2nd Sunday In Lent (Reminiscere) ................... 25 February 2024


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).

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Past Services

Note a recording of most sermons are located in each service link.


1st Sunday In Lent (Invocabit) ................................ 18 February 2024


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).

Quinquagesima Sunday ............................................ 11 February 2024

Faith Alone


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.

Sexagesima Sunday........................................................ 4 February 2024


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.


Septuagesima Sunday ................................................ 28 January 2024


Grace Alone


The people of Israel contended with the Lord in the wilderness (Ex. 17:1–7). They were dissatisfied with His provision. In the same way, the first laborers in the vineyard complained against the landowner for the wage he provided them (Matt. 20:1–16). They charged him with being unfair, but in reality he was being generous. For the Lord does not wish to deal with us on the basis of what we deserve but on the basis of His abounding grace in Christ. The first—those who rely on their own merits—will be last. “For they were overthrown in the wilderness” (1 Cor. 10:5). But the last, those who rely on Christ, will be first. For Christ is the Rock (1 Cor. 9:24–10:5). He is the One who was struck and from whose side blood and water flowed that we may be cleansed of our sin.




Transfiguration Of Our Lord Sunday .................... 21 January 2024


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.



2nd Sunday After The Epiphany.............................. 14 January 2024


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).

Baptism Of Our Lord Sunday....................................... 7 January 2024


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” (1 Cor. 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.


1st Sunday After Christmas........................................................................... 31 December 2023


The Seed of David Comes to His Temple


A Rod has come forth from the stem of Jesse (Is. 11:1–5)—the Seed of David whose kingdom shall be established forever (2 Sam. 7:1–16). In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son Jesus to redeem us from the judgment of the Law (Gal. 4:1–7). Now He is presented in the temple in fulfillment of the Law and revealed to be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:22–40). Christ has enlightened us in baptism, giving us to be adopted as sons of God and heirs of eternal life. Receiving the Holy Sacrament of His body and blood, we are prepared to depart this world in peace, for our eyes have seen the salvation of God in Him.


4TH SUNDAY IN ADVENT (Rorate Coeli).... 24 December 2023


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).


3RD SUNDAY IN ADVENT (Gaudete)............. 17 December 2023



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.


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2ND SUNDAY IN ADVENT (Populus Zion). 10 December 2023


The Lord Comes on the Last Day


The day on which our Lord returns will be a “great and awesome day” (Mal. 4:5). For He will come in a cloud with great power and glory. To the wicked and the proud, it will be a Day of judgment that will “set them ablaze” (Mal. 4:1). The signs preceding this Day will bring them fear and fainting. But to those who believe, who fear the name of the Lord, this Day is one to look forward to and rejoice in: “. . . straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). Christ our Redeemer is coming; the Sun of Righteousness will bring healing in His wings. Let us, then, give attention to the words of the Lord, which do not pass away. Let us “through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures” (Rom. 15:4) be strengthened in our hope by the Holy Spirit and watch diligently for Jesus’ coming. Then, by God’s grace, we shall escape all these things that will come to pass and stand before the Son of Man.


1ST SUNDAY IN ADVENT (Ad Te Levavi)... 3 December 2023


The Lord Jesus Comes in Humility to Redeem Us


The new Church Year begins by focusing on the humble coming of our Lord. “Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey” (Matt. 21:5). Even as He was born in a lowly manger, so Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a beast of burden. For He bears the sin of the world. He is the Son of David riding to His enthronement on the cross, where He shows Himself to be “The LORD is our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:5–6). Our Lord still comes in great humility to deliver His righteousness to us in the Word and Sacraments. Before receiving Christ’s body and blood, we also sing, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21:9) And as we receive the Sacrament, we set our hearts on His return in glory, for “our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Rom. 13:11).


Last Sunday Of The Church Year ............... 26 November 2023


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).



24th Sunday After Trinity ....................................... 19 November 2023


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.


23rd Sunday After Trinity ..................................... 12 November 2023


Render to God the things of God


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” (Matt. 22:21), namely, perfect fear, love, and trust, as well as the complete sacrifice for our sin. In so doing, He also rendered to Caesar the things of honor and justice, submitting to the law of the land that put Him on the cross. The true “riches and honor are with [Him],” because “enduring wealth and righteousness” (Prov. 8:18) are found in our heavenly citizenship from which “we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” He “will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Phil. 3:20-21).


All Saint’s Day

All Saint’s All Saint's Sunday............................... 5 November 2023


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 the 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 myriad 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).


Reformation Sunday .................................................... 29 October 2023


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, justifies 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). For He is “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt. 11:19), 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 hearing the 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 you free” (John 8:31–32).


20th Sunday After Trinity.............................................. 22 October 2023


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).

19th Sunday After Trinity................................................ 15 October 2023


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)


18th Sunday After Trinity................................................. 8 October 2023


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 your 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).

17th Sunday After Trinity.................................................. 1 October 2023


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.


