Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bede the Venerable, Theologian


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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Jesse Hoover


Jesse Hoover
Founding pastor of Zion Friedheim 
Transferred into glory 24 May 1838

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Time in the Word
God has no Boundaries 
A Study for Proper 4
The 2nd Sunday in Pentecost
23-28 May 2016

We now enter into the non-festival portion of the church year. As corn that has been planted begins to emerge, sprout and grow. So the seed of faith, planted in baptism grows and matures throughout the life of the Christian. As we have examined the entire life and ministry of Jesus, we now get into the application of God’s word in the life of the Christian. During this season, the Old Testament lessons are taken from fifteen different Old Testament books. Ten different New Testament books will be used for the Epistle lesson. Except for the Festivals [Pentecost, Trinity, Reformation, All Saints) all gospel lessons are from the Gospel of Luke. We will witness three miracles, six parables and hear fifteen discourses from the Savior.


As to the theme for the coming Sunday we will examine the faith of foreigners. In the Old Testament lesson, Solomon prays that God would hear foreigners praying in the temple. In our day, we pray that people of all nations would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the Epistle lesson, Paul is shocked that the Galatians have turned to another gospel and must be convinced of the truth, which is found in Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus heals the slave of a Roman centurion.

Prayer for Proper 4 (May 29 – June4 ) – O God by Your almighty Word You set in order all things in heaven and on earth. Put away from us all things hurtful, and give us those things that are beneficial for us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayer for Pentecost 2 – O God, whose never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth, put away from us, we entreat You, all hurtful things, and give us those things that are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A prayer for victims of storms- Almighty God, our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, look in mercy upon all who have been ravaged by tornadoes and storms. By these present outbreaks You call us to repentance. As the news breaks of the injuries, loss of life and destruction of homes and property, sustain our faith and defend those affected from every danger to body and soul. Lift up Your face and be gracious to them in this time of danger. Protect them, especially those who are weak and helpless. Be with the emergency service workers, police, fire, EMS and medical teams whose vocation is to respond in the minutes, hours and days following the storms. When they are weak, give them strength; when afraid, courage. Turn the hearts and minds of all to You, that they might find peace through the cleansing of Jesus' blood. Amid the tumult of disaster, build Your kingdom and turn these suffering souls to Yourself. For Jesus' sake, Amen

Monday, 23 May 2016 – Psalm 31:19, 23-24 - The Antiphon for this coming week’s Introit is from psalm 31:2b, “Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.”   The term rock is a poetic figure for God symbolizing his unfailing strength as a fortress and refuge. Where do we go in times of great trial? We turn to the Lord our refuge, fortress, and strength.  

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 – Psalm 117 – In the Psalm appointed for this coming Sunday, the Psalmist gives us the shortest Psalm in the entire book of Psalms. It is also the shortest chapter in the Bible. In fitting with our theme for this week, we are reminded that all nations and peoples are called on to praise the Lord for his great love and enduring faithfulness toward Israel.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 – 1 Kings 8:41-43 - The Old Testament lesson includes Solomon’s prayer that God will hear foreigners praying in the temple. All three lessons point to the fact that there is no partiality with and in God. Our lesson indicates that all people will come to God’s house and will be heard by God. Does this teach universalism? No, for man to come he must come through the narrow door. He must come through Jesus and through faith.

 Thursday, 26 May 2016 – Galatians 1:1-10 – Paul is shocked that the Galatians have turned to another gospel. The Gospel is not confined to a race or sect but is available for all.
God would have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. But they must come only through faith in Christ.

Friday, 27 May 2016 – Luke 7:1-10 – Jesus has mercy and heals a centurion’s slave. In the Gospel lesson, Jesus helps a pagan slave and credits his Roman master with the greatest faith in Israel. The point is not that this man is a “foreigner” rather he is a “foreigner” who has a stronger faith than any in Israel. What makes this incident in the life of the Savior so outstanding is that the believer is not a Jew but a Roman professional military pagan! 

