Psalm 46:10 for Now

Introducing Our Online Liturgies

 

by Pastor Marshall

 

In lieu of our time together due to the stay-at-home orders issued by our government, because of the coronavirus troubles – which have put our worshiping, studying and serving in abeyance – I offer these abbreviated online liturgies. They in no way are equivalents to our normal fare, when we gather in our beautiful church to sing praise to Almighty God around Word and Sacrament. But they still have value. In them I’m taking advantage of our time apart to accentuate Psalm 46:10 about being silent before God. These liturgies have no audio tracks (except for a hymn link here and there) or video streams which in Mendocino County, California, have been banned (Doug Mainwaring, California County Bans Singing in Online Worship Services, LifeSites, online, April 17, 2020). So what we have here are just words. If I were to provide instead a full mock worship service online, that would be inconsistent with our mission statement and the honor it pays to historical liturgies (which require a congregation present). So the liturgies I provide are short, meditative in tone, and solitary. Use them to stand silently before God and his Word – and its elaborations in prayers, hymn texts, art works, and sermons. Luther thought God has his way with us in this silence (Luther’s Works 6:35). Kierkegaard agreed, seeing in this silence God’s Word gaining power over us (For Self-Examination, ed. Hongs, p. 47). He even thought, somewhat humorously, that by blunting our “loquacity” through this silence, God’s ways were protected from any “undietetic uncircumspection” coming from us (The Book on Adler, ed. Hongs, p. 166). Be that as it may, we must never forget, as Kierkegaard elsewhere warned, that Christianity is not primarily for quiet times, but for fighting the good fight of faith “right in the middle of actual life and weekdays” (Journals, ed. Hongs, §2:2132).


 





Online Sunday Liturgy

July 12, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover

 

 

 

You can’t put new wine into old wineskins

or they will rupture.

 

(Matthew 9:17)

 

They listen to God’s Word but do not grasp it. That is why they rupture and become worse…. [But] true faith is not made with our thoughts, but it is only God’s work in us, without any assistance from us… Therefore faith is…. a very powerful, active, restless, busy thing, which at once renews a person, gives him new birth, and leads him into a completely new way of life, so that it is impossible that he would not do good without ceasing…. He does it of himself, freely and unconstrained, just as of himself without a command he sleeps, eats, drinks, gets dressed, hears, speaks, and exists.

 

 

(Luther’s Works 78:321–22.) 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

July 12, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Father in heaven, you have prepared for those who love you joys beyond understanding. Pour into our hearts such love for you that, loving you above all things, we may obtain your promises. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 



First Lesson: Jeremiah 28:5–9

Psalm 89:1–4, 15–18

Second Lesson: Romans 6:1–11

Gospel: Matthew 10:34–42

 

 

Opening Hymn: “We Know That Christ Is Raised” (LBW 189)

 




 



 

Sermon:  July 12, 2020

“Walk in Newness”

(Romans 6:4)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.     

Jesus is famous for welcoming all of the weary – not just the beautiful and kind and smart. No, he clearly and emphatically says – “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). So if you wearing out, Jesus wants to help you. Period. He won’t turn anyone away for lack of funds (Matthew 10:8). All you need to know is what Jesus says about himself – “I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:29). So don’t miss out on this free and welcoming offer. Sing out with Martin Luther – “Oh, the vast and rich mercy of Him who calls miserable sinners to Himself!... For He who is calling all excludes no one…. In this way we may ‘with confidence draw near to the throne of His grace’ (Hebrews 4:16).” So “Christ is our calm, our victory, our peace, our salvation, and our joy” (Luther’s Works 67:141, 142).

     But there it ends. In those very same verses Jesus says that though he may welcome all who are weary, expectations quickly accrue for those who join up with him. It’s not naptime. No, it’s time to go to school. “Learn from me,” Jesus admonishes – “for I am meek and lowly in heart,” and so should you be (Matthew 11:29). “Learn, learn, learn, therefore, to be meek” and lowly in heart (LW 67:144). Go to the school of Jesus. He wants you to change, to be educated in the spirit. Learn to “turn an unbearable yoke into one that is not only bearable but even pleasant and light, not by changing the load itself but by changing the person carrying it” (LW 67:148). And that’s you. Because Christ was gentle and lowly in heart, so must we be who believe in him. We are to walk in his footsteps (1 Peter 2:21). And that means walking in newness of life (Romans 6:4); putting on a new nature (Colossians 3:10); becoming a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17); being born all over again (John 3:3). It means giving up selfishness and ingratitude – and screwy wishes like, “Holy Lord, that I might fly private until the end of days, and so be closer to thee” (Jim Carrey, Memoirs and Misinformation: A Novel, 2020, p. 183).

     Well that’s a mouth full! Doesn’t sound much like help, does it? I thought rest would come by doing less and not being pushed on to greater heights. Didn’t you? Well we’re both wrong, I guess. But Luther wasn’t fooled like we are. He knew that when we believe in Jesus “it is necessary to peel off the old skin and the old birth” (LW 22:281). That’s because Jesus repeatedly taught that new wine needs new wineskins to keep it from spilling all over (Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:38). So faith needs a new person to believe what it beholds! “The Holy Spirit works faith in us, and through this faith we regain the image of God which we lost in Paradise…. Whoever believes in Christ, whoever believes that Christ was born, that He died for us, was buried for us, and was raised for us – is born anew or reborn. This rebirth makes a person a new man…. All that is necessary is that he be baptized by the Holy Spirit and attain faith through Him. This works a new birth…. We are reborn from death to life, from sin to righteousness; here we are transferred from the kingdom of the devil into the kingdom of God” (LW 22:285, 286, 287).

     This is a massive change – “beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). If we know nothing about this transformation we know nothing about Christ and his kingdom. “Unbelievers are so stuck in their sins that they pay no attention” to this transformation. The believer in Christ, on the other hand, “fights against sin and evil desires and feels what he does not want to feel” (LW 77:329). That’s why he fights. So sin doesn’t distinguish us from unbelievers. That’s because we both sin. It’s the battle against sin that differentiates us. Christians are the only ones who take up “the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). So “see to it that you are a good Christian, and… prove your faith with your works. But if you go along without further ado, you will find out what your fate will be” (LW 30:131). The wrath of God will rest on you (John 3:36). So don’t seek the “favor and applause of men, peace with the world, and the serenity of the flesh rather than the glory of Christ and the salvation of souls” (LW 27:103). Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). This kingdom is “divine and imperishable and… gives me eternal life, righteousness, peace, joy, and salvation,... and it will all be infinitely more glorious and abundant than what I can get here on earth, even with great sorrow, anxiety, and labor” (LW 21:203). The best educated among us have been painfully learning this of late at our colleges and universities where most professors are part time now, but paid at a much lower rate for the same work the full time do because they’re not regarded as “faculty, or even people [but] units of flexibility” (Charles Petersen, “Serfs of Academe,” The New York Review of Book, March 12, 2020, p. 42).

     And how can I have this better kingdom (Hebrews 11:16, 13:14)? We have to give up the “mad passion for [our] own glory” (LW 33:226). But how can I do that? We after all live in a world that “is nothing else than a prison for mad and blind men” (LW 7:182). So what can we do? It takes “a constant gaze that looks at nothing except Christ, the Victor over sin and death and the Dispenser of righteousness, salvation, and eternal life” (LW 26:356). So don’t budge. Keep your eye on the ball at all times. For when the “Word enters the heart in true faith, it fashions the heart like unto itself, it makes it firm, certain, and assured. It becomes buoyed up, rigid, and adamant” [steiff, auffrecht und hart] (LW 15:272). And why not? Faith, after all, holds on to the glorious new revelation of God in Jesus Christ (Isaiah 43:19, Revelation 3:12). For he is the mediator of a new covenant with God (Hebrews 9:15). His blood saves us from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9). Indeed, “Christ mediates with His blood so that we are redeemed in our consciences before God, because God has promised to give the Spirit through the blood of Christ,” which gives us faith in him (LW 76:408).

     But this faith isn’t ever completely settled. We never have it perfectly (Philippians 3:12). “For our condition in the kingdom of Christ is half sin and half holiness” (LW 21:205). And that’s because “our condition [is] always… mixed, so that we feel both the Holy Spirit and our sins and imperfections. Our condition must always be that of the sick man who is in the care of a physician and who is to become better” (LW 77:329). The Christian is sick in spirit – struggling with might and main to live in harmony with holy baptism (LW 35:39). Much lies ahead of us – still yet to be done. May we all work toward that better life – that perfected life (Matthew 5:48). May we all strive for God’s truth “in its entirety,.... striving for it, and moving and progressing toward it every day” (LW 21:129). May we all work to supplement our faith with virtue, and knowledge, and self-control, and steadfastness, and godliness, and love (2 Peter 1:5–7). And when we do, may we ever thank God in meekness and lowliness – as we walk, a little bit now, and a little bit then, in the newness of life. Amen.    

Hymn of the Day:   “Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus” (LBW 487) 

 

Prayers 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

Janice Lundbeck

Larraine King

Melissa Baker

Melanie Johnson

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Marie Magenta

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Rick Reynolds

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary Thoren

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Marv Morris 

Randy Vater

Doreen Phillips

Deanne Heflin

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

John Paulson

Yao Chu Chang

Mary Cardona

Carrie Jaecksch

Misty Bentz

Holly Finan

Pray also for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. 

 

Death

Lillian Schnieder

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl 

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 


 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:     All Who Believe and Are Baptized” (LBW 194)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrcHY1P9hDo



 



 

 

 

“The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty” (Psalm 74:20)…. These two colored men were the two principal hands on the plantation. Legree had trained them in savageness and brutality as systematically as he had his bull-dogs; and, by long practice in hardness and cruelty, brought their whole nature to about the same range of capacities. It is a common remark, and one that is thought to militate strongly against the character of the race, that the negro overseer is always more tyrannical and cruel than the white one. This is simply saying that the negro mind has been more crushed and debased than the white. It is no more true of this race than of every oppressed race, the world over. The slave is always a tyrant, if he can get a chance to be one.

 

(H. B. Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1852,

chapter 32, at the beginning)

 

 

 

The virtuous rage of Mrs. Stowe is motivated by nothing so temporal as a concern for the relationship of men to one another,… but merely by a panic of being… caught in traffic with the devil…. Uncle Tom’s Cabin… is activated by what might be called a theological terror, the terror of damnation; and the spirit that breathes in this book, hot, self-righteous, fearful, is not different from that spirit of medieval times which sought to exorcize evil by burning witches; and is not different from that terror which activates a lynch mob. One need not, indeed, search for examples so historic or gaudy; this is a warfare waged daily in the heart, a warfare so vast, so relentless and so powerful that the interracial handshake or the interracial marriage can be as crucifying as the public hanging or the secret rape. This panic motivates our cruelty, this fear of the dark makes it impossible that our lives shall be other than superficial; this, interlocked with and feeding our glittering, mechanical, inescapable civilization which has put to death our freedom.

 

[James Baldwin (1924–87), winner of a Guggenheim

Fellowship (1954) – as quoted in Uncle Tom’s Cabin,

A Norton Critical Edition, Second Edition (2010) p. 535.]






 

 

 






Online Sunday Liturgy

July 5, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover


 

 

 

 

There is nothing more holy on earth than God’s Word,… and all of us have received our spiritual birth from that Word…. The Word sanctifies everything [John 17:17]…. [And] a Christian is a rare and wonderful thing.

 

[Martin Luther, The Sacrament in Both Kinds (1522)

Luther’s Works 36:244–45.] 

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

July 5, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

O God our defender, storms rage about us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughter from fear, and keep us all from unbelief. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 

 



First Lesson: Jeremiah 20:7–13

Psalm 69:1–20

Second Lesson: Romans 5:12–15

Gospel: Matthew 10:24–33

 

 

Opening Hymn: “God Himself is Present” (LBW 249)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCa1ycBjnCU




 



 

Sermon:  July 5, 2020

“Fear God's Word”

(Matthew 10:28)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.     

Look around you – and you would never know that it is the fear of God that is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). That’s because we have replaced that fear with math and science (James D. Stein, How Math Can Save Your Life, 2010, and Addy Pross, What is Life? How Chemistry Becomes Biology, 2010). No longer are people obeying the Lord in fear and trembling. Now we figure out things on our own – discovering what will improve life and calculating the details so we can keep track of them for our well-being. The days are gone when people in droves fall down before the footstool of the Lord (Psalm 99:6). The days are gone when we cry to God to give us a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12). That’s because the secular has usurped the sacred – with “the rise of a culturally hegemonic notion of a closed immanent order” (Charles Taylor, A Secular Age, 2007, p. 774). And so Christians have been fooled into taking from their worship books, Annie Hawks’ (1835–1918) hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour,” where we used to sing – “come quickly and abide, or life is vain” (Service Book and Hymnal, 1958, Hymn 479).

     But even for those who buck these trends, there’s little fear of the Lord – fearing the God who can not only take our lives but also throw us into the everlasting fires of hell (Matthew 10:28). That’s because we’ve forgotten that it is a fearful thing to be in the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). But not Martin Luther – he instead was chilled by that verse. He knew that when we defy God by living on our “own power, wisdom, and stubbornness,” that we’re in for it. That’s because even if we were “a thousand times more proud and powerful” than the whole world, God would still look on our onslaught as if it came from “a dead fly” (Luther’s Works 78:104–105). Once God is provoked, nothing can stop the venting of his fury and the spending of his anger upon us (Ezekiel 5:13).

     So if we can’t shut God down, what’s left for us? To be consumed by his wrath and perish? No, there’s Isaiah 66:2 waiting for us. No matter how bad we are, we cannot erase that verse from the Scriptures. That same word has been beckoning wayward believers for centuries – and it still is. It says to each of us that God will bless whoever “trembles” at his word. For Luther than meant treating Holy Writ “with veneration and profound awe” or fear [grosser surcht] (LW 22:283). Sometimes that goes too far. Sometimes it sinks into deep mysticism and silence. God becomes so great that human words cannot express divine truths. Our profound fear of God’s Word ends up silencing God among us. Out of fear, God becomes the “wholly other” – the “ineffable and inconceivable” one (Rudolf Otto, The Idea of the Holy, 1917, p. 186). But that can’t be – for then the Bible would have to disappear since nothing can be said of the wholly other, mysterious God.

     But the Bible has God speaking to us in human words – Thus says the Lord – we hear the Bible saying over and over again (Isaiah 37:6, Jeremiah 2:2, Ezekiel 3:11, Amos 7:17, Zechariah 11:4). And these words are not random. They express God. Many modern scholars reject this tight linkage – seeing “the actual God” to be in sharp contrast to, and of greater value than, the “textual God” of the Bible (The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, July 2020, p. 484). But not Martin Luther. He even thought that the Biblical words identified God – “the Word is God [and] God is the Word,” he argued (LW 75:284). That means that God is sealed by the Word and circumscribed by it (LW 12:352). It binds him – alligavit in the original Latin (LW 58:329). The English word “ally” comes from that Latin word – and so God is allied to his Word. They have the same purpose. So when Isaiah 61:8 says that the Lord loves justice, there’s no mystery here. It’s flatfooted. We also must be just (Philippians 4:8). Luther derives a principle from this in his lectures on Isaiah – in verbo esse debent – “be regulated by the Word” (LW 17:144). So too Isaiah 65:1 – “I was ready to be sought by those who did not seek me.” Another clear, straightforward word from God – this time about his grace. And there is the famous Isaiah 45:7 “I make weal and create woe.” Nothing vague about that. Nor is Isaiah 55:11 unclear – “my word… shall not return to me empty.” And the damning word about us in Isaiah 1:6 also stands tall – “from the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness.” Another one like it is Isaiah 64:6 – “all our righteous deeds are like [filthy rags].”

     These are the words, the Holy Scriptures (LW 34:227), that we are to tremble before – and obey and follow. Luther is emphatic about this because the fear of God requires it. So do not probe the Word, “measure it, and twist the words to read as you want them to, brood over them, hesitate, doubt, and then judge them according to your reason” (LW 23:229). But how shall we comply? Isn’t the genie out of the bottle? Yes it is – if it weren’t for the Word made flesh in Jesus Christ (John 1:14). Jesus embodies what God has to say to us. He even suffers for it. And that is where he catches us – drawing us to himself on the cross (John 12:32). We see ourselves in that guard at the crucifixion – being moved to faith when Jesus dies (Matthew 27:54). It is at that point that we are forgiven and freed from all guilt for the bad lives we have lived – we have all strayed like lost sheep (Isaiah 53:6). Because Jesus was punished for our sins (Hebrews 9:26), we do not also have to be punished for them – by his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). So if “the body were not given and the blood not poured out, then the wrath of God would remain upon us and we would retain our sins” (LW 36:177). Believe then in Christ crucified! For faith is “a valiant hero who is to hold to the Word; this appears insignificant and as nothing, so that the world would not give a penny for it. And yet it is so active and so mighty that it tears heaven and earth apart and opens all graves in the twinkling of an eye” (LW 28:73).

     Make sure everyone knows about this tearing apart. That’s what faith does. It gets the word out. It isn’t “sleepy and secure.” It doesn’t believe that “there is no further need to do anything, give anything, or suffer anything” (LW 51:207). No, it wants to prepare everyone for judgment day. So get the word out. Everyone dies once, “and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body” (2 Corinthians 5:10). And watch out, because “by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5). So Jesus warns that whoever rejects him does not have his sayings and those rejected words “will be his judge on the last day” (John 12:48). But if you believe in Jesus, you will “not come into judgment, but will pass from death to life” (John 5:24). Pray that everyone who hears these words will follow them and not dispute them – being believers who have learned about and come to fear God’s Word. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day:   “Lord of Our Life” (LBW 366) 

 

Prayers 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

Todd & Covi Tuomi

Janice Lundbeck

Larraine King

Melissa Baker

Melanie Johnson

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Marie Magenta

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Rick Reynolds

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary Thoren

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Marv Morris 

Randy Vater

Doreen Phillips

Deanne Heflin

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

John Paulson

Yao Chu Chang

Mary Cardona

Pray also for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl 

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 


 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:     Praise and Thanks and Adoration” (LBW 470)



 



 

 

 

The cabin of Uncle Tom was a small log building, close adjoining to “the house”…. The wall over the fireplace was adorned with some very brilliant scriptural prints, and a portrait of General Washington, drawn and colored in a manner which would certainly have astonished that hero, if ever he happened to meet with its like…. Uncle Tom…. was a large, broad-chested, powerfully-made man [with] an expression of grave and steady good sense, united with much kindliness and benevolence. There was something about his whole air self-respecting and dignified, yet united with a confiding and humble simplicity…. The house now resolved itself [into a place] for the meeting [which was] held at Uncle Tom’s weekly…. The room was soon filled with a motley assemblage…. A little harmless gossip ensued…. After a while the singing commenced…. The words were sometimes the well-known and common hymns sung in the churches about, and sometimes of a wilder, more indefinite character…. [A] special favorite had oft repeated the words – “O, I’m going to glory, won’t you come along with me?”…. Uncle Tom was a sort of patriarch in religious matters [and was] looked up to with great respect, as a sort of minister among them; and the simple, hearty, sincere style of his exhortations might have edified even better educated persons. But it was in prayer that he especially excelled. Nothing could exceed the touching simplicity, the child-like earnestness, of his prayers, enriched with the language of Scripture, which seemed so entirely to have wrought itself into being, as to have become a part of himself, and to drop from his lips unconsciously; in the language of a pious old negro, he “prayed right up.”

