You have an assignment, Zion:
Read through the entire New Testament this Summer!
What’s on your reading list for this summer? There are a lot of good books out there for you to read, whether for pleasure, for information, or for edification. How about adding the New Testament to your reading list? Below you will find a weekly schedule that will help you read through the entire New Testament this summer. Try it out and see how you do.
Intro: The subject of our text (Revelation 21) is "the New Jerusalem," "the Holycity," also known as the "wife of the lamb" the "bride of Christ."
All of these titles are different names for what we know as: the Holy Christian Church.
I. John describes this Holy Christian Church for us, the Holy City, as he sees it (w/ spiritualeyes) coming down out of heaven from God. And his description is totally awesome.
In v. 11 of our text John describes the Holy City as "having the glory of God." Right away this is difficult for us, becauseit's hard (actually it's impossible) for us to comprehend what the glory of God is like.
We know what our glory is like. We know what it's like when we do things that seem important and incredible, like winning a game, or coming home from a track meet with some ribbons, or graduating from school.
But what about God's glory?
Congratulations to Shyann Chitty, Jamie Critel, Jenna Critel, Jessica Critel, Jenna Garver, Breanna McIntyre, and Austin Seamann, who were confirmed in the Christian faith in our Sunday morning worship service April 21.
Text: John 13:31-35 (emph. v. 34) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another."
Dear friends in Christ Jesus:
Intro: I don't know if you noticed, but our text is a little bit out of place chronologically. You see, for this church year, we've been through the season of Lent. We've been through Holy Week. We've been through Easter Sunday. We're now in the middle of the season of Easter.
But our text is taken from John's account of Maundy Thursday. Remember? That's the same night on which Jesus was betrayed.
I. I'd like to begin by talking a little bit about that betrayal.
Text: Rev. 5:8-14 (emph v. 12) “…“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” This is the Word of the Lord.
Do those words sound familiar to you? They should, because we sing these words (or words like them) very often in our worship services, when we do DS1, in the hymn of Praise “This is the Feast.” In fact, although our order of worship is Matins, we’re going to sing “This is the Feast” in just a few minutes.
“Worthy is Christ the Lamb, who was slain, whose blood set us free to be people of God. Power, riches, wisdom, and strength and honor blessing and glory are His.”
Text: John 20:19-31/Acts 5:12-32
Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
During the season of Easter, rather than reading an OT lesson, we instead read a lesson from the book of Acts. As we do this, we get an idea about how the crucified, risen, and ascended Christ impacted the lives of the Apostles and the entire church, and how the church grew.
And one of the things that our reading from Acts for today does, as we contrast it with our Gospel lesson, is the tremendous difference in the attitude of the Apostles.
Ever since I became the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church and School three years ago, I’ve encouraged members here to speak to each other out of love for each other. I think I’ve even used this column to encourage people, when speaking to others, to say (at least in their minds if not aloud) “Because I love you…” and then say what they have to say.
I’ve come to realize, however, that some have interpreted that to mean, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” The result has been that many people stifle their thoughts and bite their tongues, not sharing what’s really on their minds, thus giving a false understanding of how things really are.
(The hymn of the day was LSB #461 "I Know That My Redeemer Lives)
Dear friends in Christ Jesus:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!” What a great hymn to sing on Easter Sunday morning! I can’t imagine NOT singing that hymn on Easter.
Well, actually, I can imagine it.
Text: 2 Cor 5:16-21 (emph, v.16) “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.”
Dear friends in Christ Jesus,
Paul says here that he and his companions, he and his fellow pastors, no longer regard anyone according to the flesh. And so, if they no longer regard anyone according to the flesh, I suppose he’s indicating that we shouldn’t either.
But do we?