Searching Scripture

Jesus (and His Followers) on Trial

by Dr. John W. Oberdeck The Eighth Commandment plays a significant role at the trial of Jesus. Luther’s Small Catechism explains that bearing false witness involves telling lies, betraying, slandering, and hurting a neighbor’s reputation. These do more than damage Jesus’ reputation at His trial, however. They lead to sin against the Fifth Commandment—Jesus’ death

The Nations are Coming! The Nations are Coming!

by Terence Groth Some readers will remember the 1966 film The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! In this comedy of the Cold War, a Russian submarine accidentally runs aground near a small New England town. Crewmembers come ashore to get help. The reaction of the townsfolk is surprise and fear. They are afraid

Christmas Journeys

by Rev. Terence Groth “Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.” This poem and song, whose “dapple gray” originally pulled his sleigh-riders through “the white and drifted snow” to Thanksgiving dinner, also has versions where the object of the journey was the pumpkin pie and pudding of Christmas Day. Every

Harvest and Thanksgiving

by Terence Groth More often than not, we Americans today live in an urban or suburban environment that is disconnected from the vocation of agriculture. Our lives are not measured by the cycles of seedtime and harvest. Most of us do not wrestle with nature in order to eat. We simply select a supermarket, fast-food

Confessing and Confirming the Faith

by Dr. John W. Oberdeck Luther planned the Ninety-Five Theses for academic debate. The popular document moved rapidly beyond Luther’s intention and became the rallying point of the Reformation. Soon Luther and the other reformers found themselves making public confession of what they believed and taught. Public confession of faith helps distinguish Scripture’s teachings from

Good News for Today

by Rodney Rathmann Regularly we interact with friends, neighbors, and relatives who are living unfulfilling and rebellious lives outside of God’s grace, with little or no understanding of God’s love and forgiveness in Christ Jesus. Such was the condition of the woman Jesus met one day at a Samaritan well (John 4:1–40). As with that

Three Celebrations for the Quiet Season

by Gregory Wismar In some ways August is the “quiet season” of the calendar by which we mark the passage of time. It is the only month that consistently has no major holidays listed among its 31 days. While there may not be special secular celebrations, our church-year calendar supplies us with three memorable festal

Remembering the Family

by Gregory Wismar One of the features of summertime is attending family reunions. Sometimes these are large, organized events held on a regular basis. Other reunions are much less formal, as relatives get together for visiting, either across town or across the country. Often, one of the best features of family reunions is the sharing

Expected Surprises

by Rev. Thomas E. Engel A few years back, I was facing a tough decision. A friend advised me not to do anything for a while. He said, “Just sit back and let yourself be surprised by what comes your way.” Some decisions can sit for a while and, before you know it, the answer

He Suffered for Our Salvation

by Andrew Simcak What thoughts come to your mind during this Lenten season when you think of the suffering of Jesus? As with many Christians, the first thing is probably the words we have said so many times when confessing the Apostles’ Creed: “He suffered under Pontius Pilate. …” That definitely calls to mind the

Christian Soldiers

by Rev. Andrew Simcak Jr. Whether you know it or not, you, dear Christian, are at war! We need to man our battle stations because we are in a life-and-death struggle against enemies determined to overcome us for time and eternity. The war began in Eden’s garden when our first parents, Adam and Eve, brought

God’s “Pro-Life” Bible

by Richard Cody Imagine for a few minutes that some of the best-known Bible stories happened in our society today events that are central to God’s plan for our eternal salvation. Can you imagine what might have happened if the people in those stories were “pro-choice”? For instance, let’s look at God’s servants Abraham and

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