Category Archives: Easter

Sanctified in Truth

Text: John 17:11b-19
Date: Easter VII + 5/13/18

For forty days we have been amazed celebrating the resurrection of our Lord. The Lord is risen from the dead, alleluia! Ever since His rising the Lord has opened the minds of His disciples to understand the scriptures and His words. We got to expect Him to continue, mysteriously, to appear and speak to us, then to disappear. But now, this past Thursday He announced the end of all that and the new beginning of something new; the end of His visibly appearing to us but the beginning of His remaining in us. In these ten days when He told us to wait in the city, we begin wondering what if anything we should be doing. The hint was in those hands when He lifted them and blessed us before ascending into heaven. Continue reading Sanctified in Truth

Baptism of Love

Text: John 15:9-17
Date: Easter VI + 5/6/18

Once again in the brilliant light of the resurrection of our Lord, our minds are opened and enlightened to the deeper understanding of the scriptures. We’re still thinking about that night before our Lord’s death. Remember how, before that Passover meal, our Lord put a towel around His waist and, taking water, knelt before each of us to wash our feet? Peter didn’t think it was appropriate at all for our Lord to stoop to do such a menial, slavish task. When He was done, however, ‘remember what Jesus said? “You call me teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Then He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another” (John 13:12-14; 34). Continue reading Baptism of Love

The Vine Living and True

Text: John 15:1-8
Date: Easter V + 4/29/18

During Easter with the first disciples and witnesses of the resurrection to this day the risen Lord Jesus opens our minds to understand the scriptures (Lk 24:45). This includes all His words and teaching during His earthly ministry. Today, in the light of the resurrection, we recall the time right after that last Passover supper when He spoke of many things including the parable of the vine and the branches. “I am the true vine,” He said. Using the image of a grape vine He means to speak about our continuing connection with Him especially after His death and resurrection when we cannot see Him any longer as did the first disciples. The purpose or goal of staying connected with Him, He says, is the bearing of fruit. In this picture we are taught, first, how through His Word and Sacraments, we are brought to salvation, that is the justification of the sinner by God’s grace through faith without the works of the Law, and then, secondly, to the life of sanctification, the life of holy living, the life that says, “Lord, I love Your law.” Continue reading The Vine Living and True

I Lay Down My Life

Text: John 10:11-18
Date: Easter IV + 4/22/18

Only now can we hear, really hear and understand what our Lord said when, during His earthly life, He was speaking to the Pharisees before Hanukkah that year saying, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Because if He really meant what He said, it meant He was going to die to protect and defend us. Which is what He meant. But then, it occurred to us, what good is a dead shepherd after that? So, it’s only now that we know what He meant, saying, “I lay down my life that I may take it up again.” Now in the afterglow of Easter we finally know what He meant. For He did lay down His life for us. But He has also taken it up again being raised from the dead. Only now in light of the resurrection has He opened our minds to understand. Only now can we believe we have a truly good shepherd, not a dead one! Continue reading I Lay Down My Life

Repentance and Forgiveness

Text: Luke 24:36-49
Date: Easter III + 4/15/18

I always get tripped up when I read this account of our Lord’s final Easter appearance to His disciples when St. Luke tells us, “they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling.” How can someone disbelieve and yet be happy about it? One commentator suggests this means “a purely emotional response which is so powerful that they are too overwhelmed to really ‘believe’ it in the sense of committing themselves to its reality.”[1] I assume we’ve all experience at some time or another what many call “a mountain top experience,” a moment of spiritual enlightenment not normally experienced in daily life. It may have even led us to say things that are beyond the reality of true faith. The question of this text is do we truly believe or do we still disbelieve though be it for joy? Easter is a happy, even a triumphant celebration with full organ and even full churches with brass and choir and timpani joyfully raising the roof. But then what happens? What happens to the joy we felt when we return to what strikes us as the “same old same old” of our lives? What happens? Disbelief? Continue reading Repentance and Forgiveness