Thursday, January 8, 2015

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Best & Shortest Law and Gospel sermon EVER!

Liquid Nails

With Christ I have been crucified;
Baptized onto His cross I died.
With liquid nails to Him I'm bound;
So where He is, there I am found....
In Mary's womb, in Bethlehem,
From child to man, with Him I am.
In Jordan's stream, throughout His fast,
To cross and grave, from first to last.
My life is His, and His my own.
My Lord, my God, is Christ alone.

Galatians 2:20, ''I have been crucified with Christ. It us no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.''

Chad Bird
October 8, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

+ John 15:26 - 16:4 +



In the Name of the Father and of + the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Our Lord Jesus says that the Apostles will be put out of the churches, that is, the synagogues. Whoever kills them will think he is offering a service to God, which is to say, the murderers will not come from outside the Church but from within it. Often times you hear about how much Christians fight and how they behave badly toward one another.

The Church fights because she is the Church Militant. That is what Militant means. Heresies must come and assault the Church. Trials and tribulations must come because of sin. The reality is that no one gets out of this fight alive.

Satan brings his most powerful arms to bear from inside the Church. Remember always that Satan's most effective deception is to dress in sheep's clothing. Closed Communion? What's the big deal? Christians say they love one another so why aren't all people welcome? Infant Baptism? Why? Children need to decide when they believe? Why can't the lay people "play pastor" under the auspices of the "lay ministry?" After all, I'm only reading the words on the paper that an ordained man wrote. These are just a couple of ways Satan works to stir the pot within the Church. He challenges the doctrine of the Word. Did God really say?

The Church must fight against these attacks. Fight daily you must to squash Satan's attacks against the Word of God. Will this life ever be perfect and without fighting? No! What you want is utopia, heaven, peace, and unity. These things aren't found on earth.

The time will come when you will enjoy full Christian unity. The time is coming when no one will put you out of the Church. The fighting will stop. All the hatred, killing, slander and lies will end about what you believe. On that day, you will enter the Church Triumphant. You will  ask nothing of your Lord Jesus. Peace will be yours.

Not yet. You are still members of the Church Militant. You cannot tolerate false doctrine by your pastor, your neighbors, your family, your denomination, or anybody. False doctrine cannot be tolerated. It has to be fought against. You must fight for and suffer for the doctrine of God's love in Christ Jesus that creates faith in all men and saves them.

The wolves of this world think you are splitting hairs when you deny fellowship at the holy table. They contend they are nicer than you because they are unclusive while you are exclusive. Fighting for the truth is tiresome. Your flesh is weak. You become disheartened and ashamed of the fighting going on in the Church Militant.

You may even begin to put your hope in false ideals. You may being to wonder if all of this is just a big pack of lies? You may even question the objective reality of God's love in Christ Jesus on the cross. You begin asking yourself, "Have I been pure?" "Has Jesus laid down His life for me?" "Am I really Baptized?" Does God really forgive me?" The answer to all of these questions is YES! Don't ever doubt the Word of God and His promises.

The Holy Spirit testifies to your YES in Jesus. He does so in the Apostolic Word, written and preached. The Holy Spirit reminds you through the Apostolic Word of who you are and who your Lord Jesus is and His promises He gives to you.

Jesus says, I AM true liberality. I AM comfort. I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I AM the Good Shepherd. I AM Love. I AM the Good Samaritan who finds you bleeding, beaten and left for dead by those who call you friend.

Jesus calls you unto Himself and gives you food and shelter. Shelter here in this hospital for sinners and food from heaven itself with HIs Body and Blood which were given and shed for you for the forgiveness of all your sins.

Jesus says to you to come unto Him and He will give you rest. It is only in Christ that you have peace. The Holy Spirit continues to strengthen you against the attacks that come during your pilgrimage.

The Holy Spirit calls you by the Gospel into this holy place where you receive from The Lord Jesus His gifts. Here, the Holy Spirit strengthens your arms and legs for battle. He fills your head with the truth of God's Word. He teaches you all that Jesus taught in terms of law and Gospel.

Your day will come when you will depart the Church Militant and enter into the Church Triumphant. Jesus overcame the world for you. He conquered the devil for you. He destroyed death in death for you. Jesus is the victor. Soon, very soon, you will receive the crown of glory and dwell in the House of The Lord forever.

In the Name of the Father and of + the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.



