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“This is God’s Word, even the Gospel; that we are ransomed by Christ from death, sin, and hell: Whoever hears that, has this light and has kindled this lamp in his heart, even that by which we may see the One that enlightens us, and teaches us whatever we need to know. But where this is not, there we rush on, and by principles and works of our own device would find out the way to heaven. Of this you can judge and see by your light, that it is darkness. Therefore since they have not the light, neither wish to receive it, they must remain in darkness and blindness. For that light teaches us all we ought to know and all that is necessary to salvation, a thing which the world by its wisdom and reason knows not. And this light we must still have and depend upon, even to the day of judgment. Then shall we have no more need of the Word, just as we put out the lamp when the day breaks.”-Dr. Martin Luther

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Meme of the Day

May be an image of text that says 'IF PLANNED PARENTHOOD WAS KILLING PUPPIES INSTEAD OF BABIES, AMERICA WOULD HAVE SHUT THEM DOWN BY NOW. -Lenny Bruce White- ACTIVIST MMY'

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Text: St. Mark 1:21-39

Last week’s Gospel, immediately before today’s, we heard of Jesus teaching in Capernaum’s synagogue, and the people were amazed for he taught with authority.  The scribes and company legalistically taught, showing the people inward into themselves to save themselves. It was not the true teaching of the law showing us how sin and pointing to our Savior.  He came not totie burdens on them but to lift the burdens off their shoulders and their hearts, the burdens of the flesh and of the heart, soul and mind, the sin which clings so closely.  Then over to Peter and Andrew’s home…it was quite a Sabbath Day in Capernaum. 

Peter’s mother-in-law could not get up. She was burning with fever.   Jesus takes her by the hand and lifts her up.  The word in Greek for “lifts”,  can also be translated, raised, as in resurrected.  She then went about her vocation as a mother and hostess.  Jesus touches her.   Sickness separates us from others while sin and the demonic separates us from God and then each other.  The chasm between us and God is great and Jesus came out to bridge the terrible gulf and conquer the abyss of hell. He resurrects her.

Separation is also the devil’s game, to wrench us away from the Lord with temptation and sorrow and doubt.  Illness likewise is like demonic possession:  sickness gets us off by ourselves.  Sickness is almost always a quarantine.  When sick, what’s the one thing you want the most?  Yes, to do activities of daily living.  Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was burning with fever and could not do what she was called to to.

Israel questioned in their weariness and fainting:

Why do you say, O Jacob,
    and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
    and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord 

shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

We all tend to question thus with Israel. Now wait and hope in Hebrew is the same word and both direct us outside of us to the Lord.  Our way is not hidden from the Lord.The townspeople, the fishermen, the grocers, the weavers, the fathers, the mothers dutifully waited for sundown to go to Peter and Andrew’s home.  Why?  Answer:  the end of the Sabbath day, sunset on Saturday and the beginning of the first day of the week, Sunday, and the Lord of the Sabbath had made that home His House, the House of the Lord.  

You shall observe the worship day/That peace may fill your home, and pray,/And put side the work you do/So that God may work in you”/Have mercy, Lord! (Lutheran Service Book, hymn #581, These are the Holy Ten Commands, stanza 4)

The doors of the Synagogue and at Peter’s house were battle line, a threshold. A threshold is a border between inside a home and outside the home. This threshold was the place the Lord works in you, to bring you into Himself day by day with His Word, out of the World,   for the peace which guards our hearts and minds, the peace that surpasses understanding, not the peace the world gives, the peace the Lord gives:  faith, hope and love.

Back to last week’s Gospel: The Rolling Stones wrote and sang a song, Sympathy for the Devil and  the singer is the devil. We cannot have sympathy for evil and sin.  Jesus knows the devil’s game up close and personal.  Some 4 times in this short Gospel lesson the demons are mentioned.  Jesus knows the devil’s game:  it’s you, even the Rolling Stones knew the devil’s game (and probably better than many a Christian!):  to steal “many a man’s soul and faith”.  Jesus is no thief. Jesus has NO sympathy with the devil but for men and women possessed, Jesus has perfect sympathy, “sym-patheo”. literally “to suffer with”. When the devil comes a knocking don’t answer that door but pray, Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from the evil one.. You cannot dialogue with the devil.  Devil and his evil is cast out, muzzled, renounced and rejected, but even that is not enough, for by our own strength we can stop devil and evil. IF we try  we are only fooling ourselves but not the evil one. Remember those questions at a Baptism are prelude to the Baptism itself, the door of Jesus Christ opening the reign of heaven to you and to me.  When the devil says you are not good, you are not holy, you should have more in life, you’ve been gypped by life, just pray to the Lord and pray:  But I am baptized!  I am Christ’s.

