Wednesday, May 4, 2016

FCD Wyneken

FCD WYNEKEN pastor and missionary

Friday, May 4, is the day the church remembers one of our pastors. Friedrich Wyneken is one of the founding fathers of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, along with C.F.W. Walther and Wilhelm Sihler. Born in 1810 in Germany, Wyneken came to Baltimore in 1838 and shortly thereafter accepted a call to be the pastor of congregations in Friedheim and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Supported by Wilhelm Loehe's mission society, Wyneken served as an itinerant missionary in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, particularly among Native Americans. Together with Loehe and Sihler, he founded Concordia Theological Seminary in 1846 in Fort Wayne, IN. He later served as the second president of the LCMS during a period of significant growth (1850-64). His leadership strongly influenced the confessional character of the LCMS and its commitment to an authentic Lutheran witness in the United States.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Athanasius of Alexandria, Pastor and Confessor


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Time in the Word - Easter 7

This coming week will be the last Sunday in Easter. Easter 7 serves as a bridge between Ascension and Pentecost. We look back to the Ascension or forward to Pentecost.

A Daytime Collect for Eastertide Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit.

Monday, May 2, 2016 – Psalm 61:3, 5-8; antiphon, Psalm 61:1— In next Sunday’s introit the psalmist makes his plea for the Lord to answer his prayer. The reason he appeals to God – the Lord has never failed him as a refuge. No matter what the issue the Lord has been a source of hope and strength amidst many great and present dangers.

The petition for the king’s long life has been interpreted by many Jewish scholars as referring to the coming Messiah. If this interpretation is so they are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, David’s great Son.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 –Psalm 133—Sunday’s psalm is a Psalm of brother love, and life forevermore. In verse2: At the high point in his consecration ceremony the high priest was anointed with oil (see Exodus 29:7) In verse3 - The dew is seen as a symbol of blessing. Mt. Hermon has an exceptionally heavy dew fall, which meant greater fertility there than elsewhere in the days before piped water and mechanical sprinklers. This should move us to pray, Lord God, You have poured into our hearts the precious oil of Your Spirit of love. Make us of one heart and of one will, so that we may be true members of the body of Jesus Christ, united as He has commanded us; and to You be the glory now and forever. Amen

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 – Acts 1:12-26 – In the first lesson we have the account of Matthias chosen to replace Judas. There were certain qualifications for this office. Apparently several met the requirements but the believers were selecting someone who had ministered publicly and was an eye-witness of Jesus’ resurrection. By casting lots they were able to all God the right of choice. The use of rocks or sticks to designate the choice was common see 1 Chronicles 26:13-16


Thursday, May 5, 2016 Revelation22:1-6, 12-20— Today is Ascension Day. As a church we need to celebrate this important feast day. Jesus is now in glory with the Father. So what? What does the Ascension mean for daily life here and now? Like the disciples, we are content to gaze into heaven? As the two men brought the disciples back to reality, we need to get to the business of life. According to this coming week’s epistle we have hope for Christ’s’ return to earth. The church prays for His coming soon that through His coming there may be a new heaven and a new earth. Our ascended Lord has promised to return on the last great day. When will that happen? When the last pagan is converted. Thus we are always mission minded. May the Lord continue to send us men like FCD Wyneken who championed the gospel of Christ.


A Prayer for Ascension Almighty God, as Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into the heavens, so may we also ascend in heart and mind and continually dwell there with Him, who lives, and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Friday, May 6, 2013 –  John 17:20-26— In the gospel Jesus prays for those He will leave on earth to further His work. Consider the situation: the church is deserted by her leader; the disciples are on their own in a hostile world with an impossible task to win the world. Jesus apparently realizes the disciples’ need for help. What Jesus prays for indicates what Christians today need. It is important to not that in vs. 20; Jesus says He prays for the Christians of the future, for you today. What do we Christians need: better church programs? More money to finance church programs? More wisdom? More members? Jesus prays for us to be one in God, for us to be one with each other and for us to be one with the Savior in heaven.

Saturday, May 7, 2016 – 1 John 2: 15-17 The Hymn of the Day, What is the world to Me (LSB #730). When John refers to the world he does not mean the world of people (see John 3:16) or the created world (see John 17:24) but the world, or realm of sin which is controlled by Satan and organized against God and righteousness. It is this world which we leave. It is Christ which faith clings to.


Sources:
THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL © 1940 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN WORSHIP © 1982 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK LECTIONARY © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LECTIONARY PREACHING WORKBOOK © 1989 John Brokhoff CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use. 

