Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trinity Sunday

John 3:1-15 - Trinity - May 22, 2016
Confronting God
Today is Trinity Sunday.  The word Trinity is not found in the Bible.  It’s a word that was created by Christians in order to express what the Bible teaches about God.  The Bible teaches clearly that God is three distinct Persons in one divine Essence: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  That’s what Trinity means: tri + unity = Trinity.  The only true God is the Triune God.  All true Christians believe this.  Every true Church confesses this.  The Christian Church has learned to articulate her faith in the three ecumenical creeds – the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian – not by thinking really hard about God – not by sitting down and figuring out his mind – no, but by learning from Holy Scripture who God is and what God does, and by defending the doctrine they learned when controversy arose.  Our creeds are not extra words that we impose upon the word of God.  They are concise expressions of the holy Faith that God’s word teaches us. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Easter 7

John 15:26–16:4 - Exaudi (Confirmation) Sunday - May 8, 2016
Remember That I Told You So
Jesus does not want you to stumble.  He wants you to stand firm.  That is why he has spoken to you in the Holy Scriptures, in the preaching and teaching of the gospel, and in the simple instruction of the Catechism.  This is what he intended when he commanded that his saving grace be preached to all creatures.  He teaches you where you may stand and walk secure, and follow him without tripping and falling.  The prophet Isaiah prophesied that Christ the Lord “will make each of [His] mountains a road, and [His] highways shall be elevated” (Isaiah 49:11).  This is his way of promising that your pilgrimage will be safe and your path will be level as you follow him through life, death, and into heaven.  He makes your journey safe and your path level, however, not by making life easy, though, or even by removing the great dangers that threaten you and your faith along the way.  Oh, no!  They will be plenty, as we sing:
I walk in danger all the way.
The thought shall never leave me
That Satan, who has marked his prey,
Is plotting to deceive me.
This foe with hidden snares
May seize me unawares
If ever I fail to watch and pray.
I walk in danger all the way.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Easter 6

John 16:23-30 - Rogate Sunday - May 1, 2016
Scattered Prayers
If there is something important that you don’t know, but that you need to know, you should ask someone, right?  More specifically, you should ask someone who knows the answer.  It won’t do any good just to think about it until you suddenly come to know what you previously did not.  That’s simply not how it works; that’s not how knowledge is gained.  To ask a question is to make a request for information from someone who has it.  It’s to pray for knowledge, so to speak.   And that is why to seek instruction from God is really the highest form of prayer.  In fact, one cannot pray at all unless he first learns from God who God is, and why it is that He listens to our prayers.  This is how God’s name is hallowed.