Satan, hear this proclamation: I am baptized into Christ!/ Drop your ugly accusation; I am not so soon enticed./Now that to the font I’ve traveled, all your might has come unraveled,/And, against your tyranny, God, my Lord, unites with me!   (“God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It”, #594, Lutheran Service)

There may be a song or two about the evil one, but the hymns, psalms and songs know no end of our Savior and His compassion.

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.

Hebrews 5:7  In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

After that evening, Jesus goes to bed then gets up early, before rise of sun to pray. In a sense He retreated. He seems to have planned to this.   The Lord had been fighting the enemy, the terrorists of soul and body.  He was tired. He need to pray to His dear Father. His coming out into the world for the life of world was about Him for us all.  He had no sympathy for the devil but sympathy for you.  His life centers on His Father’s Word who said of Him, This is my beloved Son. This is what the Liturgy, the Divine Service is all about:  It’s about the beloved Son of the Father.  This is my beloved Son. This is a way of looking at the Divine Service and all the services of God’s House:  a retreat every Sunday morning, away from the battle line. This is my beloved Son. Jesus, true man, needed to be with His Father.  Jesus was tempted in every we are, yet was without sin, yet was bearing already your sin and mine.  He needed to pray. 

Too many times worship services are conceived as about us.  No.  A worship service or a retreat are not more and more about me and you, but more and ever more about the Lord, more about Jesus for us and our salvation. The Lord has given you His Word and Sacrament to purpose His Presence and proclaim through them the Christ, This is my beloved Son. 

The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
    he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.

“The one door is open and all who enter in will find a Father’s welcome and freedom from their sin.”  He touches us with bread and wine, His body and His blood as He Himself has done so in His House.  We all need to retreat from the battle lines.  And it is not Peter’s mother in law serving the Lord, but the Lord serving us: 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”.  He told His first disciples, the reason He came out, came out of Peter and Andrew’s home, and the House of His Father:  I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. I have stood there in Capernaum…seeing the sights the Lord saw in His earthly ministry…many things change, but that landscape has been there for some time.  He came out to the towns and the synagogues proclaiming the reign of God and looking down the length of the Sea of Galilee beyond sight there is Jerusalem, where the Lord would go and bear the cross for you  and for me. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Now the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guards your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

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Genesis 32:
22 THE SAME NIGHT (JACOB) AROSE AND TOOK HIS TWO WIVES, HIS TWO FEMALE SERVANTS, AND HIS ELEVEN CHILDREN, AND CROSSED THE FORD OF THE JABBOK. 23 HE TOOK THEM AND SENT THEM ACROSS THE STREAM, AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT HE HAD. 24 AND JACOB WAS LEFT ALONE. AND A MAN WRESTLED WITH HIM UNTIL THE BREAKING OF THE DAY. 25 WHEN THE MAN SAW THAT HE DID NOT PREVAIL AGAINST JACOB, HE TOUCHED HIS HIP SOCKET, AND JACOB’S HIP WAS PUT OUT OF JOINT AS HE WRESTLED WITH HIM. 26 THEN HE SAID, “LET ME GO, FOR THE DAY HAS BROKEN.” BUT JACOB SAID, “I WILL NOT LET YOU GO UNLESS YOU BLESS ME.” 27 AND HE SAID TO HIM, “WHAT IS YOUR NAME?” AND HE SAID, “JACOB.” 28 THEN HE SAID, “YOUR NAME SHALL NO LONGER BE CALLED JACOB, BUT ISRAEL, FOR YOU HAVE STRIVEN WITH GOD AND WITH MEN, AND HAVE PREVAILED.” 29 THEN JACOB ASKED HIM, “PLEASE TELL ME YOUR NAME.” BUT HE SAID, “WHY IS IT THAT YOU ASK MY NAME?” AND THERE HE BLESSED HIM. 30 SO JACOB CALLED THE NAME OF THE PLACE PENIEL, SAYING, “FOR I HAVE SEEN GOD FACE TO FACE, AND YET MY LIFE HAS BEEN DELIVERED.”

