Thursday, July 9, 2020

July 9 –Thursday prior to Proper 10




Matthew 13:1-9 (18-23) – Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Well, it all depends on a number of things. Not the least, of which is, the soil.

So it’s also for the Christian. The condition and attitude of the soil, that is to say, the condition of the heart, is critical to spiritual responsiveness and fruitfulness.

Good soil – receptive hearts – live the Word. This is how we can expect good seed to be productive – to bear fruit.

We do this by sharing His story with others – we all know the Gospel hymn, “I love to tell the story” – a question – do we even tell the story? Or, are we embarrassed, or fearful to share the message of Christ with family, neighbors, co-workers? The world was literally turned upside down by twelve men who had a simple yet powerful message – we have seen Jesus alive from the dead. “We are witnesses of these things!” – Acts 5:32  That message has not changed in over 2,000 years. People still need to hear that message – and the only person to tell that message is you! 

We live our lives by serving Christ in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness. The world was literally turned  right side up by the changed lives of these witnesses.  You might be the only Bible another person will ever read! Our church and school will grow only by people being drawn to the Savior – yet He chooses to work through means – Your efforts will not be in vein.

As He has sown good seed – so we also demonstrate with our lives His works. We do this by means of vocation. J. S. Bach would sign every work with three Latin words. “Soli Deo Gloria”, which translates, “To God Alone Be the Glory.”   Do we give God the credit only when we are successful?  In everything we do – to God be the glory – may He alone get the credit.

How true it is. Good soil – receptive hearts – produces good fruit as it is connected to the Word. Be a people who hears the Word, understands the Word, and then, with thankful hearts, live the Word in your daily lives.

Collect for the Word - Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning. Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and take them to heart that, by the patience and comfort of Your Holy Word, we may embrace and ever ho9ld fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect for Proper 10 Blessed Lord, since You have caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning, grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. One God, now and forever.

Some fell on good soil, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

July 8 – Wednesday prior to Proper 10



Romans 8:12-17 – It is easier for a child to use a two-syllable word ending in a vowel than to use a single syllable word ending with a consonant. Every parent and grandparent knows this! At ten months, a toddler can say, "Momma," "Dadda," and "Egg!"

Daddy” is easier to say than “Dad,” “Mommy” is easier than “Mom.”

But “Abba” is the word used by Jesus in the crucifixion scene in the Gospel of Mark. Jesus prayed, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible… ” – Mark 14:36

The use of “Abba” must also have been characteristic of Jesus’ prayers, as in the use of “Father” in the Lord’s Prayer.[1]   God would by these words tenderly invite us to believe that He is our true Father, and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father. [2] 

This term was familiar to the Christians at Rome. The audience to whom Paul is writing. 
Being a son makes you an heir and a member of the family. Being a citizen gives you rights, privileged, responsibilities. The Inheritance is yours because you belong to Christ.

Thus being “led by the Spirit of God,” we are not afraid, but we cry out in faith to our Father in heaven. (See Romans 8:14–15)

Fear leads to isolation. This, leads to withdrawal. This, leads to depression. This, leads to alienation. Which, leads to death. Notice the downward spiral.

Such was Luther's journey. His quest: finding an answer to the question, “how can I find a loving God? One who is not angry.” Luther finally understood what Paul wanted: to preach a righteousness that was a gift—a gift by which God mercifully justifies us through faith in His Son. Paul was not describing a cold-hearted standard that could only lead to our condemnation. That would hardly be Gospel or “good news!”

Paul is speaking of the righteousness of God that was revealed at the cross—God’s great love for us. When Luther realized this, his whole world turned upside down, the bitter became sweet, and the locked door sprang open:

I extolled my sweetest word with a love as great as the hatred with which I had before hated the word ‘righteousness of God.’ Thus that place in Paul was for me truly the gate to paradise.”[3]  While wrestling with Paul, Luther found himself also wrestling with God, and like Jacob of old, Luther would never be the same.

Each morning is the dawn of a new day, it’s an opportunity to love God and serve your neighbor as a redeemed child of God.  As soon as your feet hit the floor thank God as the devil says to himself, “Oh, no! She’s up!  Each day is an opportunity to praise God as you serve your neighbor.  So, stop your griping. It won’t help anybody.  Instead…Pick up a shovel and go merrily about your business with a grateful heart.

Lord God, You promise to help and comfort those who call upon You in the day of trouble. Grant Your deliverance in Christ Jesus that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may not be overcome in adversity but be strengthened to live confidently in Your love and peace. Make us to know that in all things You work for good of those who love You and that nothing can separate us from Your love which is in Christ Jesus our Savior.  

