Lenten sermon after Invocavit

 

 

Following the order of the lectionary here, I am to preach on the holy gospel according to St. Matthew the eighteenth chapter. This is what I have prepared so far:  OLS6.1 2018.2.21 Lenten Sermon Mt.18,21-35 Village LC. Here’s the audio file too: 

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Update from Wittenberg

IMG_1119

Here’s a timely update for our plans at the Old Latin School in the Luthercity Wittenberg as we move closer to the farewell of our dear Managing Director Kristin Lange at the end of April (Cantata Sunday, the 29th) as her wedding plans for summer are nearing completion: Safari – 18 Feb 2018 at 21_28

Remember the faithful promise of our Lord IX, who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end: “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life, freely.” (Revelation 21:6. Watchword for 2018)

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First Sunday in Lent: Invocavit

 

 Watchword

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”(1.Joh.3,8b)

Introit

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.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place– the Most High, who is my refuge– no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”  (Psalm 91 ESV)

God’s holy Word from the Old Testament

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;  thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:1-19.20-24)

 The Epistle

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4,14-16)

The Holy Gospel

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'”  Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. (Matthew 4,1-11)

Here is today’s sermon as preached during the second service at Holy Cross LC in Collinsville as a draft to read: OLS7 2018.2.18 1L Invocavit Mk1,9-15 Holy Cross and to listen in to here: 

 Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for this Sunday Invocavit: O God, by whose Spirit we are led into the wilderness of trial, grant that, standing in your strength against the powers of darkness, we may so win the victory over all evil suggestions that with singleness of heart we may ever serve you and you alone; through him who was in all points tempted as we are, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Dobberstein Pg. 81)

 Hymn of the week: https://hymnary.org/text/god_the_father_be_our_stay

The liturgical colour is purple.

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)

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Last Sunday before Lent: Estomihi

 Watchword

See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.” (Lk.18,31)

 Introit from Psalm 31

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly…

 God’s holy Word by his prophet Amos the 5th chapter:

“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies.  Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.  But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (21-24) (This is also the Sermon text)

The epistle by the apostle St. Paul in his 1st letter to the Corinthians 13 chapter:  

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 The holy gospel according to the evangelist St. Mark the eighth and ninth chapter He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.  32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.  33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”  34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.  36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” 

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for this Sunday Estomihi:

Most loving Father, whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on you who care for us: Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have manifest to us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Dobberstein Pg. 78)

“Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus”  by Sigismund von Birken, 1626-1681 translated by J. Adam Rimbach, 1871-1941

1. Let us ever walk with Jesus,
Follow His example pure,
Flee the world, which would deceive us
And to sin our souls allure.
Ever in His footsteps treading,
Body here, yet soul above,
Full of faith and hope and love,
Let us do the Father’s bidding.
Faithful Lord, abide with me;
Savior, lead, I follow Thee.

2. Let us suffer here with Jesus,
To His image, e’er conform;
Heaven’s glory soon will please us,
Sunshine follow on the storm.
Though we sow in tears of sorrow,
We shall reap with heavenly joy;
And the fears that now annoy
Shall be laughter on the morrow.
Christ, I suffer here with Thee;
There, oh, share Thy joy with me!

3. Let us also die with Jesus.
His death from the second death,
From our soul’s destruction, frees us,
Quickens us with life’s glad breath.
Let us mortify, while living,
Flesh and blood and die to sin;
And the grave that shuts us in
Shall but prove the gate to heaven.
Jesus, here I die to Thee
There to live eternally.

4. Let us gladly live with Jesus;
Since He’s risen from the dead,
Death and grave must soon release us.
Jesus, Thou art now our Head,
We are truly Thine own members;
Where Thou livest, there live we.
Take and own us constantly,
Faithful Friend, as Thy dear brethren.
Jesus, here I live to Thee,
Also there eternally.

Hymn #409  in The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: John 11:16 Author: Sigismund von Birken, 1653 translated by: J. Adam Rimbach, 1900 titled: “Lasset uns mit Jesu ziehen” Composer: Georg G. Boltze, 1788 Tune: “Lasset uns mit Jesu ziehen”

 The liturgical colour is green.

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 accourding 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)

 


 

 

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Septuagesimae: 2nd Sunday before Lent +

Watchword Hebrews 3:15

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

Introit Psalm 119

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. (104.114.116-117) 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.

God’s holy Word Isaiah 55

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (10-12a).

The epistle to the Hebrews in the fourth chapter 

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (12-13)

The holy Gospel accourding to the evangelist St. Luke the eight chapter

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (4-8)

God’s word from the 2nd letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians the twelfth chapter (Sermon):

St. Paul writes: “I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven– whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise– whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows– and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses– though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2Co 12:1-10 ESV)

Here is my sermon held in St.Paul’s (Wegan, IN) both to read (OLS4 2018.2.4 Mk1,29-39 Wegan, IN) and to hear: 

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the holy Christian Church we pray with this collect: O God, the strength of all who put their trust in You, mercifully grant that by Your power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (LSB Altar Book Pg. 865)

Hymn of the week: “May God Bestow on Us His Grace” 

1. May God bestow on us His grace,
With blessings rich provide us,
And may the brightness of His face
To life eternal guide us
That we His saving health may know,
His gracious will and pleasure,
And also to the heathen show
Christ’s riches without measure
And unto God convert them.

2. Thine over all shall be the praise
And thanks of every nation,
And all the world with joy shall raise
The voice of exultation;
For Thou shalt judge the earth, O Lord,
Nor suffer sin to flourish;
Thy people’s pasture is Thy Word
Their souls to feed and nourish,
In righteous paths to keep them.

3. Oh, let the people praise Thy worth,
In all good works increasing;
The land shall plenteous fruit bring forth,
Thy Word is rich in blessing.
May God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit bless us!
Let all theworld praise Him alone,
Let solemn awe possess us.

The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Ps. 67 Author: Martin Luther 1524
Translated by: Richard Massie, 1851, alt.
Titled: “Es wolle Gott uns gnädig sein”

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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Septuagesimae: 3rd Sunday before Lent +

Watchword Daniel 9:18

“O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.”

Introit Psalm 31

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” (19-24) 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.

God’s holy Word Jeremiah from chapter 9 1(This is also God’s word for the sermon)

Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” (23-24)

The first epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians in the ninth chapter 

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (24-27)

The holy Gospel accourding to the evangelist St. Matthew the twentieth chapter

Our Lord IX said: “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.  And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” (1-16a)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the holy Christian Church we pray with this collect: O Lord, graciously hear the prayers of Your people that we who justly suffer the consequence of our sin may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. (LSB Pastoral Care Companion Pg. 545)

Hymn of the week:

1 Salvation unto us has come
By God’s free grace and favor;
Good works cannot avert our doom,
They help and save us never.
Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone,
Who did for all the world atone;
He is our one Redeemer.

2 What God did in His Law demand
And none to Him could render
Caused wrath and woe on ev’ry hand
For man, the vile offender.
Our flesh has not those pure desires
The spirit of the Law requires,
And lost is our condition.

3 It was a false, misleading dream
That God His Law had given
That sinners could themselves redeem
And by their works gain heaven.
The Law is but a mirror bright
To bring the inbred sin to light
That lurks within our nature.

4 From sin our flesh could not abstain,
Sin held its sway unceasing;
The task was useless and in vain,
Our guilt was e’er increasing.
None can remove sin’s poisoned dart
Or purify our guileful heart–
So deep is our corruption.

5 Yet as the law must be fulfilled
Or we must die despairing,
Christ came and has God’s anger stilled,
Our human nature sharing.
has for us the Law obeyed
And thus His Father’s vengeance stayed
Which over us impended.

6 Since Christ has full atonement made
And brought to us salvation,
Each Christian therefore may be glad
And build on this foundation.
Your grace alone, dear Lord, I plead,
Your death is now my life indeed,
For You have paid my ransom.

7 Let me not doubt, but truly see
Your Word cannot be broken:
Your call rings out, “Come unto Me!”
No falsehood have You spoken.
Baptized into Your precious name,
My faith cannot be put to shame,
And I shall never perish.

8 The Law reveals the guilt of sin
And makes us conscience-stricken;
But then the Gospel enters in
The sinful soul to quicken.
Come to the cross, trust Christ, and live;
The Law no peace can ever give,
No comfort and no blessing.

9 Faith clings to Jesus’ cross alone
And rests in Him unceasing;
And by its fruits true faith is known,
With love and hope increasing.
For faith alone can justify;
Works serve our neighbor and supply
The proof that faith is living.

10 All blessing, honor, thanks, and praise
To Father, Son, and Spirit,
The God who saved us by His grace,
All glory to His merit.
O triune God in heav’n above,
You have revealed Your saving love;
Your blessed name we hallow.

Paul Speratus (1484-1551)

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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Rainy Saturday

It’s Saturday. It’s raining softly and I’ve got time to think of this and that. It’s funny, how you pump into so many people, who have so much in common and get to make so many new friends here at the Seminary. I presume, that’s one of the great privileges and joyful honours of living at a place like this. It’s not just the regular Seminarians, who are so friendly and keen to meet exotics like me, sharing a table in the Mensa or a pew in the chapel but also those pastors and visitors, who come for their doctoral programs and share dormitories, gym and library here. 
Take for instance that deaconess student (HH), who also hears the bell ringing and hastens towards Kramer chapel. We were both eager to hear God’s word and be kneeling at his table again. On the way there, we spoke about this and that.Her father deals with Kawasaki timber tools and logging machines. Well, that’s pretty close to home and very much, what our people were busy with down in Mpumalanga and especially in and with TWK. Small world really! The 5-7 minutes walk to chapel are a good introduction the next time we meet and greet like old acquaintances nearly. That’s the same if you run together on the treadmill or do those step-ups for 25 minutes next to each. Obviously it’s also is rather brief and doesn’t last forever. It’s easily forgotten if you don’t bump into each other again. So, when the candidates in the DMin class packed for the weekend is meant saying goodbye again. Too short, to quick. Who knows, whether we’ll meet again. Very much, what Franz Schubert takes up in those German folksongs, which he used to compose his “Winterreise” (https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwilhelm.weber%2Fposts%2F10212442164981575%3A0&width=500“>See yesterday’s post!).

This week I lived next door to one of these regular visitors to the Seminary here. He (TWD) is also director of Deaf Programs and “translated” the sermons during chapel simultaneously. What a gift and what a proficiency. Although I’m only going by the speed and various actions and expressive notions of face, hands and arms working together to get the message across. I just assume, that he’s doing a brilliant job and is no fake like that pretender, who was caught out playing his games and tricks at Mandela’s funeral back home. Would you think, that they are able to do such courses and helpful training sessions at the Old Latin School? I would think so. 
Or take that navy captain (MS), who has been a long-standing head of chaplains in the US army and tells me, that they actually had their annual meeting in 2010 right there in Wittenberg already. Now, wouldn’t it be nice if they would repeat that for their 40-50+ chaplains in the OLS in the coming years. Well, I’m positive about that. Especially with his endorsement. But it’s not just about meetings and possible seminars. It’s also about actually going about learning from their expertise and learning. He’s doing his latest dissertation on counselling old veterans, who come back home traumatized by the action they’ve seen. It reminded me a lot of those, who fought the bush war up in Namibia, Caprivi and into Angola and then suddenly were returned home as if nothing had ever happened. I assume it’s very much like coming home from Vietnam, Afghanistan or Yemen, just to find out, that the people back home hardly took notice of that “foreign” combat. It’s a bit like going from one world to another like when reading that quest of Jake Chambers and other gunslingers in the “Dark Tower” by Stephen King. Or coming in from virtual reality into some or other dream world before hitting the road right here in Ft.Wayne again. No wonder, people – not just soldiers – have difficulty in coping on their pilgrimage through time and space. Seems we all need a “Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy” (Douglas Adams) and that’s probably what we as theologians and pastors and Christians really are all about, don’t you think?
Thank God, we know, where life, light and salvation are in rich abundance. IX has provided that for us and all people in his holy Christian Church. We find it in his true Word as given to us by the Holy spirit, who spoke through his apostles and prophets of old and caused it to be written down for us and our salvation in the Old and New Testaments in both his enduring Law and forgiving gospel. But also in the visible means of his grace. It’s wonderful and truly comforting, but also good, right and salutary to read then this morning those ancient words, which still hold true today and provide guidance, help, life and salvation, which allude to our good Lord and Shepherd, who makes our cup overflow with good things and heavenly blessings. Yes, that is the reason, why we will gladly remain in his godly presence and rejoice in his goodness always – even unto the ends of our days and beyond. Thanks to his gracious promises + that we can here already see and taste, how friendly our Lord is. 
Losung und Lehrtext für Samstag, den 27. Januar 2018
Gutes und Barmherzigkeit werden mir folgen mein Leben lang, und ich werde bleiben im Hause des HERRN immerdar. (Psalm 23,6)
Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch: Wer mein Wort hört und glaubt dem, der mich gesandt hat, der hat das ewige Leben und kommt nicht in das Gericht, sondern er ist vom Tode zum Leben hindurchgedrungen. (Johannes 5,24)
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Last Sunday after Epiphany (Transfiguration)

Watchword

“The Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60,2)

Introit Psalm 97

The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Lord. For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 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.

God’s holy Word Exodus 3,1-10

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you. “

The 2nd epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians the 4th  chapter: 

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (6-10)

The holy Gospel according to the evangelist St. Matthew chapter 17,1-9

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

Sermon text from Revelations 1:9-18

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

The liturgical colour is white.

Together with the holy Christian Church we pray with this collect: O God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your beloved Son You confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of Moses and Elijah. In the voice that came from the bright cloud You wonderfully foreshowed our adoption by grace. Mercifully make us co-heirs with the King in His glory and bring us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. (LSB Pastoral Care Companion Pg. 547)

Hymn of the week:

  1.  O wondrous sight, O vision fair of glory that the church shall share, which Christ upon the mountain shows, where brighter than the sun he glows!
  2. From age to age the tale declare, how with the three disciples there, where Moses and Elijah meet, the Lord holds converse high and sweet.
  3. The law and prophets there have place, two chosen witnesses of grace; the Father’s voice from out the cloud proclaims his only Son aloud.
  4. With shining face and bright array Christ deigns to manifest today what glory shall be theirs above who joy in God with perfect love.
  5. And faithful hearts are raised on high by this great vision’s mystery, for which in joyful strains we raise the voice of prayer, the hymn of praise.

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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News from the Old Latin School (Wittenberg)

Kristin Lange, the managing director of the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg housed in the Old Latinschool in the Luthercity Wittenberg (Germany) introduced the following newsletter in this special holiday season of the holy Epiphany with the exclamation: “Big New Year’s News!” She then went on: “Happy New Year! I pray this newsletter finds you and your dear ones well in this Epiphany season. If you are reading this from “back home,” then I hope you are staying warm and safe in the extreme temperatures in many areas. I woke up to a light snowfall outside of my window this morning – very peaceful!” And then she shared this:


“I have some important information to share with you regarding my service in Wittenberg, and ask that you please take a few moments to read the letter I’ve attached in lieu of my normal newsletter. Thank you for all the ways that you continue to support me in Wittenberg, most especially for your ongoing prayers! In Jesus’ Name – Kristin”

To read the letter, open this link: Donor_Departure_Letter.02

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Sermon on 1.Corinthians 2,1-10

Not knowing, who would be at the divine service this afternoon, I prepared two sermons, one in English (1Cor2,1-10 13.1.2018 OLS2) and one in German (1Kor2,1-10 13.1.2018 OLS3), both on the prescribed lesson by St.Paul to the Corinthians for the 2nd Sunday in Epiphany. However at the service I decided to apply my preparation to the only other person in the chapel, who preferred English. You can listen to that personal address here: 

Together we used the order of Vespers and sang lovely hymns too before praying with words of the church prayer plus suitable collects, psalms and blessings.

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