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Month: July 2013

Disrobing Ourselves from the Appearance of Divinity.

This is part of a sermon preached on July 11, 2013 in the International Center Chapel by The Rev. Dr. Leopoldo (Leo) Sänchez, Associate Professor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and director of the Center for Hispanic Studies. The text for the sermon is Philippians 2:5–11. The concept of divesting ourselves or disrobing – taking off our self serving ways and putting on Christ is a concept from Paul.  Galatians 3 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. You see, Christ does not exercise His power by claiming it, even though He has it all as the Lord of heaven and earth. Instead, Christ Jesus manifests His power by becoming our Servant. Through the cross, Christ redefines what lordship is. We learn that lordship is displaying whatever power we have been given not to make claims over others but by sacrificing for them. One lives under the lordship of Christ by dying to self in order to make room for the neighbor, by giving up seeking a name for oneself in order to worship the only name that counts, the name of Jesus alone. This divesting of one’s claims to greatness is what Paul calls having “the mind of Christ,” the mind of the Lord who, as Mark says in his Gospel, did not come to be served but to serve and to give...

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Mercy and Perspective

I snapped this picture in St. Louis.  I thought it was an interesting work of art or whatever, but when I got home and looked I realized how huge this thing is.  See the little people trying to crawl into that massive body? Well it is not that big.  Somehow I got the picture lined up in such a way that the perspective looks as though people about a block away are right there trying to enter the body of this sculpture.  Perspective is an interesting thing.  We are obviously not seeing what we think we are seeing, or we are seeing the truth from a different angle.  Mercy work is like that.  Depending on your perspective it is a good thing or an awful thing to help people like we are trying to do with Project 24.  How much help are we actually offering?  Some would say that we aren’t accomplishing much and others would say that we are making a genuine difference.  It all depends on where you stand. My perspective is the words of Jesus after he told the story of the “Good Samaritan”.  He didn’t run a cost benefit analyses of the life of the beaten man after his rescue.  He didn’t tell us that the man became a believer and so all the effort was worth it.  He didn’t go into the metrics of...

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The Wait Staff Has Been Notified.

Someone asked me to post the Sermon that I delivered at the convention for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod on July 22nd – the text was Acts 6:1-7 –* At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.a 2* So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.* 3Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, 4whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6b They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them.* 7The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith. Here it is……………………….. So I went to a restaurant and someone took me to my table and I wanted water and they said, “your server will be right with you.”  I...

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Those Pesky Resolutions

Three years ago our church body underwent a tremendous upheaval called restructuring.  Those of us hanging around the Synod Inc.  part of our world believed that it was a monumental effort to get a tremendous amount of authority in the hands of a few.  We didn’t like it but it is what the church voted for.  The church also voted Matthew Harrison as our President, something the restructuring folks didn’t want.  So now the folks that wanted the restructure but not President Harrison write stuff like this………….. “Not insignificantly, most of those resolutions concentrated significant authority in the hands of a few. That is something most of us either do or do not applaud or appreciate, depending largely upon the identity of the few and the level of trust placed in those so identified. Most in the LCMS hope and pray that such concentration of authority will be handled evangelically, faithfully and fraternally. Time will tell whether or not that is the case.” Time will tell indeed. Meanwhile the work of mercy will continue and the proclamation of the Gospel will too.  Our prayer should be that God’s word speak on and conquer. Share this on:...

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Conventions etc.

I am getting ready to leave the convention and I thought about what happened over these last days. Lots if resolutions are fluff. They are nice – commending this or that or the other, but some have real life changing, and I might say life giving power when they connect us to God’s mercy by tangible action. I think many of those were passed. The next three years are going to be interesting as well as we stand on the Words and promises of God and remind each other what we are baptized for. Share this on:...

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