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Month: June 2017

The Christians Hope

Later on today I will say the words that I have said countless times in my ministry.  “I don’t want you to be ignorant brethren concerning them that have fallen asleep, that you sorrow not as others that have no hope”. Paul said it first and I have repeated them many times but they are so important we should think about them deeply. The New Testament hope is the prospect of a condition that will satisfy all needs, supply all wants, liberate from all restrictions of life, all consequences of sin, since over against the uncertain present actually satisfying future beckons, on the basis of faith in the promises and facts of salvation”.[1]  Those words come from a theological word book of the Bible. They tell us something fascinating, and that is that the Christian hope is really based in the future. It’s based nn the end of the age when Christ will return  and create a new heaven and a new earth. All the facts of this life, all the problems, all the trials, all the tribulations, all the seeming failures are looked at by Christians through the lens of Christ’s coming again at the end of the age.  Thus there is a fascinating commentary that Paul makes about the life that we live in this world.  “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of...

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Concepts of Mission and Ministry.

Reading through an old notebook I found this piece written in my almost illegible hand and I know it is not original with me because I would have split the infinitive.  It is a simple statement until one looks at it carefully.  God assigns to His church a difficult task, possible only because He supplies the help. For the task of ministering He supplies the community in which to minister, certain gifts, a specified amount of time, and given opportunities.  Midst these varying circumstances Satan is permitted to harass the church. He seeks to harm, to inflict lasting pain or destruction. Nevertheless through such tribulation the church may be refined, strengthened, and be given additional opportunities to minister in surroundings unwelcome and for which many would probably not volunteer. Share this on:...

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Heralding the Gospel – the Task.

One of the original Greek words used in the New Testament for gospel preaching means “a public proclamation by a herald”. In those days heralds represented kings, princes, military leaders, magistrates or civil authorities, personally and publicly conveying their messages to the people, unchanged and with clarity and solemnity. Such heralding emphasized the representative character of the commissioned herald, and the seriousness, dignity and authority of his proclamation, since it is “always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed” (Thayer’s New Testament Greek Lexicon). There are a lot of other words used as well.  My old seminary professor William Schmelder wrote about the paucity of language that we use in describing and Heralding the Gospel. There are 30 some vocables used for heralding the good news in the Bible.  He lists the depth and breath of meanings that come from those vocables than most of us simply translate as “preach”.  The concern is we lose something which was a living reality in the early church. Preaching is a form of exhortation. To exhort people in the name of Christ is the equivalent of the sermon.  Sometimes it means  to “herald the Lord” with exultation. In Hebrews 13:22 “exhortation” is used for up building the household of God. Preaching is to encourage and console.  It is to appeal. This word can take...

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The Green Season

We are entering the Sunday’s after Trinity and the altar colors in the churches are green.  We cycle through the life of Jesus and the Green Season goes through the life of his followers and those who hear the voice of their “Good shepherd”.  The next few Sundays are interesting to me because we are told by Jesus himself how strange the Gospel is to sinful human beings.  He tells his disciples to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God and that they are to heal the sick, make the blind see and the lame walk, let the deaf hear and cast out demons and then he tells them the results of their work.  It will disrupt families and cause divisions and people will hate them and persecute them (Matthew 10).  He sends them out like “sheep among wolves” yet promises that they who endure to the end will be saved. Jesus says to pray that there be workers in the harvest field and he tells the disciple that the harvesting will be dangerous and difficult but he promises that the ones who endure to the end will be saved.  “The last book of the New Testament contains a sevenfold echo of this promise of Jesus in the words of the exalted Christ to the afflicted seven churches, and we can find there the fullest and most colorful...

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LWML Convention Theme – Missionary Action

  The LWML is in Convention in Albuquerque NM this week.  The Convention theme is “Jesus Christ Above All” from Philippians 2;9.  Convention Goal Statement:  Empowered by the Holy Spirit, through Word and Sacrament, I will proclaim Jesus Christ above all. This is the place where our mite offerings are sent around the world into the mission fields.  District conventions do marvelous work and the national convention extends that work. The theme from Philippians is important because it is a missionary text.  Jesus humbled Himself even to the point of death on a cross, and His death on that cross was at the same time exaltation. For it was there that Satan met his match and was conquered. Furthermore the cross held forth the promise of resurrection on the third day. (Cf. John 12:32, 33; 17: 1 ) In addition, when His mission was accomplished, God exalted our Lord by raising Him from death to the eternal throne (which was always His), and by giving Him a name which is above every name. Now, at the very mention of His name, every knee should bow in reverent devotion. He is the Lord and King above all lords and kings. All creatures everywhere owe Him homage. Every tongue must now confess Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. This takes place already in His church, but not...

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