Archive for February, 2013

Christ in the Garden

February 27, 2013 Leave a comment

agony in the garden     Look, how he glows for heat!

What flames come from his eyes!

‘Tis blood that he does sweat,

Blood his bright forehead dyes:

See, see!  It trickles down:

Look, how it showers amain!

Through every pore

His blood runs o’er,

And empty leaves each vein.

His very heart

Burns in each part;

A fire his breast doth sear:

For all this flame,

To cool the same

He only breathes a sigh, and weeps a tear.


A husband’s prayer after his wife has delivered a stillborn child (1752)

February 26, 2013 3 comments

baby casket152.  Prayer of a husband after his wife has delivered a stillborn child.

Breslau Hymnal, 1752

taken from Evangelische Lutherischer Gebets-Schatz

Oh my dear, gentle God!  Since it has pleased Your wisdom to summon the fruit of our bodies in its birth and to take it to Yourself, we must also let it be pleasing to us.  We will not doubt that You have , in answer to our hearts’ prayers (whether spoken or in the sighs of the Holy Spirit), received it and lifted it up to all grace, for the sake of Your dear Son, so that it is now without doubt a dear little child of everlasting blessedness and life.  In fact, it is now cared for and kept safe from all evil in the best possible way, instead of what it would have had to endure in this evil world.

But apart from this I thank You from my heart for preserving my beloved wife alive through these bitter birth pangs, that You have snatched her from the very jaws of death and given her back like new to me and my young children.  Oh help, so that she might regain her strength, which she has almost lost entirely in this great trauma, this difficult childbirth.  Thus I will laud and praise You, and magnify Your mercy, here in time and hereafter forever and ever, through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

When the Lord says “Your will be done”. Reminiscere sermon 2013. Matthew 15:21-28

February 24, 2013 2 comments


St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Matthew 15:21-28

February 24, 2013

“When the Lord says: ‘Your will be done’”

Jesu juva


In the Holy Name of Jesus.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,


Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done” to His heavenly Father.  But before that He taught us to call His Father “Our Father”.  That is an invitation to pray that exceeds our wildest imaginations.  You don’t talk to your master the way you do to your father.  You don’t ask your master for the same things.  You might ask your master for a day off.  You ask your father for Christmas presents, for the keys to the car, to help you with your homework.


Jesus gives us His Father as our Father.  He teaches us to ask our Father in heaven first of all that His name be kept holy, that His kingdom would come, and that His will would be done on earth as in heaven.  Many people hear that third petition “Thy will be done” and figure that means that our will will not be done.


But Jacob and the Canaanite woman prayed and God let their will be done.  “Be it done for you as you desire,” Jesus said to the woman.  What is that but to say, “Your will be done?”


God does not always say, “No,” to our prayers.  Sometimes He says, “Let it be done for you as you wish.”


So you would think that we would pray about everything.  First because Jesus tells us that when we pray we should call God “Father”; secondly because God has been known to say to sinners who pray: “Your will be done.”


But we don’t pray very much, do we?

Not like Jacob and the Canaanite woman, where God says, “Your will be done.”  “Let it be done for you as you desire” after we have prayed and struggled.

Not as diligently for our neighbor as we pray for ourselves, as the Canaanite woman did for her daughter.



It is not true that God never wants to give you what you desire.

God wants to give you what you desire, when your desire is the same as His.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:5


He wants to teach you to ask for what He has promised, and to teach you to rely on His promise even when it seems like He is not coming through on it.


He wants to make you, as a king and priest together with Jesus, a co-worker in Jesus’ royal work of saving sinners and having mercy on the just and the unjust.


How?  Through prayer.


When does God say “Your will be done?”


God says “Your will be done”:

  1.  Not to those who trust in their own righteousness.
  2. But to those who come to Jesus only clinging to His grace and His promise.

Read more…

The Monster of Uncertainty Invocabit Sermon 2013. Matthew 4

February 21, 2013 3 comments

jesus tempted


St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Matthew 4:1-11

February 17, 2013

Jesu juva!


 Beloved in Christ,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Temptation by the devil

Being alone


Forsaken by other supports


Uncertainty…Did God say?  Is God with me?  Am I pleasing to God?


Fortifying self with God’s word—catechism [review during Lent]


“Baptized for this moment.” [LCMS theme]


  1.  Theme:  Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
    1.  The Word of God gives us our lives in this world.
    2. The Word of God gives us eternal life in Christ.


