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Showing posts from October, 2015

Happy Reformation Day

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“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:22
There are holidays that people celebrate without knowing what their celebrating. Christmas, is a good example. Christmas is about God coming to His people as our Savior Christ the Lord. This is great news, as the angel said, “I bring you good news of great joy for all people!” Even so, many rob themselves of this great joy, for a lesser feeling of vague warm fuzzies, warm fuzzies that dissolve at their first contact with the real world.
Easter is another example. Easter is about God’s triumph over death, a triumph that is for you and I, and for everyone who puts their hope in Jesus Christ. Yet, for some, it’s all about the chocolate. Hey, chocolate great, but it’s chump change compared to Forever.
There are other holidays however, which retain their meaning. These special days have a small but happy following. Their meanings have kept the power and spark. They call their celebrants up to g…

Martin Luther - the angel with the gospel

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When Martin Luther died, Pastor Johann Bugenhagen preached his funeral sermon.  Although he cited many texts concerning the resurrection of the dead, he also included this commentary on Revelation 14:6-8:
“For Dr. Martin Luther was without doubt the angel written about in Revelation 14, who flew through the midst of heaven and had an eternal Gospel, etc., as the text says:  ‘Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’  A second angel followed and said, ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.’“This angel who says, ‘Fear God and give him glory,’ was Dr. Martin Luther. And what is written here, ‘Fear God and give him glory,’ are t…

Worship Helps for End Times 1 - Reformation

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Artwork: The preaching of Martin Luther Artist: Lucas Cranach the Elder
Worship Theme: On Reformation Sunday we give thanks to God for his rescue from hell, rescue that comes by his grace alone. We thank him for the faith he gives us to trust his promise. We thank God for his errorless word, the Bible, which gives and strengthens that faith. At the same time we understand that we can fall away from that grace by unbelief. We recognize that Satan, society and our sinful self will daily challenge our faith. Therefore let us never stray from God’s life-giving word.
Old Testament:Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set …

Christian Worldview

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One of the purposes of our weekly sermons is helping people to develop their Christian worldview.  There is always the temptation to look at things simply from a human point of view.  When we look at the world in view of the gospel of forgiveness of sins through faith alone in Jesus, it changes how we view most things.Our congregations pay some workers, but when they speak the gospel on our behalf, we refer to them as called rather than hired.  They have some similarities to hired people, with salaries and benefits, but the importance of the message they speak makes us treat them differently.The gospel also makes called workers look at things differently from the way the world does.  They do not make use of all of the rights that workers have in our country.  Lutheran teachers think that calling students to repentance and assuring them of forgiveness is the most important thing they do in the classroom.  That’s different from how the world views the role of teachers.  Pastors ask them…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 22

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Artwork: Jesus Meeting Mother of James and John
Worship Theme: “I am the greatest,” shouted Muhammad Ali after one of his more famous boxing victories. “I am,” he later added, “the greatest heavy weight of all time.” How would you define greatness? Is it power? Wealth? Fame? In our readings for this Lord’s Day, the Greatest who ever lived, he who died for us all and rose again, shows us that true greatness comes through humble service.
Old Testament:2 Chronicles 26:16-23 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. 18 They confronted him and said, "It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you wil…

The love of the Lord in the Law

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Mark 10:17-27 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-- except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'" 20 "Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22 At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But J…

Marriage, God’s Way

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Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- 30 for we are members of his body. 31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will beco…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 21

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Artwork: The rich young man went away sorrowful Artist: James Tissot
Worship Theme: Next to the attachment to hearth and home, a person’s chief attachment is to his purse. So it is not out of order to consider what God has to say about his gifts of wealth and to let him put those gifts in a proper context for us.
Old Testament:2 Kings 5:14-27 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. 15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant." 16 The prophet answered, "As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing." And even though Naaman urged him, he refused. 17 "If you will not," said Naaman, "please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mule…