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Scripture at the Heart

Here are some thoughts on the second lesson for this coming Sunday. This was sent out to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. I'd like to know what you think. I need some feedback and want to hear what you are hearing from this passage. 

2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15 and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, wi…
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Remember and Remind

This is the sermon I preached last Sunday, 10/13/19 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The text was 2 Timothy 2:8-15.
Paul tells Timothy to “Remember Jesus Christ” (v. 8). Paul’s gospel, his understanding and teaching about Jesus is what Timothy is to remember. Paul sums up the gist of that gospel: that Jesus is resurrected and that he’s a descendant of King David. In other words, he was part of the royal line, the king that was promised to Israel and he was truly human.
Paul contrasts his own situation of being literally chained—experiencing the condition of suffering and death with the power of the living word of God, which is not chained. Paul does not downplay the fact that the gospel entails suffering.
Did Paul sit back in prison, thinking about how he could possibly proclaim the gospel now? He was in jail. However, Paul does not allow his own circumstances to become an obstacle to the progress of the gospel. He suffers vicariously—for the sake of the elect, who have been called by th…

Chained and Unchained

Here are some thoughts about this Sunday's second reading. What do you think? Let's talk about this. The reflection was sent to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church.
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-15
8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11The saying is sure:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
13if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.

14Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved b…

Gifts Rekindled

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 10/6/19 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The text was 2 Timothy 1:1-14. 

This is the first of three in a series on 2 Timothy, which seems appropriate, since our church is named after Timothy. 2 Timothy addresses the faithful life of an individual Christian, Timothy. Here we find a history of Timothy’s faith; beginning with his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice and passed on to Timothy. They were Jewish believers in Jesus. Timothy’s father was Greek, but nothing is told to us of his faith or lack thereof. Some of us came to faith in the way Timothy did, while some of us did not. I often envied those raised in families of faith since I was not.
Timothy was a co-worker of the Apostle Paul and a third-generation Christian. The letter has a very personal feel to it. After all, Timothy was one of Paul’s closest companions and most loyal followers. In the book of Acts, you will find stories of their travels together. Paul speaks of Timothy’s “sin…

Passing On the Faith

Here are some thoughts about this Sunday's second reading. What do you see here? Let's talk about it via email or in the comment section of the blog post. This was sent to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. 
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-14 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
2To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. 5I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. 6For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but ra…

The God of Angel Armies

This is the sermon I preached on Michael and All Angels, Sunday, 9/29/19 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The text was Luke 10:17-20.

Since the fifth century, there has been a festival dedicated to the honor of the archangel Michael. The focus of the day has broadened to include thanksgiving for all the angels, seen as messengers of the word and will of God. On this festival day, we hear about demons, Satan falling from heaven, the “power of the enemy,” and the submission of spirits. There is a whole realm of spiritual beings that is assumed. In this case, those related to evil. The other lessons for today speak about Michael and the other angels in this other realm.
This gospel text begins and ends with joy. It is joy that characterized the disciples’ experience. Their joy foreshadows the joy they’d experience at the resurrection (24:41, 52).
The phrase “in your name,” used by the seventy, indicates the sphere of authority for their work of exorcism. It also signifies their genuine id…

You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet

This is the reflection sent out to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church on this Sunday's gospel for Michael and All Angels. What strikes you? Do people have angelic experiences today? Have you ever experienced one? Let's talk about this.
Gospel: Luke 10:17-20 17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
The seventy were reporting to Jesus, “Lord, this and this and this happened and even ‘in your name…the demons submit to us!’” They were overwhelmed with the thrill of all that had taken place on their missionary trip. And Jesus said, “You ain't seen nothin' yet. B-b-b-baby, you just ain't…