Feast on Good Rich Food

August 28, 2017
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.” – Isaiah 55:1-3

I found the Market place in Italy an interesting place, to say the least. So different from our produce stands in America. Sellers shout and try to catch more business. Customers barter for a lower a price. Deals go down all around you. This is a little different than your usual trip to the local grocery store.

God pictures you and me walking through a busy, noisy marketplace – our lives. In Isaiah chapter 55, God shouts out to us. The LORD has the goods we want and need. He has the perfect price. We’ll love the banquet he prepares for us.

The LORD needs to shout to get our attention. God knows there is so much competition. He knows we listen to the lies, the half-truths and the quick-fixes. They’re so appealing but their promises are deceptive. Sometimes those voices call us to sin. Sometimes they call us to busy our lives and occupy our hearts with material things instead of God. When those voices are calling with temptations, we all too often buy into their lies and sin. We listen to their voices instead of God’s Word.

The LORD God sees you weaving through the busy marketplace of your life. Through the clatter, chatter and chaos, the LORD shouts for your attention in these verses. What he’ll give you is worlds better than all the deceptive and fleeting goods this world or your sinful nature tries to peddle to you.

How is the LORD’s offer better? God’s Good News is for all, for you! The LORD provides it free of cost to you. The effect is fabulous – you will be satisfied and delight in what God gives you. You will live – now and eternally. God makes this promise and God fulfills this promise. Jesus did all the work.

What is the LORD shouting about? The LORD shouts: “Eat what is good!” What good is he offering to you? God’s Word. God’s grace. God’s Son. God’s forgiveness. God’s peace. God’s home – heaven.

Through the noisy marketplace of your life, the LORD shouts for your attention. Listen. Receive his gifts. Be satisfied and delight in them. Forgiveness and peace are yours.

Prayer: LORD, in your grace you give me forgiveness and peace through Jesus. Open my ears and heart to listen to your voice above all others. Use my voice to share your gift of grace with those in my life. Amen.

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Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

August 27, 2017

Divine Service II, Page 158, Lutheran Worship

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The Eclipse

August 21, 2017
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. Psalm 19:1-2

Events like the Great American Eclipse may capture our attention because they seem so rare, so out of the ordinary, indeed, extraordinary. And there is nothing wrong with being fascinated by events like total solar eclipses. But we also shouldn’t forget that our world is filled with wonders all around us. We often forget them because they are so “ordinary.” We take them for granted. Luther laments,

[Most people] are so accustomed to [the works of God in nature]; they are as permeated with them as an old house is with smoke; they use them and wallow around in them like a sow in an oats sack. Oh, they say, is it so marvelous that the sun shines? That fire heats? That water contains fish? That hens lay eggs? That the earth yields grain? That a cow bears calves? That a woman gives birth to children? Why, this happens every day! You dear dolt Hans, must it be insignificant because it happens daily? … If God created all other women and children of bone, as He did Eve, and but one woman were able to bear children, I maintain that the whole world, kings and lords, would worship her as a divinity. But now that every woman is fruitful, it passes for nothing. … Is it not vexing to see the accursed ingratitude and blindness of mankind?4

One of the many blessings of studying God’s Word is how it open our eyes and ears and all our senses to see how everything that takes place each and every day is a wonder and miracle of God. As Luther elsewhere put it, “to create is always to make something new.” God is continually creating and re-creating, making all things new.

Prayer:
Praise the Lord! Ye heavens, adore him;
praise him, angels, in the height;
sun and moon, rejoice before him,
praise him, all ye stars and light.
Praise the Lord! for he hath spoken;
worlds his mighty voice obeyed:
laws, which never shall be broken,
for their guidance he hath made. Amen.


Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

August 20, 2017

Order of Service Printed in Today’s Bulletin

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Google For the Answers? Why not God, the Ultimate Source!

August 17, 2017
“This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” – Jeremiah 33:2-3

You can ask other people all you want, but if you really want to know, you have to go to the source.

When we bought our first home, we wondered why it was set up the way that it was. Why were the light switches in that place, and why was the door to the backyard set up that way? When we finally met the home builder, who happened to be a member of our church, we asked him, and he explained everything we needed to know. He also gave us some tips for maintenance that really made our homeowner lives much easier.

We can guess all we want about why things on the earth are the way they are, but if we really want to know, the Lord invites us to ask him. He is the one who made the earth, who set it up to work the way it does. The maker of heaven and earth has introduced himself to us in the Holy Scriptures, and he invites us to read them for answers to our many questions.

When we read the Bible, we find out that the Lord who made the earth has introduced himself to us in a special way – in the person of Jesus Christ. We ask certain questions, but Jesus answers them with things that we don’t even think to ask, great and unsearchable things that we do not know.

Why does God allow people to be born sinful? He has bound all people over to disobedience so that he might have mercy on them all! Jesus lived, died, and rose again to show mercy and earn forgiveness of sins for every person on the earth. How can God’s love be that great? It is what the Lord says, and now, amazingly, you have the privilege of knowing and believing that truth.

Prayer: We call to you, O Lord. Answer us and make us happy with the great things you have done for us in Jesus Christ. Amen.


Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

August 13, 2017

Divine Service II, Page 158, Lutheran Worship

Today’s Bulletin

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How’s Your Prayer Life?

August 7, 2017
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. – Colossians 1:3-6

How is your prayer life? Is it regular and intentional? Certainly there are mealtime prayers and bedtime prayers. Some people have a list of names that they pray through each day. When natural disasters hit or tragedy strikes, the volume of prayers probably increases.

With these opening words of the letter to the Colossians, we have a look into the prayer life of the Apostle Paul. He always gave thanks to God when he prayed for those believers. He gave thanks to God because of what God was doing among them through the gospel. The Word was being faithfully proclaimed and people were hearing it and believing it. Their faith in God’s promises and love for God’s people was evident.

What was encouraging these believers all the more was the sure and certain hope they had for eternal life in heaven. They knew of the riches of heaven that God had in store for them.

It is easy to allow our prayers to become driven by the here and now, the immediate circumstances around us. However, when we remember and think about the eternal riches of heaven, it helps to keep things in perspective when we pray. Sure a big storm may hit, but it passes. Heaven is eternal. A sickness may beset us for a few days, a few weeks or perhaps for the rest of our lives. Yet how short is that, compared to the eternal bliss of heaven!

So, keep up the prayers. God loves to hear them. Keep a heavenly perspective as you pray for God’s kingdom and God’s people. And certainly also give thanks to God for the gospel which is spreading to more and more people. In doing so you are letting your light and faith shine – to God’s glory.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for hearing my prayers. Help me to come to you more and more regularly for you invite me to pray continually. Continue to bless the spread of the gospel so that more people may know the blessings of heaven that are ours through faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.