Friday, April 3, 2020

Passion Readings Scheduled for Friday, 3 April 2020



In these unprecedented times the comfort which comes from God’s Word gives us a peace this world simply cannot give. As we prepare for Holy Week the following schedule of readings carry you through the Passion of our Lord Jesus.

We trust such reading will be beneficial as we anticipate the feast which has no end with our Risen Lord and Savior.

Passion reading scheduled for Friday, April 3, 2020 
                         
          
John 19:16-42

The Crucifixion

So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.[a] But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

The Death of Jesus

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus' Side Is Pierced

31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

Jesus Is Buried

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus[b] by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds[c] in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Footnotes:
John 19:23 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
John 19:39 Greek him
John 19:39 Greek one hundred litras; a litra (or Roman pound) was equal to about 11 1/2 ounces or 327 grams


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts, ‘The Crucifixion’ copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Fifth Sunday in Lent

FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT, APRIL 03, 2022                        Scripture Reading: John 12:1–8

Additional Scriptures: Psalm 126; Isaiah 43:16–21; Philippians 3:4b–14

[1]


The Sweet Aroma of Jesus' Death

The pairing of Mary and Judas creates a rhetoric of contrast, which also might energize a sermon. Notice a variety of oppositions:

> Mary and Judas contrast true and false discipleship, as well as true and false love.

> The fragrance of the perfume strikes a contrast to Jesus' death and burial. Our interpretation of the scene cannot ignore the gloom. Mary does not anoint Jesus as king or Messiah; she anoints a corpse. If the beautiful scent and ugly crucifixion seem incongruent, then we are onto John's strange logic whereby Jesus is lifted up onto a cross so that he might attract all to himself (12:32).

Lavish devotion contrasts critical stinginess. This passage gives permission, so to speak, to honor Jesus in extravagant ways, perhaps even by giving a massive donation to the poor. It warns against mistaking discipline for discipleship. It embraces affection as part of a devotion to Jesus that is nothing less than the costly, precious gift of one's whole self--down to every last strand of hair.[2] 

Comfort Thy people, O Lord, and deliver us from the evil captivity of sin, that what we sow here in tears, we may reap in joy through Thy bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end. Amen. Almighty God, You alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant Your people grace to love what You command and desire what You promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen [3]

Almighty God, You alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant Your people grace to love what You command and desire what You promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[4]


[1] The Crucifixion Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

 [3]© 2005 Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood
[4]Collect for the 5th Sunday in Lent, http://www.liturgies.net/Lent/LentenCollects.htm

Friday of Lent 5


Friday of Lent 5 –April 3, 2020 – 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
[1]
  
Thanks to Thee, O Christ, victorious!
    Thanks to Thee, O Lord of Life!
Death hath now no power o’er us,
    Thou hast conquered in the strife.
Thanks because Thou didst arise
And hast opened paradise!
    None can fully sing the glory
    Of the resurrection story. [2]

Christ’s Resurrection Means That We Will One Day Be Raised

Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7). By the shed blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, eternal death has passed over us. Now we pass with Christ through death into life everlasting. For Christ the crucified One is risen! The stone has been rolled away from the tomb, revealing that the tomb could not hold Him (Mark 16:1–8). Now our Redeemer lives eternally to save us from sin and Satan and the grave, and we can live in the sure hope of our own bodily resurrection with Christ. “After my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.” (Job 19:26) Feasting on the living Christ, who is our meat and drink indeed, we boldly say: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54–55, 57)

O Lord, you relieve our necessity out of the abundance of your great riches: Grant that we may accept with joy the salvation you bestow, and manifest it to all the world by the quality of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen [3] 
__________
1. Luther’s Seal © Higher Things
2. Thanks to Thee, O Christ, Victorious, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
3. Collect for Friday of Lent 5, http://www.liturgies.net/Lent/LentenCollects.htm

Morning Prayer Reading 118: Jesus Enters Jerusalem



Matthew 21:1-11

The Triumphal Entry
21 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

5 “Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, [a] the foal of a beast of burden.’”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Footnotes:
Matthew 21:5 Or donkey, and on a colt
Matthew 21:12 Some manuscripts add of God

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Pastoral Letter


Dear Saints of God at Friedheim –
As we prepare for Holy Week news concerning the Covid-19 Pandemic continues to alter our daily activities.  

Although this news may create a host of questions, uncertainty, and even trepidation we find our comfort and confidence in the promises of our Lord: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

Governor Eric Holcomb has announced that all K-12 schools in the State of Indiana shall not conduct in-person learning for the remainder of the school year. This means that Wyneken will likely continue to utilize remote home-based learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic session.

Our faculty, staff, and school board have many details to work through as we progress forward.  We ask for your patience and understanding as we seek to provide information and answers to the many questions which exist.  Our school administration will provide an update to all of our school families the next week after meeting with our school board and faculty.

