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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Miraculously

"...He came to them, walking on the sea" (Mark 6:48).

I'm all excited!  I think I know why Jesus walked on the water.  It's a new thought for me, and I'll share it with you.

The thought is that when Jesus comes, He does so miraculously.  He came to His disciples, walking on the water.  A miracle.  He came to the world, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.  A miracle.  And He comes to us, the church, in the Word and the Sacrament.  A miracle!  Because when He comes, He comes miraculously.

But there's more.  When we go to God, we go miraculously: prayer.  For when we pray in Jesus' name, we touch the heart of God!

God comes to us, and we go to Him, miraculously.  And that's a pretty good combination!

God bless you, dear Christians!

Pastor Matt

Friday, July 23, 2021

Lord, to You We Lift Our Eyes

The Small Catechism includes a table prayer called "Asking a Blessing."  It uses Psalm 145:15-16.  I wrote a little hymn as a way of singing the prayer.  To the tune of LSB 687.

Lord, to You we lift our eyes,
And in love You satisfy
All our needs from day to day.
Bless this food and us, we pray.

Amen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Tablet and the Platter

"And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, 'His name is John'" (Luke 1:63).

"And his head was brought on a platter" (Matt. 14:11).

John the Baptist was six months older than the Christ whose way John prepared (Luke 1:36).  So on June 24, six months until Christmas, we celebrated the birthday of John the Forerunner.  The greeting could be "Merry Johnmas!"

The story of John's birth and circumcision on the eighth day is found in Luke 1:57-64.  And it seems that on very close inspection of the words, there emerges a prophecy of the way John would die.  Most of you know that John was beheaded and his head placed on a platter (Matt. 14:1-12).

The platter is a strangely significant detail in the death of John.  Likewise on the day he was circumcised, there is another curious detail.  His father Zacharias, who was unable to speak (Luke 1:20), requested a tablet on which to write, "His name is John."

Here is the connection.  Remarkably, and in a way only the Holy Spirit and Scripture could arrange, the word "tablet" and the word "platter" are in the original Greek the same basic word!*

The child's name written on a tablet was that of the man whose head was brought on a platter.

As you reflect on this connection, remember that the purpose of John the Baptist is to call you to repentance and point you to your Savior.

*For those who are interested:
     pinakidion (diminutive of pinax) = tablet
     pinax = platter