'St. Paul' Tagged Posts

'St. Paul' Tagged Posts

PLEASANT PLACES

You may recall that at the end of The Small Catechism, Martin Luther tacked on what he called “The Table of Duties.”    For husbands and wives, parents and children, pastors and parishioners, labor and management he set down the Bible passages that apply to each, concluding:    “Let each his lesson learn with care and all the household well shall fare.” Escaping from a church that exalted holy orders and man-made works, Luther emphasized the sacredness of each Christian’s…

CASTING BREAD UPON THE WATERS

“Cast your bread on the surface of the waters,” wrote King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 11. It has a beautiful ring to it.  But what does it mean?  Tossing a loaf of bread into the Mississippi would seem an odd and pointless thing to do! Solomon is actually talking about an act of commerce or trade, of shipping “bread,” that is, grain, over the waters to distant lands. The Bible tells us that Solomon had a fleet of trading ships.  Once…

OUR SUBSTITUTE

Our old teachers spoke often about “the vicarious atonement.”  We got it, because they explained it.    Churchy words such as, “justification” (to declare not guilty), or “redemption” (to be ransomed by the blood of Christ when we were held hostage by sin, death and hell), or “reconciliation” (that God made friends of us when we were His declared enemies) – these and countless other rich Bible words do not need to be dummied down to a vanilla vocabulary.  They…

WHERE WILL IT ALL END?

In these troubling times, as in many times past, we may find ourselves wondering:  “Where will it all end?”    St. Paul famously said this:  “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28  EHV). It is doubtful that you and I would believe these words if God Himself had not caused them to be written down in the Bible.  As the years…

“MY SOUL WAITS FOR THE LORD”

We spend our lives waiting for things big and little.  We wait for our first day of school, for our first two-wheeled bike, for our first date, for our first job, for our driver’s license, for our life’s partner, for our first child, for grandchildren and for retirement. The danger, of course, is that we spend our lives so anxious about tomorrow that we lose all appreciation for today.  The ungrudging goodness of God is something to be experienced every…

TRANSFIGURATION TRUTHS – A REVIEW

On this Sunday before the start of the Lenten season, the Church has always tipped its hat to the account of Christ’s transfiguration.   The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain by themselves.  “There he was transfigured in front of them. His face was shining like the sun. His clothing became as white as the light.  Just then, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.”    There are several lessons in…

WATERS IN THE WILDERNESS

The prophet Isaiah pictured the gospel comfort of the coming Savior this way:  “Waters will flow in the wilderness, and streams in the wasteland.” It was a picture God’s Old Testament people could appreciate.  Delivered from bondage in Egypt, they had marched forth through the wilderness toward the land of promise. On their journey to the Horeb mountain range, the hills got higher.  The valleys got deeper. The rocks got bigger. The water got scarcer.    The children of Israel…

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…

FREEDOM FROM OURSELVES

It was difficult even to read about it.  Some years ago, a woman in northern Florida was obsessed with the Facebook game, FarmVille.  Apparently, “gaming” was her god. Her infant’s cries interrupted her game.  So she shook her baby to death. According to the Florida Times-Union, Alexandra V. Tobias entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder.   Tobias told authorities that she shook the baby boy, smoked a cigarette to compose herself, and then shook the boy again for interrupting…

THE GREAT SIMPLIFIER

People sometimes complain that the Bible is too difficult, that they can’t understand it.  Certainly, like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. It does take faithful Bible reading habits to connect some of the dots, to see sinful man and a sinless Christ in the ceremonies and sacrifices of Leviticus, to get a handle on the numerous kings of Judah and Israel and the warnings and comfort to be found there, to use the…

BACK TO BASICS

Our journey through Exodus brings us to the Ten Commandments.  It may seem like a back to the basics, but as each generation passes, one cannot assume that this baton has been firmly placed into the hands of the generation that follows.  Even among those who bear the name Christian, one often encounters a stunning ignorance of even the ABCs of Bible knowledge, of law and gospel, of the most famous passages.   Perhaps this is why an old gal shakes…

WHAT DO WE WANT TO SEE IN LENT?

A headline on the religion page of the newspaper a few years back talked about “opening doors to new takes on Lent traditions.”  The article contained not one word, not one, about Christ, or the cross, or salvation from sin. The traditional application of ashes to the forehead on Ash Wednesday over the centuries has been a mark of humble repentance at the foot of the cross and an emblem of human mortality, that the wages of sin is death.…