Sunday, June 29, 2014

Time in the Word - Proper 9

Peace for the world
Proper 9
June 30 – July 5, 2014

Peace (rest) is the obvious theme for the coming week. Zechariah tells of the king of peace coming to Israel; the passage is often used on Palm Sunday.  This promise is fulfilled by the Messiah – Jesus – who invites the burdened to Himself where they will find rest for their souls. In the Epistle lesson Paul dramatically describes his inner conflict and its resolution in Christ the Deliverer. This theme of peace is carried forward in the Prayers of the Day with references to God as the source of peace and to us as being peacemakers. The Psalm mentions the King and thus refers to the Old Testament lesson. The Hymn of the week is related to the Gospel lesson

Collect for Proper 9 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.

Monday, June 30, 2014 – Psalm 91:1-10 - This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 Zechariah 9:9-12 – Peace for the nations.  Jerusalem has promised that her king is coming to bring peace to the nations. Rejoice (v. 9). What is there to rejoice about? Can we rejoice over the shortage of energy, the arms race, the pollution of the earth, the racial unrest, and political corruption? God gives Israel reason to rejoice — a world ruler is coming in peace for the peace of the world. If we could have world peace, a world government of justice, a ruler of compassion, we would have reason to shout with joy. Has this King not come in Jesus? Christians should be a celebrating people.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014Romans 7:14-25a – Peace for the individual.  Christ delivers Paul from the raging war between the carnal and spiritual selves. A Christian has a dual nature: a carnal and spiritual nature that are in conflict with each other. It results in one’s doing what one does not want to do and vice versa. This struggle between good and evil continues to the point where one exclaims, “Wretched man that I am.” It is not a matter of a good higher nature and a lower evil nature. The whole person is in need of redemption, not only the lower self. The only solution is the redemption of the whole body of Christ from the body of death. For this Paul gives thanks.

Deliverance (v. 24). If a Christian has not only a dual but a duel nature, the conflict that persists leads to despair of self. The victim of this civil war cries out in despair, “Wretched man that I am!” Is there no end, no way out? Paul found the solution in Christ for whom he gives thanks for the deliverance. Christ is our peace who brings together the two warring selves into one integrated, harmonious person.

Thursday, July 3, 2014Matthew 11:25-30 – Peace for the followers of Christ. They who put on the yoke of Christ will receive rest for their souls. This pericope is in sharp contrast to Jesus’ earlier teachings about the price of discipleship and to his harsh warnings to cities that rejected him. The passage is warm, intimate, and consoling. He thanks the Father for revealing the truth to his “babes,” his simple unlearned disciples. His reference to God as Father indicates his unity with his Father whom alone knows him and whom he knows alone. Though tough demands are made on the disciples, Jesus promises rest to those heavily burdened if they will take his yoke upon them, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

A new religion (vv. 28-30). Jesus invites us to leave an old religion for a new one, His religion. It is not a religion of Jesus but about Jesus. His religion gives rest from a religion of law, duty, and obligation — a religion of works to be saved. As the object of our worship, He is gentle and humble. Our commitment to him is easy and light because our service to Him is voluntary (“Come”). His yoke is “easy,” because it fits us perfectly. This should save our religion from being a bore or a burden. Instead, the Christian religion is one of joy.

Friday, July 4, 2014 – Psalm 145:1-5 – This Psalm is suggested for next Sunday. The key verse “I will extol thee, my God and my King” (v. 1a).

Saturday, July 5, 2014 –John 6:35 – This passage is the inspiration for the hymn “I heard the Voice of Jesus say.” {LSB 752}.

LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN WORSHIP © 1989 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Proper 8

Proper 8
Matthew 10:37-39
29 June 2014

O God, because You have prepared for those who love You such good things as surpass our understanding, pour into our hearts such love towards You that we, loving Your above all things, may obtain Your promises, which exceed all that wed can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

  And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. ESV

Many want to rise with Christ without first dying. The price of life with Christ is death to self. Conflict will come when Christ is your first love. When there is competing loves there will be conflict. The way of Christ is not easy. It is the way of the cross, a way of self-sacrifice.

1.       What constitutes worthiness?
A.      There is nothing wrong with loving father, mother, son or daughter per se. It is even commanded. Martin Luther would remind us, “We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.[1]  Jesus was obedient to Joseph even though he was not His biological father. He remained subject to Mary, His mother. Jonathan however disobeyed his father Saul in order to spare David’s life. He obeyed God rather than man. [2]

B.      The question Jesus asks is simple. Do you love them, “more than me?”  It’s a question of priority. Other loyalties must be defined. Who shall come first in your life? Whom do you love the best? Does Jesus come before spouse, child, or parent? Before your vocation, your hobbies, your sports team? Which is of a higher priority? Your position in the company pyramid or your status before your Savior?  Jesus demands that He come first. Even ahead of family. If members of the family do not share in this devotion to Christ, there is trouble in the home. In this case, Christ may become the cause of family dissension. Since Jesus is Lord, He cannot take second place to any other person. To be worthy of Christ, we must put Him first. And for some of you – that’s a huge burden! It’s a heavy cross!  Because the person you’re sleeping with, became angry. At you. This morning. Because you chose to go to church! And they don’t like it!  Brothers. Sisters. Are you willing to pray for that one? Who bears a cross alone? No one! Have compassion! Stand next to them. Listen to their need. Be a friend.

2.       Take up the cross.
A.      The pattern of Christ’s suffering is the outline of ministry. Found in the words of John the Baptizer. “He must increase while I must decrease.” [3]

In her book “Generation Me” author Jean Twenge put it this way, “In many ways, there’s no better time to be alive than right now. Think of all the advantages we have that earlier generations did not: television, cell phones, better medical care, computers, more education, less physical labor, the freedom to make our own choices, the ability to move to a more desirable city. These last two, however, begin to hint at the underlying problem. Our growing tendency to put the self-first leads to unparalleled freedom, but it also creates an enormous amount of pressure on us to stand alone.”[4]

B.        It really isn’t about you. It’s always about Jesus.  All too often, we forget that the invisible God is working things out according to His purpose. Not yours. God is free to do as He pleases. He owes no one anything. And yet… And yet, He chose to redeem you. He chose to send Jesus into our world. Into time and space. To become your substitute. To live a perfect life. For you. To bear your sin. To die your death. To rise again. To make you His own. And place His Spirit inside of you. To endow your with gifts. So you can be a sermon in shoes. So you can be His witness in this generation.

C.      This tells us that grace alone will make and keep you with Jesus. Your status in this life is not dependent on what you do. It is decided by whose you are. You are in Christ. Therefore, you can choose to do anything you want in this life. You are free. You are free to be anything you want. You can be a butcher, a baker, a candle maker. You are free to be cop a teacher or a farmer. You are free to be a line cook at a greasy spoon or a garbage man. You are free to be a truck driver, a plastic surgeon or stay at home mom.  “Whatever your hand finds it to do…do it with all your might.”[5]  “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord.” [6]Remember the Service Master cleaning service. In all you do - you are rendering service to the Master. What you do is a reflection of who you are.  

3.       Find life or lose it.
A.      Life, psyche, is the life principle. It refers to temporal life and what supports it. To lose that life in contrition and faith is the find eternal life. In other words, the life, which is lived on earth; a life that is lived in Christ, becomes a blessed life, which leads to life in the eternal kingdom of God.

B.      This again points to grace. Nothing in us but Christ’s enabling power toward us. He is your life source. It’s not purpose drive rather it is Spirit lead. Your life is not your own. Your life is rooted in Jesus. Your life has a purpose because, and only because, you are in Christ.  “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.[7] Paul reminds us, everything he has tried to be, everything he was, and everything he looked forward to pointed to Christ. From the time of his conversion until his martyrdom, every move he made was aimed at advancing the knowledge, gospel, and cause of Christ.

Life is something we cannot preserve. It cannot be placed in a museum. For safekeeping. And preservation. By its very nature, life must be given away. Each person must decide how he shall spend it. You can lose your life by wasting it on secondary causes.

Or, you can invest your life in the cause of Christ. The one who invests his life takes up his cross and follows Jesus in willing and humble service. Godspeed Jesus follower. Fare thee well, in this, your journey of faith.

1,191 Words
4% Passive Sentences
85.5% Reading Ease
3.8 Reading Level

[1] Explanation to the 4th Commandment pg. 321 Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] – 1 Samuel 20:31-33
[3] – John 3:30
[4] Generation Me by Jean Twenge, PhD © 2006 Simon & Schuster
[5]  –Ecclesiastes 9:10
[6] – Colossians 3:17
[7] - Philippians 1:21

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Time in the Word Proper 8

Time in the Word
The Price of Being a Christian
Proper 8
June 23-28, 2014

Today’s lessons are uncomfortable. They give a side to the Gospel we often neglect. In the Gospel lesson, Jesus says He came to bring a sword and not peace, because a conflict naturally results when one makes Christ his first love. This produces a conflict with competing loves. The way of Christ is not easy; it is the way of the cross, a way of self-sacrifice and hardship. The Old Testament points out that the truth is not always peace but war. The truth hurts because it is often negative and judgmental.  Christians are called to be salt and light in this world. The role of a Christian in this world is that of a true prophet: “O thou troubler of Israel” and “Host thou fond me, O my enemy?”

Collect for Proper 8 O Almighty God, by the working of Your Holy Spirit grant that we may gladly hear Your Word proclaimed among us and follow it’s directing; through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Monday, June 23, 2014 – Psalm 89:15-18 - This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 1, I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known You faithfulness to all generations.”  The love and faithfulness that appear here will be repeated fourteen times throughout the course of this Psalm. We trust in the mercies of our Lord because of His love and faithfulness. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 Jeremiah 28:5-9 – A true prophet is one whose message is fulfilled. One day two preachers were speaking in the temple. They contradicted each other and yet both claimed to be prophets. Whom were the people to believe? One says God will send peace; the other promises the way. Jeremiah gives the acid test: the true prophet is one whose preaching comes true. So, we have to wait and see who is right.

Here we find God’s bad news (verses 5-8).  Most think God has only good news for us. According to this lesson, God has both good and bad news. For the rebellious and disobedient there is bad news – judgment, war, famine, and death. King Ahab referred to Elijah as “you troubler of Israel,” and “my enemy.”  Micah had bad news of defeat for the kings about to go to war. To say peace because people want to hear it is to be faithless to God who brings judgment upon a sinful people.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014Romans 7:1-13 – Paul warns Christians not to back into our former way of living. As far as Christians are concerned, a life “controlled by the sinful nature” belongs to our past. The law not only reveals sin, it also stimulates it. The natural tendency in man is to desire the forbidden thing – death. Physical death and beyond that, eternal death - final separation from God – are the fruit of our “union” with the law.

Thursday, June 26, 2014Matthew 10:34-42 Jesus calls upon his disciples to love him above all others. Matthew continues in this lesson with the price of discipleship. In verses 34-36, Jesus declares that His coming will cause dissension in families because disciples will love Him more than any member of the family. In verses 37-39, Jesus calls upon His disciples to take up the cross and to lose themselves in His cause. To those who do this, Jesus promises rewards (verses 40-42). In this passage, we have the cost and reward of discipleship.

There are many rewards — reward of a prophet, or a righteous man, of a spokesperson and ambassador of Christ. “He who receives you receives me.” To accept a follower of Christ is to accept Jesus; to help a disciple is to help Christ. To reject a disciple is to reject Christ. What a high honor to be a surrogate of Christ!

Friday, June 27, 2014 – Psalm 119:153-160 – This Psalm is suggested for next Sunday. It falls under the Hebrew letter “Resh” It is a psalm and prayer of deliverance. “See how I love your precepts; preserve my life…
Saturday, June 28, 2014 –John 11:16 – This passage is the inspiration for the hymn “Let us ever walk with Jesus” {LSB 685}. Thomas is ready to suffer all, even death, for the sake of Christ. Such commitment is necessary yet impossible without faith in Christ. Our prayer: Lord increase my faith!  

LUTHERAN SERVICE BOOK LECTIONARY © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Proper 7

Proper 7
Matthew 10:21-33
22 June 2014
Fear that chases away fear

O Lord, whose gracious presence never fails to guide and govern those whom You have nurtured in Your steadfast love and worship, make us ever love and adore Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who livers and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Fear. What is it?  FEAR is "False Evidence Appearing Real". And Courage?  Courage is fear that has said its prayers.    In most marriages, there is the need for both the nerd and the free spirit. The Free Spirit will jump without thinking, The Nerd is always thinking, always double-checking, always asking questions. “And then what?” “And what if that doesn’t work?’ “Have you ever considered this happening?” “Or that happening?”  

There is much for us to fear these days. Farmers got a late start planting this spring. Now we wait as crops mature and grow. But how about the weather? You cannot control it. And then the markets. You cannot control them either. Whether it’s the student starting out for the first time to new ventures or the couple contemplating the next phase of their lives the future can be a little bit scary, a lot more scary - a combination of frightening and alarming.   

Some of our fears are legitimate and justified. You can fret and worry about your family, your health, your employment, your future. Other times, our fears are unreasonable. Paranoid.  Irrational. Uncalled-for. Fear can make us feel powerless. You can talk all you want about the futility of fear. It does not make fear go away.

Your feelings are sometimes deeper that any rational arguments. So how do we deal with this emotion of fear? Faith that deals with this basic feeling is the cure for fear.  Address your fears. But trust also in Christ. It is faith that conquers fear. Faith conquers fear because…

1.            Faith is certain we shall overcome – Fear God and you lose the fear of judgment for sin. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant[a] above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. Vv. 24-25  

Pain, prison, and death are not the greater dangers after all. But fear, and disobedience and conformity to this age are the great dangers. Jesus loves you so much He was willing to suffer for you, that you might have faith to suffer with Him.

When He suffered for you, He gave what you needed to suffer with Him. He gave you forgiveness for your sins. "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Matthew 26:28 Your guilt before God is gone. God is on your side as long as you are trusting Jesus. And, since God is on your side, what can man do to you? Jesus has loved to suffer for you, that you might have faith to suffer with Him.

2.            Faith in God rather than in man – Fear God and the lesser fear of people disappears. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  v. 28 Trust not in princes they are but mortal. Do not conform your life to the appeasement of those who may threaten you. What’s the worse they could do to you?  

Even in a worse case scenario, if you die at the hands of men, it will be only a temporary death. If God kills a man, it will be for eternity. May we have the strength of faith when Peter and the others apostles said in Acts 5:29: “We must obey God rather than men!

3.            Faith in God’s care for us – Fear God and you lose the fear of failure. People may ask. “What if I fail?” “What if it all goes wrong?” What if it doesn’t work?” The Father loves you. He’s concerned for you. He’s by your side. He’s in your corner. He’s got you back.

He took the lead. He sent Jesus to the cross. To be you substitute.  He lived a perfect life. For you. He suffered and died at the cruel and bloody cross. For you. He broke down the door of death. He ascended into heaven. He prepares a place for you. He is with you at this very moment. In His Word. In His Sacraments. To strengthen and preserve you.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Vv.29-31

The Father loves you. You are His. He sustains, directs, supports you. He leads you through troubled waters. He points you to His promises, which will calm your fears and turn your anxieties and suspicions into a quiet confidence. It is well with your soul when Jesus guides and leads you.

So trust in His timing. Rely on His promises. Wait for His answers. Believe in His miracles. Rejoice in His goodness. Relax in His presence. Come near to Jesus and He will come near to you.  James 4:8

If we take these words of Jesus seriously, we have to come to this conclusion; your heavenly Father is completely fascinated with you. He’s taken the time to count the number of hair on your head. Who else would do something than that other then He who is in love with you! So be rational with you fear. 

Fear cannot be totally eradicated. It cannot be stripped from the human psyche. Fear is a part of our make-up. It’s a question of what and whom do you fear. Trust Christ not man. When Christ is feared, all other fear disappears.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Time in the Word - Proper 7

Time in the Word
Freedom from Fear
Proper 7
June 16-21, 2014

The theme, “Freedom from Fear,” is prominent in the Gospel where Jesus says three times, “Fear not.” Jeremiah, in the Old Testament lesson experiences fear, though it is not specifically stated, of his enemies and is delivered from them by his trust in God. Because of sin, there is death which we instinctively fear and from which we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. The Prayer of the Day speaks of fear which is driven away when we “live secure and content in the Father’s eternal love. The suggested hymn of the day calls for a faith that will not disappear when oppression comes. It does not fear in general but the Christian’s fear of his/her enemies. 

Collect for Proper 6 O God, because Your abiding presence always goes with us, keep us aware of your daily mercies that we may live secure and content in Your eternal love; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God now and forever. Amen

Monday, June 16, 2014 – Psalm 56:3-4; 10-11 - This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 13, “For You have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”  David reminds us to make a confession of trust in the face of fear.  The confession is renewed throughout the Psalm but especially in the appointed verses for next Sunday. Especially when we face great difficulty, the Lord asks us to cling to His words and promises.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 Jeremiah 20:7-12 – Jeremiah trusts God to deliver him from those who oppose his preaching.  Here is one who wants to quit but cannot. He decides not to preach but he finds himself driven to keep going. It is like a fire in his bones that must be expressed or explode! He is driven by an inner voice. The love of Christ, faith of God, the sense of obedience, impels, and compels one to witness regardless of popular acceptance.  Faith overcomes fear. In the midst of persecution, Jeremiah puts his trust in God’s deliverance from his enemies. He was sure God would vindicate him and his oppressors would be eliminated. His trust was justified, for when he was released from the dungeon, Jeremiah exulted, “Praise the Lord!” (v. 13).

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 Romans 6:12-23 – In these verses, Paul explains what it means to be dead to sin (vv. 5-7) and alive to God (vv. 8-10).  Our victory over sin is refusal to let sin reign in one’s life (v. 12).  We do this as we offer ourselves to God Himself to be witnesses of His mercy and grace in this world. Hence the prayer for us to be mindful of our Christian vocation in this world.

Thursday, June 19, 2014Matthew 10:5a, 21-33 – The Disciples need not fear their enemies. Though the world may persecute Christ’s followers, the Father knows and cares for His people. Jesus has called His disciples and sends them out to preach and heal. As he was persecuted, his disciples could expect no less.

They are not to fear those who can kill only the body. It is better to fear God who can kill body and soul. In spite of their hardship, the heavenly Father knows them as intimately as knowing the number of hairs on their heads and cares for them as he cares for even “worthless” birds. As they are faithful in their witness to God, He will be faithful to them.

Friday, June 20, 2014 – Psalm 91:1-10 – This Psalm is suggested for next Sunday. The mention of terror or “threat” is reference to an attack by one’s enemies. Thus it is paired with “arrows.”  These two references to threats from war are arrayed alongside “pestilence” and “plague” (v. 6), two references to mortal diseases that often reached epidemic proportions. “night…day,” at whatever time of day or night the threat may come, you will be kept safe. The time references are not specific to their respective phrases.  
Saturday, June 21, 2014 – Psalm 79:9 – This passage is the inspiration for the hymn “Lord of our life and God of our salvation.” {LSB 725}.  Taken from a prayer for God to heal and forgive His people and to redress the violent acts of their enemies. When we are attacked by slander, persecution, and the temptations of the devil, our world, and our own sinful self, we turn to Him who is our safe refuge, the Rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ the righteousness one.  

LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK LECTIONARY © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO


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

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Triniity Sunday

15 June 2014
Matthew 28:16-20
The Whole God for the Whole World!

Lighten Thou our darkness. Be Thyself our Light; Strengthen Thou our weakness, Sprit of all might. In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.[1]

In the Great Commission, Jesus takes a world-view of His mission. He sends His disciples out to win all nations by bringing them into a relationship with the whole God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

A single Christian will often see only his congregation. A local congregation sees only its community. People need to see that Christianity is a worldwide movement. In like manner, we seldom deal with the whole Trinity. Usually we deal with Christ. Sometimes, to the neglect of Father and Spirit. It takes the whole person - to bring the whole God - to the whole world. Today we consider - The whole God for the whole world.

The wholeness of our religion —

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 the Lord has given us — making disciples of “all the nations.”  This is not an option. It is a divine mandate. These are our marching orders. We are in the disciple making business. The Lord directs us to reach out into the world. 

B.        Authority to win the world — v. 18, “Then Jesus came to them and said, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”  This authority comes from the Savior Himself. The Father gave it to Him. His Father has given Jesus who lives and rules over heaven and earth authority. By His authority, we go out into the world. We do not go it alone. He leads.  We follow.  We speak and move and act under His authority.

C.    The methods the Lord has given us are two — baptizing and teaching — vv. 19, 20. “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

1.    Baptism.  We witnessed countless baptisms in this room. Baptism brings us into the family. It is our entrance into the Kingdom of heaven. It connects us to the Father. And to each other.

2.    Teaching.  One of the chief reasons of having a Christian Day School such as Wyneken. We are obligated to teach the word as we connect our children to the living Word in Baptism.  Such tasks are not always easy. It takes commitment and sacrifice.  It involving ourselves in teaching is not always comfortable – yet the Lord bids us “feed My sheep; shepherd My lambs[2] and again He tells us, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these you have done it unto Me.” [3]  

The wholeness of our religion involves the whole world for the whole God. WE also find the whole God for the whole world.

2. The whole God for the whole world — 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,”

[See PP. 322 - 323 of the Lutheran Service Book – a winsome way to witness] 

A.    God the FatherHe is the Almighty God our Creator. The entire vast universe was spoken into existence by our creator in six days – or shorter yet – ten phrases. All that we have comes from His sustaining and guiding hand.

Notice how Luther explains it in the His explanation of the 1st Article.

I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.

He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.

He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil.  All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this, it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true.

B.         God the SonHe is the Almighty God our Redeemer. Listen again to Luther’s explanation of the 2nd Article as we answer the questions of WHO, WHAT, HOW & WHY…

WHO IS THIS?  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

WHAT HAS HE DONE? Who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil;  

HOW DOES HE DO THIS? Not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death,

WHY DID HE DO THIS? That I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.

C.        God the SpiritHe is the Almighty God our Sanctifier. The explanation of the 3rd Article tells the story of your salvation.  What does this mean?

 I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.

In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

 In this Christian church, He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers.

On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

This is most certainly true.

The whole God for the whole world. This is the Lord’s program for His creation. It is His worldview.  His mission.  His work. He sends His disciples out to win all nations by bringing them into a relationship with the whole God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Whom does He send? He sends you! This is my Father’s world.  Christian, this is your mission field!
1,183 - Words
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[1] Holy Spirit, Hear Us stanza 5 The Lutheran Hymnal © 1942 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, MO

[2] John 21:15-17
[3] Matthew 25:40