+ ACTS 1:1-11 +


In the Name of the Father and of + the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


Sinners die. The Bible says so. The Lord said to Adam, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Gen. 2:17) St. Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23a)

Society doesn't like to speak of death and dying. In fact, the way society has changed its thinking about death and dying, the reality is that people no longer die. They are "lost," or maybe "departed," or ever "passed on." Some speak of the human life as expiring, slipping away, but rarely does a person die.

Even the Church has a new language about the death of sinners. The Church uses phrases like "receiving the crown of glory," or "finishing their course," "completed the race," "called home," or "entering their eternal rest."

For some reason, it is not polite to talk about death and dying in society anymore. In fact, the undertaker is now called a funeral director. The mortuary, literally a place of death, is called a funeral home or a memorial chapel. Cemeteries are even called Memorial Gardens.

When you die, you're dead. You're gone from the face of the world. Buried in the earth (hopefully). Your family can't see you. Your enemies can't hurt you. You're dead. Not so with Jesus. He rose again from the dead. He lives. He ate with His disciples. He preached after Easter Sunday. He continued to teach for 40 days until He returned to His Father.

Jesus' enemies saw Him after the resurrection. They thought they killed Him. Dead. Gone. No more a bother to the world. Nope. Jesus Lives! Can you imagine the hatred in the hearts of Jesus' enemies? On the other hand, imagine the joy in the hearts of His disciples. But Jesus' time on the earth was coming to an end and that is why the Church gather tonight, to celebrate Jesus' departure from the earth as He ascends to His Father.

St. Luke writes and the other Apostles write very little concerning the Ascension of The Lord Jesus. In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke writes, Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11)

That's it. Jesus was there talking with His disciples, telling them about their charge to go into the world to preach and Baptize, then He was gone. Just like that. Jesus was hidden from their sight and the sight of the world.

You can't see Jesus. You can't touch Him. You can't sit at His feet and hear His sermons like Mary and Martha. You can't weep for Him like His mother did at the cross. But you can hear Him. Jesus says, "Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20b)

Yes, Jesus is here in His Word. You hear Him when you hear the preacher He sent to you. He is here, at this holy altar, serving you with His Body and Blood which He gave and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins. Again, Jesus uses His under-shepherd for this work as he stands in His stead.

Is it important to see Jesus? Absolutely! With earthly eyes? Not at all. Jesus knew that if He were to stay on the earth, the people would stumble. They'd run to Him for every little thing because they wouldn't believe His Word unless they heard Him speak it. So, Jesus returned to His Father, not to be gone from you, but to send to you His Spirit, the Comforter, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit Himself to teach you all things.

Jesus continues His service to you and His Bride, the Church, from His throne in heaven. He continues to serve as your Prophet, proclaiming His Word through the mouth and lips of His pastors, proclaiming the Word of God in all truth and purity.

Jesus serves you as your High Priest as He made the once-for-all sacrifice on the cross to atone for your sins and the sins of the world, and even now, Jesus intercedes on your behalf to the Father.

Jesus is also serving as your King as He rules over all things in heaven and on earth,  in your favor, just as St. Paul writes, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Jesus' ascension was necessary for the Apostles, for you, and for the world. Now, "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17) Jesus says, "...those who believe in Me will not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16b)

You are Baptized into Christ. I cannot begin to explain the joy in that sentence. Baptism is God's gift to you. You are no longer dead in your trespasses. You are alive in Christ Jesus. You are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness. You don't don't have to see Jesus with the eyes in your head because you see Him as He is, ALIVE, RULING, PRAYING, PREACHING from the throne with the eyes of faith (your ears).

In the Name of the Father and of + the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.



Sunday, May 5, 2013

+ John 16:22-30 +


+ John 16:23-30 +

The Sixth Sunday of Easter (Rogate)


In the Name of the Father and of + the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Jesus was Incarnate of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary for you. He was made man for you. He was tempted for you. He hungered and thirst for you. He endured every affliction in your place. He was faithful to His Father. Even during His trials, Jesus wouldn't acknowledge the gods of this fallen world. He suffered and anguished because of your sins. He died on the cross to earn your salvation. He pronounced His victory in Hell. He rose again from the dead on Easter morning. Jesus did all of this for you because of His love for you and His Father.

In Holy Baptism, Jesus took you, washed you, saved you, forgave you all your sins, and wrote His Name upon you claiming you and making you an heir of His kingdom. The Holy Spirit regenerated you, gave you life, and created faith in you thus revealing the Trinity to you.

