18 January 2018

Confession of St. Peter Chapel

Confession of St. Peter 2018


Salutation and collect:

Heavenly Father, You revealed to the apostle Peter the blessed truth that Your Son Jesus is the Christ. Strengthen us by the proclamation of this truth that we too may joyfully confess that there is salvation in no one else; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Hymn: “At the Name of Jesus” 512

Gospel: Mark 8:27—9:1

27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” 9 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

So what kind of a Christ do you think he was expecting? Well, you know. The same kind you want. The fixer. The one who will address all the pressing issues that tug at your heart and occupy your mind. Oh, your list might not be the same as St. Peter’s, but that’s the point of a messiah, isn’t it? That he fixes things for us. And Jesus tells Peter and us: that’s just Satan talking. Ouch. So what kind of a Messiah IS he then?

He tells us. Not the kind who comes to fix your list; the kind who comes to fix you. Because it’s not all that stuff that’s the problem. It’s you. You have a wound in your heart. And you keep projecting the pain out toward all the “problems” you think HE or someone needs to solve. So He comes not to fix any of them, but to fix you. To love Peter, to love you. To love with a love that will go to the end.

He’ll so identify with you as to lift all your burdens, all your heart aches, all your shattered dreams and fears and rebellions and all the nasty thoughts and words and deeds of our lives; all your wounds. He lifts them all from you and owns them as his. He came to do that. Because that’s what love does. It identifies with another and does so without judgment, in compassion. And so the cross.

This He came to do for you and for me. So Messiah isn’t the problem fixer. Messiah, Christ, is Lover. The one who loves you all the way into the darkest corners where you have fled. He lays down His life for you. And whether or not you welcome that and rejoice in it, or resent it and attempt to send him packing, doesn’t change His love for you one little bit. That’s the whole point of the cross. Love all the way. Love to the very end. We call it forgiveness.

And so from His cross to yours. Because He invites you to walk this path. Not to be others’ fixers, but their lovers. To lift their sorrows and heartaches as your own. To carry them in your heart and to go on loving. Even when. Especially when they reject that love. When they betray you. When they hate you. That’s a cross, my friends, when you love and go on loving in the face of rejection and hatred. And instead of those things overcoming and embittering you and destroying you, you go right on in compassion and mercy. “Take up your cross and follow me” is His invite into such love.

“You are the Christ” is the right answer to who He is. But that’s not the Fixer man. It’s the Lover man. And to be His is to be given over to such love and even to welcome the pain it will inevitably bring, in the confidence of resurrection. His and yours. Resurrection is where Love wins. Really wins forever. When we see the kingdom come with its power!

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Let us pray. Almighty and most merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks for all Your goodness and tender mercies, especially for the gift of Your dear Son and for the revelation of Your will and grace. Implant Your Word in us that, with good and honest hearts, we may keep it and bring forth the fruits of faith.

We humbly implore You to rule and govern Your Church throughout the world. Bless all those who proclaim Your truth that we may be preserved in the pure doctrine of Your saving Word and that faith in You may be strengthened, love toward others increased, and Your kingdom extended. Send forth laborers into Your harvest, and sustain those whom You have sent, particularly Pr. Eric and Johanna Stinnett, serving in Ethiopia, that the Word of reconciliation may be proclaimed to all people and the Gospel preached in all the world.

Grant health and prosperity to all who are in authority, especially to the president and congress of the United States, the governor and legislature of Missouri, and to all who make, administer and judge our laws. Grant them grace to rule according to Your good pleasure for the maintenance of righteousness and the hindrance and punishment of wickedness, that we may lead quiet and peaceful lives in all godliness and honesty.

According to Your good pleasure, turn the hearts of our enemies and adversaries that they may cease their hostilities and walk with us in meekness and peace.

Comfort, O God, with Your Holy Spirit, all who are in trouble, want, sickness, anguish of labor, peril of death, or any other adversity, particularly Your servants Susan, Roger, Ruth, Allen and Jan. Grant courage and steadfastness especially to those who suffer for Your name’s sake that they may receive and accept their afflictions as the manifestation of Your fatherly will.

Although we have deserved Your righteous wrath and punishment, yet, we ask You, O most merciful Father, not to remember the sins of our youth and our many transgressions. Out of Your unspeakable goodness and mercy defend us from all harm and danger to body and soul. Preserve us from false doctrine, from war and bloodshed, from plague and pestilence, from all calamity by fire and water, from hail and tempest, from failure of harvest and from famine, from anguish of heart and despair of Your mercy, and from an evil death. In every time of trouble show Yourself a very present help, the Savior of all men, especially those who believe.

As we are strangers and pilgrims on earth, help us by true faith and a godly life to prepare for the world to come, doing the work You have given us to do while it is day, before the night comes when no one can work. And then when our last hour comes, support us by Your power, and receive us into Your heavenly Kingdom; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Lord, remember us in Your kingdom and teach us to pray… Our Father

The Lord bless you and keep you…

14 January 2018


Can really be a quite stupid game, but I must confess that embarrassing as it is to BARELY lose, it is far more embarrassing getting whitewashed. Happy to report that the men did NOT get whitewashed. The ladies...well. Modesty forbids me saying more.

