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When the storms of life hit –and storms do come – our mind may play tricks.We might imagine things that do not exist “it’s a ghost!” –and ignore whatexists: Jesus in our company. Faith is like a pulse: if you have one, you are alive.A strong pulse is better than a weak one. Strong faith is better than a weak one. Let God strengthen your faith with his Word and Sacraments.
Paul laments the fact that his kinsman reject the Lord Jesus as their Savior. They will be lost if they continue to hold on to tradition rather than let God be God.
If God is for us, who shall be against us, asks Paul. He reasons that if God gave his Son, would he hold back on lesser blessings? Certainly not!
The just and the unjust coexist in this life until the end of times. Jesus reminds us that God (not us) is the judge. Our task is to proclaim the Gospel. Having done just that in this place for sixty years, we resolve to keep right on going!
On July 10th, our dear congregation turned sixty! Since that Sunday, July 10, 1960 when thirteen families met at Calhoun Hall the Gospel has been heard at Blessed Savior. Whether it was preached from a simple bar desk covered with a white tablecloth, or a small lectern, or a proper, elaborate and elevated pulpit like this. Today we begin, in a way, our 61st year of work in the Lord’s harvest field.
Paul teaches that to experience conflict between the body and the soul is normal. The body has all kinds of desires and impulses that are offensive to the spirit. Paul himself deplored experiencing just that.
Jesus teaches us that whoever does not pick up his or her cross and carry it, is not worthy of him. This is true. However, we have lots of help carrying our own cross. He surrounds us with his angels and a cloud of witnesses that cheer us on!
It is common that people shy away from discussing their Lord Jesus in their circle of friends. Yet, Jesus expects precisely that! Since he conquered the grave, we live without the fear of death.
2nd Sunday after Pentecost
Christians live with confidence. Their strength comes through faith from God. They go into the world and proclaim the Gospel in the name of the Holy Trinity.
On the 50th day (Pentecost) after the Resurrection, the Holy Spirit comes down on the Disciples. They are empowered. God builds his church to this day through his empowered people.
Paul prays that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened. He prays that we develop a deeper appreciation for our ascended Lord Jesus. He is the head of the church and of the universe. In his hands we are safe!
The Areopagus was a place where the “good ol’ boys” of Athens met. Former mayors, senators and men of influence were all part of it. These all listened to Paul.
Stephen was stoned to death because of his faith in Jesus. The hatred for God’s love in Christ did not cease with the Crucifixion. On the contrary, it increased. Every year tens of thousands of Christians die a martyr’s death.
Christ’s death on the cross enables and inspires us to live as if we were dead to sin! The Holy Spirit teaches us to walk in God’s ways.