We will conduct services virtually this coming Palm Sunday. Your may tune in to radio Station WZBD 92.7 FM to hear our service broadcast on air. We hope to live-stream the service on our parish FacebookTM page at the same time. At that service we will follow the tradition of renewing our confirmation vows.

Throughout Holy Week devotions and reflections will be posted on our parish FacebookTM page. I hope to send a daily devotional via e-mail to you each day.  As we look forward to Easter April 12, the service will be broadcast on the radio and live-streamed during our 9:00 am service.

Pray for our Church leadership. Ask the Lord or the Church for His guidance.

Parish responsibilities and accountability are important. Remember our financial obligations. You may drop off your contributions at church, the parish hall office or send them through the mail. Remember your sisters and brothers who are affected financially either by layoff or a reduction in hours. I also ask you to pray for our healthcare workers and first responders - they are on the front line of defense. Pray for our civic leaders as they make decisions which affect us all.

As we prepare for the beginning of Holy Week I have a challenge for you. What if everyone on Sunday April 5 in the morning, puts a branch on the door of their house or on the window, to celebrate Palm Sunday? We have palms available at church setting out. Feel free to take as many as you need.

It could be any green branch you can get. Be creative. A green Christmas wreath might do. This would help, despite the social distancing, to be connected as we enter into the Holiest of Weeks.

Want to join? Send us photos for us to share via FacebookTM or e-mail.

We may be physically isolated, but not separated. We are united as the body of Christ.

Together - we are the Church.

Passion Reading Scheduled for Thursday 2 April 2020




In these unprecedented times the comfort which comes from God’s Word gives us a peace this world simply cannot give. As we prepare for Holy Week the following schedule of readings carry you through the Passion of our Lord Jesus.

We trust such reading will be beneficial as we anticipate the feast which has no end with our Risen Lord and Savior.

Passion reading scheduled for Thursday, April 2, 2020                    

          
John 18:39-19:16

39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.[a]

Jesus Delivered to Be Crucified

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews[b] answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic[c] Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour.[d] He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.


Footnotes:
John 18:40 Or an insurrectionist
John 19:7 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verses 12, 14, 31, 38
John 19:13 Or Hebrew; also verses 17, 20
John 19:14 That is, about noon

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts, ‘The Crucifixion’ copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Thursday of Lent 5



Thursday of Lent 5 –April 2, 2020 – 
 
[1]
If Christ had not been raised from death
    Our faith would be in vain,
Our preaching but a waste of breath,
    Our sin and guilt remain.
But now the Lord is ris’n indeed;
    He rules in earth and heav’n:
His Gospel meets a world of need—
    In Christ we are forgiv’n. [2] 

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” -1 Corinthians 15:17

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The resurrection Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our faith.

The predictions of Christ Himself. “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” The evidence of Christ’s resurrection is overwhelming. Faith rejoices in this.

Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. [3]

O God, You have called us to be Your children, and have promised that those who suffer with Christ will be heirs with him of Your glory: Arm us with such trust in him that we may ask no rest from his demands and have no fear in his service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen [4]
________________
1. Image: The Resurrection of our Lord, Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use
2. If Christ Had Not Been Raised from Death © 1985 The Jubilate Group; admin. Hope Publishing Co. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License .NET, no. 100013721.
3. Collect for the blessing of the Word, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
4. Collect for Thursday of Lent 5, http://www.liturgies.net/Lent/LentenCollects.htm

Morning Prayer Reading 117: Jesus and Zacchaeus



Luke 19:1-10

19 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Luther's Seal © Higher Things

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 2020




As we approach the season of celebrating the death and glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ our community is currently at a literal standstill. Gov. Holcomb has issued stay-at-home order in response to the corona virus pandemic. The order goes from March 25 through April 7.  This order has been extended to April 30. Church services have been canceled through the  end of the month as part of the state's prohibition on large groups.

We will be broadcasting live each Sunday on radio station WZBD and hope to live stream our services over the internet. We will communicate with you as we approach the observance of Holy Week. We solicit your patience and cooperation.





In thirty-eight years of parish ministry – never have I experience anything of this magnitude and scope. I am certain you have never seen the likes as these as well. We are entering into unchartered waters. We look to our Captain; our Savior Jesus to navigate and steer the ship of state the church and direct us.

Certainly your presence is missed at services. When we are able to resume gathering safely we will rejoice in the Lord’s mercy and the fact that each day we are Easter people. When we resume let us not forsake our gathering together.   

Right now, we are surrounded by anxious people. Many fear catching a virus which cannot be seen; from a total stranger, who innocently or  inadvertently violates your space.

Some fear shut downs. And job loss. And the failure of financial security.