16th Sunday After Trinity....................................... 24 September 2023


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. He touches the coffin and speaks His creative words of life, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” Jesus does what is neither expected nor requested. For through Christ, God the Father “is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think” (Eph. 3:14–21). Jesus bore our death in His body that we may share in His resurrection. Even as Elijah stretched himself out three times over the Zarephath woman’s son (2 Kings 17:17–24), God stretched Himself out over us in the threefold application of His name in the baptismal water, breathing new and everlasting life into us. “To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”


15th Sunday After Trinity....................................... 17 September 2023


Anxious Bondage vs. Confident Trust


“You cannot serve God and money” (Matt. 6:24–34), for they require two contrary forms of service. Worry is the worship given to the false god of mammon, an unbelieving anxiousness and focus on the things of this world. Faith is the worship of the true God, a confident trust that He is a loving Father who will care for all of our needs in both body and soul. The widow of Zarephath served God— that is, she believed the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah that the bin of flour would not be used up nor would the jar of oil run dry (1 Kings 17:8–16). He who feeds the birds and clothes the flowers will certainly provide for our daily needs. For He has already provided for our eternal needs, clothing us with Christ’s righteousness in Baptism and feeding us His body and blood for our forgiveness. With such confidence we are liberated from worry and freed to do good with our material resources, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 5:25–6:10).


Holy Cross Day Sunday...................................... 10 September 2023


The Exaltation of the Holy Cross


“Sir, we wish to see Jesus” (John 12:21). Then look to His holy cross. For just as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the wilderness, so Jesus, when He is “lifted up from the earth, will draw all people” to Himself (John 12:32). “He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” to save us (Phil. 2:8). “Everyone who is bitten” by the ancient serpent’s venom of sin, “when he sees” Christ “shall live” (Num. 21:8). The true holy cross is lost to history, and we cannot return to Calvary to find our salvation. So, Christ brings the New Testament in His blood to us. “We preach Christ crucified …. the power of God and the wisdom of God,” though foolishness to the unbelieving world (1 Cor. 1:23–24). It pleases God, “through the folly” of the cross we preach, “to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:21). We find the fruit and benefit of this holy cross poured out in Holy Baptism, spoken in the preaching of Holy Absolution, and delivered in the body and blood given and shed there for us. Thus are we strengthened to take up our crosses, sanctified by His (John 12:25–26).



13th Sunday After Trinity......................................... 3 September 2023


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.


12th Sunday After Trinity................................................ 27 August 2023


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.


11th Sunday After Trinity.................................................. 20 August 2023


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’s 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.”


External link opens in new tab or window10th Sunday After Trinity.................................................. 13 August 2023


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).

Lectionary Summary

9th Sunday After Trinity.......................................................6 August 2023


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 (1 Cor. 10:6–13). For the Lord is our strength and a shield to all who trust in Him (2 Sam. 22:26–34).


8th Sunday After Trinity.........................................................30 July 2023



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.


7th Sunday After Trinity..............................................................23July2023


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).


6th Sunday After Trinity..............................................................16July2023


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).


5th Sunday After Trinity.............................................................. 9July 2023


Jesus Makes Fishers of Men

The Lord called fishermen to be fishers of men (Luke 5:1–11). The net they would use is the
message of the cross, which is foolishness and a stumbling block to the world (1 Cor. 1:18–25).
The power of God to save is not in spectacular signs like wind and fire and earthquakes (1 Kings
19:11–21), nor is it to be found in human intelligence and wisdom. The power of God to save
comes in the still, small voice of the preaching of Christ crucified. In worldly darkness the
disciples could catch nothing. But in the light of Christ, whose Word was attached to the water,
the boats were filled with fish. So it is that in Baptism you have been drawn in to the ship of the
Church. Though the nets are breaking and some who hear the Word do not believe, pastors
continue to cast the net of the Gospel and the Sacraments, that Christians may abide in the boat
of the Church and that we may be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks a reason for the
hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:8–15).

3rd Sunday After Trinity ................................................. 25 June 2023

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 you” (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.


2nd Sunday after Trinity ................................................18 June 2023


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.


FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY .......................................11 June 2023


Faith Trusts in Christ for Life Eternal


When the beggar Lazarus died, he was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. For he was truly Abraham’s seed. Like Abraham, he believed in the Lord, and the Lord “counted it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). The name Lazarus means “God is my help.” The unnamed rich man, on the other hand, did not love and trust in God. For he evidently cared little for the beggar at his gate. And “he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). He who loved and trusted in possessions and prestige died and was in torments in Hades (Luke 16:19–31). Repentance and faith are worked only through Moses and the prophets—that is, the Word of God, for it points us to Christ. Only through His death and resurrection are we brought the comfort of life everlasting.


HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY ...........................................................4 June 2023


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 hosts!” (Is. 6:3). “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:33–36).


THE DAY OF PENTECOST ....................................................28 May 2023


The Risen Lord Jesus Pours Out the Holy Spirit


The Lord took “some of the Spirit” that was on Moses “and put it on the seventy elders” of Israel (Num. 11:25), and they “prophesied in the camp” (Num. 11:26). In the same way, our risen Lord Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit at the Feast of Pentecost — the 50th day and the “Eighth Sunday” of Easter. When “a sound like a mighty rushing wind” and “tongues as of fire appeared” and rested on each of the 12 apostles, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” and proclaimed “the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:2–4, 11). The Lord Jesus grants this same Spirit to His Church on earth to proclaim Him glorified on the cross and risen victorious from the grave for us sinners. From His open heart, our crucified and risen Lord pours out His Holy Spirit in “rivers of living water” (John 7:38) and invites everyone who thirsts to come to Him and drink freely (John 7:37). Through this life-giving work of the Holy Spirit, we hear our pastors “telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:11), and “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).


