8th Sunday after Trinity

Watchword

Live as children of light for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.  (Eph 5:8b-9 NIV)

Introit from Psalm 48

Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King. God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress. As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of the LORD Almighty, in the city of our God: God makes her secure forever. Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness. Mount Zion rejoices, the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments.Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is and shall be now and forever. Amen.

Old Testament lesson from the prophet Isaiah chapter 2

This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD. (Isa 2:1-5 NIV)

The Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians chapter 5

Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible– and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Eph 5:8-14 NIV)

The Holy Gospel of the evangelist St. Matthew chapter 5

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mat 5:13-16 NIV)

The Sermon based on St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians

You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also… Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1Co 6:9-14.18-20 NIV)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for the 7th Sunday after Trinity: Grant to us o Lord, the Spirit to think and do always such things as are right, that we, who cannot do anything that is good without You, may be enabled by You to live according to Your will; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (LSB Agenda, Pg. 917)

Hymn for the week 

If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, wisdom, knowledge and insight to preach his holy will faithfully and his gracious promises invitingly! If you are not preaching, then listen for God is talking + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV)

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7th Sunday after Trinity

Watchword

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household (Ephesians 2,19)

Introit from Psalm 107

Some wandered in desert wastelands,

        finding no way to a city where they could settle.

They were hungry and thirsty,

    and their lives ebbed away.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

    and he delivered them from their distress.

He led them by a straight way

    to a city where they could settle.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

for he satisfies the thirsty

    and fills the hungry with good things.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is and shall be now and forever. Amen.

Old Testament lesson from the 2nd book of Moses (Exodus)

In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”…While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud. The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’” That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”

The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. (Exodus 16, 2-3.11-18)

The Epistle from Acts 2

Those who accepted his message were baptized…They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2,41a.42-47)

The Holy Gospel by the evangelist St. John 6

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

The Sermon for this Sunday on the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2,1-4)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for the 6th 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. All praise to God, who reigns above,
The God of all creation,
The God of wonders, power, and love,
The God of our salvation!
With healing balm my soul He fills,
The God who every sorrow stills, –
To God all praise and glory!

2. The angel host, O king of kings,
Thy praise forever telling,
In earth and sky all living things
Beneath Thy shadow dwelling,
Adore and praise their Maker’s might,
Whose wisdom orders all things right;
To God all praise and glory!

3. What God’s almighty power hath made
His gracious mercy keepeth;
By morning dawn or evening shade
His watchful eye ne’er sleepeth;
Within the kingdom of His might
Lo, all is just and all is right, –
To God all praise and glory!

4. I cried to Him in time of need:
Lord God, oh, hear my calling!
For death He gave me life indeed
And kept my feet from falling.
For this my thanks shall endless be;
Oh, thank Him, thank our God, with me, –
To God all praise and glory!

5. The Lord forsaketh not His flock,
His chosen generation;
He is their Refuge and their Rock,
Their Pace and their Salvation.
As with a mother’s tender hand
He leads His own, His chosen band, –
To God all praise and glory!

6. When earth can comfort us no more
Nor human help availeth,
The Maker comes Himself, whose store
Of blessing never faileth,
And bends on them a Father’s eyes
Whom earth all rest and hope denies;
To God all praise and glory!

7. Thus all my pilgrim way along
I’ll sing aloud Thy praises
That men may hear the grateful song
My voice unwearied raises:
Be joyful in the Lord, my heart!
Both soul and body, bear your part!
To God all praise and glory!

8. Ye who confess Christ’s holy name,
To God give praise and glory!
Ye who the Father’s power proclaim,
To God give praise and glory!
All idols under foot be trod,
The Lord is God! The Lord is God!
To God all praise and glory!

9. Then come before His presence now
And banish fear and sadness;
To your Redeemer pay your vow
And sing with joy and gladness;
Though great distress my soul befell,
The Lord, my God, did all things well, –
To God all praise and Glory!

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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At the local hospital

We’ve not been in hospitals too often. At least not lately. Angelika was asked at the “Evangelisches Krankenhaus der Paul Gerhardt Stiftung“ here in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg, when last she was hospitalized. It was with the birth of our last born Matthias. After that I was in hospital with our first born Christoph, when he had whooping cough back in the old hospital of Piet Retief, Mpumalanga. Since then our children have visited hospitals overseas, but without our personal attendance.

Years back, when I was still playing Rugby, I was no stranger at the emergency unit of the old H.F. Verwoerd Hospital (Renamed “Academic” and later still “Steve Biko). My long-time friend Matthias more than once accompanied me. He would joke about the administrative bureaucracy, which always wanted to know about any other sicknesses even as you were obviously struggling with broken and bleeding limbs, ribs and other loose body parts. Well, it was very similar today. Angelika hat to answer several questionnaires and undergo more than one tedious examination. However, after all I have to grant it to the local sister Angelica, that she did a great job: Friendly, efficient and very interested – especially after she learnt that we were South Africans.

An Indian doctor from New-Delphi did the actual examination. She said, back home in the Indian capital, she was used to seeing over 200 malaria patients daily! She was pretty sure, that Angelika did not have malaria despite the bad headaches and the fever attacks. Tick bite fever was also eliminated, because of Angelika’s regular bouts of “Schüttelfrost”. Google translates that as “chills”, but its more than that. It is the shivers before the next fever attack. She was pretty sure, that is some viral infection. Well, they will keep Angelika at the hospital tonight and under observation. She has got her own spacious room for fear of possible infection. They took blood samples, which were tested here and others were sent directly to the “Tropeninstitut” in Leipzig. Angelika might be transferred there still, if the reports tomorrow are positive and she does indeed have malaria.

During the initial examination, I was banished outside in the waiting room. That was quite an experience too. At first there was just one mother with her teenage daughter, who were both waiting for the results of the child’s blood tests. They had been waiting for more than 4 hours already. They didn’t say much, but waited patiently. The next patient was a single-mother of about my age, who had sprained her ankle yesterday although she was planning to go on a cruise via the Orkney Islands in Scotland, Reykjavik in Iceland and then Hammerfest in Norway.  After some hours, she was doctored and had a big yellow casing around her ankle, purple crutches and a cancelled holiday prospect. Her son picked her up and she kept a brave face, although it must have been a blow, to see those well nurtured plans of over 2 years suddenly go up in smoke or down the drain or trip up like that.

Two different sets of parents dropped in with their little boys. The one set was on their way to Heidelberg and needed help for their ill one, who was hanging on to his mother in a rather sad state. The other set had a bright kid on their arms, so the doctor found nothing wrong with him. The parents didn’t like that idea and hung around for quite some time still, arguing their point. The others got their medicine and left on their long way home. Then came a lone depressed lady with some rather modest tattoos. She left after a short while. Obviously she had not bargained with a packed waiting room or our company had lifted her spirits enough to leave once more and face the world outside.

The 2 young drunkards, who stepped in then, didn’t have that kind of concerns. After looking around a bit, they started pressing the bell and didn’t let go until the sister came to help them after she admonished them: “One ring is enough really!” The one guy had obviously fallen badly on his knew. Perhaps due to his stupor. It had happened yesterday already. The leg was still dirty with caked haemoglobin, dark Wittenberg soil and a fair deal of hair, skin and flesh too. A mess! Still, they both prodded away at that knee to show, that it only needed cleaning and not the entire process of Xrays, examination and perhaps even hospitalization suggested by the help desk. They had planned on going fishing this afternoon. They disqualified the Elbe for it’s remaining 30 cm of water in the deep and wanted to look for some better fishing holes. Now, those 30 cm are an exaggeration on their part. We had checked it out yesterday and it was still flowing quite nicely past these parts. Still, you get the gist of their argument. I liked them quite a bit. They were a bit afraid of the hospital, calling it “Sterbe Tal” (Valley of death – play on words instead of hospi-tal, death valley.) That reminded me of P. Wolfgang Krause, who would also disqualify the Piet Retief hospital as a veterinary clinic and the medical specialists as veterinarians (Pferdedoktoren). He too was sure, that you were better staying outside than inside this place. The 2 friends underlined their argument, that every day several helicopters arrived with those pulled from accidents and other troubles, but never would you see them take anyone out again. Sounded like a dangerous conspiracy of sorts. When one of them got some soup in the hospital kitchen, they were both sad, that it was so solid.  They both preferred liquids. Still, they shared the broth brotherly. When the injured one suggested leaving, his companion complained: “It’s just getting social around here” (Es wird doch hier gerade sozial!) That got the whole room laughing. That again alerted the nurse Angelica, who didn’t trust these guys. I’m sure, she wanted to do me a favour, when she called me in to sit by my wife Angelika rather, and not get to involved with these Wittenberg brothers.

While waiting I got to see three of the old people carted in on tray tables by the emergency troops. Obviously the weekend had been too much for those. They looked pale, wrinkled, starry eyed and very frightened. The pushers didn’t seem overtly concerned about their troubled patients, but looked far more interested in our direction not wanting to miss any spectacular wound or catastrophe waiting in the emergency room called “Schockraum”.

The young medic was nearly finished with his 3 year training. He was a local boy and very happy with the Wittenberg program. He sat in on the first interview the nurse gave Angelika and when I engaged him on his studies, he came into his own and shared his joys about coming to a close of his training pretty soon. I think, we can be grateful for young men taking up this kind of vocation. He mentioned, that every time he goes out with his dog, there are no patients in “Outpatients”, but whenever he’s on duty, the room is packed. Both Angelika and I were sure, that he should tell this to those in charge, because it seemed like going for a walk with his dog was a very easy way to address accidents and other mishaps in Wittenberg. For some reason, he didn’t seem to take that all so serious.

Up in the room Angelika was put to be by an elderly nurse, who looked something like Rolanda Hooch. The young one had some very bright Adidas sneakers on to contrast the light-blue and white uniform. She defended her choice by pointing out their obvious advantages of comfort even after a very long and otherwise strenuous day. In the end Angelika got a typical “Abendbrot” with some slices of cheese and cold-meats, tea of chamomile and yogurt. Let’s hope and pray, that it plus that mixture in the drip will keep her until breakfast in the morning.

When I left, some rain drops fell on my head. Hopefully that’s just the beginning of some good rain falls soon. Tuesday and Wednesday are supposed to be rainy. It would be good news for this parched land, suffering from nearly 10 weeks of sunny days and no rains. Rain after all means “Pula”: Blessings all around!

 

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6th Sunday after Trinity

Watchword

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. (Isa 43:1)

Introit Psalm 67

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

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.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is and shall be now and forever. Amen.

Old Testament lesson from the prophet Isaiah 43:1-7

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.  2 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.  3 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.  4 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.  5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.  6 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–  7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

The Epistle by St. Paul to the Romans 6:3-8

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.  5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  6 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–  7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.  8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

The Holy Gospel by the evangelist St. Matthew 28:16-20

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 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,  20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The Sermon for this Sunday based on Acts 8:26-39

And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. (Act 8:26-39 KJV).

The liturgical colour is green.

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

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. Baptized into Your name most holy,
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    I claim a place, though weak and lowly,
    Among Your saints, Your chosen host.
    Buried with Christ and dead to sin,
    Your Spirit now shall live within.
  2. My loving Father, here You take me
    To be henceforth Your child and heir.
    My faithful Savior, here You make me
    The fruit of all Your sorrows share.
    O Holy Spirit, comfort me
    When threat’ning clouds around I see.
  3. My faithful God, You fail me never;
    Your promise surely will endure.
    O cast me not away forever
    If words and deeds become impure.
    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.
    Let me confess my faith sincerely;
    Help me Your faithful child to be!
    Let nothing that I am or own
    Serve any will but Yours alone.

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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5th Sunday after Trinity

Watchword from Ephesians

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) 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.

The Old Testament lesson 1st book of Moses (Genesis) the 12th 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 This is also the sermon text)

The Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians the 14th 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 St. Luke the 5th 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 liturgical colour is green.

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. Preis, Lob und Dank sei Gott dem Herren,
der seiner Menschen Jammer wehrt
und sammelt draus zu seinen Ehren
sich eine ewge Kirch auf Erd,
die er von Anfang schön erbauet
als seine auserwählte Stadt,
die allezeit auf ihn vertrauet
und tröst’ sich solcher großen Gnad.

2. Der Heilig Geist darin regieret,
hat seine Hüter eingesetzt;
die wachen stets, wie sich’s gebühret,
dass Gottes Haus sei unverletzt;
die führn das Predigtamt darinnen
und zeigen an das ewig Licht;
darin wir Bürgerrecht gewinnen
durch Glauben, Lieb und Zuversicht.

3. Die recht in dieser Kirche wohnen,
die werden in Gott selig sein;
des Todes Flut wird sie verschonen,
denn Gottes Arche schließt sie ein.
Für sie ist Christi Blut vergossen,
das sie im Glauben nehmen an,
und werden Gottes Hausgenossen,
sind ihm auch willig untertan.

4. Obwohl die Pforten offen stehen
und hell das Licht des Tages scheint,
kann doch hinein nicht jeder gehen,
zu sein mit Gott dem Herrn vereint.
Es ist kein Weg, denn nur der Glaube
an Jesus Christus unsern Herrn;
wer den nicht geht, muss draußen bleiben,
solang er sich nicht will bekehrn.

5. Also wird nun Gottes Gemeine,
gepflegt, erhalten in der Zeit;
Gott unser Hort, schützt sie alleine
und segnet sie in Ewigkeit.
Auch nach dem Tod will er ihr geben
aus Christi Wohltat, Füll und Gnad
das freudenreiche ewge Leben.
Das gib auch uns, Herr unser Gott!

Petrust Herbert (1530-1571)

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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3rd Sunday after Trinity

Jesus Christ our Lord and God said: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Introit from Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. 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 1-13)

God’s holy Word from holy prophet Ezekiel 18th chapter:

The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying, What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. (Verses 1-4.21-24.30-32)

The Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy the 1st chapter

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Verses 12-17)

The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke the 15thchapter

Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying … A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.  (Verses 1-3.11b-32)

Sermon based on the 1st Letter of St. John the 1st and 2nd chapter

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1:5-2:6)

Liturgical colour: Green

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

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may by thy mighty aid be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Hymn for this Sunday

  1. Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ,
    Mein Hoffnung steht auf Erden;
    Ich weiß, daß du mein Tröster bist,
    Kein Trost mag mir sonst werden.
    Von Anbeginn ist nichts erkorn,
    Auf Erden ist kein Mensch geborn,
    Der mir aus Nöten helfen kann;
    Ich ruf dich an,
    Zu dem ich mein Vertrauen han.
  2. Mein Sünd sind schwer und übergroß
    Und reuen mich von Herzen,
    Derselben mach mich quitt und los
    Durch deinen Tod und Schmerzen
    Und zeig mich Deinem Vater an                                                                                            Daß du hast gnug für mich getan,                                                                                            So werd ich quitt der Sündenlast.                                                                                              Herr, halt mir fest,                                                                                                                    Wes du dich mir versprochen hast!
  3. Gib mir nach deinr Barmherzigkeit
    Den wahren Christenglauben,
    Auf daß ich deine Süßigkeit
    Möcht inniglich anschauen,
    Vor allen Dingen lieben dich
    Und meinen Nächsten gleich als mich.
    Am letzten End dein Hilf mir send,
    Dadurch behend
    Des Teufels List sich von mir wend.

(Johannes Schneesing:  1542)

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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2nd Sunday after Trinity

Jesus Christ our Lord and God invites: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11,28)

Introit from Psalm 36: Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. 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 6-9)

God’s holy Word from holy prophet Isaiah the 55th chapter: Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. (Verses 1-5)

The Epistle to the Ephesians the 2nd chapter:  And (our Lord Jesus Christ) came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Verses 17-22)

The Holy Gospel according to the apostle and evangelist St. Luke the 14thchapter: And when one of them that sat at meat with him (our Lord IX) heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. (Verses 15-24)

Sermon for this Sunday from the 1st Letter to the Corinthians the 14th chapter: Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort… Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. (Verses 1-3.20-25)

Liturgical colour: Green

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for this 2nd Sunday after Trinity: Almighty and most merciful God, You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to seek and to save the lost. Graciously open our ears and our hearts to hear His call and to follow Him by faith that we may feast with Him forever in His kingdom; 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 unto Me, Saith God the Son… 

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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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. (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 4th 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 Prophet Jeremiah the 23 chapter: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (Verses 16-29)

Liturgical colour: Green

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for this first Sunday after Trinity: 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 Most of all for faith upon 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, Every stranger, sister, and brother. Lord, have mercy!
  3. Transcendent Comfort in our every 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

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 of the holy apostle St. Paul to the Romans 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)

God’s word for the Sermon the Epistle to the Ephesians chapter 1 verses 3-14:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[c] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In him we were also chosen,[d] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

And here is my sermon on this epistle to read: Eph1,3-14 Trinitatis 2018 St.Pauls and to listen to: 

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 Author: Rhabanus Maurus, 856
translated by: Edward Caswall, 1849, Tune: “Komm, Gott Schöpfer” based on “Veni, Creator Spiritus,” c. 600

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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Obituary for Ben Mathibe Mokopanele (Ps.147,3)

At the funeral of our long-time student representative at the Lutheran Theological Semianary in Tshwane the rector was absent and so was his representative. So the MC asked me to say a few words in  commemoration of the deceased, who passed away on the 13th of this month and was buried on the 19th. I gladly complied, because he was special to the Seminary, to our church and also to me personally – a good friend and true brother. He had shown us the best of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa and we surely miss him. It is as the venerable prophet says of our God and Lord IX: “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Is.53,12). I aimed at the daily reading from Psalm 147:3 “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

Posted in LTS in Tshwane, Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, Obituary, Uncategorized, You comfort me + | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments