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Monograms, Christograms and Initialisms

Christian symbols have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Most are pictures condensed into a simplified form.

The Cross, the Crucifix and Other Crosses

Ask a believer what the first Christian symbol was, and most likely they would respond: “The cross.” They would, however, be dead wrong.

The Face of God

Artwork and visual symbolism seen in a church building often make a confession long before parishioners hear what is confessed in the liturgy. Some of …

Birds That Flock the Sanctuary

Images of birds, for example, often appear in Christian art, but a few of these symbols need some explaining.

Under the Stars

Stars have a long and distinguished history in church art, and this didn’t start with the old “stars and stripes.”

Mary and the Crowned Woman

Representations of Mary, the mother of our Lord, often evoke a great deal of consternation among Lutherans.

On Halos

For the most part, early Christians placed halos on images of “sainted” Christians, that is, Christians already in heaven …

Previous Series Topics​

Waiting for Him

We all wait. Sometimes we wait for others impatiently. Sometimes we wait for changes discontentedly. Sometimes we wait for ourselves …

As You Proclaim Him

We need the protection Jesus provides in Holy Communion. After the Last Supper, Jesus warned Peter that Satan would sift him like wheat.

We Have the Time

The second most common objection to recovering weekly communion in the 1999 survey was that it takes too much time.

Weekly Communion Too Common?

In Easter season 1999, I surveyed all LCMS pastors regarding weekly communion. Their members largely feared …

Jesus’ Medicine

It is not fanatical for pastors and members to desire the weekly opportunity to commune.

Do You Always Need it?

This marvelous truth is foundational for Holy Communion: The living Christ, here and now, in the flesh, does this.

Are You Fanatical about the Lord’s Supper?

Weekly communion was not widely practiced for a significant part of the twentieth century in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Celebrating Christ the King in Zechariah with St. Cyril of Alexandria

Palm Sunday is one of those triumphal days where prophecy and fulfillment beautifully are upheld side by side.

Isaiah Sees the Lord with St. Jerome

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up;and the train of his robe filled …

Parsing the Proverbs with St. Athanasius

St. Athanasius (a.d. ca. 298–373) was five years old when the last and greatest persecution under the Roman commenced.

The Whole Christ Prays the Psalms with St. Augustine

O Lord, how many are my foes!Many are rising against me;2 many are saying of my soul,“There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah 3 But …

Job’s Resurrection Cry with St. Gregory the Great

The celebration of the resurrection, particularly in the face of death and grief, is the hallmark of the Christian faith.

Celebrating the Passover with Melito of Sardis

Certain texts you read at certain times every year. Every Advent, I revisit St. Athanasius’s On the Incarnation.

The Sacrifice of Isaac with Origen

One thing that makes us nervous about early Christian interpretation of the Scriptures is what we call “allegory” or “spiritual exegesis.”

Reading the Old Testament with the Early Church fathers

Old books help us see things differently. It’s not to say that old books are inherently better, but they are different.

Let It Be Done

“If I knew the world was to end tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today.” This memorable quotation is often attributed to Martin Luther.

The Driver’s Seat

God is near. God is “very present” (Psalm 46:1). God is sitting in the driver’s seat of creation. This is what Lutherans believe.

Touch Me and See: VR and the Reality of Jesus

Everywhere it went, the Early Church confronted heresy. As the Good News of Jesus spread throughout the Roman Empire, false accounts of Jesus arose.

Artificial Intelligence

Is knowledge a power for good? Or is it a power for ill? That’s where it gets messy.

The Internet of Things

Before there was a global system of interconnected computers, God made a global network of people connected in Christ Jesus.

Facial Recognition and the Face of God

Seeing God is one thing. Seeing God’s face is something entirely different.

Churchly Challenges and God’s Work

Over the last few months, we have talked about problems that afflict us — half-heartedness, slackness, falsehoods, fragmentation, failure to preach the Gospel.

With a Whole Heart

You can tell when someone does something halfheartedly. They lack drive, interest; sometimes they emit an audible sigh. No go, no push, no effort.

Pressing Ahead

Christianity has never been a spectator sport. A spectator watches other athletes run, struggle, fall, triumph.

Wholesome Food

You are what you eat. If you want to lose weight, you can exercise more, get more sleep, get outside more. You can change lots …

Staying Whole in Christ

“I feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions.” That could describe how you feel at work, how your free time feels, what a family gathering is like for you, what all of life feels like for you right now.

Waking Up in America

We know people were hungry for the bread of life in the past because they pursued Him into the desert to hear His words, and in our own past we have seen and known amazing things: people building their church and their school before they built their sod houses on the Great Plains, pastors traveling enormous distances on horseback and on foot to lonely settlements to bring the Gospel, churches popping up in the most crowded cities and the most uncrowded prairies.

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