God makes all things new. He refashions us from those turned in upon ourselves, turned to idols of our own choice and making, to experience the freedom He gives by pronouncing us His righteous children.
As we close out an old year, Saint Silvester can remind us God is the Lord of history and He has used and is using even people whose lives sink largely or totally into obscurity to keep the confession of our faith in Jesus Christ alive.
Imperatives are good for many things. Luther said the Law is good, but precisely because it is good, it has become poison and death to the bad. The Law does not give life but evaluates it, and we encounter day in and day out its negative evaluation of us.
The Church's hymns help us see our own world from another—and perhaps not so different—vantage point that illuminates the impact of the work of Christ and the general providing and protecting activity of our Creator in our lives.
Those who occupy the pulpit will always be sensitive to various kinds of reactions, expected and unexpected, and eager for the feedback that helps evaluate whether the words from the pulpit have achieved their intended goal.
The gift of new life through His death and resurrection, creates Christ’s children, all of whom are being sent with beautiful feet and beautiful tongue and lips to serve as the Lord’s hitmen and midwives.
The Easter season is designed to cultivate our resurrection thinking throughout the year. When God looks at us each day, He sees us through the lens of Christ’s resurrection. We should look at our lives the same way.
Can we fully experience the joy of the Festival of the Resurrection if we do not seriously stare boldly into the sad state of our own faithlessness to Him who promises to be faithful even when we are not?
Our words of proclamation from the pulpit not only bring repentance and comfort, enacting in our hearers an exchange of sinful identity for the identity of God’s child, but also the motivation and fuel for loving others.
Trust may risk, but trust produces a sense of assurance letting us rest easy and enjoy peace while it drives us to ventures which may seem dangerous but are possible to do because trust defies the dangers.
Reconciliation with God affirms the worth of our persons, and it banishes the inhibitions and fears, as well as the resentments and desire for revenge, which create gulches between us and those around us.
This restoration to righteousness that results in our freedom for loving and supporting other people whom God places within our reach takes place, Luther believed, through Christ’s liberating victory over Satan.