“Nicodemus was looking for the kingdom of God apart from Jesus” Holy Trinity 2023

Nicodemus is a teacher of Israel, a man well-versed in the things of God. He was well qualified to recognize that, because of the things Jesus did, He had a special relationship with God. Today we would call Nicodemus a theologian. But as John tells the story, it soon becomes evident that, even though Jesus is religiously important, Nicodemus has no idea about what Jesus means when He says that Nicodemus must undergo a complete change in his being if he is going to be included in God's kingdom.

“The Holy Spirit’s Works Invidiually AND Corporately” Wednesday of Pentecost 2023

Yes, the Spirit is given to each individual, then that individual is gathered to others into fellowship. Just as Luther says in the Catechism, "I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the gospel and enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith." Here we have both next to each other. The Holy Spirit has called me to faith. No one else can believe for me, But my faith is never separated from the faith of others in the Church, which is why we can listen, sing, and hear God's word together. "In the same way, He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith."

“The day of Pentecost and every day for the Church since has been a gift of God” Pentecost 2023

The day of Pentecost and every day for the Christian Church since has been a gift of God. Everything needed for faith and life is a gift from your gracious God. The Holy Spirit gives faith. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the gift of the Father in giving up His only-begotten Son to die to save you from sin, death, and the devil’s captivity. The office of the Holy Ministry, this Christian congregation, the sinners-made-saints sitting next to you, and all the opportunities for neighborly love are gifts to you.