Some fear losing those we love. They fear hunger and homelessness. Others fear what life will look like post-COVID 19.  Some fear feeling trapped in their own homes. Many simply fear the loss of control - this outbreak has caused in our own lives.

Early in His earthly ministry Jesus was invited to a wedding. Whose? We do not know. (I have an opinion as to the identity of this nameless couple but that’s for another time.)  No sooner had the festivities begun disaster stuck. Mary discovers there isn't any wine. “They have no more wine!” (John 2:4). It's this little detail; no wine, that brings about an emotional collapse. Consumed in the moment, and pre-occupied with what she wanted to be a nice day, Mary simply vents her frustration for all to see: "They have no wine."

Mary lamented: "They have no wine." You might lament: "I have no job. My kids are a mess. I have no purpose. I'm a failure. I have let everyone down. This fear consumes me.”

Your situation is not a surprise to Jesus. He is neither shocked. Astonished. Or annoyed. Your situation.  Which is taking all of your time and attention. - Take it to the Lord in prayer.  

Your anxiety.  Which is troubling you. – Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Your helplessness.  Indicates how much you need Him. Take it to the Lord in Prayer.

Mary presents a need. But does not dictate to the Lord how He should respond. In her request we have a model of intercession. That makes a need known to the Lord.  With humility. 

And a recognition that it is His will that should be done. She instructs the servants, “do whatever He tells you.”

If you have found God to be silent. If it feels as if God has left you, you're not looking at the right place. Look at the cross. And you'll see the Son of God who has taken your sins as His own.

The Redeemer who suffered your every sorrow of this life entered time and space to free you from it all. The Mediator has made peace between you and God by His precious blood so that heaven now belongs to you.

If you feel desperate and if you feel God is letting you sit in it, that's because you are and He is, but only because you're looking at what you lack. And if you're looking at nothing, no wonder you feel worse. Look instead to your Savior and His boundless love for you in giving His life for yours.

And keep looking, for in His resurrection, the Lord Jesus, who took your sins as His own, now declares His righteousness to be yours.

Keep looking, that's what Mary did, even after He rose from the grave and ascended to heaven above. After Jesus' ascension, the church continued to gather, and the Book of Acts specifically names Mary, His mother, among the number, who "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship." [i]

We do not know where this pandemic will lead us. Yet one thing is certain. Christ will never abandon you. His promise is sure. “I will never leave you nor forsake you. - Hebrews 13:5 Money, will not save you. Positive thoughts and pious platitudes are simply inadequate. Like silly hash-tags, which fade over time. Trust not in rulers. They are but mortal. Place all your trust in Christ your Lord. He suffered for you on Calvary’s cross and rose victoriously on Easter to give you His life.

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! In His hands you are safe. Fare thee well child of Christ. Fare thee well. Until we meet again.
  



[i] Credit for some of this article’s content is taken from a sermon delivered by former fieldworker Pr. Tim Daub   “The Wedding at Cana Desperate for Jesus” 1.14.2018


Passion Reading Scheduled for 1 April, 2020




In these unprecedented times the comfort which comes from God’s Word gives us a peace this world simply cannot give. As we prepare for Holy Week the following schedule of readings carry you through the Passion of our Lord Jesus.

We trust such reading will be beneficial as we anticipate the feast which has no end with our Risen Lord and Savior.

Passion reading scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, 2020                              

          

John 18:28-38

Jesus Before Pilate

28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters.[a] It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

My Kingdom Is Not of This World

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.

Footnotes:
John 18:28 Greek the praetorium

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts, ‘The Crucifixion’ copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Wyneken chapel homily - 3rd Article of the Apostles' Creed



Lent 2020 
Wyneken Memorial Lutheran School Homily  
4.01.2020
3rd Article Meaning 1

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to Him. But the Holy Ghost has called me by the gospel; enlightened me with his gifts sanctified and keeps me in the one true faith.

"For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified". - 1 Corinthians 2:2

Lord Jesus, bless Thy Word, that we may trust in Thee.

As we are nearing the end of our Lenten journey - One Lord. O faith. One future. I would ask you this question. "What is it that you really need to know?" 






There are certain benchmarks along the way. You can't advance. Before you have reached a certain level.

Because it's school. Even though we are currently operating under home based instruction.  There will be assignments. There will be tests.

There are certain things you need to know. To get ahead in this world. And to get along in life. But of all the things you will ever learn. The most important. All boils down to two. A person. And a place.

1. A person - Jesus Christ

     A. This revelation is not found in man's wisdom. The wisdom of man. As much as he knows. Is still limited. Paul in our lesson for today tells us - some seek signs. While others demand proof. If you are seeking God by human means you will be terribly disappointed. 