 The Word of God gives us our lives in this world.

God will preserve our lives

1st article

Our callings: identity/ lives given to us by God through His Word/ Commandment [ie…Honor your father and mother.  Husbands, love your wives.  Wives, submit to your own husbands…etc.  Table of Duties in catechism]

Certainty that our work, etc. is pleasing to God.

Certainty for life in the Church


Order: Church is built by Word and Sacrament.  Pastors have the highest office in the church.  Yet the pastoral office, instituted by Christ, is ministry       of      service.  Church life regulated by the Word of the Lord, by love that submits itself to the brother where God leaves us free.


Worship: Preaching of the pure Gospel.  Right administration of the sacraments.  Freedom  in ceremonies for the sake of the edification of the church (ie not freedom to do whatever we want, but freedom to do what best serves the preaching of the Gospel…including concern that the hearers understand, but also concern that our use of freedom does not undermine the true unity of the Church in doctrine and administration of the sacraments.)  The Word of the Lord gives us Divine Worship; it gives us the Gospel, Holy Baptism, Absolution, Christ’s body and blood, prayer, Scripture.  We don’t create worship but receive it through the means of grace; then the fruits of faith–prayer, thanksgiving, giving, serving…etc. are generated in us by the faith given by the Spirit.


Preservation of the Church…the Lord’s Word builds church and preserves it.  The Lord gives the church.  We work in the Church, but the Lord preserves it and makes it grow.

Certainty in prayer–given in the Word that commands us to pray and promises that we will be heard.


A good conscience–given through the Gospel and Sacraments by Holy Spirit




The Word of God gives us eternal life in Christ.


“The monster of uncertainty”…not being sure about the Word of God is unbelief.

The devil works to get us into a position where we violate our conscience and do what we believe to be wrong, or what we are uncertain about.

Willful sin destroys faith.  But where the devil can’t put our conscience to sleep, he works to make us uncertain all the time–inventing sins, constantly telling us that for one reason or another we are not allowed to take hold of the comfort of the Gospel of Jesus for ourselves.


Jesus our substitute


His    Baptism…He takes our guilt

Temptation…He overcomes in our place

Death…He atones for our sins.




Jesus our Priest








Our brother


Tempted as we




Conquered for us.





His promises are our defense and certainty.


Word (Scripture passages, Catechism)




Holy Baptism








Sacrament of the Altar




Their use in prayer (certainty)




Our teacher. (sensei?)




Teaches us faith and prayer through temptation




Teaches us combat with Satan.






The author and finisher of our faith.




He has completed our reconciliation with God.




He will bring to completion the good work that He began


Your personal salvation


The Church’s salvation.





The Word gives us our lives/callings in this world.

The Word of Christ gives us everlasting life when our consciences are uncertain, proclaiming Christ who is God’s “Yes” to us.




The peace of God, which passes understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.




Soli Deo Gloria


Baptism: God stakes His honor, power, and might on it. Lenten Vespers Sermon Feb. 20 2013

February 20, 2013 6 comments
Don't get any funny ideas like Jesus' baptism has any similarities to yours!

Don’t get any funny ideas like baptism unites you to Jesus!  (cf Romans 6:1-4, Colossians 2:8-12 f.  Galatians 3:26-27, Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3, etc.)

Wednesday after Invocabit-Vespers

St. Peter Lutheran Church

Small Catechism—What is Baptism?  Where is this written?

(Matthew 3)

February 20, 2013

Jesu Juva


Dear Christians:


Baptism is necessary for salvation.


Can we really say that?  Yes, because Jesus says it.  Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  (St. John 3:5)


As a member of this congregation you already say it, because the Lutheran Confessions say it in agreement with the Word of God.  If you’re a member of St. Peter, you’re a member of a congregation that says that the Book of Concord, the Lutheran Confessions, are faithful explanations of Scripture.  And the Augsburg Confession says:  “Of Baptism [our churches] teach that it is necessary to salvation…”


Obviously, if something is necessary to salvation, it’s a big deal.  And to go to a church where they say it isn’t necessary to salvation would be a very bad thing.  Right?


That’s why later on the Lutheran Confessions thank God that the Anabaptists had made no headway in the Lutheran churches in the 1530’s.  Anabaptists said that infants should not be baptized, that babies went to heaven without baptism.  And for adults, when you were really saved was when you understood God’s Word as an adult and made a decision to follow Jesus.  Then you would be baptized again.  The confessions make this boast:

…we confess that Baptism is necessary to salvation, and that children are to be baptized, and that the baptism of children is not in vain, but is necessary and effectual to salvation.  And since the Gospel is taught among us purely and diligently, by God’s favor we receive also from it this fruit, that in our churches no Anabaptists…[have gained ground], because the people have been fortified by God’s Word against the wicked and seditious faction of these robbers.


Notice how seriously the Lutheran Confessions take the teaching about Baptism.  They are thankful that the rebaptizers have not succeeded in bringing their doctrine into the churches or in taking many sheep.


Unfortunately, we can’t make the same boast.  Those who say that Baptism is just water and that it doesn’t benefit babies have made inroads in our churches.  Thank God, we don’t have any pastors in the synod yet who deny that Baptism saves.  But we have lost lots and lots of our sheep to churches who tell people that Baptism isn’t necessary for salvation.  I was one of those lost sheep for awhile; I almost was rebaptized.  Many, many sons and daughters of this congregation, baptized and catechized by Rev. Frenk and Rev. Martin, have gone on to join churches who say that infant baptism is invalid and that baptism is just water.  I hear that at least one of the children I catechized has received so-called “believer’s baptism”, which is called that because the churches that practice it say that babies who are baptized do not believe in Christ.


Baptism is necessary to salvation.  Jesus says so.  In the great commission verse we said in the catechism today Jesus says, “Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Why didn’t Jesus say what the so-called “bible-believing Christians” say—“Go make disciples of all nations, preaching to them and telling them to accept me as their Lord and Savior?”  Because that is not how disciples are made.  They are made through Baptism, and then they are instructed in all of Christ’s teaching.


So why have the churches that teach that baptism is an empty sign made such inroads into the Missouri Synod?  There are two glaring reasons.


First of all, so many of us have convinced ourselves that it’s not that big a deal to deny baptism or to believe and teach wrongly about it.

Read more…

Prayer of a preacher before visiting the sick. Ev. Luth. Treasury of Prayer.

February 14, 2013 1 comment

2012-08-01 St. Peter neighborhood Aug. 1 2012 055200.  A preacher’s prayer before visiting the sick


Almighty, eternal God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and source of all right comfort!  See: I, an unprofitable servant, go as my calling requires, to console a sick and afflicted person, one who may be dying.  It does not lie with human strength to accomplish this.  This comfort depends entirely on divine aid.  So I ask You: lend me Your Holy Spirit, that He may put Your Word in my mouth and rule my tongue and my lips, so that my speech flows and is sweet as honey.  Raise up this one who is sick and strengthen [ him/her ] in faith, hope, and patience, or else make [ him/ her ] calm to die swiftly and joyfully, for the sake of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.


–Johann Schrader (17th century)

Ev. Lutheran Treasury of Prayer (1881—15th edition)

Prayer of a Person desiring to go to confession for the sake of the holy Absolution. Gebets-Schatz

February 12, 2013 8 comments

454pxWiblingenbeichtstuhl1298.  Prayer of a person who wants to go to private confession and desires the holy Absolution.

Lord Jesus Christ, my Redeemer!  You have bequeathed to Your beloved church here on earth and her faithful butlers (servants; ministers) the holy Office of the Keys with the promise attached to it, that what they  in the power of this office will loose or bind shall also be loosed or bound in heaven.  For such a grace-rich means and instrument of Your Spirit, I declare Your eternal laud, glory, and praise.  I beseech You from the bottom of my heart: since as a poor, bound sinner, I am  in need of this comforting loosing-key, and so that I will not be held in the fetters of the jailwarden of hell, let it come upon me through my Christian father-confessor, and for the sake of Your blood and death graciously release and acquit me from all my sins.  Lend me Your Holy Spirit alongside of the holy Absolution, that I may take hold of it in genuine repentance, unwavering confidence, good purpose [to amend my life], brotherly love, and thankfulness, and finally come to everlasting blessedness in heaven.  Amen.

–Sigismund Scherertz (1584-1639)—Superintendent at Lueneburg (Germany)



Seelen-Arznei und Spiegel der geistlichen Anfechtungen  (Soul-Medicine and Mirror of Spiritual Afflictions)

From Evangelische-Lutherischer Gebets-Schatz

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