“A Christian should and must be a cheerful person. If he isn’t, the devil is tempting him. I have sometimes been grievously tempted while bathing in my garden, and then I have sung the hymn, ‘Let us now praise Christ.’ Otherwise I would have been lost then and there. Accordingly, when you notice that you have some such thoughts, say, ‘This isn’t Christ.’ To be sure, he can hear the name of Christ, but it’s a lie because Christ says, ‘Let not your hearts be troubled [John 14:27]. Trust in me,’ etc. This is a command of God: ‘Rejoice!’ I now preach this, and I also write it, but I haven’t as yet learned it. But it happens that we learn as we’re tempted. If we were always glad, the devil would befoul us. Christ knows that our hearts are troubled, and it is for this reason that he says and commands, ‘Let not your hearts be troubled.’ (Luther’s Works, v. 54, p.95)
O THOU Who art great and highly to be praised: Spread abroad the faith of Thy Church into all realms, to the end, that as in all its degrees Thou art acknowledged to be GOD, Thou mayest also be praised in the united devotion of her members; receive of Thy mercy, her prayers, and in the midst of the tempests of this world, be Thou her watchful Pilot, so that we may by Thy mercy enter that City which Thou hast founded for ever and ever, and may be received therein, and may tell within its towers Thy marvelous works; 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.68).
I asked him [Martin Luther] about a certain man who, when he had a stomachache for several days and as a consequence had pain in his head and was confused in his thoughts, got the notion and was afraid that he was falling into a state of melancholy. He disclosed his anxiety to me and asked that I notify the doctor, whereupon he [Martin Luther] responded with these words: “When the devil can bring this about, it means that imagination has produced the effect. On this account his thoughts ought to be changed. He ought to think about Christ. You should say to him, ‘Christ lives. You have been baptized. God is not a God of sadness, death, etc., but the devil is. Christ is a God of joy, and so the Scriptures often say that we should rejoice, be glad, etc. This is Christ. Because you have a gracious God, he won’t take you by the throat.’
“A Christian should and must be a cheerful person. If he isn’t, the devil is tempting him. (Luther’s Works, v. 54, p.95)
The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, January 30, 2022 at 10:15 AM Link to Live Stream
Order of Divine Service I, p.136 Lutheran Worship
Hymn “If God Himself Be for Me” LW 407, TLH 528
Readings: Jonah 1:1-17, Romans 8:18-23, St. Matthew 8:23-27
Hymn of the Day: “Seek Where You May to Find a Way” LW 358, TLH 383
“Jesus Has Come and Brings Pleasure” LW 78
“Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face” LW 243
“God Loved the World So that He Gave” LW 352, TLH 245
“Lord Jesus Christ, My Savior Blest” TLH 353
–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).
Service Bulletin: Epiphany-Four-Divine-Service-for-Online-1-30-2022b.pdf
Picture: The Initial Letter D from Das Newe Testament Deuotzsch. The image is from Martin Luther’s (1483-1546) September Testament. Initial Letter “D” featuring the apostle Paul holding a book and sword. The images from Das Newe Testament Deuotzsch, the 1522 German New Testament by Dr. Martin Luther are taken from https://pitts.emory.edu/. These woodcuts were designed by Lucas Cranach, the Elder (1472-1553), a close friend of Martin Luther. For information on licensing this image, please send an email, including a link to the image, to firstname.lastname@example.org. These images are made available by the generous contribution of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation.
“Thus we are like the holy fathers in our faith. The weaker we are than the fathers, the greater the victory Christ obtains for us. We are very inexperienced, very weak, and very proud over against the devil; he has a great advantage over us, for our wisdom, power, and holiness are not so great as our fathers’ were. But our Lord God wants to put an end to the devil’s extreme arrogance…. (Luther’s Works, v. 54, p.95)
“DEAR CHRISTIANS, LET US NOW REJOICE” (1523)
If the ballad describing the martyrs’ deaths of Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes was Luther’s first hymn, this ballad of the believer’s justification was most likely his second. With the former it shares a vivid, personal, dramatic style. But while in the martyrs’ hymn two individuals served to illustrate the joy and confidence of faith, here the same theme is depicted in the struggles and victories of every believer. And while the first hymn described a historical event, the second takes its material from Luther’s innermost experiences.
Stanza 1 Dear Christians, let us now rejoice, and dance in joyous measure: Of what to us our God hath shown, and the sweet wonder he hath done Full dearly hath he wrought us.
Stanza 2: That of good cheer and with one voice We sing in love and pleasure. Of what to us our God hath shown, and the sweet wonder he hath done Full dearly hath he wrought us.
“ALL PRAISE TO THEE, O JESUS CHRIST” (1523)
The first stanza of this hymn was known long before the Reformation and was frequently sung on Christmas Day as the people’s response to the sequence “Grates nunc omnes.”
Stanza 7 “All this for us did Jesus do, That his great love he might show. Let Christendom rejoice therefore, And give him thanks for evermore. Kyrie. (Luther’s Works, v. 53, p.216, 239-240)
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 January 23, 2019, we learned stanza 4 of “To the Name of Our Salvation” (The Lutheran Hymnal #116), the fourth part of Holy Baptism 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 the Great Tempest on the Sea (St. Matthew 8:23-27), which is the Holy Gospel for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The service concludes with “Responsive Prayer for Catechesis” (pdf link below). [Length: 59 minutes]
This evening he [Martin Luther] was very joyful. His conversation, his singing, and his thoughts were about the incarnation of Christ, our Savior. Amid his sighs he said, “Ah, what wretched people we are! To think that we are so cold and slothful in our attitude toward this great joy which, after all, happened for us, this great benefaction which is far, far superior to all other works of creation! And yet how hard it is for us to believe, though the good news was preached and sung for us by angels, who are heavenly theologians and have rejoiced in our behalf! Their song is the most glorious. It contains the whole Christian faith. For the gloria in excelsis is supreme worship. They wish us such worship and they bring it to us in Christ
“Ever since the fall of Adam the world knows neither God nor his creation. It lives altogether outside of the glory of God. Oh, what thoughts man might have had about the fact that God is in all creatures, and so might have reflected on the power and the wisdom of God in even the smallest flowers! Of a truth, who can imagine how God creates, out of the parched soil, such a variety of flowers, such pretty colors, such sweet vernal grass, beyond anything that a painter or apothecary could make! Yet God can bring out of the ground such colors as green, yellow, red, blue, brown. Adam and those around him would have been elevated by all this to the praise of God, and they would have made use of all created things with thanksgiving. Now we enjoy all this to overflowing, yet without understanding, like cattle or other beasts trampling the most beautiful blossoms and lilies underfoot.
“For this reason the angels here [in the Christmas story] recall fallen men to faith and love, that is, to glory toward God and peace on earth.” (Luther’s Works, v. 54, p.326)
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 PM.
This service is designed to prepare God’s people for the theme of the upcoming Sunday Divine Service. The dialog sermon explains “Jesus Calms the Storm” (St. Matthew 8:23-27), which is the Holy Gospel for Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.
Learn-by-Heart will include Lutheran Worship #78, stanza 4 of “Jesus Has Come and Brings Pleasure,” Small Catechism, Confession, question one and two, and Psalm 50:15.
–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).