“Is Paul Having a Pharisee Relapse?” (2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18)

Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost
October 24, 2010

“Is Paul Having a Pharisee Relapse?” (2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18)

Today we come to the end of our series of readings from Paul’s letters to Timothy, and with that, to the end of Paul’s letters. For almost certainly, 2 Timothy is the last letter that Paul writes in his life–at least of the ones we have in the Bible. Paul is writing from his prison cell in Rome, during the persecution under Emperor Nero, and he is awaiting execution. Paul writes to his assistant Timothy, and as he comes to the end of this letter–and to the end of his life–Paul does a little reflecting, a little looking back. And a little looking forward, to what awaits him beyond this life.

But as we read what Paul writes, which we’ll get to in a moment, the question that comes to my mind, especially when reading this alongside today’s Gospel reading about the Pharisee and the Publican–the question I have to ask is, “Is Paul”–the former Pharisee, after all–“Is Paul Having a Pharisee Relapse?”


Published in: on October 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

“Scripture: Learn It, Love It, Live It” (2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:5)

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
October 17, 2010

“Scripture: Learn It, Love It, Live It” (2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:5)

Today we continue in our series of sermons on Paul’s letters to Timothy, this morning on the Epistle reading from 2 Timothy chapters 3 and 4. In this section, Paul commends Timothy–and I would commend all of us–to the word of God. More specifically, I commend you to the continued study of Scripture, to a firm faith in the word of God, and to the living out of the Bible’s teachings in the form of a righteous life. And so our theme this morning, “Scripture: Learn It, Love It, Live It.”


Published in: on October 16, 2010 at 11:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

“But the Word of God Is Not Bound!” (2 Timothy 2:1-13)

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
October 10, 2010

“But the Word of God Is Not Bound!” (2 Timothy 2:1-13)

Today we continue in our Epistle readings from St. Paul’s letters to Timothy. The first thing I want to note about this text is, it doesn’t apply to you! “What?” you say. “It doesn’t apply?” Yes, that’s right, this text from 2 Timothy does not apply to you. Not directly, that is. You see, Paul’s letter to Timothy is what we call a “Pastoral Epistle,” that is, it’s written specifically for pastors, in this case, from the Apostle Paul to his younger assistant, Timothy. He’s giving encouragement and instruction to Timothy for his work as Paul’s representative, overseeing the work in Paul’s absence. So this is a “Pastor to Pastor” sort of letter, not directly applicable to laypeople in every respect. But hold on, don’t worry, we’ll get there.

Now as a pastoral epistle, part of the encouragement that Paul gives Timothy is to be ready to “share in suffering” as a preacher of the gospel. That’s the kind of suffering Paul himself is undergoing even as he writes this letter, writing as he does from a prison cell in Rome. As he says: “for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal.” But–and now here is where this text very much does apply to all of us, clergy and lay alike, as we shall see–even though Paul himself is bound with chains, he adds: “But the Word of God Is Not Bound!”


Published in: on October 9, 2010 at 11:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

“The Lystran Women’s Missionary League” (2 Timothy 1:1-14)

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
October 3, 2010

“The Lystran Women’s Missionary League” (2 Timothy 1:1-14)

Today is “LWML Sunday,” and so this morning I want to recognize and honor the work of the LWML, that is, “The Lystran Women’s Missionary League.”

The “What” Women’s Missionary League? “Lystran”: What’s that? I thought “LWML” stood for the “Lutheran” Women’s Missionary League. Well, yeah, and we’ll get to them, but first I want to talk about this Lystran group.


Published in: on October 2, 2010 at 11:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,