Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter 2 outline and take home points



Easter 2
23 April 2017
John 20:19-31
I demand evidence!


Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God




Thomas had enough! Of this secrecy!   “I don’t buy it! I don’t believe it…Unless I see with my eyes the marks of How wounds and place my finger in his hands and my hands at His side I will not believe it!”





1. Like Thomas we do not have an eye-witness experience of the risen Christ.

Transition: Like Thomas we have not personally witnessed Jesus Christ alive from the dead. The Easter proclamation is powerful beyond comprehension.

2. The message of the Resurrection is incomprehensible.

Transition: Thomas’ life was literally changed once he became an eyewitness of Jesus bodily raised from the dead.

3. Seeing is believing.

The Savior’s words to Thomas are meant for your ears this day. “Blessed are those who believe even though they have not seen!” Lord, grant us such a faith as this! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Points to ponder this week…

So, what about you? How do you make sense of all this?

What convincing proof does this world need to believe in the resurrection? The claim is still true. Today, 2,000 years later – dead men do not rise. Faith calls for us to trust in the testimony of those eyewitnesses.

Thomas changed from a skeptic to a believer. These visible scars now become the marks of faith.

Image of St. Thomas the Apostle found at: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cc/Caravaggio_incredulity.jpg


Easter 2 outline and notes

Easter 2
23 April 2017
John 20:19-31
“I demand evidence!”

Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God;

Thomas had enough! Of this secrecy!   “I don’t buy it! I don’t believe it…Unless I see with my eyes the marks of How wounds and place my finger in his hands and my hands at His side I will not believe it!”

1. Like Thomas we do not have an eye-witness experience of the risen Christ.

Transition: Like Thomas we have not personally witnessed Jesus Christ alive from the dead. The Easter proclamation is powerful beyond comprehension.

2. The message of the Resurrection is incomprehensible.

Transition: Thomas’ life was literally changed once he became an eyewitness of Jesus bodily raised from the dead.

3. Seeing is believing.

The Savior’s words to Thomas are meant for your ears this day. “Blessed are those who believe even though they have not seen!” Lord, grant us such a faith as this! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Points to ponder this week…

So, what about you? How do you make sense of all this?

What convincing proof does this world need to believe in the resurrection? The claim is still true. Today, 2,000 years later – dead men do not rise. Faith calls for us to trust in the testimony of those eyewitnesses.

Thomas changed from a skeptic to a believer. These visible scars now become the marks of faith.

Image of St. Thomas the Apostle found at: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cc/Caravaggio_incredulity.jpg

Time in the Word ~ Easter 3

Time in the Word
According to God’s Plan
Easter 3 24-29 April 2017



On the Third Sunday of Easter, we consider the response to the resurrection. In the Gospel, the two followers of Jesus did not recognize the risen Christ until the breaking of bread. Three thousand people responded to Peter’s sermon dealing with the cross and resurrection with repentance and baptism. In the Epistle, we are told that because of the resurrection, the living Word, we are born anew in love and faith. Psalm 116 harmonizes with the theme of response: “What shall I render...?” The prayer and hymn continue with the resurrection theme.

A Daytime Collect for Eastertide - Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit.

Monday, 24 April 2017Psalm 133 – The Antiphon for next Sunday’s Introit is taken from Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.”  After much conflict, the people of God came together. In the world today there appears to be much conflict. How do we achieve unity? Some claim that unity comes through diversity. We find unity when we are at one especially when there is agreement, especially when we consider the person of Christ.   

Tuesday, 25 April 2017Acts 2:14a, 26-41 – The apostolic church described in this lesson serves as a model of the true church. It is a community of faith in Christ. The church is characterized by the Word (teaching) and sacraments (breaking bread and “added to their number”). Worship was a regular activity — daily attendance at temple services and “prayers.” Fellowship was a part of their church — a fellowship in Christ, a fellowship of caring.

Wednesday, 26 April 20171 Peter 1:17-25 – God has a destiny for every person, even for Jesus. God had the cross in mind even before the creation of humanity. He knew of humanity’s upcoming fall. He knew of the disobedience and rebellion before humanity’s creation. God had a plan to restore us to fellowship before the sacrifice of Christ. It was the eternal destiny of Jesus to be the Messiah, to die, and rise again (verse 20). The question arises: If God knew in advance of humanity’s sin and the horrible death necessary on the cross, why did God bother to make us? Only God can answer that.

Thursday, 27 April 2017 Luke 24:13-35 – Jesus was driven to the cross. He asked, “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (verse 26).
If Jesus is the Messiah, a satisfaction of God’s wrath against sin, the sacrifice on the cross was necessary.

