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Sundays - 9:00a
Mondays - 7:00p

  

Bible Study &
Sunday School

Sundays - 10:30a
 

Matins

Wednesdays - 8:30a

 

 
SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – MAY 17, 2015

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – MAY 17, 2015
TEXT: JOHN 15:26-16:4; 1 PET. 4:7-14; EZEK. 36:22-28
THE HELPER KEEPS YOU FROM FALLING AWAY!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…To the elect…of God the Father…May grace and peace be multiplied to you (from 1 Peter 1:1-3).


Unrealistic expectations impoverish and imprison human hearts. Some of the disappointments that you face right now, some of the doubt you deal with, some of the worry that wearies you, some of the despair that Satan tempts you with is related to unrealistic expectations. Young couples have them when they marry – old ones too. Workers have them when they take a new job and when they retire. Students have them when they enter college and when they graduate. Oftentimes graduation speeches unwittingly inflame such false perspectives. “Seize the day and transform the world!”  “Believe in yourself and follow your heart.” Unrealistic expectations impoverish and imprison human hearts. This has been true ever since Satan said to the woman in her husband’s presence – You will not surely die…when you eat of it…you will be like God, knowing good and evil.


Our Lord knows about our unrealistic expectations. As our High Priest prays the night before His crucifixion, He names hard things His disciples are to expect. I have said these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.  Jesus’ Ascension might be termed a graduation for His disciples as Jesus thereby withdrew His visible teaching presence. As they next waited for the help He promised to send – they did so with His parting counsel that included this expectation - the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. Surely Jesus would not be high on the list of potential graduation speakers this spring.

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SERMON FOR ASCENSION DAY, 5-14-2015 AT LMC

SERMON FOR ASCENSION DAY, 5-14-2015 AT LMC
Reverend Dr. Brian German


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

Forty days goes by pretty quickly when the calendar is packed. Again and again the disciples interacted with the risen Lord: they went fishing; they ate meals together; they heard him teach; they studied Christ in all the scriptures. True, the visits were unannounced, but sometimes those are the best kind. There were actually “many proofs” of the resurrection, Luke tells us somewhat cryptically—one thinks of the over 500 witnesses mentioned by Paul—and John adds that all the libraries in the world wouldn’t be able to hold the books that could have been written.


But in the midst of group discussions and broiled fish, the ascension was still a bit foggy. A good intensive leaves questions for further study, and the disciples wanted to follow up on the nature of the kingdom.


“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  When, exactly, should we expect you to act? There are, after all, wars and rumors of wars…an earthquake in Nepal and a tornado in South Dakota. We work with deadlines and due dates. If we had an idea of when you plan on making right what has gone wrong, it would help us cope with being away from you…


“It is not for you to know times and seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority,” our Lord says. It hasn’t been given to you to look into these things, lest you miss the point. It hasn’t been given to us to treat the book of Revelation like a secret timeline to be decoded, lest we begin to focus more on the details of the itinerary than on the destination that is already ours in Christ. Concerning the day and hour, not even the Son knows.

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SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – MAY 10, 2015

TEXT: JOHN 16:23-33/JAMES 1:22-27/NUMBERS 21:4-9
GOD GIVE TO YOU A TONGUE THAT ASKS OF HIM!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Dear hearers of the Word made flesh: your tongue is a great and precious treasure. This marvelous, muscular gift of God is richly supplied by nerves and blood vessels. It is the primary organ for your delightful sense of taste – mom’s fresh baked treat warm from the oven – chocolate on a cold winter’s day – your favorite flavor of custard. We too easily disregard the delightful work of the tongue in our remarkable sense of taste. The tongue is also active in phonetics – making the sounds of speech – saying words. Your tongue is no accident that just happened to evolve to give you taste and speech. That idea is silliness. Your tongue is a great and precious gift from God’s creative hand. The more precious the treasure, the more dangerous - if misused.


I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned (Mt. 12:36). If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless (James 1:26). What is more harmful to loving one’s neighbor than an unbridled tongue that quarrels and deceive? What is more harmful to relationships than an unbridled tongue that gossips – harming reputations? What is more harmful in government than unbridled tongues pompously making false promises? What is more harmful in the church than poisonous unbridled tongues of false preachers – leading astray? James described the tongue – as a fire, a world of unrighteousness…a restless evil, full of deadly poison. His words were first of all aimed at those who would be teachers in the church. Not many of you should become teachers – he wrote – for we who teach will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1) His sharp warning, however, concerning God’s view of what we say and how we say it applies to all, for – no human being can tame the tongue (James 3:8)

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SERMON FOR THE 4th SUNDAY OF EASTER, April 26, 2015

St. John 16:16-22
The Reverend Marcus Zill


In the name of Jesus. Amen.