Luther’s Seal copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis


[1] In Matthew 6:9; the Greek “pater” of the prayer is probably a translation of the Aramaic Abba
[2] Explanation to the Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer Luther’s Small Catechism.
[3] Luther’s Works 34:37 Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, © 1972

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

July 7– Tuesday prior to Proper 10



Isaiah 55:10-13 – God’s Word accomplishes His purpose.  The Word of God has within it an inherent, latent power. Jesus compared the Word to seed. A seed has within it the power of life, to break out of its shell and to grow into a plant. The Word, like a seed, has power to accomplish the purpose for which it was created and sent. It is a lively Word, a living Word. Herein is the secret of powerful preaching. Whenever the Word is proclaimed, the Word, finding fertile soil, will produce remarkable results by transforming lives and creating faith. The secret of great preaching is not in the preacher, not in his personality, wisdom, or techniques. For this reason, biblical preaching is the most effective kind of preaching.

Luther gives us the following illustration; As they come down. Rain and snow are not useless, but they water the earth, giving seed to the sower. The rain can achieve everything for the earth. ‘So also My Word accomplishes everything.’ The effect is the same. For neither one is understood. Reason says, ‘The strength belongs not to the rain and snow but to the earth.’ But when we experience the absence of rain, we see what the earth produces. So He takes away the glory of the earth and shows that it is not the earth that does it but that it is accomplished by the rain. So our building and promotion of the church is not the result of our works but of the Word of God which we preach… Here you see that everything is produced by the Word.

A simple yet heartfelt Prayer – “Almighty God, grant us a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in Your mercy, and a sincere love for You and one another.”

A Prayer for the blessing of God’s WordLord God, bless your word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and power to convert those not yet your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May your word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip and from the lip to a life that, as you have promised, your worm might achieve the purpose for which you have sent it; though Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Martin Luther, Lectures on Isaiah: Chapters 40-66 (Luther’s Works, 17; Saint Louis: Concordia, 1972) 257-258
Go into all the world, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

Monday, July 6, 2020

July 6 – Monday prior to Proper 10



Psalm 103:15-19 - This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 8, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” This verse is a summation of the Father’s love and compassion for this fallen world. He desires not the death of the sinner but that all would come in repentance. He desires the redemption of all. Thus He plants the seeds of faith into our hearts; that, by His grace, a harvest may come.

Man’s days are limited; “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone.” The Lord’s reign however is eternal. “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting.”

If we only focus on the present and try to live only in the moment soon we will become frustrated; concluding that life is futile, a waste of time and meaningless. What has been will be and then will be again. Everyone, rich or poor, wise or foolish, mighty or lowly, will live a while and then die. What we have worked so hard for all our lives is left to someone else who may just waste it. The more we have the more we use and the more we want. It all was meaningless and like trying to catch the wind says the writer to the book of Ecclesiastes.

The Psalmist gives us a different perspective.  The meaning to life is not found simply living in this world but in anticipating the world which is to come. Life is not to be live in the moment but with eternity as our perspective. What gives true reason for living is when we have respect for God and seek to please him in every way we possible.

For 182 years our church has been granted the privilege to serve the Lord at this place. We have the Lord’s promise that He will sustain us. “His righteousness (extends) to children's children.”

Jesus, in teaching his disciples to pray, asked that the will of the Father would be done on earth as it is in heaven.  God’s will is manifest in our lives when we do his bidding and obey his word.

Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word.”

A prayer before we study the WordAlmighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.

Prayer for Psalm 103Lord, you have compassion for the sinner, as a father has compassion for his children. Heal the weakness of your people and save us from everlasting death, that with the saints and angels we may praise and glorify you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and by the Church © 1995 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY
Lift High the Cross copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Proper 10 - Series A


Proper 10 - Series A
(12 July 2020)

Isaiah 55:10–13
Romans 8:12–17
Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23

The Preaching of the Word of Christ Bears the Good Fruits of Faith and Love

As “the rain and the snow come down from heaven” and “water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout” (Isaiah 55:10), so the Word of God accomplishes the purpose for which He speaks it, granting joy and peace through the forgiveness of sins and producing the fruits of faith and love in those who are called by His name. Christ Jesus, the incarnate Word, has established the name of the Lord as “an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 55:13). He opens our ears to hear, our minds to understand and our hearts to believe His Word, lest the evil one come and snatch it away. He thus transforms our rocky hearts into good soil, which clings to the Gospel and “indeed bears fruit” (Matthew 13:23). He is Himself the first-fruits of all who “have received the Spirit of adoption as sons” (Romans 8:15). Thus being “led by the Spirit of God,” we are not afraid, but we cry out in faith to our Father in heaven (Romans 8:14–15). For as we suffer with Christ, the beloved Son, so shall we “also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:17).

