Jesus Comes Today

November 30, 2009

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” – Isaiah 60:1

Jesus is not only a historical figure from the past and our hope for the future. He actually comes to us each and every day of our lives. Jesus was there when we were conceived in our mothers’ wombs. God took us in His arms and made us His children in Holy Baptism.

Through parents and pastors, relatives, friends, teachers and fellow Christians, He teaches us, cares for us and helps us to grow. Through the preaching of God’s Word, He causes faith to grow in our hearts.

Countless times, He forgives our sins and feeds us with the body and blood of Jesus in His Supper. Every time we gather to worship, He meets us to give these good gifts.

In Advent, we remember that Jesus doesn’t wait in heaven for us to seek Him, accept Him, repent or do good works that please Him. As our Good Shepherd, He searches for us until He finds us. Jesus comes for us — here and now. He’s by our side in the struggles of our lives with His good gifts and Spirit.

Prayer: Stir up Your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection save us from the threatening dangers of our sins, and enlighten our walk in the way of Your salvation, for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


First Sunday of Advent

November 29, 2009

Order of Service Printed in Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Readings

Today’s Adult Bible Class Slides

Thanksgiving Eve Divine Worship

November 25, 2009

Order of Service Printed in Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Readings

Thankful For What is Important

November 23, 2009

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” – Luke 12:15

Have you ever cleaned out your basement or garage and discovered many things that you forgot you even had? While you may be amused at rediscovering something you forgot about, perhaps you ask yourself: “Why do I have all this stuff?”

God truly blesses us with many physical blessings. Everything we have comes from him. He provides all the necessary things for life and is generous to give us many more things than we really “need.” His blessings abundantly fill our lives.

Yet we must be careful that we do not begin to love the gifts more than God who gives them. It is easy for our hearts to become greedy and not be happy with what we have. It is so easy to continually want more… money… toys… houses… boats… cars… without end.

Yet none of these things can ever satisfy us completely or fill the place in our life and heart that can only belong to Jesus Christ. Our Lord warns us, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Jesus teaches us that there is more to life and more to us than earthly possessions. He is the source of all that we need spiritually and eternally.

So the Lord Jesus instructs our hearts to focus on what’s really important. Money and the things money can buy are benefits that God graciously gives us, but money cannot buy a relationship with God. Jesus is the only way for us to know God and be with God.

Of all the reasons that you are thankful today, Jesus is the most important.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your continued care, providing all that I need for my life. Most importantly, thank you for sending Jesus through whom I have the peace of the forgiveness of sins and the joy of an eternal relationship with you. Amen.

Last Sunday in the Church Year

November 22, 2009

Divine Service II, Page 158, Lutheran Worship

Today’s Readings

Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Adult Bible Class Slides

“We are blessed to be here…”

November 18, 2009

Freelance writer Linda C. Hoops on the ministry of LCMS chaplains at Fort Hood, Texas.

Redeemed and Forgiven

November 16, 2009

You, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. … All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. – Isaiah 63:16b; 64:6

You’ve probably seen the bumper sticker that reads, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” How true! As I look into the rearview mirror of my life, the ditches are messy with my sinful litter and my evil trash. The Lord’s prophet is right on the money: “All of us have become like one who is unclean.”

Sadly, even my best efforts to please God by living according to his unchanging will and by his holy standards leave a lot to be desired. Everything I do, say, and think is stained by the sin I’ve inherited from my parents. Sorry, but you’re no better off than me. Your righteous acts, too, are like the filthy rags out in your garage.

What should happen? As the brisk autumn wind blows away the fallen, dried leaves, God should blast us away eternally from his presence and love.

But that won’t happen by faith in our Savior. Jesus, God’s Son, didn’t litter his life’s ditches with even one piece of sinful trash. Equally amazing and important, he paid for your inherited uncleanliness and dirty rags with his holy, precious blood. Redeemed. Restored. Forgiven. That’s you. That’s me.

The bumper sticker is right, thankfully. Next time you see one you might want to honk, happily and agreeably!

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for forgiving and redeeming me. Amen.