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Showing posts from February 23, 2020

Testing Jesus

Here are some thoughts on Sunday's gospel. Let's talk about it.
Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11 1Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But he answered, “It is written,
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
5Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
7Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9and h…

Three Little Words

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday 2/23/20 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The gospel was Matthew 17:1-9.
The season of Epiphany begins and ends with a heavenly voice in Jesus’ baptism and Transfiguration, making Jesus known to the world. After all, Epiphany means “to make known.”
The Transfiguration marks the midpoint in a series of scenes that define who Jesus is. At both his baptismand transfiguration, we hear the heavenly voice announcing that he is God’s Son. At his temptation, in Gethsemane and at his crucifixion, Jesus struggles with the humiliation, suffering and abandonment that he, as God’s Son, must endure. Finally, the resurrected Christ claims his identity, sending his disciples out to teach and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Judith Jones, workingpreacher.org).
It’s easy to get caught up in the special effects in movies and other stories. Such things can either enhance or distract from the story line. There are special effects aplenty in…