Thursday, October 31, 2013

Worship for All Saints Sunday - 2013

Reformation Day
October 31, 2013

The Lord be with you

Today is Reformation Day. Yes, many celebrate it as Halloween but we celebrate it as Reformation Day. That is because, on October 31, 1515, Martin Luther nailed his now famous 95 Theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg. This act sparked the Reformation. We celebrated this historic event this past Sunday.

Tomorrow (November 1) is All Saints’ Day. We also celebrate this Festival, transferring it to the first Sunday in November. That means this coming Sunday will be All Saints Sunday. We will have a special liturgy, which will be mostly spoken. However we will chant the Psalm (Psalm 149, antiphon verse 4), and substitute a hymn for the hymn of praise and the offertory. A portion of this service will be for commemorating the faithful departed. Sunday’s hymns will be:
Opening – “For All the Saints” LSB 677
Praise – “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” LSB 790
Sermon – “O Blessed Spring” LSB 595
Offertory: “Take My Life and Let It Be” LSB 784:1, 4, 6
Closing – Saints, See the Cloud of Witnesses” LSB 667

Below is a video of our sermon hymn, "O Blessed Spring."

The assigned readings for Sunday are: Revelation 7:2-17, 1 John 3:1-3, and Matthew 5:1-12. The sermon text is Revelation 7:2-3. The sermon is titled “Sealed for Good.”

We continue to study the Gospel of Luke in our Sunday morning Bible study. All are welcome. Bible study begins at 9:00 am. 

Preview of Lessons
Revelation 7:2-17
This is a vision of heaven. It contains the much twisted reference to 144,000 people who have been sealed. The book of Revelation is given to us in symbols, which includes its numbers. 144,000 equals 12 X 12 X 10 X 10 X10. Twelve is a common number God uses to represent the people of God. So, for example, there were “twelve” tribes of Israel. Really? Most lists don’t include Levi or Joseph in the Old Testament. Instead of Joseph we have his two boys listed. Levi is the ancestor of the priests and didn’t get a geographic area bequeathed to his descendants. Sometimes Benjamin is not listed but is covered when the tribe of Judah is included. Other variations exist, but the number twelve is retained for referring to the people of God. So we also have twelve apostles, because the people of God are being reconstituted in the New Testament as the people of God. Ten is a number that God often uses to indicate something is complete. So, for example, we have the Ten Commandments, even though, if you read the text, you'll notice far more than ten commandments. What this 144,000 refers to is the complete collection of God’s people. It is even further accented by the visual image 144,000 makes. If you stacked 144,000 little boxes in a cube, it would make a perfect cube. Visually the number also represents completeness. So John describes this group as “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, and from all tribes and peoples and languages”. This multitude has entered heaven and received the blessing of being in the presence of God and drinking from the river of life. This is a blessed life, the life we look forward to, the life those who have departed and gone to be with the Lord currently enjoy.

1 John 3:1-3
John speak of our hope as believers, a hope that is fulfilled at the Second Coming. Verse 3 is key, “And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” We do not make ourselves “pure.” It is granted to us by grace when we hope in Jesus, that is, believe in him and the promises attached to him. These are those who are part of the multitude John sees.

Matthew 5:1-12
This reading from the Sermon on the Mount is called the Beatitudes. Like the other two readings, it is a standard for All Saints’ Day/Sunday. The basic reasoning is that it describes how saints live while they are on this earth. Of course we know that this passage condemns us as not fulfilling our Lord’s expectations. So, while we strive to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, and we read passages like this with great care seeking to let them shape our thinking, our actions, our heart, nonetheless it is passages like 1 John 3:3 to which we look when we want assurance of our salvation.

Lesson Synopsis (from the LC-MS)
Saints Are Blessed in the Eternal Presence of Christ
“A great multitude … from all tribes and peoples and languages” cry out, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne” (Rev. 7:9–10). Faith-filled saints from every place and time with unified voices eternally magnify the Lamb of God. As His beloved children, we, too, “shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Joined with the throng of angels and a myriad of saints, we shall “serve him day and night in his temple” (Rev. 7:15). In our earthly tension vacillating between saint and sinner, faith and doubt, sacred and profane, we earnestly seek Jesus to calm our fears, comfort our spirits and forgive our sins. The Holy Spirit, through faith in Christ propels us forward, fortifying us in Word and Sacrament, to our eternal home. In the midst of our constant struggle as believers, we need to be blessed. And so we are. The poor in spirit, the meek, the hungry, the thirsty, the merciful, the pure and the persecuted are all blessed, and we will most certainly inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:1–12).