Weeping remains for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning of the resurrection. Such is the way of life under the cross of Jesus. Present suffering, future glory.


In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul wrote: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Now Paul knew suffering – imprisonments, beatings, rejection by his own people, expulsion from the synagogue, antagonists and false teachers, congregation problems, health problems – you name it, Paul likely experienced it. So this was no empty, “There, there it will all get better,” pat on the head. Paul died in a Roman prison. Things in his present life did not “get better” for him, but worse.


Things were bad for John on the island of Patmos too. His churches were under siege. Christians were being tortured and martyred. False teachers were weaving their seductive lives in the churches. The fabric of society was coming apart at the seams. Government was corrupt, the family was weakened, immorality reigned. Everyone did whatever they thought was right in their own eyes. I’m not talking about today, but the 1st century.


John’s comforting vision in the Revelation was a new creation – a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and first earth had passed away. The old creation had worn out and died. The Sea, the image of Death and the Grave, was no more. What John saw was a city unlike any city that ever was on this earth. A holy city. New Jerusalem. Not the Jerusalem of this present time in which there is so much conflict and violence, where peace has to be maintained at the tip of a sword. Heavenly Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, “from above,” from God, from where your Baptismal birth comes. You are born “from above” by water and Spirit. You are citizens of God’s city.

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FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – MAY 3, 2015

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – MAY 3, 2015
TEXT: JOHN 16:5-15; JAMES 1:16-21; ISAIAH 12:1-6
IT IS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE THAT I GO AWAY…
BECAUSE I GO TO THE FATHER
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


Dear hearers of the Word made flesh: As Jesus speaks, His suffering is at hand. In the upper room – after washing the disciples feet – He said, I do as the Father has commanded me (14:31). He also said to those with Him, whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God…because they have not known the Father or me (16:2, 3). In that context He continues, “Now I am going to him who sent me…I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.


Dear Christians, one way or another we are always on the lookout for our advantage. Whether looking for a sale or benefit in relationships or explaining and presenting ourselves to others - we desire to increase, not decrease. We want to move forward, not backward in this passing world and we want to do it our way.  


But doing things our way is the problem – quick to speak and slow to hear – quick to anger as if our anger could somehow make things right. Our way is to seek direction and delight from the voices of this world and our own inner logic rather than to receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save (our) souls.


If that were not the case – if we inherently understood our true and infinitely great advantage – Jesus’ words here would delight us day and night.  It is to your advantage that I go away…because I go to the Father. The beautiful, saving truth is that all of Jesus’ life leads to this - going to the Father. The words and deeds of His life flow together and the pull of the whole movement is - going to the Father - from whom the movement began. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…

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SERMON FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER, APRIL 19, 2015

Vicar Zachary Marklevitz


Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd.” Today, these words bring us great comfort. We even teach our children to sing, “I am Jesus’ little lamb.” Yet, when Jesus first spoke these words many listeners were offended. With these words Jesus was claiming to be more than a good teacher; He was claiming to be the good shepherd. Only God was proclaimed to be the good shepherd. God said in Ezekiel 34, “Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.” Jesus’ words meant more than Him being a good teacher, it meant He was God.


In Old Testament passages the Jewish people had been warned of shepherds who destroyed and scattered God’s sheep. Jesus spoke of them as false prophets. They came in sheep’s clothing but inwardly were ravenous wolves recognized by the fruit of their works. Jesus’ works included healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, giving speech to the mute, giving step to the paralyzed, casting out demons of the possessed, and raising the dead. His works were the good fruit of God. “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” Still, his words cost him his life.

 

Jesus knew what it meant to be a good shepherd, “The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” He does not leave his sheep or flee in time of danger. He cares for his sheep that they might come first. A few verses before today’s Gospel reading, Jesus says, “I am the door of the sheep.” He is both the door and the Shepherd. He is the door that keeps out the thieves and the wolves. He alone is the door that keeps us safe. It isn’t our finances, our academic degrees, or career achievements that keep us safe. It is Christ alone.

 

We are sheep. Sheep are known to stray. Even in a perfect environment sheep will wander away from all that they need. We witness this in the first man. Adam was in perfect union with God. He was given the perfect environment and lacked nothing. After Eve was deceived by the serpent, they wandered from God’s words. They desired to see if perfection could be more perfect.

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Worship with Us!

Divine Service
Sundays @ 9:00am
Mondays @ 7:00pm

Bible Study
& Sunday School
Sundays @ 10:30am
 
Morning Prayer (Matins)
Wednesdays @ 8:30am