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Divine Service

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

 

 

 

Bible Study &
Sunday School

Sundays @ 10:30a

 

 

 

Matins

Wednesdays @ 8:30a

 

 
22nd SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY - 11/16/14
TEXT: MATTHEW 18:21-35; PHIL. 1:3-11; MICAH 6:6-8
FORGIVEN BY CHRIST – FORGIVE FROM THE HEART
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center…Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some have termed Matthew 18 Jesus’ sermon on the congregation. In it Jesus calls for serious war against sin among those who follow Him. Immediately preceding our text He taught church discipline – confronting sin – binding unrepentant sin - to the point of excommunication. He then trumpets the truth that when sinners are sorry – when they are repentant - they are to be forgiven!

Peter came up and said to Jesus, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” How often shall I forgive my spouse – my child – my pastor – my fellow members – my college friend or acquaintance? As many as seven times? Jewish tradition taught forgiving up to three times for the same sin – if sorrow and restitution were viewed as sufficient. Seven is twice that plus one. Seven is also the number of perfection. When Peter suggested forgiving up to seven times – it was not an easy proposal - it was not a trivial idea.

However, Peter’s seven is quickly swallowed up! Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. He is not teaching Peter higher math – more complicated calculation. Rather He is teaching His church to forgive without counting! Seventy times seven means without limit! Then Jesus told a parable to help anchor this treasure of the forgiveness of sins.

When the king began to settle accounts…one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold. His debt was fantastically high – over 15,000 years of work. His debt was not payable by him. Jesus thereby taught that sin is not just something we do wrong. Rather sin is the whole man gone wrong with God. God is holy! We are not! Our debt to God is inescapable and it is entered on the ledger the moment we are conceived in our mother’s womb (Psalm 51:5). Our debt to God is so massive that the mortality rate of the human race is 100% (Gen 3:19; Rom. 5:12). Our debt to God is so deep that it buries us under the illusion that it is not so bad - that we can pay it off by trying harder here or by suffering sufficiently in an imagined place beyond the grave.

So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything. A deluded and dangerous perspective! As he bowed before the king He didn’t need more time. He needed grace! He would have done well to heed the prophet Micah’s warning. With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come …with burnt offerings…Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams…ten thousands of rivers of oil (oil poured on grain offerings)…Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression (like their heathen neighbors did in child sacrifice)? As seen here, pay-offs for sin in human thought go from the common (an offering) to the extravagant (thousands of rams) to the monstrously absurd (child sacrifice – the fruit of one’s body). Make no mistake all of these futile efforts have been attempted in human history. God’s answer, however, is different. He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice (what is fair and honest), and to love kindness (to love steadfast love), and to walk humbly (dependent) with your God. Our problem is not a failure of knowing what to do (walking in perfect honesty and justice – with perfect love for God’s steadfast love – in total dependence on Him), but a failure of doing it.

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21ST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

TEXT: JOHN 4:46-54; EPH. 6:10-17; GEN. 1:1-2:3
AT THE POINT OF DEATH – JESUS’ WORD GIVES LIFE!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


To the saints who are at Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph.1:1, 2)


It is difficult to overstate the love of parents for a child!  Consider King David and his son Absalom.  David forgave His son after the murder of Amnon – and in time welcomed him back to Jerusalem.  Absalom later repaid that kindness by conspiring to take his father’s throne.  When his son rebelled, David had to flee for his life.  Absalom publicly denigrated and shamed his father and came against David’s men in battle seeking his father’s death.  Yet what most rings in our ears today concerning this father and son relationship is David’s lament.  When Absalom himself was killed David cried “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!  Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”


It is difficult to overstate the love of parents for children – some 10,000 of whom (in age from one to nine years) die each year in our country.  The anxiety and grief and even guilt such loss brings to parents is sobering.  Death itself is an enemy that brings suffering and sorrow.  But the death of a little one even more!  The parent-child affection – the desire to provide and protect – the cutting short of expected life has pierced parents of every generation.  In parental love, mothers have delayed treatment for cancer and faced death in order to save the life of their unborn child.  Fathers and mothers in sleepless nights have searched out every avenue of healing help for a child with a medical emergency or a life-threatening disease.  It is difficult to overstate the love of parents for a child. 

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ALL SAINTS’ DAY – NOVEMBER 2, 2014

TEXT: MATTHEW 5:1-12; 1 JOHN 3:1-3; REV. 7:2-17
A DAY OF PURITY!  A DAY OF CONNECTION!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven spirits who are before His throne (that is the Holy Spirit) and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead (Rev. 1:1-2).


Dear saints of God; Death is transitory!  Death transfers you from knowing Jesus here by faith to seeing Him there face to face!  The day of your death and that of your loved ones is not the end of the story - not by a long shot – the length and breadth and depth of which stretches into eternity!  All Saints’ Day is a day that connects the dots.  It is a day that cries out for rejoicing as it trumpets the closeness of this day with eternity – the connection of those still struggling on earth with those who are home in Christ.  It also trumpets that purity that is yours now and forever in Christ.


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:1-2).  What beautiful and bountiful connection!  The witnesses who surround us – who are home with Christ - are His joy! 


This day therefore shares with Christmas – “Joy to the World”!  The very reason the flesh and blood baby was knit together in His mother’s virgin womb - was to defeat sin and death.  This day shares with Jesus’ Baptism – the approval of the Holy Trinity!  God’s good pleasure in His beloved Son is now His good pleasure in you - baptized and clothed in His Son.  This day shares with Good Friday our finished redemption – peace and cleansing by the blood of the cross.  What beautiful and bountiful connection!

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18th Sunday After Trinity

Vicar Zachary Marklevitz


    “Which is the great commandment in the Law?” The Pharisees came to test Jesus with this question. They had heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees. Even though this news would have brought the Pharisees some joy, they would have been the first to admit that silencing the Sadducees was no easy task. The Sadducees were priests and as priest in the Judean society, they had high social status. They also oversaw many formal affairs of the state and were given many religious and political responsibilities. Academically, they were offered the best resources and teachers of their time. This was no easy task to silence these scholars.


    However, the Pharisees had an impressive reputation. They ruled much of the political and religious realms of Jesus’ time. The Pharisees were eager to trap someone in their own words, especially one as well-known as Jesus. Jesus’ popularity had grown to great heights among the people. If the Pharisees could trap Jesus in his own words – especially after he silenced the Sadducees – this would result in more religious and political powers for the Pharisees.


    When they approach Jesus, one of them said, “Teacher, which is the great commandment of the Law?” Jesus responds, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Jesus response shows that love is more than this idea of “free love” from the 60’s. Love is more than tolerating someone’s every action and belief. Love is hard work.

 

In the Old Testament reading, God requires us to fear Him and to walk in all His ways.  We are to serve God with all our heart and with all our soul. Also, we are to keep His commandments. This is loving the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind. This is hard work. In fact, this work is extremely difficult. If the Pharisees had been honest with themselves, they would have admitted that Jesus’ answer was too difficult for them to follow perfectly. If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit Jesus’ answer is too difficult for us to follow perfectly.

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REFORMATION

TEXT: JOHN 8:31-36; ROMANS 3:19-28; REV. 14:6-7
GOD GIVES FREEDOM IN THE WORD MADE FLESH!
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;


Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  We all want to be free and we do our best to get there – free from worry – free from sickness – free from pressure.  Certainly next year…will have more freedom from so many depressing developments in the world and in our culture and the constraints of so many cares and from such a crazy calendar.  One can speak of political freedom and of religious freedom and of personal freedom.   Concerning personal freedom - surely retirement will free us up from so many expectations – or not - as many seniors relate!  There are also self-made little prisons of missed opportunities – recurring thoughts that accuse us – vocational shortcomings – apprehension of life passing us by – your know, all that we should be doing.  We all want to be free and we do our best to get there. 


“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  They (the Jews who had believed in him) answered him, “we are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.   How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”  They had never been enslaved -to anyone - except of course – to Pharaoh and to Nebuchadnezzar and even as they protest – to Caesar.  Revision of history has always been at work – also in regard to what freedom really is and to how much freedom we actually have.


Free hand outs are not free – someone has to pay.  Free love is not free – the chains of broken hearts and lives leave their binding effect.  Free thinking is not free.  Mankind reasons in the same old self-seeking, self-glorifying ways of bygone generations.  I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind (Eccl. 1:14).

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17th Sunday After Trinity

SERMON FOR THE 17TH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY, 10-12-14
The Reverend Brian T. German


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
The idea of having special places to sit is a very old one.  In ancient Israel, for example, only kings could sit on the royal throne.  In Egypt, it’d be reserved for the Pharaoh.  This kind of thing continues in our own day.  If you go to a graduation ceremony, the president or principal sits up front.  Throughout my childhood, only dad sat at the head of the table.  True, I might have challenged him for it once or twice, but it never ended well for me.


Etiquette tends to keep things orderly.  On a very natural level, our Lord’s parable makes sense: “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast,” he says, “do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.”  The reading we heard from Proverbs puts it this way: “Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, ‘Come up here,’ than to be put lower in the presence of a noble” (Prov. 25:6-7).  We can resonate with this.  At my first department meeting, I was very conscious about not sitting in the seat that belonged to the department chair.  No one wants to be embarrassed.


Somewhat less clear, at least at first glance, is why Jesus accepted the invitation to sit and dine with the Pharisees in the first place.  He had already done this sort of thing a little bit earlier in His ministry—that is, healing on the Sabbath (Luke 6:6-11)—and it didn’t turn out so well; he was in hot water with this group ever since.  As much as I enjoy dinner invitations—and I do enjoy them—I wouldn’t be too fond of being invited somewhere just to be watched, as today’s account describes it—especially not on my day off from work, as the Sabbath would have been.  In fact, this time it took place at a ruler’s house.  The stakes were raised.

 

 

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

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