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

 

 

 

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Sunday School

Sundays @ 10:30a

 

 

 

Matins

Wednesdays @ 8:30a

 

 
SERMON FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT, 11-30-14

Vicar Zachary Marklevitz


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: The meaning of Advent is the arrival of the Christ. As we begin a new church year we hear the prophet Jeremiah who prophesied a coming Messiah. The Israelites anxiously waited for these days to be fulfilled. The Messiah would be brought up from the line of David. He would bring justice and righteousness to the land. Jeremiah proclaimed that this Messiah would be called, “‘The Lord is our righteousness!’ Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely.”


The Israelites expected justice on earth. They expected a monarch that would come riding on horseback in worldly splendor for whom everything depended on his authority. He would right the wrong for his people. He would save his people and secure their nation. These were shared expectations for many Israelites. Even the disciples asked the resurrected Jesus, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?” These were the expectations of the coming Messiah. In time, these expectations became clouded. These earthly expectations led some Israelites to miss the presence of the true Messiah, who was among them. 


Today, we still desire earthly justice. We want the wrong to be made right. This is good! However, our expectations can cause us to wait for another messiah. We hope someone, or something, will bring us earthly justice.


We may not admit it, or even realize it, but we desire to see a messiah-like figure come and fix the world’s problems. In our built-up anticipation, this messiah could enter through many avenues. Some of us hope for a political figure to rise in power. Our expectation is for this person to bring high moral standards and be a decisive commander in chief. Others hope for a reformation in the judicial system that would orchestrate justice and morality. And some of us hope for justice through education. Perhaps if people knew more, then justice could be served through civil conversations and discussions. The list of our expectations goes on and on.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be upset and saddened by the wrongs in this world. We are bombarded with stories of the unjust, the unrighteous, and the evil in this world. This, fellow Christian, should sadden you and make you cry out for justice. But do not look for a coming earthly messiah or messianic system that will right our world’s wrong. 

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SERMON FOR THANKSGIVING DAY, 11-27-2014

Vicar Zachary Marklevitz


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. The Old Testament Israelites had many reasons to give thanks. God chose the Israelites as His people. He freed them from Egypt. He parted the Red Sea. He delivered bread to them in the desert. He gave them water from a rock. He granted them healing by looking up at a bronze snake. God sent them commandments to live by. If they followed these commandments, these people would live and multiply as promised by God. Needless to say, the Old Testament Israelites had many reasons to give thanks.


Still, the Israelites complained. In Exodus we hear, “It would have been better if the LORD had just killed us in the land of Egypt. At least there we had plenty to eat. We had all the food we needed. But now you have brought us out here into this desert to make us all die from hunger.” In the book of Numbers, Moses complains, “Why have I not found favor in Your eyes, that You have laid the troubles of all these people on me?” The Lord set apart Israel from other nations. However, Israel and Moses often failed to remember the promises of the Lord. In our Old Testament reading, God promises, “For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing.”


Had the Israelites remembered these promises, maybe they would’ve praised God with loud voices rather than complaining to God with loud grumblings. Israel failed to realize what God had done and was doing in their times of struggle and suffering. If only they knew that God was going to deliver them from their struggles and sufferings. Then maybe their complaining would have decreased and their praises would have increased. If only they had known that God desired them to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Then maybe they would have complained less and praised God more. If only they knew that God would deliver to the entire world a Savior through them. Then maybe their praises would have drowned out their complaints. Rather they failed to remember the promises given to them by God.


Instead of being a chosen nation that acted accordingly, we read about a chosen nation that failed to remember the promises set aside for them. A nation, chosen by God, should be a nation that always remembers God’s Word. This nation should have no earthly king, but crown the King of all nations, God Himself, as their king! This should be a nation that turned back to the promises of God and praised Him with loud voices. Yet, we read about a nation that forgot as quickly as they were told. We read about a nation that desired what they had in the past. We read about a nation that seemed to be less like the leper that returned to Jesus and more like the nine lepers that never returned. We read about a nation that seemed less perfect and more like you and me.

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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.

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

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