Posts tagged “Isaiah

Sermo Dei: Holy Trinity 2017

Posted on June 11th, 2017

Holy Trinity Isaiah 6:1-7 June 11, A+D 2017 I love the Athanasian Creed. The mystery of the Trinity – three coequal persons who each are God and yet there is one God – and then the mystery of the incarnation, that God the Son assumed our human flesh into His person – the more we know the less we understand; all we are left with is adoration. And yet I find the Athanasian Creed terrifying. It demands that not only my mind be conformed to God’s Word, but my life and deeds too. The books will be opened and I will be judged. Those who have done good will go into everlasting life; those who have done evil will go into everlasting condemnation. It’s…

Advent Meditation: Waiting

Posted on December 4th, 2014

Advent I Midweek Evening Prayer Isaiah 64:1-9: Waiting December 3, 2014 “The Advent season is a season of waiting. But our whole life is a season of Advent” (Bonhoeffer). “God … acts for those who wait for him.” (Is. 64:6) But God does not act as or when we would wish. The human being struggling in this life wants action: “Help us, for the world is filled with injustice! Help my family, for my brother, my sister is in trouble. Help my marriage, for I have failed yet again. Help my body, for it is coming undone. Help my parents, for they grow old. Help the church, divided and corrupt. Help our world, for it seems the gates of hell shall prevail.” Isaiah cries…

Sermo Dei: Advent 1 Midweek

Posted on December 5th, 2013

Beloved, tonight we hear the glorious prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 2:1-5) regarding our future and our world’s future. Isaiah speaks about the “end of days.” Our Bible renders it “in the latter days”; understand that this is the last event in this corrupt and broken world, as God’s new creation breaks in on the earth we have ruined. In that day, “The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills.” We could imagine a grand construction project where a new temple is fashioned and people travel to see it, as many travel to see great churches in Rome or Paris or Berlin or London. “The word that Isaiah the son of…

Sermo Dei: Trinity Sunday 2013 [Isaiah 6:1-7]

Posted on May 27th, 2013

“Woe is me, for I am lost!” Have you ever felt that way? I certainly have. Isaiah’s words from the Old Testament lesson for today are not given their full force. Isaiah is not lost in the sense that he just needs to stop and ask for directions, download the map update for his GPS or get a better signal from the satellite. The NKJ gets closer with the translation “undone.” “Woe is me, for I am undone.” But a good Hebrew lexicon gives you a much more straightforward rendering: destroyed. “Woe is me, for I am destroyed” – I have come to my end, I am ruined, I will cease to exist. It’s what you would say at the brink of death. If…

[Sermo Dei] Wednesday after Epiphany: Isaiah 49:1-7

Posted on January 9th, 2013

Listen, O coastlands, to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar! The glory of Isaiah, and the glory of Epiphany, is the beautiful manifestation that Jesus the Jewish Savior is a gift also for the nations – for the coastlands and the peoples from afar.   This gift was planned from the beginning: The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. In Isaiah there is a series of “Servant Songs,” and what we hear tonight is the voice of that Servant, namely, the Son of God, incarnate for our salvation. From the womb of the virgin the LORD called to His Servant, His Son; while still within the body of blessed Mary He was…

Sermo Dei: Christmas Eve (early)

Posted on December 24th, 2012

I’d prefer not to depend upon God. He seems, to my selfish heart, unreliable. Better to depend on things that seem more stable, more immediate: the money I can spend, the muscles I can flex, the authority and influence I can wield, the alliances I can make. Relying on God is for losers. Better to make your own way, cut your own deal, implement your own strategy. Tell the story in your favor, deceive, even outright lie if you have to, so that you can stay in the game, stay on top. Relying on God is for losers. So thought King Ahaz. He’s the one to whom the Immanuel prophecy is addressed: “The virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his…

[Sermo Dei] Advent III: Comfort, Comfort My People

Posted on December 16th, 2012

Starbucks Holiday Blend coffee is advertised as “Spicy and sweet with hints of comfort and joy.” On Craig’s List, a notice of an apartment rental says, “Let Santa bring the gifts … we bring comfort, joy, and savings.” It’s derived from the Christmas carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and ubiquitous are the references to Christmas carols by shopkeepers trying to part you and your money. If I was in marketing, I’d do it too. It’s smart. But it’s not the Gospel. I’ve derived my share of comfort and joy from coffee, to be sure, or saving money. And there are many things that make us “comfortable,” starting with the comforter on your bed that keeps you warm at night. Other things cause you…

My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts

Posted on October 24th, 2007

I hadn’t realized the anti-Enthusiast thrust of the passage, “My thoughts are not your thoughts” (Is. 55). Here is a gem from Luther (again, from the Isaiah lectures): The ungodly object, “You are calling us sinners. Do you not see that we are doing well? We are not like other men.” To them He responds thus: ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts.’ This is making a clear-cut division. “Whatever you think with your most holy thought and, as the papists say, prompted by the Holy Spirit, these are not My thoughts.” He has in mind not only the gross thoughts but also the thoughts provided with a most holy appearance, as those of the papists and Enthusiasts, who have covered their own thoughts with…