Sunday, February 28, 2016

Lent 3

Exodus 8:16-24 & Luke 11:14-28
Oculi Sunday
- February 28, 2016
The Finger of God

God sent Moses to free his children from slavery in Egypt.  He promised to do miraculous signs to show Pharaoh that he was God and that there was none like him.  The first demonstration was to cast his staff onto the ground before Pharaoh.  It immediately turned to a snake.  But Pharaoh commanded his own magicians and sorcerers to do the same thing.  And with their witchcraft and trickery they did.  Moses’ snake, though, swallowed the others.  This showed that God’s word overcomes the devil’s lies.  This hardened Pharaoh’s heart.  So God sent plagues.  

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Lent 2

Matthew 15:21-28 - Lent Two – Reminiscere - Feb. 21, 2016         
The Command and Promise of Prayer

God commands us to pray.  This is reason enough to pray.  Certainly this is enough reason to do anything.  When God tells you to do something, you should do it.   Jesus commands all nations to be baptized.  So what should all nations do?  Do what he says: repent, and be baptized.  Jesus commands his disciples to take and to eat – to take and to drink.  So what should his disciples do?  They should take what he gives them and do what he says.  Jesus commands sinners to come to him.  What should sinners do?  They should stop following their own ideas and false teachers who tickle their fancy, and go to him who commands them to come.  Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow.  God’s commands are clear.  By them we are compelled to obey.  But the command alone, although clear and earnest enough, is not enough to prompt us to do these things in true faith.  I mean, one can go through the motions, certainly!  But if one is to do these things while trusting in God for a blessed outcome – if one is to gain any benefit – more than a command is needed.  That is why he attaches his promise.