Service Type: Feast Day

7-24-22 Feast of St. James the Elder

July 24, 2022
Today we celebrate the feast of St. James the Elder, Apostle of our Lord. Now it’s been a little while since we’ve commemorated one of the saints, so it’s worth noting first of all why we do so. The Lutheran Reformers explained this well in The Apology of the Augsburg Confession in the Book of Concord: “Our confession approves honoring the saints in three ways. The first is thanksgiving. We should thank God because He…

4-15-22 Good Friday (Chief Service)

April 15, 2022
Jesus says to the women who are following him and weeping as He bears his cross to Calvary, “Do not weep for me. Weep for yourselves.” Don’t pity me, pity yourselves. So it will do us no good to feel sorry for Jesus today. Martin Luther particularly insists on this: Jesus’ suffering is no spectacle to make us cry at the injustice, to make us pity a poor man suffering unjustly. We can read Oliver…

4-15-22 Good Friday (Tenebrae)

April 15, 2022
The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. It was Peter’s flesh that talked big and announced his bravery, that he would stand by Jesus to the end. He wasn’t insincere. He was overconfident in himself – the vice known as temerity – but he wasn’t insincere. He was serious. He drew the sword and struck off Malchus’ ear. He was, as he said, ready to die for Jesus, ready to fight to the…

4-14-22 Maundy Thursday

April 14, 2022
This day is called Maundy Thursday. The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum, which means “commandment,” because on this day Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” Now in a sense, the command to love is not new. Love has always been the summary of the Law: “You shall love the Lord your…

11-7-21 All Saints

November 7, 2021
The world claims to be very reasonable. It boasts in science, facts, empirical evidence, and says it will only believe something if it can be proven. The world claims to be very reasonable. Yet how unreasonable the world is in the face of death. When it comes to dead loved ones the world becomes downright superstitious. All Saints’ Day gives us a good opportunity to critique the world’s opinions about the dead, and talk of…

10-31-21 Reformation

October 31, 2021
504 years ago today, Martin Luther posted 95 theses against the sale of indulgences on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. Powerful people, bishops, pope, emperor, commanded Luther to retract what he wrote or die. But Luther wouldn’t, because Luther had a higher authority. His Lord Jesus. His Word, the Bible. The emperor could take his bodily freedom, but Jesus had already set his conscience free from all sin. The pope could put…

9-26-21 St. Michael and All Angels

September 26, 2021
Our Lord Jesus loves children. He calls them to himself. He takes them in his arms. He blesses them. He speaks of the angels who watch over them. And here in our Gospel he even tells us to become like children. He warns us that if we do not, we will never enter into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus points in particular to the humility of children. “Whoever humbles himself like this child,” Jesus says,…

4-2-21 Good Friday Chief Service

April 2, 2021
From the beginning of Christ’s passion, it becomes devastatingly obvious that all around Him need saving. They’re obnoxiously serve serving. And this is a commentary not simply on their need for a Savior but on ours. As St. John tells us at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, “Jesus did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in…

4-2-21 Good Friday Tenebrae

April 2, 2021
In the name of Jesus. Day of wrath, O day of mourning! See fulfilled the Prophet’s warning, Heav’n and earth in ashes burning. (TLH 607.1) Even the pagans recognize divine wrath and judgment in catastrophic events. When God sent deep and utter darkness upon the Egyptians in the 9th Plague, Pharoah did not question whether or not this was the work of a god. He only raged at Moses for being the prophet of the…

4-1-21 Maundy Thursday

April 1, 2021
Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when he was betrayed, declared his last will and testament and disposed of his estate. Many rich men have willed gold and mansions, revenues and high positions. Our Lord says in Luke 9, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Yet Jesus has willed us something far greater than earthly wealth and honor. Our…
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