Showing posts from September, 2012

St. Michael and All Angels!

Angels Among Us Have YOU ever seen an angel?   Have you ever heard an angel?   Spoken with an angel or been touched by an angel?   I know, we modern, intellectual early 21st century types have little use for angels.   Sure, we put them on our Christmas trees and enjoy the once a year emphasis on angels that usually accompanies our traditional celebrations of Christmas.   But, do we really believe in angels?   Or, perhaps the real question is - do angels have any relevance in our post-modern society? I confess - believe in angels!   Not only that, but I think angels have relevance in contemporary Christianity and in contemporary society; not only that, while I've never seen a being wearing a white robe and flying with wings, I believe that I have seen angels, I have heard and spoken with angels and I have been touched by them - and, I believe you have too. So allow me start with a couple popular misconceptions about angels:   First, angels do not have to earn t

Reflections on the Gospel – Mark 8:27-38 - Pentecost 16

Read the text here: Mark 8:27-38 Do You Know Jesus? Do you know Jesus? Has anyone ever asked you that question? Usually the asker really just wants to know if you are “saved.”   And to that question we Lutherans can answer a resounding “yes.”   For we have been saved by grace, through our Lord Jesus Christ.   But that doesn’t really answer the question, does it?   Do you know Jesus?   Well, do you? Martin Luther believed he knew Jesus.   He had grown up in the context of a church that taught that Jesus was a stern judge who was ready to condemn sinners to the agonies of the fires of hell for all unconfessed sins. For the young Martin Luther, Jesus was terrifying.   He knew he was a sinner and he knew he could not possibly confess all of his many sins for he could not remember them all.   He also knew that despite his best intentions he continued to sin; he continued to put himself first.   He was convinced that he would be condemned and he expected Jesus would do the con

The Essence of Faith - James 1-2

Read the text here - Beginning with James 1:1 The Essence of Faith Luther didn’t like the Epistle of James very much.   He famously called it “an epistle of straw.”   What’s up with that?   We all bring to our reading of the Bible our own pre-suppositions and prejudices and Luther was no different than us.   Just read through the 1 st chapter of James and you can see why Luther was so negative about James.   Be doers of the Word and not merely hearers… (James 1:22) . Well, Luther was in the midst of a life and death struggle against a Medieval Church that was focused on “doing” things in order to earn your way to heaven.   Now that is not what James is talking about, but we can see why Luther reacted the way he did to this passage.   But the world has changed a lot since the early 1500’s and besides Luther was only a human being too who actually sometimes got things wrong.   This is an example. James is believed to have been written sometime in the early day