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Showing posts from January 26, 2020

Nothing Easy

Here are some thoughts about this coming Sunday's gospel. I'd love to know what strikes you. What message is God speaking to your heart. This was shared with the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church.
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and …

Bad News Leads to Good News

This is the sermon I preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church on Sunday, Jan. 26. The text is Matthew 4:12-23.

Today’s gospel starts out with bad news. Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, has been arrested. Hearing this, Jesus “withdrew to Galilee” (v. 12). This opening verse is not simply a way to mark time, but it signals that John’s arrest is a dangerous situation for Jesus, and he must choose how to respond. For now, Jesus pulls away to carry out his ministry of proclamation in and around Galilee (Audrey West, workingpreacher.org).
Throughout Matthew, we see this or similar statements, “…so that what had been spoken through the prophet…might be fulfilled” (v. 14). Normally these words refer to a time when such and such will happen. However, rather than the time being fulfilled in today’s gospel, the place is being fulfilled—Galilee of the Gentiles. God means to embrace everyone, Jew or Gentile. How shocking! God did what God said he would do. God’s Messiah had been promised and God ful…