  • ·         DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ends
  • ·         You get an extra hour of sleep if you remember to turn your alarm clock back an hour before you go to bed Saturday.

Blessings in Christ,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blog Blurbs - 50th Anniversary

I am still sending out invitations to anyone you want to invite; I just need a name & address. Thanks, Kitty

Blog Blurbs - All Saints' Sunday

Remember to email pastor any names you forgot to put on the list of loved ones who have passed from death to life eternal NO LATER THAN THURSDAY A.M.!!!

"Have Everything"

Daily Devos 

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM). 

"Have Everything?"

October 29, 2013
Daily Devotions Cross in Hands 7-14-13And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke2:10
Well, I tried. I really did. Sadly, I stand before you confessing I have failed.

And what is this failure? Only this: I wanted to be first in calling to your attention that Christmas is coming. Now I've found out that Neiman-Marcus has beat me to the punch and published its list of gifts for people to give ... if they want this Christmas to be truly special.

If you don't get their catalog, allow me to share some of those most unique presents. Near the top of their list is a television. No, not a television like the one that graces your living room. No, this is a T E L E V I S I O N!

The Neiman-Marcus TV is a 201-inch TV, which rises out of the ground in your backyard (or in your front yard, if you so desire.) It has a DVD, stereo, and just about anything else you could hook into a home entertainment system. The price tag: $1.5 million.

That doesn't include shipping and handling.

Now maybe you were thinking of a present which is a bit more lasting. If so, Neiman-Marcus can help you out with its "Diamond Experience." If you purchase this present, you will get a 25-carat uncut diamond. Along with the diamond you will receive a trip to the De Beers diamond headquarters in London and a visit to Africa where you can see where the stone was mined. Wondering how much the "Diamond Experience" is going to set you back? The price is a paltry $1.85 million.

No doubt, it's worth every penny.

For those of you who are a bit more frugal, the company has less costly gifts. There's the $750,000 hand-built motorcycle, and the designer exercise bike that sells for $11,000. I certainly wouldn't want to forget the $50,000 package that allows you, for an afternoon, to become a falconer.

So, those are some of the presents one company thinks you might want to consider if you are going to make this Christmas the best holiday ever.

Are you smiling? Are you shaking your head in disbelief? Are some of you guys really thinking a 201-inch TV might not be so bad? The reactions to this list are varied and diverse. Even so, we who know Jesus ought to be saying, "The best Christmas ever took place more than 2,000 years ago."

That first Christmas the holy Son of God was born of a virgin. He entered the world in poverty and endured abuse, hatred, mockery and criticism. He was beaten, whipped, punched, crowned with thorns, and crucified.

All this He endured so you and I might be forgiven of our sins and granted an eternal home in heaven.

Because of what happened on that first Christmas we Christians know our presents, our festivities, our remembrances will always remain pale imitations and poor reflections of the great love we have received from God's Son, our Lord and Savior.

May that be in our minds and hearts as soon we start to prepare for a Christmas that will center on Jesus who was, is and always will be our greatest news of great joy.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world has a lot of ideas on how Christmas should be celebrated. Sometimes they even convince us its way is the right way. May we always remember that Jesus' coming is good news of great joy, which You give to us all. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor KlausIn Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blog Blurbs - Sunday's Reformation Picnic

Remember to bring a side dish, salad, snack to go along with the hotdogs, hamburgers, etc. tomorrow for our picnic. If it is warm enough, we will play some outside games, so bring those, too! Hope to see you all there!


Daily Devos 

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM). 


October 26, 2013
lighthouse, rockFinally he sent him to them, saying, "They will respect my son." But those tenants said to one another, "This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." Mark 12:6-7
Have you noticed that for many people respect is a commodity which is in seriously short supply?

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was crippled by polio. No matter what you may think of him as a leader, it must be concluded that he waged a heroic fight against that disease. The media of his day respected that battle. Although Roosevelt served as president longer than any other man, and was unable to walk unaided during that entire time, there are only two known pictures of him in a wheelchair.