This indicates that the cross was a divine project; also, it means that only God could remove the offense of sin. God in Christ satisfies his own justice resulting in God’s acceptance of us as forgiven children.

Friday, 28 April 2017Psalm 116:1-14 – The Psalm portion for this coming week is centered on a question, “What shall I render to the Lord for all his bounty to me?” (verse 12) How can we repay the Lord when we consider all of the goodness He has showered down upon us? By offering to the Lord those expressions of devotion, which He desires. The Hebrew word for “goodness” occurs only here in the Old Testament but represents the same basic root as “has been good” in verse 7.

Saturday, 29 April 2017Mark 16:15 – This verse is the inspiration for the hymn “With High Delight let us Unite“{LSB #483}.  Having experienced the Lord Jesus risen from the dead, we as the people of God reach out into the world proclaiming the good news. This is the response of Easter. The early Christians simply told others, “We are witnesses of these things.” Likewise, we share with others the good things the Savior has done for us.


Collect for Easter 3 - O God, through the humiliation of Your Son You raised up the fallen world. Grant to Your faithful people, rescued from the peril of everlasting death, perpetual gladness and eternal joys; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

O Almighty and eternal God, now that You have assured us of the completion of our redemption through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, give us the will to show forth in our lives what we profess with our lips; through Jesus Christ Your Lord our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one god, now and forever. 

A Prayer for Newness of Life in ChristAlmighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon ourselves the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which Your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility, that in the last day, when He shall come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

Collect for St. Mark (April 25): Almighty God, You have enriched Your Church with the proclamation of the Gospel through the evangelist Mark. Grant that we may firmly believe these glad tidings and daily walk according to Your Word;  

An Evening Collect for Eastertide Abide with us, Lord, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. Abide with us and with Your whole Church. Abide with us in the end of the day, in the end of our life, in the end of the world. Abide with us with Your grace and goodness, with Your Holy Word and sacrament, with Your strength and blessing. Abide with us when the night of affliction and temptation comes upon us, the night of fear and despair when death shall come. Abide with us and with all the faithful through time and eternity.

Sources:
THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL © 1940 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN WORSHIP © 1982 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN SERVICE BOOK © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK LECTIONARY © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Easter 2


Easter 2
23 April 2017
John 20:19-31
“I demand evidence!”


Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever


Thomas had enough! Of this secrecy!  James and John. Had met with Jesus - in secret - Asking to be seated. One at His left and the other at his right. The Council. Had met - in secret - To obtain an arrest and a secure a conviction. They had met - in secret - With Pilate. To secure the tomb.  With a watch and a seal.



And now. After all this.  His so called “friends” had come up with this fabricated story - of Jesus suddenly appearing before them. “I don’t buy it! I don’t believe it…Unless I see with my eyes the marks of How wounds and place my finger in his hands and my hands at His side I will not believe it!

1. Like Thomas we do not have an eye-witness experience of the risen Christ.

Why wasn’t Thomas present with the rest on the night Jesus appeared? What are we to make concerning his absence?  The Scriptures are silent. We really don’t know. 

We could speculate, I suppose. Possibly he had simply given up. Checked out. And moved on. All Thomas knew was the mere fact that Jesus was dead. What more could be said? So why remain with the other disciples? Why continue on? He had invested three whole years of his life following Jesus. And his devotion was noteworthy.  When He learned that Lazarus was sick Jesus told His disciples they were going to Judea. It was Thomas who had said, "Let us also go, that we may die with him." – John 11:16  


Possibly he was distracted. Investing and involving his time in some other activity so he wouldn’t have to concentrate on the present reality – an empty tomb. Maybe it was simply out of necessity that Thomas just needed some space. To process in his mind what had just taken place. Maybe he needed a time out. To figure out on his own what he would do next. Possibly he simply needed to be left alone and suffer in silence. 

Perhaps something deeper is going on here. After all, Thomas had been invited by Jesus to be an apostle.   John gives us eight references to Thomas as a disciple of Jesus.  He was chosen and appointed by the Lord Jesus to be one of His followers. Jesus had said, "No longer do I call you servants . . . but I have called you friends."  -John 15:15

So, if Thomas is to be numbered with the rest of the apostles. And if they had experienced firsthand the risen Christ. Why not Thomas also? He too wanted to have the same experience as the rest… to see with his own eyes the marks of His wounds… and to place his finger in His hands and put his hands at His side. Maybe he simply wanted to be treated as the rest. If they had been witnessed of the Lord’s resurrection. Why not Thomas?  

