Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pentecost 3 - Proper 9 Time in the Word

Jesus Christ, Our Savior, Is Our True Peace and Sabbath Rest

Though we have died with Christ in Holy Baptism, and we are raised to new life in Him, we find “another law waging war” in our body and life, that is, between our old Adam and the New Man (Rom. 7:23). By the Spirit of Christ, we “desire to do what is right,” but we are not able to do so, because “nothing good” dwells in our sinful flesh (Rom. 7:18). “Thanks be to God,” therefore, “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” who delivers us from “this body of death” (Rom. 7:24–25). We rejoice in Him, our gentle King, who comes “righteous and having salvation” (Zech. 9:9). He speaks peace to our embattled hearts, and by His Blood of the New Testament He sets us “free from the waterless pit,” and He returns us to the stronghold of our Baptism (Zech. 9:10–12). Though we “labor and are heavy laden,” He calls us to Himself and gives rest to our souls through His free and full forgiveness (Matt. 11:28), not because we are “wise and understanding,” but by the “gracious will” of God the Father, whom “the Son chooses to reveal” in love (Matt. 11:25–27).

Collect for the Third Sunday after Pentecost: Gracious God, our heavenly Father, Your mercy attends us all our days. Be our strength and support amid the wearisome changes of this world, and at life’s end grant us Your promised rest and the full joys of Your salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayer for spiritual renewal: Almighty God, grant that we, who have been redeemed from the old life of sin by our Baptism into the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, may be renewed by Your Holy Spirit to live in righteousness and true holiness;

Prayer for our nation: Almighty God, You have given us this good land as our heritage. Grant that we remember Your generosity and constantly do Your will. Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education, and an honorable way of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil course of action. Grant that we, who came from many nations with many different languages, may become a united people. Support us in defending our liberties, and give those to whom we have entrusted the authority of government the spirit of wisdom, that there may be justice and peace in our land. When times are prosperous, may our hearts be thankful, and in troubled times do not let our trust in You fail;

Prayer for good government: Eternal Lord, ruler of all, graciously regard those who have been set in positions of authority among us that, guided by Your Spirit, they may be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution, and unwavering in duty, that under them we may be governed quietly and peaceably;

Monday, 27 June 2011—Psalm 91:2, 9–10; Antiphon, Psalm 91:1—The Introit for next Sunday reflects very well the theme of the day shown on the front cover; it speaks of those who trust in the LORD as being able to rest securely in His protection. If we dwell in the shelter of the Most High, we need fear no evil from our enemies, for the Lord protects those who abide in the shadow of the Almighty. It is of great comfort to us when we are assiled by our dread enemies—the devil, the world, and even our rebellious sinful nature—that the Lord promises that no evil shall be allowed to befall you; He shall preserve us to the day when He returns to take us to dwell forever in His heavenly kingdom.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011—Psalm 145:1–14—Psalm 145 is a song of high praise to the LORD for His greatness. Note how many of the attributes of the LORD David extols: His greatness, His majesty, His wondrous works and awesome deeds, His abundant goodness and righteousness, and especially, His grace and mercy. For us poor sinners, this is the best reason to praise the Lord, for He is slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and His mercy is over all that He has made. This truly gives us great reason to bless His name forever.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011—Zechariah 9:9–12—These words remind us of Advent, for verse 9 is the text for the First Sunday in Advent, which looks forward to Palm Sunday, and the advent of our Lord for the forgiveness of our sins. Here, it ties in well with the Gospel, where Jesus says that He is gentle and lowly in heart, fulfilling this prophecy of Zechariah where he proclaimed that the Messiah to come would come humbly, mounted on a donkey. Because He comes to us as righteous and having salvation, our response is to rejoice greatly and shout aloud!

Thursday, 30 June 2011—Romans 7:14–25a—St Paul writes of the conflict that plagues all Christians: the conflict between our old and new Adam, between our flesh and spirit. Our new man, redeemed by God and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, desires to do the will of God, but our old man desires only to serve his own appetites, to do what is pleasing to our flesh. This condition afflicts us all, as long as we abide here on earth, and with St Paul, we, too, must cry out, Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Fortunately, this is not a cry of abject despair, for it is answered in the very next verse: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! He has delivered us from the punishment of the Law and the bondage to sin. It is fitting for us to pray Psalm 145 again as a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for God’s grace and mercy.

Friday, 1 July 2011—Matthew 11:25–30—The weary and burdened are the ones to whom Jesus chooses to reveal the Father. These are the same people Jesus has described as the poor in spirit, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Those who acknowledge their sinfulness and realize that it is a burden too heavy for them to bear, that this load will drag them down to hell if they must bear it by themselves—they are the ones to whom Jesus promises rest. And this rest is his gift. “I will give you rest,” Jesus says. (John Brug, the People’s Bible commentary, ©1996, NPH)

Saturday, 2 July 2011—The hymn of the day is based on the Gospel. Come unto Me, Ye Weary (LSB #684) repeats the invitation of Jesus to find our rest in Him. The hymn repeats the assurance that He will give us rest, light, and life, and will never cast us out, but comes to give us pardon, grace, and peace.
Lectionary summary on front page from LCMS Commission on Worship
Artwork by Ed Riojas, © Higher Things
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
This week's Time in the Word is written by Pr. Jeffrey Keuning serving St. John Casey and Zion, Dexter, IA

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Church Expansion -week 2

Trees removed foundation work

Pentecost 2 - Proper 8

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

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

Celebrating our 173rd Year
Chartered February 25, 1838
June 26, 2011
Pentecost 2- Proper 8
Proper 8 (26 June—2 July)
Almighty God, by the working of Your Holy Spirit, grant that we may gladly hear Your Word proclaimed among us and follow its directing; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Matthew 10:34 - Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

The one who receives a prophet receives a prophet’s reward. Though he was born Prince of Peace, Jesus shocks us when He says he did not come to bring peace but a sword. Peace is not always possible. There are times when war is inevitable. Christians dare not live at peace with Satan. Stand for the truth, justice, and liberty and enemies will cluster around you. Jesus was and still is a controversial figure. He makes us choose sides in the battle of good and evil

King Ahab called Elijah the “troubler of Israel” because he demanded justice and obedience to God. Christ as a troubler in his day — he cleansed the temple, broke the Sabbath law by healing on it, and challenged the religious leaders for their hypocrisy and bigotry. In our day, Jesus is the troubler of our society. He is not content with a status quo based on injustice and falsehood. When conditions are evil, Jesus comes not to bring peace but a sword — conflict, fighting, dissension. Out of this conflict will come genuine peace when truth and justice triumph. Jesus will have no part in the violence of our day because it is the product of hatred. The controversy and conflict result when truth challenges falsehood, right faces wrong, and love opposes hatred.

Jesus brings a sword of conflict into our world.
1. When truth confronts error.
A. It was Pilate who asked, “What is truth”? There are many today asking this same question. Is there anything as absolute true? Are there moral absolutes? If there is absolute truth, where does one find it? Is truth relative?
B. It was Jesus who said, “I am the way the truth and the life.”
1. He is not one option among many.
2. He is the only solution to the world’s need. “…no one comes to the Father except by Me.”

Transition: Jesus brings a sword of conflict into our world when truth confronts error. He also brings conflict when right opposes wrong.

2. When right opposes wrong.
A. Jesus as the bearer of divine truth condemns all falsehood. Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17
1. He was made under the law - But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Galatians 4:4
2. He lived in perfect obedience to the law and received the Father’s favor. Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" 1Peter 2:21-23. To this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls
3. He fulfilled the law by His holy life and sacrificial death. Hebrews 9:27-28 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

B. Falsehood can not stand to the scrutiny of what is right. Armed with the truth of the Gospel and the message of Christ and Him crucified is the message the world needs to hear. It is the only message we have to proclaim to this world.

Transition: Jesus brings a sword of conflict into our world when truth confronts error and when right opposes wrong. He also brings conflict when love challenges hatred.

3. When love challenges hatred.
A. Jesus predicted, “You will be hated on account of Me.” We sometimes must bear the burden of the faith for being faithful to Christ. But love champions hate. We love and act as Christ lived and loved.
B. Yet we have no fear. We need not fear for Christ goes before you to lead you according to His will and way.
1. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”
2. “I have overcome the world”
Have now fear little flock you have overcome the world. Greater is He who is in you then he who is in the world for Christ has overcome the world.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Church Expansion

Everyone pulling together gets the job done!

1, 2, 3, pull!

View from the parsonage

From Road 550 W

New wall to the gathering space

The church from Road 550 W

Pentecost 2 - Proper 8 Time in the Word

False prophets preach what their hearers want to hear, promising peace even when the Lord has spoken “war, famine, and pestilence” (Jer. 28:8). But if “the Lord has truly sent the prophet,” he speaks what the Lord has spoken, and “the word of that prophet comes to pass” (Jer. 28:9). The preaching of God’s Law is hard, because it confronts sin, brings it to light and makes it worse, “sinful beyond measure,” thereby “producing death” in the sinner (Rom. 7:13). But through our Baptism into Christ, “we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive” (Rom. 7:6). Now we belong “to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God” (Rom. 7:4). Belonging to Him puts us at odds with the world and divides us from all earthly ties, not only from our human family, but each person from his own life. For Christ does not come “to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34). Yet, whoever takes up his cross to follow Christ, and “loses his life” for Christ’s sake, finds new life in Him (Matt. 10:38–39).

Collect for the Nativity of John the Baptist (24 June): Almighty God, through John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, You once proclaimed salvation. Now grant that we may know this salvation and serve You in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect for the Second Sunday after Pentecost: Almighty God, by the working of Your Holy Spirit, grant that we may gladly hear Your Word proclaimed among us and follow its directing; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Monday, 20 June 2011Psalm 89:15–18; Antiphon, Psalm 89:1—The portions of Psalm 89 selected for Sunday’s Introit are those portions of the psalm which proclaim the exuberance that a person has who trusts in the LORD. God is faithful to His promises: to the covenant promises He made with His people Israel in the Old Testament, to the promises He made to send a Savior to redeem us from our sin, and to His Holy Christian Church, the new Israel. For His faithfulness, we, with His people of all times and places, joyfully sing of the steadfast love of the LORD forever, and make known His faithfulness to all generations.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011Psalm 119:153–160—Despite the fact that we are surrounded by enemies of the LORD and His Word, by the grace of God, we remain faithful to Him and to His holy Word. The LORD is faithful, He fulfills all the promises He makes, the sum of His Word is truth. We can rest firm in these promises and proclaim with the psalmist: Great is your mercy, O LORD; I do not forget your law; I do not swerve from your testimonies; I love your precepts.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011Jeremiah 28:5–9—The world is full of false prophets and false teachers. Some are easy to pick out; some are not. Many claim to be Christians, but are not; Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons come immediately to mind. Others teach many parts of God’s Word aright, but teach falsely in key areas; many even in the Christian Church fall into this category. Jeremiah sets forth a test for prophets, to see if they are the LORD’s prophets: does what they prophesy come true? What test can we use to judge teachers in our day? The inscripturated Word of God. It alone is the rule and standard by which we judge all teachings and all teachers.

Thursday, 23 June 2011Romans 7:1–13—The Introit and psalm spoke of the promises of God and how He is faithful to them. The Old Testament reading spoke of discerning between true and false teachers. The epistle fits well with all these readings. It tells how we have been set free from the condemnation of the Law. How? By the atoning death and resurrection of the Son of God, our Savior Jesus Christ. This was a fulfillment of God’s promises and prophecy—the whole Old Testament, really, points to Christ. St Paul is crystal clear here: we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. Any teacher, whether he claims to be a Christian or not, who would heap upon us more Law, who would tell us what we have to do to be saved, is a false teacher. It is as simple as that. Anything which takes away from Christ even the smallest portion of the responsibility for salvation is false doctrine. Let us cling to Christ and not to the Law!

Friday, 24 June 2011—Matthew 10:34–42—The Gospel of Christ divides. Pure biblical doctrine divides. Why? Is there some flaw in the Word of God? Certainly not! The flaw lies solely in our sinful nature that wants to have things on our terms. What is the reason for division amongst the body of Christ? Sinful false teaching. We must cling to what is true and pure, and not compromise in order to have an outward show of unity where it does not exist. This makes life in our world difficult. For instance, the scriptural practice of closed communion causes many to despise us. But the Word of God gives no place for compromising with false doctrine and false teachers. Let us cling to the pure Word of God, despite what the world—or even other Christians—may think of us.

Saturday, 25 June 2011—In the Epistle reading, St Paul tells us that we have been set free from the curse of the Law in order that we may bear fruit for God. In the Gospel reading, Jesus exhorts us to take up our cross and follow Him. Sunday’s Hymn of the Day, Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus (LSB #685), is a prayer that we may do just those things: that we may do those things which are pleasing to God, that we may suffer persecution from the enemies of God and not fall away, that we may daily die to sin, and finally, that we may live with Jesus, for He has won for us the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and eternal life.

Lectionary summary on front page from LCMS Commission on Worship
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House

This week's Time in the Word was written by Pr. Jeffrey Keuning who serves Zion Dexter and St. John, Casey, IA of the Iowa West District, LCMS


Almighty and ever-living God, you have given us grace, by the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and, in the power of your divine majesty, to worship the unity. Keep us steadfast in that faith and worship and bring us at last to see you in your eternal glory, one God, now and forever.”

Trinity Sunday may be called “God Sunday.” It is a day of the church year to discuss the nature of God who has made Himself known to us as one eternal God in three distinct persons. If we are to be true to the lessons, as they are drawn from the Scriptures, the teaching of Trinity cannot be avoided.

In the Great Commission, Jesus takes a worldview of His mission. He sends His disciples out to win all nations by bringing them into a relationship with the whole deity: God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. A single Christian often sees only his local congregation, which is natural for most of us because church is home. A local congregation sees only its community what’s happening in and around Friedheim. People need to see that Christianity is a worldwide movement. In like manner, we seldom deal with the whole Trinity. We may be tempted to deal with Christ only to the neglect of Father and Spirit. It takes the whole person to bring the whole God to the whole world. Consider your mission field.

Your mission field —
1. The whole world for a whole God — v. 19. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
A. The task before us is a simple and yet an arduous undertaking the Lord has set before us. Jesus says, “Make disciples of — all nations.”
1. This is an imperative. We are to literally turn people into disciples. We want people to be more then church members but followers of Jesus; people whose lives are dependent upon Him.
2. Those who are to be disciples are “all the nations” – men, women, children, infants – all are to be included – not one is to be excluded. We are an inclusive church. All are welcome in the family of faith.
B. He tells us, “Go!”
1. Now is the day of salvation. Now is the time to “be about the Father’s business.”
2. There is no need to delay. The Savior has ascended, the Spirit has been sent. Now the church has the green light to “Go into all the world.”
C. As we go, we have Christ’s authority to witness and win the world for Christ. —v.18. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
1. This we have we have witnessed in the first half of the church year.
a. He enters time and space at Christmas.
b. he demonstrates His power by what He says and does in the Epiphany season.
c. We observe His Passion, suffering, crucifixion and death in Lent.
d. As EASTER People we respond, “Christ Is Risen – He is Risen indeed!”
2. We use Christ’s authority as the power has been given to His church. We call this the marks of the church.
a. Proclaim the Gospel – Publically from the pulpit – yet daily as you gossip the gospel.
b. Administer the Sacraments – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper –are the means by which the Savior’s grace comes to us in a physical and tangible way.
c. Forgive Sins – The most powerful person on the face of this earth is the person to forgive. When you do not forgive, you lock up the Father’s forgiveness. Therefore – Forgive! – as God in Christ has forgiven you.
D. The methods by which we make these disciples — baptizing and teaching — vv. 19, 20. …”teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
1. Baptize – This connects us to Christ. Baptism brings us to Christ.
2. Teaching – Why we maintain parochial education, why we support a Sunday school.

Transition: On this Trinity Sunday, we see the whole world for the whole God. We also have the whole God for the whole world. Jesus says, “Make disciples of all the nations.”

2. The whole God for the whole world — v. 19. ”… make disciples of all nations…”
A. God the Father — Creator. He created the entire universe in six days or ten phrases. He has given us this world to live, thrive, and serve as a witness. The planting season started out wet and was delayed, yet we know that He will preserve and keep us and has promise to meet our every need.

B. God the Son — Redeemer. He saved us, not on the basis of deed which we have done in righteousness but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. – Titus 3:5 Luther, in explanation of the 2nd Article explains it best when he tells us:
1. WHOM – I believe that Jesus Christ, true God begotten of the Father from eternity and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary is my Lord.
2. WHAT – Who has redeemed me a lost and condemned creature purchased and won me from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil.
3. HOW – Not with gold or silver but with His holy precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.
4. WHY – That I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting innocent, righteousness and blessedness. Even as He is risen from the dead lives and reigns through all eternity. This is most certainly true.

C. God the Spirit — Sanctifier. With God in your life, the Holy Spirit will sustain and give structure to your life. Notice what the Holy Spirit has done and does and will continue to do in your life.
1. CALLS – He plants the seed of faith into your heart.
2. ENLIGHTENS – He causes growth toward the light of the Gospel.
3. SANCTIFIES – He produces good works the flower and fruit of faith.
4. KEEPS – He waters and nurtures the plant of faith so that it remains ever green

Conclusion The Trinity is not some dusty out dates bland doctrine. It is our substance in life. It’s what brings us shape and meaning to our lives. As the celebrate unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity may the Lord our God; Father, Son and Spirit bless and keep you now and forever.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Trinity - Time in the Word

The Holy Triune God Recreates Us in the Image and Likeness of Christ Jesus

The Holy Triune God “created the heavens and the earth,” and “behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:1, 31). However, after Adam and Eve fell into sin and plunged God’s good creation into decay and death, the Son of God would be “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” to be “crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:23). As Jesus “received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:33), He also raises up all the baptized and pours out the Spirit upon them through the preaching of His Gospel. He sends out His Apostles to “make disciples of all nations” by “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” and “teaching them to observe all that [He has] commanded” (Matt. 28:19–20). Through such baptizing and teaching–Gospel and Sacraments–the Holy Triune God recreates us in the Image and Likeness of His incarnate Son, Jesus the Christ, and behold, it is “very good” (Gen. 1:31).

Collect for the Feast of the Holy Trinity: Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and 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.

Prayer for the Holy Spirit: Lord God, heavenly Father, let Your Holy Spirit dwell in us that He may enlighten and lead us into all truth and evermore defend us from all adversities;

Collect for grace: Almighty God, heavenly Father, Your mercies are new to us every morning and, though we in no wise deserve Your goodness, You abundantly provide for all our wants of body and soul. Give us, we humbly pray, Your Holy Spirit that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness toward us, give thanks for all Your benefits, and cheerfully serve You;

Collect for peace: O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness;

Monday, 13 June 2011Psalm 16:8–11; Antiphon, Liturgical Text—The antiphon for Sunday’s Introit is an ancient liturgical text: Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity. Let us give glory to Him because He has shown His mercy to us. The Triune God has shown His mercy to us by creating us, daily providing for all our needs, and in accomplishing our salvation by the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Our response, therefore, is to give glory to Him, and to set the LORD always before us, for He has made known to us the path of life.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011Psalm 8—This psalm of David nicely ties together the three appointed readings for Trinity Sunday. The first two verses tell how the entire creation proclaims the majesty, glory, and strength of the Lord, the Creator of all things, as testified to in the Old Testament reading. The rest of the psalm speaks of Christ, the second Adam, our Savior, of whose redemption Peter preaches in the second reading, and who commissions His Church to make disciples by baptizing and teaching about Him in the Gospel reading.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011Genesis 1:1—2:4a—The opening chapter of the Bible matter-of-factly recounts the creation of the earth, the universe, and all that is in them in seven days by God. Which person of the Trinity was responsible for the creation? All three persons! The first three verses alone proclaim this fact: The Spirit is said to be hovering over the face of the waters, while God (the Father) speaks—speaks His Word, who is the Son, as St John tells us in the opening verses of his Gospel. On the sixth day, there is further testament to the working of the Trinity, when God says, Let Us make man in Our own image, after Our likeness. Not just the Father, but the Son and the Holy Spirit as well, were involved in the work of creation, just as all three are involved in the work of salvation.

Thursday, 16 June 2011Acts 2:14a, 22–36—The second reading for the Trinity Sunday is a continuation of St Peter’s Pentecost Day sermon in Jerusalem. In this portion, Peter speaks of Jesus Christ, a man attested to you by God with mighty wonders and signs, who was crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men, but raised up from the dead because He was not just a man, but also Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. Peter quotes from Psalms 16 and 110, showing how the Old Testament testifies of Christ, and also proclaims how all three persons of the Trinity were involved in the salvation of mankind: Jesus (the Son) was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God (the Father), has been exalted at the right hand of God, and now pours out His Spirit that people might hear and believe the Good News.

Friday, 17 June 2011Matthew 28:16–20—Before His ascension to the right hand of His Father, Jesus charged His disciples with the task of making disciples of all nations. What are the tools which He has given to accomplish this task? His teaching and the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Baptism in the Name of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Which parts of His Word are important? Which of His Words are they to pass down faithfully? Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Finally, He promises always to be with us—and so He is, in Word and Sacrament, the means of grace.

Saturday, 18 June 2011—There are few hymns that are addressed to, or focus on, the Holy Spirit. Sunday’s Hymn of the Day, Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest (LSB #498), is one such hymn. It is of ancient origin, from at least the eighth century, and generally attributed to the great Frankish scholar and theologian, Rhabanus Maurus (though sometimes Gregory the Great or Charlemagne are given credit). In the Middle Ages, it was one of the best loved and most frequently used invocations of the Holy Spirit, and its singing was accompanied by the use of incense, candles, bells, and rich vestments. The last two stanzas are explicitly Trinitarian, making it ideal for Trinity Sunday: stanza six (like Luther’s explanation to the Third Article of the Creed) affirms that it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us to know the Triune God aright, and stanza seven is a doxology—a hymn of praise to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Lectionary summary on front page from LCMS Commission on Worship
Woodcut by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, © WELS
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Rojas, © Higher Things
This week's Time in the Word is written by Pr.Jeffrey M. Keuning pastor of St John Casey and Zion, Dexter IA of the Iowa West District LCMS

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pentecost - Time in the Word

The Risen Lord Jesus Pours Out the Holy Spirit

The Lord took “some of the Spirit” that was on Moses “and put it on the seventy elders” of Israel (Num. 11:25), and they “prophesied in the camp” (Num. 11:26). In the same way, our risen Lord Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit at the Feast of Pentecost—the fiftieth day and the “Eighth Sunday” of Easter. When “a sound like a mighty rushing wind” and “tongues as of fire appeared” and rested on each of the twelve Apostles, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” and proclaimed “the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:2–4, 11). The Lord Jesus grants this same Spirit to His Church on earth to proclaim Him glorified on the cross and risen victorious from the grave for us sinners. From His open heart, our crucified and risen Lord pours out His Holy Spirit in “rivers of living water” (John 7:38) and invites everyone who thirsts to come to Him and drink freely (John 7:37). Through this life-giving work of the Holy Spirit, we hear our pastors “telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:11) and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).

Collect for the Commemoration of St Barnabas (11 June): Almighty God, Your faithful servant Barnabas sought not his own renown but gave generously of his life and substance for the encouragement of the apostles and their ministry. Grant that we may follow his example in lives given to charity and the proclamation of the Gospel; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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

Collect for Pentecost Monday: 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 . . .

Monday, 6 June 2011Psalm 104:24, 27–28, 30; antiphon, Liturgical Text—On the Day of Pentecost, we focus our attention on the Holy Spirit and His rĂ´le in establishing the Christian Church. The antiphon is a portion of an ancient prayer to the Holy Spirit: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Psalm 104 is a hymn of praise celebrating the wonders of God’s creation. But it is careful to direct our attention not so much to the creation, but to the Creator. The portion of the psalm used in the Introit proclaims that the Holy Spirit, too, with the Father and the Son, was involved in the creation, especially of man, into whose nostrils God breathed the breath (Spirit) of life.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011Psalm 25:1–15—This psalm of David makes an excellent prayer for daily use. It first contrasts godly (the one who trusts in God) with the ungodly. In verses 4–11, we consider our sins, especially as contrasted with the righteousness of God, and pray for forgiveness and spiritual renewal, trusting in the mercy and steadfast love of the LORD. Verses 12–15 deal with sanctification—godly living—asking for guidance, instruction. The closing verses of the psalm, though not appointed for next week’s reading, brings the plea full circle, as, once again, we pray for deliverance from suffering and from persecution by our foes, those who are opposed to the LORD and to those faithful to the LORD.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011Numbers 11:24–30—Because the task of caring for the children of Israel was overwhelming, the Lord instructed Moses to appoint seventy men as elders to assist him. For some unknown reason, two of them, Eldad and Medad, failed to present themselves at the tabernacle for commissioning. Yet, the Spirit rested upon them, also. Some of the others thought that they should be stopped from prophesying, proclaiming the Word of the Lord. Moses exclaims, Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them! Though pastors are appointed to fulfill certain tasks in the Lord’s Church, all Christians are called upon to give witness to the hope that is in them (1 Peter 3:15) by proclaiming the Word of God, as opportunities are presented.

Thursday, 9 June 2011Acts 2:1–21—The Epistle reading for the Day of Pentecost is, as you might imagine, the account of the giving of the Holy Spirit on the first Day of Pentecost, and the establishment of the New Testament Church. This special gift was given to the disciples in the early Church for two main reasons: to testify that these men were speaking by the authority of God (for only God could grant such a gift in fulfillment of prophecy), and in order to proclaim the Word of God to people of many different tongues. Since the New Testament had not been written down yet, it also could not be translated yet. In our day, the written Word of God, the Bible, fulfills both these purposes, delivering the truth of God in a language which we can understand.

Friday, 10 June 2011John 7:37–39—Jesus foretells the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit will be fully poured out upon the Church, causing living waters to flow out from their hearts, that is, all believers will be empowered to testify to the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation which comes through Jesus Christ alone.

Saturday, 11 June 2011—The majestic Hymn of the Day, Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord (LSB #497), was written by Martin Luther. In addition to writing catechism hymns for each of the six chief parts of Christian doctrine, Luther wrote this one to help remember the third article of the Apostles’ Creed. The chief teaching of the Christian faith—the doctrine of salvation by faith rather than works—is clearly proclaimed throughout this great hymn. Sing it confidently and boldly. The Holy Spirit has brought you to faith, and by Word and Sacrament, He will continue to keep you in the one true faith.

Lectionary summary on front page from LCMS Commission on Worship
Woodcut by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, © WELS
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Rojas, © Higher Things

This week's Time in the Word is written by Pr.Jeffrey M. Keuning pastor of St John Casey and Zion, Dexter IA of the Iowa West District LCMS

Easter 7

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and eternal God, Your Son our Savior is with You in eternal glory. Give us faith to see that, true to His promise, He is among us still, and will be with us…to the end of time.”

Sometimes, people pat themselves on the back because no one else will do it. They want at least someone to acknowledge that they have done something praiseworthy.

If no praise will come they might act out just to get attention. So often we see this happen in the classroom at school. From observation and from experience we might soon discover that the "class clown" acts up because at least he is getting some sort of recognition, acknowledgment, or attention.

Do we have to act up or speak out to get God's attention? Not so. God has honored us, not because we have done something worthy, but because He has done something noteworthy for us. He has glory in the accomplishment of our salvation and we, by grace, are granted the privilege to share in His glory.

In Christ's redemptive work there is no question that "THE GLORY HOUR HAS AT LAST ARRIVED!"

[1] The glory hour has arrived for a Father whose plan is always perfect.

A. As a part of this plan God the Father gave Jesus the power to save us. Listen to verse 2 of our text for this morning: For You granted (the Son) authority over all people, that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him.

That was the Father's perfect plan from the very beginning of time to save the world through His Son Jesus. He gave His Son both the power and the authority to grant life eternal to those who are called to believe and trust in Him.

B. Our salvation was never left up to mere speculation. The Father was in directed our salvation every step of the way. He guided the process from the beginning to the time it was brought to completion. Listen to how Jesus explains this in verses 4-5 of our text for today: I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work you gave Me to do. And now, glorify me in Your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

C. What wonderful news this plan of salvation happens to be. The Father not only directed the process from beginning to end He also directed His Son to the right people, in the right way with exactly the right words to say. This is what we call "divine" or "special" revelation. The voice of Jesus when He spoke while being in the world, and now as it comes to us from the pages of the Bible speaks God's message to us.

Recall the words of verse 6 in our text today: I have revealed You to those whom You gave me out of this world. They were Yours; You gave them to Me and they have obeyed Your word.

"When Meryal Lynch speaks… people listen" How much more have we come to know and understand that when Jesus speaks His people listen. This is wonderful news for us to hear this day. As we live in a world that is quickly believing that there can no longer be any room for absolute or divine truth Jesus Christ, who is the "way the TRUTH and the life" has given us His every word of truth.

He delivered His word of truth when He said from the cross "It is finished!"

He further confirmed that Word in us when He called us by the Gospel in our baptism and today through the power of that same Word He says to you and me "I am with you always even until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:28)

Transition: The Father set His plan of saving this world into motion when His own Son Jesus Christ broke into time and space to live with and among us. As Jesus walked the face of this earth He was moving in a fixed direction to the cross. By these words spoken by our risen Savior He says to the Father that His mission has been accomplished.

[2] The Glory Hour has arrived for Jesus whose mission was accomplished.

A. To accomplish His mission Jesus gave up something. He surrendered His rightful glory in order to carry out His work. Listen as He explains all of this in verse 5 of our text for today: And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.
John in his gospel describes Jesus' leaving the glories of heaven this way "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...and we have beheld His ...full of grace and truth" [John 1 selected verses]

B. In accomplishing this mission which the Father gave to Jesus He did exactly what the Father told Him He was supposed to do.

1. The meaning of eternal life was made plain in this plan. For Him to suffer and die meant that there would be a great exchange taking place.
The Father exchanged our sin for His own Son's righteousness that we might receive all of the righteousness of God which was found in Him.

2. What does this mean for you and me? What all this means is that the people to whom Jesus was directed learned of Him and believed. We have learned of Jesus and we too believe. These words of the Savior are directed and intended for each of us. The glory hour has arrived. We have beheld the glory of Jesus and by faith, worked into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit, we too believe.

Transition: In sending His Son the Father had you in mind. He sent Jesus to accomplish His mission for you, that you might receive salvation and live. As a result this salvation is for each and every believing child of God.

[3] The Glory Hour has arrived for it is intended for those whose faith in Christ is central.

A. As a believer you are the recipient of a saving knowledge that only God could give. You know and believe in Jesus Christ because Christ, working through His Holy Spirit has brought you to a saving knowledge, faith and trust in Him.

B. As a believer you have a Savior who is also praying for your endurance in faith. Jesus says in essence in verse 11 "Father I am praying for those who will believe that they might remain strong and pure and committed no matter what circumstance might come their way." Jesus knew that there would be challenges in living the faith and remaining faithful.

That is why He went to the Father in prayer for you and continues to intercede that you might remain faithful unto death and thus receive the crown of everlasting life.

C. As a believer you now have the honor of reflecting the "oneness" which comes from knowing Christ by faith. As the Father and the Son are one so likewise in having a relationship with the Savior you are one with Christ. As the hymn writer so wonderfully reminds us "As the branch is to the vine, I am His and He is mine" [TLH #342 stanza 1]. There is a oneness, a uniqueness, a togetherness that each Christian has with the Savior and it is all made possible because the Savior prayer for you that you might remain in Him.

When Jesus was on the verge of accomplishing everything He came to do, He knew the time for glory had arrived. His Father deserved glory, He received glory. But wonder of wonders and miracle of miracles you and I as believers, as being a part of being His people we too benefit from the glory of His salvation. In Christ the "glory hour" has arrived, and He has honored us by inviting us through faith to share in it. Therefore come and receive these good things for in Christ we share in His glory.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


The Ascension of our Lord marks the ending as well as a beginning. The earthly ministry of Jesus has been accomplished. Now, as recorded in the closing words of Luke's gospel, Jesus gave final instructions to His disciples. Then He ascended on high to the position of eternal glory that he, the Son of God, had left in order to be our Redeemer. But this ending was truly a beginning. For now He would bestow power on His faithful people. This night let us consider the power for ending as well as beginning.

[1] We end and begin with the powerful Word of our Savior.

A. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Word.

1. The sweep of salvation history covers "everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms" (Luke 24:44). In Christ all things are completed.

2. Luke's gospel is a record of that fulfillment. It started with the prediction that at just the right time Christ would come into the world. Luke outlines for us how Christ finds His way all the way back to the people of promise in the genealogy of Jesus. Luke records for us Jesus' birth, his trip to the temple to be circumcised and then at the age of twelve.

We have recorded for us his life and ministry which culminated in Jesus' death and resurrection. During these past forty days we too have been witnesses of His resurrection...Luke has lead us to the conclusion that this Jesus is none other than the very Son of God, the chosen One of the Father.

B. Jesus reveals Himself as the Center of the Word.

1. In our text we are reminded that Jesus "opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (v. 45). What this simply means is that without Jesus Christ the Word becomes a mere record of ancient history. But with His revelation which comes through the Word we know Jesus to be the way the truth and the life.

2. Jesus' death and resurrection are the key that opens up the Word. In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have come to know that He holds for us the key which opens the gate which leads to eternal life.

C. This fulfilled, Christ-centered Word must be proclaimed in the world.

1. The proclamation is repentance and forgiveness in Jesus' Holy Name.

2. It is proclaimed to all people and all nations for God desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Transition: Scripture's purpose is not a dead end. It is a new beginning, for it has power through this proclamation of Jesus' suffering, death, resurrection and ascension to bring repentance, forgiveness and life to all who believe. This is the new beginnings which Christ brings to us this day.

[2] We end and begin with the power of the Holy Spirit.

A. We are called to be His witnesses.

1. We witness to what the disciples had seen in Christ. In spirit we were there as Jesus suffered, was crucified, died and was buried. We too have seen His resurrected from the dead.

2. He too have witnessed to what we by faith have seen ourselves. The resurrection of Jesus Christ has the power to change lives. Every person who passed by the open tomb of the resurrected Christ had their lives changed. Before the resurrection they were fearful and doubting. But after the resurrection their lives were changed as the witnessed Jesus alive from the dead.

B. But wait! The Power will come!

1. On the day of Pentecost the Savior would "clothe" the disciples with the power of the Holy Spirit. Having received power from on high they began in Jerusalem and were His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the rest of the world.

2. We too, begin by the power of the Spirit to witness to Jesus Christ. As we have received the power of the spirit in baptism we go out into the world witnessing of what Christ has done for us in our lives as well.

Transition: A witness is one who cannot but speak and live the endings and beginnings that God, by grace, has bestowed upon His people. As we begin, we receive the living Christ.

[3] We end and begin under Christ's powerful blessing.

A. The ending point of Jesus' earthly ministry was His glorious Ascension.

1. Jesus ascended to heaven to receive all glory and honor from God the Father.

2. He ascended to bless His Christ as its living, present Head as He comes to us, His children through Word and Sacrament.

B. We are blessed with joy.

1. The disciples did not mourn Jesus' leaving; the rejoiced for they knew that He was returning back to the Father.

2. This is far different from Memorial Day sadness and helplessness when we remember those who are no more. Christ continues to be alive and with us. We might not see Him but He remains with us. As He has promised "Lo, I am with you always, even 'till the end of the age" (Matthew 28:28)

3. He who rose is with us this night. He will return at His second Advent to take us to be where He now lives and rules at the right hand of the Father.

So, filled with joy, the disciples waited and "were continually in the temple" (v. 53). We too await the Lord's return not with sadness but with joy, not in weakness but in His power and strength. The ascension is the ending that brought new beginnings. It is power like that of our baptism. Our earthly lives will end one day but will also begin again with joy our entrance into life eternal.