For Godly Life.

MAKE us, O Lord, to flourish like pure lilies in the courts of Thine House, and to show forth to the faithful the fragrance of good works, and the example of a godly life; 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.42).

#45 Though Wisdom Exceeds Folly, It Lacks the Power to Accomplish Things

Eccl. 2:12.  So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly; for what man can imitate the King who has previously made him?  Then I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. The wise man has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness; and yet I perceived that one fate comes to all of them.

Another experience proves that everything is vanity, namely, the efforts and plans of men. “Whatever happened to me,” he says, “I saw that it also happened to others. My counsels and even my wisdom were vain and useless; they did not have the success that I wanted. I observed the same thing in others as well. I observed the wisdom and the madness of others and compared them with each other. I saw that some men behave very wisely and attempt many things prudently. I also saw mad fools acting without any plan. Yet their folly and madness was somehow lucky and successful, while the plans of the wise men were utterly useless and the wise men themselves were so unfortunate that the madness merited the proverb ‘Fortune helps the bold.’ ” ….  In short, a thing is not decided by the wisdom of the wise nor by the temerity of the foolish, so that the counsels of the wise are made foolish and we do not glory in ourselves. Thus in war victory does not come immediately, even though the army may be highly trained and everything may be very wisely thought out, as some years ago certain victory was expected by the French over the emperor, but the opposite came out.

Therefore he says: You see that the foolish succeed as well as the wise, so that there is no difference apparent between the wise man and the madman as far as success is concerned, in fact, so that it seems that there is no God who would allow things to be carried on so madly. But Solomon answers: “No, wisdom is far more excellent than folly,” even though it is true that human wisdom does not accomplish things but God Himself accomplishes them. God is able by His wisdom to accomplish whatever He wishes, but man does not accomplish it. For God has not only wisdom but also the power to accomplish it, so that what He has decreed succeeds; man is not able to do this. In short, the counsel of God is not deceived, but the counsels of men, even of wise men, are deceived. Therefore he correctly says:

Eccl. 2:13. Then I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. Wisdom is indeed a good thing; nevertheless, it lacks power and cannot accomplish things or decide events. (Luther’s Works, v.15 p.38-39)

Trinity Three Divine Service, July 3, 2022

Order of Divine Service I, p.136  Lutheran Worship
Hymn “Lord, to You I Make Confession”  LW 233, TLH 326
Readings:  Micah 7:18-20, 1 Peter 5:6-11, St. Luke 15:1-10
Hymn “I Trust, O Christ, in You Alone” LW 357
Communion Hymns: “Your Table I Approach” LW 249, TLH 310
“Here is the Tenfold Sure Command” LW 331, TLH 287
“Jesus Sinners Will Receive” LW 229, TLH 324

–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).
Service Bulletin:  Trinity-Three-Divine-Service-for-Online-7-3-2022.pdf

Picture: The Fall from 2nd Edition of New Testament, M. Luther, Wittemberg, 1524.

Lutheran Bodies in North America, Class #2: July 3, 2022

We started off our study last week with a look at rationalism and pietism, the historical circumstances which led to the Lutheran church bodies in North America.  Due to last week’s discussion, we are going to spend quite a bit more time with Pietism, before we begin our study of the Lutheran church bodies in North America.
Handout 1: Pietism-and-Dead-Orthodoxy.pdf
Handout 2: Fifteenth-Evening-Lecture-reduced.pdf

The handouts from last week:
Handout 3:  Definition-of-Pietism.pdf
Handout 4: Lutheran-Bodies-in-North America-4-Pages.pdf
–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).

Picture: The Bike with Pastor Mike on May 15, 2022.

To Abound in Works of Mercy.

O CHRIST, our God, make us ever ready to aid the poor and needy, and to keep Thy law, that abounding in works of mercy, we may become the fellows of the heavenly citizens; Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen  (Oremus, 1925, p.42).