May 23 To The End


Image by Kyle Reed

2 Samuel 2:12-3:39;  John 13:1-30;  Psalm 119:1-16;  Proverbs 15:29-30

“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”  John 13:1


“This is it.

I am the Pascal Lamb

for the world.

My Body and Blood

given for you…

and you…

and you.

Bread and wine


never forget

how much I love you

how I gave my life

for you…

and you…

and you.


This world is not your

forever home.

Where I am, there

you shall also be

with the Father Creator

in Paradise splendor.


My Presence will satisfy

and keep you

to the end.

So, come, take eat,

this is my Body.

Take drink,

this is my Blood

given and shed

for you…

and you…

and you

for the forgiveness

of all your sins.


This is it-

the forever Feast

for those I love

to the end.”

Lord, I am touched by the special mention of how you loved your disciples to the very end.  They were with you from the beginning of your ministry.  They learned and labored and loved right beside you.  And you faithfully loved them in spite of their fears, their insecurities, their pride and their doubts.  I know you will love me to the end as well.  Your gift of your Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper reminds me of the sacrifice you made so that my sins can be forgiven and of your never ending love for those who call upon your name.  Thank you Lord Jesus for your very Presence in my life when I kneel at the Pascal Table and receive the bread and wine.  In Your Name I pray, Amen.


May 16 Fill Up and Drink Deep


Photo by Danny J

1 Samuel 18:5-19;   John 8: 31-59; Psalm 112:1-10;  Proverbs 15:12-14

“If you abide in my word,

you are truly my disciples,

and you will know the truth,

and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31


“Whoever is of God,

hears the word of God.”

John 8:47


“Truly, truly, I say to you,

if anyone keeps my word,

he will never see death.”

John 8:51

‘You are what you eat.’


Feed yourself junk food, and you’re junk?

Feed yourself rich fare, and you’re rich?

Feed yourself 100% organic, and you’re pure?


While there may be some truth to that, there is real Truth concerning Spiritual food:

St. Bernard of Clairvaux writes:

“I wish to follow with all my strength the lowly Jesus;  I wish Him, who loved me and gave Himself for me, to embrace me with the arms of His love, which suffered in my stead; but I must also feed on the Pascal Lamb,for unless I eat His Flesh and drink His Blood I have no life in me.  It is one thing to follow Jesus, another to hold Him, another to feed on Him.  To follow Him is a life giving purpose;  to hold and embrace Him a solemn joy; to feed on Him a blissful life.”

Lord God, apart from You I have no real life.  Thank you for making me Your own through faith, begun in the waters of Baptism and nourished through Your Holy Word and the Body and Blood of Your Son in the Lord’s Supper.  Through Word and Sacrament You preserve me in this world until I am safely home with You in Heaven.  Lord, I pray that all believers may find their strength, their joy, their bliss in You.  And I pray that Your Holy Spirit will move more hearts and minds to know Your Truth, to know Your Son Jesus Christ, to know of His Redeeming Love.  In His name I pray, Amen.

April 12 Open Wide


Image by Bigstockphoto/Wiz Data

Joshua 5:1-7:15;  Luke 15:1-32;  Psalm 81:1-16;  Proverbs 13:1

“You shall have no foreign god among you;  you shall not bow down to an alien god,

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.  Open wide your mouth and I

will fill it.”  Psalm 81:9-10

I read those verses this morning and have been thinking about them throughout the day.  The first image that came to my mind was of the baby cardinals that I was privileged to watch being fed by their parents.  Their mouths-open wide- were filled with the good things their mom and dad brought to them.  The babies grew quickly–a good indication that their food was ‘cardinal’ specific.  They didn’t have to do a thing but eat, sleep and grow.

Our spiritual mouths are open wide.  We want to be fed.  We want to be full. Our Heavenly Father feeds us with the Bread of Life–His Son Jesus Christ whose Body and Blood were broken for us,for our sin.

The table is set.  We are invited.  The meal is prepared.

It’s faith specific nutrition just for us–complete with grace, love, forgiveness, peace.

This is the feast of victory for our God.


Lord God,  You have nurtured my faith life through the preaching and teaching of the Good News.  You have fed me and strengthened me through the Lord’s Supper.  Thank you for feeding your people–sending food specific for our souls.  Bless our worship tomorrow as you continue to feed us with your life-giving Word.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.




March 21 Life Stages


Photo by Andrew Kerr

Numbers 32:1-33:39;  Luke 4:31-5:11;  Psalm 64:1-10;  Proverbs 11:22

“These are the stages of the people of Israel when they went out of the land of Egypt

by their companies under the leadership of Moses and Aaron.

Moses wrote down their starting places, stage by stage,

by command of the Lord and these are their stages

according to their starting places.”

