Applying for a licence… (2003)

In 2003 I applied for a licence to own a shotgun. Part of the application was a biography of the applicant to describe his proficiency with the shotgun, hunting ethics and the like. This is was I wrote then: 2003 Application for licence 0307

 

 

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2nd Last Sunday in the Church Year

Watchword: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” (2.Cor.5:10)

The Introit from Psalm 50: Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah. (Verses 2-6) 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.

Old Testament lesson from Jeremiah 8,4-7: Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return? Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord.

The Epistle lesson St. Paul to the Romans in the eighth chapter: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Verses 18-23)

The holy Gospel according to St. Matthew in the 25th chapter. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Verses 31-46)

The Sermon text from St. Luke the 16th chapter: And our Lord Jesus Christ said also unto his disciples, “There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations”. (Verses 1-9)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for this Sunday: Lord Jesus Christ, before whose judgement seat we must all appear and give account of the things done in the body: grant that, when the books are opened on that day, the faces of your servants may not be ashamed; through your merits, O blessed Saviour, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect from Dobberstein Pg.124). Amen.

Hymn for the week:

1 The day is surely drawing near
When Jesus, God’s anointed,
In all His power shall appear
As judge whom God appointed.
Then fright shall banish idle mirth,
And flames on flames shall ravage earth
As Scripture long has warned us.

2 The final trumpet then shall sound
And all the earth be shaken.
And all who rest beneath the ground
Shall from their sleep awaken.
But all who live will in that hour,
By God’s almighty, boundless pow’r
Be changed at His commanding.

3 The books are opened then to all,
A record truly telling
What each has done, both great and small,
When he on earth was dwelling,
And ev’ry heart be clearly seen,
And all be known as they have been
In thoughts and words and actions.

4 Then woe to those who scorned the Lord
And sought but carnal pleasures,
Who here despised His precious Word
And loved their earthly treasures!
With shame and trembling they will stand
And at the judge’s stern command
To Satan be delivered.

5 My Savior paid the debt I owe
And for my sin was smitten;
Within the Book of Life I know
My name has now been written.
I will not doubt, for I am free
And Satan cannot threaten me;
There is no condemnation!

6 May Christ our intercessor be
And through His blood and merit
Read from His book that we are free
With all who life inherit.
Then we shall see Him face to face,
With all His saints in that blest place
Which He has purchased for us.

7 O Jesus Christ, do not delay,
But hasten our salvation;
We often tremble on our way
In fear and tribulation.
O hear and grant our fervent plea;
Come, mighty judge, and make us free
From death and ev’ry evil.

Details on this hymn for this Sunday. 

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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Rogue Lawyer (John Grisham)

Rogue Lawyer

I’ve confessed before, that I like reading John Grisham. Travelling for a few hours on Kenya Air and without a workable loudspeaker (I wanted to watch the film “Bucketlist” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman ), I somewhat grudgingly scanned through my Kindle for some unread novel and found: Rogue Lawyer and I wasn’t disappointed. I got about half-way before touchdown at O.R. Tambo and finished the rest at home and before midnight.

This is one of the best books I read by him up to date. Perhaps it was because Angelika is at a German symposium and Friederike is hiking in the Kahlamba range, RSG doesn’t broadcast the Springbok Internations anymore (The Springboks lost 3-38 against the minuscule Ireland. This borders on the catastrophic. It’s a paradigm change. The Springsboks are no longer, what they were. Islands like Ireland and Japan beat us – let alone New Zealand and other giants like Australia!) and I couldn’t get into the “Bundesliga” on ARD either.

Well, so I just continued reading the rogue lawyer. And it really turned me on. I must say, I was surprised, about how many jokes, insights and “Aha!”-occasions turned up. I didn’t just remind me of our South African dilemma of state capture, but also of the crazy direction of our institution and it’s way-out members. Grisham’s description of the rogue police department and heavy handedness of some political institutions in the US made me sigh once again: “And I thought, they only do that here…”

Grisham is master of personality depictions and I really like the way his stories unfold and come to a conclusion. I’m sure it’s not just because he’s Baptist, but perhaps also about my age, white, English and belonging to the Western hemisphere and background. Many of his characters are judged and boxed in a way, where I’d probably also classify them. Something for the Deconstructionists to chew on.

For instance, he counteracts the politically correct tendency to glorify homosexuals and from the outset put down straight white men, who are law-abiding and try to be good fathers and husbands and go about their daily work more or less conscientiously even if they like cage fighting, play Back-Gammon and pool, are attracted to pretty women, but stick to their wives (or not!), take care of their old mothers and struggling children, drink beer or stronger stuff, smoke this and that, struggle with their diet, have sleepless nights etc. The lesbian couple doesn’t get all the credit either, but neither does the creepy crawly of a sycophant, who somehow gets away with murder and worse.

He shows the struggles people are generally up against – and depicts them as likeable and normal people – even if they have their fights and the really bad guys aren’t so straightforwardly bad either like that drug dealer, who takes care of his mother most caringly, but goes about murdering others without even a twinge of guilty feelings.

There’s lots to learn about human personality and their complicated natures in the hinterland of the US. There are hardly any “just bad guys” and the good ones are not as uniform and straightforward as you might imagine. They are personalities with different streaks and surprising idiosyncrasies. He goes a long way to question the political ideologies, prejudices and setups in the USA. He questions the democratic values, violent computer games, popular dealings with minorities and accepted values and much more.

He takes you into maximum security prisons, let’s you sleep over in holding cells on just a dirty chair, because the other two beds are occupied; takes you into the waiting room on death-row and lets you get the feel of ostracised lawyers, who defend the opposition. This for me, was the most revealing. Reminded me a bit of “To kill a Mockingbird” and also “Bridge of Spies”. He lets you read about  the experiences of a father, who can see his eight-year-old child for only 36 hours every month, but tries hard to make this short period into something like quality time. So, it’s never boring and keeps your eyes glued to the unfolding cases.

I recommend this book and would think, that it could be a good basis for ongoing discussions in any book club or reader’s circle.

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3rd Last Sunday in the Church Year

Watchword: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2.Cor.6,2)

The Introit from Psalm 90:

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. (Verses 2f.12f)

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.

Old Testament lesson from Job 14: 1-6:

Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.

He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

And doth thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee?

Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day.

The Epistle lesson from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans in the 14th chapter:

“For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” (Verses 7ff)

The Holy Gospel according to St.Luke in the 17th chapter:

“And when Jesus was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.

And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.

For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.

But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Verses 20ff)

The Sermon text from the Holy Gospel accourding to St. Luke the 11th chapter:

And Jesus was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.

But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.

But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.

And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.

But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. (Verses 14-23)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for this Sunday: O God, so rule and govern our heargts and mins by Thy Holy Spirit that, being ever mindful of the end of all things and the day of Thy just Judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Hymn for the week:

1 Rejoice, rejoice, believers,
and let your lights appear;
the evening is advancing,
And darker night is near.
The Bridegroom is arising
and soon is drawing nigh.
Up, pray and watch and wrestle;
at midnight comes the cry.

2 The watchers on the mountain
proclaim the Bridegroom near;
go forth as he approaches,
with alleluias clear.
The marriage feast is waiting;
The gates wide open stand.
Arise, O heirs of glory;
The Bridegroom is at hand.

3 The saints, who here in patience
their cross and sufferings bore,
shall live and reign forever
when sorrow is no more.
Around the throne of glory
The Lamb they shall behold;
in triumph cast before him
their diadems of gold.

4 Our hope and expectation,
O Jesus, now appear;
arise, O Sun so longed for,
o’er this benighted sphere.
With hearts and hands uplifted
we plead, O Lord, to see
the day of earth’s redemption
that sets your people free!

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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20th Sunday after Trinity

Watchword for the 20th Sunday after Trinity: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8).

The Introit is from Psalm 19: The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Verses 7-11) 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.

Lesson from the Old Testament from the 1st book of Moses (Genesis) the 8th chapter: “And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Verses 18-22) This is also the Sermon text.

The epistle lesson from the first letter of the apostle St. Paul to the Thessalonians in the 4th chapter: “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.  He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.” (Verses 1-8)

The holy gospel according to the evangelist St. Mark in the 10th chapter: “And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you. And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.  And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.  And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” (Verses 2-12)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for the 20th Sunday after Trinity: O Lord, keep Your household, the Church, in continual godliness that through Your protection she may be free from all adversities and devoutly given to serve You in good works; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Hymn for the week: “The Law of God Is Good and Wise” by Matthias Loy, 1828-1915

1. The Law of God is good and wise
And sets His will before our eyes,
Shows us the way of righteousness,
And dooms to death when we transgress.

2. Its light of holiness imparts
The knowledge of our sinful hearts
That we may see our lost estate
And seek deliverance ere too late.

3. To those who help in Christ have found
And would in works of love abound
It shows what deeds are His delight
And should be done as good and right.

4. When men the offered help disdain
And wilfully in sin remain,
Its terror in their ear resounds
And keeps their wickedness in bounds.

5. The Law is good; but since the Fall
Its holiness condemns us all;
It dooms us for our sin to die
And has no power to justify.

6. To Jesus we for refuge flee,
Who from the curse has set us free,
And humbly worship at His throne,
Saved by His grace through faith alone.

Hymn #295  The Lutheran Hymnal Text: Ps. 19: 8
Author: Matthias Loy, 1863 Tune: “Erhalt uns, Herr bei Deinem Wort”
1st Published in: Geistliche Lieder Town: Wittenberg, 1543

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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Matins in the morning: Lk.19,1-10

Here is my sermon this morning on our Lord IX visiting Zaccheus based on St.Luke’s gospel chapter 19,1-10: 

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19th Sunday after Trinity

 

Watchword for the 19th Sunday after Trinity: Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved (Jer 17:14).

The Introit is from Psalm 32:  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Verses 1-2.5.7) 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.

Lesson from the Old Testament from the 2nd book of Moses (Exodus) the 34th chapter: “And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance. And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.” (Verses 4-10)

The epistle lesson from the letter of the apostle St. Paul to the Ephesians in the 4th chapter: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Verses 22-32)

The holy gospel according to the evangelist St. Mark in the 2nd chapter: “And again Jesus entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,  Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?  And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.  And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. (Verses 1-12)

The Sermon for this Sunday is based on the gospel of St. Mark, the 1st chapter: “And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto Jesus all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.  And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. (Verses 32-39)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for the 19th Sunday after Trinity: Almighty and merciful God, of Your bountiful goodness keep from us all things that may hurt us that we, being ready in both body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish whatever You would have us do; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Hymn for the week:

1 Now let us come before him,
With song and prayer adore him,
Who to our life has given
All needed strength from heaven.

2 The stream of years is flowing,
And we are onward going,
From old to new surviving
And by his mercy thriving.

3 Our God his own is shielding
And help to them is yielding.
Our work will prosper never
Unless he bless it ever.

4 To all who bow before you
And for your grace implore you,
Grant, Lord, your benediction
And patience in affliction.

5 Be with the sick and ailing,
Their Comforter unfailing;
Dispel their grief and sadness,
And give them joy and gladness!

6 Above all else, Lord, send us
Your Spirit to attend us,
Within our hearts abiding,
To heav’n our footsteps guiding.

Paul Gerhard (1607-1676 ) translated by John Kelly

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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18th Sunday after Trinity

Watchword for the 18th Sunday after Trinity: And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1Jo 4:21 NIV)

The Introit is from Psalm 122: 

I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

2 Our feet have been standing

within your gates, O Jerusalem!

3 Jerusalem—built as a city

that is bound firmly together,

4 to which the tribes go up,

the tribes of the Lord,

as was decreed for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

5 There thrones for judgment were set,

the thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

“May they be secure who love you!

7 Peace be within your walls

and security within your towers!”

8 For my brothers and companions’ sake

I will say, “Peace be within you!”

9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,

I will seek your good.

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.

Lesson from the Old Testament from the 2nd book of Moses (Exodus) the 20th chapter: “And God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.  “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.  “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Verses 1-17)

The epistle lesson from the letter of the apostle St. Paul to the Romans in the 14th chapter: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,  because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Verses 17-19)

The holy gospel according to the evangelist St. Mark in the 12th chapter: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. (Verses 28-34)

The Sermon for this Sunday is based on the gospel of St. Mark, the 10th chapter: As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good– except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ ” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (Verses 17-27)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for the 18th Sunday after Trinity: O God, forasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee, mercifully grant that Thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Hymn for the week: “Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart” by Martin Schalling, 1532-1608 translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878

1. Lord, Thee I love with all my heart;
I pray Thee ne’er from me depart,
With tender mercies cheer me.
Earth has no pleasure I would share,
Yea, heaven itself were void and bare
If Thou, Lord, wert not near me.
And should my heart for sorrow break,
My trust in Thee no one could shake.
Thou art the Portion I have sought;
Thy precious blood my soul has bought.
Lord Jesus Christ,
My God and Lord, my God and Lord,
Forsake me not! I trust Thy Word.

2. Yea, Lord, ’twas Thy rich bounty gave
My body, soul, and all I have
In this poor life of labor.
Lord, grant that I in every place
May glorify Thy lavish grace
And serve and help my neighbor.
Let no false doctrine me beguile
And Satan not my soul defile.
Give strength and patience unto me
To bear my cross and follow Thee.
Lord Jesus Christ,
My God and Lord, my God and Lord,
In death Thy comfort still afford.

3. Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram’s bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

Hymn #429 from The Lutheran Hymnal Text: Psalm 18
Author: Martin Schalling, c. 1567 translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1863, alt.
Titled: “Herzlich lieb hab’ ich dich, o Herr” 1st Published in: Bernhard Schmid’s Orgelbuch: Strassburg, 1577

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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Günter Scharlach in Bleckmar, Germany

Here are some pictures of Günter Scharlach’s time as theology student in the Lutheran Mission Seminary, Bleckmar, at the LTH Oberursel i.T. and also in Hamburg at the Mission Academy.

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Günter Scharlach on his way to marry Ingrid Ringelmann in Kirchdorf, KZN.

These are the first electronic copies after scanning some of those family photos showing Günter Scharlach’s final years in Bleckmar, Germany after World War II and coming to South Africa to be ordained and installed as pastor in Lüneburg, KZN and getting married to Ingrid Ringelmann from Kirchdorf, KZN.

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