in the house forever" (John 8:35). He is "a friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Matt. 11:18-19), and He has rescued us by His grace from the slavery of sin and death. By the proclamation of His eternal Gospel "to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people" (Rev.

14:6), "the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law" (Rom. 3:21), "that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3:26). And by the hearing of that Gospel of Christ Jesus, "whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith" (Rom. 3:25), "you will know the truth, and the truth will set vou free" (John 8:31-32).
Oct 29, 202324:12
Jesus Invites Us to His Wedding Feast To Receive Abundant Righteousness

Jesus Invites Us to His Wedding Feast To Receive Abundant Righteousness

The Holy Spirit sounds forth the Gospel call: "See, I have prepared my dinner ... Come to the wedding feast" (Matt. 22:1-14). But many reject this invitation in favor of worldly pursuits. And so the call goes out to others, both the good and the bad. For the wedding invitation is not based on the qualifications of those invited but on the basis of the merits and work of Christ. The feast is free: "He who has no money, come, buy and eat ... delight yourselves in rich food. " (Is. 55:1-9).

Those rejecting the Spirit's work shall experience God's wrath and judgment. Those who are not clothed in Christ's righteousness shall be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Let us therefore seek the Lord while He may be found, for He Will have mercy upon us. Let us redeem the time, being filled with the Spirit, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 5:15-21).
Oct 25, 202323:07
Jesus' Incarnation Secures for Us Life, Forgiveness, and Healing

Jesus' Incarnation Secures for Us Life, Forgiveness, and Healing

The Lord does not require us to ascend to Him; in mercy He descends to us (Gen. 28:10-17). The ladder in Jacob's dream was not for climbing; it was the means by which the Lord came to bless Jacob.

This event finds its fulfillment in Christ who descended from His throne to save and bless us. By His incarnation He is the eternal bridge between heaven and earth. "The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Matt. 9:1-8). The Lord was present in the flesh to absolve the paralytic. Jesus also healed and restored this man's body.

"For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation" (Small Catechism). The Lord still has power on earth to forgive sins. In holy absolution He raises up the new man (Eph. 4:22-

28) and bestows the healing medicine which will bring about our resurrection on the Last Day. Thus we say with Jacob, "This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" (Gen.28:17)
Oct 16, 202318:56
In Life and Death, Christ Fulfills the Law of God

In Life and Death, Christ Fulfills the Law of God

The Pharisees ask a Law question. Jesus asks a Gospel question. The Pharisees seek to test Jesus in His own words. Jesus seeks to "test" them in the saving reality of who He is as the Messiah (Matt. 22:34-
46). The Law requires you to "fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all vour soul" and to "love the sojouner" (Deut. 10:12-21).
Failure to keep the Law perfectly brings judgment. On the other hand, the Gospel brings the grace of God given by Jesus Christ, that you may be blameless in the day of His return (1 Cor. 1:1-9). Jesus is David's Son yet David's Lord, true God and true man. He is Love incarnate who fulfilled all the demands of God's Law on our behalf, that we might be saved from the Law's condemnation and sanctified in the Gospel's forgiveness. Thereby we see that "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord"
(1 Cor. 1:9).
Oct 08, 202322:00
Whoever Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted

Whoever Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted

"Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence" (Prov. 25:6-14).

Rather, take the lowest position at the table. Humble yourself before Him. For your place is not for you to take but for Him to give. Conduct yourself with all lowliness and gentleness, bearing with one another in love (Eph. 4:1-6), that the King may give you glory in the presence of those at the table with you. "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:1-

11). Is this not the way of Christ? He is the one who took the lowest place, who humbled Himself even to the point of death for us. He is now exalted to the highest place at the right hand of the Father that penitent believers may be exalted together with Him in the resurrection. To the humble at His Supper He says, "Friend, move up higher, " giving you His very body and blood for your forgiveness that you may ascend to take part in the great wedding feast which has no end.
Oct 01, 202323:38
Jesus Calls forth Life from Death

Jesus Calls forth Life from Death

A large funeral procession carrying the only son of a widow is confronted by another large procession, Jesus and His followers. Death and Life meet face to face at the gate of the city (Luke 7:11-17). Filled with compassion, Jesus comes into direct contact with our mortality in order to overcome it.
Sep 25, 202322:29
Sunday Sermon, September 17, 2023

Sunday Sermon, September 17, 2023

Sep 24, 202318:58
Jesus Is Our Good Samaritan

Jesus Is Our Good Samaritan

The Law cannot help us or give us life. Rather, it confines everyone under sin as wounded and naked before God (Gal. 3:15-22). So it is that two figures of the Law, the priest and the Levite, passed by the injured man on the side of the road (Luke 10:23-37). Only the promised Seed of Abraham can rescue us and make us righteous before God. Only the Samaritan, our Lord Jesus, had compassion, as did the Samaritans of old (2 Chronicles 28:8-15). He came down to us in our lost and dying condition, pouring on the oil and wine of the Sacraments. He placed us on His own animal, bearing our sin and brokenness in His body on the cross to restore us. Jesus brought us to the inn, that is, the Church, and gave the innkeeper two denarii, that His double forgiveness might continue to be ministered to us. In this way the Lord, by whose Law we are torn and stricken, heals us and revives us by His Gospel and raises us up with Himself.
Sep 03, 202324:57
Faith Comes from Hearing

Faith Comes from Hearing

A man who was deaf and therefore also had an impediment in his speech was brought to Jesus (Mark 7:31-37). In the same way, all are by nature deaf toward God and therefore also unable to confess the faith rightly. For "faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Rom. 10:9-17). Jesus put His fingers into the man's ears, and He spat and touched His tongue. Even so in Holy Baptism, water sanctified by the words of Jesus mouth is applied to us; and the finger of God, that is, the life-giving Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:4-11) is put into our ears in the hearing of the baptismal Gospel. Jesus' sighing "Ephphatha" opened the man's ears, and his tongue was loosed to speak plainly as Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, "In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book" (Is. 29:18-24) So also, He who sighed and breathed His last on the cross for us has given us to hear and believe in Him and has opened our lips that our mouths may declare His praise.
Aug 27, 202314:47
The Lord Lifts Up the Lowly

The Lord Lifts Up the Lowly

And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard" (Gen. 4:1-15). For unlike Abel, Cain' offering did not proceed from a heart that revered and trusted in the Lord. Thus, the lowly tax collector who prayed, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" was the one who went down to his house justified before God, not the respectable, outwardly righteous Pharisee who trusted in himself and his own good living (Luke 18:9-14). "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Eph. 2:1-10). The one who penitently despairs of his own righteousness and relies completely on the atoning mercy of God in Christ is the one who is declared righteous. For Christ died for our sins and rose again the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-10). Therefore,
"everyone who exalts himself
will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
Aug 20, 202320:37
Jesus Weeps for Jerusalem

Jesus Weeps for Jerusalem

Our Lord wept over Jerusalem for the destruction that would soon come upon her. For she did not recognize the time of God's visitation in Christ, who had come to bring her peace (Luke 19:41-48). Through His prophets God had consistently called His people to turn from their deceit and false worship. "But My people do not know the judgments of the Lord (Jer. 8:4-12). They sought to establish their own righteousness rather than receive Christ's righteousness through faith (Rom. 9:30-10:4). So it was that God was in His temple to cleanse it, a precursor to the once-for-all cleansing from sin which He would accomplish in the temple of His own body on the cross. God grant us to know the things that make for our peace- His visitation in the Word and Sacraments- that by the Holy Spirit we may penitently confess
"Jesus is Lord' (1 Cor. 12:1-11).
Aug 14, 202322:25
The Steward's Shrewdness Sanctified

The Steward's Shrewdness Sanctified

"The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness" (Luke 16:1-9). The steward's shrewdness is praiseworthy for two reasons. First, he knew the master would be merciful. He trusted that the master would honor the debts he forgave in the master's name. In the same way, though we have squandered our heavenly Father's possessions in selfishness and sin, Jesus is the Steward who has canceled our debt, knowing that His forgiveness will be honored by the Father because of the holy cross. Secondly, the steward was shrewd in using oil and wheat to provide for his earthly welfare. So also do these earthly elements aid us when pressed into heavenly use in the anointing of baptism and the wheat of the Lord's Supper. Those who have the Sacraments will have an eternal home when their earthly home fails. These provide us aid in times of temptation (I Cor. 10:6-13). For the Lord is our strength and a shield to all who trust in Him
Aug 06, 202327:33
Beware of False Prophets

Beware of False Prophets

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Matt. 7:15). Deceit has its strength in masquerading as the truth. False prophets speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord (Jer. 23:16-29). They deny the judgment of the Lord, speaking peace to the unrepentant, when in truth there is condemnation and wrath. "You will recognize them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:20). The "fruits" of a true prophet are not outward righteousness or success but faithfulness in proclaiming the Word of the Lord. This is the will of the Father in heaven, that pastors take heed to the flock, the Father's adopted ones (Rom. 8:12-17), warning them against the wolves and their lies, and shepherding the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:27-38). For indeed, the cross is that good tree bearing good fruit namely, the body and blood of Christ, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
Jul 31, 202324:51
Jesus Restores Paradise and Feeds Us Freely

Jesus Restores Paradise and Feeds Us Freely

In the Garden of Eden, our first parents received food freely from the gracious hand of God, apart from any burdensome work (Gen 2:7-17).
But after the fall, food would be received only through toil and labor.
The curse declared, "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground.