St. Philip and St. James Apostles

Almighty God, Your Son revealed Himself to Philip and James and gave them the knowledge of everlasting life. Grant us perfectly to know Your Son Jesus Christ, to be the way the truth and the life, and steadfastly to walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Confirmation



Isaiah 40:31
May 1, 2016
But those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will sour on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

As we approach Confirmation there are a number of images I could use to describe you as a class.  I have chosen one in particular.  To me, you remind me of a sunflower. You have grown and blossomed and matured, reaching upward to the light of God’s Word. You have become grounded in the truths of God’s Word. You have developed deep roots of faith and maturity.

You’ve pressed me with important and serious questions. It’s been my privilege to watch you mature – especially during this past year. Each of you has tremendous potential – I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you in the years to come. Our passage says you are going to soar on wings like eagles! The Best is yet to come! 


This verse was a favorite one of mine when I was in college – it speaks to us about what God is in the business of doing which is fortifying and giving strength to His people.  On this day, when you pledge yourself to remain faithful to Christ- remember that He has a promise for you as well.  He will remain faithful to you – today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your lives.

Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.

You will need continued strength from Jesus. That is obvious! Yet, Isaiah’s words should remind us of a basic truth. His ability to meet our need; especially as we face the temptations of the devil, the world and our own human flesh.


“Kids these days face too many temptations!” How often have we heard these or similar words? The reality is that temptation is not limited to teenagers! Temptation is something which each of us must face.  We all suffer under the same delusion that we make it apart from God! That what temptation is; the enticement to live our lives apart from Christ.
The devil, the world, and the flesh can and will wear you out. Adam and Eve gave in to temptation and we do the same thing! It’s part of our human nature. But let’s not use temptation as an excuse or as a license to sin!

Our sinful nature and the temptation to sin is never a perfect out.  Isaiah reminds us that we must focus on God who gives us the strength to will and to do what is pleasing in His sight.

Therefore, wait upon the Lord. How good are you at waiting? Some of us can be so easily distracted. Sometimes I feel I have the attention span of a demented squirrel.   To fight temptation, to keep your focus, place your entire attention of Christ your Lord and your Redeemer.

Make Christ a priority! He must be first in your life. Wait upon the Lord.  Remember Luther’s axiom - Pray and Work!  Make it your aim to make something of your life. But above all, make Christ the centerpiece. Pray and Work.  Converse with Christ daily. Give Him the credit as you contribute to the betterment of others.   

As you wait upon Christ it is He who will give you the strength to accomplish much in your life.  Isaiah reminds us that as we wait on God

They will run and not become weary.

We seem to be running at this time of life. There are so many decisions we have to make; career, education, friends. The events of your life can become a distraction.  Therefore, wait on Christ. He will renew your strength.

And speaking of running, these days we seem to be running with information! We are on the verge (if not already) of a literal explosion in information - something we haven’t seen since the time of the Reformation.  This is an exciting time to be alive!

Yet in all of this running there are some who wonder, “will life ever come to me?  The answer to this question is found in your verse for today.  Life will come to you – and you will take advantage of it- as you wait upon God.  He will give you strength He will give you rest. In all your busyness, find your strength in Him.
In His Hand He will lift you up to carry you. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” In Him you will find rest for your souls. For Jesus has said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light!” 



They will walk and not become faint.

You have to walk before you run. The lessons you have learned are for life – apply them!  As you walk – walk with Christ.  Make it a habit.

As you walk the road of life, with Christ hand in hand, you won’t become faint. Jesus will never give up on you! You’re His!  You were purchased with a price.  Therefore glorify Christ in your body. In all that you do, live each day for Him. He will uphold you He will strengthen you.

Likewise, don’t give up on each other! How well do people honor those in people in our lives?  The people in your life are gifts that God has given to you.  The best way for us to honor God is to honor those people whom God has given to us.  
You have bonded well as a class. You are also bonded to a group of people called the Church.  This is your extended family. These are the ones who will support you. These are the one who will pray for you. These are the ones who have promised to stand with you.