7th Sunday of Easter..................................................................21 May 2023


Our Lord Jesus Is with Us in the Upper Room of His Church on Earth


On the night when He was betrayed, our Lord Jesus prayed for His apostles and His Church on earth. “The hour” had come when the Father would glorify His Son by the cross (John 17:1). Through the shedding of His blood, He would bring forgiveness for the sins of the world, and in His resurrection and ascension He would unite all Christians with the Father “that they may be one” with God (John 17:11). He manifested His name to the apostles and gave them the words of the Father to speak in His name. The apostolic witness of His cross and resurrection (Acts 1:21–22) gathers disciples together “with one accord” into the one Body of Christ (Acts 1:14). “Devoting themselves to prayer,” they wait upon the Lord in “the upper room” (Acts 1:13–14), the place of His Holy Supper. Strengthened by the Gospel, Christians bear the cross of Christ in patience and peace, rejoicing to share in His suffering, in order that they “may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13).


6th Sunday of Easter...................................................................14 May 2023


The Lord Jesus Comforts Us with the Preaching of His Resurrection


“The God who … gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:24–25) wants all people to seek Him that they might “feel their way toward him and find him” (Acts 17:27). But in our sinful ignorance, we humans turn instead to idols “formed by the art and imagination of man” (Acts 17:29). Therefore, God appointed the Man of Righteousness, Jesus Christ, and “has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). Because He lives, we also live (John 14:19) in His forgiveness, and thus we love Him and keep His commandments (John 14:15). While the risen Lord prepares us for His ascension, He will not leave us “as orphans” (John 14:18), but He gives “another Helper,” the Holy Spirit, to be with us forever (John 14:16) through the preaching of “Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18). Because He “suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous” (1 Peter 3:18), we “honor Christ the Lord as holy” and are always “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks” for the reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15). Our Baptism “now saves” us “as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).


5th Sunday of Easter.....................................................................7 May 2023


The Lord Jesus Christ Is the Way, the Truth and the Life


The risen Lord Jesus alone is “the way, and the truth, and the life,” and we come “to the Father” only through Him (John 14:6). God is thus “glorified in the Son,” and those who believe in Him will do the works of Christ because He goes to the Father for us (John 14:12–14). Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5) and “doing great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8), did the works of Christ. When he was falsely accused and put to death, he “gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Fixing his hope there, he commended his spirit to the Lord Jesus and prayed for his murderers. In the same way, all the baptized are called to follow the example of Christ Jesus by faith. Though He was “rejected by men” in the sight of God, He is “chosen and precious” (1 Peter 2:4). He is the chief cornerstone of the Father’s “spiritual house,” and we are built upon Him as “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5).


Forth Sunday of Easter ........................................................ 30 April 2023


The Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus Christ Is Our Good Shepherd


Although we “were straying like sheep,” the Lord Jesus Christ has willingly suffered and died for us, bearing our sins “in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24–25). We are healed by His wounds (1 Peter 2:24), and in His resurrection He gathers us to Himself as our Good Shepherd, by whose righteousness we “have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Now through other shepherds whom He calls and sends in His name, He guards and keeps us in the green pastures of His Church, leading us beside the quiet waters of our Baptism and spreading the feast of His table before us. Since He has called us by the Gospel to be His own dear sheep, we also “hear his voice” and “know his voice” (John 10:3–4) in the faithful preaching of His Gospel, and we follow Him by faith. When we receive His Gospel, we have the abundant life and common unity of the entire flock under one Good Shepherd, in “the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship” and in “the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).


Third Sunday of Easter........................................................... 23 April 2023


The Risen Lord Jesus Is with Us in Holy Baptism and in ‘the Breaking of the Bread’


From “before the foundation of the world” until heaven and earth pass away, “the word of the Lord remains forever” (1 Peter 1:20, 25). This “living and abiding word of God” is the preaching of Christ Jesus, namely that God “raised him from the dead and gave him glory” (1 Peter 1:21, 23). By this living word, we “have been born again” to eternal life (1 Peter 1:23) and ransomed from our sinful and mortal life “with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18–19). This living word also calls us to repentance, to dying and rising in Holy Baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). In this, we receive the Holy Spirit “for you and for your children and for all who are far off” (Acts 2:39). Through the preaching of His cross and resurrection, Jesus draws near to bring us “into his glory” (Luke 24:26). As He opens the Scriptures, He opens our minds to comprehend “the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27), and He brings us to know Him “in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:35).


Second Sunday of Easter...................................................... 16 April 2023


Christ Jesus Breathes His Spirit and His Life into Us by the Ministry of the Gospel

The crucified and risen Lord Jesus establishes the ministry of the Gospel in order to bestow His life-giving Holy Spirit and His peace upon the Church. To those who are called and ordained to this office, and to those they serve in His name, He grants the Holy Absolution of all sins. By the fruits of His cross, He replaces fear and doubt with peace and joy, and thus gives “repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). Through the preaching of His sent ones, He calls us to believe that He “is the Christ, the Son of God,” so that by such faith we “may have life in his name” (John 20:31). In His resurrection, we have the “living hope” to which we have been “born again” and by which we are guarded “for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3, 5). Until then, “though you have not seen him, you love him,” and by the mercies of God “you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8).


Easter Day Sunday ..................................................................... 9 April 2023


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).