» (Gen. 3:19). In other words, "The wages
of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). But into this wilderness world came Jesus the Messiah to restore creation. Having compassion on the weary multitudes, He renewed the bounty of Eden on the third day, freely granting an abundance of bread to the 4,000 (Mark 8:1-9). So also our Lord Jesus, having endured the burden of our sin, was raised on the third day to bring us back to Paradise. He now miraculously turns the bread of death into the Bread of Life in the Sacrament, giving you His very body and blood for your forgiveness. For "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Rom. 6:23).
Jul 24, 202320:59
Our Only Hope Is in Christ's Righteousness

Our Only Hope Is in Christ's Righteousness

"Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:20). God demands nothing less than perfection and holiness from you in regard to His commandments (Ex. 20:1-17). Your only hope, then, is not in your own goodness but in the goodness of Christ, who did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them for you. In Christ, your righteousness does indeed exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. For you have been baptized into Christ's death and your sinful nature crucified. Therefore, he who has died has been freed from sin (Rom. 6:1-11). You are now raised with Christ to walk in newness of life and to share in His resurrection on the Last Day. Christ has brought you through the baptismal sea "out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (Ex. 20:2). Therefore, "consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11).
Jul 16, 202320:54
The Visitation

The Visitation

Today Zechariah's house is prepared to sing: "The Lord God of Israel ...has visited and redeemed his people" (Luke 1:68). For the Scriptures are being fulfilled: "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit"
(Is. 11:1).

What could raise a king from a dead line? Only the Lord Himself! This is no son of man's will, but the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15). The Word of the Lord has done this, and so all are blessed in Him. The "greeting" of blessed Mary causes John to leap in Elizabeth's womb (Luke 1:41). Both are delighted at what the Word has wrought:

"Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (Luke 1:45). Likewise we, too,
"rejoice with those who rejoice" (Rom. 12:12-15), for our joyful hope is in the Lord who has visited us to redeem us - not just a town in Judah but our entire fallen world. The Holy Spirit discloses where salvation is to be found: in the most blessed fruit of Mary's blessed womb. And the whole Church rejoices, saying, "My beloved! Behold, he comes" (Song of Songs 2:8).

Jul 04, 202321:14
Jesus Receives Sinners

Jesus Receives Sinners

"This man receives sinners and eats with them" (Luke 15:2). The
Pharisees statement of judgment against Jesus is in fact a
proclamation of Gospel truth. For our God is one who delights in mercy, who casts all our sins into the depths of the sea through the cross (Micah 7:18-20). "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15). Those who refuse to be counted as sinners also refuse Jesus who came only for sinners. Those like the older son Luke 15:11-32), who think they are righteous of themselves, will not join in the heavenly celebration over the sinner who repents and so remain outside of the Father's house. Let us therefore be on guard against self-righteously trusting in our own merits. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt vou" (1 Peter 5:6). Rejoice that Jesus receives sinners like us and that He still sits at table with us in the Holy Supper, bestowing His forgiveness and life.
Jun 25, 202317:49
The Gospel Call Goes Out to All

The Gospel Call Goes Out to All

Wisdom has issued an invitation to the divine feast: "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight" (Prov. 9:5-6). This is the call of the Spirit of Christ to believe the Gospel and to receive His saving gifts in the Holy Supper. Many make excuses and reject this invitation, even as the Jews did in the days of Jesus, yet the Master's house will be filled. The Gospel call therefore goes out to the lowly and despised, into the highways, even to all the Gentiles (Luke 14:15-24). For "you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (Eph. 2:13-22). In Christ, believing Jews and Gentiles are no longer strangers but fellow members of the household of God. The enmity of class and race is put to death through the cross. Having been reconciled in the one Body of Christ, we are enabled to love one another (1 John 3:13-18) as we await the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom which will have no end.
Jun 18, 202318:04
St. Barnabas, Apostle

St. Barnabas, Apostle

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, received the name Barnabas from the apostles (Acts 4:36-37). He was sent to Antioch to see "the grace of God" among the Hellenists, exhorting "them all to remain faithful to the Lord" (Acts 11:22-24). There, through His Church, the Holy Spirit "set apart ... Barnabas and Saul for the work to which [He had] called them" (Acts 13:2). Just as Christ had sent out the 12 to proclaim repentance and cast out demons and heal the sick (Mark 6:7-13), so He now sent Paul and Barnabas to proclaim repentance and healing among the Gentiles.

