Monday, May 31, 2010

Time in the Word - Pentecost 2 - Proper 5

God’s Power Of Life Over Death” is the theme for this coming week. In the Old Testament lesson, [1 Kings 17:17-24] the power of life over death is seen in Elijah raising the widow’s son. In the Epistle, [Galatians 1:11-24] the power of life is in Paul’s conversion. In the Gospel [Luke 7:11-17] The power of life is seen in Jesus who raises a widow’s son.

How do some deal with miracles today? Some deny the reality of the miracle as a story or myth of the ancient past. Some allegorize and spiritualize the account in an attempt to bring out a helpful message for our day. Some rationalize the miracle to explain away any details that might be offensive to scientific minds. We simply allow the miracles to stand as they happen. They are sings for us – signs of the nature of God, of Jesus as the Son of God, of the power of God. Approaching the miracles from this stance, we do not raise a question about the validity of the miracle; we take it for granted. We find the permanent values in the miracle for life today.

Collect for TrinityAlmighty 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.

Collect for Proper 5O Lord, Father of all mercy and God of all comfort, You always go before and follow after us. Grant that we may rejoice in Your gracious presence and continually be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collects 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.

O God, from whom all good proceeds, grant to us Your humble servants, that by Your holy inspiration we may thing the things that are right and by Your merciful guiding accomplish the,; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For the Armed Forces of our Nation and for those we remember - 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. As we remember those who gave the supreme sacrifice of their lives to preserve our liberties may we honor them with our life and conduct that they may not have died in vain, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Monday, 31 May 2010Psalm 138:3, 7-8- Antiphon Psalm 86:16 -In these words of the psalmist he gives testimony to God’s condescending and faithful love for His own. You are loved by God. You are precious in His sight.

Tuesday, 01 June 2010Psalm 30— It is suggested that the psalm was written for the dedication of David’s palace. After he had conquered Jerusalem, and made it his capital. (2 Samuel 5:11; 7:2) David apparently had often been near death, but God brought him through. He would sin praise to God forever. The events in 1 Chronicles 21 may possibly provide the background to this psalm. The dark days when life was in danger are now past (Vv. 2-3; 6-10) Easy times breed self-reliance (Vs.6) But this experience had put life into perspective for David. (Vs.5) this experience showed the psalmist his own helplessness (Vv. 7-10) Now that the danger is behind him, he gladly and openly acknowledges his debt of gratitude to God. (Vv.11-12)

Wednesday, 02 June 20101 Kings 17:17-24 – In the Old Testament lesson Elijah restores a child to life. The youth was brought back to life by God through Elijah. He stretched himself on the child three times so that his life force might effect the child. In contrast, Jesus simply touched the casket. There was no great effort, no force but simply a touch for the power to flow. Elijah prayed to God with great intensity for the child’s life to return. Jesus does not pray. As the Son of God, He simply said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!”

Thursday, 03 June 2010Galatians 1:11-24— In the Epistle lesson Paul’s gospel did not come from man but from revelation. It’s obvious that many lives are in confusion because they sense no purpose or plan for their lives. The claim that God has a separate plan for each life has largely been dropped by many these days. The result is that lives are purposeless and distracted. Paul expresses a conviction that God has a plan for him even before he was born – destined to be a preacher! Can you also say, “This is what God wants me to do with my life?”

Friday, 04 June 2010Luke 7:11-17— In the Gospel lesson Jesus raises a widow’s son in Nain. We feel out weakness. It is as though the world is often too much. Death is the final declaration of defeat. We need to hear the story of Jesus’ raising the widow’s son at Nain to be reminded that life is stronger than death and that this life comes from Christ. In verse 13 Jesus is called “Lord” – He is the Lord of life.

Saturday, 05 June 2010Psalm 102:1-2 The Hymn of the Day is “When in the Hour of Deepest Need” (LSB #615). It is a cold hard world. The endlessly reported refrain coming from people is “Nobody cares about me.” Commercial ventures seeking new business capitalize on this fact and advertise, “We care.” Many ask, “Does anybody really care whether I live or die, succeed or fail?” Does Jesus care? He did when He was in Palestine, but does He care about me today? The answer is in the miracle at Nain. The answer is in the raising of the widow’s son. The answer is found in calling Paul to proclaim the gospel Jesus has not changed. He still has compassion for all who are having a bad time. It is important to observe that Jesus did not raise the youth from death to deliver him from his plight. He was raised to comfort his mother.. The answer is expressed in the words of this powerful hymn. Meditate on it and then come to service singing and proclaiming these powerful truths. This is your reality.

Prayers for Proper 5 from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Prayer for the Armed Forces and Pentecost 2 from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C by John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing Lima OH
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

Saturday, May 29, 2010


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

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

b. God in the singular speaks in the plural.

c. 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.

