All tagged Hebrews

Epistle Readings for Advent 4 and Christmas Services (Series C)

Lutheran pastors have at least three sermons in these three days. The calendar allows preachers to wed together some important themes this Christmas. The Magnificat (conception), the birth account from Matthew 1, and the fuller account of Christ’s birth from Luke 2 give clear shape to the proclamation for the Feast of the Nativity. The Epistle readings, however, should also be considered as the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the nativity.

Epistle: Hebrews 9:24-28 (Proper 27, Series B)

Two major themes seem to be running through the readings for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost. The first weaves together the widow who gave of her poverty in Mark 12 and the story of the widow of Zarephath from 1 Kings 17, who also gave to the prophet everything that she had… However, the other theme comes by way of the Epistle from Hebrews 9:24-28, which is about the temple made without hands.

Epistle: Hebrews 4:1-13 (14-16) (Proper 24: Series B)

The “entering into His rest” of Hebrews 4:1 is paralleled with Jesus’ words in the Gospel for the day: “How difficult it is for those having riches to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Love of riches or material wealth certainly bars us from God’s kingdom and eternal rest. They weigh us down miserably. Israel’s idolatry, however, was not only about the love of money.