Still, this Word is not always received (Acts 13:44-52). Even within the Church, divisions threaten it. Barnabas knew this. He was at the Jerusalem council to see that the Gospel was preserved without mingling in the Law (Acts 15:2-4), and he parted ways with Paul over the usefulness of John Mark (Acts 15:36 41). Despite all these trials, St.
Barnabas remained full of faith so the Gentiles could "give glory to the LORD, and declare his praise in the coastlands" (Is. 42:12). Thus, by the Lord's calling and Spirit, Barnabas lived up to his new name: "son Of encouragement" (Acts 4:36).
Jun 11, 202322:15
The Holy Trinity Reveals Himself to Sinners

The Holy Trinity Reveals Himself to Sinners

When Isaiah beheld the glory of the Lord, he cried out "Woe is me!" For the sinner cannot stand in the presence of a holy God and live (Is.6:1-7). But God the Father lifted up His Son Jesus for us on the cross, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

This eternal life of Christ is given us according to the Holy Spirit's good pleasure in Baptism. "Unless one is born [again] of water and The Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God' (John 3:5). To sinners in fear of death, the messengers of God place on our lips the living body and blood of Christ and speak His words of absolution, "Your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for" (Is. 6:7). Having received forgiveness and life from the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit, we join with the angels in praising the blessed Trinity, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Of hosKs/? Is. 63) "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen" (Rom.11:33-36).
Jun 04, 202321:20
The Holy Spirit Gives Peace

The Holy Spirit Gives Peace

Following the flood, Noah's descendants failed to spread out and fill the earth as God had spoken. Rather, they exalted themselves; with "one language and the same words" (Gen. 11:1 they spoke proudly and arrogantly. The Lord humbled them by confusing "the language of all the earth," dividing and dispersing the people (Gen. 11:9). That dispersal was reversed on Pentecost Day (the fiftieth day of Easter), when God caused the one Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to be preached in a multitude of languages. "At this sound the multitude came together" (Acts 2:6), for the preaching of Christ is the primary work of the Holy Spirit, whereby He gathers people from all nations into one Church. The Holy Spirit teaches and brings to our remembrance the words of Jesus, which are the words of the Father who sent Him. These words bestow forgiveness and peace to those who keep and hold on to them in love for Jesus. " Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.

Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (John 14:27).
May 28, 202320:49
The Spirit of Truth Bears Witness to Jesus

The Spirit of Truth Bears Witness to Jesus

The Spirit of Truth bears witness to Jesus, who is the truth. But the world does not receive the truth. It loves its own and hates those who are of the truth. Just as Jesus was scorned, so is His Church. "The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God' (John 16:2). Yet it is by Jesus' suffering and death that we are saved. Therefore we rejoice to share in His sufferings, that we may also share in His resurrection glory (1 Pet. 4:7-14). Through the ministry of the Spirit of Truth, we are cleansed from the deceit of our idols and given a new heart and a new spirit, the heart and Spirit of Christ (Ezek. 36:22-28). He now works in us fervent, self-giving love for one another, love which covers a multitude of sins, "that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" (1 Pet. 4:11).
May 21, 202317:16
The Father Answers Our Prayers Because of Jesus

The Father Answers Our Prayers Because of Jesus

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you" (John 16:23). To pray in Jesus' name is to pray as one who has been baptized. For it is in the water that He put His name upon you, claiming you as His own, making you a son of God with access to the Father. By His incarnation and crucifixion, our Lord Jesus broke through the barrier of sin which separated us from God, opening a portal to the Father. To pray in Jesus' name is to pray with faith in Him as the one Mediator between God and men, who gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Tim. 2:1-6). Like Moses in the wilderness, Jesus is our go-between and intercessor before the throne of heaven.
He was lifted up for us on the cross that we might be saved and restored to fellowship with the Father (Num. 21:4-9). Looking into this perfect teaching of liberty (James 1:22-27) we pray with boldness and confidence as dear children of God.
May 14, 202318:22
Jesus Promises to Send His Holy Spirit, the Helper

Jesus Promises to Send His Holy Spirit, the Helper

Though Jesus has departed from us visibly to the right hand of the Father who sent Him, yet this is to our advantage. For Jesus who is Lord over all creation, who intercedes for us before the Father, who is preparing a place for us in heaven- has sent the Helper, the Spirit of Truth (John 16:5-15). "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights" through Jesus Christ (James 1:17). The Holy Spirit helps us by taking what is Christ's and declaring it to us. In the Word of truth, the Spirit works repentance and delivers to us the forgiveness of sins, the righteousness of Christ, and victory over the devil. For the ruler of this world is judged and defeated by the cross. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we have been brought forth to new life in Him who is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. Confident of our resurrection with Christ we confess, "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid' (Is. 12:2).
May 07, 202317:07
Those Who Wait on the Lord Shall Rejoice

