If we were left with the news that we are a people who naturally hate God and our neighbor then there is no reason to continue to move forward in life. In fact, our lives would be meaningless without any purpose at all. However, the message of the gospel is not something where we just hope we will arrive. If we are sinful, if we naturally hate God and our neighbor, then how do we really turn to the Lord?
Our catechism uses strong language that we naturally hate God and our neighbor. Do we really want to say that we naturally hate God? Do we really want to say that we naturally hate all people? Are we really that sinful? How can we find any way out of this sinful way of life?
The catechism makes a strong statement that we have only one comfort in life and in death. How can there be only one comfort rather than the top five or top ten comforts? Is it really possible to have only one comfort?
Moses lays out the expectations for the sacrificial system with Israel. Moses communicates essential points of this sacrificial system from Leviticus 7. This chapter teaches us that there are feasts anyone can eat, other feasts only the priests, and then there are offerings that are not eaten at all by the priests. Why does the Lord have some meals with his people? Why does the Lord have some meals with the priests? What does any of this have to do with the Lord’s Supper?
The Lord enters his rest at the end of the creation. The Lord has finished his work and is now in the rest where man is to join the Lord enjoying the eternal bliss of heaven. However, man has fallen, martyrdom has already happened, and the Lord has dealt with the offender. Now what is going to happen? How is this creation going to respond to Lord warning Cain? Will the Lord have to intervene once again?
The Lord’s prayer has a strange request that we ask the Lord not to lead us into temptation. If the Lord desires us to dwell with Him forever in heaven, then why would the Lord tempt us? What does this request mean for our Christian life? Can we trust our Lord if He is tempting us? So, what does this request mean?
It is easy to judge the younger brother and to let him live with the consequences of his actions. It might be touching to think that the father still hosts the banquet for the younger brother. You can almost have a sentimental feeling that the father is a really good father. The parable hits home when the father explains to the older brother why this banquet is so significant. It also hits home when the father has to pursue the lost son. Which son is really the lost son in this parable? What is the significance of the father going out to meet with each of the sons?
When we ask our heavenly father to forgive us our debts we are also asking that we forgive our debtors meaning those who sin against us. The reality is that there is a cost involved with forgiveness and we might not always be willing to bear the cost of it. What is more, the bigger problem is that we might not think that we ourselves need that much forgiveness. So, what does the older brother or the older son tell us about forgiveness in the kingdom? Why does Christ tell us that this man had two sons?
When Christ walked this earth there were two kinds of people with whom he interacted. There were the sinners who knew that they were sinners. These are the people who liked Christ’s message because it was clear their sins would be taken away in Him. Christ also dealt with the pharisees. These were the people who were righteous and in a position to judge Christ’s work. When Christ speaks of the prodigal son who recklessly spent his father’s inheritance, how does this son show the folly of sin and the folly of righteousness?
Asking the Lord to give us our daily bread could be another way of asking the Lord to make me more successful. In other words it is the desire that we want to be successful. The problem that we have as humans is looking beyond this world and believing that our Heavenly Father is more than looking down upon us, but is actually caring for us. So, when we ask the Lord for our daily bread what are we exactly asking the Lord to provide?