“Our Furious, Tender God” (Isaiah 66:10-16)

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
July 4, 2010

Rev. Tom Egger, guest preacher

“Our Furious, Tender God” (Isaiah 66:10-16)

This passage is about God. It is about our God and the kind of God He is, and what we as His people can expect from Him. It contains some harsh and violent words–words of anger and bloodshed. Yet this passage is also one of the most soothing and tender portraits of God in all of Holy Scripture.

God is coming in flames of fire–yet He extends peace like a river. He is furious–yet motherly. He comes with chariots and with the sword–yet He takes His people up in the comforting embrace of a mother. Many will be those slain by the Lord–yet your heart will rejoice, you will be as safe, as shielded, as a nursing infant, carried on the arm and bounced on the knee.

What a strange joining of characteristics it might seem: Flaming, violent fury on the one hand. And happy, comforting tenderness on the other. Both characteristics found in the one true God.

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Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 12:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Anger” (Galatians 5:1, 13-25)

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
June 27, 2010

Rev. Tom Egger, guest preacher

“Anger” (Galatians 5:1, 13-25)

Anger. Have you ever been angry? Our text tells us that things like hatred, discord, and fits of rage belong to the sinful nature. Such things in our lives make us undeserving to one day inherit the kingdom of God. That’s what God thinks of sinful anger. Instead, St. Paul commends to us the fruits of the Spirit, the dispositions that God desires to work in our hearts. Paul lists nine fruits of the Spirit, and of them, five could almost be given as exact opposites for sinful anger: love, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control. Those are the qualities that God desires in your life, and that He Himself is working in your life through His Spirit.

Anger is hard to describe or define, but we all know what it is, right? It’s that feeling and change that comes over your whole body and soul–that feeling of irritation and outrage. Anger is powerful. If another person is angry with you, even if that angry person doesn’t DO anything else to you, just the knowledge that they are angry with you is often upsetting. Have you ever begun to wonder if someone is upset or angry with you–from a strange look or from someone’s silence–and it can ruin your whole day. You aren’t at peace until you find out whether that person is angry with you, and if so, why. Anger is a powerful force within us and within our relationships.

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Published in: on June 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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