Jesus gives you His promise in the Gospel today that "whatever you ask the Father in His Name, He will give it to you." (23) Jesus gives you this promise because He knows you still have sorrows, labors, disappointments, and tribulations. Jesus says ask in My Name and it will be given you.

You pray to the Father, through faith in Jesus, His Son, your Lord and Savior. Praying in Jesus' Name means something, comes from faith, and is not a mere sprinkling of the words, "in Jesus Name" that makes prayer right in the sight of God.

You pray as Jesus commands. You pray the way He did, not according to your will, but praying that the will of the Father be done. You ask the Father for joy and deliverance and it seems you do not receive. Your joy is not yet full. Your loved ones and friends get sick and die. Your body may be failing. You get betrayed by your closed friends or even relatives. Yet, you have joy in the Christ you suffered, died, and rose again from the dead because you believe in Him who saved you from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

Everyday your life is tortured with temptation. You are riddled with sin. You are haunted by guilt, shame, regret, sadness, despair, and uncertainty. You continue to pray. You continue daily to howl into the ears of the Almighty Father for deliverance and relief. Yet, it seems you only receive a portion of fulfillment from the heavenly throne.

You live in the now and not yet. Now, you suffer and yet there is nothing need because the Father is merciful toward you for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ. One day soon, there will be the day when you will suffer no more. Blind eyes will see. Mute tongues will sing. Ears will hear. Legs will walk. The dead will rise again from the earth and join in the song of the seraphim, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.

In the meantime, as you continue your pilgrimage through this vale of tears, call upon the Name of The Lord in the day of trouble. Pray. Praise. Give thanks. Ask God the Father for everything you need in your life. Ask Him without shame as a child would ask their earthly father, always trusting in His mercy that He will give you what is good and best for your you in your life.

Prayer is speaking back to God what He has already spoken to you in His Word. Prayer is grounded in the suffering and death of God's Son, Jesus Christ. Prayer in Jesus' Name prays for mercy and deliverance just like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Prayer in Jesus' Name is the only prayer heard by the Father. All other petitions fall on the ears of the gods of this world.

As Luther said, pray without ceasing. Sound forth the trumpet of your lips into the ears of your Heavenly Father with your prayers of thanksgiving and need. Do not stop. Pray incessantly in Jesus' Name.

Know this: For the believer, there is always a YES in heaven in Jesus' Name.

In the Name of the Father and of + the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

+ John 16:5-15 +


+ John 16:5-15 +

John 16:5-15
The Fifth Sunday of Easter (Cantate)


In the Name of the Father and of + the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Perhaps no other Christian teaching is more misunderstood today than that of the Holy Spirit. Who is He? What does He do? How does He work? Why has the world exploded with curiosity about the Holy Spirit and His work? This explosion of Christian curiosity is a result of the individualistic ideal of freedom of expression. Thus,, Christian understanding of the Holy Spirit can be found to vary not only from denomination to denomination, but also from congregation to congregation, pastor to pastor, and Christian to Christian. (Paul Strawn - Forward to Convicted by the Spirit, Lutheran Press, 2009)

To clear the confusion, let us examine the Holy Scriptures to answer these questions:

Who is the Holy Spirit?
What does He do?
How does He work?

The Holy Spirit is the Third person of the Holy Trinity. He is one with the Father and the Son yet a distinct person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is uncreated, infinite, and eternal. He is God. and Lord. He is of the Father and the Son neither made nor created nor begotten but proceeding.

Now, onto the work of the Holy Spirit and the Gospel lesson teaches in this His last sermon before His death and resurrection. This sermon by Jesus is one of consolation. His disciples are very sorrowful because He is only going to be with them for a little while.

The disciples are disheartened, terrified, and greatly saddened. Jesus has taught them that the world will hate them, persecute them, and kill them for His Name's sake. They're falling into despair and at a very rapid pace. They need to be comforted and NOW!

In this sermon, Jesus promises them the very comfort they need. He tells them that after He returns to His Father, He will send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. He will come and convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. He will also teach the world and point sinners to the Christ who suffered and died on the cross to save them from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

The Holy Spirit will fill the void caused by the ascension of Jesus. He will console and comfort the believers with the Gospel of the crucified and resurrected Christ. He will strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ and initiate the kingdom of God on earth and spread it throughout the whole world.