Blessed Lord, since You have caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and every hold fast to blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. 


Encouraging Discouraged Sowers
Rev. Dr. Daniel J Brege
A sower went out to sow. (Matthew 13:3)

Through Isaiah God explains the success of His word by comparing it to the success of rain and snow in watering seed upon the earth.  He then promises, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (55:11). Though this chapter in Isaiah presents a different illustration than that in Sunday’s Gospel, yet both are illustrating the Word of God.  In Isaiah we realize the certainty that God’s Word will always succeed.  In Sunday’s Gospel, it appears as though the Word of God fails!

As we realize the Gospel is the best news the world will ever get, it is often discouraging when that Gospel is frequently ignored, rejected or even actively opposed.  Sadly some will not even listen to the Gospel, having rejected the Christian faith without even knowing what it is about.  It is perhaps even more disheartening to see young people joyfully speaking their vows of fidelity in the Rite of Confirmation, only to find them rejecting the faith later in life.  It is equally discouraging to observe an adult brought to faith and baptized, only to have a major problem in their congregation prompt them to say, “If this is what Christianity is about, I don’t want any part of it.”

Though laity are privileged to share the Gospel, and most who have shared the Gospel with family and friends will at some point experience some discouragement, yet pastors are uniquely discouraged when at times the work of their calling seems all for naught.   We are not speaking of those few pastors who fail to faithfully scatter the seed of the Gospel.  We speak of the many pastors who generously scatter the seed—both conscientious missionaries and pastors of congregations—but they do not see growth, and in fact some see numbers decreasing.  One temptation is to make the Gospel conform to the culture, but this is futile and in fact harmful to the work of the kingdom.

It is also tempting to believe the Gospel has lost its power, or that perhaps the statement in Isaiah’s prophecy—that the Word will always accomplish that for which God sent it—is misleading.  Neither of these is true.  On the soil of the heart that has been pulverized and plowed by God’s Law, the Gospel remains the power of God unto salvation, and truly it will always accomplish that for which God sent it. Those predestined in Christ to salvation will indeed be called to believe the Gospel (Rom 8:29,30).

In Sunday’s parable Jesus reminds us that anyone who scatters the seed of the Gospel must remember the great evil of this world.  Even as the cross is at the heart of the Gospel, so too the cross of Jesus starkly reminds us of the destructive schemes of the devil, the world and our flesh.  In His death Jesus had to first absorb the destructive designs of these tempters, so the Gospel could be created and then so it could have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of God’s people. This evil trio—devil, world and sinful flesh—wants nothing more than to destroy both the germination and the fruit-bearing of the Gospel.


Recall that it is God’s Gospel, it is God’s church and it is God who performs conversion.  St. Paul, using a seed illustration to describe the proclamation of the Gospel, succinctly reminds us of this reality:  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth (1 Co 3:6). So Pastors, teachers, parents and all others who are called upon to scatter the seed of the Gospel, do not be discouraged.  Evil may appear to dominate, but it has been defeated; the Word of the Cross remains the power of God unto salvation.  Keep scattering.


Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23
The Parable of the Sower 

v1 Ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῆς οἰκίας ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.

v2 καὶ συνήχθησαν πρὸς αὐτὸν ὄχλοι πολλοί, ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐμβάντα καθῆσθαι, καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν εἱστήκει.
And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach.

v3 καὶ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἐν παραβολαῖς λέγων• Ἰδοὺ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπείρειν.
 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow.


v4 καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν ἃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν, καὶ ἐλθόντα τὰ πετεινὰ κατέφαγεν αὐτά.
And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.

v5 ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη ὅπου οὐκ εἶχεν γῆν πολλήν, καὶ εὐθέως ἐξανέτειλεν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν βάθος γῆς,
Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,

v6 ἡλίου δὲ ἀνατείλαντος ἐκαυματίσθη καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ῥίζαν ἐξηράνθη.
but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.

v7 ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὰς ἀκάνθας, καὶ ἀνέβησαν αἱ ἄκανθαι καὶ ἔπνιξαν αὐτά.
Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.

v8 ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν καὶ ἐδίδου καρπόν, ὃ μὲν ἑκατὸν ὃ δὲ ἑξήκοντα ὃ δὲ τριάκοντα.
Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

v9 ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω.
He who has ears, let him hear.”