Those Who Wait on the Lord Shall Rejoice

The people of God are pilgrims and sojourners in this world, looking ahead to a destination yet to come (1 Peter 2:11-20). Though we are now children of God, the fullness of what we shall be has not yet been revealed (1 John 3:1-3). We are those who wait on the Lord. "The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him" (Lam. 3:25). Jesus tells us that the wait is just a little while. "A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me" (John 16:16). Though you must experience sorrow for a time, though you must live as strangers in a world that is at enmity with Christ, yet your sorrow will be turned to joy when He returns.

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength" (Is. 40:31).

The little while of weeping shall be replaced with an eternity of rejoicing in the presence of Christ the crucified and risen Savior. " And no one will take your joy from vou" (John 16:22).
Apr 30, 202316:30
The Good Shepherd Cares for His Sheep

The Good Shepherd Cares for His Sheep

Our Lord Jesus is the Good Shepherd John 10:11-16). He is not like the hireling, who cares nothing for the sheep and only for himself, who flees when he sees the wolf coming. Rather, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who seeks out His scattered sheep to deliver them (Ezek.
34:11-16). He gathers them and feeds them in rich pasture. He binds up the broken and strengthens the sick. He lays down His life for wandering and wayward sheep. On the cross. Christ bore in His body the attacks of the predators of sin and death and the devil for you that you might he saved He now lives to restore your soul in the still waters of baptism to lead you in the paths of righteousness by the voice of His Gospel, to prepare the table of His holy supper before you, that you may dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23). "For you were straying like sheep but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls" ( 1 Peter 2:25)
Apr 23, 202314:28
The Wounds of Christ give us Life

The Wounds of Christ give us Life

"For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood (1 John 5:7). These three point to Christ and flow from Christ.
Jesus shows His disciples His hands side, from which blood and water flowed, saying "Peace be with you." He presents the wounds which turn our fear to gladness and which restore us to the Father. Jesus breathes on His disciples and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit (John
20:23). His breath, His words are Spirit and life. They raise up our dry, dead bones and give us new and everlasting life (Ezek. 37:1-14).
Christ now gives His ministers to speak His forgiving, Spirit-filled words to the penitent in His stead. Our Lord continues to come to His people, presenting His wounds to us in the Sacraments of water and blood. He bids us to touch His side at His table, to receive His risen body and blood in true faith, that believing we may have life in His
Apr 16, 202312:39
Christ's Resurrection Means That We Will One Day Be Raised

Christ's Resurrection Means That We Will One Day Be Raised

"Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed (1 Cor. 5:7). By the shed blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, eternal death has passed over us. Now we pass with Christ through death into life everlasting. For Christ the crucified One is risen! The stone has been rolled away from the tomb, revealing that the tomb could not hold Him (Mark 16:1-8). Now our Redeemer lives eternally to save us from sin and Satan and the grave, and we can live in the sure hope of our own bodily resurrection with Christ.
"After my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God' (Job 19:26). Feasting on the living Christ, who is our meat and drink indeed, we boldly say: "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
.. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through
our Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 15:54-55, 57).
Apr 09, 202311:20
He was pierced for our transgressions

He was pierced for our transgressions

"But He was pierced for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." - Isaiah 53:5, 6b
Apr 08, 202311:20
Let Us Love One Another, as Christ Jesus Has Loved Us

Let Us Love One Another, as Christ Jesus Has Loved Us

"For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes" (1 Cor. 11:26). By eating His body and drinking His blood, we proclaim to all the world that Jesus is, indeed, our Passover Lamb (Ex. 12:1-14), who was sacrificed for us on Calvary. In Christ, the Lord remembers us in mercy and remembers our sin no more; He forgives us all our iniquity. With such love, he
"loved His own who were in the world," and even loves us "to the end' (John 13:1). As He washes us and feeds us in love, let us love one another, just as He has loved us (John 13:34).
Apr 07, 202313:59
The Cross and Passion of Our Lord Are the Hour of His Glory

The Cross and Passion of Our Lord Are the Hour of His Glory

"Behold, your King is coming to you.
.. humble and mounted on a
donkey" (Zech. 9:9-12; Mt. 21:1-9). Our Lord rides in this humble fashion because He is entering Jerusalem to humble Himself even to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2:5-11). His kingly crown will not be made of gold but of thorns, the sign of sin's curse. For His royal reign is displayed in bearing this curse for His people, saving us from our enemies by sacrificing His own life. The sinless One takes the place of the sinner so that the sinner can be freed and bear the name

"Barabbas,» "son of the Father" (Matthew 26 and 27). It is at the name of this exalted Savior, Jesus, that we bow in humble faith. With the centurion who declared, "Truly this was the Son of God!" (Mt. 27:54), we are also given to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:11).
Apr 02, 202320:23
Jesus is our Redemption

Jesus is our Redemption

In the temple Jesus said. "If anyone keeps my word, he will never see death John 8:51. For Jesus came to taste death for us to drink the cup of suffering to the dregs in order that we might be released from its power. Clinging to His life-giving words, we are delivered from death's sting and its eternal judgment. Christ is our High Priest, who entered the Most Holy Place and with His own blood obtained everlasting redemption for His people (Heb. 9:11-15). He is the One who was before Abraham was, and yet is his descendant. He is the promised son who carries the wood up the mountain for the sacrifice, who is bound and laid upon the altar of the cross. He is the ram who Is offered in our place, who is willingly caught in the thicket of our sin and who wears the crown of thorns upon His head (Gen. 22:1-14).
Though Jesus is dishonored by the sons of the devil, He is vindicated by the Father through the cross.

Mar 26, 202314:50
The Lord Feeds His People

The Lord Feeds His People

The Lord provided bread from heaven for His people in the wilderness (Ex. 16:2-21). Now He who is Himself the living bread from heaven miraculously provides bread for the five thousand (John 6:1-15). This takes place near the time of the Passover, after a great multitude had followed Jesus across the sea, and when He went up on a mountain.
Seen in this way, Jesus is our new and greater Moses, who releases us from the bondage of Mount Sinai and makes us free children of the promise (Gal. 4:21-31). Five loaves become twelve baskets that is, the five books of Moses find their goal and fulfillment in Christ, whose people continue steadfastly in the doctrine and fellowship of the twelve apostles, and in the breaking and receiving of the bread of life, which is the body of Christ together with His precious blood, and in the prayers (Acts 2:41-47). So it is that God's people "shall not hunger or thirst" (Is. 49:8-13). For He abundantly provides for us in both body and soul.
Mar 19, 202312:55
Jesus Overcomes the Strong Man

Jesus Overcomes the Strong Man

Jeremiah was charged with speaking evil when he spoke the Word of the Lord (Jer. 26:1-15). So also, Jesus is accused of doing evil when in fact He is doing good. He casts out a demon from a mute man so that he is able to speak (Luke 11:14-28). But some said Jesus did this by the power of Beelzebub, Satan. Like Pharaoh of old, their hearts were hard (Ex. 8:16-24). They did not recognize the finger of God, the power of the Holy Spirit at work in and through Jesus. Jesus is the Stronger Man who overcomes the strong man. He takes the devil's armor of sin and death and destroys it from the inside out by the holy cross. He exorcizes and frees us by water and the Word. We were once darkness, but now we are light in Christ the Lord (Eph. 5:1-9). As children of light, our tongues are loosed to give thanks to Him who saved us.
Mar 12, 202319:21
Holding God to His Word

Holding God to His Word

Holding God to His Word
Jacob wrestled with God; he would not let Him go until he received a blessing from Him (Gen. 32:22-32). So it was with the Canaanite woman. Though Jesus seemed to ignore and reject her, she continued to call upon His name and look to Him for help (Mt. 15:21-28). Even when the Lord called her a little dog, she held on to Him in faith and would not let Him wriggle out of His words: "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table. " This Gentile woman shows herself to be a true Israelite, who struggles with God and man in Christ and prevails. "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire" (Mt. 15:27-28). This is the sanctifying will of God (1 Thess. 4:1-7) to test your faith in order that it may be refined and strengthened. For tribulation produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope in Christ does not disappoint (Rom. 5:1-5).
Mar 05, 202315:41
Jesus Does Battle in Our Place

Jesus Does Battle in Our Place

In the Garden, man exalts himself to be a god in place of God (Gen.
3:1-21). He succumbs to the temptation of the devil, and eating of the forbidden fruit, he receives death. But in the sin-cursed wilderness, God humbles Himself to become man in place of man (Mt. 4:1-11).
He does not eat but fasts and bears the onslaughts of the devil for us that we may be restored to life. Jesus stands as David in our place to do battle against the Goliath, Satan (1 Samuel 17:40-51). Though outwardly Jesus appears weak, yet He comes in the name of the Lord of hosts. He draws from the five smooth stones of the books of Moses and slings the Word of God. The stone sinks into the forehead, and the enemy falls. In Christ we are victorious over the devil. Let us therefore not receive the grace of God in vain (2 Cor. 6:1-10), but seeing that we have a great High Priest, let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain help in time of need (Heb 4:14-16).
Feb 26, 202320:20


