ALMIGHTY, Everlasting God, Merciful Father, since only the regenerate can see Thy kingdom and nothing is pleasing to Thee that hath not Thy Spirit: We beseech Thee that Thou wouldest grant to this child, who is Thy creation, Thy Holy Spirit of adoption, and seal and make sure his heart with the same, according to the promise of Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ; so that the inward renewal and regeneration of the Spirit through holy baptism may at all times be given him through Thy Divine working, and that he may be baptized into the death of Jesus Christ, be buried with Him and through Him be raised from the dead to walk in newness of life to the praise of the Glory of God and the good of his neighbor; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. (Oremus, 1925, p.80).
We wish you, kind sir and dear friend in Christ, the favor and peace of God the Father and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Two of your letters, the one to His Imperial Majesty, the other to the mendicant orders, came to my attention and were read by me with great joy. I thank my God for the favor and gift of the knowledge of Christian truth bestowed on you and in addition for your delight and active love for it. Moreover, one certainly senses that your words well forth from the bottom of an ardent heart, giving proof that the word of God does not just dwell lightly on your tongue or flit past your ears, as is true of many, but that it resides earnestly and enduringly in your heart. You have been so imbued with it that it has made you ready and bold to extol and to confess it, not only with your lips, but with your deeds and in writing, before and against all the world, and, above all, before exalted and clever minds. But the unusual measure of such a gift cannot be duly esteemed by any other than by him who is endowed with the Spirit that reveals what has been given us and teaches us to interpret spiritual truths spiritually, as St. Paul says in I Corinthians 2 [:14], “The unspiritual man does not perceive this.” (Luther’s Works, v.43, p.61)
Picture: At the top of the etching is a hovering dove with the words, “Spirit of God is yours/for you.” [All of the pictures for this year’s posts are from an etching entitled “Augsburg Confession” by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) and found in the Royal Collection Trust.]
It is, of course, quite true that if judged by its way of life, the holy church is not without sin, as it confesses in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses”; and John writes [I John 1:8, 10], “If we say we have no sin, we lie and make God a liar, who calls us all sinners”—also Romans 3 [:23], Psalm 14 [:3] and 51 [:7]. But doctrine should not be sinful or reproachable. It does not belong to the Lord’s Prayer and its petition, “Forgive us our trespasses,” because it is not something we do, but is God’s own word, which cannot sin or do wrong. A preacher should neither pray the Lord’s Prayer nor ask for forgiveness of sins when he has preached (if he is a true preacher), but should say and boast with Jeremiah, “Lord thou knowest that which came out of my lips is true and pleasing to thee” [Jer. 17:16]; indeed, with St. Paul and all the apostles and prophets, he should say firmly, Haec dixit dominus, “God himself has said this” [I Cor. 1:10]. And again, “In this sermon I have been an apostle and a prophet of Jesus Christ” [I Thess. 4:15]. Here it is unnecessary, even bad, to pray for forgiveness of sins, as if one had not taught truly, for it is God’s word and not my word, and God ought not and cannot forgive it, but only confine, praise, and crown it, saying, “You have taught truly, for I have spoken through you and the word is mine.” Whoever cannot boast like that about his preaching, let him give up preaching, for he truly lies and slanders God. (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.216)
Now a kindhearted man (as they say) might ask, “What harm is there if one holds to the word of God and yet lets all these matters, or at least those that are bearable, remain as well?” I answer, “They may be called kindhearted, but they are wrong-hearted and misled, for you have heard that it is impossible to teach any word other than God’s word, to serve anyone other than God, to light any light other than that which has been placed by God in the darkness” [Matt. 6:24]. It is indeed an error and a will-o’-the-wisp thing, even if it were only one single thing, for the church ought not and cannot teach lies and error. If it teaches one lie, then it is wholly false, as Christ says in Luke 11 [:35–36], “Be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no dark part, it will be wholly bright.” That is to say, it must be all light, without any darkness in it. The church must teach God’s word and truth alone, and not error or falsehood. And how could it be otherwise? For God’s mouth is the mouth of the church, and vice versa. God cannot lie, nor can the church. (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.215-216)
On Wednesday nights, Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL) offers to both children and adults an opportunity for teaching with Learn-by-Heart at 6:30 PM and a catechetical service at 7:00.
In this video from November 28, 2018, we learned stanza 2 of “Hail to the Lord’s Annointed” (The Lutheran Hymnal #59), the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer and the meaning from Luther’s Small Catechism. This service is designed to prepare God’s people for the theme of the upcoming Sunday Divine Service. The dialog sermon explains Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (St. Matthew 21:1-9), which is the Holy Gospel for the First Sunday in Advent.
