Showing posts from February, 2019

Worship Helps for Transfiguration

Artwork: Transfiguration of Christ Artist: Giovanni Bellini Worship Theme: Scripture says that Jesus only shone with glory once before his resurrection. That was on a high hill, where Peter, James and John had a terrifying look at Jesus’ perfect glory. One reason Jesus did it was to give his disciples a glimpse at what the future holds for all believers. The Twelve were about to enter a difficult time. They would see their Messiah crucified, but they would also see in the end that Jesus is our glorious Savior. Old Testament: Exodus 34:29–35    29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not realize that the skin of his face was shining because he had been speaking with the Lord . 30 When Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, they were amazed that the skin of his face was shining, so they were afraid to come close to him. 31 Moses called to them, so Aaron and all the ru

Did you get him wet?

Several years ago, I baptized a baby boy in our church. Later, at the baptism party at the parents’ home, I was introduced to the baby’s grandfather, who is a Lutheran pastor and missed his grandson’s baptism because he was preaching that morning. He shook my hand and asked me one question. “Did you get the boy wet?” I replied, “Yes, sir. I got the boy wet.” A smile came over his face and he said, “That’s all I wanted to know.” Then he walked away. I guess that’s all he did want to know. Earlier this year, as we celebrated the baptism of Jesus in our church, I had the privilege of baptizing a mother and her four children, ages 14, 11, 8 and 7. The mother and children are taller than the average infant. I also use a shell that holds a lot of water for baptism. There was water streaming down their heads two feet into the baptismal font. I got them wet. They had big smiles over their faces. Two weeks ago, just before our early Sunday worship service, I learned that on

The Fullness of God

This is Pastor Zarling's sermon for the Shoreland Lutheran Teachers' Conference at First Evan and WLS on Friday, February 22.  Colossians 2:9-15   For all the fullness of God’s being dwells bodily in Christ.  10  And you have been brought to fullness in him. Christ is the head over every ruler and authority.  11  You were also circumcised in him, with a circumcision not done by human hands, in the putting off of the body of flesh, in the circumcision of Christ,  12  when you were buried with Christ in baptism. And in baptism you were also raised with him through the faith worked by the God who raised Christ from the dead. 13  Even when you were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ by forgiving us all our trespasses.  14  God erased the record of our debt brought against us by his legal demands. This record stood against us, but he took it away by nailing it to the cross.  15  After disarming the rulers and authori

“Where in the world is God?” He is blessing you.

Luke 6:17–26 17 He went down with them and stood on a level place with a large crowd of his disciples, and a large number of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, as well as from the coastal area of Tyre and Sidon. These people came to listen to him and to be healed of their diseases. 18 Those who were troubled by unclean spirits were also cured. 19 The whole crowd kept trying to touch him, because power was going out from him and healing them all. 20 He lifted up his eyes to his disciples and said: Blessed are you who are poor, because yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are you who hunger now, because you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, because you will laugh. 22 Blessed are you whenever people hate you, and whenever they exclude and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man. 23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy because of this: Your reward is great in heaven! The fact is, their fathers constantly did the same things to the proph

Worship Helps for Epiphany 7

Artwork: Joseph in Egypt Artist: Jacopo Pontormo Date: 1515-1518 Worship Theme: Joseph’s brothers were terrified out of their minds (Genesis 45:3) when they realized that Joseph, their brother was alive. He was the prime minister of Egypt! He could pay them back for all the evil they had done to him. But Joseph treated his undeserving brothers with love. How will we treat our enemies? Old Testament: Genesis 45:3–8a, 15 3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” His brothers could not answer him, because they were terrified by his presence. 4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me, please.” They came closer. He said, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 Now do not be upset or angry with yourselves for selling me to this place, since God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. 6 For two years now the famine has been in the land, and there are still five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor ha

Where in the world is God? He is calling you.

Luke 5:1–11 One time, while the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. 2 He saw two boats there along the lakeshore. The fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Jesus got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from the shore. He sat down and began teaching the crowds from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered him, “Master, we worked hard all through the night and caught nothing. But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets were about to tear apart. 7 They signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, because I am