Divine Service St. Andrew, Apostle – November 30, 2022

Order of Divine Service I, p.136  Lutheran Worship
Hymn “Savior of the Heathen, Come” (insert from Augustana #1, LW 13, TLH 95)
Readings: Deuteronomy 30:11-14, Romans 10:10-18, St. Matthew 4:18-22
Hymn “Jesus Calls Us; o’er the Tumult” TLH 270

–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).
Service Bulletin:  St.-Andrew-Apostle-November-30-ASBH-Final.pdf
Insert for Hymn:  Advent-One-Insert-11-27-2022-Final.pdf

Catechesis for Advent Two – November 30, 2022

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 the comfort we receive from the Second Coming of Christ (St. Luke 21:25-36), which is the Holy Gospel for the Second Sunday in Advent.

Learn-by-Heart will include “The Day Is Surely Drawing Near(The Augustana Service Book and Hymnal #2, LW #462, TLH #611), Small Catechism, Lord’s Prayer, Sixth Petition and meaning, and Romans 15:4.

–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).

Service Bulletin:  Catechesis-Advent-Two-11-30-2022.pdf
Responsive Prayer for Catechesis:    Responsive-Prayer-for-Catechesis-2023.pdf
Insert for Hymn:  Advent-Two-Insert-11-27-2022-Final.pdf


#1 Don’t Pass Judgment Without the Word and Command of God

So it is here, too. Those who have a log in their eye refuse to admit that they have, or to be denounced as blind and miserable people. They want to be praised for judging the doctrine and the life of other people from a truly Christian motivation. In this way the schismatic spirits can brag and swear that the reason they teach differently is not any pride or envy, but only their desire for the glory of God and the salvation of their neighbor. They make it all so beautiful and bright, and they make their humility and God’s glory so great that they cannot see anything else. In matters of life it is the same. As soon as people begin judging and criticizing one another, we see the same camouflage and the same boast: “I am not doing this out of hostility to the person but out of love for righteousness. I am a friend to the person but an enemy to the sin.” This tickles a person so gently beneath his lovely exterior that he never becomes aware of any log.

But it will not do for you to judge and pass judgment as you please, without the Word and command of God, and then to invoke the glory and the righteousness of God. This is a demonic addition, decorating and beautifying itself with this camouflage. Here it is said that God does not want us to take it upon ourselves to act as judges, either in matters of doctrine or in matters of life. Where judging or rebuking is necessary, those should do it who have the office and the commission to do it: preachers and ministers in the spiritual realm and the government in the secular realm, or a brother with a brother alone, on the basis of a brotherly love that bears and corrects the neighbor’s faults.  (Luther’s Works, v. 21, pages 222-223).

#67 We Neglect our Efforts and Grow Bored With It, but God Follows Through and Perseveres in His Work

  1. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks it even though it hinders Him.

Earlier in chapter one (1:9) he said: “What has been is what will be.” This is quite different from what he says here: “That which has been, already is.” There he was speaking about the works and things of men, here about the deeds of God. The human heart cannot be content with the things that are present; nor can it wish for what merely is, but only for what is to be. But once it has what is to be, it is still not content but looks for something else again. The heart is not satisfied. This is the condition of the human heart, always to be looking for future things but never to be satisfied. But God works and acts in the opposite way. With Him “whatever has been, is present”; that is, He does not turn away to future things. For it is said of Him (Gen. 1:31): “He saw everything that He had made, and it was very good.” God abides in the work that He does, and He does not overthrow it or run off to other and still other desires for the future, as the mind of man does. Those who walk according to God do this also; they are not diverted toward future things, to the neglect of the things that are present. The pious man does his work steadily and enjoys things steadily. Because God seeks it even though it hinders Him. As I have said, he is using antithesis to compare our efforts with the efforts of God. Our efforts are directed toward neglecting what we have, growing bored with it, and looking to what we shall have. God, on the other hand, follows through on what is and perseveres in His work, so that what He does may be stable. The efforts of the pious are of this kind also. Therefore he wants to say: Even when man wants and tries to hinder the work of God, God still seeks and defends His work, which men try to hinder and molest. Thus God has established David as king, but Absalom persecuted and molested him; but God in turn restored what Absalom hindered. The things that are done by God are not inconstant, as human counsels are, nor does God become bored with His counsels. (Luther’s Works, v.15 p.55-56)

Lutheran Bodies in North America, Class #22 – November 27, 2022

Today we continue the history of the Lutheran church bodies in North America after the Americanization.