The disciples will be charged to go out into the world to proclaim the Law and Gospel of the Scriptures proclaiming all that Jesus taught them and Baptizing in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The world will reject the message of salvation they bring to their ears and the Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin and unbelief.

The Holy Spirit convicts you too when you fall into unbelief. He uses the Law to cut to the marrow of your soul, to expose your sin, show it to you that you know your sin and confess it before the Almighty God and Father of The Lord Jesus Christ. Thus confessing your sins, you are forgiven for the sake of Jesus Christ and restored back into fellowship with the Father.

The second part of the Holy Spirit's work is to convict the world of righteousness. This is not a civil righteousness, secular law or moral teaching. The righteousness the Spirit convicts the world of is that Jesus returned to the Father who is in heaven.

Unclear? Confused? Fear not. The Word of God is clear. Jesus says, the Holy Spirit will convict the world of righteousness "because I go to the Father and you will see Me no longer." (10) So what does this "going to the Father" mean for the world and for you?

Simply, these words "going to the Father" encompass  the whole work of your redemption and salvation. It is for this work that the Son of God was sent from heaven. Jesus has done the work His Father gave Him and continues to do it until the end, namely, His suffering, death, resurrection, and His entire kingdom in the Church." (Luther, Convicted by the Spirit, 51)

This "going to the Father" means nothing else than that Jesus gives Himself as a sacrifice by His shedding of Blood and death in order to pay for sin. By His resurrection, Jesus overcomes and subdues sin, death, and hell.

Jesus is your righteousness. He stands before His Father and intercedes on your behalf. He prays for you. He forgives you. He hears your prayers of thanksgiving and praise and also your prayers of need and deliverance. Jesus righteousness is called an alien righteousness because you have done or merited nothing nor can you merit anything. His righteousness is alien because it is yours by grace through faith alone.

Finally, Jesus says the Holy Spirit will convict the world concerning judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.

In the Hebrew, "judgment" means "dealing with and judging between two conflicting parties to determine which one is right and which one is wrong." The term also includes two essentials in court proceedings: grace and wrath and award and penalty. Grace and award acquit the innocent while wrath and penalty condemn the guilty.

The world in all her wisdom believes that she is right. She knows the difference between right and wrong and no lowly beggar of a preacher is going to change her mind. The world doesn't believe she is sinning because of unbelief. These sinners do not know God thus have no need of His Law nor His Gospel. They have no need of this alien righteousness because they are already righteousness in their own sight.

The world thinks she is safe. Nothing can harm them. The world will not let itself be moved by being offered the righteousness of Jesus Christ for their salvation. The world will go on pretending to do the right thing and be in no way obligated to put up with having its wisdom and righteousness destroyed.

The Holy Spirit continues to convict the world for the sake of such judgment. He must teach His conviction and tell the world that it and its judgment are condemned along with its prince, the father of lies, the devil.

Now, how does the Holy Spirit do all this work? He does it through the preaching office. Jesus calls men into His service to go out into the world as sheep among the wolves and preach the Good News of salvation to sinners. These men go and teach all that Jesus has given them in His Word concerning the kingdom of God, the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.

Jesus also tells these men as He tells you, you're not in this alone. I am with you always even to the end of the age. Jesus is with you. He is with me. He is here by His Spirit who preaches and teaches the crucified, resurrected and ascended Son of God for your salvation.

The Holy Spirit convicts you of your sins to restore you unto the kingdom through the forgiveness of your sins. He convicts you of righteousness because you get wild notions of saving yourself. You cannot. Christ is your righteousness. He alone saves. He convicts you of judgment because you often times think of yourself as the holy one, perfect, and no one is going to tell you anything especially about how you live your life. Apart from Christ, you can do nothing. You are lost and condemned without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Repent.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to you to comfort you, strengthen you, and guide you in the way of Truth. The Holy Spirit is the One who points you to Jesus as Lord and Savior. He is the One who gives you understanding and discernment of the Holy Word of God that reveals Jesus to you.

Rejoice and sing the Alleluias for Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

In the Name of the Father and of + the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, April 26, 2013

No, Mr. President. Repent.

Rev. Michael Schuermann nails it! 

The President of the United States must retract his words and repent.