The Parable of the Sower Explained

v18 Ὑμεῖς οὖν ἀκούσατε τὴν παραβολὴν τοῦ σπείραντος.
Hear then the parable of the sower:

v19 παντὸς ἀκούοντος τὸν λόγον τῆς βασιλείας καὶ μὴ συνιέντος, ἔρχεται ὁ πονηρὸς καὶ ἁρπάζει τὸ ἐσπαρμένον ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ• οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν σπαρείς.
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.

v20 ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνων αὐτόν,
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy,

v21 οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν, γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ διὰ τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται.
 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.

v22 ὁ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων, καὶ ἡ μέριμνα τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου συμπνίγει τὸν λόγον, καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται.
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

v23 ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν καλὴν γῆν σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ συνιείς, ὃς δὴ καρποφορεῖ καὶ ποιεῖ ὃ μὲν ἑκατὸν ὃ δὲ ἑξήκοντα ὃ δὲ τριάκοντα.
As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software
ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


Time in the Word - Pentecost 6 - Proper 10


The Proclaimed Word of God
Pentecost 6
Proper 10
July 06-11, 2020



The main theme of our readings for the coming week is the Word of God; nature is used to explain the Word. Like seed, the Word is scattered and is received by various kinds of hearers. As the rain and snow cause nature to produce, God’s Word also is certain to accomplish God’s purpose. The Epistle lesson gives us that purpose: the redemption of the whole creation. The suggested hymn of the day “Almighty God Your Word is Cast” (LSB #577) harmonizes with the theme of the Word. 

Collect for Proper 10Blessed Lord, since You have caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning, grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. One God, now and forever.

A simple yet heartfelt Prayer – “Almighty God, grant us a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in Your mercy, and a sincere love for You and one another.

For the work of the congregationAlmighty God and Lord, as You have called us to labor in Your vineyard, so grant us now Your presence. Enlighten and guide us by Your Word that in all matters of deliberation we may always consider the best interests of Your church and this congregation. Let Your Holy Spirit rule and direct our hearts that, in the spirit of Christian love, we may present and discuss matters and be kindly disposed toward one another, to the end that all we say and do may please You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

A prayer before we study the WordAlmighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.


Monday, July 06, 2020 Psalm 103:15-19 - This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 8, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” This verse is a summation of the Father’s love and compassion for this fallen world. He desires not the death of the sinner but that all would come in repentance. He desires the redemption of all. Thus He plants the seeds of faith into our hearts that by His grace a harvest may come.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020Isaiah 55:10-13 – God’s Word accomplishes His purpose.  The Word of God has within it an inherent, latent power. Jesus compared the Word to seed. A seed has within it the power of life, to break out of its shell and to grow into a plant. The Word, like a seed, has power to accomplish the purpose for which it was created and sent. It is a lively Word, a living Word. Herein is the secret of powerful preaching. Whenever the Word is proclaimed, the Word, finding fertile soil, will produce remarkable results by transforming lives and creating faith. The secret of great preaching is not in the preacher, not in his personality, wisdom, or techniques. For this reason, biblical preaching is the most effective kind of preaching.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020Romans 8:12-17 –The purpose of God’s Word is redemption. Both creation and creatures groan for redemption. We can have both death and life in us. Though dead, we can live and though living we can be dead. There is one type of life — existence, the physical, natural, earthly life. It is the life of the flesh which results in sin and death. There is possibly another life. It is the one with God lived in faith. This life is the product of the Spirit received at baptism. Through baptism a person is born again in the Spirit, adopted as a child of God and now lives in the Spirit of righteousness. The new person knows he is related to God, because the Spirit witnesses to our spirits that we are God’s offspring.

Thursday, July 09, 2020Matthew 13:1-9 (18-23) –Various kinds of hearers of God’s Word are examined – the parable of the seed and sower. For an effective sermon it takes sower, seed, and soil. Apparently no fault can be found with the sower (Jesus), or with the seed (Word). The problem is with the soil (the hearer). Only the good soil brings a harvest. That may be the situation, but what can be done about the three kinds of soil that do not produce? The parable has nothing to say about this problem. It is simply stating a fact of reality. The preacher needs to be concerned about making good listeners out of his congregation.