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Good Friday (Sermon Only) ....................................................7 April 2023


Behold the Lamb of God, Who Takes Away the Sin of the World


Jesus, the Lamb of God, is led to the slaughter of His cross as the Sacrifice of Atonement for the sin of the world. “Despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Is. 53:3), He is the righteous Servant who justifies many by His innocent suffering and death. He bears our griefs and sorrows; He is wounded for our transgressions; He is crushed for our iniquities; He suffers our chastisement; “and with his wounds we are healed” (Is. 53:4–5). As the Son of God, He fulfills the Law for us in human flesh, and so fulfills the Scriptures (John 19:7, 24). In perfect faith and faithfulness, He shares all our weaknesses and temptations, “yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). As our merciful High Priest, He brings us to the Father in peace, “makes intercession for the transgressors” (Is. 53:12), and joins our prayers to His own, so that we are heard “because of his reverence” (Heb. 5:7). From His cross, He gives us His Spirit (John 19:30), washes us with water from His side, and covers us with His blood (John 19:34).


Holy Saturday Easter Vigil (Sermon Only)................. 8 April 2023

We Live and Love in the Peace and Promise of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus

The disciples of Christ Jesus, like St. Joseph of Arimathea, deal in love with the body of Christ, in the sure and certain promise of the resurrection (Matt. 27:57–60). For they also remember what He said, that after three days He would rise, though His enemies conspire against Him and seek to thwart Him (Matt. 27:63). Indeed, we find a type and promise of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ already in the prophet Daniel. For he was blameless and faithful, and “an excellent spirit was in him” (Dan. 6:3–4, 22). Although he was accused and delivered over to death, the Lord preserved his life and raised him up in righteousness, “because he had trusted in his God” (Dan. 6:23). So let us also pray and give thanks to God (Dan. 6:10), finding peace and Sabbath rest in Jesus Christ. And knowing that “the end of all things is at hand,” let us be “self-controlled and sober-minded,” and “keep loving one another earnestly” (1 Peter 4:7–8).


Holy Thursday (Sermon Only)...............................................6 April 2023


Let Us Love One Another, as Christ Jesus Has Loved Us and Loves Us to the End


“The Lord’s Passover” (Ex. 12:11) and “the blood of the covenant” at Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:8) foreshow the Lord’s Supper. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, now covers us, and we keep His Supper “as a feast to the Lord” (Ex. 12:14). In Him, we see “the God of Israel” (Ex. 24:10), and yet He does not lay His hand on us to punish us, but from His hand we eat and drink in peace. As our High Priest, He “entered once for all into the holy places … by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12). He shed His own blood in order to “purify our conscience” and bring us before His God and Father “without blemish” (Heb. 9:14). The holy apostles received this New Testament in His blood from the Lord Jesus “on the night when he was betrayed,” and they delivered the same to His Church, which we also now receive in the name and remembrance of Christ (1 Cor. 11:23–26; Matt. 26:26–28). He has “loved his own who were in the world,” and He loves us “to the end” (John 13:1); therefore, let us also “love one another” (John 13:34).


SUNDAY OF THE PASSION ...................................................2 April 2023


Now Is the Hour When the Son of Man Is Glorified


“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming.” He comes in gentle humility, “sitting on a donkey’s colt,” yet also as the King of Israel “in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13, 15). His royal glory is faithful obedience and self-sacrificing service “to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). The love of God is manifested in the cross and Passion of His Son for the salvation of sinners. Since He has borne our sins and suffered our death, “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9), and He exalts us in His resurrection. Our Lord did not hide His face “from disgrace and spitting” (Is. 50:6), but He trusted His God and Father, who raised Him from death and the grave and exalted Him to His right hand. This same King Jesus now comes to us in gentle humility in His Supper, where He feeds us with His body and cleanses and covers us with His blood, so that “after his resurrection” we also shall rise and enter the holy city (Matt. 27:52–53).


Fifth Sunday In Lent (Judica) ..........................................26 March 2023


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.


Fourth Sunday In Lent (Laetare) ...................................19 March 2023


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.



Third Sunday In Lent (Oculi) ...........................................12 March 2023


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.


Second Sunday In Lent (Reminiscere) ......................5 March 2023


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).


First Sunday In Lent ...................................................... 26 February 2023


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).


Quinquagesima Sunday ............................................ 19 February 2023


Faith Alone


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.


Sexagesima Sunday .................................................... 12 February 2023


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.


Septuagesima Sunday.....................................................5 February 2023


Grace Alone

The people of Israel contended with the Lord in the wilderness (Ex. 17:1–7). They were dissatisfied with His provision. In the same way, the first laborers in the vineyard complained against the landowner for the wage he provided them (Matt. 20:1–16). They charged him with being unfair, but in reality he was being generous. For the Lord does not wish to deal with us on the basis of what we deserve but on the basis of His abounding grace in Christ. The first—those who rely on their own merits—will be last. “For they were overthrown in the wilderness” (1 Cor. 10:5). But the last, those who rely on Christ, will be first. For Christ is the Rock (1 Cor. 9:24–10:5). He is the One who was struck and from whose side blood and water flowed that we may be cleansed of our sin.