Let us pray:  Lord Jesus, scepter that rises out of Jacob, Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, rule our hearts through Your suffering cross and forgive us our sins, that we may become partakers of Your divine life;  for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Bio:  Jacob, the third of the three Hebrew patriarchs, was the younger of the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah. After wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, Jacob, whose name means “deceiver,” was renamed “Israel,” which means “he strives with God” (Gen. 25:26; 32:28). His family life was filled with trouble, caused by his acts of deception toward his father and his brother Esau and his parental favoritism toward his son Joseph (March 31). Much of his adult life was spent grieving over the death of his beloved wife Rachel and the presumed death of Joseph, who had been appointed by the Egyptian Pharaoh to be in charge of food distribution during a time of famine in the land. Prior to Jacob’s death during the blessing of his sons, God gave the promise that the Messiah would come through the line of Jacob’s fourth son, Judah (Genesis 49).

Reflection: The twin brothers Jacob and Esau ended up in bitter enmity.  As Esau said of his brother, “Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”   Enmity seems to be magnified in families.  But why did Esau hate Jacob? Jacob tricked him out of his birthright and their Father’s blessing .  Yes, Jacob did so but Esau was also complicit in his own hatred, as we read earlier in Genesis, at the beginning of the Jacob narrative:

29 Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) 31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 

Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of red lentil stew showing he despised his birthright. But why did Esau despise his birthright and then sell it?  Answer: He was hungry! He thought he was so hungry Esau said:  I am about to die .  Later when his birthright was ripped off from Esau by his brother, then Esau’s birthright was again precious to him and he was sad he lost it. 

Was Esau about to die from hunger? We have probably all said at one time, “I am so hungry, I could die”.  We aren’t about to die, neither was Esau!  These Scripture verses are a cautionary tale in among and themselves about temptation to sin.  Why did Eve eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?   “…when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes…”  Her eyes were doing the leading. As if Eve said, What’s the use of faith and obedience to the Lord??  Why did Cain kill his brother Abel?  Cain heard from the Lord that He had a higher regard for Abel’s sacrifice.  By what he heard from the Lord (!), then Cain was “angry” of the Lord’s favor for his brother. When the Lord Himself counseled Abel, Abel did not listen. Cain in anger killed his brother, the world’s first murder. As if Cain said, What’s the use of my brother and service to my brother?  When King David saw a beautiful woman, he committed adultery with her and had Bathsheba’s husband killed in battle. As if David said, What’s the use of fidelity in marriage and my leadership as King?

When one of our organs, like our stomach, or our eyes, ears, and especially the organs right below our stomachs, are leading, then it is the devil’s opportunity to be misleading.  Can we be so easily tempted?  Ahh, yes. We use the excuse of our organs as to the reason we are tempted!  I was hungry! I was angry! I was randy!  Then when misled, I am dead. Who can raise us up?  Answer:  the LORD God. This is saving faith.  Eve, Cain, David and Esau looked to themselves alone and not to the Lord, that is, they had not faith. Esau did not think he sinned and needed to repent.  Jacob did believe and trust because he was a sinner and he knew the promises of God to him.  And it was a struggle, so much so that when the Lord Himself wrestled with him all night, God renamed Jacob: Israel, literally, he who wrestles or struggles with God.

Jumping way ahead in Biblical time, Jesus had fasted 40 days and nights and we are told “He was hungry” then Satan tempted him to turn a rock into a loaf of bread. We read in Scripture He was tempted in every way we are but was without sin.  He knows from the inside out of our skin to guard and guide us in the time of sin, that is, temptation.  See Hebrews 2:18 

Now Esau was very  sorrowful as to what happened, but not what he did, follow his stomach and so easily despise his inheritance.  He was caught but he would not be taught.  Jacob sinned as well but he could be taught, and he would be again and again and again. But by the grace of God, went Jacob.

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The Meeting of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Temple - Orthodox  Church in America

The Lessons: 1 Samuel 1: 21-28    Psalm 84   Hebrews 2: 14-18     St. Luke 2: 22-32

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, as Your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, grant that we may be presented to You with pure and clean hearts; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

About the Feast Day: 

Thirty-two days  after Jesus’ circumcision and seventy weeks after the announcement of John’s birth to Zechariah by the angel Gabriel, the Lord comes to His temple to fulfill the Torah (Luke 2: 22-38).  The days are fulfilled with the presentation. Jesus’ parents keep the Torah and fulfill it by bringing Jesus to His true home. Also, Jesus’ parents offer the alternative sacrifice of two turtledoves or two pigeons. Leviticus 12:8 allows this instead of a lamb, since not everyone could afford a lamb (showing the poverty and humility of Joseph and Mary). Yet no lamb was necessary because already here at forty days old, Jesus is the Lamb brought to His temple for sacrifice. Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis is a beautiful example of the immediate response to this inauguration of God’s consolation and redemption in the Christ Child. Speaking to Mary, Simeon also prophesies about the destiny of the child. (from The Treasury of Daily Prayer, CPH)