Handout 1:  Part-4-After-Americanization.pdf
Handout 2:  Part-5-After-the-Brief-Statement.pdf
Overhead 1: My-Diagrams-for-Lutheran-Bodies-in-NA.pdf

–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).

Divine Service for Advent One – November 27, 2022

Order of Divine Service I, p.136  Lutheran Worship
Hymn “The Advent of Our God” LW 12, TLH 68
Service Begins with Introit
Litany, p. 279-283
Gloria in Excelsis Deo is omitted
Readings: Jeremiah 33:14-18, Romans 13:11-14, St. Matthew 21:1-9
Hymn “Savior of the Heathen, Come” (insert from Augustana #1, LW 13, TLH 95)
Hymn “Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior” LW 236, TLH 311
“Hark the Glad Sound” LW 29, TLH 66
Hymn “Prepare the Royal Highway” LW 27

–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).
Service Bulletin:  Advent-One-Divine-Service-for-Online-11-27-2022.pdf

Picture:  The Luther Bible 1534: Gen 41 — Pharaoh’s Dreams, p.27.

For Divine Guidance and Protection 3.

O LORD, Keeper of the faithful, ever preserve and keep us from the generation of the ungodly, and unite us to the generation of the righteous who keep Thy pure words, that we may always abide in Thy love, and by the help of Thine aid, rejoice in everlasting salvation; 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.43).

#70 Christ’s Coming

1 John 4:2, By this we know the spirits of God:every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.

Whatever they teach, compare it with these words from 1 Tim. 1:15: “Jesus came into this world to save sinners.” You must understand that whatever agrees with this is of God. But you must believe that whatever does not agree with this is from the father of lies (John 8:44). First the Jews deny constantly that Christ came in the flesh, and Cerinthus kept denying that Christ existed before Mary. If He came into the flesh, it follows that He existed before the flesh. He who denies that He came into the flesh denies that He is God and man. Accordingly, he is not of God but is of the devil. Nor is the spirit of the pope of a better sort. For the pope confesses the statement that Christ came in the flesh, but he denies its fruits. But this is the same as saying that Christ did not come in the flesh. For Christ’s coming in the flesh did not take place in order that He might be made man for His own sake; it took place in order that He might save us. He who teaches that Christ came in this way for His own sake destroys the fruit and the efficacy of His coming. For Christ came to destroy the works of the devil (3:8), to redeem sinners from sins. But the pope denies this. To be sure, he keeps the same words; but he denies the efficacy of His coming, that is, that our hearts should trust in Christ’s righteousness alone and be justified. In his bulls the pope condemns the article that we are justified solely by the righteousness of Christ. Yet this is the effect of His incarnation. But Paul contradicts the pope clearly when he says in Rom. 3:28: “We hold that man is justified apart from the works of the Law.” And our John says in 1 John 1:7: “His blood cleanses us from all sin.” Therefore Peter, in 2 Peter 2:1, condemns those who “deny the Master who bought them.” To be sure, they confess the Master; but they deny that He bought them. Therefore we conclude from this text that the spirit of the pope is of the devil; for he denies that Christ came in the flesh, inasmuch as he denies the power and the efficacy of Christ’s coming. I, too, have seen some spirits who indeed confessed Christ by name but actually denied Him. For they said that they believed in God yet not in a mediator.2 But I have nothing before God and cannot think of God without knowing that Christ is His Son and the Mediator of the whole world. Thus one must begin with the coming of Christ, and when stating the causes of salvation one must flee for refuge to Him who comes in order that we may hear His voice when He says in Ps. 40:7: “Lo, I come.”