The seeing are blind, while the one who is blind can see (Luke 18:31-
43). Jesus tells the twelve that He is going up to Jerusalem to suffer and die and rise again, but they cannot understand or grasp what He is saying. The meaning of His words is hidden from their sight. However, as Jesus makes His way up to Jerusalem, a blind man calls out to Him for mercy. This blind man sees that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, for he calls Him "Son of David." Indeed, Jesus is the Lord's anointed, the keeper of sheep (1 Sam. 16:1-13) who goes to lay down His life for the sheep. He is the incarnate love of the Father who suffers long and is kind, who is not puffed up, who never fails us (1 Cor. 13:1-13).
Jesus opens the eyes of the blind (Is. 35:3-7) to see Him not according to outward appearances of lowliness, but according to His heart of mercy and compassion. Those who behold Him thus by faith follow Him to the cross through death into life.

Feb 19, 202317:24
Scripture Alone

Scripture Alone

The Sower sows the seed of His Word (Luke 8:4-15). This Word is living and powerful (Heb. 4:9-13) to conceive new life in those who hear it. But the planting of Christ is attacked by the devil, the world, and the flesh.
Satan snatches the Word away from hard hearts. The riches and pleasures of this life choke off faith. Shallow and emotional belief withers in time of temptation and trouble. But see how Christ bears this attack for us!
Christ's cross was planted in the hard and rocky soil of Golgotha. A crown of thorns was placed upon His head. Satan and His demons hellishly hounded and devoured Him. Yet, through His dying and rising again, He destroyed these enemies of ours. Jesus is Himself the Seed which fell to the ground and died in order that it might sprout forth to new life and produce much grain. In Him, the weak are strong (2 Cor. 11:19-12:9). He is the Word of the Father which does not return void (Is. 55:10-13) but yields a harvest hundredfold.
Feb 12, 202316:37
The Transfiguration of Our Lord

The Transfiguration of Our Lord

Jesus is Transfigured and Manifests His Glory
The Lord appeared to Moses in the light of the burning bush (Ex. 3:1-
14). Later Moses' face would shine with the light of God's glory when he came down from Mount Sinai (Ex. 34:29-35). At the Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with the One who is the Light of Light Himself (Matt. 17:1-9). Jesus' glory as God shines with brilliant splendor in and through His human nature. By this epiphany, our Lord confirmed the prophetic word (2 Pet. 1:16-21), revealing that He is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. He manifested His majesty as the eternal Son of the Father, and He wonderfully foreshowed our adoption as sons (Collect). We who have been baptized into Christ's body are given a glimpse of the glory that we will share with Him in the resurrection on the Last Day.
Jan 29, 202317:04
Jesus Came for Gentiles, Too

Jesus Came for Gentiles, Too

The Gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Gentile (Rom. 1:8-17).
Even in the Old Testament, the Gentiles were beneficiaries of God's saving power. Though unimpressed at first with the Word of God, a Syrian commander is persuaded to receive that Word, and in the water he is cleansed and brought to faith in the God of Israel (2 Kings 5:1-15a). Evil is overcome by good (Rom 12:16-21). So also in the New Testament, a Roman centurion demonstrates great and humble faith in the Lord (Matt. 8:1-13). All he needs is the Word of Christ, for he trusts that Jesus' Word of healing has authority to accomplish what it says. And indeed it does. The centurion's faith is praised by our Lord above that of any Israelite. For the last shall be first, and the first last.
Apart from faith in Christ, there is no salvation not even for a Jew-but only weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jan 22, 202320:26
Jesus' First Miracle Reveals God's Glory

Jesus' First Miracle Reveals God's Glory

The coming of the Messianic kingdom means the restoration of
creation. The sign of this restoration is that "the mountains shall drip
sweet wine" (Amos 9:11-15). When the elements of a fallen creation
fail and run short at a wedding feast, our Lord Jesus steps in to restore
creation and miraculously changes water into an abundance of the very
best wine (John 2:1-11). With this sign, Christ manifests His glory.
The "back' of God (Ex. 33:12-23) is revealed to those who believe.
The hour will come when Jesus will again manifest His glory by taking
creation's curse into His own body to release us from its power. The
Bridegroom will give His life for the Bride (Eph. 5:22-32), and from
His side will flow water and blood, the holy sacraments by which she
is cleansed and made one with Him. Through this sacrificial love of
Christ we are enabled to "love one another with brotherly affection.
and to "outdo one another in showing honor" (Rom. 12:6-16).
Jan 15, 202320:52
In His Baptism, Jesus Takes His Place with Sinners