Numbers 33:1-2

The rest of the verses in chapter 33 recounts the movements of the children of Israel in the desert-the highlights as well as the low points.  From beginning to end, God was with them.  He never forsake them.  He provided food and water, protection and guidance.

God meted out judgement when the people rebelled.  He provided means to atone for their waywardness and sin through blood sacrifice.

The Lord was with them visibly–as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  He even made Moses’ face glow!

And God kept his promises made long ago to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–to bring this people to a land promised to them!

Take a sheet of paper and draw a long line from one end to the other.

On the left make a mark which represents your birth.  Think back to the high points and low points in your life.  Above the line write your high points.  Beneath the line, your low points. This is your timeline–a record of the stages of your life.  As you recall these times, give thanks and praise to God, for He was there with you at each stage in your life.  And rest assured that He will be with you at each future stage, too!  Thank Him for His faithfulness to you during your earthly travels and for the assurance that He will bring you safely Home.

Lord God, thank you for knowing me even before I was born!  From the very start you’ve been with me.  Thank you for making me your child through the waters of Baptism.  Thank you for sustaining me with your holy Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper.  Thank you that I can be confident that I will make it to the final point on my timeline–when I at last reach my Heavenly home.  Use my life, O Lord.  For Jesus’ sake I pray, Amen.

January 30 Gotcha Covered


Photo by B Forsman


Exodus 10:1-12:13;  Matthew 20:1-28;  Psalm 25:1-15;  Proverbs 6:6-11

“For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt that night, both man and beast;  and on the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements:  I am the LORD.  The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are.  And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you, when I strike the land of Egypt.”  Exodus 12:12-13

“Are you protected from Mayhem, like me?”

The Israelites would be reminded that God Almighty protected them from the mayhem that afflicted the Egyptians–swarms of locusts, hail, the deaths of all firstborn males-human and animal.  They would remember the blood of the lamb on their doorposts and lintels.  They would remember God’s gracious deliverance of them out of the land of their captivity.

We too are protected from mayhem–sin, death, and the devil–by the blood of the Lamb.  We remember our Savior’s sacrifice of his life on the cross for our sins.  We remember each time we partake in the Lord’s Supper that he saved us from God’s wrath and judgement.  We remember that in our Baptism we were covered by water and the Word — that our sins were forgiven and we were given a new identity in Christ who says, “I gotcha covered–you are mine–you are safe!”

Thank you dear Jesus for covering us with your blood–that the Father’s wrath and judgement passes over us and that he sees us as pure and righteous because of you.  Thank you  for your sacrifice that is beyond our comprehension.  Thank you for your great love and mercy.  May we live this day in gratitude to you and in service to those around us.  In your name we pray, Amen.

“To you O Lord I lift up my soul; 

in you I trust, O my God.”  Psalm 25:1

December 11 Wake Up!


Photo by Lyle Detwiler

Amos 4:1-6:14;  Revelation 2:18-3:6;  Psalm 130:1-8;  Proverbs 29:21-22

“I know your works.  You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.  Remember then what you received and heard.  Keep it, and repent!  If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”  Revelation 3:1-3

Jesus sees the ember of faith very faintly glowing in the hearts of Sardis’ Christians.  Once brightly burning, but now…

Now…Christ calls them out for their dwindling devotion to him. He calls them to remembrance– Remember the cross!  Remember my victory over sin, death and evil which is NOW your victory by faith.  Remember I am coming again!  Remember how much I love you!  Turn away from your indifference, from going through the motions, from your facade.  Repent!  Wake up!  Be real in me!

Lord Jesus, fan into flame my flickering faith so that my words and actions truly reflect the faith you’ve bestowed upon me through the waters of Baptism.  Feed this fire of faith through your Body and Blood at your Holy Supper.  Thank you for remaining faithful to me–for giving me a much needed wake-up call.  May I heed it-feel my feet touch the floor of service and devotion and –get going!  In your name I pray and praise!  Amen.

“The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.  I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.”  Revelation 3:5


Setpember 17 Full


Photo by Danny J

Isaiah 25:1-28:13;  Galatians 3:10-22;  Psalm 61:1-8;  Proverbs 23:17-18

“On this mountain the Lord of Hosts will make for all peoples

a feast of rich food, a feast of well aged wine, of rich food full of marrow,

of aged wine well refined.


And He will swallow up on this mountain the covering

that is cast over all peoples,

the veil that is spread over all nations.


He will swallow up death forever;

and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all the faces,

and the reproach of his peoples he will take away

from all the earth,

for the Lord has spoken.”  Isaiah 25:6-8


On Mount Calvary, the Lord’s Body and Blood–rich and full with all that made Him God and Man–swallowed up the veil of sin that covered the people of all nations since Eden’s dark day.

Christ’s victory over sin, death and the devil swallowed up death’s claim over all who believe in the One who wipes away their tears and turns mourning into joy!

Lord God Heavenly Father,  the prophet Isaiah spoke of that glorious mountain hundreds of years before Calvary was graced by your Son.  You spoke through Isaiah, painting a picture of your ultimate reign, of life forever with you where we will be fed with the richest of food and given the finest wines.  Until that time, O Lord, we remember your promise to those who believe as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.  Thank you for the feasting now and the forever feast to come.  In Jesus’  precious name we pray, Amen.


September 1 Heart Sing


Vector art by Matt Gruber

Job 40:1-42:17;  2 Corinthians 5:11-21;  Psalm 45: 1-17;  Proverbs 22:14

“My heart is stirred by a noble theme…” Psalm 45:1

What makes your heart sing?

Worship today made my heart sing.  Being able to stand before Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

           confess my sins

                 hear words of absolution, “you are forgiven”

                           and words of invitation, “take, eat.  this is my body given for you.

                                         take and drink.  this is my blood shed for you.”

     offer songs of worship and praise

             join in prayer with others who believe that our God in Heaven

                      hears our prayers and answers

                                        receive teaching that encourages me to serve others

                                              and do what is pleasing in God’s sight.

       be blessed 

               to be a blessing.

 My heart is still singing!

Lord God, thank you for providing a faith family with whom I can pray, praise and give thanks to you.  Thank you for Your body and blood  shed for me which I took in through bread and wine to strengthen and keep me in the one true faith.  May my heart continue to sing your praise and my lips tell of your faithfulness, of your great love and your endless mercy.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And He (Jesus) died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again.”  2 Corinthians 5:14-15



April 29 Kindling Words

Judges 9:22-10:18;  Luke 24:13-53;  Psalm 100;  Proverbs 14:11-12

The seven mile trek between Jerusalem and Emmaus seemed mighty long for Cleopas and his walking companion.  Heavy hearts weighed down by sorrow, grief, and disappointment slowed their steps.

 A ‘stranger’ joined them, sensed their dark mood and got them talking–not a bad idea for helping someone dealing with profound loss.  He asked questions an the story of Christ’s passion spilled out.

The ‘stranger’ got them thinking– “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  Luke 24:26

The pace quickened as the ‘stranger’ recounted words abut the Savior using the Scriptures starting with Moses and ending with the prophets:

“I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman…he (Jesus) will crush your head and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15-16

The Lord himself will give you a sign; Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14

“For unto a child is born…” Isaiah 9:6

Behold my servant shall act wisely, he shall be high and lifted up…his appearance was so marred…he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…crushed for our iniquities…although he had done no violence and there was no deceit in his mouth.” Isaiah 52:13-53:9

The ‘stranger’ shared his life story –written and recorded hundreds and thousands of years before.

And their hearts were kindled–were lit up–illuminated by the truth spoken by the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Never doubt the power of God’s word to kindle cold hearts and open eyes to see past the ‘stranger’–to see the Christ!

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” ~  Cleopas and companion, 33 A.D.  Luke 24:32

Lord God, thank you for kindling faith in our hearts through you Word and the waters of Baptism.  Thank you for keeping the flame alive as we share in the Lord’s Supper.  Thank you for not remaining a stranger, but for showing us who you are–a Savior who loved us so much that you gave your life for us.  We give you all glory, honor and praise!  In your name we pray, Amen.

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

His faithfulness continues through all generations.” 

                                                            Psalm 100:5


April 7 Where Do You Park Your Heart?

Deuteronomy 31:1-32:27;  Luke12:8-34;  Psalm 78:32-55;  Proverbs 12:21-23


“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor.  Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Luke 12:32-34

When I as a little girl I wanted a horse–really bad!  I asked Santa for a horse, my parents for a horse, my grandma for a horse.  My whole world was horses.  A kingdom for a horse…if I ever got my horse would I trade a kingdom for it?

I did finally get a horse and– it was heavenly.  I’m glad that I didn’t have to give him up.

What do I treasure now?  Would I be willing to give it up for something greater?  Where does my treasure lie?

Today as I received the Body and the Blood of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I received my treasure, my faith’s inheritance that can never be taken away from me.  Rust can’t destroy it.  Thieves can’t steal it.  It’s safe in my heart–He’s safe in my heart.  I’m  in His Kingdom!

Lord God,  I thank and praise you for the kingdom you have given to me through my Lord and Savior, Jesus.  His body and blood in the Lord’s supper is the body and blood shed for me on Calvary’s Cross–nothing could stop our Lord from giving Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of mankind.  Lord, may I be so moved by this outpouring of love and mercy that I willingly share my material blessings with others  in need; to give of my time to help;  to be your hands and feet in this broken world–that at the end of the day I can say, my heart is with you in heaven.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen