Justice, Mercy, a Kingdom, Today

A very bad man was getting what he deserved, and he knew it. He said to another criminal, “We are receiving the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41). He was speaking of Jesus, who was hanging on a death instrument between these two criminals. I suppose both… Read More ›

Blessed Are …

During the season of Epiphany (the time between Christmas and Lent), the Scripture readings progressively reveal Jesus to us. As we observe Jesus’ baptism, miracles, and teaching, the Scripture readings answer the question, “Who is this guy whose birth the angels heralded?” In The Gospel According to Matthew, one of the first events in Jesus’… Read More ›

The Final Out and the Victory Song

Just like a good come-from-behind baseball game, worship begins in humility, and ends in exaltation. We begin with the humble declaration, “Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess to you …” It kind of seems like a downer. It’s like the starting pitcher gave up a few runs and got knocked out… Read More ›

How to Pray

Have you ever wondered if you are praying for the right things? What if we are actually praying for things that will hurt us? What if there is something we should be praying for that we don’t know about? What if we or someone we love is missing out on God’s blessings simply because we… Read More ›

This Is My Body; This Is My Blood

The tired, but excited band of friends sat down for the biggest meal of the year. It had been a crazy week. The city was filled with visitors from all over the country, and not a few of them were talking about Jesus. People had been wondering if Jesus might be the Messiah, and now… Read More ›

Worthy?

“Pastor, right before we receive the Lord’s Supper, you always read those instructions about receiving the Sacrament in a worthy manner. Why do you do that? How could we ever be worthy?” This is a great question. I have heard it in various forms, and if a few of you have asked me about it,… Read More ›

I Believe …

“So what does your church believe?” This is a common question when people learn that I am a pastor. Perhaps you have been asked the same thing. Whenever I am asked this question, I have a bad habit of trying to come up with a satisfactory answer on the fly. For some reason, I feel… Read More ›

The Word in Worship

There is perhaps nothing more necessary in Christian worship than the Word of God. As we continue to look at what worship is, and why we do the specific things we do, we need to take a look at the Word of God. Worship (as we talked about at the beginning of this series) is… Read More ›