Christ’s faithfulness frees believers from anxiety

Consider the Lilies from Holdman Studios

The sainted Matthew, a former tax collector, is the one whose writings and life set this week’s sanctification themes. Those were given to the Church long ago in order to help center us this week on Christ Jesus. They serve to make this a St. Matthew week in the Church.
What that means is that not only is today’s Gospel reading publicly proclaimed from his inspired work, so will be Wednesday’s. The mid-week celebration will, we can be confident, reveal Jesus’ concern for those who hear His Word, confess their sins, and follow Him. It will again reveal that, no matter how great the sin a sinner has committed, by God’s grace, through His Word, such a one can be turned from sin and be freed to live new life by following Christ Jesus. …For more, click on the title above.

Jesus wills to grant and sustain the faith

The One Who Returned by Dana Mario Wood

This Sunday the congregation of Catalina Lutheran Church has had a wonderful opportunity to behold a genuine earthly vision of beautiful heavenly realities. Those occurred as God raised two little ones to new, blessed, eternal life through the water and Word of Holy Baptism.
That took place quite a bit before the day’s Gospel reading. Heavenly realities revealed on earth even preceded the congregation’s echoing the cry of the 10 lepers. That is: “Lord, have mercy.” …For more, click on the title above.

‘O Lord, Open my lips…’ a beautiful prayer of the faith

Jesus Healing a Deaf-mute by Bartholomeus Breenbergh

Hear that which Jesus still says to cast off the bindings the ancient jailer of mankind had locked upon those whom God names with His Name: “!” [Ephphatha] (That is, be opened).
In the ancient Baptismal Rite, since before AD 1526, as the third of three exorcisms, a pastor was given to declare those words of Jesus over those whom God is preparing to baptize. Historically, the pastor then followed that command with a phrase like this, “But thou, devil, flee, for God’s judgment cometh speedily.” Then, having heard a blessing from the pastor, the candidate was, and still is, led through renouncing the devil, and all his works and ways. …For more, click on the title above.

Jesus is the true merciful Master

The Unjust Steward by Nelly Bube

The Gospel reading for today has long been thought of as being one of the difficult sayings of Jesus. At first hearing, it may seem to indicate that Jesus is teaching that good stewardship of God’s gifts should be done by whatever means may be expedient, even if they are not honest! If that were the point of the narrative, we could hear the sermon’s apostolic benediction and get on with receiving God’s gifts.
But God’s approval of dishonest stewardship to preserve one’s own standard of living is not the point of the text. …For more, click on the title above.