     B. God's wisdom. Gives knowledge. And this knowledge is power. And the power of God leads us to know a person. The Lord Jesus. And it is the Holy Spirit which has led you to faith in Christ.

Five simple words. Sum up man's condition. "I believe that I cannot..." You cannot come to faith. You cannot find peace. You cannot find solutions. To your worst condition.

But..."the Holy Ghost." Creates faith. Sustains faith. And speaks peace. To a frightened world.

It is the Lord's Church. She is active and functioning. She is alive. Well. Engaged. Relevant. relational. Jesus and His live - are not distant. Closed. Or locked down!

Transition: Of the things you must know. They are but two. A person.  And a place

2. A place - Golgotha, the place of the cross. Which leads to redemption. 

     A. The proclamation of Christ and Him crucified is the power of God. This is what the Spirit works in you.

          1. Which makes you wise to salvation.

          2. It is your only weapon in God's arsenal you have at your disposal. Use it well. 

     B. It is the Word of the Gospel.

          1. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel..." says St. Paul, "for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes," - Romans 1:16

           2. It is all gift.   "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9 

           3. And the Holy Spirit always makes it personal. For it is.  For you! 

Soon and very soon. The weather will break. Our farmers will get back to their fields. I will tend to my garden. In spring we should all smell like dirt. 

The Holy Spirit calls.Gathers. Enlightens. Sanctifies. And keeps.
1 He Calls - He plants the seed of faith into your heart by His Word.
2.He Gathers - In Baptism He brings you into His family the Church.
3.He Enlightens - The Holy Spirit causes growth toward the light of the gospel
4.He Sanctifies -The flowers and fruits of good works.
5.He Keeps - The Holy Spirit waters and nurtures the plant of faith through the Savior's means of Grace.  So that it remains ever green.

All you need to know boils down to two. A person and a place. Christ. And the cross. This is the Spirit's work. And we rejoice in it. 
_______________
Words –685
Passive Sentences – 1%
Readability – 92.7%
Reading Level – 1.8
The Crucifixion Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

mid-week Lent #6




Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Friedheim
10653 N – 550 W
Decatur, IN 46733

A 21st Century Parish with a 1st Century Faith
Acts 2:42

Celebrating our 182nd Year
Chartered February 25, 1838

Jesus I will Ponder Now

A Lenten series based on six Chorales written by Sigismund v. Birken & Johan Sebastian Bach

1 April 2020
They will look on the one they have pierced - John 19:37


Introduction:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the prince of glory died
My riches gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

The Passion of the Christ has been our focus through the sacred music of Johan Sebastian Bach these past three Wednesdays.  We turn now to our final chorale – it is simply a prayer - that we may be one in Christ.

Help O Christ Thou God’s own Son
Through Thy bitter anguish
That our wills with Thee be one
Zeal for evil vanquish

I.            We pray that our Will - may be one in the same as Christ’s. This we pray every time we pray the 3rd petition of the Lord’s Prayer – “Thy will be done” – Lord!

A.   How is this done?

1.      God’s good and gracious will is done among us by Himself – not us!

2.      Specifically, when God breaks and hinders every evil counsel and will which would not let us hallow God’s name nor let His Kingdom come.

3.      Those forces we contend with are the will of the devil, the world and our own sinful flesh.

B.   God’s Good and gracious will is...

1.      To strengthen and preserve us steadfast.

2.      Keeping us faithful to His Word and faith unto our end. “Fear not, little flock, for it is Your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom       -Luke 12:32

Transition: We pray that the Father’s will might be done in us. Viewing Christ’s Passion we render Him our thanks and praise.

II.         Our focus thus is on Christ and His Cross

On Thy death and its true cause
Contrite thoughts will render

A.   When we consider all that Jesus endured - His suffering, agony and bloody sweet we cry out for the Father to have mercy upon us.

1.  With the beggar we cry, “Jesus, Master have mercy on me!”-Mark 10:47

2.  Or, as the Kyrie would remind us; “Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord, have mercy.

3.  And, in the words of the Agnus Dei; “O Christ Thou Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world have mercy upon us and grant us Thy peace.”

B.   And we thank Him!

And though weak and full of flaws
Thee our thanks will render

1.   Thank You Jesus, that you have taken
     away my guilt and my sin.

2.   Thank you Jesus, that You prayed;
Father forgive them for they know not   what they do.” -Luke 23:34

3.   Thank You Jesus, who gave Stephen the 
 strength to pray; “Lord do not hold this sin against them!–Acts 7:60 For this is how we ought to pray.

Conclusion:  As we have pondered Christ’s holy Passion during this Lenten journey may we be moved to pray;

Grant that I may willingly
Bear with Thee my crosses,
Learning humbleness of Thee,
Peace mid pain and losses.
May I give thee love for love!
Hear me, O my Savior,
That I may in heaven above
Sing Thy praise forever.