For Peace

O GOD, our Refuge and Strength, be present with us in all our troubles, that every adverse sword may be sheathed and every heart may be enriched with the blessings of peace; so that in tranquility we may behold Thee, and beholding Thee may possess Thee forever; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.  (Oremus, 1925, p.63).

#32 The Victory of Christ Is Utterly Certain

We must look at this image and take hold of it with a firm faith. He who does this has the innocence and the victory of Christ, no matter how great a sinner he is. But this cannot be grasped by loving will; it can be grasped only by reason illumined by faith. Therefore we are justified by faith alone, because faith alone grasps this victory of Christ. To the extent that you believe this, to that extent you have it. If you believe that sin, death, and the curse have been abolished, they have been abolished, because Christ conquered and overcame them in Himself; and He wants us to believe that just as in His Person there is no longer the mask of the sinner or any vestige of death, so this is no longer in our person, since He has done everything for us.

Therefore if sin makes you anxious, and if death terrifies you, just think that this is an empty specter and an illusion of the devil—which is what it surely is. For in fact there is no sin any longer, no curse, no death, and no devil, because Christ has conquered and abolished all these. Accordingly, the victory of Christ is utterly certain; the defects lie not in the fact itself, which is completely true, but in our incredulity. It is difficult for reason to believe such inestimable blessings. In addition, the devil and the sectarians—the former with his flaming darts (Eph. 6:16), the latter with their perverse and wicked doctrine—are bent on this one thing: to obscure this doctrine and take it away from us. It is above all for this doctrine, on which we insist so diligently, that we bear the hate and persecution of Satan and of the world. For Satan feels the power and the results of this doctrine.  (Luther’s Works, v.26, p.284-285)

Picture: The Risen Christ

Vespers for Good Friday April 10, 2020

I UPDATED THIS VIDEO TO NORMALIZE THE AUDIO. –11 pm 4/10/20
Service Bulletin 1: Good-Friday-Vespers-for-Online-4-10-2020.pdf
Printed Sermon:  SRM1907-The-Deeply-Despised-Shall-Be-Highly-Exalted.pdf

0.00 Hymn LW #113 “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”
4:50 Order of Vespers, p.224
5:40 Psalm 22
13:45 Readings:  Isaiah 52:13-53:12, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, St. John 18:1-19:42
33:10 Responsory for Lent, p.226-227
34:15 Hymn LW #117 “Sing, My Tongue”
37:35 Sermon “The Deeply Despised Shall Be Highly Exalted” Jn 18:8-9  (length: 14 minutes)
51:30 Magnificat, p.228
54:10 Prayers
Three Collects for Good Friday
“Prayer in contagious epidemics and plagues”
Collect for Vespers & Collect “At this hour”
Collect for Peace
1.01:25 Hymn #121 “Upon the Cross Extended”
1.04:00 Hymn #110 “Go To Dark Gethsemane”
1.06:30 total time

–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL)
This post is the audio, if you want the video CLICK HERE –> Vimeo Video
Note: The Bible class was also recorded and will be available at trinityh.org.

That One’s Prayer be Heard.

O CHRIST, Who didst exclaim from the cross to the Father, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me ?”-Who by Thy cross didst redeem lost man, and didst give Satan to be bound in eternal chains: We beseech Thy mercy, that Thou wouldst never forsake us who believe in Thee, never repel us who confide in Thee; but that when we cry in the day-time Thou wouldest hear, and in the night-season also Thou wouldest receive our prayer;  Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.  (Oremus, 1925, p.64-65).

#31 This Fortunate Exchange

By this fortunate exchange with us He took upon Himself our sinful person and granted us His innocent and victorious Person. Clothed and dressed in this, we are freed from the curse of the Law, because Christ Himself voluntarily became a curse for us, saying: “For My own Person of humanity and divinity I am blessed, and I am in need of nothing whatever. But I shall empty Myself (Phil. 2:7); I shall assume your clothing and mask; and in this I shall walk about and suffer death, in order to set you free from death.” Therefore when, inside our mask, He was carrying the sin of the whole world, He was captured, He suffered, He was crucified, He died; and for us He became a curse. But because He was a divine and eternal Person, it was impossible for death to hold Him. Therefore He arose from death on the third day, and now He lives eternally; nor can sin, death, and our mask be found in Him any longer; but there is sheer righteousness, life, and eternal blessing. (Luther’s Works, v.26, p.284)

Picture:  The Tools of Crucifixion:  The hammer and the pliers and the nails used in affixing Jesus to the cross.  The pole with a vinegar-soaked cloth to wet his lips before He cried, “It is finished.”  Also the spear which was used to pierce His side.

