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The Preaching Of Repentance

John the Baptist preached a message of repentance. He called his hearers to turn from their sin and to hope in the One who was coming after him, the One whose sandals he was not worthy to carry. John was that voice of one crying in the wilderness, written about in Isaiah, who cried out, “Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight” (Matthew 3:3 || Isaiah 40:3). John was sent, sent by God to prepare the way of the Lord, for the Lord was indeed coming.

The Apostles, too, preached a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. So Jesus, after His resurrection and before ascending into heaven, says to his disciples, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).

Mt03.1-12, Advent 2, 2010A.pdf

“Reason For Thanksgiving”

The Psalmist writes, Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever (Psalm 106:1). These words might be familiar to you, and in general, to many Lutherans, for we are accustomed to saying such words before or after meals. How true they are! The Lord is good—the Lord is good to us, each day of our lives.

Thus does the Psalmist in another place write, What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the LORD (Psalm 116:12-13).

According to God’s mercy do we have what we have, possess what we possess, and enjoy what we enjoy. The gifts of life’s necessities like food, water, clothing, shelter, family, and the like God gives according to His grace, without any merit or worthiness in us. This goes for not just the material and physical gifts that we so enjoy. This goes for the gifts of life and salvation which God gives freely in Christ.

Lk17.11-19, Thanksgiving, 2010.pdf

“The Death of Jesus Christ & The Coming Judgment”

It is peculiar that today’s Gospel reading from St. Luke seems so far removed from ‘The Last Day of the Church Year’. Where we would expect to hear of God’s Coming Judgment, of signs in heaven and growing tribulation on earth, and of Christ’s return in the clouds (Acts 1:9-11), instead we hear of Christ on Calvary’s cross, of women weeping after Him, of people mocking Him as He’s dying on the cross, and one of the two criminals crucified with Him saying, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom (Luke 23:42).

An account such as Jesus’ death and the events just before it do not seem to ‘fit in’ to this time of the church year. It seems like it would be better suited for Lent and Good Friday than today. However, taking a closer look at the text, we find that it is indeed fitting. And it is ‘fitting’ in this way: First, with regard to Jesus’ words to the women who were mourning and lamenting after Him as He is on His way to the cross and death. Second, concerning the proper way to be prepared for our Lord’s return. And third, with reference to Jesus’ words to the criminal on the cross, to whom He said, Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise (Luke 23:43).

Lk23.27-43, Pentecost26. Last Sunday of the Church Year, 2010C.pdf

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