1. God always works through means.

2. 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.

a. 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

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

c. 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 whre 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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mid-week Homily

Proverbs 8:22-31 - Implications for Creation

There continues to be significant discussions on the topic of how the world was brought forth. In many segments of our country evolution remains a controversial subject. There are many people in our country captivated by the question of how we got here and how did it all happen. One of the questions which man has asked for ages is the question of origin. WHENCE? WHERE DO THINGS COME FROM? WHERE DO I COME FROM?

Our text for today does not deal with the “how” but rather with the “whom” of creation. Without a doubt, the One who created the universe is God. This we affirm in the words of the 1st Article of the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…” Wise King Solomon would remind us from the fact of creation there are significant implications. Today we shall deal with them as we consider the ramifications for creation.
As believers we take it as fact that God created this world. Because God created this world we affirm three realities.

I. We affirm that this is my Father’s world.
A. God made this world – in six days – but also in 10 phrases. How did He do this? We leave that up to science, which can teach us certain things but not everything. Science can explain to us how it all works yet it remains a miracle to be seen. For example last spring 15 tiny seeds planted into the ground produced 160 squash, which contained literally hundreds of seeds that if planted this spring could produce enough squash to feed this entire parish! No, I won’t repeat my mistake of planting too much squash…this year I’m trying my luck with Zucchini!
B. He controls this world – nothing will happen without His knowledge and consent. We’re not left to chance. We believe in the providence of God.
He controls the events of this world, He controls our very lives.
C. He will also end this world – at just the right time – when the last Christian has been converted. Again, everything works according to His Master Plan. This leads to a question. Are you a part of the Master’s plan of salvation?

Transition: God has created this world. He has done all things according to His good and gracious will

II. We affirm that this world is good – because God has made it.
A. True, sin has ruined the world, placing a curse on it. The Lord speaking to Adam reminds us “because of you cursed is the ground.
For you both thorns and thistles it shall grow and by the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread” (Genesis 3)
B. Yet Christ has redeemed the world at the bloody cross. Sin has lost its grip – death its sting – Isaac Watts in 1719 put it this way:
No more let sins and sorrows growNor thorns infest the ground;He comes to make His blessings flowFar as the curse is found, Far as the curse is foundFar as far as the curse is found Joy to the World, the Lord is Come Hymn 87 from The Lutheran Hymnal © 1940 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, Mo
C. We can delight in God’s creation. Solomon reminds us in verse 31 “rejoicing in the world, His earth And having delight in the sons of men”

Transition: We affirm this is the Father’s world, which is good. Thus life is intended by God to be good.

III. We affirm that life has purpose.
A. We are created by God to be in the world, to be a witness, to make a difference.
B. He is with us – even now – as He comes to us in Word and Sacrament – as He dwells in each believer’s heart.
C. Life now is lived for God – by means of vocation and service. We do more then merely come to a worship service. In service we worship God.
We remember that God is eternal. The Triune God created the world, the universe and humanity. Since God has created this world, we celebrate as an act of pure grace for our benefit. To God be the glory – great things He has done!

Monday, May 24, 2010

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 PentecostO 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 TrinityAlmighty 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.

Monday, 24 May 2010Psalm 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, 25 May 2010Psalm 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, 26 May 2010Proverbs 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, 27 May 2010Acts 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, 28 May 2010John 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, 29 May 2010Luke 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)

Prayers for Pentecost and Trinity from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Prayer for the Armed Forces from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mid-week Homily

This coming Sunday is Spirit Sunday. The promise of the Spirit is fulfilled. Two accounts tell of the fulfillment: the risen Jesus gives the Spirit on Easter; fifty days after Easter the Spirit falls on the disciples.

Let us pray to the Lord…
God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as You sent upon the disciples the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, look upon Your church and open our hearts to the power of the Spirit. Kindle in us the fire of Your love and strengthen our lives for service in Your kingdom.

People outside the church witness the events of Pentecost and can only see a people who got religion and who do unusual things. How do you explain it? This was the question of the spectators of the Pentecost experiences — “What does this mean?” How do you explain the rush of wind, tongues of fire, and uneducated men suddenly speaking in foreign languages? How do you explain the boldness of once-timid, quiet men? How do we explain the marvelous lives and work of Christians?

The Spirit’s work is mysterious for most people. Some think of the Spirit in terms of a far-out religious group which has fanatical tendencies. There is needed in the church today an understanding of the ecclesiastical dimension of the Spirit. The Spirit is a church affair.
Consider the Spirit’s relation to the church.

I. The Spirit comes to the church — When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. v. 1. It is a community affair and corporate experience.
A. It is a community affair. Luke reminds us, “They were all together” (v. 1). The Spirit is a communal affair.
The Spirit comes to us as a group and not always as an individual. Jesus breathed the Spirit on the disciples as a group.
B. It is a corporate experience. Baptism, when the Holy Spirit is received, is not a private but a public service and occasion. The Spirit is a drawing, collecting force. The Spirit calls us into a special relationship with Himself through the Sacrament of Baptism

II. The Spirit creates the church —And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved v. 21. The Spirit gathers believers into a community.
At Pentecost each foreigner heard the gospel in his own tongue. There was no need of an interpreter as in the case with “unknown tongues.” Each apostle miraculously spoke a foreign language without even learning it in order to tell the good news to foreign visitors in Jerusalem at the time of Pentecost. To this day Christians communicate the gospel in the people’s language. This was predicted in the Scriptures of Old by the prophet Joel. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” Joel 2:28
A. The Holy Spirit gathers believers into a community. This community is referred to as The Holy Christian Church – The Communion of Saints. Into this church the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies and keeps us in the one true faith.
B. What is this community none other then our Friedheim family? As a congregation we gather around the Word and Sacraments to be fed and led by our Savior. This gathering is nothing more and certainly nothing less then holy sheep listening to the voice of their Shepherd.
Thus we gather to worship, be fed, to receive holy absolution, to be strengthened, to intercede for one another, to bear each other’s burdens only to enter back into the world to be salt and light.
We use the gifts, talents, and abilities the Lord has given us in our various vocations to be witnesses of the Savior. It is a serious task as the Savior speaks quite specifically about those who loose their saltiness and whose light goes out.

Transition: The Holy Spirit comes to the Church. The Holy Spirit creates the Church. The Holy Spirit works through the Church.

III. The Spirit works through the church — But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: v. 14. The church proclaims the Word and administers the sacraments through which the Spirit grants forgiveness and eternal life.
A. The church proclaims the Word and administers the sacraments. These are the true “marks” of the church. We use the Word to ground us in the faith. Thus when we use the Word whether it is studied, read, shared, the Word of the Lord is strengthening us.
Likewise as we make use of the means of grace – in the Sacraments not only do they bring us to faith but the also sustain us as we travel along this journey of faith.
B. In the Church the Lord richly and daily forgives the sins of me and all believers in Christ, and on the last day we raise me and all the dead and give eternal salvation to all who believe. This is the promise the Spirit has for you. Have no fear little flock for the Father has promised to give you the kingdom. Have no fear – have no fear.

Conclusion: The Holy Spirit gives life and then sustains life. He is the one who directs the affairs of His Church.

We come to a worship service and then in service we witness for Him. We enter back into the world to be witnesses of the Savior. Our desire is for others to embrace and cherish our Friedheim family as they become connected to Jesus Christ. Do we always get it right? Not always. Are we perfect? Hardly! Do we stumble, fumble, flop and fall? Certainly! Yet, in spite of our many flaws the Lord uses us in various ways, often to our amazement!

Some seek revival in the church today. An Amish draft horse might be a fitting analogy. We plod along through life. And yet, after a long, long, day a few acres have been planted - and by God’s grace - we shall reap a harvest of souls. A blessed Pentecost in Jesus’ Name!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Time in the Word - Pentecost

“God’s Use of Language” is the theme for this coming week. In the Old Testament lesson, [Genesis 11:1-9] God uses language to confuse the world. In the Epistle, [Acts 2:1-21] Language us used to understand the Gospel. In the Gospel [John 14:23-31] Language is used too witness to Christ with the help of the Comforter.

“Pentecost” is a Greek word, meaning fifty. The Jews celebrated Pentecost as a harvest festival. Later, it was used to celebrate the giving of the Law on Sinai and the birthday of Israel. Christians celebrate Pentecost as the birthday of Missions and global evangelism.
Collect for the Seventh Sunday of Easter: O King of glory, Lord of hosts, uplifted in triumph far above all heavens, leave us not without consolation but send us the Spirit of truth whom You promised from the Father; for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect for Pentecost EveAlmighty 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 PentecostO 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.
Last week we commemorated the father of American Home Missions with the observation of the Bicentennial celebration of the birth of Pastor FCD Wyneken. That observance does us no good unless we put into practice what we have been taught. Our Lutheran fathers stood for good and sound Biblical teaching. It was Wyneken who gave the church the charge to put into motion and to hand down to others the saving faith of Jesus Christ. Pentecost reminds us that doctrine and practice, ministry and mission always go hand in hand. The faith is taught it is also caught. The early disciples held fast to the teachings of the resurrection being eye-witnesses of the Savior. On Pentecost they went out into the world to gossip the gospel in many diverse places. This is the challenge for the church today - to continue to preach, teach and reach others with the Gospel of Christ. Pentecost gives the church her marching orders.

Monday, 17 May 2010Psalm 104:24, 27-30 The antiphon is an ancient Liturgical Text — The Psalmist marvels at the grandeur and the detail, the perfection and completeness of God’s work in creation - verse 24 sums it all up.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010Psalm 143— David had reached the end of the line; no more reserve or resources (vv.3-4). But in a desperate situation one refuge remains: God Himself (vv.5-12). “O Lord…teach me…deliver me…lead me…bring me out of trouble”

Wednesday, 19 May 2010Genesis 11:1-9 – The Old Testament lesson is the story of the tower of Babel and the confusion of language. Too many languages was confusing and construction of the great tower was stopped. There was a loss of unity from a lack of the Holy Spirit. The people desired to build for themselves a tower, and altar unto themselves. There was a centrifugal power of an evil spirit at Babel – it scatters.

Thursday, 20 May 2010Acts 2:1-21— The Epistle lesson is the entire story of the events of Pentecost. Pilgrims from every corner of the globe had descended upon the city of Jerusalem to celebrate. On that day Christ was preached to the nations and the nations were brought to the church. Pentecost is not the birthday of the church – it existed well before the feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is the birthday of missions when the church is reminded that we are to go out into the world with the message of the Gospel. The Savior Himself predicted the events of Pentecost. Look up Matthew 24:14. The gospel was preached to the nations on the first Pentecost. For centuries the gospel message has encircled the globe. It has been preached on every continent. But specifically on September 15, 2001 from the National Cathedral in Washington DC the message of Christ and Him crucified was beamed literally around this planet through radio and television as the world watched and listened. Some may ask, “When will the end come?” Pentecost gives us the answer. The end will come - when the last pagan is converted.

Friday, 21 May 2010John 14:23-31— In the gospel lesson Jesus reminds us that love and obedience are linked. How can we trust, love and obey? By ourselves we can not do it. Thus the Counselor is sent from the Father. Both the Father and the Son are involved in the sending of the Spirit. The Spirit reminded these early disciples of everything Jesus had said and done. Thus when their message went out, as they recorded the words and actions of Jesus in written form they became literally God breathed and inspired. They became the Sacred Scriptures because the Spirit directed these men over a period of some twenty years to write 27 books that in reality make up one book – the New Testament. These books, together with the Old Testament, have one doctrinal viewpoint, one moral standard, one plan of salvation, one program for the ages.

Saturday, 22 April 2010Luke 11:13; 1 Corinthians 12:13 The Hymn of the Day is “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord”(LSB #497). This majestic hymn was written by Martin Luther, 1483-1546 and was no doubt written as a children’s hymn so that his students could memorize and understand the 3rd Article of the Apostles’ Creed. The chief teaching of the Christian faith - the doctrine of salvation by faith rather than works is clearly delineated throughout the course of this great hymn. Sing it confidently and boldly. The Holy Spirit has brought you to faith He will continue to keep you in the one true faith.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Easter 7

Christians these days seem to be divided more than ever. The ecumenical movement with the desire to unite all believers in Christ into one church seems to have lost its forward thrust. Instead of uniting it appears that churches are actually separating, forming new denominations over such issues as the interpretation of Scripture, the ordination of women, and revisions of worship. There is an urgent need as always for the church to be one. The question, of course, is how is this done?

As we examine the words of Jesus today we find a model for unity.

1. A unity of relationship – love. Vv.21, 23 I am praying… that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me…I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.

A. As Christ is one in God, and a Christian is one in Christ, so Christians are to be one with each other. This is the unity for which Jesus was praying. A unity not made by man but a unity which comes from Christ. This unity is how Luke describes the 1st Century Christians in the book of Acts. It is the verse which describes the Mission, Vision and Philosophy of our Friedheim family. “And they were one in the Apostles doctrine, and in Fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayer.” [Acts 2:42]

B. It is love which draws, cements and unites us. Not our love but the love of Christ. It is love expressed in a cross. “Lift high the cross, the cross of Christ proclaim” so the church sings. The Father’s’ love is not an emption nor is it a felling. It is expressed in tangible things at the cross and empty tomb, in holy waters of baptism and in the bread and wine of His meal.

Transition: There is a unity of relationship of love there is also a close fellowship between the members of Christ’s family the Church.

2. A unity of togetherness – Vs. 24 Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

A. Unity is expressed in being together. How are we united?

1. “The Apostles Doctrine” Being one in unity and faith. Basing our lives on God’s Holy Word as He speaks clearly to us through that Word.

2. “Fellowship” Being one in the Lord Jesus Christ. Experiencing true joy in Christ. Living at peace with each other and enjoying one another.

3. “The Breaking of Bread” Sacramental living. Experiencing daily the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation as Christ comes to us in and through the Sacraments.

4. “Prayer” Upholding one another. Taking our needs burdens joys and sorrows to the throne room of grace. Being thankful as the Savior answers each petition.

B. By His Ascension Jesus is now with the Father.

1. He ascended into heaven to prepare a place for you and me.

2. In glory He lives and rules throughout all eternity.

C. Jesus has prayed that His people also may be with Him in heaven.

1. There you and I will live with Him.

2. We will dwell with Him throughout all eternity.

Transition: There is a unity of relationship of love there is also a close fellowship between the members of Christ’s family the Church. Together we gossip the gospel in the world.