Today, let a leader fall, become sick, or stumble in a speech, and a disrespectful press will gleefully gloat and splash the story across its front pages. We demand our heroes be perfect, but society dances in delight when they show they're not.

Respect. Where did it go?

The policeman who desires nothing more than to protect and serve finds himself smeared and slandered. Husbands and wives, who once voluntarily declared their everlasting love, now speak to each other with words that would bring a blush to the cheek of a longshoreman.

Now I'm not the first to notice a decline in respect. Here's what one wise observer has said:

"... our youths love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority -- they show disrespect for their elders and love to chatter in places of exercise .... Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up food, and tyrannize teachers."

Are you thinking there's a guy who understands? You would be right. When Socrates spoke those words almost 2,500 years ago, he did understand. Lack of respect, you see, is nothing new.

Since that is the case, maybe we shouldn't be surprised to see our generation show a lack of respect toward the greatest of authorities: the Triune God.

Not only do they not respect Him for having created the world in which they live and fashioned them in their mother's womb, they don't respect Him for His love and having sent His Son into this world as the only sacrifice that could save them.

When Jesus walked among us, the Pharisees tried to trick Him; His church tried to trap Him, and His government gave permission for Him to be crucified.

Talk about lack of respect.

Jesus should have been outraged.

Instead of being furious and walking away, the Lord let His disciples know He was fully aware of what would happen to Him. In the parable from which our text comes, He says the people who should be most grateful to God are the ones who will show their disrespect and murder Me.

It is a sad thing -- this lack of respect of the world. It is so sad we who are saved must do all we can to counterbalance it with the way we lead our lives. This is why those of us who are washed in Jesus' blood must daily show our great respect for Him who has died to free us.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, what a strange thing it is that the world, which doesn't believe in You, works so hard at disrespecting You. May their darkness make our reflected light shine all the brighter as we honor You. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor KlausIn Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blog Blurbs - Daylight Savings Time

Remember to set your clocks BACK one hour on Saturday evening, November 2nd, as daylight savings time ends Sunday at 2:00 am; Fall Back!

LCMS Papua New Guinea Missionaries

The Rev. Jeffrey Horn, and his wife, Lora, are new LCMS missionaries in Papua New Guinea. Here's a recent post from Horn about his time there so far.

Hello world. It's been weeks since I have been on to post. Learning so many new things about life in PNG that its hard to know what to say sometimes.

But in the interest if keeping up communication, here are 10 things I can tell you about life in Papua New Guinea:

1. It is so beautiful here! The interplay of mountains, jungle, gardens, sunlight, clouds, rain, flowers, fruit, animals and people is amazing. No two days look exactly alike. Can't wait to see tomorrow!

2. U2 is the perfect soundtrack for driving around PNG. Sometimes I feel like we are in a Rattle and Hum video.

3. Sunlight here is thick. You could cut off a slice of it, chew it, and spit out flowers.

4. It is very cold here at night. It has regularly dropped into the high 40s at night. In addition to three blankets on the bed, we put hot water bottles at our feet. My pajamas have more layers than a crescent roll. But when the sun comes back in the morning all is forgotten.

5. Almost anything can grow here. Remember that scene in the Narnian Chronicles (The Magician's Nephew) where toffee candies are dropped on the ground and toffee trees grow up? Yeah, it's like that.

6. The big exception to point five is grapes. They struggle to grow here. As a result, wine for communion is very expensive. 50 kina, or about $25 per bottle. This is very hard for poor congregations to afford. A pastor I met has to spend two days in travel and most of two Sunday offerings to get one bottle of wine for the Lord's Supper. Some of the really remote areas have it much harder. I have heard reports of it being years between times when the elements are available for Communion. Something can and should be done about this. I will tell you more about some possible helps later.