“Therefore let no one think of God without the Mediator. Consider how Philip errs when he says: “Show us the Father” (John 14:8). Christ said to him: “Philip, he who sees Me has seen the Father” (cf. John 14:9). Therefore let us abide in such a way that we receive Him as the One who comes in the flesh. He seeks the lost sheep. Let us, who are the lost sheep, follow the Shepherd. The spirit of the Sacramentarians denies grossly that Christ came in the flesh when they say that Christ’s “flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63),3 likewise that the spirit must do everything, that Baptism amounts to nothing. Therefore he is not of God. If you consider the papacy, you will not see why Christ came into the flesh. Indeed, you will regard this as superfluous. When Erasmus discusses in one of his epistles why Christ came into the flesh, he makes Him a lawgiver.4 All the monks do the same thing. But Christ came to rescue us from Satan, death, and sin, from which we could not be rescued by our own strength. Yes, He came to remove all laws, to abrogate all righteousnesses, and to establish only His own righteousness. Satan, of course, cannot bear the content of the words but tries to divest them of their power. The pope removes the kernel of Christ and leaves the words; he leaves Him the shell and takes out the kernel. For he confesses the righteousness of Christ, yet in such a way that our righteousness is not removed. And this is no confession at all. We know that there is no approach to God unless, as Paul says in Rom. 5:1, “we are justified by faith.” Christ has flesh, but in it there is the full Divinity. God has offered Himself to us in Christ. Christ came into the flesh to be with us in Baptism and at the Holy Supper. Every spirit who is at pains to teach that Christ does everything through the sacraments is of God, is glad to hear about Christ, and gives thanks. For he understands that Christ is his and that He came in the flesh. Therefore this has been stated emphatically: Behold, this is the test of a spirit, whether he is of God or of the devil. (Luther’s Works vol. 30, p.284-285)

First Vespers for Advent One – November 26, 2022

Order of Vespers, p.224  Lutheran Worship
Office Hymn “Savior of the Heathen, Come”  (insert, Augustana #1)
Psalms:  1, 143
Readings:  Romans 13:11-14
Hymn “Creator of the Stars of Night”  WS #703
–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).
Service Bulletin:  Advent-1-First-Vespers-Nov-24-2022.pdf
Psalms:  Advent-1-First-Vespers-Psalms-2022.pdf
Insert with Hymn:  Advent-One-Insert-11-27-2022-Final.pdf

–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL).

#66 The Psalter ought to be a precious and beloved book

Luther’s Works, Vol. 35, p.253,  Preface to the Psalter

The Psalter ought to be a precious and beloved book, if for no other reason than this: it promises Christ’s death and resurrection so clearly—and pictures his kingdom and the condition and nature of all Christendom—that it might well be called a little Bible. In it is comprehended most beautifully and briefly everything that is in the entre Bible. It is really a fine enchiridion or handbook. In fact, I have a notion that the Holy Spirit wanted to take the trouble himself to compile a short Bible and book of examples of all Christendom or all saints, so that anyone who could not read the whole Bible would here have anyway almost an entire summary of it, comprised in one little book….

A human heart is like a ship on a wild sea, driven by the storm winds from the four corners of the world. Here it is stuck with fear and worry about impending disaster; there comes grief and sadness because of present evil. Here breathes a breeze of hope and of anticipated happiness; there blows security and joy in present blessings. These storm winds teach us to speak with earnestness, to open the heart and pour out what lies at the bottom of it. He who is stuck in fear and need speaks of misfortune quite differently from him who floats on joy; and he who floats on joy speaks and sings of joy quite differently from him who is stuck in fear. When a sad man laughs or a glad man weeps, they say, he does not do so from the heart; that is, the depths of the heart are not open, and what is in them does not come out.

What is the greatest thing in the Psalter but this earnest speaking amid these storm winds of every kind? Where does one find finer words of joy than in the psalms of praise and thanksgiving? There you look into the hearts of all the saints, as into fair and pleasant gardens, yes, as into heaven itself. There you see what fine and pleasant flowers of the heart spring up from all sorts of fair and happy thoughts toward God, because of his blessings. On the other hand, where do you find deeper, more sorrowful, more pitiful words of sadness than in the psalms of lamentation? There again you look into the hearts of all the saints, as into death, yes, as into hell itself. How gloomy and dark it is there, with all kinds of troubled forebodings about the wrath of God! So, too, when they speak of fear and hope, they use such words that no painter could so depict for you fear or hope, and no Cicero or other orator so portray them.

And that they speak these words to God and with God, this, I repeat, is the best thing of all. This gives the words double earnestness and life. For when men speak with men about these matters, what they say does not come so powerfully from the heart; it does not burn and live, is not so urgent. Hence it is that the Psalter is the book of all saints; and everyone, in whatever situation he may be, finds in that situation psalms and words that fit his ease, that suit him as if they were put there just for his sake, so that he could not put it better himself, or find or wish for anything better.