The Life of a Christian

Artist/Title Unknown

The Christian life begins, as does all life, at God’s will. When we walked on four legs, even at our conceptions, when we were first knit together in our mother’s wombs, each of us received God’s gracious gift of life. At that moment, when we were each a “clump of cells,” we were sinners in need of a Savior, and recipients of God’s gracious gift of life. …For more, click on the title above.

Baptized into the Death of Christ

CLC Bulletin Cover from July 12, 1998

Being baptized into Christ is not simply a dedication to the church. If it were, this language here in our text would be misleading or confusing. In baptism, we are buried with Him through baptism, so that we may be raised just as He is. Does this sound like mere dedication and a turning away from sin?
Now, there is surely a part of baptism that has to do with the community of the Church. In addition to being buried with Christ through baptism, you were baptized into the Body of Christ, the church. Why does St. Peter say baptism saves? Because in baptism you received the Holy Spirit, the Author of Faith….For more, click on the title above.

What happens in God’s Divine Service

Tree of Life: 2023 Vacation Bible School Logo

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, throughout today’s Divine Service, you will hear teaching points on just what is happening, has happened, and primarily what is about to happen in the service. All Vicars here at Catalina do such a service, as it helps us know just what is happening, and also prepares us for a congregation that perhaps has yet to recover the treasury of certain parts of the service, or perhaps just don’t know why they do what they do. …For more, click on the title above.

Comfort in the face of Incomprehensible Ways

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

“O depth of riches, both the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements, and how incomprehensible are His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? And who has been His counselor? Or who has first given to Him, that it shall be recompensed to him?”

Thus far our text. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, these few short verses are something I very much wish the average person would understand about God. Many problems people have with who God is and how He works could be dispelled by a good understanding of this text. Since probably the beginning of life after the fall, non-believers have been hung up on these aspects of Our God. …For more, click on the title above.

Where’s the Fanfare?

The Ascension by Giotto di Bondone

Our text for this evening’s meditation comes from the Gospel reading you heard just moments ago these words:
“And it came to pass in His blessing of them, he was separated from them and was carried up into heaven.”

Is that it? There has got to be more written about the Ascension of our Lord than that, right? Besides Luke, only one other Gospel writer records the Ascension, that being Mark. Perhaps Mark has more to say about it, because frankly, I was expecting a bit more fanfare out of something so glorious as the Ascension. …For more, click on the title above.

Who are the blessed who do not see?

Jesus Appears to the Disciples by William Hole

Our text for this morning’s sermon is from the Gospel reading which you heard just moments ago, these words:
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those not having seen, yet having believed.”

Thus far our text. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to do some damage control on behalf of Thomas, our brother in Christ. Thomas, called the Twin, is more infamously known as “Doubting Thomas,” and honestly, I find it a bit unfair. So, in the interest of restoring Thomas’ good name, let us consider some details of this well-known pericope.
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Can These Bones Live?

Jesus Appears to the Disciples by William Hole

What gives the bones life? It is the Word of God. At the command of God, the Word was and is preached, prophesied to each and every one of us, whether it was when we were yet in the womb, or after a lifetime of being tossed about, rattling in the hot dust of the valley. When that word was prophesied over our dry bones, life covered us. Sinews and flesh, muscle and blood, indeed the very Blood of Christ covered our bones, and we stood upright.

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Jesus, the Guest, Becomes Host

The Pilgrims of Emmaus on the Road

… the scene described for us this evening in our Gospel reading is… pretty funny, really. We hear of two disciples of Christ in distress about the events surrounding Christ’s death, and our dear Lord just kind of lets them squirm a bit.
“You say the Christ was crucified? No, I never heard of it,” says the Christ who was crucified. Classic stuff. Beyond the humor of the situation, though, we have here Christ setting Himself as the Host for a meal, and using Scripture to tell
these disciples in distress about Who exactly is the Messiah. …for more, click on the title above.

We killed our King

Christ Crucified by Svitozar Nenyuk

The text for this evening’s sermon comes from the Passion recorded in the Gospel of St. John, these words:
Therefore, [the Jews] cried out “Away with Him! Away! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king if not Caesar.”

Thus far our text. This is a bold claim made by the leaders of the faith in our reading this evening. This confession by the chief priests of the Jews has the entire history of the world and of God’s love for His people behind it. Let us consider all the implications of this demonic declaration…For more, click on the title above.