After His circumcision, (Mary) next waits for the time of her purification: and when the days were fulfilled, and the fortieth was the full time, God the Word, Who sitteth by the Father’s side, is carried up to Jerusalem, and brought into the Father’s presence in human nature like unto us, and by the shadow of the law is numbered among the firstborn. For even before the Incarnation the firstborn were holy, and consecrated to God, being sacrificed to Him according to the law. 25 O! how great and wonderful is the plan of salvation! “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” He Who is in the bosom of the Father, the Son Who shares His throne, and is coeternal with Him: by Whom all things are divinely brought into existence, submitted nevertheless to the measure of human nature, and even offered a sacrifice to His own Father, although adored by all, and glorified with Him. And what did He offer? As the firstborn and a male a pair of turtles, or two young doves, according to what the law prescribed. But what does the turtle signify? And what too the other, the dove? Come, then, and let us examine this. The one, then, is the most noisy of the birds of the field: but the other is a mild and gentle creature. And such did the Saviour of all become towards us, shewing the most perfect gentleness, and like a turtle(dove) moreover soothing the world, and filling His own vineyard, even us who believe in Him, with the sweet sound of His voice. For it is written in the Song of Songs, “The voice of the turtle(dove) has been heard in our land.” For Christ has spoken to us the divine message of the Gospel, which is for the salvation of the whole world. (St. Cyril of Alexandria; emphasis added)

Jesus is the song of songs Who so stirred the waiting heart of Simeon, and so much so, Simeon praised in poetry his song which the Church calls: “The Nunc Dimittis” (St. Luke 1: 29-32), Now let your servant depart in peace. The Nunc Dimittis is the perfect post communion hymn in the Divine Service.

In our country, the equivalent of a turtledove is the mourning dove:  both have a mournful song.  On my Grandparent’s farm, my Grandmother was wont to tell me that when the turtledove sings it means we need rain. St. Cyril says the song of Christ’s Word soothes the world.  A pastor and seminary prof told us at a seminar that when proceedings at a church council were rough, he would lead them in a hymn and the song helped, “clear the air”.  The problem is the dearth of singing of the Lord’s song these days, which is, “…the message of the Gospel, which is for the salvation of the whole world.”  We need to clear the air, not the way we want to, but as the Lord has taught us through His Word.

Maybe the mournful song of the turtledove can remind us we yearn for the Lord and His Word to fill us.  I don’t think the turtle dove’s song is for rain, but this song reminds us of yearning to walk wet as the Lord’s baptized.  It is so easy to add to the cacophony of the world.  Into the cacophony, the infant Christ Jesus was brought into the Temple and He would enter into the noisy world of dispute and death for the “falling and rising of many in Israel”.  He would be the Sign spoken against and as He bore our sin, to arise again, “The voice of the turtle dove has been heard in our land”

When Israel was captive in Babylon, the Psalmist sang and asked, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137).  Upon alien soil, Israel can no longer sing the joyful songs of Zion which is Jerusalem, in Babylon.  The depth of  Israel in bondage is poignantly sung in verses 8-9, a kind of “wish prayer”[1] We wish the oppressors who taunt us would likewise be destroyed. Yet the motivation of such is the beauty of the Lord’s Song in sharp contrast to the world.  How do we sing the Lord’s song in a land increasingly foreign to us, even our own land?  Maybe it is to remember  for Christians, “Every foreign country is their fatherland, and every fatherland is a foreign country” (Letter to Diognetus, 2nd century). Psalm 137 is the song of Two Cities, Babylon and Jerusalem. “It sings of resistance again one and devotion to another.” [2] Maybe we Americans are waking up to reality which is good.  Again, Dr. Mays: 

“As (Israel’s) song was preserved and used as a psalm, the names of Babylon and Jerusalem were on the way to becoming symbols—Babylon of the civilization of this world that does not know the LORD reigns, and Jerusalem of the city of God that is and is coming  (cf. Revelation 18: 21)…Faith can never “forget Jerusalem”. Faithfulness will remember in pain and prayer”

For the King has entered His Temple, and His loving servant sang,

“…for my eyes have seen your salvation
31     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

Let us pray…

“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise” (Ps. 51: 15)

O Lord, be Thou our Song ever in our land and guide us ever by Thy light and the glory of Thy Son Jesus presented in Thy Temple, which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples.  Lord, open Thou our lips that we may sing Thy praise in an alien land that men no longer be strangers to Thy mercy and reconciled in Thou, no longer estranged from one another, and may all people join us in the song of Thy Church. We ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.


