Lutheran Spokesman

"…the Scriptures cannot be broken." John 10:35


Time to Think About Seed-Sowing


“But Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.’” 

(John 12:23-24)

As you read this article, the weather is probably not looking very springlike. If you live in a northern region of our country, the temperature outside may be downright frigid. Snowflakes may be floating in the air. Even if you live in a region that enjoys warmer temperatures, you’re probably not thinking about engaging in outdoor gardening activities like planting flowers or sowing vegetable seeds. The time for doing such things is spring, and spring is a long way off.

It’s interesting, though, that the church year season we recently entered (Lent) comes from the Old English word, lencten, which means “spring.” And though it is true that we aren’t thinking about outdoor gardening work now, there is a seed-sowing that we love to think about especially at this time of year: the seed-sowing that Jesus speaks about in the Bible verse above.

It was Tuesday of Holy Week. Two disciples had just placed before the Savior the request of some Greeks to see Him. Apparently these Greeks had heard about Jesus’ reputation as a prophet and were looking forward to meeting Him. When Jesus heard about their request, His mind turned immediately to the work of redeeming mankind that He was soon to bring to completion. In three days He would be betrayed, arrested, falsely accused, condemned, crucified, and His body buried in a grave. The result of it all would be that souls out of every nation (Greece and countless others!) would be saved for eternity, a thought that filled His heart with joy. Read More…

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TLH = The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941; WS = Worship Supplement 2000; LSB = Lutheran Service Book, 2006

Date Verse Reading Comments

Mar 1 TLH 29 Isaiah 45:1-13 Judah would go into exile, but God had already planned for their release and chosen the man (Cyrus) who would bring it about.

Mar 2 TLH 609/LSB 337; Matthew 25:1-13 In repentance and faith we stand ready for Jesus’ return.

Mar 3 TLH 390 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Who would have thought the cross could save, but it did! Who would have thought lowly sinners like us could be saved, but we are!

Mar 5 TLH 395/LSB 690; Genesis 39:1-10 Joseph recognized God’s loving care for him, and he was not willing to sin against the One who so loved him (v. 9).

Mar 6 WS 745 Ruth 1:1-16 It wasn’t for family ties alone that Ruth wanted to stay with her mother-in-law. Israel’s God had also won her heart (v. 16). Read More…

Mandatum Novum The New Commandment

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DEVOTION – Maundy Thursday

It takes conviction and effort to be willing to do the up-close and dirty work
of washing a fellow sinner with God’s Word of grace.

Our annual commemoration of the night before Jesus’ crucifixion is known as “Maundy Thursday.” Though it is difficult to be certain, most church historians think that the word maundy is derived from the Latin translation of Jesus’ words, spoken that night, as found in John 13:34: “A new commandment [mandatum novum] I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

What could be “new” about this commandment? Jesus had often instructed His disciples to love their neighbors as themselves, and even to love their enemies. At this time, however, Jesus raised the bar considerably. Each believer is to love his fellow Christian “as I have loved you.” In other words, the depth of our love for one another is to be measured by Jesus’ own humble, self-sacrificial love shown to us. Read More…