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Showing posts from June, 2017

A Hymn on the Ten Commandments

Note: I recently composed this paraphrase of Luther's Small Catechism on the explanation of the Ten Commandments. Since it's 12 verses, it may be useful, for example, to sing a verse or two related to the commandment on which you are teaching, and then sing verses 10-12 as a conclusion, setting the commandments in the wider context of salvation theology and the rest of Scripture, leading us to Christ as our only Savior. Coming up in the 1 Year Lectionary, the Sixth Sunday after Trinity falls on July 23, 2017, and the Old Testament reading is the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20:1-17. If there is any feedback on the wording, this is a working draft, but I present it if it may be of service to the church. God's blessings! 

The Ten Commandments Hymn Text: paraphrase of the Small Catechism by Joshua V. Schneider Meter: 87 87 D Suggested Tune: Joyous Light, LSB 932
1. God the Lord brought you from Egypt From the land of slavery Him alone you then must worship “Have no other gods bu…

Sermon on Psalm 119:46 & Psalm 46:1-3, 7, the Introit for the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession, "Bold Confessors"

The Word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news that is preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25). In Jesus’ Name, Amen. On this historic day, June 25, the year 1530, a group of Lutheran laymen, most of them princes and dukes of Germany, gave a bold confession of the Christian faith before Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, in the city of Augsburg, Germany. Martin Luther could not be present, because 9 years earlier he had been condemned as a heretic and sentenced to death. But when he heard about their success in confessing the faith before Emperor Charles, Luther exclaimed: “How I rejoice to see this hour when Christ is publicly proclaimed by such men in such an assembly, by so glorious a confession!” The situation was this: the Emperor feared the growing Lutheran churches, and had revoked their freedom of religion, because he was determined to reunite Germany, by force if needed, under the Roman Catholic faith. The Lutherans and others, issued a protest, thus forever ea…

Sermon on Isaiah 6:1-7, for Trinity Sunday (1 Year Lectionary), "The Fire of Holiness"

Sermon Outline: ·Isaiah’s experience is largely unrelatable to us; feeling of absolute fear for his life, 1) seeing God in His glory, 2) inner sanctuary of the Temple (Holy of Holies). Raw terror of being where no human dares go—don’t have that same sense of fear of authority today to have a close comparison. Not a brush with death (Esther before King Xerxes or Moses and the burning bush are close examples; maybe also ancient Hawaiian kapu about the shadow of an alii falling on a commoner). Different from how people often think of God “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see.” 1Tim. 6:15-16. Unapproachable—so when Moses, or Isaiah or others are brought into God’s presence, the response is fear, retreat, face-down submission. ·But the surprise is that God doesn’t use this power to trample or obliterate them, but purges away their impurity and bestows…

Sermon on Genesis 11:1-9 & Acts 2:1-21, Pentecost (1 Year Lectionary), "Babel and Pentecost"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Today is the Festival of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples of Jesus, so that they were able to speak and be understood in a multitude of known languages, by a large crowd of gathered worshippers from scattered Mediterranean nations. The apostle Peter then got up to publicly explain to the crowd what was going on with this language miracle. Pentecost means “fiftieth”, and it had been 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead, and also 50 days after the Jewish Passover meal. Look at our Old Testament reading today. The Tower of Babel story is paired with the readings about that remarkable Pentecost. These two events, are separated by a few thousand years of human history, and take place in very different settings, one on a monumental construction worksite in ancient Mesopotamia, and the other at a house near the Temple in Jerusalem—but nevertheless they are intr…