Sunday, May 24, 2015


John14:23-31 - Pentecost Confirmation - May 24, 2015
The Spirit of truth

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). 
Keidyne, this is your confirmation verse.  I chose it for you because I have taught you the truth from God’s word; because you have learned the truth as it is laid out in Luther’s Small Catechism; and because this morning you will confess that you believe this truth to be the only thing that saves you and gives you eternal salvation.  It is a beautiful passage of Scripture.  And the word truth itself is also a beautiful word that should ring sweet in our ears.  In Greek, the word even has a beautiful sound to it: λήθεια.  In your confirmation verse, Jesus uses this word λήθεια three times.  You wouldn’t notice it right away because of how it’s translated into English.  But we could also say it like this: “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Easter 5

John 16:5-15 - Cantate Sunday - May 3, 2015
The Threefold Work of the Holy Spirit

Oh that I had a thousand voices
To praise my God with thousand tongues!
My heart, which in the Lord rejoices,
Would then proclaim in grateful songs
To all, wherever I might be,
What great things God hath done for me. Amen. 

Today is called Cantate Sunday.  Cantate (which is where we get the word chant) is the Latin word for sing.  It’s in the imperative mood, which means it’s a command to sing, as in, “Sing to the Lord a new song.”  What is a new song?  And why should we sing it?  Far from being a call to always be singing the latest and most up-to-date expressions of faith, this command to sing a new song tells us first to consider what is old and what is new.  This is a spiritual distinction, not a chronological one, and so it’s good that we learn it here.