Read more at this link:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

+ John 10:10-16 +


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

+ A Miracle of God +

1 PETER 3:21

God saved Bristol through the water of Holy Baptism on Easter Sunday, March 31 + AD 2013.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

+ He Alone Is Worthy +

Dr. Masaki told me that the first 100 copies purchased will receive his autograph. The books are in at the CTSFW bookstore. $49. Call tomorrow to order your copy. You will not read anything finer in your life.

Here's a link for information on the book.

+ John 12:12-19 +


+ Isaiah 53:8 +


Monday, March 18, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

KFUO AM Lutheran Radio

I would like to thank Pastor Asburry for having me on HIS TIME this morning to discuss Mark 13:1-23.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

+ Isaiah 53:1 +

The preaching of the Word on Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013. Lord, have mercy upon us.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

+ Luke 18:31-43 +

Quinquagesima Sunday (Sola Fide - Faith Alone).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's not about Theology - It's about Politics


And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20) NKJV

Jesus’ words in verse 20a are important to His Church on earth. Any church body should be mindful of it.  An honest question about it may be: has the LCMS kept this verse in mind? Do we teach all things? Do we need to repent? As the Psalmist laments, How long O Lord? Lord, have mercy upon us.

Recently, while attending the Minnesota North District Convention, another brother under the yoke of Christ came up to me and said, “This isn’t about theology. It’s about politics.” My stomach ached. I was sick. I asked him, “Are you kidding me? We are churchman gathered together to talk about the Church. Since when does politics dictate to the Church?”

I may be naive. I may be ignorant about many things. There are a few things however I am confident about.  One thing I know for sure is that I believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. I know that the One I confess to be Lord is the same One who called and ordained me into His holy service to teach His people to observe all things [He] has commanded. I know it’s about theology. It has to be. If the Church is all about politics, then what are we doing with the Holy Bible and the Lutheran Confessions? If it’s all about politics, then these precious books are nothing more than books with mere common words written on their pages.

The Church must be about theology. If Church is about politics, it becomes a business.  That would make everyone in this “business” we call church nothing more than businessmen who are directed by politics. When I was confronted with the reality that the LCMS is not about theology but politics, my conscience was burdened.

How can I, as an under-shepherd of the Good Shepherd, teach them all things He has commanded us when it’s not about theology? I began to think that’s probably why we got ourselves into the situation we’re in today; it’s because of politics. The LCMS got herself into trouble because she cast aside the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions and replaced these things with politics which has resulted in By-Laws, open communion, contemporary worship, dancers, screen, projectors, women preachers and teachers, etc.

On that fateful day, April 16, 2012, when I was told that the Minnesota North District Convention is not about theology but politics, I came to the realization that The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod will never repair the wrongs she has committed and continues to commit.

IT’S TIME! for reformation! IT’S TIME! for confession and absolution. IT’S TIME! that NO means NO once again in the Church. IT’S TIME! to return to the command of Jesus that we, the Church be about theology and teach them all things He has commanded us.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

E-nklings: So God Made Vocation

HT: Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz

So God Made Vocation

Overall the commercials at his year's Super Bowl (er, excuse me, Big Game) were about as good as the Niners in the first half. At one point I was actually hoping that a similar power outage would have taken place at my local CBS station so as to avoid any more painfully gross Go Daddy commercials, gack!  Of course there were a few honorable mentions, the Volkswagen bit was clever, although it was no Darth Vader of a few years ago. And the talking E-Trade baby always gets a snicker or two. But the winner in my playbook was the Dodge Ram commercial featuring the late Paul Harvey giving his famous speech, So God Made a Farmer.  Here's the text below in case anyone missed it. You can also check out the video here.

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer. 

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer. 
"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer. 
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer. 
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer. 
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church. 
"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.

And now for the rest of the story...

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Of course, we know from Genesis 1-3 that God didn't actually say any of the things Paul Harvey quotes in his speech. But that's not the point. Without ever using the word (perhaps even without even knowing it at all), Paul Harvey spoke truthfully about God's gift of vocation, a gift that began even before the Fall into sin. And a gift which continues after the Fall into sin as well, whether you're a farmer, a truck-driver, a teacher, pastor, law enforcement officer, mother, father, sibling, gardener, and the like. The farmer, you see, is a mask of God. Because of the vocation of farmer - and countless others - we are able to sit around our dinner table and not only thank God for our daily bread, but eat it and enjoy it as a gift. Above all, that's what vocation is, gift, given to us without any merit or worthiness in us, out of pure Fatherly, divine goodness. Truth be told, God could snap his fingers - zap! poof! wizbang! - and your refrigerator and table would be be graced with more abundance than all the Big Game parties combined, a veritable smorgasbord of First Article gifts. And, it's worth noting, that He could do the same with miraculous healing as well. We read of countless examples of Christ's immediate work throughout the Scriptures. But mostly, he works mediately, that is to say, through means. For healing he uses doctors and nurses. He uses medicine and technology. And the same is true for every facet of earthly life. God uses means. And it's no less miraculous when He uses ordinary means to hide his work behind for our benefit. In fact, if Luther is right (and I think he is here) it is precisely in the ordinary that God continues to work his hidden holiness for our well being and the good of the neighbor.

