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Third Sunday of End Time

Today's Focus: A Preview of Paradise  Saints Triumphant is an occasion for us to really think about what heaven will be like. All God’s saints (believers in Jesus) look forward with eager anticipation to that day when God will welcome us into our eternal home. After we die, someday we will be raised to life, and we will "be with the Lord forever" (First Lesson). But we don't know when God will call us home, so we need to be ready and wise, because our heavenly Bridegroom Jesus could return at any time (Gospel)! Today God describes the beauty of heaven and shares with us, his saints, a preview of Paradise.

Second Sunday of End Time

Today's Focus: Judgment Day is Coming   “He will come to judge the living and the dead.” We confess it weekly in the creed, but do we live like we believe it? Moses’ words in our Psalm shake us from spiritual slumber: “You sweep us away in the sleep of death” (Psalm 90). The descriptions of God’s judgment throne (First Lesson) and of his return like a thief in the night (Second Lesson) mirror Christ’s picture of the Shepherd separating the sheep from the goats (Gospel). Judgment Day is real, and it’s coming! Today we pray that God would keep us mindful of the coming judgment and faithful to our Savior Jesus. Then there’s no need to fear Jesus’ return; it will be the day of our redemption.

First Sunday of End Time

Today's Focus: Lord Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word   The Festival of the Lutheran Reformation of the Church emphasizes our unfailing reliance on the Word of God and our unflinching testimony to it in the face of persecution. Jesus’ disciples boldly proclaim God’s Word in the world, even before kings, even before those who persecute us (Gospel). In his Word Christ frees us from the yoke of slavery to work-righteousness (First Lesson). So our prayer on this 500th anniversary of the Reformation is, “Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word."

Reformation Sunday

Today's Focus: 500 Years of Grace   This year we celebrate the quincentenary, or 500th anniversary, of the Lutheran Reformation. When Luther nailed the 95 theses to the castle church door on October 31, 1517, he sparked the revolution that would restore the truth of God's gospel to the church. God's grace is from eternity, but 500 years ago God's gracious gospel was rediscovered, after being obscured for many years by false teachings. Now our hungry souls can freely dine on Jesus, the bread of life (Gospel), who invites us to a banquet of his grace prepared for us in his word (First Lesson). By faith in the gospel of Christ we are justified before God—declared not guilty of our sins—completely apart from works of the law (Second Lesson). Today we celebrate 500 years of God's grace and thank God for all his blessings to us through the Lutheran Reformation.