Posts tagged “Sexagesima

Sermo Dei: Sexagesima 2018

Posted on February 7th, 2018

Sexagesima 2 Corinthians 11:19—12:9 (Isaiah 55:10-13; Luke 8:4-15) February 4, 2018 It’s hard to believe the Gospel. It’s hard to believe that my sins are really absolved, removed, atoned for, forgiven, forgotten because of who Jesus is and what He did. There’s always something pulling us back, making us think that what we really need is the performance of certain actions, or the gift of money and time, to truly please God. Besides this, it’s human nature—fallen human nature—to assume that I need something besides Jesus for my life to be joyful and satisfying. Hence people are drawn to those who say they have the answers, from self-help authors to preachers who will give you the steps to your best life now. Preachers of…

Sermo Dei: Sexagesima 2016

Posted on March 4th, 2016

“Allahu Akbar!” the Taliban insurgents cried. Combat Outpost Keating, in northeastern Afghanistan, was under heavy fire. It was before dawn on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009. The enemy was inside the wire, and air support would not arrive for hours. Sergeant John Francis reported, “The gates of hell just opened up on us.” Taking fire from a sniper, Sergeant Jonathan Hill tried to fire back. He missed high. Then he missed low. His friend, Sergeant Francis, barked at him through cracked ribs the same words Hill would say as a drill sergeant: “Practice your … fundamentals!” He went through his routine, and when the next opportunity came, he did not miss. (Adapted from The Outpost, by Jake Tapper)   Today’s Gospel reading (Luke 8:4-15) is…

Sermo Dei: Sexagesima 2015

Posted on February 9th, 2015

“I can’t go on like this. I’m at my breaking point. I can’t take it anymore!” Have you said words like these? Have you spent a day or a decade feeling like your situation is untenable? Work, family, sickness, even church can try your patience, tempting you to lash out in ways strident, selfish, sinful. “I can’t can’t go on like this!” is the cry of someone who has lost patience. Today Jesus tells us (Luke 8:4-15) not just, “Be patient,” but to hear the Word of God with patience. Yet before He gets to that, He describes what prevents the Word from doing its work in us. Jesus is asking us to look carefully at ourselves, and consider if we have been living…

Sermo Dei: Sexagesima 2014

Posted on February 23rd, 2014

This parable is a sad one. The sower sows his seed but it chiefly ends without fruit. So it was with the preaching of Jesus. In John 6 He feeds 5000, but by the end of the chapter everyone has left, everyone except the Twelve disciples. And one of them betrays Jesus, while the rest run away in fear as Jesus is arrested. The preaching of Jesus often appears to fail. People refuse to hear, they hear but don’t take seriously, or they hear but then make other things a priority. This Parable of the Sower preaches to us the Third Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do…

[Sermo Dei] Sexagesima: The Successful Life (Isaiah 55:10-13; Luke 8:4-15)

Posted on February 3rd, 2013

It felt great having the church packed last week, didn’t it? It’s validating to have a large crowd of people; conversely, we can think we’re failing if only a handful comes to a service or an event. In the church, success is primarily measured by numbers. The number one question pastors ask each other at conferences is, “How many does your church worship?” The correct answer is, “Our church worships three Persons in One God,” but the question actually reveals what churches are really worshipping: people. Likewise, “How is your school doing?” doesn’t mean “How well are you implementing your curriculum?” but, “What’s your enrollment?” Now consider the introduction to today’s Gospel lesson, the Parable of the Sower. The introduction sets the stage and…

Sexagesima 2012

Posted on February 12th, 2012

Luke 8:4-15 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Word of God is not information. There’s information there, to be sure. But the Word of God is not information. That isn’t its purpose. The Word of God is also not the Bible. Now hear this carefully: if I turn that sentence around, I’m saying something different: “The Bible is the Word of God,” that is, what is in the Bible comes from God, is inspired by God, is true and inerrant. That’s all true. But one can read the Bible in such a way as to never encounter the Word of God. That happens when we look at the Bible as information, merely telling us things…

Sexagesima Snowpocalypse

Posted on February 7th, 2010

Isaiah 55:10-13; 2 Corinthians 11:19—12:9; St. Luke 8:4-15 It is a happy coincidence that today’s OT reading begins by mentioning the snow that comes down from heaven. When we have a heavy snowfall like this, it forces everything to slow down, and makes the world quiet for a time. A prayer for the end of the day makes reference to the end of our life, when the fever of life is over and the busy world is hushed. When everything (except Divine Service, of course!) is cancelled, it gives us a taste of that hushing of the busy world. When that final hushing comes, only one thing will matter, holding on to the Word. And only one division will be made: those who put…

Comfort for those who are suffering

Posted on February 6th, 2010

From tomorrow’s (Sexagesima) Epistle, 2 Cor. 11:19—12:9 A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Sexagesima: Luke 8.4-15

Posted on February 15th, 2009

In childhood, my mother often chided me by saying, “Patience is a virtue.” Sinner that I am, I prefer Ambrose Bierce’s definition better. Ambrose Bierce was a 19th century American author who wrote wickedly sarcastic columns which were later collected into a book called The Devil’s Dictionary. There he defined PATIENCE as “A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.” Patience has become a condition we have to tolerate when we cannot have our way immediately. Technology has made daily life move so quickly, only accelerating the experience of life passing us by like a river flowing too swiftly. Both in culture and in the church, patience has become a vice, not a virtue. If we don’t have the fastest connections, if emails…