Third Sunday After The Epiphany...........................22 January 2023


The Lord Manifests His Glory through His Office of the Holy Ministry


By His coming in the flesh and by His preaching and miracles, the Lord Jesus shines the light of His Gospel upon “the people who walked in darkness” and “who dwelt in a land of deep darkness” (Is. 9:2). He also has “multiplied the nation” and “increased its joy” (Is. 9:3) by calling disciples to Himself from the ends of the earth. For this purpose, He calls Peter and Andrew, with James and John, to follow Him and be “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). As Jesus did, they also go forth “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people” (Matt. 4:23). They preach the foolishness of the cross of Christ as the very power and wisdom of God. This word and preaching of the cross divides “those who are perishing” from “us who are being saved” (1 Cor. 1:18), but it unites the Church, the one Body of Christ, “in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).


2nd Sunday after Epiphany.......................................... 15 January 2023


God Reveals His Glory in Christ and His Cross

“The Lord, the Redeemer of Israel,” calls forth “his Holy One” (Is. 49:7), Jesus, the Christ, “from the womb” of His mother (Is. 49:1). The incarnate Son of God is revealed as the Savior, not only for Israel but also “as a light for the nations,” whose salvation reaches “to the end of the earth” (Is. 49:6). John came “baptizing with water” (John 1:31) to reveal Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and who glorifies His God and Father by His atoning sacrifice upon the cross. When Jesus was baptized in the waters of the Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended “from heaven like a dove” and “remained on him” (John 1:32). By our Baptism, we are anointed by the same Spirit, adopted by God the Father, and “called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:9). Therefore, we “are not lacking in any gift,” but we can trust Him who promises to sustain us to the end, “guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:7–8).


THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD (First Sunday after the Epiphany) ........................... 8 January 2023


The Triune God Is Manifested and Reveals Himself to Us in Holy Baptism


The Baptism of our Lord is an “epiphany” of the one true God in the flesh and blood of Jesus. He is the chosen servant of the Lord, anointed with the Spirit for the rescue of God’s people to “bring forth justice to the nations” (Is. 42:1). Thus, He makes all things new, and He is given “as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations” (Is. 42:6). In the waters of the Jordan, He takes His place with sinners and takes all the sins of the world upon Himself. He undergoes the Baptism of repentance in order to “fulfill all righteousness” for us (Matt. 3:15). He submits Himself to the curse of sin and death in order to redeem us. We are baptized with a Baptism like His, thereby dying and rising with Him, so that “we will also live with him” (Rom. 6:8). Indeed, all of us who are baptized into Christ Jesus are anointed with His Spirit and named by His Father as beloved and well-pleasing sons and daughters.


The Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Day)....December 25, 2022


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


The Lord sends out His ministers of the Gospel to make disciples “of all the nations,” so that “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” The Lord has “bared his holy arm” in the incarnate Christ (Is. 52:7, 10). The child in the manger, born of the Virgin Mary, is the very Word of God, the only begotten Son of the Father, “whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Heb. 1:2). As “all things were made through him” (John 1:3), so are all things redeemed and made new in Him. In His body of flesh and blood, we behold “the radiance of the glory of God” (Heb. 1:3), “glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He dwells among us in peace, that we might have life and light and salvation in Him. For by His Word of the Gospel, we are born again as the children of God, bearing His name and sharing His eternal life.


4th Sunday of Advent.................................................December 18, 2022


God’s Word Is Fulfilled for Us in the Flesh and Blood of Christ Jesus, the Son of Mary


The Fourth Sunday in Advent turns our attention toward the Nativity of Our Lord. With the blessed Virgin Mary, we await the coming of the Christ, her Son, conceived in her womb by the Word and Spirit of God. This fulfillment of the sign once given to the house of David, that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Is. 7:14), is now given to us in the Gospel. It declares that salvation is by His grace alone, entirely His work and a free gift. It also is the way and means by which the Lord our God is Immanuel, “God with us.” The almighty and eternal Son of God is conceived and born of Mary, and is thus “descended from David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3–4). He comes in this way to save us with His own flesh and blood; wherefore, He is called “Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). As Joseph received this sign in faith and immediately “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Matt. 1:24), we also live by faith in this Holy Gospel.


3rd Sunday of Advent.................................................December 11, 2022


The Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ Brings True Rejoicing, Even Under the Cross


Sometimes life requires the astonishing patience of Job. Like him, we are to rejoice in the midst of affliction, be grounded in repentance under the cross of Christ, and hope relentlessly in His resurrection, that we might see “the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11). In the promise of the Gospel, therefore, “be patient” and “establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7, 8). Like St. John the Baptist, whatever your own kind of prison or suffering may be, call upon Jesus and receive the strength of His Word from those He sends to you. For as “the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up,” so is the Good News of Jesus preached to you also (Matt. 11:5). He comes and restores the fortunes of Zion, His Holy Church, so that “sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Is. 35:10).


2nd Sunday of Advent...................................................December 4, 2022


By the Preaching of Repentance, We Are Prepared for the Coming of the Lord


“John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent’” (Matt. 3:1–2). His preaching of repentance for the forgiveness of sins prepared people for the coming of Christ into the world. St. John’s work was historically complete with the incarnate advent of Jesus, but his vital ministry continues in preaching Law and Gospel. The Son of God has come in the flesh, “a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots” (Is. 11:1), and continues to bear the fruits of righteousness. His good tree of the cross is “a signal for the peoples” (Is. 11:10), by which He calls the nations to repentance. “With the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips” (Is. 11:4), He slays the wicked and brings the dead to life, making sons of Abraham out of lifeless stones. So also the “root of Jesse” comes to us, “even he who arises to rule the Gentiles” (Rom. 15:12), that “we might have hope” and be filled “with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:4, 13).


