CHRISTMAS IN JULY . . . OR WHENEVER

Here is Professor Dr. Carl Fickenscher’s sermon for yesterday’s Matins in the chapel of St.Timothy at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane: 2017.7.25 Carl Fickenscher TIT3-3FF.MAN

  1. Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
    Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
    It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
    When half spent was the night.
  2. Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
    With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
    To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
    When half spent was the night.
  3. The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
    How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
    To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
    As angel heralds said.
  4. This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
    Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
    True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
    And lightens every load.
  5. O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
    O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
    Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
    And to the endless day!

Friedrich L.C.Layriz (1808-1859) translated by Theodore Baker (1851-1934)

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6th Sunday after Trinity

Watchword from the holy prophet Isaiah chapter 43 verse 1: But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

The Introit is from Psalm 67:  God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; That Thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

God’s Holy Word from the Old Testament lesson through the holy prophet Isaiah chapter forty three:  But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.  I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth–  everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Verses 1-7)

God’s Holy Word in the Epistle by the holy apostle St. Paul to the Romans chapter six: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Verses 3-8)

The Holy Gospel by the holy evangelist St. Matthew chapter twenty eight: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  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.” (Verses 16-20)

The sermon for this Sunday is based on God’s Holy Word through the fifth book of the holy prophet Moses (Deuteronomy) chapter seven: For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers. (Verses 6-12)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for the 6th Sunday after Trinity: Lord of all power and might, author and giver of all good things, graft into our hearts the love of Your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Your great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (LSB Altar Book Pg. 914)

Hymn for the week is “Baptized into Your Name Most Holy” by Johann J. Rambach

  1. Baptized into your name most holy, 
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    I claim a place, though weak and lowly,
    Among your seed, your chosen host.
    Buried with Christ and dead to sin,
    I have your Spirit now within.
  2. My loving Father, here you take me
    Hence forth to be your child and heir;
    My faithful Savior, here you make me 
    The fruit of all your sorrows share;
    O Holy Ghost, you comfort me
    Though threatening clouds around I see.
  3. O faithful God, you never fail me;
    Your covenant surely will abide.
    Let not eternal death assail me
    Should I transgress it on my side!
    Have mercy when I come defiled;
    Forgive, lift up, restore your child.
  4. All that I am and love most dearly,
    Receive it all, O Lord, from me.
    Oh, let me make my vows sincerely,
    And help me your own child to be!
    Let nothing that I am or own
    Serve any will but yours alone.

Johann Jacob Rambach (1693-1735) translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)

If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully according to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV)

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Pianos, trumpets & marmite sandwiches

 

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That’s definitely one of the privileges of being a pastor’s and missionary’s kid: Sitting at table with pastors, teachers, bishops and other friends of the holy Christian church. One of these friends was Onkel Siegfried Karl Hermann Damaske  (*25.5.1932 +28.6.2017 We children would always address him as “uncle Siegfried”). Together with O.Manfred Nietzke (“Roodepoort” near Ventersdorp, W.Transvaal/NW) he was a regular guest at my parents home in Enhlanhleni during pastoral conventions, synods or similar gatherings in Enhlanhleni near Pomeroy, KZN. Probably was partly because my mother learnt seTswana with the Damaskes as a young bride in Botshabelo near Lichtenburg, NW and Nietzke was my father’s successor on the mission station “Roodepoort”. So they were brought together in the early years of their respective ministries amongst the Tswana people of the W.Transvaal. The fact that they kept visiting each other many years afterwards goes a long way to prove the friendly footing they continued to share even into retirement. O.Siegfried told his children, that those visits in Enhlanhleni to my parents place were his favorite memories of his missionary’s life. His daughter shared that with me last Sunday and I was very happy to hear it, because I too have good memories of some of those visits.

Pretty soon after my parents were moved to serve at the Seminary in Enhlanhleni in 1965 I was put in boarding school at Uelzen near Ebenezer/Glencoe, KZN. From the soccer field looking across the tennic courts you could see Lenge Mountain in the S.West. This was only about 20km N.West of Enhlanhleni. So it was still within some sort of eye contact – something like looking at the same moon in Murrayhill near Hammanskraal or in Oberursel i.T . Most conferences were probably held during the week, when I was away at school, yet there were some visits of O.Siegfried Damaske  and Nietzke that I didn’t miss because of school, but joyfully recall even now.

2006-10-07 18.45.20 Siegfried Damaske.20Siegfried – or “uJaazi” because of his big overcoat worn in the chilly winters up on the Highveld – was also tasked by the church to take care of the brass instrument. He was the “Posaunengeneral” of the church, director, conductor, technician, plumber, driver and handyman: “factotum”! In this capacity, he regularly dame to check up on those trumpets, trombones, tubas etc, service and fix the instruments at the Seminary, which had it’s own student choir and obviously enough broken parts now and again.

Like Nietzkes the Damaskes would also pass by Enhlanhleni during their holidays on their way to House Bleckmar in Shelly Beach, KZN. Siegfried was somewhat more sensitive to the noise of his family, so he would sit up front next to one of his driving children – wearing headphones to expel the noise and reading his own stuff on those long trips. Obviously visitors like that bring along little gifts and presents too as signs of appreciation and thanksgiving. Damaskes would bring along home-made marmalade and other highlights from Rustenburg, N.Transvaal. When sitting at our long table – 9 Damaskes and 11 Webers (that’s not counting the grannies!) there must have been quite a commotion, but lots of fun and turbulent joy no doubt. When one of the Damaskes girls reached for the marmalade, the 2nd eldest – Ruth, who was a godchild of my mother – called out excitedly: “Watch out Marianne, that’s ours!” The hilarity could hardly stop!

2006-10-07 18.49.26

Later during my vacations as student years Markus Nietzke was with me in Enhlanhleni and for some reason Siegfried Damaske was there too. Perhaps it was “Posaunenfest” in Uelzen or Greytown. Then both Nietzkes and Damaske would also sleep over at our place. Big families, big fun and never ending excitement amongst young and old during these weekends and church holidays. In the evening and after supper my father would serve some kind of fruit punch mixed with this and that – lemonade, champagne and some late harvest too. The concoction brewed in a big ceramic bowl was then served to all the party in earthenware mugs from Tamaga/Botswana or from Linda near Port Shepstone, KZN – if memory serves me right. There were salt sticks, cheese crackers and some sweets surely. Now as the party was going from strength to strength and the din rose to resound invitingly across the valley, Markus challenged O.Siegfried: “I’ve heard somewhere sometime that you’re not too bad on the piano yourself!” Well, O.Siegfried really was a remarkably gifted musician and proficient soloist on the piano in his own right – playing Liszt, Rachmaninoff and off course Bach as part of his impressive repertoire. We others joined in the teasing, entreating and inviting along the lines of: “It can’t be, but if it is, come show us!” After more than a fair bit of enticing O.Siegfried reluctantly made his way to our piano, meticulously moved the bench this way and that, adjusted its height and angle just right, made some rather intimidating clicking noises with his fingers, stretching and loosening them up before hitting those keys with unexpected vigour and then just letting rip, you’ve just had to see it. What a delight to listen to! We were all overwhelmed and even a bit stunned at his virtuosity and this musical glamour enfolding right there in our commons. Markus however, was not finished. He expected some more. Somewhat provocatively he poked O.Siegfried: “In younger years I think, you played that a bit faster, didn’t you?” Well, the pianist was in his element and not going to be held back any longer. Again he bound away and let his fingers fly over the ebony and ivory, making the most beautiful noise. His huge head was pounding away and his whole body was engaged in this dynamic flair and exuberance right there in our flabbergasted midst. Markus prompted him on, questioning his talents and O.Siegfried taking up the cue and speeding it up 4 or 5x more times still until he finally got up from that musical chair and started dancing like a raving mix of northern Valkyrie, mediterranean daemon, foreign dervish, local Tokoloshe and  fantastic Rumpelstilzchen – with us all around cheering, clapping and stamping and laughing our heads off until eventually his critical challenger relented and together we could all relax, lay back and contemplate what a stunning performance we just witnessed coming to such an impressive climax – very much alive right there in the bush. A definite highlight in my childhood memories this missionary celebration and festivity in the house of my parents!

2006-10-15 15.01.06.jpg

Rustenburg was a good distance to the north of our home Enhlanhleni – some good 9 to 10 hours drive. Often O.Siegfried would arrive late and long after dark. We would eat supper (More correctly “Abendbrot!”) at 18h00 sharp. Not much flexibility there. Typical routine of an old teacher and a full-time housewife. Now O.Siegfried arrived sometime after our evening devotion. The table had been cleared not only of the books, but also of all the good food too. My parents invited the late arrival to join them for a bite, but he adamantly refused: “No thank you. I’m really ok. Don’t need anything. Please, don’t go to any trouble!” However, in the style his namesake Lenz had popularized in “So zärtlich war Suleyken” his hosts continued to badger him: “Come on – just a little taste of the fresh bread. Together with the homemade liver sausage it’s nice. Please feel free.” They didn’t want to be accused of Lenz’s example of a bad host’s sin having his guests go to bed or home hungry, because “Es ist nicht genug genötig worden!” My father would normally excuse himself with the other custom: “Einladen und nötigen ist zu viel verlangt!” Yet knowing O.Siegfried, they continued to bid him to feel free and eat a bite. So finally, he relented, sat down and started eating. Finishing off the Leberwurst, he asked my mom: “What do you still have?” In the end, he finished off the delicious bread, the other bakes and fries, the cooked meats and fresh vegetables, the cheeses, jams and puddings. My parents were very happy that he had not come hungry, but really only to try out this and that. How would they have coped if he was really hungry?

2010-02-08 22.16.25

After the 2 World War O.Siegfried (centre at the top) studied theology together with my father-in-law Günter Scharlach (centre with the wollen cappy), Georg Schulz (top left) and Johannes Junker (with the ax) pictured above. I don’t know the other two on the right top and bottom. The latter is the only one still alive of this 2nd course under P.Friedrich-Wilhelm Hopf in Bleckmar near Bergen in Lower-Saxony. Except for Schulz they all were supposed to preach in the St. Peter and Paul’s congregation at Lüneburg in N.Natal as the local pastor Schwarz was long overdue for retirement and they were looking for a suitable replacement. Until late in his life O.Siegfried was still jokingly blaming a marmite sandwich for failing to secure this calling in those early days for himself and having him live in the barren stretches of the NW instead of the flourishing Dumbe valley and hills.

Still, he and his dear wife Eva remained dedicated supporters of the Lutheran church and mission even in the last years. The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane remained a beneficiary of their monthly donations and special gifts to their very end and even long after he himself could no longer come to attend the Seminary Open Days, conventions and conferences. When my father-in-law passed away last September, he complained that he had to outlive his brothers and his dear wife by so many months and years. It seems, that our dear God and loving Father in heaven heard his plea and had mercy on him, calling him home to his heavenly abode being old and full of days! So, even if we miss this old musician and missionary serving our Lord here amongst us on earth, we praise God for all he was to us here and commit him into his fatherly hands to rest in peace until our final consummation on Judgement Day and the visible manifestation of God’s glory in eternity. I’m sure, we old pastors and missionaries, bishops and teachers will enjoy the illustrious company of the prophets and apostles of old, because they too will call us brothers and friends – just like our Lord IX does – when we sit at his table with those from East and West, North and South. It will by far surpass what Terry Jacks sang about: “We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun…

Here are some photos from O.Siegfried’s work in the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa back in those days:

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A change is as good as a holiday, they say.

I still remember going to the KNP with part of my in-laws large family. They were 9 kids too like us back home. Back then in the late eighties we had such a good time in Skukuza and surrounds, that I still hold that place to be one of my most favourite spots on earth. It was a great holiday and most delightful time of transition from being a bachelor to married life even as we travelled daily from camp to camp. Anyway, my father-in-law later on did move about much. He stayed put and more or less at home in Moya Avenue and tried to make sure, that our visits there were at least as pleasurable and enjoyable as those early days with the Scharlachs in the bushveld. Later in life my late dear father-in-law used to quip, that holidays are expensive, strenuous and far too much trouble. He didn’t like change anymore. He was content in his comfort zone with workshop and study and very much at ease and at home there with his dear Ingrid, who stayed at his side day in day out for all those years.

It took years and many decades even to get to this peaceful and stationary existence though. Just thinking of him as a young soldier traversing Europe during the terrible war, fighting in Warsaw, Monte Cassino and seeing Dresden demolished. After his studies in Bleckmar he quit Europe and found a new home and citizenship in South Africa. He was very happy to remain in Lüneburg for as long as they would have him and he too would have liked to stay on as president of the synod and also as pastor of the congregation. It did not work out that way, but better.

He was called to serve with me in Wittenberg for another decade and he served in Panbult well into his retirement age. So again, he constantly travelled from Jagdrift to Wittenberg and Panbult and back again – week for week. Vryheid and Newcastle were also added to his list during this time. He was happy to carry out this service. He liked driving fast and didn’t mind distances either, never complaining about those terrible dirt roads, nor the deteriorating tar ones either although he had more than his fair share of punctures and even write-offs on those trips. Once one of his tyres came off and passed him, bouncing ahead on the way to iDumbe as his mother was still travelling with him. Nothing bad came of it, they parked next to the road and had it fixed in due course. Or when travelling to his in-laws in Dalton and a guinea fowl broke through the windscreen. The improvised plastic covering could hardly keep out any rain and they reached their destination drenched and cold. No wonder his eldest daughter is hardly ever fazed by such calamities on the way. It’s just part of life – or a change is as good as a holiday as they say. Still, it must have been a great joy, when they moved finally to were most of his children lived at that time. It always was his joy and solace, when he was surrounded by his dearly beloved ones and they were happily united under one roof.

I think, that the last 10 years or so, he settled down and waited to go home to where his final abode had already been prepared by his faithful Lord and master long ago. He was in no hurry and enjoyed ice cream to the very end. However, he had seen his fair share of life and was now “alt und lebenssatt.” That doesn’t mean tired, bored or discontent, uneasy, troubled – rather he was at peace, content with his lot and didn’t miss this or that tick on a bucket list, which he never put up anyway. He didn’t need a change from his routine with a holiday, because his days were holy days in the sense of a continuous life in God’s sight – as it had been for many years.

I think, that’s the goal in life to reach this stage. You can’t find it before you get there eventually. It takes time. It takes grace and God’s goodness and mercy. God’s daily service in word, hymns and prayer and weekly nurture through the most precious blood and body of our Lord Jesus Christ. The triune God thus brings forth lots of good fruit for eternal life in those, who remain in him like the branches of a vine. The man, who is nurtured in this way flourishes like a tree planted at flowing streams bringing forth fruit patiently and plentifully – according to his Lords plan and good will.

Tomorrow we’ll hear again of God calling Abraham out of his family to show him the promised land and make him father of many nations too. We’ll hear, how our Lord IX calls his first disciples and how St.Paul writes about this precious calling of our Lord into his ministry to the Corinthians. The change our Lord IX worked in us through his holy ministry culminating back then outside of Jerusalem has granted us the holiday and everlasting rest in his eternal Fatherly home, that grants peace, belonging and godly family everlasting – here and now already. The watchword from Ephesians 2:8 will confirm and strengthen our confession to which we all have been called: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God!”  Thank God for his saving grace and Hallelujah to him now and always. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5th Sunday after Trinity

Watchword from Ephesians 2,8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.  (Eph 2:8)

The Introit from Psalm 73: Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works. (Verses 23-28)

God’s holy Word from the Old Testament in the 1st book of Moses (Genesis) the twelfth chapter: Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. (Verses 1-4)

The Epistle from the first epistle of the holy apostle St. Paul to the Corinthians the fourteenth chapter:  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (Verses 18-25)

The Holy Gospel according to the apostle and evangelist St. Luke the fifth chapter:  And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. (Verses 1-11)

The designated sermon text for this Sunday is from the holy gospel of the evangelist and apostle St.John the first chapter: Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. (Verses 35-42)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for the 5th Sunday after Trinity: O God, You have prepared for those who love You good things that surpass all understanding. Pour into our hearts such love toward You that we, loving You above all things, may obtain Your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Pastoral Companion 594)

Hymn for the week: 

  1. O God, O Lord of heaven and earth, Thy living finger never wrote that life should be an aimless mote, A deathward drift from futile birth. Thy Word meant life triumphant hurled, In splendor through Thy broken world, Since light awoke and life began, Thou hast desired Thy life for man.
  2. Our fatal will to equal Thee, Our rebel will wrought death and night. We seized and used in prideful spite Thy wondrous gift of liberty. We housed us in this house of doom, Where death had royal scope and room Until Thy servant, Prince of Peace, breached all its walls for our release. 
  3. Thou camest to our hall of death, O Christ, to breathe our poisoned air, to drink for us the dark despair That strangled our reluctant breath. How beautiful the feet that trod The road that leads us back to God! How beautiful the feet that ran To bring the great good news to man!
  4. O Spirit, who didst once restore Thy church that it might be again the bringer of good news to men, Breathe on Thy cloven Church once more, That in these gray and latter days There may be those whose life is praise, each life a high doxology To Father, Son and unto Thee.

Marin Franzmann (1907-1976)

If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully according to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV)

 

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4th Sunday after Trinity

 

Watchword from Galatians 6: Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Verse 2)

The Introit from Psalm 22: Ye that fear the Lord, praise him. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live forever. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations. (Verses 23-28) Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever. Amen.

God’s holy Word from the Old Testament in the 1st book of Moses (Genesis) the fiftieth chapter: And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them. (Verses 15-21. This is also the designated sermon text for this 4th Sunday after Trinity)

The Epistle from the epistle of the holy apostle St. Paul the fourteenth chapter:  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. (Verses 10-13)

The Holy Gospel according to the apostle and evangelist St. Luke the sixth chapter:  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. (Verses 36-42)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for the 4th Sunday after Trinity: O Lord, grant that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by Your governance that Your Church may joyfully serve You in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Pastoral Companion 593)

Hymn for the week:  

  1.  O God, Thou faithful God,
    Thou Fountain ever flowing,
    Who good and perfect gifts
    In mercy art bestowing,
    Give me a healthy frame,
    And may I have within
    A conscience free from blame,
    A soul unhurt by sin!
  2.  Grant Thou me strength to do
    With ready heart and willing
    Whate’er Thou shalt command,
    My calling here fulfilling;
    To do it when I ought,
    With all my might, and bless
    The work I thus have wrought,
    For Thou must give success.
  3. Oh, let me never speak
    What bounds of truth exceedeth;
    Grant that no idle word
    From out my mouth proceedeth;
    And then, when in my place
    I must and ought to speak,
    My words grant power and grace
    Lest I offend the weak.
  4.  If dangers gather round,
    Still keep me calm and fearless;
    Help me to bear the cross
    When life is dark and cheerless;
    And let me win my foe
    With words and actions kind.
    When counsel I would know,
    Good counsel let me find.
  5. And let me with all men,
    As far as in me lieth,
    In peace and friendship live.
    And if Thy gift supplieth
    Great wealth and honor fair,
    Then this refuse me not,
    That naught be mingled there
    Of goods unjustly got.
  6. If Thou a longer life
    Hast here on earth decreed me;
    If Thou through many ills
    To age at length wilt lead me,
    Thy patience on me shed.
    Avert all sin and shame
    And crown my hoary head
    With honor free from blame.
  7. Let me depart this life
    Confiding in my Savior;
    Do Thou my soul receive
    That it may live forever;
    And let my body have
    A quiet resting-place
    Within a Christian grave;
    And let it sleep in peace.
  8. And on that solemn Day
    When all the dead are waking,
    Stretch o’er my grave Thy hand,
    Thyself my slumbers breaking.
    Then let me hear Thy voice,
    Change Thou this earthly frame,
    And bid me aye rejoice
    With those who love Thy name.

Hymn #395  The Lutheran Hymnal Text: 1 Kings 3: 5 by Johann Heermann, 1585-1647
Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1858, alt. titled “O Gott, du frommer Gott”

Here is my sermon for this Sunday to be preached at Shelly Beach LC: Gn50,15-21 4SnT Shelly Beach English

If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully according to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV)

We thank the Lutheran Heritage Foundation for supporting the distribution of hard-copies of these orders of worship and sermons throughout Southern Africa. If you also want a copy please do not hesitate to subscribe by writing to EAWWeber@bundunet.co.za.

 

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A day in paradise lost…

My clock strikes 2 beats more than it’s supposed to. Perhaps it’s trying to tell me something. Perhaps it’s already later in the day, than I assumed. Even as the terrible news of Otto Warmbier sinks in, the catastrophes of Portugals fires and the escalation in Syria (if at all possible!) by the US shooting down the Russian jet cashing in on the cold war’s greatest fears, our maverick government of Zuptaoids is doing it’s utmost to cash in as long as they still can. Still, in England the fashion fundis are visiting the Royal Ascot , the mist is rising most wonderfully in the Mecklenburger Schweiz and we’re going about our ways and trying to stay on track even as the cold from Cape of Storms is blowing in from the South.  Zapiro’s cartoon is much closer to home, than I’d like to admit. While the authorities are fumbling with fine-print somewhere, somewhat the ship is sinking… Well, the Herrenhuter readings for today are Psalm 42:6 “O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee…”  and John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” His promise fills us with comfort and hope!

“Lord of Our Life and God of Our Salvation by Matthäus A. von Löwenstern, 1594-1648
Translated by Philip Pusey, 1799-1855

  1. Lord of our life and God of our salvation.
    Star of our night and Hope of every nation,
    Hear and receive Thy Church’s supplication,
    Lord God Almighty.
  2. See round Thine ark the hungry billows curling;
    See how thy foes their banners are unfurling.
    Lord, while their darts envenomed they are hurling,
    Thou canst preserve us.
  3. Lord, Thou canst help when earthly armor faileth;
    Lord, Thou canst save when deadly sin assaileth;
    Lord, o’er Thy Church nor death nor hell prevaileth;
    Grant us Thy peace, Lord:
  4.  Peace in our hearts, our evil thoughts assuaging;
    Peace in Thy Church where brothers are engaging;
    Peace when the world its busy war is waging.
    Calm Thy foes’ raging.
  5. Grant us Thy help till backward they are driven;
    Grant them Thy truth that they may be forgiven;
    Grant peace on earth or, after we have striven,
    Peace in Thy heaven.

Hymn #258 from the Lutheran Hymnal based on Psalm 79,9
Original title: “Christe, du Beistand Deiner Kreuzgemeinde…

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1st Sunday after Trinity

Jesus Christ our Lord and God said: “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” (Luke 10:16)

Introit from Psalm 119: Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law. Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen. (Verses 153-154.174-175)

God’s holy Word from the Old Testament in the 5th book of Moses (Deuteronomy) the sixth chapter: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Verses 4-9)

The Epistle from the first epistle of the holy apostle and evangelist St. John the fourth chapter:  God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (Verses 16b-21)

The Holy Gospel according to the apostle and evangelist St. Luke the sixteenth chapter: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Verses 19-31)

Sermon text for this Sunday from the holy evangelist and apostle St. John the fifth chapter: Our Lord Jesus Christ says: Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (Verses 39-47

Liturgical colour: Green

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for this Sunday: O God, the strength of all who trust in You, mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing, grant us Your grace to keep Your commandments that we may please You in both will and deed; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Hymn for this Sunday: 

  1. To God the Holy Spirit let us pray For the true faith needed on our way That He may defend us when life is ending And from exile home we are wending. Lord, have mercy!
  2. O sweetest Love Your grace on us bestow; Set our hearts with sacred fire aglow That with hearts united we love each other, Eve’ry stranger, sister, and brother. Lord, have mercy! 
  3. Transcendent Comfort in our ev’ry need, Help us neither scorn nor death to heed That we may not falter nor courage fail us When the foe shall taunt and assail us. Lord, have mercy! 
  4. Shine in our hearts, O Spirit, precious light; Teach us Jesus Christ to know aright That we may abide in the Lord who bought us, Till to our true home He has brought us. Lord, have mercy!    Martin Luther (1483-1546): “Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist, um den rechten Glauben allermeist…”  (1524).

If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, enthusiasm and wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully according to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However, if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV)

 

 

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Holiday of the Holy Trinity

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Watchword from the holy prophet Isaiah 6:3)

Introit from Psalm 145: I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen. (Verses 1.3-4.13a)

God’s holy Word from the Old Testament by the holy prophet Isaiah the sixth chapter: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.  But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof. (This is also the sermon text)

The Epistle from the epistle of the holy apostle St. Paul the eleventh chapter:  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Verses 33-36)

The Holy Gospel according to the apostle and evangelist St. John the third chapter: There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (Verses 1-15)

Liturgical colour: White

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for this high Holiday of the Church: 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; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Hymn for this Sunday: “Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest” by Rhabanus Maurus, 776-856 translated by Edward Caswall, 1814-1878

  1. Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
    Vouchsafe within our souls to rest;
    Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
    And fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
  2. To Thee, the Comforter, we cry,
    To Thee, the Gift of God Most High,
    The Fount of life, the Fire of love,
    The soul’s Anointing from above.
  3. The sevenfold gifts of grace are Thine,
    O Finger of the Hand Divine;
    True promise of the Father Thou,
    Who dost the tongue with speech endow.
  4. Thy light to every thought impart
    And shed Thy love in every heart;
    The weakness of our mortal state
    With deathless might invigorate.
  5. Drive far away our wily Foe
    And Thine abiding peace bestow;
    If Thou be our protecting Guide,
    No evil can our steps betide.
  6. Make Thou to us the Father known,
    Teach us the eternal Son to won
    And Thee, whose name we ever bless,
    Of both the Spirit, to confess.
  7. Praise we the Father and the Son
    And Holy Spirit, with them One;
    And may the Son on us bestow
    The gifts that from the Spirit flow! Amen.

Hymn #233  The Lutheran Hymnal Text: John 14:26
Tune: “Komm, Gott Schöpfer Heilger Geist 

If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, vigour and wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully according to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However, if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV)

 

 

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3rd Day of Pentecost: Holiday of the Holy Spirit’s Outpouring (Whit Tuesday)

“This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Watchword from the prophet Zechariah 4:6  )

Introit from Psalm 118: This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (verses 24-28)

God’s holy Word from the Old Testament in the 2nd book of Moses (Exodus) the nineteenth chapter: And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Ex 19:3-6 KJV)

The Epistle from Acts in the tenth chapter:  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said,  Jesus Christ commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. (Act 10:34a;42-48a KJV)

The Holy Gospel according to the apostle and evangelist St. John the fourth chapter: The woman saith unto Jesus, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. (Joh 4:19-26 KJV)

Liturgical colour: Red (The Holy Spirit, the Church, the office of the ministry and mission)

Together with the Christian Church we pray this collect for this high Holiday of the Church: 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.

Hymn for this Holiday: “Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest” by Rhabanus Maurus, 776-856 translated by Edward Caswall, 1814-1878

  1. Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
    Vouchsafe within our souls to rest;
    Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
    And fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
  2. To Thee, the Comforter, we cry,
    To Thee, the Gift of God Most High,
    The Fount of life, the Fire of love,
    The soul’s Anointing from above.
  3. The sevenfold gifts of grace are Thine,
    O Finger of the Hand Divine;
    True promise of the Father Thou,
    Who dost the tongue with speech endow.
  4. Thy light to every thought impart
    And shed Thy love in every heart;
    The weakness of our mortal state
    With deathless might invigorate.
  5. Drive far away our wily Foe
    And Thine abiding peace bestow;
    If Thou be our protecting Guide,
    No evil can our steps betide.
  6. Make Thou to us the Father known,
    Teach us the eternal Son to won
    And Thee, whose name we ever bless,
    Of both the Spirit, to confess.
  7. Praise we the Father and the Son
    And Holy Spirit, with them One;
    And may the Son on us bestow
    The gifts that from the Spirit flow! Amen.

Hymn #233  The Lutheran Hymnal Text: John 14:26
Author: Rhabanus Maurus, 856 translated by: Edward Caswall, 1849, alt.

If you are called to preach this day, may the triune God give you joy and strength, enthusiasm and wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully according to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However, if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV)

 

 

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