In His Baptism, Jesus Takes His Place with Sinners

Our Lord Jesus is baptized "to fulfill all righteousness" (Matt. 3:13-
17). He partakes of a baptism for sinners in order that He might be our
substitute and bear the judgment we deserve. In the water, Jesus trades
places with us. Our sin becomes His sin. His righteousness becomes
our righteousness. Our glory, therefore, is in "Christ Jesus, who
became to us . .
righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (1Cor. 1:26-31). Jesus is the
"chosen" One sent from the Father to
release us from the prison house of sin and death (Is. 42:1-7). Baptized
into Christ, we also become the chosen ones, beloved of the Father.
We cross the Jordan with Jesus (Joshua 3) through death into the
promised land of new life with God.
Jan 08, 202317:41
Jesus Blesses Us with His Name and Saves Us with His Blood

Jesus Blesses Us with His Name and Saves Us with His Blood

Jesus Blesses Us with His Name
and Saves Us with His Blood
Our newborn God keeps the Law for us and brings Abraham's
promises to their fulfillment when He is circumcised. It is there that
the name above all names is
"bestowed on him" (Phil. 2:9), "the name
given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb": Jesus,
which means "the Lord saves" (Luke 2:21). He sheds the first drops of
His precious blood in accordance with this name and in anticipation of
His cross,
"for he will save his people from their sins
' (Matt. 1:21).
The law's captivity gives way to the freedom of faith in Christ Jesus,
who cuts a new covenant in His blood to be received by faith, whether
male or female, Jew or Greek (Gal. 3:23-28). His name is given to us
in Holy Baptism, and we are made sons of God and "heirs according
to promise,
" true offspring of Abraham by faith (Gal. 3:29). Eight days
after the celebration of our Lord's birth, a new
"Year of our Lord" is
begun in Jesus' holy name and with His benediction. Jesus is the Lord,
and by this name we are blessed (Num. 6:22-27).
Jan 01, 202315:37
The Living Life-Giving Word of God
Dwells among Us in the Flesh

The Living Life-Giving Word of God Dwells among Us in the Flesh

In the beginning God created all things through His Word, His Son. But
man fell into sin, and with man all creation was cursed. Therefore, God
spoke His Word again, this time into the womb of the blessed Virgin
Mary. The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle of our human nature
(Ex. 40:17-21, 34-38).
"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us"
John 1:1-14). The Son of God took on our flesh and blood and died on
the cross in order that we might receive the right to become the children
of God through faith. Baptized into Christ's body, we are made partakers
of a new Genesis,
"the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy
Spirit' (Titus 3:4 7). In Christ, the kindness and love of God our Savior
toward man has truly appeared.
Dec 25, 202220:16
John the Baptizer points everyone to the Messiah

John the Baptizer points everyone to the Messiah

The coming of God in all His unveiled power at Mount Sinai was
terrifying to the people of Israel. The thundering voice of the Lord puts
sinners in fear of death (Deut. 18:15-19). God, therefore, raised up a
prophet like Moses-
the Messiah, the Christ. God came to His people
veiled in human flesh. The skies poured down the Righteous One from
heaven; the earth opened her womb and brought forth Salvation
(Introit) through the blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of the Lord
(Luke 1:39-56). The fruit of her womb is the very Lamb of God who
takes away the sin of the world, the One whose sandal strap John was
not worthy to loose (John 1:19-28). In Jesus we are delivered from
fear and anxiety. In Him alone we have the peace of God which
surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:4-7).
Dec 18, 202224:57
John the Baptizer Prepares the Way for the Lord

John the Baptizer Prepares the Way for the Lord

The voice of the Baptizer cried out in the wilderness:
"Prepare the way
of the Lord.
» (Isa. 40:1). John called the people to be made ready
for the Messiah's coming through repentance, for "all flesh is grass'
(Isa. 40:6). Now He asks from prison, "Are you the one who is to come
.?" (Matt. 11:2). Jesus'
works bear witness that He is. The sick are
made well; the dead are raised, and the poor have the Gospel preached
to them. Their iniquity is pardoned; they have received from the Lord's
hand double forgiveness for all their sins. The
"stewards of the
mysteries of God' (1 Cor. 4:1) still deliver Christ's overflowing
forgiveness to the poor in spirit, comforting God's people with the
word of the Gospel which stands forever. This Gospel produces
rejoicing among all those who believe.
Dec 11, 202219:04