3. A unity of common cause – Vv.21, 23 I am praying… that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me…I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.

A. When people have a common cause, they unite and work together to achieve the goal. What is it that the Lord would have us do? What is it that the Lord is calling this congregation to do as a witness for Christ? What is it that the Lord Jesus is calling you as a family, as an individual Christian to be His witness in this generation? How is He calling you to be salt and light in this world?

B. The goal of the church is to be a witness to the world which is to come to know and believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus prays for this unity so that the world will know that you sent me.
This is the message the world needs to hear. They need to hear for what purpose the Savior came. He came to give life to the world. He came to unite us to Him.

Christ has claimed you to be His own. He protects you and has given you a unity and fellowship that this world can never know. It is a unity not created or sustained by man but comes to us in know Christ and in being incorporated into His family the church.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wyneken's 200th Birthday

4-13-2010 is the 200th birthday of FCD Wyneken the father of American home missions. If you are a member of a Lutheran parish in Adams and Allen county Indiana thank the Lord that He used a man such as Wyneken to preach the Gospel and that the Holy Spirit planted the seeds of faith which continues now in the lives of families EIGHT GENERATIONS later. Had he not come after Hoover died we all might now be pagans!

If you are a graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary thank the Lord that He used a man such as Wyneken to establish a seminary to train pastors/teachers and missionaries.

If you are a student of CTS remember the greatest theological training happens out in the field where the Lord places you.

To all Christians ask the Lord to give you a passion for missions. Like Wyneken, go and gossip the Gospel. The faith is taught and it is caught. This Wyneken has given to the church.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The disciples of Jesus were given a wonderful word of promise from Jesus. The Holy Spirit would come with His abiding presence and help. Even though Jesus’ visible presence has been removed by His ascension, invisibly Jesus continues to be with and among us. This brings us both peace and joy.

1. There is joy in the fulfillment of God’s prophesies in the Old Testament.

A. The Messianic prophesies of the Old Testament are fulfilled.

1. “It stands written” is the formula introducing God’s unalterable agreement.

2. The whole Old Testament bears witness to Christ.

B. “It was necessary.”

1. The Scriptures must be fulfilled.

2. “It pleased God to bruise Him” was God’s decree about Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection.

3. Jesus opens the minds of the disciples to understand – here merelyh as intellectual comprehension.

2. There is joy in the call to purpose and significant service.

A. “You will be witnesses of these things.”

1. They witnessed the “what” and the “why” of the suffering, dying and rising again of

2. They were to carry on the work of Christ (this command is in the “constant present”) until Christ’s coming again.

3. They were to begin in Jerusalem and go out into all the world.

B. They proclaimed repentance and forgiveness in His name.

1. True repentance involves two things.
a. First come sorrow and contrition.
b. Then follows faith, which trusts the promise of God’s forgiveness.

2. It is proclaimed “in His name”
a. Today is the 200th Birthday of F. C. D. Wyneken - the Father of American missions.
b. The mission zeal which drove him is our legacy as we continue to share Christ proclaiming Christ and His name.

3. There is joy in the blessing that found response in joyful worship.

A. They receive the blessing of Christ, not the least of which was the promise of His abiding presence. “I am with you always” – Matthew 28:20

B. Their worship in the temple anticipates their joy of worship in heaven.

The Ascension joy is also available to us in the same way and on the same terms. God has promised, called, and blessed us. We in that blessing respond in joyful service and worship until in Christ’s coming again we are taken “so that where He is we may be also” – in heaven where we shall serve and worship our God in the fullness of joy that knows no end.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Time in the Word - Easter 7

Collect for the Seventh Sunday of Easter: 0 King of glory, Lord of hosts, uplifted in triumph far above all heavens, leave us not without consolation but send us the Spirit of truth whom You promised from the Father; for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
May 13, 2010 - which just so happens to be Ascension Day - will mark the 200th Anniversary of the birth of FCD Wyneken. Wyneken is well known as the father of American home missions. He came to the American frontier as an evangelist, preacher and church planter. He was instrumental in the formation of our Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Ft. Wayne seminary serving as Synod’s second president from Zion Friedheim congregation from 1850 -1864 at the height of the Civil War.

Soon after arriving from Germany in Baltimore in 1838, Wyneken took over the pastoral duties of our congregation when the founding pastor Jesse Hoover became ill and subsequently died. He became a traveling missionary for the Pennsylvania Ministerium, spreading the Gospel through Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. He held numerous pastorates in Fort Wayne and in Adams County before being called to Baltimore in 1845. Five years later he was called to Trinity Lutheran Church, Saint Louis. His final parish was Trinity Lutheran Church, Cleveland, from 1864 to 1875.

