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February 2019


Date Hymns Reading Comments

Feb 1 TLH 518/LSB 750 Matthew 5:1-12 Children of God need not be ashamed if they must suffer for Christ.

Feb 2 TLH 349/LSB 683 Matthew 6:16-24 Do not focus on earthly treasures such as honor, glory, or wealth; but appreciate those  treasures that have heavenly significance.

Feb 4 TLH 370/LSB 575 Matthew 7:15-28 Watch out for false prophets, for not all who claim to be of Christ will actually enter heaven. Build your spiritual foundation on Jesus for safety and security.

Feb 5 TLH 459/LSB 780 Psalm 13 When you feel overwhelmed, bring your concerns to the Lord and His unfailing love will make  your heart glad.

Feb 6 TLH 364/LSB 524 Genesis 21:1-7 At the very time God promised, Abraham’s son Isaac was born. God’s plan to send the Savior stayed right on schedule every step of the way.

Feb 7 TLH 326/LSB 616 Luke 7:36-50 Like the sinful woman, we all have large debts that have been forgiven. Take a moment to think about just how much Jesus has forgiven for you.

Feb 8 WS 701/LSB 343 Matthew 11:1-15 John was the Messiah’s messenger, just as prophesied. This meant Jesus was the true Messiah, also as prophesied.Read More »“BREAD OF LIFE” READINGS February 2019

Welcome to the Family

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

(Matthew 2:10-11)

The wise men, the three kings, the magi . . . tradition has made these visitors of Jesus to be seen in different ways. We Christians may scoff at wise men in Nativity sets: “The wise men don’t belong in the manger scene! They didn’t get there for two years! They weren’t kings! We don’t know how many there were!” They have become, in many of our minds, the others; strange rich men who came from far away to see the newborn King. They are mysterious; their names aren’t given, and their place of origin is simply referred to as the East. They are outsiders to our usual Biblical narrative that largely follows the Jews up to that point.

The wise men are included in the Gospel of Matthew not because they are a novelty, but because their inclusion was one of the first indications of the new normal for the early New Testament church. They were outsiders, but they were welcomed to worship the newborn King of the Jews as their own King. Matthew himself was also seen by the Jews as an outsider. Working as a tax collector for the Romans, he was seen as a thief and a traitor. The Pharisees disapproved of Jesus’ meal with Matthew and other sinners (Matthew 9:9-13).Read More »Welcome to the Family

Called to Action

Read John 1:29-51

Examples—good, bad, or indifferent—are all around us. Even though we know the Bible’s primary purpose is to show us the path to heaven through the grace of our Lord Jesus, the Scriptures are also full of examples. Paul tells us, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) Though Jesus’ disciples were often poor examples of Christ followers (just as we can be), in the account of Jesus calling the first of His followers we find examples we would do well to emulate.

John and Andrew

The first two disciples Jesus called to follow Him started out as disciples of John the Baptizer, namely John and Andrew. When John the Baptizer singled out Jesus and testified that He was indeed the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29) it was enough for these two. Although John the Baptizer did retain some disciples for a time, Andrew and John knew it was time to stop following the preacher and follow the One preached. We would do well to remember that. As attached as we may become to our pastors, it is the One Whom they preach that we follow. We dare not let brotherly love or loyalty cloud our vision of Christ.Read More »Called to Action

WS 717 “Bright and Glorious Is the Sky”

The creation account gives surprisingly little attention to the stars. It tells us that on the fourth day God made lights and placed them in the sky, but it calls our attention mostly to the sun and the moon. The stars almost seem to be just mentioned: “He made the stars also.” Yet the stars, too, are called God’s lights “set in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.” (Genesis 1:16-17)

The stars in God’s creation have a prominent place in this Epiphany hymn by Nicolai F. S. Grundtvig (1783-1875). The stars in the night sky make it “bright and glorious.” They make the high heavens “radiant.” When God set them in the heavens, He made them so that their rays of light incline to the earth and “beckon us to heaven above.” They lift our thoughts from earthly things to God the Maker of all things.Read More »WS 717 “Bright and Glorious Is the Sky”