1st Sunday In Advent.................................................November 27, 2022


The Lord Comes in Meekness and Humility to Save Us Now


The Lord Jesus enters Jerusalem “humble, and mounted on a donkey,” riding on “a beast of burden” (Matt. 21:5), as He Himself bears the sins of the world in His body. Now He comes by the ministry of the Gospel to save us from sin, death, the devil and hell. Therefore, we sing, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt. 21:9). For we are called “to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob,” His Holy Church, “that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths” (Is. 2:3). By His Word, we “walk in the light of the Lord” (Is. 2:5). That is to live in love, which “does no wrong to a neighbor” (Rom. 13:10). We “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light,” for “salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Rom. 13:11, 12). Hence, the entire Christian life is a time to wake and watch, “for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matt. 24:42).


Last Sunday Of The Church Year.....................November 20, 2022


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).


22nd Sunday After Trinity........................................November 13, 2022


Walking humbly with our God and forgiving one another


With what shall we come before the Lord (Micah 6:6) who forgives all our sins, and how often shall our fellow Christians sin against us and we forgive them (Matt. 18:21)? Our gracious God on high does not need our “burnt offerings” or “thousands of rams” (Micah 6:6-7), which we could legitimately offer in thanksgiving. He is the Savior who gave His only-begotten Son for our transgression. He offers the fruit of His body, once hanging dead on a cross but now living and giving life in His holy Meal, for the sin of our souls (Micah 6:7). Because He releases us from our enormous debt of sin against Him, we need not imprison our fellow sinners with our lack of love and refusal of forgiveness (Matt. 18:24, 27, 30). As partakers of His grace, we yearn for one another “with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:8). As forgiven sinners, “filled with the fruit of Christ’s righteousness,” our “love may abound more and more, with knowledge and discernment” (Phil. 1:11, 9), for He leads us “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God” (Micah 6:8).


Sunday - All Saints Day...............................................November 6, 2022


All Saints’ Day


Preaching in our churches on All Saints’ Day is always preaching to the saints on earth. This is not only the simple reality, but also the biblical model, since Jesus in today’s Gospel, is describing the life of the saints here on earth. But this day also connects us with the saints in heaven, pictured so vividly in the First Reading from the Revelation to St. John. Appropriately, it is also John who, in the Epistle for All Saints’ Day, makes the connection between the two: “children of God” is what we “are” (1 Jn 3:1), presently, now—wherever we are currently living our eternal life as saints. This, too, is the point of the Collect: “Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You. -

Rev. G. Robert Heimgartner, Emeritus



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Reformation Day..................................................................October 30, 2022


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, justifies 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). For He is “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt. 11:19), 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 hearing the 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 you free” (John 8:31–32).



St. James of Jerusalem, Brother of Jesus and Martyr....................

October 23, 2022


St. James of Jerusalem, Brother of Jesus and Martyr


“A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household” (Matt. 13:58). James the Just was once offended at Jesus’ “wisdom and … mighty works” (Matt. 13:54). But he came to faith following His resurrection, when Jesus appeared to him (1 Cor. 15:7). He then became a leader of the Early Church in Jerusalem, present at the council recorded in Acts 15. There James recognized from the prophets that Jesus was the Lord “known from of old” and returned to rebuild David’s fallen tent and restore it, “that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name” (Acts 15:16–18). “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2–3). Josephus and other historians record that James was martyred by stoning in the 60s A.D. “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).


18th Sunday After Trinity...............................................October 16, 2022


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 your 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).





17th Sunday After Trinity..................................................October 9, 2022


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.



16th Sunday After Trinity..................................................October 2, 2022


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. He touches the coffin and speaks His creative words of life, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” Jesus does what is neither expected nor requested. For through Christ, God the Father “is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think” (Eph. 3:14–21). Jesus bore our death in His body that we may share in His resurrection. Even as Elijah stretched himself out three times over the Zarephath woman’s son (2 Kings 17:17–24), God stretched Himself out over us in the threefold application of His name in the baptismal water, breathing new and everlasting life into us. “To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”


15th Sunday After Trinity.......................................September 25, 2022


Anxious Bondage vs. Confident Trust


“You cannot serve God and money” (Matt. 6:24–34), for they require two contrary forms of
service. Worry is the worship given to the false god of mammon, an unbelieving anxiousness and
focus on the things of this world. Faith is the worship of the true God, a confident trust that He is
a loving Father who will care for all of our needs in both body and soul. The widow of Zarephath
served God— that is, she believed the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah that the bin of flour
would not be used up nor would the jar of oil run dry (1 Kings 17:8–16). He who feeds the birds
and clothes the flowers will certainly provide for our daily needs. For He has already provided
for our eternal needs, clothing us with Christ’s righteousness in Baptism and feeding us His body
and blood for our forgiveness. With such confidence we are liberated from worry and freed to do
good with our material resources, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal.
5:25–6:10).


Holy Cross Sunday ....................................................September 18, 2022


The Cry of Faith: Lord, Have Mercy


The ten lepers cried out from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:11–19).
Their condition cut them off from God and others. So also do the works of the flesh cut us off
from God and others. “Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal.
5:16–24). Thus we cry out with the lepers, “Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have
mercy,” eagerly seeking His good gifts. Jesus said to the lepers, “Go and show yourselves to the
priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. So too, we walk by faith and not by sight, being
confident of Jesus’ help before we see any evidence of it, trusting that Jesus’ cleansing words of
forgiveness will restore us to wholeness in the resurrection. Let us be as the one leper who
returned to the true High Priest to give Him thanks and glory. For Jesus bore our infirmities in
His sacrifice at Calvary. His words are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh
(Prov. 4:10–23).


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13th SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY...........................September 11, 2022


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.


12th Sunday After Trinity ..........................................September 4, 2022

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.




11th Sunday After Trinity...................................................August 28, 2022


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’s 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.”



10th Sunday after Trinity ................................................. August 21, 2022

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).



                                     

                                       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 (1 Cor. 10:6–13). For the Lord is our strength and a shield to all
who trust in Him (2 Sam. 22:26–34).



8th Sunday after Trinity ..................................................... August 7, 2022

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.


7th Sunday after Trinity ........................................................... July 31, 2022

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).


6th Sunday after Trinity .......................................................... July 24, 2022

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).


5th Sunday after Trinity ........................................................... July 17, 2022

Jesus Makes Fishers of Men

The Lord called fishermen to be fishers of men (Luke 5:1-11). The net they would use is the message of the cross, which is foolishness and a stumbling block to the world (1 Cor. 1:18-25). The power of God to save is not in spectacular signs like wind and fire and earthquakes (1 Kings 19:11-21), nor is it to be found in human intelligence and wisdom. The power of God to save comes in the still, small voice of the preaching of Christ crucified. In worldly darkness the disciples could catch nothing. But in the light of Christ, whose Word was attached to the water, the boats were filled with fish. So it is that in Baptism you have been drawn in to the ship of the Church. Though the nets are breaking and some who hear the Word do not believe, pastors continue to cast the net of the Gospel and the Sacraments, that Christians may abide in the boat of the Church and that we may be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:8-15).


4th Sunday after Trinity ........................................................... July 10, 2022

Christ's Mercy Is Ours to Show to Others

"Be merciful, even as your Father also is merciful" (Luke 6:36-42). The old Adam in us wants to condemn and seek vengeance. But the Lord says, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay" (Rom. 12:14-21). To condemn, to avenge yourself, is to put yourself in the place of God. It is to fail to trust that He is just. Ultimately, it is to disbelieve that Jesus suffered the full vengeance for all wrongs. Only Christ is merciful as the Father is merciful. He is the one who overcame all evil with the good of His cross, forgiving even His executioners. Jesus is our Joseph, who comforts us with words of pardon and reconciliation (Gen. 50:15-21). He is the One who does not condemn but gives life that runs over. Only through faith in Christ are we sons of the Father-being merciful, forgiving, doing good to our enemies. For in Christ we know that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:8-13).

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3rd Sunday after Trinity ............................................................. July 3, 2022

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 you" (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.

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Presentation of the Augsburg Conf. (Obs.) ............ June 26, 2022

The Augsburg Confession, the principal doctrinal statement of the theology of Martin Luther and the Lutheran reformers, was written largely by Phillip Melanchthon. At its heart it confesses the justification of sinners by grace alone, through faith alone, for the sake of Christ alone. Signed by leaders of many German cities and regions, the confession was formally presented to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at Augsburg, Germany, on June 25, 1530. A few weeks later Roman Catholic authorities rejected the Confession, which Melanchthon defended in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1531). In 1580 the Unaltered Augsburg Confession was included in the Book of Concord.


1st Sunday after Trinity .......................................................... June 19, 2022

Faith Trusts in Christ for Life Eternal

When the beggar Lazarus died, he was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. For he was truly Abraham's seed. Like Abraham, he believed in the Lord, and the Lord "counted it to him as righteousness" (Gen. 15:6). The name Lazarus means "God is my help." The unnamed rich man, on the other hand, did not love and trust in God. For he evidently cared little for the beggar at his gate. And "he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20). He who loved and trusted in possessions and prestige died and was in torments in Hades (Luke 16:19-31). Repentance and faith are worked only through Moses and the prophets-that is, the Word of God, for it points us to Christ. Only through His death and resurrection are we brought the comfort of life everlasting.


Trinity Sunday .............................................................................. June 12, 2022

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 hosts!" (Is. 6:3). "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:33-36).


7th Sunday of Easter ............................................................... May 29, 2022

Jesus Is with Us in His Holy Christian Church

On the night when He was betrayed, Jesus interceded for His Church - for His apostles and all who believe in Him through their word - that all of His disciples "may become perfectly one" in the Father and the Son (John 17:21–23). For Jesus became flesh and dwells among us in order to reveal the Father and His name, to share with us the glory of His righteousness, and to bring us to the Father in Himself. As the Father loved the Son from "before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24), so He loves the whole world (John 17:23, 26). Through the apostolic witness to the Baptism, cross and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:21–22), the Lord gathers His disciples throughout the world "with one accord" as one Body in Christ (Acts 1:14). And so with one voice and by one Spirit, His Bride prays, "Come" (Rev. 22:17). And He comes to us. He gives us "the water of life without price" to wash our robes and quench our thirst (Rev. 22:17); He feeds us from "the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit" (Rev. 22:2).


Feast of Pentecost ..................................................................... June 5, 2022

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 50th 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).


Feast of the Ascension ........................................................... May 26, 2022

Christ Ascended Is with You Always

In His resurrection, the Lord Jesus presented Himself alive to the apostles, "appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). Then He ascended to the right hand of the Father, not orphaning His Church, but filling all things in heaven and on earth, and giving gifts to His disciples. So today, He continues to preach "repentance and forgiveness of sins" (Luke 24:47) through "the apostles whom he had chosen" (Acts 1:2), even "to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Jesus comes among us today by His Word and Spirit, whom He pours out upon "the church, which is his body" (Eph. 1:22–23). In His Church, He blesses us with forgiveness, lifts us up in His hands and seats us with Himself "in the heavenly places" (Eph. 1:20).


6th Sunday of Easter ................................................................ May 22, 2022

We Pray to the Father in Jesus' Name

"In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Jesus has opened the way to the Father so that "whatever you ask of the Father" in Jesus' name, "he will give it to you" (John 16:23). We pray, therefore, in the confidence that we will be heard and answered, that our "joy may be full" (John 16:24). We pray because the Gospel has been preached to us and the Lord has opened our hearts to believe the Gospel (Acts 16:10, 14). We pray in the name of Jesus because we have been baptized into Him, as Lydia and her household were baptized (Acts 16:15). We have been healed, and we live and walk and pray in newness of life (John 5:8–9). For we stand upon the firm foundation "of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Rev. 21:14), and our temple is "the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb" (Rev. 21:22).


5th Sunday of Easter ................................................................ May 15, 2022

Jesus Turns Sorrow into Joy

On earth "you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy" (John 16:20). Already the Spirit grants you peace and joy through the forgiveness of your sins. For by the cross of Christ, "God has granted repentance that leads to life" (Acts 11:18). His Gospel is "a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household" (Acts 11:14). He gives freely "from the spring of the water of life" (Rev. 21:6), "and death shall be no more" (Rev. 21:4). He dwells with His people, adorning His Church as a bride for her husband, "making all things new" (Rev. 21:5). Therefore, as the Son of Man is glorified by His cross, "and God is glorified in him" (John 13:31), so He is glorified in us by our "love for one another" (John 13:35), which His Spirit works in us by His grace.


4th Sunday of Easter ................................................................... May 8, 2022

The Good Shepherd Cares for His Sheep

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came from the Father and became flesh among us in order to rescue us, His sheep. He laid down His life for us and took it up again in order to give us eternal life. By the preaching of His Gospel, He calls His sheep to Himself and keeps them with Him forever. As they hear His voice and follow Him, "they will never perish" (John 10:28), for "no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand" (John 10:29). In the same way, faithful pastors (literally, "shepherds") "care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood" (Acts 20:28), "testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Therefore, with all the company of heaven, the Good Shepherd gathers His flock in worship, as they cry: "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Rev. 7:10).


3rd Sunday of Easter ................................................................... May 1, 2022

The Good Shepherd Feeds His Lambs

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain" (Rev. 5:12), who by His cross has conquered sin and death. With His blood, He has "ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Rev. 5:9). This same Lord Jesus visits people of all nations and calls them to Himself by the Gospel, even as He "was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead" (John 21:14). He restored Simon Peter to faith and life and commissioned him to feed His lambs and tend His sheep (John 21:15–17). Likewise, He revealed Himself to Saul of Tarsus and brought him to repentance, so that the persecutor of Jesus might carry and confess His name "before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15).


2nd Sunday of Easter .............................................................. April 24, 2022

That You May Believe and Have Life in His Name

On the Lord's Day, St. John the apostle was given a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. He is the Living One, "the firstborn of the dead" (Rev. 1:5). He died for all people, and behold, He is alive forevermore! Therefore, He has "the keys of Death and Hades" (Rev. 1:18). For His death atoned for sin and conquered death, and in His resurrection He opened the kingdom of heaven to us. The "sharp two-edged sword" of His mouth (Rev. 1:16) calls you to "believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God," that by such faith "you may have life in his name" (John 20:31). To that end, He sends His ministers of the Word, as the Father sent Him, "to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31).


Easter Sunday ............................................................................... April 17, 2022

Christ's Resurrection Is the Firstfruits of the New Creation

The Lord has promised to "create new heavens and a new earth" (Is. 65:17), in which His people shall abide in peace and joy. That new creation has begun in the bodily resurrection of Christ Jesus. All the baptized belong to that new creation. Reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, they are "the offspring of the blessed of the Lord" (Is. 65:23). The Lord rejoices and is glad in them; He hears and answers their prayers. For "if in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied" (1 Cor. 15:19). But Christ Jesus has been raised, "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Cor. 15:20). We may be "perplexed about this" (Luke 24:4), perhaps even frightened and brought to our knees, because it seems like an "idle tale" (Luke 24:11). But faith clings to the Word of Christ and finds His resurrected body - not in the tomb, but in His Holy Supper.


Easter Sunrise Service ............................................................ April 17, 2022

Our Redeemer Lives!

In Adam, all die because all sin. The children of that first gardener have been driven out of Paradise and return to the dust whence they were taken. But now another Gardener has come, who has made His bed in the dust of the earth, and in His resurrection He has opened paradise for all the children of Adam. For "death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:54), and God "gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:57). So we each confess that "my Redeemer lives" and "in my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:25, 26). As He has called us out of darkness into light and wiped away our tears, we behold Him now by faith and recognize His voice in the Gospel. We enter His tomb by the death of Holy Baptism, and we also share His resurrection. For as surely as He has risen, so we also one day "must rise from the dead" (John 20:9).