[1] James L. Mays, Commentary on the Psalms 

[2] Ibid

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Quote of the Day

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in his book Wartime Prayer Book (1943) answers objections to Christian truth and faith. This is one of them:

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Meme of the Week

Image may contain: text that says 'IF A SINGLE LIVING CELL WAS FOUND ON A DISTANT PLANET, SCIENTISTS WOULD EXCLAIM THAT WE HAVE FOUND LIFE ELSEWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE. so WHY IS A SINGLE LIVING CELL FOUND IN THE WOMB OF A PREGNANT WOMAN NOT www.ehd.org CONSIDERED LIFE? CRA'

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The Shocking Liberation of Auschwitz - HISTORY

Elie Wiesel who gripped the world’s imagination with his book “Night,” a personal testimony of life and death in Auschwitz, once asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe (or Rabbi), who himself lost many members of his family in the Holocaust, how he could believe in G‑d after Auschwitz. If G‑d existed, Wiesel asked, posing the single greatest challenge to faith, how could He ignore 6 million of His children de-humanized and murdered in the cruelest of fashions?

The Rebbe shed a tear and then replied, “In whom do you expect me to believe after Auschwitz? In man?”

From the article, “Roots of Religious and Secular Fundamentalism” By Yosef Y. Jacobson

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Exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac - Wikipedia

The Gospel reading, St. Mark 1: 21-28 is about a man with unclean spirits being convulsed and set free by Jesus. Jesus forcefully by His Word kicks the devil out of the man. The translation of verse 25, “Be silent…” is not as pointed as the original Greek, “BE MUZZLED (!). I think this scene from The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers best illustrates this actual exorcism record in Mark. Saruman, the fallen wizard, has possessed Theodan King of Rohan. Earlier, Gandalf says that the King’s “mind has been overthrown”. Gandalf means to set Theodan free. It is almost as if Saruman is bodily thrown out of Theodan. I came across this Medieval icon of exorcism, above, showing the man almost vomiting the devil’s putrid presence from his body/soul according to the Word of Christ! Remember: J. R. R. Tolkien was a devout Catholic Christian and well-versed in the Bible and all things Medieval and may had even knew about icon and ones like it.

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Titus - DailyVerses.net

The Appointed Gospel:

Titus 1: 1-9
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you- if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. 

Reflection: The apostle St. John the Evangelist died of old age around A.D. 90-95.  According to tradition, he was the only apostle  not martyred.  With the death of the last apostle, it was also the end of the Apostolic Age, which was the first flowering of the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.  It was also a dividing line and could have been a crisis, after all, the Apostles were eyewitnesses to Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead.  The last eyewitness had died to sleep in Christ. Further, the Gospel was reaching more and more Gentiles, as Titus himself!  In the Gospel for today, we see the Lord making provision for this transition as the Apostle Paul instructs Titus, “my true child in a common faith”, on the way to be a pastor.  The transition is from the Apostles to the Bishops and Pastors. Here and in other Epistles, the Apostle Paul lays out the description and goal of the bishops and pastors. As the Apostle wrote to Timothy about  the goal of apostles, bishops and pastors, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1: 15). 

Apostles, bishops and pastors with all the faithful are disciples. The root word of “discipline” is disciple. All the disciples have various disciplines for living as the faithful by His grace alone.  Paul lays out this discipline in Titus 1: 5-9.  Discipline can be summed up in two simple words: no and yes.  Every parent should know this, as every pastor. The Law spiritually teaches us No to sin, death and the devil.  The Gospel is the Yes of the Lord’s promises fulfilled in Jesus Christ for our faith through His grace.  If a pastor only preaches and teaches No, then a congregation will be burdened again by trying to save themselves.  Many pastors these days only preach and teach Yes, anything goes, as in debauchery, insubordination and license, which is popularity with their congregations and worldly elites.  Only by God’s Yes and No can the pastor rebuke those who contradict sound doctrine (vs. 9). Popularity with the world is enmity to the Lord. Titus, Paul and Timothy were not popular, they were faithful and by their disciplined labors, even two thousand years later, as if it were yesterday, we can stay the course.  We give thanks to the Lord for all faithful pastors and bishops throughout the world!

For another reflection for this Feast Day: Not Nice Clergy by Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray, Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston, TX

We did not and can not do anything for salvation. | Words, Quotes, Bible  quotes

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