Jesus said, “He who has ears....” Who does not have ears? The truth is proclaimed to all people regardless of condition of life. It reminds us that God desires all to be saved, all to have the good things of God’s grace. Christianity is a universal religion, a faith for every person. The responsibility to accept the Word is the hearer’s. If one rejects it, it is his own fault. It is not God’s will for any person to be ignorant of the truth or to be lost in his relationship with God.

Friday, July 10, 2020Psalm 65:1-13 – This Psalm is suggested for next Sunday. The key verse is verse 5, “By awesome deed Thou dost answer us in righteousness, O God our salvation. Thou who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea.”

Saturday, July 11, 2020 –Mark 4:3-9 – This passage is the inspiration for the hymn, “Almighty God, Your Word is Cast” {LSB 577}.  The sower goes out to sow his grain. God’s Word will work where it is planted. We trust Him to do His work. All He asks of us is to faithful in the sharing of Christ’s living Word. 
_____________________
Sources: 
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, LECTIONALRY PREACHING WORKBOOK SERIES A © 1980 John Brokhoff CSS Publishing Lima, OH
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use. 






Pentecost 5 - Proper 9


Matthew 11:25-30
The Peace of Christ


Gracious God, our heavenly Father, Your mercy attends us all our days. Be our strength and support amid the wearisome changes of this world, and at life’s end grant us Your promised rest and the full joys of Your salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Peace – It’s more than a feeling – it’s a state of being – a commodity many are willing to pay any price to obtain to achieve it. Where do we find this peace? Christ our Savior has promised to give us His abiding peace. As John has reminded us in his gospel, [Jesus said,] “peace I give you My peace I leave you not as the world gives it do I give to you.”
No wonder we pray in the collect for peace, “Give us that peace which the world simply cannot give.” In our Gospel lesson for today Jesus promises that His peace may be ours.
I.          In this world there continues to be contention and strife. “Come unto Me all those who are carrying heavy burdens” (v.18)
A.         We live in a fallen world outside of Eden. By definition this world is filled with contention and strife.
B.         This contention was brought about by the devil that tempted Adam and Eve causing them to fall headlong into sin.
C.         No matter what man attempts he cannot produce a lasting peace. If anything it will be temporary and fleeting.
D.         Jesus says literally, I will ease, relieve, and refresh your souls.
a. That what happened on the first Pentecost. Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call." With many other words, he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Acts 2:38-40

b. That’s what happens every time you remember your baptism. Baptism now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 3:21
TRANSITION: Man as sinner by himself cannot find lasting peace. Only Christ has the sufficiency to give it.
II.         Jesus offers true and lasting peace to all who would come to Him in faith.
A.         “Take My yoke upon you.” To be yoked it to be teamed with Him.  Thus the hymn writer will remind us, “Lord take Thy hand and lead me along life’s way…”
B.         “I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus is both humble and gentle.
1.         Gentle – He knows our needs, wants and fears. He deals with us according to our needs.
2.         Humble – In being human He took on flesh and fulfilled the Law for us.
3.         We find our rest in Christ. Isaiah the prophet foretold it a thousand years before Christ was born. Looking into the future, he saw the coming Chosen One and predicted Jesus suffering. Surely, he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
TRANSITION: Christ has the sufficiency to be our peace.
III.        Jesus Christ alone is the source of our peace.
A.         His yoke is easy.
1.         Even a yoked team will have a dominant member. Joined to Christ in Baptism He leads you. The hymn writer suggests, Savior lead, I follow Thee…
2.         His yoke is easy for He leads, directs, and feeds us from day to day.
3.         His burden is easy because it is easy for Him to bear. Don’t worry about the weight and burden of your sin. Christ knows you can’t bear it alone! He has carried it all for you. What you could not do for yourself He has done for you completely and totally. So stop pretending and repent! You can fall flat on your face attempting to impress others or you can fall into the safe and sure hands of Jesus your Savior. Which will it be? Choose, but choose wisely.
B.         His burden is light.  For a purpose driven life? Possibly we haven’t still learned the difference between two words.
1.         Do – Law – what to do, what not to do, how to live – a tendency to give us “morality”
2.         Done – Gospel – What God in Christ has accomplished at the bloody cross and empty tomb.
Father, into Thy hands I commend myself… May Christ’s peace be yours this day.
Words – 830
Passive Sentences –8%
Readability – 83.7%
Reading Level -4.4

Collect from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Image Worthy is the Lamb copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things