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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lent 1



Matthew 4:1-11 - Lent One – Invocavit - February 22, 2015         
Lead Us Not into Temptation
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Jesus teaches us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.”  And yet, where in the world is he supposed to lead us?  Literally, where in the world?  The world is full of temptation.  There is nowhere he can lead us either this way or that where there is not some coaxing attraction right in front of us or some nagging desire within us.  We walk in danger all the way.  And yet to pray as Jesus tells us, to lead us not into temptation, we are not asking to be taken out of the world.  We are asking to be kept from the evil one.  We are asking for the word that cleanses us, and sanctifies us, and that defends us from the sin both outside and inside of us.  Only this word can guide us through temptation because only this word joins us to him who overcame every temptation for us. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday




Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 - Ash Wednesday - February 18, 2015         
Where Our Treasure Is
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  “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 
There’s something about wise sayings that if you say them enough times and really think about them they stop sounding all that wise and begin to sound painfully obvious.  Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  A treasure is what you love.  You love with your heart.  So: Where what you love is, there is where you will love it.  It really is that obvious: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  But this is what makes it so wise.  Because it isn’t readily obvious.  It needs to be told to us again and again before it sinks in.  Such a simple truth to which any child can say no kidding needs to be drilled into our heads because of how hardheaded we are.  The enigma of what Jesus says is not in the words themselves — Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also — No, the enigma is in the fact that sinners are so foolish as to think that they can treasure something without that something claiming their love and stealing their heart. 
Sinners think they can serve two masters.  But they can’t. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Quinquagesima



Luke 18:31-46 - Quinquagesima - February 15, 2015         
Hide & Seek

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“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”  These words of St. Paul, which we heard in our Epistle lesson, have a very simple meaning.  He’s saying that just as one grows up from being a child who knows very little about the world to becoming an adult who knows much more, so also our understanding of God’s love in Christ in this earthly life is but a shadow of what we will know when we are glorified in heaven.  In other words, just as grownups know more than children, so also, Christians in heaven who live by sight know more than Christians on earth who live by faith and hope.  Paul’s analogy is a simple one.  When adulthood comes, childhood passes away.  So also, “when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.”  Now our knowledge of God’s love is partial.  In heaven it will be perfect.  Faith and hope will cease and give way to sight.  But love, which we know even now, will endure forever. 
Consider what we sing in the hymn:
Now I may know
Both joy and woe,
Someday I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.