11 January 2018

Today’s Homily

Chapel 1.11.18

In the name of the Father…

Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, be present now. Our hearts in true devotion bow. Your Spirit send with grace divine. And let Your truth within us shine. Amen.

Psalm 67

Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
  I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
 2  He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
 3  a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
 4  He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.
 5  Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
 6  “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
  I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
 7  to open the eyes that are blind,
  to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.

Hymn: 399


In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Don’t run by it too fast. “Behold.” When God tells you to behold, He is saying, woah! Slow down. Stop. Focus. Set aside all the the busy running hither and thither and the scattered thoughts of your minds and hearts with all the stuff you think is so important and which any slight reflection reveals is absolutely not. He is urging you to actually see someone who is before us, someone who is a little more than important. He is inviting you into awe at something you would totally miss if He didn’t point it out to us, summoning to just stop and look. To see.

Behold, my servant, whom I uphold. Behold, my chosen in whom my soul delights. I have put my Spirit on Him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

And so John stood in the water and witnessed the miracle. The Son, the Servant, Yahweh’s own. There before him. And Yahweh revealing Himself as Father to this one: THIS is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am tickled pink. Delighted. Overjoyed. He’s the joy of my heart. Look at Him! See Him! I have put my Spirit on Him. He will bring forth mishpat to the nations.

We hear justice, we run to Aristotle without even realizing it. Not the equal due. Not giving each what they deserve. But the setting right of what has gone wrong. And what’s gone wrong is our lives filled with fear and judgment and shame; our not living in love. Behold, the Man and His mission. He’d say it himself: God did not send me into this world to condemn it, but to save it. I haven’t come to condemn you, but to save you. Mishpat to the nations isn’t giving the nations their comeuppins. Mishpat is setting right what is wrong by pouring out the Spirit, who resides on and in Him and flows through Him to bring love back again. Spirit. Love. They run together. God has poured His love into our hearts by the Spirit He has given us. And love just isn’t about comeuppins.

Behold the servant, the delight of His Father, filled with the Spirit, headed to the cross to hand over that Spirit to the world.  Behold Him as He sets to work and be in awe. He is not noisy or threatening. He doesn’t cry aloud or lift up his voice or make it heard in the street. There is about Him a quietness, a gentleness. A bruised reed, he will not break. A faintly burning wick he will not quench. This is the justice He brings. A tender and a healing hand. Not to condemn you, but to save you. Not to destroy you, but to heal you. And He continues His patient work all the way to the end: to the cross. Do you see and hear His silence before Pilate? He is faithfully “bringing forth” justice. Birthing it in the pains of His passion. The setting right of what has gone so utterly wrong. Mark remninded us of one for all and all for one. On the cross it was all against one, but that one was for us all. Faithfully and without fainting or being discouraged He walks the path, love “to the end” to the fulfilment, till He establishes this justice and the ends of the earth, the coastlands, wait for His instruction.

And to Him the Father speaks, the Father who created the heavens and the earth, the Father who gives breath to the people on it, the Spirit to those who walk on it, for in Him we live and move and have our being, He says: “I am Yahweh. I have called you in righteousness. You, my beloved Son. I will take you by the hand and keep you. I will give you as a covenant for the people and a light for the nations. To open blind eyes, to bring prisoners out from the gloomy dungeon and the darkness.”

This is the mission of your Jesus, and the comfort from the Father in which He accomplished it all. He lived His life in the hand of His Father and in His Father’s delighting in Him, and so He knew that His whole being was a gift that His Father would give as an unbreakable promise to the people, as a light for the gentiles. He is the gift that would open the eyes that were blind and bring the prisoners out of the gloom and darkness. Eyes that were blind to the Father’s heart of love for you. Prisoners trapped in a darkness and gloom whereby you judged others nonstop and judged yourself hardest of all except for the judgment that you judged God with. Gloomy darkness indeed. The darkness of imagining that God hates you and is in fact your enemy because if he gave you your just reward, you are headed straight to hell and you know it. Into that darkness, a light shines and it breaks the shackles and it sets free.

In the gift of the Son you see the truth for the first time. You see what really is. In His gentle touch. In His kind words to you: Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden. I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you. Learn from me. I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. THAT rest is the mishpat He came to bring to the nations, to the peoples, to you and to me.

In these Epiphany days, it is our duty and delight to invite one and all to join us in stopping the hurrying and the distractions and to behold for a bit the glory of God in the face of Christ, His Servant, our blessed hope and joy. Behold. My servant. Behold. A bruised reed he does not break. Behold He won’t stop until He brings it to pass. Behold, God is love. Behold, God loves you. Behold, how He loves you. Behold, Jesus.

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Living God, eternal Father in heaven, we give You thanks for the multitude of Your tender mercies and Your loving-kindness, which have been from of old. We bless You for creating us for everlasting life, redeeming us in Your Son, Jesus Christ, from all sin and destruction, and calling us by Your Spirit to the knowledge of Your glory. O Lord, we are not worthy of the least of all the mercies and truth which You daily show us. It is of Your mercy that we are consumed, because Your compassions do not fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Give us day by day an increasing sense of Your bountiful goodness so that drawn in love to You we may surrender and consecrate to You our own selves and all that we possess, to the glory of Your holy name. And as no unclean person shall stand in Your sight, blot out our transgressions by the merits of Jesus Christ, the Righteous, and grant us Your grace that we may not deceive ourselves and excuse our sin, but confess them and be cleansed of them. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Do not allow Your Word to return to You empty. Instruct both young and old in the truths of Your Gospel. Enlighten and sanctify all ministers of Your Word. Cause all hearers to receive that Word not only in the ears but in their hearts. Surround Your whole Christian Church with Your unending mercy. Stretch forth Your right hand and Your holy arm to prevent the evil one from disturbing Your children by his wicked plans. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Look with favor on all civil rulers and those under their authority, that they may faithfully discharge their duties according to Your will. Direct  by Your Holy Spirit all who are invested with authority in our national and state governments, that they may truly and impartially administer justice, for the punishment of wickedness and for the maintenance of righteousness and order. Grant us peace, our daily bread, and deliver us from evil all our days. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Have mercy on those still living in the darkness of unbelief, and bring them to know Your dear Son. You did not create man for vanity, so send faithful laborers into Your harvest and sustain those whom You have sent, particularly Pr. Tim Rosenthal, serving as chaplain in the armed forces, that they may proclaim Your truth with boldness. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Remember in mercy, Kezia and all women with child. Grant them increasing happiness in their blessings. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

O faithful Father, we commend to Your care all Your children throughout the world who cry to You in suffering or illness, injury or injustice, especially Your servants Susan, Roger Ruth, Allan and Jan. When You decide to try us in the furnace of affliction, comfort us anew, that we may behold Your glory and praise You. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

O Lord, we beg You, hear our prayer, and do not let our petition fail, for the sake of the perfect redemption and powerful intercession of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who also taught us to pray:

Our Father

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

06 January 2018

The Epiphany Proclamation

Pastor, following ancient practice, read this to us tonight after the Holy Gospel and before the Nicene Creed:

Epiphany Announcement, A+D 2018
After the Reading of the Gospel, the Pastor of the parish makes the following announcement.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The glory of the LORD has shone upon us, and shall ever manifest itself among us until the day of His return. Through the rhythms and changes of time let us call to mind and live the mysteries of salvation.

The center of the whole liturgical year is the Paschal Triduum of the Lord, crucified, buried and risen, which will culminate in the solemn Vigil of Easter, during the holy night that will end with the dawn of the first day of April. Every Sunday, as in a weekly Easter, Christ's Holy Church around the world makes present that great and saving deed by which Christ has forever conquered sin and death.

From Easter there comes forth and are reckoned all the days we keep holy: Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten spring, the fourteenth day of February; the Ascension of the Lord, the tenth day of May; and Pentecost, the twentieth day of May; the first Sunday of Advent, the second day of December.

Likewise in the feasts of Mary, of the Apostles, of all the Saints, and in the commemoration of the faithful departed, the pilgrim Church on earth proclaims the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

To Christ who was, who is, and who is to come, the Lord of time and history, be endless praise forever and ever!
C: Amen.

A Few Thoughts on the Epiphany Collect

I think the old Service Book and Hymnal did a better job than The Lutheran Hymnal or any of our modern books in getting the point of the traditional Latin collect for the day:

Deus qui hodierna die unigenitum tuum gentibus stella duce revelasti, concede propitius ut qui iam te ex fide cognouimus, usque ad conteplandam speciem tuae celsitudinis perducamur.

O God, who on this day by the leading of a star didst reveal thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles: Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may be brought to contemplate the beauty of thy Majesty. SBH

Rather than “brought” though I think the sense of the perducamur, as Reed notes, is “may be led on,” evoking the leading of the wisemen by the star.

TLH had “grant us the fruition of Thy glorious godhead.” I remember as a vicar asking pastor what that even meant and he confessed that he wasn’t sure. LSB asks “to enjoy in heaven the fullness of Your divine presence.” I think this loses somewhat the reference to the beatific vision and replaces it with a generic heaven and “presence.” It seems to me that we are impoverished in our thinking if we put that contemplation merely in heaven. It’s true that now we see through a glass darkly, but see we still do. As St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “And we all, beholding with unveiled face, the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” This praying to be led into the contemplation of the beauty of the Lord’s majesty, His highness, is the perfect way to enter the season of Epiphany when in one manifestation after another, we will behold the beauty of the Lord in His merciful and tender kindness to mankind; a beauty whose splendor grows and shines most brightly on the darkness of Calvary, as pastor reminded us this evening.

“One thing have I desired of the Lord; that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27

Blessed Epiphany, one and all! The Light shines!