Wyneken is the author of Die Noth der deutschen Lutheraner in Nordamerika (1841), a call to German Lutherans to send pastors to serve scattered Lutheran immigrants on the America frontier. The tract led Pastor Wilhelm Loehe, Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, to seek funds and volunteers for service in America. Men trained by Loehe formed the largest number of founding pastors of the Missouri Synod. Wyneken's "Notruf" has been published in English as The Distress of the German Lutherans in North America, ed. R. F. Rehmer, trans. S. Edgar Schmidt (Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1982).
Time in the Word the Seventh Sunday of Easter

The Bicentennial of the birth of FCD Wyneken - May 13, 1810

The Church of the Future” is the theme for this coming week. In the first lesson Acts 1:12-26 – The Spirit calls to a new work. In the epistle lesson, Revelation 22:1-6, 12- 20 - the believer is reminded that Christ will return to the earth on the last great day. In the Gospel lesson, John 17: 20-26 - Jesus prays for future disciples. The sermon hymn LSB #730 What is the world to Me points the believer heavenward as we anticipate leaving this broken world for a future home in heaven. All this is made possible because our Lord has Ascended into glory and has gone to prepare a place for us. When He is ready He will receive us into His glory. A glorious future awaits us because our life is in Him.

Monday, 10 May 2010Psalm 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, 11 May 2010Psalm 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. Mermon 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, 12 May 2010Acts 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, 13 May 2010Revelation22:1-6, 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.

Friday, 14 May 2010John 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, 15 April 20101 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.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Easter 6

Today sadly some have lost the concept of heaven as a future place for the Christian. Many are fixated on the present and want to live in the moment. In previous generations many of our hymns were about heaven and sermons invariably referred to the hope of heaven. Today we are almost preoccupied with either the past or the present. We give little thought to the future. We are the “now “generation. We want pie on earth, not in the sky. We “eat, drink, and are merry,” for there may be no tomorrow. We build barns of affluence to the neglect of the soul. We exploit and waste natural resources not caring if tomorrow’s generation will have adequate energy. Jesus shows us that the Christian’s ultimate end is heaven to be with the Father and the saints triumphant. The words of Jesus remind us that life today is enriched by the hope of heaven.

1. We live hopefully.

A. Heaven gives us something to live for.

1. The author of the letter to the Hebrews speaking of the people of the Old Testament reminds us that these people lived as strangers. These people all died controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it from a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth. [See Genesis 23:4; Psalm 39:12]
2. They knew that God had promised certain blessings, but they did not receive them. The best that happened to the saints of old was that they had glimpses of what God had in store for them.

3. Abraham and Jacob at one time built homes for themselves but neither really settled down in the land. To the end of their lives they were pilgrims rather than residents. It was faith that enabled all these great men of old to recognize their true position as citizens of heaven and thus as aliens everywhere on earth. They considered themselves “resident aliens”.

B. Heaven is a place we anticipate dwelling.

1. “I go to the Father” (vs.28) says Jesus. This is a promise the Savior has given to each of us. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” [John 14:2]

2. “I go away and I will come to you” (vs.28) Jesus further promises us, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." [John 14:3-7]

Transition: We live hopefully anticipating our transfer into glory. Meanwhile we live circumspect lives on this earth.

2. We live responsibly.

A. Accountable to God for our lives.

1. Two things that are as certain as death and taxes are our moral imperfection and our own mortality. How are going to enter eternity? There will come a time in which each of us will have to give an accounting for our life’s work. This will happen when Christ breaks into time and space when every eye shall see Him or when we draw our last breath and enter eternity. What shall be said at the end of our days?

2. We do not live merely for ourselves. We have a higher calling. Life does not center around you and it’s not about you. Take for example our farming community. Do you work for yourselves only? Of course not! There is a bigger picture to be considered. By your work you care for the planet. “Indiana Farmers feed the world” is more then a Facebook page of with you can befriend and become a fan. It’s a reality you live by each day. For this reason we live responsible and honorable lives.

B. Ultimate accountability comes on the last great day.

1. “It is not unreasonable to assume that there very will be a judgment for which every person must be ready. Since it is clear that we are not the cause of our own existence, there must be a Creator/God and since He has made us all with an inborn sense of right and wrong it seems very likely that He will hold us to account for moral and immoral choices we have made”.[1]

2. The old song sings, Faith clings to Jesus Christ alone who did for all the world atone He is our one redeemer.[2] Peter reminds us of this reality when he says, Christ bore your sins in His body on the tree that you might die to sin and live unto righteousness. For by His wounds you were healed. [1 Peter 2:24]

Transition: We live with the hope of heaven, we live responsibly. We also live patiently.

3. We live patiently.

A. St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. “ Romans 8:18

1. Whatever pain, sorrow or misfortune we may experience in this life will be over in time. It can not last. It is a slight irritation compared to eternity. And whatever misery you may endure in this life Christ will comfort you. John writes in the book of Revelation, for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” [Revelation 7:71]

2. Christ Jesus the very Lamb of God is in the midst of the throne and He is your shepherd. He will guide you to springs of living water.

B. Thursday is Ascension. A feat day in which we realize that this world is fading a new age is dawning.

1. Jesus ascended into glory to prepare a place for you. Where He is is where you will be also. This is your comfort. You have Christ’s promise. He is already in glory. Very soon you will be there too.

2. Our hope and comfort is found in Jesus’ sure words. Comfort yourselves with the words Christ has given you. Rely on Christ’s sure promises.. Yes, we will face suffering before the return of Christ. Yet God now preserves His Church, even in the midst of suffering. His is now our shepherd guiding us safely, wiping our eyes free of tears and sorrow.

What the Savior reminds us is simply to live balanced lives. We have our feet firmly planted in two kingdoms the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. We impact people with the gospel today so that we can spend eternity with them in glory.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use
[1] Luther’s Legacy by Cameron A MacKenzie Life of the World Vol. 14 No.1 Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN
[2] Salvation Unto Us Has Come stanza one

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mid-week Homily

Revelation 21:1-5 A fresh new start
A fresh new start is what so many are longing for. Yet, despite this desire for a fresh new start, many people are pessimistic about it. I am reminded of the difference between the optimist and the pessimist. The optimist believes that we are living in the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist believes that he’s right! This is as good as it gets!

But along comes our Epistle lesson for this day, which reminds us that a new start is exactly what god has in mind and will bring to pass. Because the power of the resurrection you and I can look forward to a new day, a new people and a New World.

I. The old kind of people and the old kind of world are to go.
A. The old kind of people will disappear. The passing away of present human nature will occur with the elimination of “the first earth” (v.1)
1. Human beings were created “very good” (Genesis.1: 31) Imagine what humanity would have been like had it remained that way!
2. Our first parents Adam and Eve corrupted human nature. St. Paul in Ephesians 2:1 summarizes the condition as “dead through trespasses and sins.” Romans chapter 1 is the most devastating indictment of humanity. Paul states in verse 18: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness since what may be known about god is plain to them
3. Humanity, therefore, has been beleaguered by the results of a corrupted nature. Revelation 21:4 suggests that tears, death, mourning, crying and pain are the human lot.
4. God’s created people have become “not His people” for sin separates people from God, and they are related to Him only by judgment and Law.
5. The old human nature must be destroyed. Luther said: “the old Adam must by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die” Those who come to Judgment Day without the new birth will be eliminated from God’s happy plan.
B. The old kind of world will pass away.
1. It, too, was originally perfect.
2. But through sin even nature has been corrupted. A new farming season is upon us. How will this year fare? We don't know! 2002 was a year of excessive heat, followed by 2003 - the year of the great flood. 4 days of excessive rain over the 4th of July weekend brought on record amounts of rain. Some have stated that the full effect could not be noticed until those 4 days of rain was multiplied out by 10. Within 40 days an honest assessment was made that the harvest for some would be bleak. And with respect to recovery; again some have stated that you must multiply that out again by 10. In other words, it took 400 days minimum; (close to a year and a half) before a full recovery in our area would begin! And now we have an oil spill on our nation's gulf coast. What are the ramifications of this disaster? Oil prices will rise a fishing industry in ruins. How long Lord, how long?
3. Though we may be uncertain of the precise nature of the restoration of the physical world, we do know that the present “polluted” order will pass away. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” (Revelation 21:1)

Transition: When the old is done away with there will be something entirely new.

II. There will be a new kind of people and a new kind of word.
A. God will make and is in the process of making new people.
1. The Old Adam dies in contrition as it faces God’s Law.
2. Through the work of the Holy Spirit a new person comes forth. The process of rebirth and becoming a new creation applies. God is at work in the church with the Gospel to establish His new kind of people by justifying and sanctifying them.
3. The results astound us. We are so limited in apprehending what the eventual form of “salvation” will be that we must hear it in negative terms. – Tears, death, mourning, crying, and pain will be eliminated and gone!
4. How? Here we remember what happens as the Gospel is proclaimed. God is at work. He works through both Word and Sacrament, creating His own people, enlightening them, sanctifying them, and incorporating them into the New Israel, the body of Christ the Church.
In the Epistle He gives them a glimpse of the glorious future awaiting them.
B. God will provide a new kind of world for the new kind of people.
1. The exact nature of the new world is beyond our conceptual ability now. We will await the unveiling, though we are not now able to describe “the furniture of heaven.”
2. But its characteristics are clear. It will be pleasing according to God’s perfect standards. It will be marked by His own presence. It will exclude all the problems that afflict the world today. Recall that three times in our text the Lord promises to be with His people.