Vespers for Maundy Thursday April 9, 2020

Service Bulletin: Maundy-Thursday-Matins-for-Online-4-9-2020.pdf
Printed Sermon: SRM1906-The-Old-Has-Gone-the-New-Has-Come.pdf

0:00 Hymn LW #106 “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna”
2:05 Order of Vespers, p.224
3:00 Psalm 51
8:05 Readings:  Exodus 12:1-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-32, John 13:1-15
14:40 Responsory for Lent, p.226-227
15:45 Hymn #100 “On My Heart Imprint Your Image”
16:35 Sermon “The Old has Gone, the New has Come” 1 Corinthians 11:25 (length: 13 minutes)
29:20 Magnificat, p.228
31:50 Prayers
38:00 Hymn #91 “My song Is Love Unknown”
42:00 Hymn #99 “Not All the Blood of Beasts”

43:40 total time

–Michael D. Henson, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL)
This post is the audio, if you want the video CLICK HERE –> Vimeo Video
Note: The Bible class was also recorded and will be available at trinityh.org.

After Receiving Absolution. 1

ALMIGHTY, Everlasting God, we have sinned against Thee in many ways and for these our sins have justly deserved eternal condemnation, but since we believe Thy dear Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, has obtained with Thee the forgiveness of sins and everlasting salvation for us, and we, but now, have been made confident of the same through the Holy Gospel and absolution: we beseech Thee right humbly and obediently, to endow us with the power of Thy Holy Spirit in order that we may guard ourselves hereafter against sin and live a; true and godly life in Thy service; through the Same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.   (Oremus, 1925, p.62-63).

#30 This Doctrine, So Sweet and So Filled With Comfort

With gratitude and with a sure confidence, therefore, let us accept this doctrine, so sweet and so filled with comfort, which teaches that Christ became a curse for us, that is, a sinner worthy of the wrath of God; that He clothed Himself in our person, laid our sins upon His own shoulders, and said: “I have committed the sins that all men have committed.” Therefore He truly became accursed according to the Law, not for Himself but, as Paul says, ὑπὲρ ἡμω̂ν. For unless He had taken upon Himself my sins, your sins, and the sins of the entire world, the Law would have had no right over Him, since it condemns only sinners and holds only them under a curse. Therefore He could neither have become a curse nor have died, since the cause of the curse and of death is sin, of which He was innocent. But because He took upon Himself our sins, not by compulsion but of His own free will, it was right for Him to bear the punishment and the wrath of God—not for His own Person, which was righteous and invincible and therefore could not become guilty, but for our person.  (Luther’s Works, v.26, p.283-284)

Picture: This Lord’s Supper scene which is inset in their altar is three-dimensional.  Even the faces of the disciples not facing the congregation were completed by the artist.

#29 If the Doctrine of Justification is Sound, So Are the Others

As I often warn, therefore, the doctrine of justification must be learned diligently. For in it are included all the other doctrines of our faith; and if it is sound, all the others are sound as well. Therefore when we teach that men are justified through Christ and that Christ is the Victor over sin, death, and the eternal curse, we are testifying at the same time that He is God by nature.

From this it is evident enough how horribly blind and wicked the papists were when they taught that these fierce and mighty tyrants—sin, death, and the curse—who swallow up the whole human race, are to be conquered, not by the righteousness of the divine Law (which, even though it is just, good, and holy, cannot do anything but subject one to a curse) but by the righteousness of human works, such as fasts, pilgrimages, rosaries, vows, etc. But, I ask you, who has ever been found who conquered sin, death, etc., if he was equipped with this armor? In Eph. 6:13 ff. Paul describes a far different armor to be used against these savage beasts. By putting us, naked and without the armor of God, up against these invincible and almighty tyrants, these blind men and leaders of the blind (Matt. 15:14) have not only handed us over to them to be devoured but have also made us ten times greater and worse sinners than murderers or harlots. For it belongs exclusively to the divine power to destroy sin and abolish death, to create righteousness and grant life. This divine power they have attributed to our own works, saying: “If you do this or that work, you will conquer sin, death, and the wrath of God.” In this way they have made us true God by nature! Here the papists, under the Christian name, have shown themselves to be seven times greater idolaters than the Gentiles. What happens to them is what happens to the sow, which “is washed only to wallow in the mire” (2 Peter 2:22). And, as Christ says (Luke 11:24–26), after a man has fallen from faith, the evil spirit returns to the house from which he was expelled and brings along seven other spirits more evil than himself and dwells there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. (Luther’s Works, v.26, p.283)

Picture: Cross and crown

For Forgiveness. 1

CLEANSE us, O Lord, from our secret faults, by purifying our conscience which is stained with its own defilements; set free Thy servants also from the dominion of their enemies, and forgive us those things which we have learned by the example of the wicked or have done through the persuasion of evil counsellors; that we, who confess Thee to be our own Lord, may never again experience the domination of sin; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. (Oremus, 1925, p.61).