Showing posts from August, 2018

The Counter-Culturalism of Christianity

Hebrews 11:24–28 24 By faith Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter when he grew up. 25 He chose to be mistreated with God’s people rather than enjoy sin for a little while. 26 He considered disgrace for the sake of Christ as greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt without fearing the king’s wrath, because he persevered as one who sees him who is invisible. 28 By faith he celebrated the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not strike them down. The 1960s were a period when long-held values and morality seemed to break down, particularly among the adolescents and young adults. Many college-age men and women pushed back against the perceived “Establishment” of previous generations. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and antiwar protests were badges of belonging. Radicals and hippies urged people to kick down “Victorian” and “Puritanical” restraint

Worship Helps for Pentecost 15

Title: The Pharisees Question Jesus Artist: James Tissot Worship Theme: Faithfulness and obedience to the Word of the Lord are not only logical consequences of faith but necessary fruits that grow in and from hearts redeemed and renewed by the gospel. The readings for this Sunday emphasize with equal force that the basis of all faithfulness must be the Word of God and that all God-pleasing obedience must begin in the heart. Old Testament: Deuteronomy 4:1–2, 6-9 So now, Israel, listen to the statutes and the ordinances that I am teaching you, and carry them out so that you may live and so that you may enter the land that the Lord , the God of your fathers, is giving to you and take possession of it. 2 Do not add to the word that I am commanding you, and do not subtract from it, so that you keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you. 6 Keep them and put them into practice, because in this way your wisdom and your understanding will be recogni

Funeral sermon for Faith Kionka

Psalm 116:15   Precious in the eyes of the  Lord  is the death of his saints. Faith loved the Green Bay Packers. But, since she lived in New Orleans, she also loved the New Orleans Saints. The Packers received their team name because the uniforms and equipment were sponsored by the Indian Packing Company. Indian Packing was purchased in 1920 by the Acme Packing Company which put Acme Packers on the jerseys of the Green Bay players. The New Orleans Saints is an allusion to November 1 being All Saints Day in Catholic and Lutheran history. New Orleans has a large Catholic population, and the spiritual “When the Saints Go Marching In” is strongly associated with New Orleans and is often sung by fans at games. Faith may not have ever been a Packer, but she was a saint for 82 years. Not a New Orleans Saint, but a Christian saint. Being a saint isn’t about being a really good person. It’s about being perfect. It’s about being holy. In fact, the biblical words “saint” is actual

Living in evil days

Ephesians 5:15–20 Consider carefully, then, how you walk, not as unwise people, but as wise people. 16 Make the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 For this reason, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk on wine, which causes you to lose control. Instead, be filled with the Spirit 19 by speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (singing and making music with your hearts to the Lord), 20 by always giving thanks for everything to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The statistics don’t look good. Pastor Jon Hein, who works in our Synod office compiled a comprehensive demographic study of the WELS and other Christian denominations. The study reveals that if the downward trends continue in the WELS, in the next two decades, we will lose approximately 106,000 members. That’s a 29% decline in membership across the Synod. The Missouri Synod (LC-MS) loses a higher percentage of its

Worship Helps for Pentecost 14

Art: Moses and Aaron meet Pharaoh Artist: Robert Leinweber Worship Theme: God’s Word is not always easy to believe. There are some difficult words that we run up against as we read through our Bible, ideas that seem so contrary to our “modern way of thinking.” We shouldn’t think, however, that these words were any easier to believe back in Bible times. They weren’t. God’s people have always been faced with the difficult words of God. That’s why Jesus gives us the Bread of Life, that we might be led to set aside our worldly objections and see the loving and saving intent of every word from our Savior’s mouth. When we see that intent, it’s easier to trust even the most difficult words. Old Testament: Exodus 7:8–13    8 The Lord said to Moses and to Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Give us a warning sign,’ then you are to tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a snake.’” 10 Then Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh. The