Love is as Strong as Death
on January 19th, 2020
“Love is as strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. May waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” -Song of Songs 8:6-7What could be better as we approach Valentine’s Day than to talk about love? Especially since we have been...
on January 12th, 2020
One of the hardest things in life is not being able to communicate with someone. If you have ever been around someone following a stroke, you know what I mean. There is nothing more frustrating for the person than having to play 20 questions with them or to ask them to repeat themselves for the 3rd time. My grandfather had his larynx removed due to cancer, and the pain on his face said it all when, more often than not, he became an observer rather than a participant in a discussion. He loved to talk and now it was taken away.
Knowing Worship - Sermons
on January 7th, 2020
Why do Pastors preach? Have you ever asked that question? Preaching is a very odd thing. In fact, it carries a negative connotation in our day. “Don’t preach to me!” is the phrase in vogue. “Acta Non Verba” (Action not Words) goes the Latin phrase. Therefore, a pastor preaching will not find much reward or congrats in preaching. But honestly, that is okay. Pastors don’t preach to have the world smile and adore them.
It\'s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?
on January 5th, 2020
I hear all of the happy, bouncy Christmas songs. I love the lights and decorations. I enjoy the “happily ever after” Hallmark Christmas movies. But I still find myself asking, “Is this really the most wonderful time of the year?”
Final Principle of Interpretation
on December 29th, 2019
It is fitting that my last newsletter article of the year is joined to the Christmas Season and to my last principles of interpretation thought. I pray that these last few articles have really given you something to wrestle with when it comes to the text of Scripture as God has given them to us. This last one is the key point above all points. In fact, if you do not read the Bible in this way, it will never make sense to you.
The Season of Our Savior
on December 13th, 2019
A certain lady who served on many civic committees, when asked to select carols suitable for a community Christmas-tree lighting, sought the help of her pastor. After she scanned the list he had selected, she exclaimed in dismay, "But they’re all so theological." That little story is quite ironic! A good Christmas carol must be about Jesus and thus also about God. We know this to be true, and so good Christmas carols are theological, of course.
A Bethlehem Walk Thank You
on December 9th, 2019
For the past four years, members of Christ Lutheran Church have come together in November and early December with a very specific purpose in mind. Many have cheerfully given time, talents, and generous donations to support our Bethlehem Walk.
4th Principle of Interpretation
on December 8th, 2019
God speaks in two different ways. The Scriptures themselves call it Curses and Blessings. The Early Church called it the Law and the Promises. Lutherans have called it Law and Gospel. When reading the Bible, it is your job as the reader to always ask yourself: Is this Law or Gospel that God is speaking? This is no simple task, and it is easy to confuse them.
Advent: Looking Forward
on December 1st, 2019
Advent has a special meaning all its own, which gently draws us forward into the whole Christmas season. It is a time of preparation and expectation that keeps Christmas and the incarnation, the birth, of Jesus in view, but beyond that, Advent looks forward to the second coming of Jesus on the Last Day.
Wear Your Own Shoes
on November 24th, 2019
Recently I heard a touching story about a young man who battled strong feelings of insecurity. His father had pastored a growing church for many years. The young man learned a lot under his father’s leadership. He even enjoyed his own small successes as the congregation’s youth pastor.
3rd Principle of Interpretation
on November 17th, 2019
Have you ever run across a section of Scripture that seems very hard to understand? How can you gain understanding on something in the Bible that is not clear or needs more explanation? As we move onto the next Principle of Interpretation, we find out our answer: Scripture Interprets Scripture.
Musings at the Beginning of a Study of Studies on the Songs of Songs
on November 10th, 2019
Musings at the Beginning of a Study of Studies on the Songs of SongsUndertaking a new Bible Study on a book of the Bible that I haven’t led a Bible study on before is quite a task. What causes it to be so difficult?There are many reasons. First, there are radically divergent interpretational opinions and approaches even among confessional and conservative Lutheran pastors and scholars, going back ...