Rev. Bror Erickson serves as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Farmington, New Mexico. He graduated from Concordia University Irvine in 2000 where he studied apologetics under Dr. Rosenbladt, and Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana in 2004. He likes to translate the works of Bo Giertz and Hermann Sasse. He also enjoys writing reviews for Amazon.com and critiquing modern culture with the Gospel.
“So you also have sorrow now.” So Jesus speaks about a time of sorrow for the disciples. Even they have their days of sorrow. Jesus speaks about it here in our Gospel. And it applies to us too, that we should have our days of sorrow.
Luther’s letters of spiritual counsel have long been a favorite resource of mine. I often use them before turning in at night as a devotion. Luther’s letters and table talk comments, most of which were written in his later years, are full of down-to-earth advice and Gospel insights that are often surprisingly still relevant to the troubles of our day.
Psalm 121, is as Luther says, a psalm “written to exhort believers because it contains the doctrine of faith. However, faith is the recognition of things that cannot be seen and must be hoped for, things that depend on the promise of the word of God.”
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matt. 28:19). "How many do they worship?" This question was asked of me by a representative from a neighboring church. "One or three depending on how you count," I replied. The man looked horrified.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:1-5).
We may not know what Mary's opinion was about Elvis or horses, but we know that she was a good girl who loved Jesus, and her boyfriend (or her betrothed, Joseph) too. We might call him a fiancé even if by our standards she was way too young to have such a thing.
It's the trap we fall into when we try to make God comprehensible to us. A god who is comprehensible to us panders to our desires and soon becomes a god that has to entertain in order to command our attention or meet our most immediate needs in order to maintain our devotion. Worship of such a god ultimately leaves us empty because our felt needs are rarely anything more than distractions from the ultimate realities of sin, death and the devil that plague our existence.
"As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.
Theses 11 and 12 of Luther's Heidelberg Disputation display the need for both sinners and believers alike to hear the Law preached in all its terror and the Gospel preached in all its glory every Sunday and in every sermon.