Remember the things that were taught you – cling to that which is good and remember - you’re a sunflower! Walk tall and proud as you think of the blessings Christ has given to you as you live in the freedom, which is yours in Christ. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

St. Mark

Almighty God, You enriched Your Church with the proclamation of the gospel through the evangelist Mark.Grant that we may firmly believe these glad tidings and daily walk according to Your Word; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Time in the Word - Easter 6



A vision into the future may very well be the theme for this coming week. In the first lesson Acts 16:9-15 we have Paul’s vision of a man from Macedonia begging Paul and his companions to come to him. In the epistle lesson Revelation 1:9-14,21-27 John is given a vision of the perfect city our new home in heaven. In the Gospel lesson John 16:23-33 Jesus predicts the time in which He will be return back to the Father and the believers will be scattered. We need not fear however because the believer has a true and genuine faith. In this world there is never a lack of trouble, unhappiness, stress, sadness, marital strife, addictions, family complications, and even death itself. Yet we need not fear for Christ has overcome the world. The suggested hymn for the weeks tells us of the Father’s plan of salvation and its completion in the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The woodcut is a depiction of this coming week’s Epistle lesson.

Prayer of praise and supplication: Lord God, creator of heaven and earth, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we praise You for the abundant mercy that You this day so richly have provided for us, blessing us not only with daily bread for our bodies but also with heavenly food for our souls. Grant that Your living and powerful Word may abide in our hearts, working mightily in us to Your glory and for our salvation. We commit ourselves to Your divine protection and fatherly care. Let Your holy angels be with us that the evil foe may have no power over us. Look in mercy on Your Church and deliver it from all danger and adversities. By Your Holy Spirit comfort and strengthen all who are in affliction or distress, and grant Your abiding peace to us all; through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Prayer of adoration, praise, and supplication: Almighty and eternal God, we adore You as the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus, and with the whole Church on earth and all the hosts of heaven we ascribe to You honor and blessing, thanksgiving and praise. Holy, holy, holy are You, Lord God Almighty; heaven and earth are full of Your glory. You created us in Your own image and redeemed us with the precious blood of Your Son. By Your Spirit You sanctified us and called us out of darkness into Your marvelous light.

Grant that we may with thankful hearts receive these great mercies and express our gratitude, not only with our lips but also in our lives as we give ourselves to Your service and walk before You in holiness and righteousness all our days. Deliver us from sin and error, from the frailties of the flesh, the allurements of this present age, and the temptations of the devil. Give us faith that works in love, hope that never disappoints, kindness that never fails, confidence in You that never wavers, patience that does not grow weary, and courage always to be ready to confess Christ, that we may live in Your mercy and die in Your peace; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Monday, April 25, 2016 - The 40 days after the resurrection are drawing to a close. On Thursday we will observe Ascension where we remember that Christ returned to the Father bodily/physically and He will return again as judge and king. During these days, we look backward at the empty tomb and forward to the day of Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Acts 14:8-18 - The miracles, which the disciples performed, were done for two reasons. First, they gave credence to their testimony. They were doing the very thing the Savior had done. It also drew attention to their message. Unfortunately, in this instance Paul and Barnabas are considered to be gods. They have to do some quick explaining that the power to heal comes from the Savior who is the author of all life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Revelation 21:10-14; 22-23 - The hymn reminds us, “I’m but a stranger here, heaven is my home.” We are but strangers and pilgrims. Our ultimate home is in glory with Christ beyond this earth. In our Epistle lesson, John is given a vision of heaven. What will heaven look like?  Read the above passage as John describes it. These are words beyond no comparison.

Thursday, April 28, 2016 – John 14:23-29 - In our Gospel lesson for this week, Jesus announces two realities. First, that He is going to the Father, this saddened the disciples. He further promises the Holy Spirit, which will not leave them comfortless. The only way for the Spirit to come was for the Son to ascend back to the Father. This He did at His glorious ascension. Because the Savior has returned to the Father, we can be assured that the Spirit will come not too many days from hence.  

Friday, April 29, 2016 – Psalm 67 - The promise of the Holy Spirit is a promise that all nations will be gathered into the church of the living God. David gives us a taste of what is to come as he pictures for us folk—from every tribe, kindred, and nation—coming to the holy hill of the Lord. The nations sing the praise of God; they see the good things done to His chosen ones.

Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Romans 5:1-2 -The Hymn of the Day, Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice (LSB #556), was written by Martin Luther it tells the story of salvation from the believer’s perspective. It starts with man’s condition of sin, explains Christ’s glorious work and concludes with the believer’s new nature. Some may claim “I don’t know how to share my faith; I don’t know what I would say?
Prayer for Easter 6: Lord, because You have promised to give what we ask in the Name of Your only begotten Son, teach us the right way to pray. With all Your saints may we offer to You our adoration and praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sources:
Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. St. Louis
-Lutheran Worship Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1982 p. 54
-Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C
John Brokhoff CSS Publishing Company Inc. Lima, OH. 1979 p 121

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use