The service concludes with “Responsive Prayer for Catechesis” (pdf link above).
This catechesis is recorded in two parts.
The first video is the Learn-by-Heart. [Length: 28 minutes]
The second video is the Catechesis Service. [Length: 34 minutes]
Today’s class continues to examine the first Old Testament account, as we look at the Image of God and the Sabbath Rest. (Genesis 1:1-2:3).
Handout 1: Text-for-Genesis-1-.pdf
Handout 2: Creation-Love-of-God.pdf
Note 1: A Divine Service was also video recorded and is available at trinityh.org, under the tab, Sermons
Note 2: This is the audio only post. The vimeo video is also available. Click here –> Vimeo Video for #4
–Pastor Michael D. Henson, Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL)
–PDF documents are available at trinityh.org under the tab “Bible Studies.”
Picture: Miriam comes to her first Sunday School class!
Service Bulletin: Last-Sunday-Divine-Service-for-Online-11-22-2020.pdf
Printed Sermon: SRM1952-Be-Prepared.pdf
0:00 Hymn “The Bridegroom Soon Will Call Us” LW 176, TLH 67
3:35 Service Begins
10:05 Readings: Isaiah 65:17-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, St. Matthew 25:1-13
16:10 Nicene Creed
17:50 Hymn “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” LW 177, TLH 609
21:50 Sermon “Be Prepared” St. Matthew 25:13 (length 18:30 minutes)
40:20 “Create in Me…” LW p.143
41:00 The Prayer of the Church
45:15 Communion Liturgy
53:50 Communion Hymns:
“Rise, My Soul, to Watch and Pray” LW 302, TLH 446
“I Am Trusting You, Lord Jesus” LW 408, TLH 428
“Come Thou Bright and Morning Star” TLH 539
“O Living Bread from Heaven” LW 244, TLH 316
1.07:30 Service ends
–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL)
This post is the audio, if you want the video CLICK HERE –> Vimeo Last Sunday in the Church Year
Note: The Bible class was also recorded and will be available at trinityh.org.
For whatever departs from the word of God (which is the only way, as Christ says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” [John 14:6]), however well and beautifully it may glitter, is without question error, lie, and death. It is without the word of God, that is, without the way, the truth, and the life. And what need would we have of the word if we could find ways for ourselves without it? For the word alone is the lamp to our feet, and the light to our path [Ps. 119:105], which, as St. Peter says, shines in the darkest place of this world [II Pet. 1:19]. Whoever does not hold it constantly and steadfastly before his eyes—where else can he go but into darkness? The light therefore is there in the darkness so that we can guide ourselves by it.
Now let us look in turn at each of these new things which have arisen in the pope’s new church. We discover that they have all been invented without God’s word, that is, without the way, the truth, and the light, but rather out of human devotion or opinion, or the malice of the pope. Therefore, as the church of the pope is full of indulgences, human merit, brotherhoods, worship of saints, monkery, masses, satisfaction, and the things we have already mentioned, such as worship, it is full of error, falsehood, idolatry, unbelief, murder, and is the epitome of the church of all the devils. They cannot say that God’s word teaches such things. (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.215)
BLESS, O God, all the members of this family (especially those who are absent from us) ; preserve them waking; guard them sleeping; that while they wake they may watch with Christ, and when they sleep they may rest in peace; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. (Oremus, 1925, p.79).
Therefore the holy church cannot and may not lie or suffer false doctrine, but must teach nothing except what is holy and true, that is, God’s word alone; and where it teaches a lie it is idolatrous and the whore-church of the devil. What help was it to the kings of Israel to boast that they served the God of Israel, who had led them out of Egypt? Indeed, they sought and called on the true God of their fathers, and they also held the law of Moses. But since, in addition, they honored calves and Baal, or at least instituted their own new worship in honor of the true God in their religious fervor, they lost everything. For God’s command, “You shall have no other God before me” [Deut. 5:7], stood against this; and Deuteronomy 4 [:2] and 12 [:32] had strongly forbidden them to undertake anything new or different on their own, saying, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it.” And again, “You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” [Deut. 5:32], that is, to make it better or worse, to limit or to change it. Therefore we read everywhere in the prophets how they rebuke the kings, priests, and people for always inventing new ways and not remaining on the one and only path. (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.214)
Picture: The altar at History Trinity Lutheran Church, Souland Market, St. Louis MO