CONCLUSION: Our Epistle lesson gives us a fine vision of the future. But, is it only another utopian dream? We are directed back to God’s written word: “These words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Time in the Word - Easter 6

Collect for the Sixth Sunday of Easter: O God, the giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those things that are right and by Your merciful guiding accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

Time in the Word the Sixth Sunday of Easter May 3-8, 2010
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

Monday, 3 May 2010Psalm 55:4, 16-18; antiphon, Psalm 55:22— David’s heart is in anguish. What shall he do? He casts his burden upon the Lord for he knows the Lord will care for him. David is assured that the Lord will hear his plea and relief will come at the proper time. The antiphon assures us of the many promises of the Lord “He will never let the righteous fall.”

Tuesday, 4 May 2010Psalm 67—Sunday’s psalm is a communal pray asking for God’s blessing. It is suggested that it may have been sung at the conclusion of worship just prior to or immediately after the benediction. God has promised to bless His people and the people are moved to praise His holy name. Two verses at the beginning contain the prayer while the two verses at the conclusion speak of the effects of God’s answer. In the middle the people seek to motivate God’s answer by referring to the worldwide praise that His mercies to His people will awaken.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010—Acts 16:9-15 - In a vision a man from Macedonia begs Paul and his companions to come to his aid. They see this as a clear sign that the Lord was directing them to this region. We need not trust in visions for we have a clear message from the Lord – His inspired and inerrant Word. How powerful is this Word? As Paul speaks the word to a crowd which had gathered in Philippi a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth is converted. She and the members of her entire family are baptized. Notice also her act of stewardship. She provides for the disciples as a response to the Gospel. We give not due to pressures from the Law but as a response to the Savior and His love. She was not coerced rather she responds with joy and thanksgiving. Her life had literally been changed. Works always flow from faith.

Thursday, 6 May 2010Revelation21:9-14, 21-27— Imagine, a city without a church. Who would dare to live in a city without a church? Without a church a city would become godless and utterly corrupt, a place unsafe for decent people. It is the mission of the church to plant churches wherever they are needed that people might know, love and obey God. Through the work of the church sin is curbed and righteous living is fostered. In our lesson john sees the time when a church (temple) is not needed. This is the city of God – heaven. This is the goal of Christian work: to build a society when a church is unnecessary. Until such time comes, the church must keep planting churches.

Friday, 7 May 2010John 16:23-33—So you think you have to be perfect for God to use you? Stop it! Such thinking nullifies the cross. Jesus explains why the disciples can come directly to the Father in prayer. It is because the disciples have loved and trusted in Jesus and in love God will hear their requests in Jesus’ name. The disciples had faith but not enough to stand firm in the face of disaster. Jesus knew they would fail; however, His church is not built on people’s strength but on God’s ability to use people even after they had failed. Notice the contrasts in verse 33 between “in me” and “in this world” and between “peace” and “trouble.” Once again Jesus affirms His final victory a victory we have in Christ.

Saturday, 8 April 2010Romans 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?” You can use this hymn from start to finish explaining to a neighbor or a friend the truths of the faith.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bach Collegium

This evening at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception 1122 S. Clinton, St. Ft. Wayne, IN 7 pm free will donation.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We are all familiar with St. Paul’s comforting words that remind us that we are saved by grace and grace alone. It’s a passage we all know. It’s a passage we as Lutheran Christian love to hang our hat upon “For by grace have you been saved through faith. It is a gift of God, not of works that no man may boast.” What I would share with you today is the verse that follows. For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. Paul almost contradicts himself doesn’t he? He tells us we are saved by grace through faith and nothing more. He tells us that it is not by “our own reason or strength”. He tells us it’s not by our own works or efforts. But then, in the same breath, he tells us that there is work that we must do, work that God has prepared in advance for us to do. What does this mean?

1. We are God’s workmanship.

A. To be a workman is to be called into service.

1. He called you in your baptism when you were born again.

2. Every day is an opportunity to serve Him. You don’t have an alarm clock you have an opportunity clock. Each day is a brand new day filled with opportunity and possibility.

B. Jesus has called you in to His service. Remember the cleaning service Service MasterTM Started by two clergymen for their kids to earn a little bit of money to fund their college education. Why the name. It spelled out everything they were about – in everything they did - they were to give service to the Master.

2. Created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

A. True, good works will not, nor can then save you.

1. God’s Word is clear – we are sinners and there is no life in us.

2. Because of sinfulness we need God’s help and grace to save and redeem.

B. Because of the grace of God He has endowed you with talents, abilities, and gifts to be used for His purposes.

1. Think of the decisions you will be making in your life in the next 4-7 years – decisions regarding where you will study, where you will work with whom you will marry. These are huge decisions – life defining decisions.

2. Already the Lord has given you the tools necessary to do His work.

3. Which God prepared in advance for you to do.

A. What a great promise. God has prepared in advance your work.

1. All the tools you would every need are already yours.

2. As you have been equipped so go in the strength of the Lord. Do more then just come to a worship service. In Service worship God.

B. As you go in the strength of the Lord He will bless you.

1. This is His promise to you.

2. As you have been blessed be a blessing.

Remember the things that were taught you cling to that which is good and remember, always remember Your Savior walks with you!