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Showing posts from February, 2013

Funeral sermon for Marilyn Acklam

Psalm 139:7-10 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. How well did you know Marilyn? I think many of us knew Marilyn well enough to know that she was a type “A” personality; she was driven; she got things done. We knew that she was a very positive person with a beautiful smile and a sense of urgency. Many people relied on her – Roger, her children, her grandchildren, the Home Guild ladies here at Epiphany and the Women’s Club at OpenBibleLutheranChurch in Florida. She and her family would always stay late to clean up the church kitchen and put chairs away. Pastor Kraus, the retired pastor here at Epiphany, asked Marilyn to cut the ribbon on the new addition of our school because she had been so vital to the committee…

"What am I going to do with you?"

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Luke 13:31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, "Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you." 32 He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.' 33 In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day-- for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! 34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" “What am I going to do with you?” If you’re a parent, you’ve said those words. And if you are a child (or you were once a child), you’ve heard those words. They are words of exasperation. Words that y…

Worship Helps for Lent 3

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Artwork: The Punishment of Korah Artist: Botticelli Date: 1481 Gallery: The Sistine Chapel In 1481 Botticelli was summoned to Rome. He and several other artists had been selected by Pope Sixtus IV to decorate the walls of the Sistine Chapel. These artists included Ghirlandaio and Rosselli from Florence, and Perugino from Umbria. This was some twenty seven years before Michelangelo began his work on the ceiling. The frescoes were completed in a relatively short period of time, about eleven months. The artists submitted a sample fresco for approval by papal officials and Botticelli's contribution was three paintings, "Events of the life of Moses", "The Temptation of Christ", and "The Punishment of Korah".  The painting depicts three episodes and tells of a rebellion by the Hebrews against Moses and Aaron. On the right the rebels attempt to stone Moses after becoming disenchanted by their trails on their emigration from Egypt. Joshua has placed himself between…

As a hen gathers her chicks

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Listen to these great hymns that were sung during Jesus’ day in the synagogues and temple worship in Jerusalem.

“Hide me in the shadow of thy wings.” 17:8.
“In the shadow of thy wings I will take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by.” 57:1
“Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings.” 61:4
“In the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.” 63:7
“Under his wings you will find refuge.” 91:4

How do we know these songs were sung? They are the songs found in the book Psalms. Psalm 17, 36, 57, 61, 63, and 91 speak of the protective wings of God. So when Jesus expressed his desire to comfort Jerusalem he used an image widely understood, “I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gather’s her chicks under her wings.” But Jesus’ desires go unfulfilled for Jerusalem was “unwilling,” Jesus said, to receive the shelter he offered.

But let us not miss a significant point being advanced here: In the Psalms it is Yahweh who longs to gather Israel under his protective wings. Here in the …

A Better Mediator

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As the mediator, Christ was the go-between of two parties – the holy and righteous God and sinful mankind. Moses and the priests often acted as mediators between God and man. They would take the blood of the animals to bind the people to the regulations of the covenant. As mediators, Moses and the priests would ask God to soften His anger. They would also give God’s people the Lord’s message. Jesus is the perfect mediator of Hebrews 8:6, 9:15-22 and 12:24. He is the arbiter between us and God with His perfect sacrifice on the cross. He continues to intercede for us in heaven. He was once and always will be our advocate.
Lenten Midweek 2013A Better Savior Hebrews 12:24A Better Mediator More and more people are familiar with carrying out transactions over the internet. And even if you never have, I think you can imagine this part of the transaction. Perhaps you are downloading a song, installing an application, setting up an online payment and there appears a requirement to continue -- you…

Worship Helps for Lent 2

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Artwork: Jerusalem, Jerusalem Artist: J.J. Tissot Date: 1886-1894 Style: Opaque watercolor Gallery: BrooklynMuseum Worship Theme: "It is God's will that you should be sanctified" (I Thessalonians. 4:3). What if we have ignored God's call to holy living? God says to examine ourselves, repent of our failures, and ask for his forgiveness. Yet we never do any of those three perfectly. We must confess that, as an old prayer says, "we have no power to defend ourselves." So how can we not end up among those who permanently reject God's rescue? Only by God's constant grace in Christ. In his mercy God even used Jesus' rejection by his Jewish countrymen to put Jesus on the cross. Rejoice doubly, then: Christ did not reject his Father's will, he died for you. In Christ God will also keep you from rejecting him. Old Testament:Jeremiah 26:8 But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the LORD had commanded him to say, the priests, the pr…