The Small Catechism – part 224

Scripture Text: Exodus 4:30–31

I remember so many Sundays about 40 years ago, when I remained in the pew, trying to decide if I was ready to receive Holy Communion. Was I penitent enough, devoted, pious, holy?

The Small Catechism – part 224

Scripture Text: Exodus 4:30–31

I remember so many Sundays about 40 years ago, when I remained in the pew, trying to decide if I was ready to receive Holy Communion. Was I penitent enough, devoted, pious, holy?

The Small Catechism – part 222

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 12:13

I do not intend for us to understand this verse as being about Holy Communion. Obviously, it is about Baptism. Yet, there is relationship between the Sacraments, at least in Spirit and Word.

The Small Catechism – part 221

Scripture Text: Mark 8:14

One wonders if John Mark wrote this verse with tongue in cheek, or if Peter had told him the story with a wry tone at the memory. The disciples were worried about bread for their bellies, while they had the One Loaf to share as they sailed.

The Small Catechism – part 220

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 11:23–26

This is how Jesus established his holy meal, and this is how we pass it down, like Paul, from generation to generation. We receive from the Lord himself, his body and blood—his own precious life—in the elements of bread and wine.

The Small Catechism – part 219

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 10:16

When we share in Holy Communion, we are receiving the true body and blood of Jesus Christ. We are not simply receiving bread and wine that we eat in memory of what Christ did for us.

The Small Catechism – part 218

Scripture Text: Mark 6:48–50

Jesus reveals his divine power at times when those in need may apprehend. He speaks to peace of heart, saying, be not afraid, grab some courage. This word is always predicated on the fact that he is present.

The Small Catechism – part 218

Scripture Text: Mark 6:34

Jesus fed people throughout his ministry. A have a feeling that he fed people far more often than Scripture chronicles. The recorded cases were miraculous in nature, a little going a long way.

The Small Catechism – part 217

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 8:9

Sometimes, it is when we imagine ourselves most right, that we may be very wrong. In today’s larger reading, Paul discusses Christian freedoms or rights, the liberties and privileges we have in Christ.

The Small Catechism – part 216

Scripture Text: Mark 6:12

The old proclamation of the twelve disciples still has legs. Even now, they go from house to house, urging us to repent. Have we failed God in the light of any of his commandments?

The Small Catechism – part 214

Scripture Text: Mark 4:39–40

The storms of life howl upon us, and we are frightened. The obvious example, at the moment, is the coronavirus. We shrink before the tempest, yet muster enough courage to rush out and purchase more toilet paper, soap, and sanitizer than we could use in a month of Sundays.

The Small Catechism – part 213

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 6:19–20

We are united with the Lord, and by his grace made one spirit with him. Therefore, we should take special care not to sin, as our sins are really sins against the Lord, since we are one with him.

The Small Catechism – part 212

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 6:11

Like Joseph’s brothers, we must confess, “In truth we are guilty” (Gen 42:21). Ours may seem to us lesser or greater crimes. No matter. We are guilty.

The Small Catechism – part 211

Scripture Text: Mark 3:28–29

Imagine a person who goes to church and thinks, I do not need to confess my sins because I am a good person. It is easy enough to imagine a person like this outside the church, but they exist inside the church too.

The Small Catechism – part 210

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 4:20

Is the power of God at work in you? God forbid that it is only talk, just religion. The power of God’s kingdom has accompanying signs. These are not the sort of signs one finds in the world; they are God signs, signals of an unfamiliar power.

The Small Catechism – part 208

Scripture Text: Mark 2:5

Some people have a problem with one person forgiving the sins of another. This is largely because they do not understand whom it is who is actually doing the forgiving.

The Small Catechism – part 207

Scripture Text: Genesis 37:29

Perhaps we can see in Joseph’s escape from the pit, a foreshadowing of Christian baptism. In baptism, God snatches us from death and the evil intentions of the devil—though, indeed, we die in that pit.

The Small Catechism – part 206

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 1:30–31

Sanctification or holiness is not something we do. Instead, Christ has become our sanctification. His righteousness is ours through faith. So is his sanctification and redemption.

The Small Catechism – part 205

Scripture Text: Mark 1:8

Paul remarked how thankful he was that he personally baptized only a few, so that personality cults could not rise up around him. I used to think it was Pastor Chu who baptized me at St. Luke’s back in 1955, but then I read his obituary and discovered he was pastor there from 1960 until 1966.

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