And it's not just the farmer and the myriads of other masks God uses to serve us, it's also in the seed, the seed of God's Word. Not only does Christ make farmers. He himself is the archetype farmer, the Sower in human flesh and blood. So it should be no surprise that He also uses the means of His creation to bless, preserve and save us. He plants His Word in the mouth of sinners - and it is no less miraculous than when he says it himself. Pastors are mouthpieces, hands, heralds, and helpers. He waters that planted Word by water, Word and Spirit. And our faith in Christ grows by the same breath of life that hovered over the waters of creation and filled Adam's lungs with life. That's the Holy Spirit's vocation, to show you Jesus. You are fed with the finest of foods and the richest of wines, Christ's very body and blood. And all of this through means. That's good news. Because the best part about it all is, it's free - not an over-paid, sensationalistic advertisement in sight.  Your vocation is a gift because Christ is crucified and risen for you. And you are a living sacrifice for your neighbor.

So God made vocation...on the 6th day and every day since then. And he made it for you. Behold, it is very good.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

+ Apologies are not Confession of sins +

An open letter to the President of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Dr. Harrison
February 2 + A.D. 2013

You wrote on your WMLT Blog, “While Pastor Morris explains that he does not believe he acted in joint worship, and took steps to avoid it, he does readily admit that his action was offensive, and he has no intention of repeating it. I accept his apology. I ask you to accept it as well. If you are upset that such an otherwise fine young pastor offered his apology for something for which you do not believe he should have had to apologize, I would simply respond by stating that we have the apostolic injunction “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1b–3). To those who think his apology insufficient, I would encourage you, as the commandment enjoins us, to “put the best construction on everything,” and to accept with gratitude and forgiveness in Christ’s name the real apology given you. If you think the apology is insufficient, I would also assure you that I shall continue in private conversation with President Yeadon and Pastor Morris, seeking the will of Christ through the Scriptures and prayer (Rom. 12:9–13). And I, too, have much to learn.”

I think the first step the LC-MS needs to learn is that an apology is not a confession of sin. Apologies are excuses. Here is Merriam Websters definition of an apology:

: a formal justification : defense ; b: excuse
: an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret
: a poor substitute

We are taught confess, that is, say to God what we have done against Him and our neighbor. You stated, “While Pastor Morris explains that he does not believe he acted in joint worship, and took steps to avoid it, he does readily admit that his action was offensive, and he has no intention of repeating it.” This is nothing more than self-justification, an excuse, an apology as you called it.

Christians are taught to confess their sins so they may be forgiven in the Name of Jesus Christ. Later in your post, you wrote, “By the mercies of Christ, I earnestly request of any who are contemplating action against Pastor Morris in the Synod’s reconciliation system that you do not do so. He has apologized.”

Pastor Morris’ apology is not confession of sins. Your acceptance of his apology is not absolution of sins. Pastor Morris’ enmity between God and the Church is still present because of his actions of syncretism and unionism.

I will continue to pray for all involved that Pastor Morris is led to confess his sins so he may be forgiven. Dr. Harrison, I urge you to stand firm on the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions on this matter. They are clear. Do not give in to “wishy washy” apologies. Do not give into what seems to make nice, soft, and acceptable. The devil is trying to get you to cover this over with world pleasing apologies. The Law needs to be wielded so the Gospel can heal.

Always under the cross of Christ,

Rev. John F. Wurst

The Reverend John F. Wurst, Pastor
The Lutheran Church of Christ the King
4219 Grand Avenue
Duluth, MN 55807

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Monday, December 31, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

+ The Athanasian Creed +

Advent feria III. The texts are Genesis 1:1-2; Romans 1:16-17; John 1:1-5. The sermon was on the Athanasian Creed - Christendom's confession of the Trinity.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012