'Easter' Tagged Posts

'Easter' Tagged Posts

GOD’S ACRE

You may recall that this past April 12th, we observed Easter in a way we had never observed it before…virtually…live streaming the service with as much joyful noise as a few voices and instruments could make amid the shut-down. Today’s hymns are Easter hymns!  This is on purpose. With as many as are able to come to our sanctuary, we will celebrate “a little Easter in August.”   We shall stand in a little graveyard in the village of Bethany and…

SAINTS TRIUMPHANT

This particular Sunday has come to be called “Saints Triumphant.”   That word “saints” is a rich Bible word which deserves a look-see. The word “saint” is sometimes wrongly used to refer to a person of the past who was so holy and perfect that he or she earned their way to heaven and then had left-over “points” or merits to share with someone else.  This false teaching is compounded when people offer up prayers to such “saints.”   There are…

DEATH & RESURRECTION IN BAPTISM

On this second Sunday of Easter (for every Sunday is a celebration of Easter), our epistle lesson from Romans 6 talks about death and resurrection in the gospel waters of Baptism.  This is what Paul says: “What shall we say then? Shall we keep on sinning so that grace may increase?  Absolutely not! We died to sin. How can we go on living in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus…

“JUST AS HE SAID!”

In Matthew’s account of Easter morning, the angel says to the women:  “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” The angel knew why the women were there, what low expectations they brought with them, unmindful that Jesus would rise “as He said.” We are so used to promises that are not kept.  Others have made promises to us – big…

WAITING FOR JESUS

John, chapter 5, calls the place Bethesda – “House of Mercy.”  It was Jerusalem’s hospital for the blind, the lame, the paralyzed – not far from the gate through which shepherds brought their sheep to market.  Five covered porches offered shelter from the heat of the sun, the sandy winds and the occasional cold rain. But that was about it. There were no nurses or attendants to care for these castaways of society.   Historically, it might be noted that our…

WHAT’S WITH ALL THIS “40” STUFF?

Did you ever notice how the number “40” shows up in the Bible history lessons we learned when we were young? 40 days and 40 nights of rain ushered in the worldwide flood of Noah’s day. Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt. Sinai receiving the law.  He spent an additional 40 days and 40 nights praying for the rebellious children of Israel after they had thrown God over for a golden calf. Israel wandered for 40 years…

WAITING FOR GOD

You’ve probably seen the bumper sticker:  “Lord, give me patience…and give it to me right now!”  Patience is not our modern virtue. We drive our fast cars to the fast food restaurant so we can eat fast so we can get to the next meeting – fast.  On average, we are living longer, but we seem to have less time. Despite our modern conveniences – water, electricity, heating, air conditioning, quick transportation, the average American gets two and a half…

GRACE NOTES

As we near the end of the church year, our thoughts turn to the end of all things.  We instinctively picture ourselves and others before the great throne on that last day.  Who will enter that eternal kingdom and who will not? Our own times are awash in what we might call universalism, the sentimental idea that merely dying entitles a person to enter heaven, that ultimately everybody goes to heaven and nobody goes to hell – in fact, that…

YOU CAN LEARN A LOT FROM A RAINBOW

“I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant…never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” Over and over, God repeats this to Noah:  “Never again…never again…never again” will He destroy the entire earth with the waters of a flood.  From the New Testament…

BACK TO THE BEGINNING

In the next few months we will go back to the beginning, to the opening chapters of Genesis.  The first eleven chapters of Genesis take us back to when the world was young. Dr. Martin Luther wrote a massive commentary on Genesis – 8 volumes when translated into English.  He continued to polish that work until shortly before he died.  He called Genesis “the most beautiful book in the world.” The last century or so has not been as kind…

DEAD HERO OR LIVING LORD?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses were making the rounds again last week.  The lady at the parsonage door was unusually brief. She simply delivered an invitation to a special service for the coming week. An invitation to an Easter service?  Nope. The brochure said: “Please join us for the annual commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ.  The date, time, and location will be Saturday, March 31, 2018.” (Yesterday).   There was no mention of today – April 1 – Easter Sunday –…

OVERFLOWING SUFFERINGS & OVERFLOWING COMFORT

Paul told the Christians at Corinth:  “Just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows…We were burdened so greatly, so far beyond our ability to bear it, that we even gave up hope of living,” said Paul (2 Cor. 1:5 & 8 EHV).     Why did God let things get so bad?  “So that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God, who raises the dead.  He rescued us from such a…