Saturday, 28 2016 – 1 Samuel 20:3 – This verse is the inspiration for the great hymn, “In the Very Midst of Life.” {LSB 755}  The context of this verse is an oath David took with respect to his friend Jonathan. As the Lord lives, David knows the Lord will keep His word. In the midst of our earthly existence, the Lord has promised to sustain, guide, and lead His people. We place our lives into His hands knowing that He will surely order our days. Vicious and violent storms leave some questioning. Do we trust only when things go our way? Do we have confidence in God only when life is good? In the very midst of life, in every circumstance, we trust Christ completely.        
  

LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK LECTIONARY © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
Prayer for tornado victims offered by LCMS World Relief and Human Care
LECTIONARY PREACHING WORKBOOK SERIES C by John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

Time in the Word - Proper 4



Time in the Word
God has no Boundaries 
A Study for Proper 4
The 2nd Sunday in Pentecost
23-28 May 2016

We now enter into the non-festival portion of the church year. As corn that has been planted begins to emerge, sprout and grow. So the seed of faith, planted in baptism grows and matures throughout the life of the Christian. As we have examined the entire life and ministry of Jesus, we now get into the application of God’s word in the life of the Christian. During this season, the Old Testament lessons are taken from fifteen different Old Testament books. Ten different New Testament books will be used for the Epistle lesson. Except for the Festivals [Pentecost, Trinity, Reformation, All Saints) all gospel lessons are from the Gospel of Luke. We will witness three miracles, six parables and hear fifteen discourses from the Savior.

As to the theme for the coming Sunday we will examine the faith of foreigners. In the Old Testament lesson, Solomon prays that God would hear foreigners praying in the temple. In our day, we pray that people of all nations would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the Epistle lesson, Paul is shocked that the Galatians have turned to another gospel and must be convinced of the truth, which is found in Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus heals the slave of a Roman centurion.

Prayer for Proper 4 (May 29 – June4 ) – O God by Your almighty Word You set in order all things in heaven and on earth. Put away from us all things hurtful, and give us those things that are beneficial for us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayer for Pentecost 2 – O God, whose never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth, put away from us, we entreat You, all hurtful things, and give us those things that are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Monday, 23 May 2016 – Psalm 31:19, 23-24 - The Antiphon for this coming week’s Introit is from psalm 31:2b, “Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.”   The term rock is a poetic figure for God symbolizing his unfailing strength as a fortress and refuge. Where do we go in times of great trial? We turn to the Lord our refuge, fortress, and strength.  

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 – Psalm 117 – In the Psalm appointed for this coming Sunday, the Psalmist gives us the shortest Psalm in the entire book of Psalms. It is also the shortest chapter in the Bible. In fitting with our theme for this week, we are reminded that all nations and peoples are called on to praise the Lord for his great love and enduring faithfulness toward Israel.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 – 1 Kings 8:41-43 - The Old Testament lesson includes Solomon’s prayer that God will hear foreigners praying in the temple. All three lessons point to the fact that there is no partiality with and in God. Our lesson indicates that all people will come to God’s house and will be heard by God. Does this teach universalism? No, for man to come he must come through the narrow door. He must come through Jesus and through faith.

Thursday, 26 May 2016 – Galatians 1:1-10 – Paul is shocked that the Galatians have turned to another gospel. The Gospel is not confined to a race or sect but is available for all.
God would have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. But they must come only through faith in Christ.

Friday, 27 May 2016 – Luke 7:1-10 – Jesus has mercy and heals a centurion’s slave. In the Gospel lesson, Jesus helps a pagan slave and credits his Roman master with the greatest faith in Israel. The point is not that this man is a “foreigner” rather he is a “foreigner” who has a stronger faith than any in Israel. What makes this incident in the life of the Savior so outstanding is that the believer is not a Jew but a Roman professional military pagan! 

Saturday, 28 2016 – 1 Samuel 20:3 – This verse is the inspiration for the great hymn, “In the Very Midst of Life.” {LSB 755}  The context of this verse is an oath David took with respect to his friend Jonathan. As the Lord lives, David knows the Lord will keep His word. In the midst of our earthly existence, the Lord has promised to sustain, guide, and lead His people. We place our lives into His hands knowing that He will surely order our days. Vicious and violent storms leave some questioning. Do we trust only when things go our way? Do we have confidence in God only when life is good? In the very midst of life, in every circumstance, we trust Christ completely.        

