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[June 12, 2017 | No Comment | ]
"Elijah in the Desert." (Washington Allston, 1818).

by Mathew Block
The Prophet Elijah was hiding in a cave when the Word of God came to Him and asked him what he was doing. “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts,” Elijah said. “For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10). The despair he feels is evident. Not much earlier, in fact, he …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[April 12, 2017 | No Comment | ]
Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene following the resurrection.

by Mathew Block
If anyone should have understood Jesus, it was Judas. A disciple of the Lord, He had heard the teachings and seen the miracles. But on the night he betrays Jesus, we see how little he truly knew Him.
We read that Judas leads out “a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees” against Jesus, carrying with them “lanterns and torches and weapons” (John 18:3). We further read that the “great crowd” is armed with “swords and clubs” (Matthew 26:47). A confrontation is clearly …

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[February 13, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
“I had no love for this righteous and angry God, but secretly hated Him, and thought to myself: ‘Isn’t it enough that God has condemned us to everlasting death because of Adam’s sin and that we must suffer so much trouble and misery in this life? Over and above the terror of the law, must He increase our misery and anguish by the gospel? And by preaching the same, thunder against us His justice and fierce wrath?’”
That cry of despair is one with which many people down through …

In: Headline, Reformation 500, Table Talk

[December 14, 2016 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!’” (Luke 2:10, 13-14).
Joy to the world! Peace on earth! The words are the recurring refrain of Christmas celebrations down through the centuries, drawn from the angels’ greetings to the …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[October 7, 2016 | 2 Comments | ]

by Mathew Block
Why am I a Lutheran? It’s about the Gospel. It’s about a God, looking with love on a broken creation—looking at sinful humanity and knowing they can’t save themselves. So He steps down, takes their weakness, their sin upon Himself and suffers in their place. Jesus, the Great High Priest, becomes the Sacrificial Lamb. And He dies.
Why am I a Lutheran? It’s about the Gospel.
But He doesn’t stay dead. The One crucified on the cross is the same One who walks out of a tomb three days later. …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[August 15, 2016 | No Comment | ]

A blind friend once shared with me the story of what it was like to go blind. She suffered from macular degeneration—a condition where you lose the ability to see in the centre of your visual field. Consequently, my friend kept some peripheral vision, but was nevertheless functionally (and legally) blind.
As you can imagine, the transition was not easy. She had to learn to fold her paper money in different ways, so that she could quickly tell a $5 from a $50. Before she learned this trick, at least one …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk