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Showing posts from March, 2015

Sounds of the Passion: Cheering Children

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Mark 11:1-11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.'" 4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of …

Worship Helps for Easter

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Resurrection Edward Riojas
Worship Theme: What is Easter? For Americans who do not worship Christ, Easter may be a day for family gatherings, a day for candy, eggs and rabbits. What is Easter for a Christian? It is the resurrection of our Lord, a day to sing the praises of our Savior God. It is a day to rejoice in the victory over death that Jesus won for us. It is a day when the victorious Christ himself comes in his Word to dry our tears of despair and give us living hope.
Old Testament:Isaiah 25:6-9 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine-- the best of meats and the finest of wines. 7 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; 8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. 9 In that day they will say, "Surely this is our G…

What does this mean?

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Palm Sunday is also Confirmation Day for many congregations in our Wisconsin Synod. Over the course of two or three years of study, how many times have our catechumens been asked that question: What does this mean?
Holy Week asks us that question in the most powerful of ways.  We see Jesus giving himself to his disciples in his Supper.  The Son of God abandoned by the Father; the Lamb of God taking away the sins of the world.  We see Christ the Firstfruits rising from the dead.  It’s thousands of years of prophecy fulfilled in three days.  It’s what we gather to celebrate every week.
So what does this mean?
Philippians 2 gives us the answer so we can be ready for those days.  St. Paul writes: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled …

The Savior in the Old Testament: Jesus and the New Covenant

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Jeremiah 31:31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Countless centuries had passed since the rainbow was first set in the sky. After exiting the ark, God made a covenant with …

Worship Helps for Palm Sunday

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Entry into Jerusalem
Worship Theme: Hail the King who humbly comes to save us! For 1700 years the Church has celebrated with Hosannas and palm branches this festival that opens Holy Week. The time for Christ’s glory had come. He would not, however, gain glory in the manner of other kings. Rather, he would humble himself in great acts of love for us, and then the Father would exalt him to the highest place, because he had fulfilled God’s mission to save mankind.
Old Testament: Zechariah 9:9,10 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
1. Zechariah writes 520 years before Christ. What does Zechariah say Jesus…

God Hears and Helps

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During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:7-10) Ever have a bad day? Of course! On this side of heaven there will be lots of them.
The words of God at the beginning of this devotion were written to Hebrew Christians who were having bad days. These Christians had converted from the Jewish faith to the Christian faith. The result? They were being persecuted by family and friends. They were being strongly and forcefully encouraged to go back to their old Jewish roots, to give up on Christianity, to forsake Christ or risk the loss of family and friendships, and possibly even their homes and liv…

Tramping Feet

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Pastor Emile J. Burgess Sermon—John 18:1-6 Midweek Lent 2015 Sounds of the Passion
Tramping Feet Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. Jude 2
There’s something fascinating about the sound of feet stepping in unison. Whether it’s tap dancers, Irish Step dancers, modern Stomp dancers, you can’t help but marvel at their dedication to their craft, at the tight precision of footfalls resounding as one! It is a sight to see, and hear!
There’s something about military marching too that can be fascinating and admirable. It’s a powerful sight and sound to watch a company of soldiers march and chant as if one man. They march, they chant, they fight with singular purpose, singular focus, unified for a common cause. It can be an awe inspiring thing.
The tramp of soldiers’ feet can also be a dreadful thing, if you happen to be on the wrong side of their common cause. Throughout the passion of our Lord Jesus, the tightly timed tramp of soldiers’ feet is heard again and again as Jesus is shuttled …