7. Driving in PNG is an adventure. You might think the steering wheel on the right side, and directions reversed on the roads is a challenge. That was actually easy. What is challenging is that the main highway is two lanes. Very little of it has lanes painted on it. The gutters at the side do the road are a foot wide and a foot deep. My tires have nitemares of falling into one. Often cliffs rise upon one side of the road and gorges drop on the other. You are almost always climbing, descending, or curving, which makes passing an adventure. You are likely to find people, pigs, dogs, children, goats, or a semitruck around any turn. Landslides are a serious possibility on any particular day. Potholes are so frequent that the surface of the moon has sued the Highlands Highway for copyright infringement. We drive past one pothole daily that could give the Grand Canyon an inferiority complex. When the fog settles in at night it can seem like you are driving upstream in a river. That's no joke. While we have not encountered them yet, bandits and road blocks are also a sincere possibility. Bridges can be an adventure. When you drive along the road most people will wave and smile at you, and we wave back and shout hello. If I do that to pedestrians back in LA they will lock me up for observation. But with all that, driving in PNG makes you feel alive! Every trip is an adventure, and often has stunning sights as a bonus.

8. Tea rocks! It is seriously comforting. We all drink it.

9. Whenever you go to a meal and are served a warm coke, you can be sure that you are in an interesting place and you will remember the meal when you are old. Speaking of sodas... They are so much better here. They taste like the sodas of my childhood. They are made with sugar and not many chemicals. Yummy!

9. We are eating well and losing weight like crazy. Two months - two belt notches.

10. There is so much work to do here. There is so much work to do here. There is so much work to do here. Good work. Preaching Christ crucified. Teaching good doctrine. Preparing solid new Lutheran pastors. Edifying pastors and evangelists in the field. Confronting false doctrine. Protecting the little sheep. Building relationships. There is so much work to do. I thank God for the privilege of living and serving here. There are so many amazing people here!

I could go on, but it's time for bed. Thank you for praying for us. We need it very much. God give you joy in Christ!

Learn more about Horn here:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Drug & Hazardous Waste Return Dates

The drug take back event will be this Saturday, October 26th from 10 to 2 o'clock.  Out of date and unwanted medications can be taken to the following locations per the DEA website:

If you do not find a collection site near you, please check back frequently, sites are added every day.
STORE #4174
Also, for the future , our Hazardous Household Waste Collection has been set for Saturday, March 29th, 2014.
Jim Weeks

Worship Notes for Reformation Sunday - 2013

Thursday after Pentecost 22
October 24, 2013

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday will be celebrated as Reformation Sunday at Lamb of God. Of course, the Reformation is that key moment in time when Protestantism in general was born. In light of this, it is somewhat surprising that Lutheran’s are the only ones I know of that recognize this history shaping movement on their liturgical calendar.

Reformation Day is October 31 because that is the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the castle church door in 1517. Those 95 Theses sparked the Reformation. If one should read those theses, one would be amazed at how Roman Catholic Luther still was. That would change, as any reader of the Augsburg Confession (1530) can see. The light of the Word of God, along with the light from the Church Fathers, cast out the shadows of current theological opinions and ushered in a new age.

Most often we celebrate the Reformation with a special liturgy. However, one of the hallmarks of the Reformation was a reformation in the liturgy. Over the centuries many misleading, and even false, practices had crept into the regular Sunday liturgy. Just a few examples were prayers to the deceased, prayers seeking to assist the deceased, restricting the Lord’s Supper to only the clergy, and prayers that gave the impression that the Lord’s Supper was our work. Luther, and others, went over the current liturgy with a find tooth comb, removed the dross, kept the gold and silver, and bequeathed to the Church a form of the Western Rite that most Protestant Churches that are liturgical follow to one degree or another (everyone “tweaks” it a bit). To honor the Reformation liturgical renewal, this year we will use Divine Service 3 (page 184) with just a tweak or two from our normal practice. This is a communion service. To prepare you may review the “Christian Questions with Their Answers” found in most any copy of Luther’s Small Catechism (page 329 in the Lutheran Service Book).

The most obvious “tweak” in Sunday’s service will be the Introit. Instead of Pastor speaking it, the congregation will chant it. The words of the Introit will be included in an insert.

Our opening hymn will be “Faith and Truth and Life Bestowing” (LSB 584). Our sermon hymn will be “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” (LSB 655). Our closing hymn will be “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (LSB 657). This is the Bach arrangement of Luther’s great hymn. The distribution hymns will be “The Law of God Is Good and Wise” (LSB 579), “The Gospel Shows the Father’s Grace” (LSB 580), and “Come, Let Us Eat” (LSB 626).

Our readings will be Revelation 14:6-7, Romans 3:19-28, and John 8:31-36. The sermon text will be John 8:31-32. The sermon is titled “Informational or Transformational.”

Below is a video of our sermon hymn, “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word.” The words are included. You will notice that Rachel, “The Lutheran Warbler” has made some changes.

We continue in the Gospel of Luke in our Sunday morning Bible study. All are welcome. Bible study begins at 9:00 am.

Preview of Lessons

Revelation 14:6-7
This is the traditional epistle lesson for Reformation. John sees an angel flying “directly overhead” which carries the “eternal gospel” that is proclaimed to everyone. Some of Luther’s more ardent admirers identified this angel as Martin Luther himself. They weren’t as “out there” as you might first think. This angel represents all the messengers of the Gospel as they spread the life giving message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. Remember, the word “angel” means “messenger.” So this angel does represent Luther, it just doesn’t represent only Luther. Every generation has its “angels” that proclaim the “eternal gospel.”

Romans 3:19-28
There is a fundamental distinction in the Bible which Lutheran’s call “Law and Gospel.” One might say commands and promises or some other contrasting pair. This reading brings this distinction our clearly. There are passages that seem to consign all humanity to hell. We are a hopeless lot that can never live up to the objective standards established by our Creator. The second group of passages is full of grace and mercy. Our shortcomings are forgiven, forgotten, erased. Heaven’s door is opened and we are welcomed home. So do we have a frowning God, waiting to cast us into hell, or a loving God who forgives and welcomes us into his family? The answer is, “yes.” Those who receive faith in Jesus enter into God’s grace and see the “smiling God.” Those who reject God’s grace in Christ are left with the “frowning God.” This is not God’s choice or desire. God would have all be saved. But those who turn from his love in Christ Jesus are left with condemnation.

John 8:31-36
The text for Sunday’s message is taken from this reading. Jesus is speaking of the power of his word. However many do not understand him, even those who might be described as believers. Thank the good Lord that perfect understanding is not a requirement for eternal life. That is not an excuse to remain ignorant. False belief is still false, it is still displeasing to God, it is still sin, but it is forgivable sin. It reminds me of the words suggested in Lutheran Worship for the pastor to use in blessing people after receiving the Lord’s Supper: “The body and blood of our Lord strengthen and preserve you steadfast in the true faith to life everlasting. Go in peace. Amen.” Notice the pastor does not say “in the true Lutheran faith.” Sure, we think we have it right, but just in case we are off center here or there, we ask to be preserved in the pure Christian faith. This, by the way, is why I continue to use this blessing instead of the one in LSB (which shows an influence from Australian Lutheranism, a genuine expression of Lutheranism but having embraced some ideas that are not pan-Lutheran.)

Lesson Synopsis (from the LC-MS)
The Son of God Has Set Us Free from Sin and Death by His Grace
(There is actually a reading option for the Gospel lesson Sunday. I chose the one from John. The other option is Matthew 11:12-19). The following synopsis reflects both readings.)
Wisdom is justified by her deeds” (Matt. 11:19), and the true Wisdom of God, Christ Jesus, the incarnate Son, justifies us by His deeds. He prepares His way by the preaching of repentance, but He has suffered the violence of the Law and voluntarily handed Himself over to violent men, that we might eat and drink with Him in His kingdom and “remain in the house forever” (John 8:35). For He is “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt. 11:19), and He has rescued us by His grace from the slavery of sin and death. By the proclamation of His eternal Gospel “to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people” (Rev. 14:6), “the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law” (Rom. 3:21), “that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). And by hearing the Gospel of Christ Jesus, “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom. 3:25), “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

On Sunday mornings our Bible study hour begins at 9:00. The Prelude begins around 10:20. Our opening worship moments begin around 10:25. Our opening hymn begins around 10:30.

Well, I hope we will see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,

Persecutions of Christians "In September"

Daily Devos 

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM). 

