The Sabbath Word

Joseph, An Obedient Believer

December 1, 2020

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife. – Matthew 1:18–24 The Apostle Matthew recorded the events of Jesus’ birth from Joseph’s point of view. He and Mary were engaged, but the wedding had not taken place. Nevertheless, he was considered her husband. That they had not come together means they had no sexual relationship. When Joseph became aware that Mary was pregnant, he was distressed over what appeared to be her relationship with another man and betrayal of him. The fact of Mary’s pregnancy naturally weighed heavily on Joseph’s mind. He undoubtedly loved Mary and did not want her to be publicly shamed. As a compassionate and just person, he wanted to do what was proper and thought deeply about the matter. He could put her away privily, meaning quietly and privately break the engagement. While he thought about this difficult and hurtful situation, he fell asleep.

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The Sabbath Word 1: Passion Sunday

April 4, 2017

The fifth Sunday in Lent is Passion Sunday. Here Passion means the suffering Jesus experienced on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday during Passion Week (the week prior to Easter). In our text, the Pharisees warned Jesus that Herod wanted to kill Him. Jesus replied, “Be­hold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Jesus refers to His coming resurrection from the grave on Easter, a victory over sin and death. Jesus knew that He must continue the work that His Father had sent Him to do until it was time for Him to be crucified (John 9:4). His work was to preach the gospel of God’s kingdom and to call sinners to repentance (Matt. 4:17; Mark 2:17). Jesus also performed miracles “that you may be­­lieve that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life through his name” (John 20:31).

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The Sabbath Word 1: God's People Long for Home

May 2, 2017

The fifth Sunday in Lent is Passion Sunday. Here Passion means the suffering Jesus experienced on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday during Passion Week (the week prior to Easter). In our text, the Pharisees warned Jesus that Herod wanted to kill Him. Jesus replied, “Be­hold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Jesus refers to His coming resurrection from the grave on Easter, a victory over sin and death. Jesus knew that He must continue the work that His Father had sent Him to do until it was time for Him to be crucified (John 9:4). His work was to preach the gospel of God’s kingdom and to call sinners to repentance (Matt. 4:17; Mark 2:17). Jesus also performed miracles “that you may be­­lieve that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life through his name” (John 20:31).

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Your King Comes in Humility

December 1, 2017

And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

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Unmerited Grace

February 1, 2019

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. -Matthew 20:1–16

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Prayer and Faith

March 1, 2019

Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.—Matthew 15:21–28

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Christ Is Risen!

April 1, 2019

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.—Luke 24:1–12

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The Great Commandment

October 1, 2019

But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. – Matthew 22:34–40 In the Bible, there are several passages in which Jesus was tempted by a person’s questions. Jesus often countered these questions with additional questions that revealed the other person’s true intentions. In this case, Jesus answered the lawyer’s question by plainly stating what is known as the dual command of love: love God and love your neighbor.

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Prepare the Way for the King

December 1, 2019

Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, we have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. Matthew 11:11–19

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Laestadian Lutheran Church
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Loretto, MN 55357