With Jesus, there are only the sick

Symptoms can lead to, or be an indication of, something much worse. So, we can’t always treat the symptoms like we do an annoying noise in the car. You all know how you treat that, right? You turn the radio up until you can no longer hear the noise. There are times when we have to dig deeper and find the underlying problem.
In our Gospel reading appointed for this Festival of St. Matthew, where we hear the call of Matthew and the subsequent dinner held at his house, there’s a sneaky symptom that shows up. …For more, click on the title above.

The Pharisee and the publican

The Pharisee And Publican by Siegfried Detler Bendixen

At first glance, it appears that there are many different religions in the world. In fact, I was watching the launch and 90-minute flight—3 of those experiencing weightlessness—of the Virgin Galactic the other day and one of the reporters said it was a spiritual…almost religious experience…one you, too, can have for $450,000.
But we already have Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism…the list goes on, and on, and on. What surprises most people is that, even when you just look at Christianity, there are more than 44,000 different denominations of Christianity in the world.
But, in fact, and you really need to hear this: there are only two religions—the right one, and all the rest. …for more, click on thr title above.

Jesus is at the center of the Trinity

Trinity stained glass at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother in Avondale, PA

Jesus – and this is so important in understanding Lutheran theology vs. other protestant theology – Jesus is at the center of the Trinity. He is the One who will bring you into the triune life of God…

For more click on the title above

Sing for joy

Shout for Joy by Karen Beasley

Directors use music to affect our emotions. They want to draw us into the film. They want to manipulate how we feel as the plot thickens.
In the Church we don’t want—or need—to be manipulated that way. We want to sing to the Lord because of His righteousness and the satisfaction that Christ has made for us through His suffering, death and resurrection. We want to recall His marvelous deeds. We want to give thanks and praise for what He has done….For more, click on the title above.

Easter promises: Fulfilled in Christ’s resurrection

Touch me not (Noli me tangere) by James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum

I exhort you in Christ Jesus: Do not for a minute dismiss what we celebrate here: For on this Easter morning, we celebrate nothing less than the triumph over death itself. Triumph over actual death—this is not some story we use as a mind-numbing agent, to make us feel better about life and its hardships in this world.
No, my friends, we rejoice that Christ has accomplished what all science, medicine and human effort cannot possibly do. He has conquered the grave. He has won the victory so that we can truly live forever in the gracious presence of God. …For more, click on the title above.

Focus on Jesus, today and all year

When Jesus returned from Bethany on Tuesday morning the priests and the scribes have been chewing on this incident at the Temple all night long. They approach Jesus and say,
“By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Their rage had been building and now they have decided to put Jesus to the test. Aside from these questions about authority, there are three specific tests administered to Jesus on this day by three different groups. For more, click on the title above.

The confession of the centurion

Our question on this day is what turned this Caesar-loving soldier into a soldier of the cross? What made this man, about whom legends have been told, turn from unbelieving defiler of the Holy One to a worshipper of the One True God? The synoptic gospels treat this confession a little differently according to who it is that’s telling the story, and, of course, their audience. Now, that doesn’t make one story true and the others false, and it doesn’t make one any truer than the others. It’s a matter of perspective and context….For more, click on the title above.

Faith alone: Lessons from a blind man

Stained Glass #804 at fineartamerica.com

Everything—yes, everything—hinges and depends upon the Word of God in Christ. However, because that Word centers in His Cross, Christ’s Word remains a great Mystery, and even His disciples were blind to what it means and signifies—both for Him and for themselves—until it was revealed and explained by the Holy Spirit….For more, click on the title above.