"In September"

October 24, 2013
Joshua Tree, rocksWe are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

In North America persecution of believers is usually subtle. Not so in the rest of the world. That's why I can tell you how, last month

* in Peshawar, Pakistan, 78 believers were killed and more than 100 were injured when a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up at the end of the Anglican Church service;

* in the Nigerian town of Zangang, 15 Christians were murdered by gun-shooting, machete-wielding herdsmen. Other believers were wounded and hundreds of our brothers and sisters were displaced from their homes;

* in Sri Lanka, police asked some churches to close on Sunday during September because Buddhist extremists had made threats; that country has seen 45 anti-Christian incidents this year;

* in Afghanistan, a member of the parliament recommended Muslim converts to Christianity be executed to stop the growth of the faith in that nation;

* in September, a member of the Kuwaiti parliament asked that no more Christian churches be built in that country and, in Saudi Arabia, the Grand Mufti demanded all churches on the Arabian Peninsula be destroyed;

* in September, most of the 250 African migrants who drowned trying to reach Europe were Christians fleeing religious persecution.

Understand this list is neither complete nor comprehensive. The figures I have shared do not describe the heartbreak, the loss, the destruction of dreams that accompanies each of these incidents.

Unsurprised, we note that 20 centuries after Paul wrote the words of today's text, they remain true. Christians are still being hounded, hated and persecuted. Even so, they know they are not forsaken. That is because they believe the living Lord Jesus Christ is with them, the power of the Holy Spirit will continue to empower them, and the Gospel will accomplish the purpose God intends.

That explains why, in many places, these persecuted believers are asking the Lord to use their sufferings to reach those who are lost and bring them to repentance and salvation in the Savior. To that end Lutheran Hour Ministries does its best to share the Savior's story of salvation with those who believe and those who do not.

Today we also pray for our persecuted family members. We ask the Lord will continue to bless, strengthen and grant peace to those who are suffering for the Savior's sake.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks I am able to worship You in freedom. Be with and strengthen those who are hated because they love Jesus. This I ask in the Name of Him who conquered hatred and death so that the world might be forgiven and saved through His resurrection. Amen.
Pastor KlausIn Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"An 'A' and an 'F'"

Daily Devos  

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM). 

"An 'A' and an 'F'"

October 23, 2013
Washington MonumentWoe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Isaiah 5:20-21
The Washington Cathedral in, where else, Washington, D.C., is a pretty impressive structure. It also happens to be one of the places I have not been asked to speak.

Considering the theological position of the present dean, I doubt if an invitation will be coming soon. That's because there appears to be a great theological gulf between what the dean preaches and what I read in the Lord's Holy Word.

Case in point: on October 6th, during his weekly message, the dean made some statements about homosexuality. That's no big deal. Today it seems everybody and his brother is making such declarations. Usually I don't share those comments with you.

This time it's different.

That's because, the dean has broken new ground. Listening to what he said, I give him an "A+" for creativity and an "F" for faithfulness. That's because the dean has said, "It is a sin to oppose homosexuality."

That's right. He believes churches are sinning; pastors are sinning; you are sinning if you oppose homosexuality. Now the dean has a right, no matter how wrong he may be, to have his own opinion. But when he says such a thing from the pulpit and indicates his message is based on the Word or what the Lord wishes, he is out of line ... way out of line.

He has joined the ranks of those who "call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness ... who are wise in their own eyes and shrewd in their own sight."

Please understand this devotion is not about homosexuality. It is about pastors, priests and preachers who wander far from God's path and substitute their "wisdom" for what God has told us. That is something the Lord doesn't like. He didn't like it when self-made prophets opposed His spokesmen; He didn't like it when critics undermined Moses, and He doesn't like it now.

God's people and God's preachers have an obligation to condemn what the Lord condemns, to allow what the Lord allows, and remain silent where the Lord is silent.

Following in the footsteps of the prophets and apostles, our job description has remained unchanged. Basing what we say on the Bible, we are to tell sinners they are wrong and invite them to the Savior who lived His life and died our death, so we might be forgiven and saved.

That's it: very simple. Oh, here's one more simple thing: if you have a pastor, preacher or priest whose words and life are based on God's Word, please thank him. He's taking a stand which pleased God rather than man. It is a stand which can be lonely.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I pray in the words of Luther's hymn: "Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word; Curb those who fain by craft and sword would wrest the Kingdom from Thy Son And set at naught all He hath done." In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor KlausIn Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries