“Have all of Jesus” – The Resurrection of Our Lord 2022

You either have all of Jesus or you have none of Him at all. The resurrection witnesses knew what they had shared. The accusation that they had made it all up they could endure. And they had to face persecution, they were beaten, crucified, and stoned. Why would they do that for a lie, a hoax, or even under some mass delusion. But they could not be silenced. St. Peter and John themselves confessed before the Sanhedrin, "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20) 

“The Vigil unto life that gives hope” – The Great Vigil of Easter – April 16, 2022

We can pray confident that if the Lord gives us a tomorrow, it is good and means fruitful labor for us. And if He gives us to sleep the sleep of death, no matter. He has already transformed our grave into a quiet resting place, a soft bed undefiled. Just as Joseph’s new sepulchre, the stone, the seal, nor the guard could hold Jesus, so also our tomb won’t hold us either. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.” Even if buried under six feet of earth, our Lord Jesus will awaken us, dragging us out of the earth, breathing life into us, and carrying us into the Resurrection. We will follow the Light that no darkness can overcome.

“Free among the dead” Good Friday Tenebrœ 2022

This Lententide, we have been learning to lament from the Psalms. Our final Psalm is possibly the most difficult to pray. It is arguably the darkest. It even stands among the most somber compositions in all of Holy Scripture, comparable to the overcast pages of Job and Ecclesiastes. It’s hard to imagine how to reconcile such dark tones with evangelical hope. The Gospel must predominate in Christian preaching, even on this night as Christ lay dead in the tomb. Some might even think the sentiments of this psalm too dismal for it to serve as a Christian prayer at all. The hymnal committee saw no place for it in Lutheran worship and left it out.