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Trinity


Trinity
May 22, 2016


The problem of preaching on the Trinity is that most people think that it is boring. Imagine, preaching on a doctrine rather than on an event of salvation. The word or the expression “Trinity” is not found in Bible, which has led some groups to say that the Trinity is not a doctrine found in the Bible. True, you might not find the term “Trinity” in the Scriptures but its teaching can be found on almost every page. And yet, it is the doctrine and the teaching of the Trinity which defines us. Those who do not believe in the Trinity are not Christian. Those who believe in the Trinity are called Christian. Notice, again, what was confessed in the words of the Athanasian Creed, “Whoever desires to be saved must, above all, hold the catholic faith. Whoever does not keep it whole and undefiled will without doubt perish eternally. And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance…This is the catholic faith; whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.” The doctrine of the Trinity explains the Lord’s relationship with you. It embraces the full nature and work of God as well as His relationship to you. Together let’s consider…
1.       God’s relationship with Man.

A. Father – God above us.

1. This runs contrary to the ways and thinking of man who maintains control of his own destiny. But man left to his own devises plans would leave him to ruin.

2. We serve an omniscient and all – knowing God “O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou does know when I sit down and when I rise up. Thou doest understand my thoughts from afar. Thou doest scrutinize my path and my lying down and art intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, Thou does know it all. – Psalm 139:1-4

B. Son – God with us.

1. The last five words He spoke to humans on the day of His Ascension still ring in our ears, “I am with you always.” –Matthew 28:20

2. Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament we hear the same message, “Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him” declares the Lord. Do I not fill the heaven and the earth? Declares the Lord “– Jeremiah 23:24
C. Spirit – God in us.

1. “God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:24

2. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God”. Revelation 21:3

Transition: We see God’s relationship with man to abide with him. But consider His work in life.

2. God’s work.
A. Father – Creation. Then God said, Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness and let them rule over he fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26

1. This is the first instance of the Trinity mentioned in Scripture.

2. God in the singular speaks in the plural.

3. Although all three persons of the godhead are present and participate in the creation it is the Father who is responsible for creating and sustaining the earth.

a. God always works through means.

b. He uses farmers to preserve and sustain the world.

B. Son – Redemption. Jesus came to deliver the people of this world form sin. Peter explains it this way – Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers but with precious blood, as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19

C. Spirit – Sanctification. The work of the Holy Spirit is necessary because man cannot by his own reason, strength or will believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him.

1. He can’t come by his own reason – “But a natural man can not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to hi, and he can not understand them because they are spiritually appraised.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14


2. He can’t come by his own strength – “You are dead in your trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1

3. He can’t come by his own will – The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the Law of God, for it is not able to do so. – Romans 8:7

Transition: We see God’s relationship with man to abide with him. We know of his life and work. But where is God to be found?

3. God’s location.

A. Father – God in the universe. “’Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the LORD. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD’.” – Jeremiah 23:24

B. Son – God in Jesus of Nazareth. “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” – 1 John 5:20
C. Spirit – God in the believer. Every person is born an unbeliever. He remains in that state until he is “born again” of the Holy Spirit. To be born again is to be born from above, to be born spiritually, to be born of God. “That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’.” – John 3:5-7
The entire Godhead is working on your behalf to have a relationship with you. All praise to the blessed Trinity and the undivided Unity.

Emperor Constantine, Christian ruler, and Helena, Mother of Constantine




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 15, 2016

Time in the Word - Trinity



The Blessed Trinity Blesses” is the theme for this coming week. In the Old Testament lesson, [Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31] God the Father creates the universe. The Epistle, [Acts 2:22-36] is a continuation with Peter’s Pentecost sermon. The object is on God the Son who alone justifies and saves us. In the Gospel [John 8:48-59] Jesus identifies His true identity. God the Spirit reveals this truth to us in the clear words of the Gospel.

Trinity Sunday calls for us to consider the doctrine that sets us apart from all other pagan religions. As the Athanasian Creed reminds us, “Whoever desires to be saved must, above all, hold the catholic [i.e. Christian] faith. Whoever does not keep it whole and undefiled will without doubt perish eternally…whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.” The Bible does not specifically mention the term “Trinity” yet, its teaching can be found on literally every page.

Collect for Pentecost – O God, on this day You once taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy consolation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collects for the week of Pentecost - O God, who gave Your Holy Spirit to the apostles, grant us that same Spirit that we may live in faith and abide in peace; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Almighty and ever-living God, You fulfilled Your promise by sending the gift of the Holy Spirit to unite disciples of all nations in the cross and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. By the preaching of the Gospel spread this gift to the ends of the earth; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect for Trinity – Almighty and everlasting God, You have give us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true fait hand to worship the unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for you, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign one God, now and forever.

For the Armed Forces of our Nation - O Lord God of hosts, stretch forth Your almighty arm to strengthen and protect those who serve in the armed forces of our country. Support them in this time of war, and in times of peace keep them from all evil, giving them courage and loyalty and granting that in all things they may serve honestly and without reproach, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayers for Pentecost and Trinity from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House

Monday, 16 May 2016Psalm 16:8-11 - The antiphon is an ancient Liturgical Text — The Psalmist describes the joy of total security. David speaks here, as in the rest of the psalm, for of all of himself and of the life he now enjoys by the gracious provision and care of God. The Lord, in whom the psalmist takes refuge, wills life for him and will not abandon him to the grave, even though flesh and heart may fail. (See Psalm 73:26) When David mentions “your Holy One” in verse 10 he is speaking of himself but ultimately of Christ. Jesus did not suffer decay once He died. Once He died on Calvary’s cross death itself began working backward. The words of this verse have been majestically sung in Handle’s Messiah. It is a critical verse when discussing the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. Did the body wrapped in the shroud experience decomposition? If so, it can not be the burial cloth of Christ. If not, it might very well be Christ’s shroud.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016Psalm 8— Man the Crown of Creation. This is to be brought to pass under the Messiah, in the day of His Triumphant Reign. (See Hebrews 2:6-9) Jesus quoted verse 2 as referring to an incident in His own life. (See Matthew 21:16) (Vv.1-2) As he contemplates the great expanse of the universe the psalmist is overwhelmed by a sense of man’s littleness. He marvels that God not only bothers about man, but has set him over all other creatures (Vv. 5-8) The psalm ends, as it began, with a refrain of praise to God (Vv. 1, 9)
(Vv. 4-6) see Hebrews 2:6-9 and Genesis 1:28

Wednesday, 17 May 2016Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 – The Old Testament lesson reveals that it is God the Father who is the creator of the universe. True, all three persons of the Trinity were present at the creation. Yet it is the Father who is confessed as the creator of us all. Wisdom was with God at the creation. Paul refers to Christ as the wisdom of God [see 1 Corinthians 1:24]. Wisdom is also identified with the Spirit who guides us into all truth. [See John 3:16]




Thursday, 18 May 2016Acts 2:14a, 22-36— The epistle lesson is a continuation from the Pentecost experience. The apostles had been baptized with the Holy Spirit and had spoken in other languages to various groups. Now they stand with Peter, who serves as their spokesman. Peter, the man who once denied his Savior now boldly confesses Him as God and Lord.

Friday, 19 May 2016John 8:48-59— In the Gospel lesson Jesus gives claims concerning Himself. The religious leaders lay a charge at Jesus –“You are worse then a Samaritan! You are possessed by a demon!” To this charge Jesus claims that He is the only one sent by the Father. He does not claim to know God. He claims to be God.

Saturday, 20 May 2016Luke 2:14; John 1:29, Revelation 5:9-14; Ephesians 1:20-21 The Hymn of the Day is “All Glory Be to God on High” (LSB #947). The original Gloria in Excelsis Deo was sung by a choir of angels at the announcement of the birth of Christ. Christmas won’t come for another eight months but every time we as Christians gather we are given opportunity to sing the praises of our God. Together we will gather to praise the name of our God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May our God remain at the center of our life and worship.


The Trinity is central in the life of our Christian worship. References to the Trinity are encountered frequently in worship. The worship service opens with the Invocation – “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The service may close with the threefold Aaronic benediction. The Christian life begins with baptism “In the Name of the Father…” At Confirmation the Trinity is used for the blessing, “The Father in heaven for Jesus’ sake renew and increase in you the gift of the Holy Spirit.” After a Psalm is prayed in the Introit the congregation says or sings the Gloria Patri: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.” The Doxology is used at the dedication of the offering: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” The New Testament benediction involves the Trinity: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)