So, what about you? How do you make sense of all this? The resurrection happened some 2,000 years ago. We do not have the experience of seeing Jesus with our own eyes. The resurrection happened in time and space. But not in our time. Can you have faith without witnessing Jesus Christ alive from the dead? And if so…how? 

Transition: Like Thomas we have not personally witnessed Jesus Christ alive from the dead. The Easter proclamation is powerful beyond comprehension.

2. The message of the Resurrection is incomprehensible.

Dead men do NOT come back to life again. Thomas had been there. He personally witnessed the crown of thorns. The nails. The spear. He knew Jesus had died. He had witnessed Jesus’ burial. He knew of the safeguards the Elders had arranged with Pilate. A tomb sealed. And the guard which was posted.

If Jesus were alive He would have to appear before Thomas just as He had to the rest of the disciples. That is, if he were to be considered a legitimate apostle.  He would have to witness the marks of Jesus’ Passion. These scars and visible marks on Jesus’ body would let him know that the same Jesus who had died by crucifixion was in fact alive. Those true tokens of Christ’s passion. Thomas would have to be witness. A counterfeit Christ would not do.

What convincing proof does this world need to believe in the resurrection? The claim is still true. Today, 2,000 years later – dead men do not rise. Faith calls for us to trust in the testimony of those eyewitnesses. John, in his first epistle, would later write, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life.” 1 John 1:1

Transition: Thomas’ life was literally changed once he became an eyewitness of Jesus bodily raised from the dead.

3. Seeing is believing.

Upon witnessing Jesus’ appearance. Thomas changed from a skeptic to a believer. These visible scars now become the marks of faith. All speculation of what might have happened were now gone. Thomas too became an eyewitness of Jesus’ resurrection.

We have today the testimony of these early eyewitnesses. The testimony of Scripture is undeniable. The testimony of these eyewitnesses remained consistent. Starting in Jerusalem, spreading throughout the world, the testimony of those first eyewitnesses remains constant. “We are witnesses of these events.”

The Savior’s words to Thomas are meant for your ears this day. “Blessed are those who believe even though they have not seen!” Lord, grant us such a faith as this! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
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Words-1,018
Passive Sentences –10%
Readability –76.4%
Reading Level – 4.9

Image of St. Thomas the Apostle found at: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cc/Caravaggio_incredulity.jpg

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Tuesday



Easter Tuesday, April 18, 2017 Psalm 2:7


Psalm 2:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

7 I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
    today I have begotten you.

This psalm is ascribed to David in Acts 4:25. The context may be David’s coronation. God’s announcement of a king (e.g. the prophet Nathan announced David’s appointment as Saul’s successor in 2 Samuel 7:5-17 is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. “You are my Son today I have begotten you.” See 2 Samuel 7:14.  1

The psalmist points to the glorious and visible vindication of Jesus as Son of God. Thus the “day” of this “begetting” was the day of Jesus’ resurrection and exaltation. Jesus will reign forever. Of His kingdom, there shall be no end. He is the eternal king, the Lord and giver of life.   The truth of Jesus' divinity is confirmed by His Resurrection. The Resurrection of the crucified One shows that He was truly, "I Am," the Son of God and God Himself. As is written in the second Psalm, 'You are my Son, today I have begotten You.'" Christ's Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of God's Son and is its fulfillment in accordance with God's eternal plan. Thus, you and I will always remain as Easter people.  Happy and Blessed Easter-and remember-It's a Season and a Way of Life!

Yea, Amen, let all adore Thee. High on Thine eternal throne; Savior, take the pow’r and glory; Claim the kingdom as Thine own. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Thou shalt reign, and Thou alone! 2
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[1] Concordia Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending Stanza 4, Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Luther’s Seal © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Monday



Easter Monday, April 17, 2017 Psalm 100:5
                   

Psalm 100:5 English Standard Version (ESV)

5 For the LORD is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalms 93; 95-99 proclaim, “the Lord reigns.”  Psalm 100 is the thankful doxology named Jubilate, which is Latin for “O be joyful.” The phrase “his steadfast love endures forever” epitomizes the Lord’s cared for His people.  1

Praise God. His mercy endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations. “The Lord is God” and “The Lord is Good.” Let the whole earth sing and be glad.

O God, in the paschal feat You restore all creation. Continue to send Your heavenly gifts upon Your people that they may walk in perfect freedom and receive eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen 2
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[1] Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] Collect for Easter Monday, Lutheran Service Book © Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Luther’s Seal © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

Sunday, April 16, 2017