Showing posts from August, 2012

All Things are Now Ready

In Jesus’ parable of the Great Banquet, the servant is sent out to gather the invited guests saying, “Come for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17 KJV). Over the years I have heard various pastors invite their members to communion by saying, “Come, for all things are now ready.” It is with those same words that you are invited to partake of the banquet feast of the Lord’s Supper – Every Sunday – “Come, for all things are now ready.”
This summer we have studied the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper in our Sunday morning Bible classes. Since May we have been reading articles on the Lord’s Supper in our congregation’s monthly newsletter – The Flash. We have discussed having Every Sunday Communion in our Worship Committee, on the Church Council and in a Voters meeting. I have had many members talk to me about their excitement at being able to receive the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. All things are now ready.
Let’s review. Why are we offering Holy Communion so often? The answer is simple. The L…

Seven Benefits of a Gift Annuity

If you would like to support EpiphanyLutheranChurch while ensuring you still have a source of income, there’s rarely been a better time to obtain a charitable gift annuity through WELS Foundation. Low interest rates and roller coaster markets are causing people to think twice about their financial decisions, and to consider the seven benefits of a gift annuity:

1.Attractive Rates. When you compare our gift annuity rates with what you might receive from a certificate of deposit you will likely be pleasantly surprised. Note that rates are slightly lower when the annuity is for two persons. WELS Foundation uses the rates recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities.
2.Regular Payments. When you establish your gift annuity, you receive your payments regularly on a specific, predetermined date, which is comforting and also helpful for planning purposes.
3.Fixed Income. Your payment rate will be locked in at the time you obtain your gift annuity. It will not rise or fall with the econ…

The Bread of Life that overcomes spiritual eating disorders

John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."
Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders where a person is …

Enough For The Job

So all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work 5 and said to Moses, "The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done." 6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: "No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary." And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. 8 All the skilled men among the workmen made the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman. (Exodus 36:4-8)

Have you ever heard someone say, “The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys?”
The Porsche car company is hoping that expression is correct. You see, Porsche has a new sports car prototype that not only has impressive performance, but it also achieves excellent fuel e…

What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

What is the Sacrament of the Altar? It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink. (The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of the Altar)
Do you jump out of bed on Sunday morning because there's another chance to eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus? Or is the Sacrament just one more thing to blow off when you've got other more important things to do? The Small Catechism reminds us that the Sacrament of the Altar is given to us Christians to eat and drink. That means that if we're Christians, we'll eat and drink it.
Some people let weeks, months or even years pass without receiving the Lord's Supper. Martin Luther had some pretty strong words on that subject in his Large Catechism on the Sacrament of the Altar: “It must be known that people who deprive themselves of and withdraw from the Sacrament for such a long time are not to be considered Christians. For Christ…

Take It For Granted

The wife says to her husband, “Don’t take me for granted.” The doctor says to his patient, “If you take your health for granted, you’re going to lose it!” We consider taking something for granted a bad thing. It often means we don’t care about what we have. We don’t appreciate what it costs to have it. We don’t take care of it because we don’t think it’s worth that much. However, we should take some things for granted. We should take God’s love for granted. We should take Jesus for granted. We should take our faith for granted. We should take forgiveness for granted. We should take heaven for granted. We should take God’s Word for granted. We should take the Lord’s Supper for granted. We should take our church for granted. We should take all our physical blessings for granted.
What do I mean by that? Should we despise all that God gives us? No. Should we fail to appreciate God’s love, salvation and blessings? No. Should we stop caring about Jesus? No.
But yet, we should take everything G…

The Lord who provides all we need

John 6:1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Feast was near. 5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" 10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about fiv…

Walther on Bearing the Burden of Pure Doctrine

We had a very good discussion on Sunday about the biblical doctrine of fellowship and closed communion. I explained that all doctrines are important. There isn't one doctrine that is more or less important than the others. We are blessed in the Wisconsin Synod with God entrusting the purity of doctrine to us - both to protect and to share.
Here is something I found from C.F.W. Walther on Bearing the Burden of Pure Doctrine:
The tasks of a pastor of Jesus Christ are many, difficult, and demanding. The most difficult and demanding task of all – beyond question – is the task of proclaiming the pure doctrine of the Gospel of Christ and at the same time exposing, refuting, and rejecting teachings that are contrary to the Gospel. A pastor who does this will discover by experience the truth of the old saying: “Telling the truth makes enemies” (Latin: Veritas odium parit)….
Worldly people and all false Christians cannot help but attack those who teach a faith and doctrine different from the…

Encouraging Signs in Congregational Mission Offerings

In the first six months of 2012, the offerings sent by congregations for the work we do together as a synod are running nearly 5 percent ahead of the previous year, even though congregational commitment for 2012 showed a slight decrease from the previous year. During that same time period, the offerings from 11 of the 12 districts have exceeded the amounts that had been projected. Overall, gifts to the synod are 10 percent above what was committed for that time period. We thank God for this amazing blessing. It’s not clear whether congregations are sending their gifts earlier than in the past or whether this represents a trend that will continue through the rest of the year. In either case, we recognize the results as a real blessing from God, especially in these difficult economic times. We pray, of course, that the members of our synod will be encouraged by these results and continue to bring their offerings joyfully and generously. Congregation Mission Offerings (CMO) are the way tha…