31 August 2021
30 August 2021
29 August 2021
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings we learn that it was the elves who woke the trees up to talk, that they might join with them in their marvel at creation. There is something decidedly elvish about Pr. Gleason’s ministry. Wherever he has gone, he has wakened creation to praise.
Think of our sanctuary. Before Pr. Gleason, the doors between the sanctuary and the narthex were simply mute. They glowed amber, but they said nothing. Once Pastor was done with them, they proclaimed in vibrant color and image. They shouted the glory of the Holy Trinity: Holy Father, Holy Son (the Lamb of God) and Holy Spirit, who is never separated from holy Church. Pr. Gleason worked his elvish magic and woke them to praise.
Or think of what he effected at our dear sister church, Trinity Worden. You remember the bare colored glass window? Now the building itself preaches the life of Christ around the bottom and the life of Christ in His saints around the top in joyous color and image.
Even in my office, when I go to work in the morning, a beautiful stained glass that Pr. Gleason gave me right after I started my podcast. Vivid gold and blue and Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum around the border, with the Bible open to John 1 (where I started my podcast!) in the center. Pastor Gleason preaches to me every time I walk into the room!
And do I need to tell you that this is exactly what he does in his preaching? Through his finely crafted homilies, he has painted our Savior before our eyes. He draws the readings together that through their light we might marvel with him at the glory of Christ, shining before us. Through him, St. Paul’s word came to life for us “before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.” Thus he has opened our lips to praise and moved our hearts to join him in his adoration of the Holy Trinity.
The combo of artist and pastor has thus done an elvish job upon us all, aided by Cindy’s doing in song what he has done with the visual arts, amplifying the joy.
And his gentle piety is as beautiful as his sermons. Just ask the home-bound and they will tell you of what a blessing a visit from Pr. Gleason is. Brother, you have been among us an ikon of Christ and for that we join in giving all glory and praise to Him to whom you have so faithfully directed us: Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord, for Pastor Gleason’s elvish touch! Amen.
27 August 2021
26 August 2021
25 August 2021
24 August 2021
23 August 2021
21 August 2021
20 August 2021
When we take to heart the many great blessings of God, first, one finds cause for giving praise and glory to God. For as many blessings as God the Lord shows to our body and soul, that’s how many matters and reasons for divine praise and inward thanksgiving pass before our eyes.—Johann Gerhard, Schola Pietatis III:361.
Whoever thinks he is unable to accept some small part of Holy Scripture rejects all of it. Whoever does not want to recognize the Old Testament as God’s Word thereby rejects the New Testament, for the latter is grounded in the former.—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 664.
19 August 2021
18 August 2021
17 August 2021
16 August 2021
If anyone should cast away love, even though he has great faith, he does not keep his faith. For he does not keep the Holy Spirit.—Ap V:98
Justification is not the approval of a particular work, but of the entire person.—Ap V:101
15 August 2021
13 August 2021
12 August 2021
11 August 2021
10 August 2021
09 August 2021
08 August 2021
06 August 2021
All the saints prayed diligently, and, as God’s friends, they eagerly spoke with God the Lord with prayer. Anywhere in the Holy Scriptures where a true believer and saint is mentioned, at the same time, there is an announcement that he prayed to God.—Johann Gerhard, Schola Pietatis III:325.
This (1 Cor. 10:11) should serve as a warning for us, lest we be offended by the falls into sin that still take place in the true Church, as if the Church would be false because of sin. It remains the true Church when God’s pure Word is preached there and the Sacraments are administered according to His institution.—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 629.
05 August 2021
04 August 2021
Prayer is a golden ladder on which we are able to climb up to heaven, and can begin to walk and in a spiritual manner, live in heaven. If we lift up our hearts to God with prayer and walk about Him daily and converse with Him, we will thereby indeed be more and more drawn away from the earthly. We will ever more learn the practices and speech of heaven.—Johann Gerhard, Schola Pietatis III:321.
Complete equality would hardly change earth into heaven; rather, it would make the earth a hell. God thus wrote the commandment: “You shall not steal” into the hearts of all people, publicly and solemnly calling it down from fiery Sinai through His elect servant and messenger, Moses.—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 623 [Note, this entire selection is remarkably apropos to our current day and the thinking that inequality in wealth is the source of all miseries!]
Faith alone looks upon the promise. It knows that because of the promise, it is absolutely that God forgives, because Christ has not died in vain. Such faith overcomes the terrors of sin and death. If anyoone doubts whether sins are forgiven him, he dishonors Christ. For he judges that his sin is greater or more effective than Christ’s death and promise.—Ap V:27, 28.
03 August 2021
In this way humanity was rescued from the clutches of its possessor by the tender mercy of God the Father, who had compassion on his own handiwork, and gave to it salvation, restoring it by means of the Word, Christ, in order that humanity might learn from this actual event that they receive incorruptibility not of themselves, but by the free gift of God.—St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.21.3.
02 August 2021
James and John his brother he calls “sons of thunder.” Why? To show that he was the same One who, in giving the old covenant, altered names, who called Abram “Abraham” and Sarai “Sarah” and Jacob “Israel.”—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 19 on St. John