Jesus Says

  I don’t know if the LSB bulletin inserts have changed this or not.  One can only hope.  The Gospel for this past Sunday in the old three year series is prefaced by the addition of [Jesus said].  I realize that people need to be able to identify that Jesus is speaking, but just as important is the fact that He is speaking today, now not just in the past.

The congregation stands when the Gospel is read and chants, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord!” when the reading is announced and “Praise be to Thee, O Christ!” at the end of the reading acknowledging that it is their Lord who is present now speaking to them.  He is not speaking from the distant past but from the lectern right, then and there.

But isn’t He speaking in the Old Testament and the Epistle reading?  Of course He is.  But the Gospel is special.  It is set off by the congregation’s joy, note the exclamation marks, at it being announced and heard.  The pastor normally reads the Gospel even if lectors have read the others.  In the early church, when a pastor was ordained it  was the Gospel Book, not the whole New Testament that was laid on his head. Likewise, it is the Gospel Book not the whole Bible that is brought out into the midst of the congregation.  All the other readings are to be understood in, with, and under what Jesus says in the Gospel.

The Bride of Christ is hearing from Her Groom today, now, in these present circumstances.  She is not hearing what He once said long ago and far away but what He says to them in their present situation.  Moses said; Paul said, but Jesus says.  Let us not rob the Bride of Christ of the joy of hearing from Her Groom today.

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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