30 September 2021
29 September 2021
Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. (KJV 65:8)
And from the Akathist Hymn: When sunset descends over the earth and the peace of eternal sleep and the stillness of the fading day come to reign, I see Your abode in the guise of glistening palaces and clouds hovering in the evening light. Fiery red, gold and azure speak prophetically of the unutterable beauty of Your world and cry out triumphantly: "Let us go to the Father!"
Glory to You, in the stillness of the evening,
Glory to You, Who have bestowed great peace to the world,
Glory to You, for the last rays of sunlight,
Glory to You, for rest and the gift of sleep,
Glory to You, for Your presence in darkness, when the world is so remote,
Glory to You, for prayer from the depth of a heart touched by You,
Glory to You, for the promise of awakening to the joy of the eternal,
Glory to You, O God, unto ages of ages.!
28 September 2021
27 September 2021
26 September 2021
25 September 2021
24 September 2021
23 September 2021
22 September 2021
21 September 2021
20 September 2021
18 September 2021
17 September 2021
16 September 2021
15 September 2021
On the earth his glory spending
So that darkness takes to flight,
Thus my Jesus from the grave
And death's dismal, dreadful cave
Rose triumphant Easter morning
At the early purple dawning. (TLH 207:1)
14 September 2021
13 September 2021
Forever Bound by Endless Love
Forever bound by endless love,
That flows eternally above
And binds the Father to the Son
With God’s own Spirit three in one.
The Saints shall not be torn apart;
They’re joined together heart to heart
By love that sent God’s own Son down
To wear the cross’s thorny crown.
Death’s dark divide love did defeat
When nails did pierce Christ’s hands and feet;
He filled it’s chasm with God’s life
And ended sin’s dividing strife.
When on this world we close our eyes,
And rise with Christ to heaven’s skies,
We leave behind no loved ones dear;
In Christ we are forever near.
As one Church gathers ‘round the Lamb
In worship of the Lord, I AM,
The love of God in cup and bread
Unite the Living with the dead.
12 September 2021
Well, that was simply amazing! I told Kantor I thought she was crazy when she announced what we were doing for this, but she simply made everything work and work very well. Instrumentalists, aside from Kantor on organ, included two flutes, two violins, cello, viola, three trumpets, and the Bells of St. Paul. Preservice was J.S. Bach’s Sinfonia BWV 29; a delightful John Behnke “Built on the Rock” by the bells; and then choir and orchestra with J. S. Bach’s “Praise the Lord Most Holy.” The processional hymn was “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord.” The Liturgy, of course, was Divine Service 3, The Common Service. After chanting the gradual, the Choir sang Bruckner’s Locus Iste in Latin and it was breathtaking! The Hymn of the Day was “Built on the Rock” with the choir singing stanza 3 in four parts. President Harrison proclaimed the sweet Gospel to us in his own inimitable style. Pastor used a prayer crafted from the old The Lutheran Liturgy (Altar Book for TLH) for the anniversary of a congregation. During the extended Lavabo, the choir sang J.S. Bach’s “O God, Eternal Source.” Distribution hymns were “O Lord, We Praise Thee,” “Let All Mortal Flesh,” and “The Church’s One Foundation.” President Harrison did the salutation, benedicamus, and benediction, and then we processed out to “Lord Jesus Christ, the Church’s Head.” After which, Kantor went to town on the organ with Karg-Elert’s “Nun Danket alle Gott.” From start to finish, more joys abounding than a soul could take in. God is so good to us and we have been blessed here from generation to generation. The only downer for the day was Pr. Gleason (who was supposed to be subdeacon) ending up in the hospital. Keep him in your prayers, my friends. Nevertheless, though we missed his presence on this joyous day, still glory to God for all things!
11 September 2021
We’re gathered tonight, people loved by God, in the spirit of Job. Our minds shrink from the staggering numbers of those who are dead; as well as from the horrible way so many of them died. Our hearts go out to the families who are now as torn apart and devastated as any of the buildings we saw in New York or Washington—families where a mother’s voice will never be heard again or a father’s face never seen or a child’s hand never touched again. In the face of such terrible wreckage of human lives and the unimaginable tidal wave of human sorrow, we can only ask Job to move over for a bit so that we might sit with him for a while in the dust and ashes, and learn from him to turn to God in worship, because there really is nowhere else to turn.
Today is not the time to theologize about good and evil in the world. It is too soon for such. Today is the time for us to get on our knees and pray. And to do so knowing that the One to whom we pray is no stranger to the terrible things that humans do to each other, to know that He to whom we pray became One with us in our tears and in our sorrows. He knows what it is to weep at death. He has felt in His own body the irrational hatred of those who think they serve God by dishing out violence and destruction. What a comfort that in our prayers tonight, we pray to the Crucified One. And above all to the Risen One.
For Job would go on to confess “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth and that after my skin has been destroyed nevertheless in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself and not another. How my heart yearns within me.”
Our prayers rise tonight to Him who walked among us as the man of sorrows, who is acquainted with our grief, and who died to conquer and destroy death's power over his people forever. We pray tonight before the God who will make the ashes live again.
Hear us, dear heavenly Father, as we join our prayers to those of your children throughout the world in the face of the terrible events of yesterday.
For all the children who have lost parents, let us pray to the Lord. R.
For all the parents who have lost children, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For all the husbands who have lost their wives, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For all the wives who have lost their husbands, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For all whose lives have been shattered and whose hopes and dreams have been destroyed, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For the families of those brave souls who responded to others' needs only to lose their own lives, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For the firefighters and policemen, the doctors, nurses and EMTs and all those who participate in the relief effort, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For any who are still alive in the rubble, that aid may be brought to them speedily and that they not lose heart, let us pray to the Lord, R.
10 September 2021
It [the Creed] says Church catholic in order that we may not understand the Church to be an outward government of certain nations. Rather, the Church is people scattered throughout the whole world. They agree about the Gospel and have the same Christ, the same Holy Spirit, and the same Sacraments, whether they have the same or different human traditions.—Ap VII/VIII:10
09 September 2021
08 September 2021
Consequently, if we wish to properly celebrate and sanctify the Sabbath, we must not only hear God’s Word but also thank God the Lord for these great treasures of the soul, and ask that He through the hearing of His Word would give us grace so that we thereby be enlightened, converted, sanctified, strengthened and eternally saved.—Johann Gerhard, Schola Pietatis III:409.
The Christian Church, which is the kingdom of Christ on earth, is essentially all people who have received Christ as their King and are ruled by Him, who believe in Him from their heart, who are thus Christians.—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 706.