 

(H. B. Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1852, chapter 4)

 

 

Harriet Beecher Stowe was a firm supporter of Lincoln. She remembered how kindly the President had received her in the White House back in 1862, when according to a family story, he exclaimed, “So this is the little lady who has made this big war?” She defended Lincoln from irresponsible attacks, remarking, “Even the ass can kick safely and joyfully at a lion in a net.”

 

 

 

(David Herbert Donald, Lincoln, 1995, p. 542.) 

 






 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

June 28, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover


 

 

 

 

The wrath of God is…. no joke.

 

[Martin Luther, Lectures on First Timothy (1528)

Luther’s Works 28:264.]

 

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

June 28, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, you have made us a new company of priests to bear witness to the Gospel. Enable us to be faithful to our calling to make known your promises to all the world. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 



First Lesson: Exodus 19:2–8

Psalm 100

Second Lesson: Romans 5:6–11

Gospel: Matthew 9:35–10:8

 

Opening Hymn: “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty” (LBW 250)




 



Sermon:  June 28, 2020

“Escape God's Wrath”

(Romans 5:9)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     None of us are safe. Trouble abounds. We’re “afflicted at every turn – fighting without and fear within” (2 Corinthians 7:5). Many of the prosperous, however, think differently. But wait a minute. We’ve been in a pandemic for some three months now, and Dr. Shoham from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Medical School just recently said – “We don’t know what the right decision is…. We’re all learning on the fly” (“The Most Dangerous of Games,” The Seattle Times, June 23, 2020). And after COVID-19 passes, is there another virus waiting to strike us worldwide? Well, “on average, people have 174 species of viruses” in their lungs (Carl Zimmer, A Planet of Viruses, Second Edition, 2015, p. 4). And keep in mind that “we live in a globally interdependent world, with widespread rapid travel and many… people, pigs, and birds living in close proximity. Thus, that world has become a hyper-mixing vessel…. [When a new virus comes] it will spread before we realize what is happening. And unless we are prepared, it [will] be like trying to contain the wind” (Michael Osterholm and Mark Olshaker, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs, 2020, p. 268). And even if we survive all of this, taking our own lives has still shot up (“U. S. Suicide Rates Climbed 35% in Two Decades,” US News and World Report, April 8, 2020). And shootings in our major cities are also high (“104 Shot, 14 Fatally, on Father’s Day Weekend in Chicago, Chicago Sun Times, June 22, 2020). Can we, then, really doubt the divine revelation we’ve heard about being “afflicted at every turn – fighting within and fear without”?

     Even if we can, there is still more bad news. For other holy words from the Bible say that we shouldn’t fear people shooting us down, but our Father in heaven instead who can not only kill us but also send us straight to hell (Matthew 10:28). Hell’s a bad place we’re damned to after we die. The torture there is so terrifying that we wish we could die to escape (Revelation 9:3–6) – but we can’t because its fires never go out (Mark 9:48). The punishment is so severe because our failures are so immense. Our rebellion against God is so great (Ezekiel 2:4–5) that a vast separation keeps us apart from his divine favor and aid (Isaiah 59:2). We’re cut off. “My companions are in darkness” (Psalm 88:18). We cannot save ourselves from despair and eternal punishment in hell (Romans 9:16). So the cultural icon, Bob Dylan (b. 1941), sang years ago now, “Every man’s conscience is vile and depraved, You cannot depend on it to be your guide, When it’s you who must keep it satisfied” (“Man in the Long Black Coat,” Oh Mercy, 1989, The Lyrics, Since 1962, 2004, 2014, p. 750). Martin Luther would agree. In our fallen state, he preached, we “lay captured in unbelief and blindness under God’s wrath [in] the kingdom of terrible, dreadful, inner darkness of heart” (Luther’s Works 57:280).

     Is there any hope for us, then? Or are we “clean cut off”? (Ezekiel 37:11). On our own, we are – because a leopard cannot change its spots (Jeremiah 13:23). But with God, all things are possible (Luke 18:27). But has anything actually happened to help us – or are we left wandering around in the realm of possibilities? No, something has happened – and it’s even finished (John 19:30). Jesus became poor on the cross by suffering and dying as a criminal, in order to be punished in our place so that the riches of divine forgiveness and mercy might be ours (2 Corinthians 8:9). Glory be to Jesus! (1 Corinthians 10:31). His death saves us from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9, John 3:36). His death brings about peace between us sinful creatures and our righteous God (Colossians 1:20). Only Jesus could do this for us. That’s because God’s wrath “is so great and severe that no creature can interpose to makes satisfaction or achieve reconciliation.” Only the spilled blood from the pure lamb of God on the cross can do that (1 Peter 1:19). Christ “had to take on Himself sin, God’s wrath, and death, under which human nature lay, and become the sacrifice for it.” Without that there would be no salvation from sin. So let us “fervently believe that we obtain God’s eternal grace and eternal life for the sake of this Savior and Mediator,” as Luther explains and assures us (LW 77:367).

     But that’s not the end of it. There is more to our faith than believing in Jesus. And that’s because he also admonishes us “to sin no more, that nothing worse” befalls us (John 5:14). We have work to do. We are to fight against sin – since the “remission of sins [was not] instituted [for the] permission to sin” (LW 30:245). And we fight against sin by glorifying God and caring for our neighbors (Matthew 22:37–39). But we can grow weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9), so Luther brings back God’s wrath to chasten us. And that’s also because “Scripture… exalts the fear of God. It impresses on men so to live that they fear God’s wrath at all times and feel that they have merited death.” This will keep our motivation strong so that we don’t drop the ball. From this comes what Luther calls “the highest wisdom” – which is “to go about our tasks in full awareness of God’s wrath. In this way we are ready, like the earth for the plow, to receive the divine seed” (LW 13:130). So having escaped the wrath of God through the death of Jesus, let us not then forget that wrath – for by remembering it daily, our discipleship stays on track, even as it grows in grace. Amen.

Hymn of the Day:   “What Wondrous Love is This” (LBW 385)
 


Prayers 


 


Litany on the Killing of George Floyd

and the Ensuing Riots

  

 

Let us pray for George Floyd and for those grieving over his death on Monday, May 25, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for those suffering from – and the some twenty others killed – in the ensuing protests and riots in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota – as well as in over seven hundred other cities throughout America (USA Today, June 5, 2020). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the Minneapolis police force, that those responsible for George Floyd’s death be brought to swift justice. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for all those trying to stop the property damage, looting and arson to buildings and vehicles in these riots. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for Black Americans and all oppressed people in our country that their day of justice may come soon. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the city of Minneapolis, and all the towns in Minnesota and the entire USA – that they may be civilized, peaceful and fair places to live and work. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us pray for the angry and unstable who all too quickly resort to violence as a means of solving their problems, that they may find peaceful ways to fix them. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, let us thank God for his goodness and mercy, for the many kept safe during these riots, and for the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus, when he comes again in judgment (John 5:26–29, 16:33), to rescue the righteous, condemn the wicked, and bring violence and evil to an end, once and for all.

 

GLORY BE TO JESUS, OUR MERCIFUL LORD AND SAVIOR! AMEN.



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

Todd & Covi Tuomi

Janice Lundbeck

Larraine King

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Rick Reynolds

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary Thoren

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Marv Morris 

Randy Vater

Doreen Phillips

Deanne Heflin

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

John Paulson

Yao Chu Chang

Pray also for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl 

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 


 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:     Rise Up, O Saints of God!” (LBW 383)



 



 

 

 

Harriet Beecher Stowe

(1811–1896)

 

“Read a piece, anyways!” said the first woman, curiously, seeing Tom attentively poring over it.

         Tom read, — “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” [Matthew 11:28].

         “Them’s good words, enough,” said the woman; “who says ’em?”

         “The Lord,” said Tom.

         “I jest wish I know’d whar to find Him,” said the woman. “I would go; ’pears like I never should get rested again. My flesh is fairly sore, and I tremble all over, every day, and Sambo’s allers a jawin’ at me, ’cause I doesn’t pick faster; and nights it’s most midnight ’fore I can get my supper; and den ’pears like I don’t turn over and shut my eyes, ’fore I hear de horn blow to get up, and at it agin in de mornin’. If I knew whar de Lor was, I’d tell him.”

         “He’s here, he’s everywhere,” said Tom.

         “Lor, you an’t gwine to make me believe dat ar! I know de Lord an’t here,” said the woman’ “ ’tan’t no use talking, though. I’s jest gwine to camp down, and sleep while I ken.”

         The women went off to their cabins, and Tom sat alone, by the smoulding fire, that flickered up redly in his face.

         The silver, fair-browed moon rose in the purple sky, and looked down, calm and silent, as God looks on the scene of misery and oppression, — looked calmly on the lone black man, as he sat, with his arms folded, and his Bible on his knee.

         “Is God HERE?” Ah, how is it possible for the untaught heart to keep its faith, unswerving, in the face of dire misrule, and palpable, unrebuked injustice? In that simple heart waged a fierce conflict; the crushing sense of wrong, the foreshadowing of a whole life of future misery, the wreck of all past hopes, mournfully tossing in the soul’s sight, like dead corpses of wife, and child, and friend, rising from the dark wave, and surging in the face of the half-drowned mariner! Ah, was it easy here to believe and hold fast the great password of Christian faith, that “God IS, and is the REWARDER of them that diligently seek Him” [Hebrews 11:6]?

         Tom rose, disconsolate, and stumbled into the cabin that had been allotted to him. The floor was already strewn with weary sleepers, and the foul air of the place almost repelled him; but the heavy night-dews were chill, and his limbs weary, and, wrapping about him a tattered blanket, which formed his only bed-clothing, he stretched himself in the straw and fell asleep.

         In dreams, a gentle voice came over his ear; he was sitting on the mossy seat in the garden by Lake Pontchartrain, and Eva, with her serious eyes bent downward, was reading to him from the Bible; and he heard her read.

         “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and the rivers they shall not overflow thee; when though walkest through fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee; for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour” [Isaiah 43:2].

         Tom woke. Was it a dream? Let it pass for one. But who shall say that that sweet young spirit, which in life so yearned to comfort and console the distressed, was forbidden of God to assume this ministry after death?

 

(H. B. Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1852, chapter 32, at the end.)

 

 

Harriet Beecher Stowe was a firm supporter of Lincoln. She remembered how kindly the President had received her in the White House back in 1862, when according to a family story, he exclaimed, “So this is the little lady who has made this big war?” She defended Lincoln from irresponsible attacks, remarking, “Even the ass can kick safely and joyfully at a lion in a net.”

 

(David Herbert Donald, Lincoln, 1995, p. 542.)

 

 






 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

June 21, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover


 

 

 

 

Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like

a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces?”

 

(Jeremiah 23:29)

 

God’s Word destroys and crucifies whatever in us is pleasing to us and does not allow anything to remain in us except that which is displeasing, in order that it thereby may teach us to have pleasure, joy, and confidence only in God, and outside ourselves happiness and pleasure in our neighbor.

 

[Martin Luther, Lectures on Romans (1518)

Luther’s Works 25:415.]

 

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

June 21, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

O God, in our weakness we can do nothing good without you. Give us the help of your grace, so that in keeping your commandments, we may please you in word and deed. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 



First Lesson: Hosea 5:15–6:6

Psalm 50:1–15

Second Lesson: Romans 4:18–25

Gospel: Matthew 9:9–13

 

Opening Hymn: “Holy God, We Praise Your Name” (LBW 535)




 



Sermon:  June 21, 2020

“Die to Yourself”

(Hosea 6:5)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

We can’t take it. There’s no doubt about it. Hosea 6:5 would never make it in flowery, flowing print onto a greeting card. It could never follow the likes of Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear.” No, Hosea 6:5 doesn’t have a chance when it declares – “I have slain them by the words of my mouth.” Slain us? God wants to kill us with his word? In the old Latin Bible the word for slain is occidi, from which comes our English word Occident or the West. Here killing is as gentle as the setting or dying of the sun in the West. But not for us! There’s nothing gentle about Hosea 6:5. Instead it terrifies us.

     And it doesn’t do that all by itself. No, there are other places in the Bible where we hear that we are under attack from on high. In Hebrews 4:12 we’re told that God’s word is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing into our souls. And in Jeremiah 23:29 it says that God’s word is fire that burns us up; and a hammer than smashes us to pieces. So Hosea 6:5 doesn’t stand alone. And it isn’t confined to one time and place in ancient Israel either. Martin Luther knew that it was a broad, universal word – always going after all people everywhere (Luther’s Works 14:290). And when it attacks us – to slay us – it’s working to cut us down to size, by showing us that we are sinners and that we need to come to our senses (LW 18:32).

     This display, this showing forth, is rugged, however. And it has to be because we aren’t pushovers. We put up a fight – we belong to a rebellious house (Ezekiel 2:8, Acts 7:51). We are brutes – with “a huge and horrible monster,… the presumption of righteousness,” dwelling in us (LW 26:310). And so we cannot be led gently into another way of life. We cannot “waltz to heaven on velvet cushions and on roads paved with silk” (LW 23:362). We instead have to be bludgeoned. And so Luther said we needed “the hammer of death, the thunder of hell, and the lightning of divine wrath,” attacking us if that monster is ever to be thwarted (LW 26:310).

     Most can’t see this ever happening because words seem so impotent. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” – goes the old children’s rhyme. Words or names can’t break our bones, so why worry over them? No wonder that the Biblical word looks “very insignificant” (LW 57:143). Luther, however, thought differently. He believed that the Holy Spirit “comes with the preached Word, purifies our hearts by faith, and produces spiritual motivation in us.” As such, we die and “are made new and different [when] a new judgment, new sensations, and new drives arise in us” (LW 26:375). That happens when we hear Matthew 11:25 preached, that the wise and understanding can’t know God on their own. We seem to figure out most things one way or another on our own, but not God. We hit the wall with him. So Luther famously said that “reason is a whore” and cannot help us find God (LW 40:175). God therefore rejects intellectuals (LW 56:207). So if we’re going to find God, he will have to open our eyes and heart – for “you do not find Him; He finds you” (LW 75:35). Hearing that, does in our self-confidence (LW 3:4). It slays us. And “no rock is too hard’ for God to break (LW 8:27).

     The same happens when we hear Matthew 13:22 preached. It says that riches and prosperity choke the word of God out of us. They’re really a threat, not a blessing. Riches test us to see if we trust God or money more (LW 3:248). That takes the fun out of spending money on ourselves, and so we die. We also die when we hear John 3:36 preached that God’s wrath is waiting to crush those who disobey Jesus. So much for lightheartedness. And Romans 13:14 kills us by pushing the thought that life’s not about gratifying the desires of the flesh – fun though they may be. Spirit must dominate the flesh (Galatians 5:16–17). The same happens when Ephesians 5:20 is preached that we are always to be thankful for whatever happens. This flies in the face of aesthetic discrimination and the pursuit of happiness. And so we die yet again. Then Matthew 5:44 upends how we feel toward our enemies – saying that we should love them and pray for them instead of hoping they somehow drop dead. That word also slays us. We die again when Luke 16:15 is preached that what the world exalts in God hates. So much for hoping for awards and esteem from your peers. That support will have to come from elsewhere (Ephesians 5:18). When John 12:25 is preached that we are to hate ourselves if we want to go to heaven, the rug is pulled out from under us. Pride and our positive self-image are leveled. How can we proceed? we wonder – and we’re slain. Matthew 10:28 tells us to be afraid that God might send us to hell. This kills the fluffy love of God that has blinded us from the true God (Hebrews 10:31, 12:28) – like huge bilious pillows packed in around our heads. And so we’re slain yet once again. Finally, 1 Corinthians 7:22 pushes us into Christian slavery. So much for privilege, independence and freedom before God and in society (Romans 6:18). Again we die along with our hopes and dreams of self-rule and self-determination.

     All of this sounds impossible – all of this dying – if it were not for the agonizing death of Jesus on the cross. There he cries out to God to stop forsaking him (Matthew 27:46). In that anguish he dies before he dies. He suffers the loss of pride and favor. And on that cross he becomes an offering for sin in order to “satisfy” God’s yearning for justice (Isaiah 53:10–11). His death is the punishment for all sinners everywhere. That’s because when he dies he carried the sins of all sinners in his body (1 Peter 2:24). And so for every nail that was pounded into him on the cross, “more than one hundred thousand should in justice pierce you, yes, they should prick you forever and ever more painfully” (LW 42:9). But what should have happened, didn’t happen. “Note the wonderful exchange: One man sins, another pays the penalty; one deserves peace, the other has it” (LW 17:225). Jesus goes ahead and dies for us when we did not deserve it, when we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).

     Be sure to be grateful for this mercy. Don’t join the ungrateful majority (Luke 17:17–18). Walk in the spirit that you now live in by faith in Jesus (Galatians 5:25). But how? First, love God and glorify him with complete conviction. Don’t cut any corners (Matthew 22:37). Let his word dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16). And control your worship of him “with reverence and awe” – knowing that God is a “consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). Finally, take care of your neighbors (Matthew 22:39). Find ways to help without belittling them (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Have a compassionate heart (Luke 10:33). Share what you have (John 6:9). Do all of this through faith in Christ, and so die to yourself, having been killed by God’s word. Amen.


Hymn of the Day:  
“Jesus Sinners Will Receive” (LBW 291) 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RODV7z-UQhI

 

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the Killing of George Floyd

and the Ensuing Riots

  

 

Let us pray for George Floyd and for those grieving over his death on Monday, May 25, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for those suffering from – and the some twenty others killed – in the ensuing protests and riots in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota – as well as in over seven hundred other cities throughout America (USA Today, June 5, 2020). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the Minneapolis police force, that those responsible for George Floyd’s death be brought to swift justice. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for all those trying to stop the property damage, looting and arson to buildings and vehicles in these riots. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for Black Americans and all oppressed people in our country that their day of justice may come soon. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the city of Minneapolis, and all the towns in Minnesota and the entire USA – that they may be civilized, peaceful and fair places to live and work. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us pray for the angry and unstable who all too quickly resort to violence as a means of solving their problems, that they may find peaceful ways to fix them. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, let us thank God for his goodness and mercy, for the many kept safe during these riots, and for the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus, when he comes again in judgment (John 5:26–29, 16:33), to rescue the righteous, condemn the wicked, and bring violence and evil to an end, once and for all.

 

GLORY BE TO JESUS, OUR MERCIFUL LORD AND SAVIOR! AMEN.



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

Todd & Covi Tuomi

Janice Lundbeck

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

John Paulson

Yao Chu Chang

Pray also for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl 

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:     “By All Your Saints in Warfare” (LBW 178 vv. 1, 18, 3)




 



 

 

Walter Mosley (b. 1952), best-selling author of over 40 books, and winner of the Grand Master Award (2016) from the Mystery Writers of America, and the Edgar Award for the Best Novel (2019).

 

“White privilege is different things at different times. There was a time when people could say, I’m free, I’m white, and I’m over twenty-one – I can do anything. Today white privilege is a long ago, far away dream. That’s about it. And whites are really unhappy about that. I used to be in control. That has been taken away. That is true. So-called whites did have it. We never had it. White privilege has become more of a fantasy, a long ago memory. There is rich privilege. That’s for sure. That’s all that there is to it now. Everyone else thinks wistfully about it, about the past. They want to make America great again.”

 

(transcribed from the last fifteen minutes of

a three hour interview with Mosley by Greta Brawner

for Book TV on C-SPAN 2, April 1, 2018)

 

 

“The love of money is the root of all evils.”

 

(Saint Paul, First Timothy 6:10)

 

 

“You enter the churches of the privileged full of yourself. You are well-dressed, pleased to be in a place where you are treated well, with great respect and personal attention, and where there will be – and this is important – no surprises. There are no abrupt moves forward or doubling back.”

 

(George Abbott White, “The Religion of the

Privileged Ones: A Conversation With Robert Coles,”

Cross Currents 31, Spring 1981.)

 

 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal; of your minds.”

 

(Saint Paul, Romans 12:2.)

 








 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

June 14, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover


Changing God’s will and ideas [the house built on rock] and remaking them according to our will and ideas [the house built on sand]…. is cuffing God in the mouth, braiding straw into His beard, and regarding Him to be a fool or a wooden scarecrow who we can change as we want. That is intolerable, for He will not be formed and made by us…. It is impossible that what human nature decides would be pleasing to God. That is the supreme arrogance on earth, which angers God most supremely [being the wind and rain beating on our house].”

 

[Martin Luther, Sermon on Isaiah 60:1–6 (1522)

Luther’s Works 76:56.]




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

June 14, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Lord God, you have revealed your will to your people and promised your help to all nations. Help us to hear and to do what you command, that the darkness may be overcome by the power of your light. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 



First Lesson: Deuteronomy 11:18–28

Psalm 31

Second Lesson: Romans 3:21–28

Gospel: Matthew 7:15–29

 

Opening Hymn: “O Christ, Our Hope” (LBW 300)




 


Sermon:  June 14, 2020

Build on the Rock

(Matthew 7:25)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Christianity is such a silly religion” – or so says Gore Vidal (1925–2012), winner of the National Book Award in 1993 (quoted in “A Gadfly in Glorious, Angry Exile,” Time, September 28, 1992). If he’s right, then Jesus is wrong that we should build our houses – our very lives – on the rock which he is (Matthew 7:25). For if he’s silly, then any construction based on him would be wrongheaded. And many agree with Vidal – lining up against Jesus (Luke 2:34). They too say that he’s silly – and that he is anything but a rock of stability and the abiding truth (John 14:6). Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44)? You’ve got to be kidding. Equal to God (John 5:18)? Come on now. Against all that the world exalts in (Luke 16:15)? Where will that get you? Deny yourself (Luke 9:23)? Hate yourself (Luke 14:26, John 12:25)? Lose your life (Matthew 10:39)? You have no worth (Luke 17:10)? That’s preposterous! Indeed, the very principles and practices of Jesus are taken to be “antithetical to… the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (1948)” (Hector Avalos, The Bad Jesus, 2015, p. 9). For many, that’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back (Matthew 7:13–14). That’s enough to dump him.

     But against all of this the disciples still cry out that only Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:68). And so as Luther says, they “desire the sweet face of Jesus” (Luther’s Works 79:36). They don’t want to be “miserable and foolish people,” who won’t “stand on the rock, that is, on the doctrine of Christ, but on the shifting sand of their own suppositions and dreams” (LW 21:282). Because “God wants to retain the stone, he must forsake” those miserable and foolish people (LW 68:122). But the faithful know that only Jesus can set us free from the lifelong bondage to the fear of death (Hebrews 2:15). Only Jesus grants “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Only Jesus can set us free indeed (Galatians 5:1). And this gives him credibility. So that when this Light of the world asks us to follow him, we go where he tells us to go (John 8:12). And then we find out that he’s neither immoral nor maniacal – but truly “from God” (John 7:17). And as such he can enrich us through the forgiveness of sins (2 Corinthians 8:9, John 20:23). And how exactly does he do that? When crucified, “he bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). And when he bore them, he canceled them, along with the legal bond which stood against us (Colossians 2:14). That makes grace a payment to God (LW 77:96, 30:12). As such, Jesus is our new paschal lamb who is sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7). As such, he saves us from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9). So when the angel of death flies over us – as he did in ancient Egypt (Exodus 12:3–12, Psalm 78:49) – he passes over us because he sees the blood of Jesus on us. And it is that blood which washes us clean (Revelation 7:14). This is “the scandal of scandals,” as Luther liked to say (LW 67:116). So “the very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner” – and it cleans us up (Matthew 21:42). Rejecting Jesus, then, doesn’t deflate him. That’s because “wherever Christ is,… there must be opposition or it is not Christ” (LW 52:118). So even though rejected, Christ still has power to cleanse us from our sins. And that cleaning, by way of the cross, is worth studying your whole life long – for “even if we made it our study for a hundred years we would never finish learning it” (LW 56:137).

     And sin surely needs the cross to scour it. For sin is horrible. It makes us dirty. It crops up within us, and defiles us (Mark 7:20). And so we need cleansing (Psalm 51:10). Its lawlessness and doubt are what make us dirty (1 John 3:4, Romans 14:23). That wildness and recklessness ruins our hearts. We become savage animals (Daniel 4:16). We are debased (Romans 1:28). Our hearts are deceitful beyond measure (Jeremiah 17:9). They drift far away from God (Matthew 15:19). It’s all so horrible. But when a church is built upon the supernatural rock, which is Christ Jesus confessed (1 Corinthians 10:4, Matthew 16:18), then there is hope. In that church Christ is preached and faith emerges in a cleansed heart (Romans 10:17). Without it, “the church is not the church” (LW 67:211). But when God’s word is “mightily [gewaltig] preached” in it, then it is the church (LW 68:123). And in this true church we receive “an honest and good heart” – a new one, in fact (Luke 8:15, Ezekiel 11:19). For faith makes us new creatures – children of God, rather than children of wrath (2 Corinthians 5:17, John 1:12, Ephesians 2:3). Finally we are pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6). And it truly takes your breath away. Now, when God sees us, he no longer sees us, but Christ himself, in us. And that’s because through faith in Christ, we no longer live to ourselves, but Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:15). Martin Luther calls that “a peculiar phraseology” (LW 26:168). Well, that’s the understatement of the centuries! It’s the weirdest, strangest thing ever said! But it still matters. And that’s because when Christ dwells in us, we can then “do all things” through him (Philippians 4:13). We can treat others the way we want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). We can even count others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Generosity and gratitude mark us – rather than stinginess and complaining (Luke 10:33, Ephesians 5:20). We are focused on the one thing needful – Christ Jesus (Luke 10:42, Hebrews 12:2).

     Unfortunately all this wonder, all this glory, all this majesty, all this might – can easily slip away from us (Hebrews 2:1). We can go sour and turn lukewarm (Revelation 3:16). Once believing, we can fizzle out (Hebrews 10:26–29). We can even make a “shipwreck of our faith” (1 Timothy 1:19). “It is hard for a man [after all] who has devoted his entire life to… self-made holiness, and has depended on it, to tear loose from it in an hour and to cast himself only on Christ” (LW 21:283). Horror of horrors! What shall we then do? Can we head this off? Yes, we can in fact, by God's grace, “grow up to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). We can tend to our faith. We can be fed (John 21:17). We can stay focused (Luke 9:62). Luther thought conceding “that Christians have merit, and a reward with God,” keeps them on track. This is a “recompense of greater glory for greater suffering.” It challenges us to reach for the stars. It inspires us to greatness. None of this, Luther insists, “makes us children of God.” That is solely and only a gift, apart from anything we do (Ephesians 2:8). But as “Christ’s pupils” we need to know that “he who does the most work and endures the most suffering will also get the most glorious recompense” (LW 21:292– 93). So plow straight ahead (LW 51:143). Enter the competition (1 Corinthians 9:24). Wage the war (1 Timothy 1:18). Be a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:2). Don’t give up. “Press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ” (Philippians 3:14). Do all of this in honor of Christ, that supernatural rock. Don’t stumble over him (Romans 9:23). There’s nothing silly about him. Gore Vidal was wrong. Be of good cheer (John 16:33). And make sure that your house – your very life – is built upon Christ, the rock. Amen.


Hymn of the Day:
“Built on a Rock” (LBW 365)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBpG3D55Uys

 

Prayers

 


 

Litany on the Killing of George Floyd

and the Ensuing Riots

  

 

Let us pray for George Floyd and for those grieving over his death on Monday, May 25, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for those suffering from – and the some twenty others killed – in the ensuing protests and riots in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota – as well as in over seven hundred other cities throughout America (USA Today, June 5, 2020). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the Minneapolis police force, that those responsible for George Floyd’s death be brought to swift justice. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for all those trying to stop the property damage, looting and arson to buildings and vehicles in these riots. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for Black Americans and all oppressed people in our country that their day of justice may come soon. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the city of Minneapolis, and all the towns in Minnesota and the entire USA – that they may be civilized, peaceful and fair places to live and work. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us pray for the angry and unstable who all too quickly resort to violence as a means of solving their problems, that they may find peaceful ways to fix them. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, let us thank God for his goodness and mercy, for the many kept safe during these riots, and for the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus, when he comes again in judgment (John 5:26–29, 16:33), to rescue the righteous, condemn the wicked, and bring violence and evil to an end, once and for all.

 

GLORY BE TO JESUS, OUR MERCIFUL LORD AND SAVIOR! AMEN.



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

Todd & Covi Tuomi

Janice Lundbeck

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Pray for those grieving the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, June 12. Pray also for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray also for the family and friends of Jim Thoren who are grieving his death due to cancer, and for Pastor Marshall's childhood friend's mother, Kathryn Hayward (1924-2020).

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl 

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:     “God of Grace and God of Glory” (LBW 415)




 



 

 

                              US Postage Stamp, 1974


…It almost scares

A man the way things come in pairs.

 

 (The Poetry of Robert Frost,

ed. E. C. Lathem, 1969, p. 326.)

 

 

On Judgment Day, Christ will

separate the sheep from the goats.

 

(Matthew 25:32)

 

Lazarus died and went to heaven;

the rich man died and went to hell.

 

(Luke 16:22–23)

 

Martha was troubled by many things;

Mary chose the one thing needful.

 

(Luke 10:41–42)

 

God delivered us from the dominion of darkness,

and transferred us to the kingdom of Christ.

 

(Colossians 1:13)

 

We loved the darkness

rather than the light.

 

(John 3:19)

 

Many go the easy way of destruction;

few go the difficult way of life.

 

(Matthew 7:13–14)

 

God has mercy on whomever he wills;

and he hardens whomever he wills.

 

(Romans 9:18)

 

The written code kills;

but the Spirit gives life.

 

(2 Corinthians 3:6)

 

The desires of the flesh are against the spirit;

and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh.

 

(Galatians 5:17)

 

The house built on the rock withstood the storm;

but the house built on sand fell.

 

(Matthew 7:25–27)








 

 






Online Sunday Liturgy

June 7, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover



“I am unable to make the [Holy Trinity] rhyme together, [so] I must become a child and let myself be carried, let Christ touch me and bless me, [so I can] believe.”

 

[Martin Luther, Sermon on Matthew 19:13–15 (1540),

Luther’s Works 68:23.]




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

The Holy Trinity

June 7, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Almighty God, you have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of the true faith, and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 



First Lesson: Genesis 1:1–2:3

Psalm 29

Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 13:11–14

Gospel: Matthew 28:16–20

Opening Hymn: “Holy, Holy, Holy”  (LBW 165)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gepOOO9l8mc




 



Sermon:  June 7, 2020

“Believe the Holy Trinity”

(Matthew 28:19)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Today is Holy Trinity Sunday – and it’s a problem for us. Martin Luther knew that. “Theologians,” he tells us, have “racked their brains” to explain the Holy Trinity, and have added nothing to simply saying God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – precisely where the Holy Baptism formula leaves us (Matthew 28:19). “It is impossible to think up or to comprehend more, and even if one speculates much, it only becomes more obscure and less understandable.” So he confesses that “even if I thought myself to death” – he still couldn’t get beyond God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Luther’s Works 57:101–102).

     Thinking yourself to death? How more dramatic could he be? Trying to get three into one, and derive one from three, looks hopeless. And so the Holy Trinity is hopeless – three persons in one God, and one God in three persons. Not all agree, however, imagining that headway can be made in sidestepping “significantly ontologically restrictive… Trinitarian sentences” [S. Kleinschmidt, “Simple Trinitarianism and Future-Placing Sentences,” Faith and Philosophy 33 (July 2016) 258]. But Luther still thinks that we had better watch out if we are to get anywhere with the Holy Trinity. And so he begins slowly and simply with Jesus – and not with three in one, and one in three. No triangles – or water analogies about steam, liquid and ice still being HO all the same.

     Jesus is instead where we need to begin when it comes to the Holy Trinity. Even though he is “not God the Father, but God the Father’s image,” he still is “first” – with all creatures being subjected to him as “Creator, Sustainer and Nourisher” (LW 57:303). Jesus is first – for “the Son of God is the Word of the Father in eternity, which no one hears speaking except the Holy Spirit [and those to whom he] proclaims it in the world” (LW 77:250).  And this is a big deal – this word which is Christ Jesus. “For the Word holds us together so that we remain under one Head and cling to Him alone, seeking no other holiness or anything else as availing before God, but only what is found in Him” (LW 69:80). Finally Jesus is first – for he is the one who knows “how to speak correctly about God” (LW 78:23). If you have seen me, he flatly states, you have seen God – for “I and the Father are one” (John 14:9, 10:30). Jesus looked ordinary, just like the carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55). But he was more than that – he was “greater” than the prophet Jonah (Matthew 12:41). Thomas calls him “my Lord and my God” – dominus et deus in the old Latin Bible (John 20:20). There’s the something greater – dominus et deus. If Jesus were not full of God (Colossians 2:9), then he couldn’t help us. If Jesus were not equal to God (John 5:18), then his death couldn’t save us. “Christ the man separate from and without God,” Luther argues, “would be useless…. Therefore we cannot say that it is Christ’s humanity that brings us life: rather the life is in the word which dwells in the flesh and brings us to life through the flesh” (LW 52:54–55).

     If Jesus wasn’t God, then his death couldn’t save us from God’s wrath, for it is only powerful enough when Jesus is divine – being perfect, “without blemish or spot,” and never having sinned (1 Peter 1:19, Hebrews 4:15, Romans 5:9). If Jesus weren’t so majestic, we wouldn’t call ourselves Christians, as Luther insists (LW 57:305). So we must never forget that “no mere creature died for us” (LW 57:299). Then we have the Holy Trinity and can finally say: “Three is not three, but one and yet three” (LW 57:101). And it is Jesus who gets us there. “One thing is certain; you will not be forsaken. Christ will surely save you. There is no need to worry.” And that is because he has the power to save by virtue of being in the Holy Trinity. He is “man in that he praises and thanks God, and God in that all things have been delivered to him by the Father” (LW 51:128). The reason “the whole world is full of” poor preachers is because they flinch when it comes to saying this (LW 52:25). They are afraid to say we can’t save ourselves because only Jesus is powerful enough to do it. They are “aghast” when they hear “that all our doing is nothing and is damned in the sight of God” (LW 52:26). But Jesus was perfect – and he was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). That dedication and fortitude isn’t human but divine. And it’s what we need. Christ alone is able to persevere and purchase salvation for us “by his blood” (LW 52:282). Otherwise God’s wrath rests on us (John 3:36).

     How shall we then live with the Holy Trinity? Luther thought we actually, through faith, “possess” the Holy Trinity and become “partakers of the divine nature” (LW 69:105). This is about living a full Christian life. And this is crucial – for “faith must be whole and pure if we are to be helped. If it is half or false, we are lost” (LW 57:304). So “don’t shrink… from the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27)! “Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the spirit” (Romans 12:11). Don’t be half-hearted, but love God with your whole heart (Matthew 22:37). And here is a plan on how to do that: Glorify the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit; and follow Christ being drawn by the Father and moved by the Spirit (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, 1999, §259). That glorification and following both tie you into the Holy Trinity. For only dishonor is heaped upon God if you bypass Jesus in your life with God. And only pride and fatigue beset you if you try to follow Christ without God’s election and fortification. Ponder, then, these two brief points and figure out how to carry them with you, so that in your Christian life you may rightly believe in the Holy Trinity Amen.

Hymn of the Day:  “Salvation unto Us Has Come” (LBW 297)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the Killing of George Floyd

and the Ensuing Riots

  

 

Let us pray for George Floyd and for those grieving over his death on Monday, May 25, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for those suffering from – and the some twenty others killed – in the ensuing protests and riots in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota – as well as in over seven hundred other cities throughout America (USA Today, June 5, 2020). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the Minneapolis police force, that those responsible for George Floyd’s death be brought to swift justice. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for all those trying to stop the property damage, looting and arson to buildings and vehicles in these riots. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for Black Americans and all oppressed people in our country that their day of justice may come soon. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the city of Minneapolis, and all the towns in Minnesota and the entire USA – that they may be civilized, peaceful and fair places to live and work. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us pray for the angry and unstable who all too quickly resort to violence as a means of solving their problems, that they may find peaceful ways to fix them. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, let us thank God for his goodness and mercy, for the many kept safe during these riots, and for the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus, when he comes again in judgment (John 5:26–29, 16:33), to rescue the righteous, condemn the wicked, and bring violence and evil to an end, once and for all.

 

GLORY BE TO JESUS, OUR MERCIFUL LORD AND SAVIOR! AMEN.



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused, harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed.

 

Pray for Marilyn Sparrow, who died in Christ, and her family and friends who are mourning her passing.

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 




 


 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:  “All Glory Be to God on High” (LBW 166)

 

             


 


If you're having trouble getting a mask, we have homemade, cloth masks available. Let us know and we will get you one. (206) 935-6530.



 



 

 

The magnificent rose,

the humble wisteria,

both attract bees.

 

                   –Jon Nakagawara

 

(Written in high school by Pastor Marshall’s high school friend,

Jon Nakagawara, who now lives with his family in Everett,

having retired from a career in public health in King County.)

 

 

 

Whether we live or whether

we die, we are the Lord’s.

 

(Romans 14:8)

 

We are the aroma of Christ to God

among those who are being saved

and among those who are perishing.

 

(2 Corinthians 2:15)

 

I know how to be abased, and

how to abound…. I can do all things

in Christ who strengthens me.

 

(Philippians 4:12–13)

 

There is neither slave nor free;…

you are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

(Galatians 3:28)

 

As servants of Christ we are…

sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.

 

(2 Corinthians 6:4, 10)

 

With the Lord one days is as

a thousand years, and a

thousand years as one day.

 

(2 Peter 3:8)

 

Your Father makes his sun rise

on the evil and on the good.

 

(Matthew 5:45)

 

The night is bright as the day;

for darkness is as light with the Lord.

 

(Psalm 139:12)

 

The rich and the poor meet together;

the Lord is the maker of them all.

 

(Proverbs 22:2)

 







 

 






Online Sunday Liturgy

May 31, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover

 

Come, Holy Spirit, into our dailyness. Refuse to lose track of us, pursue us in all our masks and masquerades. Come, God’s Hound Dog, track us down in all our flights, escapes, and evasions. Come, Holy Provoker, push us, prompt us, tease us, please us, displease us. Come, Holy Tenacity, refuse to let us go. If we shut the door in your face, go to the back door. If we slam the back door, come in through the cracks. Come, Holy Oddity, whimsical as the wind, surprise us at our most unexpecting moments as you surprised many a God-resister and brought him or her to faith in your Son Christ Jesus, as you surprised Saul on his way to Damascus to capture and kill Christians and turned him into Paul, the greatest missionary the world has known. Unplug us when we fill up with self-pity and misery. Rescue us when we drown in our dailyness. Restore in us the joy of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Pour your love and joy and power into us today as you poured it into the thousands on Pentecost Day. Come into our dailyness, O Holy Spirit, be our divine income, our holy, incorruptible income. And then, O Holy Spirit, help us to spend that income, spend it like the rich-in-spirit men and women you have made us to be!

 

[Edna H. Hong (1913-2007), Box 66, Sumac Lane: A Lively Correspondence

on Sin and Sanctity (New York: Harper & Row, 1989) pp. 75-76.]

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

Pentecost

May 31, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as you sent upon the disciples the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, look upon your Church and open our hearts to the power of the Spirit. Kindle in us the fire of your love, and strengthen our lives for service in your kingdom. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Joel 2:28–29

Psalm 104:25–34

Second Lesson: Acts 2:1–21

Gospel: John 20:19–23

Opening Hymn: “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord”  (LBW 163)




 



Sermon:  May 31, 2020

“Receive the Spirit”

(John 20:22)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     If two are just as good as three, why not settle for two? If Father and Son cover everything we need, why include the Holy Spirit? (James R. White, The Forgotten Trinity, 1998, p. 139). God the Father creates the world, and God the Son saves it. What more do we need? So is a Holy Binity (Father and Son), rather than the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), the way to go?

     Never! says Jesus. “Receive the Spirit,” he admonishes (John 20:22). He thinks we need more. He thinks the Father and the Son aren’t enough. So all of us should include the Holy Spirit together with the Father and the Son. No time to mull it over. No debate needed. Just accept the Holy Spirit. He is for you; he is here; and you need him. But why do we need the Holy Spirit? Here we stand with Ockam’s razor – based on that principle of parsimony – ready to cut away what is unnecessary (Elliott Sober, Ockam’s Razors: A User’s Manual, 2015). Is there any reason not to cut away the Holy Spirit from the Trinity? Is there any explanation why more is better? Is there any case to be made for the Holy Spirit? We especially want to know this on the Feast of Pentecost when we are supposed to be celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit.

     Well, have no fear, Martin Luther at least has a case for the Holy Spirit. He was in favor of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He thought the Bible was right to have all three (Luther’s Works 57:163). He believed Jesus needed the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, 16:7). Even though Jesus took away the punishment for sins when he died on the cross and thereby “conquered everything” – that treasure of salvation still only “lies… in a heap, not yet distributed,” and so we need the Holy Spirit to “put it into our hearts so that we believe.” The Holy Spirit keeps us from looking “askance at God [thinking] that He will throw [us] into hell” as we thought before the Holy Spirit started working on us (LW 77:327–28). And how does the Spirit do that? How does the Holy Spirit bring about faith in us? Does it happen by way of a straight shot from beyond directly into our hearts? Some think so. In Luther’s time they thought so. But Luther discredits them saying they erroneously think they can devour the Holy Spirit “feathers and all” (LW 40:83). Luther didn’t think that the Holy Spirit availed himself of such direct consumption. Instead the Holy Spirit comes to us indirectly through the word preached. “Therefore, a man must continually preach, hear, work with, and be busy with this Word until the Holy Spirit comes. There is no other way to that end. For you to sit in the corner, stare up at the sky, and wait until you see Him coming is utter lunacy. The Word is the only bridge and path by which the Holy Spirit comes to us” (LW 56:107). The office of preaching is therefore “an office of the Holy Spirit.” That means that when the pastor preaches “it is the Holy Spirit preaching” (LW 69:371). Otherwise nothing salutary would happen in a sermon. For Luther knew well that the preacher can only get the word of God to the ears of the hearers – “their hearts I cannot reach,” he laments. It is only God who can move that word from the ears into the heart and change the person for the better (LW 51:76). 

     How does the Holy Spirit do that? By using the sermon to “frighten sinners” (LW 69:348). Indeed, “a preacher ought to rebuke those who oppose the Word and to inveigh against them severely” (LW 67:21). Without that shock, nothing breaks lose in sinners to start them moving in the right direction. Everything remains clogged up. Søren Kierkegaard – that Danish admirer of Luther’s sermons (R. F. Marshall, Kierkegaard for the Church, 2013, pp. 309–10) – he thought everyone needed a good spiritual enema (Journals, ed. Hongs, §4:4490). That insight probably comes from Luther. In sermons, he argued, we need a good “jab” to the soul (LW 12:225). Why? Because “sinners… pay no heed to the Word of God, preaching, or faith” (LW 69:386). So we need rousting. We need to hear this: “Cursed be that life in which someone lives for himself and not for his neighbor” (LW 69:331). This is what the Spirit does through the preaching of the word of God. And that’s what John 20:23 does by saying that the preacher, through the Holy Spirit, brings forgiveness but also retains sins and brings damnation. “Preach the Gospel of Christ and forgive the sins of the crushed, fearful consciences,” Luther preached, “but retain those of the impenitent and secure, and bind them” (LW 69:383). When you hear that your sins can bind you like that they become a “burden that weighs down your heart and conscience before God so that you… fear His wrath and expect eternal damnation” (LW 69:385).

     When that happens, my sins then “drag me down to hell” (LW 69:388). With nowhere to turn on my own, God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, pulls me in the opposite direction “into the Word which is stronger than… human power [and] the devil” (LW 69:314). Here we see how God helps only the “famished and thirsting soul” (LW 69:376). “Sheer need – that is what we bring before Him” (LW 68:96). At this point James 4:7 kicks in – “if you resist the devil he will flee from you.” And that’s because on the cross Jesus destroys the works of the devil – and the fear he inflicts on us through the fear of death (1 John 3:8, Hebrews 2:15). “This is such a frightening picture that even the damned in hell will have no greater torment and feeling of God’s wrath and damnation than from looking at the dying Son of God, which they have let be wasted in their case” (LW 78:216). So don’t argue with the devil and his minions. The devil is fierce. He “makes those who are in need of comfort frightened and despondent and, on the other hand, comforts and strengthens those who should fear and be frightened of God’s wrath…. He turns both upside down” (LW 77:80–81). Therefore you must say no to the forces of evil – and do that by resisting them. Don’t speak to them in a loving, “fawning manner.” That will trip you up. Don’t ever forget that there are “many snares to prevent us from remaining in the ancient Word [and so whoever] departs from it by even a finger-breadth falls forthwith from fellowship with the Father and the Son” (LW 30:260). 

     Keep up then the battle against the devil. Don’t underestimate your enemy. Look to Christ, who on the cross, “canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands” (Colossians 2:14). And so “the remission of sins must be sought nowhere except in the Word, which is Christ’s” (LW 69:394). The devil will try everything to pull you away from that gospel message. If he makes any head-way at all, then your “heart is not lifted up in faith, it becomes weary, lazy, indolent in doing good works [and] troubled” (LW 69:416). “Then there is no steel so hard as the human heart” (LW 69:426). So fight the good fight of faith by the power of the Spirit (1 Timothy 4:12). Know full well that “where the Gospel goes, blood flows” (LW 69:346). Dig in, and resist, that weariness doesn’t weaken your faith. Let no pride creep into your resistance. Remember that “true faith, properly speaking, brings along with itself contempt of self and a sense of unworthiness in comparison with others” (LW 67:45).

     So cling to Christ through his word for that is where you will find his Spirit. And in that word, be “sanctified” (John 17:17). And when you’re heading down that path of verbal sanctification, return the favor to the word, and “learn to take hold [of it]. God has established a kingdom [in that word] that you might deliver men from their sins…. The greatest power [is here] though it is not visible [and people instead] look upon the contemptible and worthless appearance of the Word” (LW 69:414). But don’t be fooled. Remember that the Spirit is grasped only by those in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13). So be not dismayed when rejected. Instead, resist the devil – and remain strong, as the Lord Jesus admonished long ago, by always and forever, receiving the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Hymn of the Day:  “Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire” (LBW 472)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the Killing of George Floyd

and the Ensuing Riots,

May 25–30, 2020

 

 

First Lutheran Church of West Seattle

May 31, 2020

 

Let us pray for George Floyd and for those grieving over his death last Monday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for those suffering from and killed in the ensuing protests and riots in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota – as well as in some thirty other cities across America. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the Minneapolis police force, that those responsible for George Floyd’s death be brought to swift justice. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for all those trying to stop the property damage, looting and arson to buildings and vehicles in these riots. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for Black Americans and all oppressed people in our country that their day of justice may come soon. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the city of Minneapolis, and all the towns in Minnesota and the entire USA – that they may be civilized, peaceful and fair places to live and work. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us pray for the angry and unstable who all too quickly resort to violence as a means of solving their problems, that they may find peaceful ways to fix them. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, let us thank God for his goodness and mercy, for the many kept safe during these riots, and for the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus, when he comes again in judgment (John 5:26–29, 16:33), to rescue the righteous, condemn the wicked, and bring violence and evil to an end, once and for all.

 

GLORY BE TO JESUS, OUR MERCIFL LORD AND SAVIOR! AMEN.



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused, harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed.

Thanksgiving to God for the 100th birthday of

Avis Standefer on May 17 in Encino, CA, the

mother of C. J. Christian.

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 




 


 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:  “Oh, Day Full of Grace” (LBW 161)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJETTBbnf6w&feature=youtu.be

 

             


 


If you're having trouble getting a mask, we have homemade, cloth masks available. Let us know and we will get you one. (206) 935-6530.



 



 

 

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,

As, to behold desert a beggar born,

And needy nothing trimm’d in jollity,

And purest faith unhappily forsworn,

And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,

And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,

And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,

And strength by limping sway disabled,

And art made tongue-tied by authority,

And folly doctor-like controlling skill,

And simple truth miscall’d simplicity,

And captive good attending captain ill:

      Tired with all these,

               from these would I be gone,

      Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

 

(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 66,

The Complete Works of Shakespeare,

ed. Hardin Craig, 1961, p. 482.)

 

My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary… for your progress and joy in the faith… that… you may… glory in Christ.

 

(Saint Paul, Philippians 1:23–26.)

 

 








 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

May 24, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover

 

“There are only two possibilities when a human being confronts Jesus: the human being must either die [1 Corinthians 15:31] or kill Jesus [Hebrews 6:6].”

 

[Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lectures on Christology (1933),

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, 16 vols. (1996–2013) 12:307.]

 

 

“Faith must spring up and flow from the blood and wounds and death of Christ. If you see in these that God is so kindly disposed toward you that he even gives his own Son for you, then your heart in turn must grow sweet and disposed toward God.”

 

[Martin Luther, Treatise on Good Works (1520),

Luther’s Works 44:38.]

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

May 24, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Almighty and eternal Lord, our Savior is with you in heavenly glory. Give us faith to see that, true to his promise, he is among us still, and will be with us until the end of time. In his name we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Acts 1:1–14

Psalm 47

Second Lesson: 1 Peter 4:12–17, 5:6–11

Gospel: John 17:1–11

Opening Hymn: Alleluia! Sing to Jesus  (LBW 158)




 


Sermon:  May 24, 2020

“Know the Truth”

(Acts 17:7)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Our belief in Jesus isn’t supposed to be stupid. Ignorance should have no place in it (1 Peter 2:15). No, never. Faith must instead know something about God. It must have compelling cognitive content – without being assessed and acquired cognitively. But it still has to be supplemented with knowledge and the increase in the knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 1:5, Colossians 1:10). But what should we know about God, and how can we tell when we have it right? These are puzzling and difficult problems – and so many of us would prefer lighter fare. We would gladly forgo all of these thorny epistemological questions about what to know and how to know it. But there’s a problem. Everyone “who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:13–14). 

     So if we indeed are to “grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2) – to become “mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28, 4:12) – we will have to supplement our faith with the knowledge of God. We have no choice but to replace the milk of incipient faith with solid cognitive food – making use of our minds (1 Corinthians 14:14). Without it we are “hopelessly unstable quicksilver,” as Martin Luther pointed out (Luther’s Works 77:32). This instability leads only to a “drowsy faith” (LW 9:186). But faith’s goal should be greater. Faith should be “resolute, persistent, bold, unrestrained, and insistent” – anything but drowsy (LW 67:78). Increase, growth, and progress are mandatory in faith. “No one is saved,” Luther argued, “unless he is reborn” (LW 57:249). Without it you will “stray along the road [and get] struck and lose your deliverance” (LW 78:315).

     The stakes are high – with much being needed. “You will know the truth,” Jesus promises, “and it will make you free” (John 8:32). Freedom therefore hangs in the balance. And that’s what knowledge delivers. It can free you – from behavioral impediments and the fog of misapprehension. And it begins with knowing that everything God has given Jesus is actually from God (John 17:7). It’s not some human concoction (1 Thessalonians 2:13). He’s not just the carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55). Instead, all the fullness of God dwells in him (Colossians 2:9). That makes him “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). So we must believe in Jesus (John 14:1) – even if that means no longer relying on our own insights (Proverbs 3:5). Even if that means counting everything that we have devised and accumulated as loss (Philippians 3:8). Even though this leads us to the confession that if we have Jesus we have everything, and if we don’t, we have nothing (LW 23:55, 69:302).

     In our opening hymn today, “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus,” we say “his the victory alone.” And so indeed to have Jesus is to have everything – for he has all the victory we need. He has gone to prepare a place for us in heaven (John 14:3). No one else has done this. This is the victory. So hold onto Jesus alone. Fight against all the other competing ways of deliverance. Cling to faith in Jesus. Faith in him must therefore “suppress and cast out the salvation, peace, life, and grace of the flesh. [And when] it does this, it appears to the flesh harder and more cruel than iron itself” (LW 14:335). So of course Jesus will be spoken against (Luke 2:34). Of course he will be laughed at (Matthew 9:24). Of course false testimony will be made up against him (Matthew 26:59). Of course he will be hated (John 15:18–19). Of course he’ll be done in (Acts 2:23). Even so, what is “the Christian way of life other than the beginning of eternal life?” (LW 76:37).

     But because of all of this bad press, no one can believe in Jesus. No one seeks after him (Romans 3:11). No one chooses to follow him (John 15:16). Indeed, “nothing that is in us or can be done by us makes us Christian” (LW 77:189). What shall we say about this predicament? Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55) – that Danish Luther (R. F. Marshall, Kierkegaard in the Pulpit, 2016, p. 286) – argued that our “ability to receive” the blessings of God is now no longer “entirely in order” (Kierkegaard’s Writings 22:54). Believing isn’t as easy as pulling on your socks (KW 20:35, 95). Now it’s a battle (1 Timothy 6:12). This is important to know. It shows us that God will have to draw us to himself if we are to love and follow Jesus (John 6:44). And he does this on the cross (John 12:32). It’s there that we come to him by warming up to him. Look at what he has given up for me! How can I not obey him? So be like the devout disciple who “crawls to the cross, sighs for Christ, longs for His grace, despairs completely of himself, and places all of his confidence on Christ” (LW 76:6). If so, we will find ourselves in the same spot as that guard at the cross – who surprisingly switches sides at the last minute (Matthew 27:54). We will find ourselves on the road to Damascus with Saul, being knocked flat and blinded by flashing lightning (Acts 9:3–4).

     So believe in Jesus by all means – but not by your own exertion or through the exercise of your will to choose him all by yourself (Romans 9:16). No, that’s impossible. Look not to yourself but to Christ who is “our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Faith is a gift from God that miraculously comes by hearing Christ preached (Romans 3:24, 10:17). So sing out with Luther that Christs “pain is my comfort; his wounds, my healing; his punishment, my redemption; his death, my life” (Luther’s House Postils, ed. E. Klug 1:474). The longer one lives with God “the more infinite he becomes – and the less one himself becomes” (Kierkegaard, Journals, ed. Hongs, §2:1393). This is a knowledge that doesn’t puff up (1 Corinthians 8:1). This is a knowledge that includes our wretchedness (Revelation 3:17). This is a knowledge that is free of frivolously forecasting the future (James 4:14). It is a knowledge that frees us of our self-delusions and distorted pictures of God (Acts 14:12). It is a knowledge that toughens us up for the coming hatred when the world is condemned for being evil (John 7:7). It is a knowledge that explains why we love the darkness rather than the light (John 3:19). It is a knowledge that shows why God’s wrath rests on unbelievers (John 3:36). It is a knowledge that reveals why the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus our Lord and Master, had to be sacrificed for sins (John 1:29). It is a knowledge that explains the hatred that descends on you for not belonging to the world (John 15:19). May this knowledge set you free when you finally come to know it. Amen.
 

Hymn of the Day:  Son of God, Eternal Savior” (LBW 364)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Pray for those suffering from the breached dams in Michigan, and for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused, harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed.

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:  “We Know That Christ Is Raised” (LBW 189)

 

             

 


If you're having trouble getting a mask, we have homemade, cloth masks available. Let us know and we will get you one. (206) 935-6530.


 


 

 

I Look Deep Down

 

Oh, grassy glades! oh, ever vernal endless landscapes in the soul; in ye – though long parched by the dead drought of the earthly life – in ye, men yet may roll, like young horses in new morning clover; and for some few fleeting moments, feel the cool dew of the life immortal on them. Would to God these blessed calms would last. But the mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof: calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm. There is no steady unretracing progress in this life; we do not advance through fixed gradations, and at the last one pause…. [Upon hearing these cynical words of Ahab], gazing far down from his boat’s side,… Starbuck lowly murmured, “Loveliness unfathomable, as ever lover saw in his young bride’s eye! Tell me not of thy teeth-tiered sharks, and thy kidnapping cannibal ways. Let faith oust fact; let fancy oust memory; I look deep down and do believe.”

 

[Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, or The Whale, 1851, Chapter 114.]

 

I have learned, in whatever state I’m in, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in Christ Jesus who strengthens me.

 

[Saint Paul, Philippians 4:11–13.]

 

 







 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

May 17, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover


 

“A contrite heart is rare indeed.”

 

 [Martin Luther, Defense… of All Articles (1521),

Luther’s Works 32:35.]

 

“To repent is to change one’s mind from his former ways… Never to sin is the greatest repentance…. [It] seeks that you be reborn and that you grieve over [your] sins… that you may be ashamed of them…. The Gospel calls the shameful as well as the holy to repentance. You are all the same.”

 

 [Martin Luther, Sermon on Acts 2:37–41 (1529),

Luther’s Works 56:304–305.]

 

“No contrition is sufficient in God’s sight.”

 

 [Martin Luther, Defense… of All Articles (1521),

Luther’s Works 32:48.]

 

“Impenitence is the unforgivable sin.”

 

 [Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will (1525),

Luther’s Works 33:35.]

 

“Not repenting… condemns.”

 

 [Martin Luther, Annotations on Matthew (1538),

Luther’s Works 67:11.]

 

“The entire life of believers

[is] to be one of repentance.”

 

 [Martin Luther, Ninety-Five Theses (1517),

Luther’s Works 31:25.]

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

May 17, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, lead us by the inspiration of your Spirit to think those things which are right, and by your goodness, help us to do them. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Acts 17:22–31

Psalm 66:1–6, 14–18

Second Lesson: 1 Peter 3:15–22

Gospel: John 14:15–21

Opening Hymn: “Let the Whole Creation Cry”  (LBW 242)




 


Sermon:  May 17, 2020

“Repent”

(Acts 17:30)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Quarantining is tough on us. Isolating ourselves can even lead, God forbide, to suicide – due to feeling “trapped” (V. Thakus & A. Jain, “COVID 19 – Suicides: A Global Psychological Pandemic,” 86 Brain, Behavior, and Immunity April 2020). But if it doesn’t come to that, quarantining still can be “immobilizing and depressing” (Mary Schmich, “A Coronavirus Glossary,” The Seattle Times, May 3, 2020). So why take the risk? Because it has proven to be a fast and effective way to stop the spread of infectious diseases – simply by physically separating the sick from the healthy (Howard Markel, Quarantine! 1999).

     Quarantining also has other benefits. One of those is the hidden and little appreciated goal of religious intensification – if you can believe it. Yes, being alone can help you grow in faith. Remember that Jesus retreated from the crowds to pray and strengthen himself all by himself (Matthew 14:13, 23, Mark 1:35, 6:46, Luke 5:16, John 6:15, 7:10). Is that an example we follow – or would we rather spend time with our friends and fellow Christians? Even in church, would we rather pray alone in a solitary corner of a chapel, or attend a fellowship meal? Jesus called the church a house of prayer (Matthew 21:13, 6:6) – but we would rather it were a place of chit-chat. But Jesus digs in and points us in the direction that “religion is solitariness” (A. N. Whitehead, Religion in the Making, 1926, ed.  J. A. Jones, 2001, p. 17). Martin Luther also saw the loneliness in Psalm 102:7 as an indelible mark on Christianity – “I hover between the life of the world and eternal life, lonely in the faith” (Luther’s Works 14:181). That leaves us, Luther goes on to say, with “an utterly naked trust in God alone, since every human being is a liar” (LW 67:97). Following Luther, Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) concluded that in the realm of spirit, “one person is more than ten” – making our task that of working ourselves “out of sociality more and more” (Journals, ed. Hongs, §§2:2084, 2008). So Luther takes the risk of speaking “disparagingly” of the whole world, taking in “the entire world in one bite” (LW 23:319). Thinking that two or three are better than being alone with God in solitude (Matthew 18:20), misses the point that Jesus says to each of us, even in our tiny little clusters, “listen only to Me” – for “if you are content to stay secluded, your heart will not become polluted” (LW 67:415, 410). Keeping yourself “unstained by the world” is pure religion after all (James 1:27). So the philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951), thought that a church was best used for silent prayer, by yourself, with no one else around (quoted in R. F. Marshall, Wittgenstein Reading the Comics, 2003, 2013, p. 44).

     I remember showing our church to a visitor once when no one else was there. He ran out right after entering our beautiful, dark gothic stone structure with its deep, colored stained glass windows and vaulted ceiling, because it was scary, he said, to be in there without other people around. It was spooky, he said. Indeed, every feature of our church building “conveyed awe and otherworldliness and transcendence” (Paul Gregory Alms, “Church Buildings Talk,” Forum Letter, May 2012). I told him I wished he’d stayed longer so I could’ve showed him our columbarium with cremated remains in its many beautiful granite niches. Knowing that, he said he’d be extra sure never to visit again.

     Let us therefore restore the church to secluded, solitary prayer – as its primary and noblest way of being. Let us confess our sin of using each other in church to distract ourselves from God and his Holy Word – from it convicting us and restoring us. Remember that it was Luther himself who quipped that "there is almost nothing more unlike the church than the church itself" (LW 27:397)! But there is hope. We are all called to repent of our sins (Acts 17:30). This leads us into life (Acts 11:18). It shows us the truth about ourselves (2 Timothy 2:25). It shows us that we are stiff-necked people, resisting God, and the truth that only Christ can save us from eternal damnation (Acts 7:51, 4:12). And struggle though we may to tell the truth, we fail over and over again, leaving ourselves in a state of spiritual death (Romans 7:24). And so Jesus needs to rescue us by being our repentance for us (LW 40:345). He does this by being our ransom (Mark 10:45) – by being punished for our sins. This is what moves us along the path of righteousness. Otherwise we’d keep falling off that path, and we’d get nowhere. He must pull us (John 6:44). Apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Without the help of Jesus we are in a terrible fix. For the truth is this: “Having sinned does not condemn; it is not repenting that condemns” (LW 67:11). The church then only properly gathers together as a band of sinners, repenting and longing for new life in Christ. In this band, Kierkegaard rightly saw an “intimacy” based on a “polemical stance against the great human society” (quoted and discussed in R. F. Marshall, Kierkegaard in the Pulpit, 2016, pp. 328–29). So we aren't called to go as far as a past US Poet Laureate (2008–2011) does and isolate ourselves like the great aromatic eucalyptus tree does by poisoning the soil beneath it, and ending all community forever (Kay Ryan, Synthesizing Gravity, 2020, p. 61).

     But loving ourselves holds us back from repenting, faith and this new life in Christ. Therefore self-love needs a good kick in the derriere. For truly “no one is so dangerous to me as I am to myself” (LW 57:196). One reason for this is that we twist the Bible (2 Corinthians 4:2) to prove that God really wants us to love ourselves. First we use Psalm 8:5 to show how wonderful we are in God’s eyes – being crowned “with glory and honor,” as the peak of all creation. But Hebrews 2:9 puts the lie to this skullduggery, revealing that Jesus is the one glorified in that psalm and not us. Not to be outdone, we quickly run to Matthew 22:39 which says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. So we first must love ourselves so that we can then love others. But this is also a dodge. The meaning is plain but we won’t have it. So Luther spells it out slowly so that we can’t miss it. “To love your neighbor as yourself,” he argues, “means to love in such a way that you set aside knowledge, property, and honor, and instead seek your neighbor’s benefit and well-being and set it before your own benefit” (LW 68:44). This setting aside of our concerns goes in the opposite direction of loving ourselves (Philippians 2:3). We can’t forget that God “hates, damns, and wills evil to all sinners, that is, to all of us” (LW 25:382). And so should we. The upshot of the verse then is that we can’t love others as long as we love ourselves. The only way you can truly love your neighbor is “by ceasing to love yourself.” So the phrase “as yourself” means “inasmuch as you no longer love yourself” (LW 25:514). For we were “not created to live for our own sakes, but to promote God’s honor and to be useful to other people” (LW 68:152). For it is “a perversity that we want to be loved by all and want to seek our interests in all people.” No wonder that nowhere in the Bible are we “commanded” to love ourselves (LW 25:513). All that we have in that regard is a cryptic remark (Matthew 22:39) that collapses under scrutiny. Just think of it! Not loving ourselves needs to dwell richly in all of us (Colossians 3:16).

     Be sure then to include this attack on self-love in the training you give to the baptized who are working on becoming disciples of Christ (LW 44:85, Matthew 28:19). If you don’t do that, you will have a bad effect on them– making them “twice as much a child of hell” (Matthew 23:15) – or filium gehennae duplo, as the old Latin Bible puts it. Avoid that duplication – duplo – at all costs. May all Christians being brought up in the faith, learn about the folly of self-love, and then vigorously stamp it out in their lives. May they do this so that their whole life with Christ is renewed daily by taking up – with his help – the call, with all of its implications, to repent. Amen.
 

Hymn of the Day:  Come Down, O Love Divine” (LBW 508)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Jamey Sagmoen

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Pray for those slaughtered in the Kabul, Afghanistan maternity ward, for protection from tropical storm Arthur in southeastern USA, for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused, harassed, and the unemployed.

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:  Christ Is Alive! Let Christians Sing” (LBW 363)

 

             

 


If you're having trouble getting a mask, we have homemade, cloth masks available. Let us know and we will get you one. (206) 935-6530.


 



 

 

First Passenger Airline Flight

 

This first in the world passenger airline flight was on January 1, 1914. The flight was from St. Petersburg, Florida, over Tampa Bay, to Tampa, Florida. It was a 23 mile trip that took about 23 minutes. It was a 20 hour car trip; and a 2 hour boat trip. The wooden open-air craft, Benoist Type XIV, known as The Lark of Duluth, flew only 5 feet above the water for the entire trip. The pilot was Anthony H. Jannus. He had one passenger, Abram C. Phell, the former mayor of St. Petersburg. The air service lasted for three months. During that time 1,205 passengers made the short trip. Today about 4 billion people throughout the world fly every year (Pat Hanlon, Global Airlines, 2007, pp. 13–15).

 

Spreading Disease

 

“Modern air travel assures [the] accelerated process of disease homogenization…. [This] means that whenever a new, especially successful form of an infection emerges, it will spread rapidly around the globe…. It is obvious that… diseases are evolving with unusual rapidity simply because changes in our behavior facilitate cross-fertilization of different strains of germs as never before.”

 

William H. McNeill (1917–2016), Plagues

and People (1976, 1998), pp. 14–15.

 






 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

May 10, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover


We Christians have so completely turned to stone that we do not care either about God’s favor or about His punishment, but someday punishment will become so great that we will have to feel it. Therefore, it would be better if we turned now and became more righteous, while it is still the time of grace.

 

[Martin Luther, Annotations on Matthew (1538),

Luther’s Works 67:342.]




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

May 10, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

O Lord God, make us love what you command and desire what you promise, that, amid all the changes of this world, our hearts may be fixed where true joy is found. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Acts 17:1–15

Psalm 33:1–11

Second Lesson: 1 Peter 2:4–10

Gospel: John 14:1–12 

Opening Hymn: “Hallelujah! Jesus Lives!” (LBW 147)




 


Sermon:  May 10, 2020

“Ignore Rejection”

(1 Peter 2:4)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     The New Testament makes no bones about standing up for Jesus – but neither does it cover up the searing fact that he was overwhelmingly rejected. “He came to his own [and they] received him not” (John 1:11). And he was a prophet without honor in his own house (Matthew 13:57). His disciples even denied him and betrayed him (Matthew 26:49, 74). How does that make you feel? Do you want to join up with a loser? “Rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious” (1 Peter 2:4). Does that mixed message inspire you – or do nothing for you?

      About a hundred years ago, a famous American author and politician, Bruce F. Barton (1886–1967), tried to do away with the rejection of Jesus. He wrote a book praising the worldly accomplishments of Jesus – portraying him as a successful entrepreneur and capitalist, who “picked up twelve humble men and created an organization that won the world” (The Man Nobody Knows, 1925, p. 13). His book was an immediate bestseller, and has remained in print ever since. According to Barton, Christ Jesus was also “chosen and precious” in our eyes – and not just in God’s eyes (1 Peter 2:4). Jesus wasn’t rejected – he instead was very popular. How else could the Church today be made up of hundreds of millions of people? But Barton misses the point that self-identification of religious preference, doesn’t necessarily carry with it positive transformation of character. So you can say you’re a Christian and be faking it – after the manner of the hypocrites that Jesus roundly condemned in his day (Matthew 23:13–36). Be that as it may, these superficial designations of Christian identity have been distorting the Church all the more ever since Barton wrote his famous book – which argued for people being “basically good,” and “a cheery theology” that wouldn't “frighten a child” (Richard M. Fried, The Man Everybody Knew: Bruce Barton and the Making of Modern America, 2005, p. 228).

      But Barton’s classic study cannot erase the Biblical record which repeatedly tells about Jesus Christ being deep-sixed. And the crowds yelled all the more, “Crucify him” (Mathew 27:23). The glory heaped upon Jesus on Psalm Sunday with all of those shouted compliments and “hosannas,” was short lived (Matthew 21:9). Those accolades were deceptive – as are all of the huge number of people counted as Christians today. That’s because what matters in the kingdom of Christ is “not becoming great, but becoming small” (Luther’s Works 67:325). Martin Luther knew that this was how it had to be in our fallen world (Romans 3:23). And Barton’s book cannot overturn the principle that “what is of God must be crucified in the world” (LW 25:177). That principle stands because “the world and Christ cannot be in harmony” (LW 20:103). What fellowship, after all, “has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) – Christ being the light (John 8:12) and the world being darkness (John 1:5, 12:46, 1 John 5:19).

      Where then does that rejection leave us – right now, on this very day? Not seeking after God (Romans 3:11) – that’s for sure. For he is “contrary” to our nature (Romans 11:24). And that’s because all of us now are born “by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). We no longer have the image of God in us by birth (Genesis 5:3), for it has been lost “through sin,” even though it can be restored later in life “through the Word and the Holy Spirit” (LW 2:141). According to our birth, however, we are “born into hell” (LW 58:395). Our sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). So we are not able to love God and serve Christ on our own. Our will, and any exertion we might be able to muster, cannot get us into God’s camp (Romans 9:16). We’re lovers of pleasure, money and self, rather than “lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2–4). We love the darkness rather than the light (John 3:19). Nothing we can do, can change that. “Can the leopard change his spots”? (Jeremiah 13:23). No, never. And that paints us into a corner – with nowhere to turn. So Luther concludes that it is truly “astonishing that human nature is so obdurate,” indeed, our “hearts are made of iron” (LW 58:389).

      This causes despair – the feeling of helplessness and fear. That despair can also turn into rage. When it does, we want to destroy the one who says it – something Jesus painfully discovered himself (Luke 4:8). Destruction seems to be the only thing that promises us any relief – because we can’t stand it, that God gives faith, or takes it away, from “whomever He will” (LW 77:287). And Jesus adds that the same thing happens to any of his followers when they stand up for him (Matthew 10:24–25, Luke 10:16). Destruction awaits them too. But the preachers of the kingdom of Christ have no choice – for the preaching office was established “so that people might be saved from hell” (LW 68:162). Preachers are “just like an owl that all the other birds attack” (LW 67:401).

      So are we spiraling down into destruction? We would be, if it were not for that miraculous transference recorded in Colossians 1:13 – “God has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” So even though we can’t choose God – he can still choose us (John 15:16). His mercy endures “because it is a part of God’s nature” – unlike his wrath “which He engages contrary to His nature, because He is forced into it by the wickedness of man” (LW 2:134). So God must be reconciled and have his wrath shielded from us if this transference is to take place. And that’s exactly what happened when Jesus died for us on the cross – for if he hadn’t, “the wrath of God would remain upon us and we would retain our sins” (LW 36:177). We are therefore to cling to God and “leave everything to Him” (LW 56:117). For “God’s hand must reach in. He must set the human heart in order again and occupy it” (LW 68:55).

      So despair is out of order. Even though we cannot save ourselves and get credit for it, God can deliver us and will (Romans 7:24). That gracious, divine innovation puts an end to despair. But what if we want God to do it differently? What if we want him to allow us to take care of it by ourselves? What then? Well, it can’t be because faith is a “gift of God – not because of works, lets anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:9). To go after that anyway would be to court disaster, destruction, and damnation. That’s because God only rewards humility (Luke 18:14, James 4:6). Rewarding anything else in us would accentuate defilement (Mark 7:20–21) – and that would be inimical to our Holy God (Isaiah 6:3–5, Revelation 1:13–18). Divine holiness and human pride cannot abide together peacefully. In fact they clash.

      So don’t try to explain away the rejection of Jesus. Few there are who will find him (Matthew 7:14). That’s the Biblical fact (Matthew 22:14). And do not despair because God has still established his kingdom squarely against that rejection – but only in a “little flock” (Luke 12:32). That remnant will always be preserved (Micah 2:12, Romans 9:27) – even though along the way there will be plenty suffering and trembling (Romans 8:17, Philippians 2:12). So give thanks to God for his mercies and do not despair. Thank him “without ceasing,” because “the great treasure that God has given us in Christ,… can never be exhausted” (LW 76:388). Even if we made Christ’s crucifixion “our study for a hundred years, we would never finish learning it” (LW 56:137)! So because of that, the fact that Jesus is rejected will not drain us. We will even finally have the strength we need to ignore that rejection altogether – both now and forever. Amen.

Hymn of the Day:  “You Are the Way” (LBW 464)

 

Prayers

 

 

 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Paul Sponheim

Lesa Christensen

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Gretchen Hoyum

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

Will Forrester

Richard Patishnock

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused, harassed, and unemployed.

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:  “Built on a Rock” (LBW 365)

 

             

 



 

“They will have to keep their mouths [covered].”

 

[Martin Luther, Lecture on Micah 3:7 (1525),

Luther’s Works 18:232.]

 

 

1918 America

 

“A woman, her adult son and husband have been charged in the fatal shooting of a security guard who refused to let her daughter enter a Family Dollar in Michigan because she wasn’t wearing a face mask to protect against transmission of the coronavirus.”

 

(“As States Reopen, Fury Over Rules About Face Masks,”

The Seattle Times, May 5, 2020.)

 

“At least eight eastern states and Hawaii require masks for anyone who’s out and about. Governor Inslee so far hasn’t taken that step, but businesses and communities should help make mask-wearing a grassroots cause…. Church and community groups throughout Washington have stepped up with mask donations, some via a drive organized by Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib.”

 

(“Wear a Mask for You and Your Neighbor,”

The Seattle Times, May 5, 2020.)

 

 

If you're having trouble getting a mask, we have homemade, cloth masks available. Let us know and we will get you one. (206) 935-6530.

 

 

 

Self-portrait by nine year old, Chase Zimmerman, the grandson of Chuck Rubin, a high school friend of Pastor Marshall’s. Chase and his family belong to Temple Beth El of South Orange County, Aliso Viejo, California.

(Used by permission)






 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

May 3, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover


If you become careless, as if there were no danger, you will soon fall. Toward God, you should be secure, for there things are altogether certain, because Christ has redeemed us with His blood. But in your life, things are still dangerous and uncertain, because in the world your flesh still hangs about your neck, and the devil prowls about. Here you must be wise and careful; otherwise, if you do not keep watch, you will lose the security of faith toward God and will go astray. Security of faith toward God is proper, but beware of the security of the flesh.

 

 [Martin Luther, Sermon on Ephesians 5:15–20 (1545),

Luther’s Works 58:300.]




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

May 3, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Almighty God, you called from death our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep. May we as his disciples resolutely reject what erodes our faith, and firmly follow what faith requires. In his name we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Acts 6:1–9, 7:51–60

Psalm 23

Second Lesson: 1 Peter 2:19–25

Gospel: John 10:1–10

Opening Hymn: “All People That on Earth Do Dwell” (LBW 245)




 


Sermon:  May 3, 2020

“Follow Jesus”

(John 10:4)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     “I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety” – writes William Shakespeare in his play, King Henry V (1599) (III.ii.12–13). And Martin Luther would agree that this drive for safety grips us. But he would also say that it is idolatrous. According to him, the most common idols on earth are money and property because we think they make us “secure, happy [and] fearless” – as if we were “sitting in the midst of paradise” (The Book of Concord, ed. T. Tappert, 1959, p. 365). But mind you, this is haywire! Remember Luther says this is idolatrous – rather than furthering self-protection. No, it’s instead like laboring after food which perishes – something the Lord Jesus condemns in no uncertain terms (John 6:27 – also Colossians 3:2).

     But that leaves most American Christians cold. They dwell instead on Jesus being our Good Shepherd who keeps us safe from raging wolves (John 10:11–15). What we forget in this, however, is that he also sends us out among wolves without any protection – telling us not to fear death, but only roasting in hell forever (Matthew 10:16, 28, 25:46). Thrown to the wolves, the sheep are tortured, mocked, scourged, stoned and “sawn in two” (Hebrews 11:35–37). How ghastly! Does that then leave us with a jumbled mess? or do we have a coherent message here that saves us? Do we have a light guiding us (Psalm 119:105), or a “Bible-Booble-Babel” book confusing us, as Luther jeered (LW 40:50)?

     Well, for Luther there is no question that this message clearly does save us. Remember that he was a dialectician (Luther’s Works 3:191–92, 24:311, 33:287, 41:139, 48:57) – meaning, that he could hold opposing points of view together in a single, enduring call to action. “Faith [must] be preached against works,” he inveighed, “even if works cannot be left out afterwards” (LW 67:76). That’s a dialectical claim because it combines opposites – being against works and also for them in one statement. Or again he says that Christians “should be dead – and yet we ought to live, or else we are not Christians” (LW 77:104). And Luther doesn’t make these up. They're not rank contradictions. No, he gets these rich, complex claims from his beloved Apostle Paul, who could say that Christians were “nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:10). So Luther and Paul are two peas in a pod – or, two dialecticians in one, true church.

     And the same holds true for our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. He both protects us and doesn’t. Nothing can snatch us from his arms, and yet in this world we’ll have tribulations (John 10:28, 16:33). So which is it? It’s both. First, there is the trouble. Don’t be surprised by the fiery ordeal; and you must suffer with Jesus (1 Peter 4:12, 13). People will hate you (John 15:18–19). You won’t be in charge (1 Corinthians 2:8). But then there is also his help in bearing our burdens and giving us rest (Matthew 11:28–30). And there is that peace which passes all understanding (Philippines 4:7).

     This is how that double message goes. Our Good Shepherd protects us by speaking to us – my sheep hear my voice (John 10:4). We listen to him and everything is put into perspective. All things hold together (Colossians 1:17) – even when there are tribulations on earth. These words are powerful and they outlive everything else on earth (1 Peter 1:25). So listen to them: Hate your life in this world in order to save it for heaven. Love others the way Jesus did. You are not part of this world – so in it you’ll have tribulations. Forgive some; condemn others. Don’t believe in Jesus because you have visual proofs for what he said and did (John 12:25, 13:34, 15:19, 16:33, 20:23, 20:29). These biting words cannot be adjusted or broken (John 10:35). We must “neither annul nor abrogate one single letter” in any of them – and that’s because everything depends on them (LW 40:334, 214).

     Now the only way for us to do that is to be carried away by them. And the only way that this can happen is if Jesus himself becomes the Word (John 1:14). And that he does, by being the Lamb of God who dies to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). In that dying he draws us to himself and chooses us for himself (John 12:32, 15:16). We have nothing to do with it – he makes us his own on his own (Philippians 3:12). And so when he dies for us, he says that “it is finished” (John 19:30). God’s wrath is overcome and grace and truth are given to us (John 3:36, 1:17, 14:6) – even though to begin with that wrath, along with repentance, “force us to run after and cry out for grace” (LW 78:94). For Luther it all amounts to this: “Be it with me as it may,” I still have a “gracious and merciful Lord” and Shepherd, which is “the comfort of my heart” (LW 12:159). And so we “listen to no one else’s teaching” (LW 77:388)! For only Jesus has the “words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Only in him is there salvation (Acts 4:12). So Christ guards our place in heaven for us, even though on earth he doesn't guard us and keep us safe from all harm (1 Peter 1:6). For indeed Christian peace is only “a spiritual peace” (LW 68:259).

     So get the word out! Feed the sheep (John 21:17). But Jesus has no plan on how we should do that. So in walks Luther with his plan. First he says that we should expect rejection. “When the people hear that Christ wants to direct them away from… earth to heaven,” he writes, they “desert” him. “In fact, the entire world seeks nothing but money and goods.” But be not dismayed, he goes on to say, in the second part of his plan. Christ utters these words “solely for the sake of a few pious people,… whose yearnings transcend bread and beer.” So hope springs eternal! Not everyone is deaf. Some few hunger for more than bread and beer – they hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6). But what about the teeming billions who don’t give a hoot? This takes us to the last, foreboding part of his plan. “Let the others go where they please – who cares?” (LW 23:8–9). How damning – but it is Biblical (Romans 1:24, 1 John 5:12). So what a broad and resounding plan it is after all! Pray therefore that God will bless you by way of it, as he helps you to struggle to keep it, and through it, follow your Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Hymn of the Day:  “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” (LBW 456)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Paul Sponheim

Lesa Christensen

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Gretchen Hoyum

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

Will Forrester

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused, harassed, and unemployed.

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:  “Praise the Lord, Rise Up Rejoicing” (LBW 196)




 



 

 

“Disagreeing with the theologian of the cross, [the theologian of glory] defines the treasury of Christ as the removing and remitting of punishments, things which are most evil and worthy of hate. In opposition to this, the theologian of the cross defines the treasury of Christ as impositions and obligations of punishments, things which are best and most worthy of love.”

 

[Martin Luther, “Explanation of the 95 Theses” (1518)

Luther’s Works 31:227.]

 

“As a rule, [our] troubles are punishments for sin. In the godly they have another and better purpose, that is, to exercise them so that in their temptations they may learn to seek God’s help and to acknowledge the unbelief in their hearts.”

 

[The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical

Lutheran Church, 1580, ed. T. Tappert, 1959, p. 206.]

 






 

 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

April 26, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover


[We are to teach everyone] that they may learn to trust God, to believe in him, to fear him, and to set their whole hope upon him; to honor his name and never curse or swear; to mortify themselves by praying, fasting, watching [for the world to end], working [in their daily tasks]; to go to church, wait on the word of God, and observe the sabbath. [God inspires you so that those whom you teach] may learn to despise temporal things, to bear misfortune without complaint, and neither fear death nor love this life.

 

 [Martin Luther, Treatise on Good Works (1520),

Luther’s Works 44:85.]




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

April 26, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Almighty God, we have celebrated with joy the festival of our Lord’s resurrection. Graciously fill us with your power so that we may bear witness throughout the world to your truth and love revealed to us in the Lord Jesus Christ. In his name we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Acts 2:14, 36–47

Psalm 16

Second Lesson: 1 Peter 1:17–21

Gospel: Luke 24:13–35

Opening Hymn: “Awake, My Heart, with Gladness” (LBW 129)




 


Sermon:  April 26, 2020

“Believe Quickly”

(Luke 24:25)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Apparently we can’t put off Christianity until some later, more convenient time. Apparently we need to take care of it now. For “now is the day of salvation!” (2 Corinthians 6:2). So don’t be “slow of heart to believe” (Luke 24:25). You need to be “rich toward God” right now, because tonight your soul might be required of you (Luke 12:20–21). That’s why Christ wants you to believe in him, follow him and love him right now. You could die today! – for you’re but “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). So Jesus can’t wait – and neither should we. Believe in him right now (John 14:1).

     But there is a problem. There are so many competing claims on us circulating endlessly around us all (Galatians 1:9, 2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 4:1). So for us to decide which way we’ll go, we’d need to sift through tons of evidence and contradictory truth claims. And that can’t be rushed. So we’re caught in a dilemma. Jesus says now, and we say hold on to your horses. Has King Agrippa, then, gripped us when he disagreed with Saint Paul’s similar insistence long ago saying, “In a short time you think to make me a Christian”? (Acts 26:28).

     Well, not if Martin Luther has his way. For him faith wasn’t the end of an argument but a leap into uncertainty. Now it’s just that leap that can break the stalemate of our endless investigations! Luther therefore didn’t believe you had to be sure before you believed – adjudicating successfully all of the conflicting religious doctrines throughout the entire world. No, that’s because faith is a leap, Luther argued, “from the safe shore of life into the abyss without seeing or feeling a sure footing under us.” Wow! In that leap all we have to hold onto is “God’s supporting and saving hand” (Luther’s Works 19:66).

     So don’t be afraid and try to stay neutral, until you know more. Know the truth that Christ and his teachings are all that you need – indeed they are the “one thing needful” (Luke 10:42) – unum est necessarium, in the old Latin Bible. That is because it was Christ alone who offered up his life as a sacrifice for sin to God the Father (Luke 24:46, Hebrews 9:14, Ephesians 5:2). And so Luther called this sacrifice “the masterpiece” of Christ’s death. For even though, as sinful creatures, we “deserve everlasting death and God’s wrath,” Luther also knew that “these three words – for your sins,” make all the difference (LW 56:136–37). Unum est necessarium! That’s the masterpiece!

     So may God give us hearts to grasp these three words. Let us not worry about understanding everything before we grasp for them. Let us with Luther leap ahead and cling to them. Don’t be distracted by the things on earth (Colossians 3:2). Don’t be misled into thinking that “making a heavenly home” is not enough, but that we also need to strive to make our “home here heavenly” (“Joseph Lowery, Civil Rights Leader, Confidant of King,” The Seattle Times, March 29, 2020). Only believe now that Christ died for your sins and that a place has been prepared for you in heaven.

     But don’t hide away these words of salvation. Tell everyone who cares to listen to you (1 Peter 3:15) about them (Acts 5:32). Do this knowing that “the greatest… work of faith” is witnessing to others about Jesus – for without that outreach your faith becomes “worthless” (LW 79:243). Do this in order to fulfill the Great Commission to go and makes disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). But do that along with Matthew 23:15 – the warning that hypocrites “traverse sea and land” to make a single believer and when they do “you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.” How bracing! No wonder this linkage is denigrated throughout the church today.

     But Martin Luther didn’t do that! No, he adopted it as a challenge to be sure to promulgate the “fear of God and… true faith in the Messiah,” and not to leave out following the Ten Commandments, as well as making sure we stay away from all “temporal honor” in our missionary work (LW 68:181–82). Without these essential elements our witnessing is phony and all subsequent conversions suspect. But American church history shows that it is just these elements that are repeatedly left out in the name of winning as many souls as possible for the Lord. We see it in the spread of revivalism, where “instead of the people being lifted up to the level of the Communion, it was brought down to the level of the people” (Leigh E. Schmidt, Holy Fairs: Scotland and the Making of American Revivalism, 2001, p. 31). American missionary movements also absorbed “successful petty capitalism and… the unique individualism of American voluntary religion” (George M. Thomas, Revivalism and Cultural Change: Christianity, Nation Building, and the Market in the Nineteenth-Century United States, 1989, p. 61). Furthermore these movements joined hands with the “entertainment of classical Hollywood,” turning witnessing into entertainment (Thekla E. Joiner, Sin in the City: Chicago and Revivalism 1880–1920, 2007, p. 224).

     So beware – but do not lose your spirit. Witness to Christ without caving in to our societal values (John 15:18–19, James 4:4, 1 John 2:15). Help your friends and neighbors see the urgency of faith in Christ. And then, pray that they join in with us, and – before we drop dead – believe quickly. Amen.

Hymn of the Day:  “Hallelujah! Jesus Lives!” (LBW 147)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Paul Sponheim

Lesa Christensen

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Gretchen Hoyum

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

Those who died in the shooting in Nova Scotia.

Those who died in the tornadoes in the American South.

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:  “Christ the Lord is Risen Today; Alleluia!” (LBW 128)


 

 

Here is an unusual witness to Christ. It's in the new Netflix series, Pandemic – How to Prevent an Outbreak (2019), and is well worth watching. At the center of this series is the hopeful work being done by scientists, Jake Glanville and Sarah Ives, and their team, at Distributed Bio, on a universal flu vaccine. What a boon that would be if and when it is discovered, produced, and made available for all! But what I liked most about this documentary was a small part in it (although Toby Reese found it to be disruptive – World Socialist Web Site, April 1, 2020). And it has to do with Dr. Holly Goracke fighting the flu in a small town hospital in Oklahoma. In the course of explaining her heavy work load (72 hour shifts), as the only physician in town, we also learn that she is a Christian. The presentation of her faith is one of the strongest I’ve seen in any recent film – even though her Evangelical bent in worship and prayer doesn’t match my theology. This series also features doctors who are Muslims and Hindus. But regarding Dr. Goracke, there is a strong scene toward the beginning of the series, where she’s reading James 1:2–4 to her husband, which is as stirring as it is brief. And the other scene, that I especially liked, is toward the end, where she is talking to her unbelieving adult daughter about heaven and hell. Again, it is brief but truly remarkable. I thank God for Dr. Goracke's witness in this new Netflix series.           

– Pastor Marshall






 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

April 19, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover

 

It is a false faith where there is nothing but words in the mouth and yet doubt reigns in the heart…. Historical faith [is what] all the wicked have – who must doubt whether they are [children of God]…. Doubt is born in me by nature…. I am more capable of doubting than I would like!... By nature we are inclined to doubt, since nature… teaches us fornication as well.

 

 [Martin Luther, Sermon on Colossians 1:3–14 (1545),

Luther’s Works 58:338.]

 


 

Anathema be the Christian who is not certain and does not grasp what is prescribed for him!... Permit us to be assertors, to be devoted to assertions and delight in them…. The Holy Spirit is no skeptic, and it is not doubts or mere opinions that he has written on our hearts, but assertions more sure and certain than life itself and all experience.

 

 [Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will (1525),

Luther’s Works 33:23, 24.]

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

April 19, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Almighty God, we have celebrated with joy the festival of our Lord’s resurrection. Graciously bring us to the true font of wisdom. Shed light on the darkness of our minds, in which we were born, the twofold beam of your light and love, to dispel our ignorance and doubts. Make us keen to understand, quick to learn, able to remember. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Acts 2:14, 22–32

Psalm 105:1–7

Second Lesson: 1 Peter 1:3–9

Gospel: John 20:19–31

 

Opening Hymn: Awake, My Heart, with Gladness” (LBW 129)




 


Sermon:  April 19, 2020

“Don't Doubt”

(John 20:27)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Every Easter our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus hits a solid stone wall of fear and doubt. This is the last thing we would expect – filled with the hope of praising God continually for days and weeks ahead because of the grace and mercy he “lavished” on us at Easter (Ephesians 1:8). But not so.

     Right at the beginning of Easter, the disciples are hiding for the fear of the Jewish leaders (John 20:19). This happened before – and the power of the resurrection did nothing to stop it from happening again. Because Jesus healed the sick and lame, he was persecuted (John 4:16). And because he raised Lazarus from the dead, he was hounded all the more (John 11:57). The disciples feared that the rulers of their day would now come after them – once Jesus had been taken out.

     And this fear did more than frighten them – it also made them doubt. They felt insecure under the mounting assaults – and so their hands drooped and their knees wobbled (Hebrews 12:12). They were caving in. The boldness and self-confidence that is supposed to mark our Christian convictions (Acts 4:13, 29, 31, 9:27, 29, 13:46, 14:3, 18:26, 19:8), was slipping away. Against this Jesus earlier said – anticipating the coming uncertainty – not to doubt (Matthew 21:21). And right at Easter he says the same – don’t doubt but believe (John 20:27). Against the assaults we are not supposed to back–off and hide in fear, but rather push forward. We are even to do more than that – we are to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). So if you doubt, don’t accept it as something okay, but fight against it (LW 26:379). Luther did that, and so should we. He pondered this struggle against our doubts and concluded that we wrongfully want “perception and certitude as a condition for faith,” when actually grace “wants faith prior to perception.” Only when the sequence is corrected, can faith be itself and happily step out “into the darkness and follow nothing but the word and the Scriptures” (Luther’s Works 52:196). That Danish follower of Luther, hundreds of years later, rightly called this faith a “rashly risked venture” (Søren Kierkegaard, Journals, ed. Hongs, §2:1438).

     But what brings this correction about – that doubt may be stricken? Can we turn things around and straighten out the sequence from faith to certainty – as it should be? Nothing says we can. Faith is a gift (Romans 3:24) and not something that we manufacture for ourselves. The trust at the heart of faith eludes us. Why we can’t even, in this regard, count up to one “without first cutting off” nine of our fingers (Bill Knott, I Am Flying Into Myself: Selected Poems 1960–2014, 2017, p. 98). But that does not leave us sitting in a corner dazed and forlorn. No, there is another word for us – Repent and turn to God (Acts 3:19). Feel ashamed for the dishonor your disobedience of God has heaped upon him. “Weep bitterly” – if you must (Matthew 26:75).  And know all along with Luther – that you are wrong and God is right (LW 51:318). That self-indictment is at the heart of repentance. And it’s precisely what the resurrected Christ calls for (Luke 24:47).

     That is because of what it produces – what comes from it. It leads to being freed from the very shame that propelled it forward in the first place (1 Peter 2:6). Shame gives way to love and peace. That’s because it now has become clear – because of the refreshment that repentance brings (Acts 3:19) – that when our hearts condemn us, God still loves us because he is greater than that condemning voice in our hearts (1 John 3:20). At that point faith starts emerging within us as the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). And that is an “oscillation” for sure (Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, 3 vols, 1951–63, 3:42). It’s never finished this side of the grave. It dialectically shifts endlessly back and forth between conviction, and seeing nothing; being assured, and having nothing. So Luther, unlike our host of American evangelists down through the centuries, knew Christians repent all of the time and are converted over and over again – quottidie converti, in the Latin (LW 31:25, 17:117). This is far from “I once was lost, but now am found” (Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978, hymn 448) – but still goes a long way in explaining why Lutheranism isn’t American (David A. Gustafson, Lutherans in Crisis, 1993). Once we start believing we constantly are returning to Jesus saying – increase my faith (Luke 17:5).

     We keep returning to the source of our faith in order to keep it going. That’s because “Christ has been given to us,” Luther argues, “in order that we should take from Him, rely on Him, and believe that all He has is ours, that all He can do has been done for our benefit” (LW 30:59). Why would we want to stay away from such a one and instead rely on ourselves? – as in Cameron Esposito’s Save Yourself (2020). If we did, our mercurial being would drain the conviction of faith from it. What a disaster that would be since uncertainty is “unbelief,” which cannot make us “alive,” but instead leaves us “stranded” with nothing but a “monster” on our hands (LW 40:240, 58:211, 67:419, 26:387). How ghastly! But Jesus is far better. And that remains true even if only a few care about it. Indeed, we “must not be troubled and frightened by [the fact] that no one wants the [Gospel] [Romans 3:11]…. Therefore we should not measure the Gospel,” Luther concludes, “according to how many hear it, but according to the small group who comprehend it” (LW 77:72–73).

     So let our two or three (Matthew 18:20) gather here today with Christ, who died for us to save us from the wrath of God (Hebrews 2:14, John 3:36). Let us also exalt the crucified one who is now risen that we might also live with him when our days on earth are done (2 Corinthians 4:14). Let us rejoice in Christ who says to us today – “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19).

     Filled with this assurance may we look to the days ahead as times to “remember that marvel God has done” (Psalm 105:5), by saving sinners who repent and believe in Jesus. May we labor during these days of Easter to thank God sufficiently for all he has done for us and given to us (LW 51:260) – including a spirit to fight against uncertainty – that we may not doubt. Amen.

Hymn of the Day: “Thine Is the Glory” (LBW 145)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Olin & Noreen Martin

Gretchen Hoyum

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

Doreen Phillips

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:     Savior, Again to Your Dear Name” (LBW 262)


 


 

 

Closed Down

by Pastor Marshall

 

For the first time in our 100 year history, our church was closed on Easter by government order, due to the coronavirus health threat. Some pastors, however, dismissed the threat, like Pastor Ronnie Hampton, from New Vision Community Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. Before dying of the virus, he argued that the virus was a government ploy to get mind-altering microchips inserted into all of us through a vaccine (Matthew Chapman, “Pastor Dies from COVID-19 – After Claiming Coronavirus Was a ‘Mark of the Beast’ Conspiracy,” RawStory, online, March 27, 2020). Other pastors have defied the stay-at-home order altogether. Pastor Tony Spell of the Life Tabernacle Church, outside of Baton Rouge, said in church on Easter, that “God will shield us from all harm and sickness. We are not afraid. We call on God to stand against the Antichrist creeping into America’s borders…. My hope is not in a vaccine for a virus, but all my hope is in Jesus.” Pastor John Greiner from Houston added that “we can’t really make a difference in our world just online” (Zeeshan Aleen, “Why Some Churches are Holding In-Person Easter Services in Defiance of Federal Guidelines,” Vox, online, April 12, 2020; and “Amid Pandemic, Christians Mark Easter Like No Other,” The Seattle Times, April 13, 2020). But these pastors are wrong – and so I haven’t joined their protest. Bishop Gerald O. Glenn, pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Chesterfield, Virginia, found this out the hard way by defying the stay-at-home orders, contracting the virus, and then also dying (Rebekah Riess, “Bishop Who Said ‘God is Larger Than’ Covid-19 Has Died From the Disease,” CNN, April 14, 2020). So first these pastors are wrong because Jesus forbade reckless endangerment. We are not to throw ourselves into harm’s way so that God can rescue us. Jesus exposed that as the devil’s ploy (Matthew 4:7). Martin Luther also opposed this sort of recklessness (Luther’s Works 43:132–33). And I have argued against it too in “Taking-Up Snakes in Worship,” The Bride of Christ 20 (November 1996). And second, these defiant pastors are wrong because no American is guaranteed absolute religious freedom without any qualifications whatsoever. That’s not what our laws and constitution say. So they’re misinformed. Our freedom to worship as we choose can instead be suspended in times of health crises and other national calamities. Back in 1905 the US Supreme Court ruled that constitutional rights may be reasonably restricted “as the safety of the general public demand” (Jacobson v. Massachusetts). And in 1944 the Court upheld this ruling concluding that “the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community… to communicable disease” (Prince v. Massachusetts). That’s our law, and because it agrees with Matthew 4:7, we are not in a position to defy it, as in Acts 5:29, but must rather comply with it, as in Romans 13:2. So nothing’s awry here legally or theologically. Conceding this adjustment to our religious freedom during this coronavirus crisis, does not erode our necessary “religious self-confidence” because this recent, historic restriction is rooted in Matthew 4:7 and the Christian prohibition against reckless endangerment (Steven Waldman, Sacred Liberty: America’s Long, Bloody, and Ongoing Struggle for Religious Freedom, 2019, p. 314).





 

 





Online Easter Liturgy

April 12, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover

 

 

The Resurrection

of Our Lord

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

April 12, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

O Lord God, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, and by his glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death. Make us die every day to sin, so that we may live with him forever in the joy of the resurrection. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Acts 10:34–43

Psalm 118:1–2, 15–24

Second Lesson: Colossians 3:1–4

Gospel: Matthew 28:1–10 

Opening Hymn: Jesus Christ is Risen Today” (LBW 151)




 


Sermon:  April 12, 2020

“Have Fear and Joy”

(Matthew 28:8)  

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

There is a surprise on Easter that goes beyond the jolt from the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Beyond that dumbfounding and shocking surprise is the fear that was mingled in with the joy in finding the empty tomb and hearing that Jesus was raised from the dead. Fear! Unbelievable, isn’t it? The women who discovered the empty tomb had joy for sure – but mixed in with it was also fear. Why the fear? Awash in the good news that death no longer has dominion over us (Romans 6:9) – why was there any fear at all? What was to be feared amidst the joy of Easter?

     Well, we’re not told. Nothing is said about it. It just sits there on the page staring at us. The women were also afraid, it says. That's it. Can we then piece together why that was? Does fear ever follow upon good news elsewhere in the Bible? Might we find help there to understand what’s going on at the first Easter?

     Yes, at the Transfiguration we see the same thing happening. God appears to the disciples after Jesus is gloriously transfigured and tells them to listen to him. But the disciples fall to the ground in fear (Matthew 17:5–7). The fear looks like it’s connected to that command and that they wouldn’t listen to, and follow, the Lord as commanded by God. Peter had failed a little earlier and Jesus told him that his failure put him in league with the devil (Matthew 16:22–23). That’s startling to say the least. Not much leeway there. So that sort of failure is troubling because God is severe to those who disobey him (Romans 11:22).  The linkage between glory and our response to it holds out the possibility of fear – if our response isn’t one of robust obedience (Matthew 22:37).

     Martin Luther would agree. Each time we’re confronted with the glory of God we “are, have been, or can be” like the godless. Consequently we will be “struck down” and “cast as a whip into the fire” (Luther’s Works 9:103). That’s definitely foreboding. Would that no negative outcome were ever possible and that we would remain under grace and divine protection regardless of the quality of our response. But not so. God’s glory is always inseparably tied into to our response to it. God’s glory never carries us away into glory no matter what we do. So because what we do matters (John 3:36, Romans 8:17), we worry and are afraid.

     So too those women long ago at the first Easter. Would they live up to Easter? Would they honor the risen Christ as they should? Or would they abandon him after Easter as the disciples had done when he was on his way to the cross a few days before Easter (Matthew 26:56)? Would they take the grace of God in vain? (2 Corinthians 6:1). It doesn’t look good. So they are rightly afraid. Their makeup – as with all of us – is but “earthen,” or of poor quality – fictilibus, as the old Latin Bible translates it (2 Corinthians 4:7). That leads inexorably into perversion and corruption (Philippians 2:15). We end up not being able to do the good we should do, but only the evil we know we aren’t supposed to do (Romans 7:19). What a shameful state of affairs! What a burden of shame. So much for our bright and bushy Easter parade!

     But even though there is this fear of failure mixed into Easter, joy nevertheless is still around. The women were also joyous – just not only joyous. How can that be? Doesn’t the fear wipe out all of the joy? What place is left for joy when there is this debilitating fear afoot? Well, joy finds its home in faith – whoever believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16). But can I believe that when I’m afraid? Acts 14:22 thinks you can – and only then! For fear doesn’t repel faith – it’s actually the fertile ground in which it grows up. Desperation breeds faith in Christ – the philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, said (1889–1951) (Culture and Value, Revised edition, 1998, p. 52). And Luther thought turmoil drives us to Christ – agitatur ad Christum (LW 16:232).  So we don’t have to wait for good days to believe in Jesus. They might even drive us away from him (Matthew 13:22; LW 45:347; and Paul Weiss, The God We Seek, 1964, p. 218).

     And faith is rooted in the Word. Luther thought we should “fix deep in our heart” Romans 4:25 – that “Christ was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” What Luther liked so much in this verse were the possessive bits – “our, our.” So he argued that “it is not enough for us to know that Christ rose.” No, you must also “go further and learn to take the benefit and fruit of the resurrection to heart and to cling to it so that it is yours.” That’s because, as Luther further says, it “applies to you so that you may rise in Christ and Christ in you. Otherwise it is all waste.” Waste?! Wow, we better then not forget that the “resurrection took place for our benefit” (LW 56:135–36)! So if we only long for this life, without any promise of the life to come after we die, we are most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19; Charles Hartshorne, A Natural Theology for Our Time, 1967, p. 55). Hearing this moves us. It changes everything (Romans 10:17). Shocking, isn’t it? – that so little can do so much!

     So get out the good news of Easter – that because Jesus lives we shall also live (John 14:19). Be witnesses – bringing up Easter to all who want to know about the hope that is in you (Acts 5:32, 1 Peter 3:15). And don’t be sheepish about it. Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55) – that Danish Luther (R. F. Marshall, Kierkegaard in the Pulpit, 2016, p. 286) – thought faith was “the rashly risked venture” (Journals, ed. Hongs, §2:1438). So go for it! Luther said to “boldly press forward like drunken men” (LW 20:295)! Given Acts 2:15, there might well be something to that. Nevertheless, don’t let fear get the better of you. Remember the first Easter – and live in fear to be sure, but not to the exclusion of joy. Amen.

 

 

Hymn of the Day: Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands” (LBW 134)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young

Ana Korsmo  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Olin & Noreen Martin

Gretchen Hoyum

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 

Died

Britt Marie Hansson



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:     Now All the Vault of Heaven Resound” (LBW 143)


 


 

Fending Off God’s Wrath

 

 

[My] priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the common…. Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath.

 

(Ezekiel 22:26, 31)

 

In our churches we stand like blockheads. We do not know what to say or what to bewail. The beads rattle, the pages rustle, and the mouth mumbles. And that is all there is to it…. Open up your eyes and look into your own life and into the life of all Christendom, particularly that of the spiritual estate. You will find how low faith, hope, love, obedience, chastity, and all virtues are, while all manner of heinous vice reigns supreme. You will find what a lack there is of good preachers [and] how only knaves… rule. If you do this you will see that there is need every hour, everywhere, and without ceasing to pray with tears of blood to avert the terrible wrath of God…. There has never been a greater need of praying… until the end of the world. [And] do not let yourself be led astray by your… good works…. There is not a Christian streak in you however pious you may be…. With these words God shows how he wants us to withstand him and turn away his anger [and] fend [him] off.

 

(Luther’s Works 44:68–69)

 







 




Online Good Friday Liturgy

April 10, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover

 

 

Jesus cried out with a

loud voice [voce magna],

“My God, my God,

why have you forsaken me?”

 

(Matthew 27:46)

 

Good Friday

 




Online Abbreviated Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

April 9, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for our Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins – that we might be saved from your wrath, walk in newness of life, and dwell in heaven forever. Trusting in his mercy, in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Isaiah 52:13–53:12

Psalm 22:1–23

Second Lesson: Hebrews 4:14–16, 5:7–9

Gospel: John 18:1–19: 42

Opening Hymn: “Go to Dark Gethsemane” (LBW 109)




 



Sermon:  April 10, 2020

“Don't Miss the Noise”

(Matthew 27:46)  

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

What’s all of the racket about on Good Friday? Do you hear the noise at the end of the crucifixion of Jesus? Be sure not to miss it even if where you are right now is all calm, quiet, and comfortable.

     Don’t forget that earthquake – when “the earth shook, and the rocks were split” (Matthew 27:51). Did you hear the great banging, cracking and rumbling going on? Maybe there was even some thunder and lightning with the attending noonday darkness (Mark 15:33, Luke 23:45). And there’s more. We even hear Jesus roaring out with a loud voice over the clamor (Matthew 27:46, 50, Mark 15:34, 37, Luke 23:46). He cries out to God, “Why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34). He also says, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). And he adds, “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).

     All this noise and crying out is for bringing the crucifixion into focus. So dwelling on earlier words of Jesus from the cross would be the wrong way to go. Just focus on the last few words. Don’t get caught up in the sentimentality of Jesus asking John to take care of his mother (Jon Meacham, The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross, New York: Random House, 2020, p. 59). Martin Luther knew about this dead end and vilified it. He argued that when Jesus gave his mother away he wasn’t looking out for her after he was gone as you might reasonably suppose. He instead was demoting her by removing her from the scene of redemption. That’s because redemption was his work alone – something that he had to do all by himself in his suffering and dying on the cross (Luther’s Works 69:262). Unfortunately many don’t see that and still believe that Mary has to help Jesus save us from our sins [Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994, 1999) §§ 494, 964, 969, 1370, 1477, 2618, and The Devotion of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1239), The Fatima Center – noting the 5th Sorrow on the need for two sacrifices at the Cross: one from Jesus and the other from Mary].

     That’s why we need the crashing and banging. All that noise brings the crucifixion into its proper focus. What we then see is that Jesus was forsaken by God on the cross. And why was that? Because God hated what Jesus had become (Leviticus 26:30, Psalms 5:5, 11:5, 95:10, Proverbs 6:16, Jeremiah 12:8, Hosea 9:15) – the pin cushion for all of the sins of the world (1 John 2:2, 1 Peter 2:24). That’s why he cries out about being forsaken – because he is speaking for all sinners being forsaken by God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, §603). And where does that lead? Because God wants to kill sinners (Isaiah 13:19, Hosea 9:16) – he now must kill Jesus for being the worst of them all. And so we have Jesus on the cross – “putting away sin by the sacrifice of himself” – as the definite plan of God (Hebrews 9:26, Acts 2:23). No victim here; no accident either (John 10:18 – contra “At the Lamb’s High Feast,” verse 2, Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978, Hymn 210; and Gerhard O. Forde, Theology is for Proclamation, 1990, pp. 127–29).

     But isn’t that the most preposterous story you’ve ever heard? Why doesn’t God just cut sinners some slack and leave it at that? – moving on to making this world a better place for us all? Because first a payment has to be made – Gott mit Christum bezahlen, as Luther puts it – that is, “Pay God with Christ” (Luther’s Works 30:12). This infuriates those looking for a simpler, loving God who doesn’t have to be bought off as they sarcastically say. They don’t want to hear that a ransom has to be paid before God can forgive sinners and before his wrath can be appeased and he can love us – because of the “profound idea [that] it is not simple for God to forgive sins” (Paul Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, ed. Carl E. Braaten, 1968, p. 166).

     Martin Luther would never join those naysayers. He instead celebrates this sacred sacrifice, this mediating ransom. He first sets the stage by arguing that Christ is the mediator not of one but of “two who were in the utmost disagreement” (LW 26:325). So both God and all people altogether have to be reconciled to one another. Not just us, but God too. For one can’t cover both. And neither can stand in for the other. Luther further says that this ransom, and the reconciliation that it brings, is needed because “God cannot and will not look kindly on sin, but His wrath remains over sin eternally and irrevocably.” Nothing can reverse that wrath. It stands. It’s eternal and so we have no hope for recovery and a restored relationship with God because he doesn’t want us. His wrath prevails. “For this reason,” Luther continues, “a payment must take place which would make restitution for sin, take God’s wrath upon itself, make satisfaction, and pay, and thus take away sin and cancel sin.” If that wrath isn’t lifted from God, then all we’re getting from him are the “tortures” of hell that last forever (Revelation 9:5). God has to be satisfied that a sufficient punishment has been paid if we are going to get off the hook. And we can do nothing to help. So when we look to God all we get is wrath. For “to this day there has been no other remedy nor help than this,” Luther argues, “that God’s eternal Son thus stepped into our need and misery, Himself became a man, and took such dread, eternal wrath on Himself, and for it offered [Himself] as an offering and payment for sin.” And that settled it. Without it we would still be looking divine wrath squarely in the face. But not anymore. That’s because Jesus took it away by painfully being struck by it himself, thereby draining it from God – and making room for love. But don’t think this attack on Jesus was fun for God. No, it was “costly to God,” Luther notes, “because it is the blood of His own dear Son, who is with him in one divinity and majesty.” So to strike Jesus was to strike himself – and so his “heart recoils within” him (Hosea 11:8). This is what it takes to change God into a lover of sinners. But it works – and God is finally “reconciled with us, takes us into His grace, and forgives sin.” But this massive display of divine tectonics falls flat without faith in Jesus. And so Luther concludes that we “benefit only from this precious payment… if we hold to it with firm faith” (LW 57:283).

     So believe in Jesus – and turn from being enemies of the cross (Philippians 3:18) into being sweetly “disposed toward God” (LW 44:38). We believe that Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross to his Father in heaven to move him to mercy (LW 51:277). That’s why the sacrifice was made to God (Luke 23:46, Ephesians 5:2, Hebrews 9:14). And that’s what makes it sure and finished (John 19:30). No wonder Jesus makes so much noise. No wonder that he cries out with such “a loud shout like a most courageous giant,” since he was entering upon his “death with joy” because of the salvation it was bestowing on the world (LW 25:312). Therefore the cross “deserves to be praised to the utmost and to have every honor given to it” (LW 13:319). And so on this Good Friday we do just that.

     Added to our praise, let us also work for God – knowing that our good deeds are worth as much as praying twice (LW 43:193). So help out as much as you can to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Crazy things are happening these days in America and we need cooler heads to prevail. The poor mayor of Baltimore had to “beg residents to stop shooting each other so hospital beds could be used for coronavirus patients” (CBS 13 WJZ, March 18, 2020). And remember Luther during the plagues of his day. He longed to visit the dying, and yet had to follow the ban against “distributing the sacraments to the sick” [Martin Brecht, Martin Luther, 3 vols (1985–1993) 3:254; Erik A. Heinrichs, Plague, Print, and the Reformation: The German Reform of Healing 1473–1573, 2018, p. 138]. So separate yourself from others as much as you can. And also support research into the spread of microbes – knowing that when diseases are stopped in poor countries, the increased population creates terrible problems if the healing is “not paired with broader gains in economic development, governance, education, and infrastructure” (Thomas J. Bollyky, Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways, 2018, p. 177). So stay alert to these and other projects – and do what you can to help out. Pray for God’s help to make a difference. And when you struggle to do this, don’t forget to rejoice in the noise at the end of the crucifixion – which is all that can save us for all of eternity. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “Ah, Holy Jesus” (LBW 123)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young

Ana Korsmo  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Olin & Noreen Martin

Gretchen Hoyum

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 

Died

Britt Marie Hansson



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:     “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (LBW 117)


 

 

 

 

God’s Sales Tax

Sickness According to the Bible

 

By Pastor Marshall

 

In the Bible God has power over sickness and disease. So he can help us when we can’t get better on our own. He makes legs work again, overcomes blindness and fevers, cures epilepsy, reverses mental illness, fixes arms, stops hemorrhaging, restores vocal cords, clears up deadly skin diseases, and even brings the dead back to life. But not always. He can also make things worse. He does that – most of the time – to punish us with his “four sore acts of judgment” – war, famine, wild beasts, and disease (Ezekiel 14:21). He sends them against us when we disobey him (Leviticus 26:14–39). Believing this, we can head it all off by repenting when we foul up. Then we aren’t punished for what we have done that is wrong (Luke 13:5). But he also refrains from healing us to test us and strengthen us – out of love for us (Revelation 3:19). When this happens, we are supposed to rejoice in our sufferings – because we learn patience and acquire endurance, character, and hope by that very suffering (Romans 5:3–5). Now that’s a tough one! Why not strengthen us without all the suffering? It can’t be done (Luther’s Works 7:256, 280) – because suffering is needed to make us better. We need to suffer because our nature resists God (Romans 11:24, John 3:19, Romans 3:11) – and so we have to be forced or coerced in the right direction (Luke 16:16, Acts 9:3–4, 14:22). What shall we make of this contrariness? Martin Luther called it a sales tax that we have to pay for the massive purchase God made to save us from our sins in the crucifixion of his only son, Jesus. God is “a good merchant and a gracious tradesman,” Luther argues, “who sells us life for death, righteousness for sin, and lays a momentary sickness or two upon us by way of interest and as a token [or tax] that he sells more reasonably and borrows at more favorable rates than… the tradesmen on earth. Well, then, our Lord Jesus Christ,” Luther concludes, “is the valiant man who fights for us, conquers for us, triumphs for us. He is and must be the man, and we must be with him and in him. There is no other way, no matter how much the gates of hell rage” (Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, ed. T. Tappert, 1965, p. 39). So our sufferings from disease, for instance, are but a drop when compared to the “ocean of God’s benefits on which we should expatiate with divine rhetoric” (LW 3:343). So why make “such an ado over the fact that the pestilence is killing a few people?” (LW 22:416). Hold onto this truth even though those diseases that strike us make our flesh rot while we’re still standing on our feet, and our eyes rot in their sockets, and our tongues rot in our mouths (Zechariah 14:12). Let us therefore gird up our loins and “graciously accept all kinds of sickness” and arm ourselves with the Word of God, practice faith, and “acquire a food that will not perish [John 6:27]” (LW 23:12). Why? Because nowhere “on earth is there a greater and more dreadful… plague than… spiritual blindness or madness [that prevents us] from hearing or wanting to hear [how we] may be saved” (LW 24:280).


 


 

 

 

I guess God got so

mad about all of

our fighting down

 here that He sent

us all to our rooms.

 

(off the internet, April 2020)

 

 




 

 




Online Maundy Thursday Liturgy

April 9, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover

 

 

“Just as we have eaten and drunk

the Lord Christ’s body and blood,

we in turn let ourselves

be eaten and drunk.”

 

 [Martin Luther, Sermon on

Confession and the Sacrament (1524),

Luther’s Works 76:444.]

 

Maundy Thursday

 



Online Abbreviated Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

April 9, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Merciful Father, we thank you for our Savior, Christ Jesus, who not only gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins, but also nourishes us poor lost sinners in Holy Communion that we might walk in newness of life. In his holy name we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Exodus 12:1–14.

Psalm 116:10–17.

Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 11:17–32.

Gospel: John 13:1–17, 34.

Opening Hymn: “Soul, Adorn Yourself With Gladness” (LBW 224)




 



Sermon:  April 9, 2020

“Be Cleansed”

(John 13:10)  

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

On this Holy Thursday we remember John 13:10 about being washed clean. This washing has to do with both the dramatic washing of the feet of the disciples – whereby Jesus serves them, as well as with the washing away of our sins – whereby Jesus saves us from going to hell.

     Of greatest importance is the washing away of our sins. And just why is that? Well, our sins defile us (Mark 7:20). This defilement is lawlessness and unbelief (1 John 3:4, Romans 14.23) – which does untold damage (Ecclesiastes 9:18). No wonder then that it is a curse (Galatians 3:13). That’s because if it isn’t washed away, all who have it will spend eternity in hell – separated forever from the love and kindness of God (2 Thessalonians 1:9). This washing happens when Jesus dies on the cross for our sins by being punished in our place (1 Peter 2:24). If we believe in this sacrifice (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 9:26), then that washing happens to us and we benefit from it. Otherwise, unbelief keeps it away from us and we are condemned for all eternity (John 3:18). Sin is our rebellion against God – our disobeying of him (Romans 1:5, 25, 2:5, 3:12). If it’s left unforgiven – uncleaned – then off to hell we go when we die, that ghastly, horrible, everlasting “place of torment” (Luke 16:23, 28). But if we have faith in Christ, we’re saved from all of that. As Luther says, “Jesus,… through His suffering and dying, through His cross and death, has reconciled the world to God; borne the sins of the whole world; redeemed it from the wrath of God, the devil, and eternal damnation; unlocked heaven and brought eternal life to all who believe in Him” – even if those who reject it think that it is “nothing but dung – whatever is preached of Christ and eternal life” (Luther’s Works 58:249).

     Their disgust, however, doesn’t change a thing. The “wonderful exchange” stands – “One man sins, another pays the penalty; one deserves peace, the other has it” (LW 17:225). No wonder when we receive the Lord’s Supper we’re told to “proclaim the lord’s death until he comes!” (1 Corinthians 11:26). That’s because it is only through his death that we are washed clean. Indeed, “God does not impute… sin to me, so long as I believe in Christ…. I am called holy, and nevertheless I am still a sinner. But it is for this reason that [we] believe in [Jesus] and are His dear little chick” (LW 57:225). So when we come to the Altar to receive the sacrament, it is Jesus himself who is our “stretcher” – carrying us up to be cleaned (LW 35:66). That’s because we “find God nowhere but in Christ alone” (LW 68:300).  So when we cling to Christ we “have all” we need for our salvation (LW 23:55).

     And second, there is the washing away of our selfish behavior, so that we might walk in newness of life. Luther knew all about this. And so he proclaimed that the Lord’s Supper changes us from being wolves into sheep (LW 37:101). The Sacrament makes us new. It scrubs us down – it cleans us up. It doesn’t leave us as we were before we came to the Altar. This is part of the new life that we have when we receive the Sacrament (John 6:53). If after we receive the Lord’s Supper we remain “sluggish” and take no “interest in our neighbor’s needs,” then, as Luther argued, we are “not a Christian.” We have not gone to the Lord’s Supper “in a fruitful way.” “Such strange devotion,” Luther says, “is nothing before God.” The Sacrament is supposed to build “character” in us which is to shine forth in our works as we “make progress from day to day” and “become stronger and stronger.” In this life we will always be imperfect, but we must always try to do better. And God will be “satisfied to find us at work” trying to be better (LW 76:446–48).

     Let us then give thanks this day for the Sacrament of the Altar and the cleansing that it brings. Let us rejoice in the forgiveness of sins that comes to us through this cleansing. And let us rejoice in the Lord for the newness of life that we have in the Sacrament – whereby we can help our neighbors in need. Let us add to all of this the last couple days of our Lenten fast – which we are to continue in secret (Matthew 6:19). May it too be a part of our cleansing whereby we “tame and subdue” our bodies so that God’s Word may not be hindered among us but remain strong as we continue, by God’s mercy, to be cleansed. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: It Happened on That Fateful Night” (LBW 127)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young

Ana Korsmo  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Olin & Noreen Martin

Gretchen Hoyum

Marv Morris

The Jill & Dave West Family

Randy Vater

The Duncan Sturrock Family

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl

 

Died

Britt Marie Hansson



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:     Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed” (LBW 98)


 

 

 

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine.”

 

(Proverbs 17:22)

 

“The bitter draft should be mixed and

made milder with honey and sugar.”

 

[Martin Luther, Sermon on Matthew 5:4 (1532)

Luther’s Works 21:22.]

 

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus Last Supper

as Zoom Meeting

(April 2, 2020)

The Bookworm

 

 

 

The Last Supper

Milan, Italy

(1497)

Leonardo da Vinci

 




 

 





Online Sunday Liturgy

April 5, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover

 

“The blood of this little

Lamb of God [John 1:29] must

surge in your heart.”

 

 [Martin Luther, Sermon on

Revelation 12:7–12 (1544),

Luther’s Works 58:185.]

 

 

“Christ is the crucified who crucifies.”

 

 [Geoffrey Hill, Broken Hierarchies:

Poems 1952–2012, 2013, p. 123.]



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

April 5, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Merciful Father, we praise you for your Son, our Savior, Christ Jesus. More than anything else, we thank you for his painful sacrifice – his obedience unto death on the Cross – that your holy wrath may be shielded from us. May we find our true joy in his death, proclaim its power to the world, and live in its narrow and difficult way. In Christ’s holy name we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Isaiah 50:4–9

Psalm 31:1–5, 9–16

Second Lesson: Philippians 2:5–11

Gospel: Matthew 27:11–55

Opening Hymn: “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” (LBW 108)




 



Sermon:  April 5, 2020

“Honor God's Curse”

(Matthew 27:46)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

It is fitting on Passion Sunday – the beginning of the Great and Holy Week – to remember that Christians are all tangled up with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That’s why Martin Luther thought a Christian could also be called crucianus – or a “Crosstian,” that is, a person of the Cross (Luther’s Works 5:274). This tight connection with the crucifixion comes from 2 Corinthians 5:14–15 which says that because One has died for all, all must die. Now how can that be; and why does it matter?

It all hinges on sin. If we were not all fallen; if we like sheep had not gone astray from God’s will and ways (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 53:6), then there would be no problem. But, alas, we instead are all seriously flawed. How so? Is saying this nothing more than empty religious jargon? Martin Luther worried about that and so he elaborated on our sins. We “live in all security,” he preaches, we “do not hear God’s Word; we do not let [ourselves] be admonished; [we] remain ungodly, proud, greedy, hateful, malicious;… [we] lie in drunkenness and lust, commit shameful vice, and do everything as if [we] intended to live here on earth forever” (LW 58:145). We live “a free, shameless, wild, filthy, and disorderly life in gluttony,… words, gestures and deeds, [working solely to] fill our weak, stinking belly and remain here in this dismal, doleful world forever” (LW 57:21–22).

Wow! that’s a mouthful. But on a good day we might well agree with the most of it, except for being malicious and wild and the implied violence. For that Bob Dylan’s new song – the dirge, Murder Most Foul – helps us see our problem here – how we all are in some sense murderers. The song sets America, and the 1963 killing of President Kennedy, in the context of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet (1601) – I.v.27. Kennedy is King Hamlet, murdered by his brother Claudius, a stand-in for our government and other power-brokers. We are Prince Hamlet – knowing what happened but unable to set it straight as we should. Kennedy’s assassination is also linked to the 1921 massacre of 300 or more Blacks in Tulsa, Oklahoma – which is only now, 100 years later, being exposed for what it was. So while we may not have pulled the trigger, we share in collective guilt for these murders – and that’s the message of Murder Most Foul.

As for being greedy, that’s easier to see. But if you need help there also, read the remarkable, little book, Living High & Letting Die (1996) by Peter Unger – and my review of it in The Messenger, November 2016.

Today we also get a glimpse of our degradation in the lessons for Passion Sunday. There we hear that the first disciples promised to help Jesus even if it meant dying with him – but then left him high and dry when Jesus needed them the most – right at the foot of the cross (Matthew 26:35, 56). What does that add to the words of Luther, Dylan and Unger? Wretchedness, for one (Romans 7:24). Another would be – defilement (Mark 7:20). And then we also have pitiable, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:17). And so we have to move aside. We have to die to the world and the world to us (Galatians 6:14).

But we will never do that on our own. Luther was right – none of us can pull it off because of our survival instinct (LW 33:58, 106). We want to hold on, at all costs, to the life that we have and like. “Take your ease, eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19). That’s who we are – for ever and ever – unless someone intervenes and disrupts us. Unless we have our own encounter on the road to Damascus (Acts 26:13–18).

And in fact that has happened. We are not left to ourselves. Christ’s crucifixion disrupts us – as it did to the centurion at the cross (Matthew 27:54). There Christ draws us to himself that we may die to ourselves and live for him – that is, “live to righteousness” (John 12:32, 1 Peter 2:24). And so when we are weak, then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:9). We also learn that from the 1918 flu. The vulnerable infants and old survived, while the young and strapping died because their powerful immune systems over-reacted and filled their lungs with fluid and dead cells. That made it “impossible for the exchange of oxygen…. That very strength [became] a weakness…. The immune response killed [them by the millions]” (John M. Barry, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, 2004, 2018, pp. 247, 249, 250 – also called a “cytokine storm” – Apoorva Mandavilli, “After Fighting Coronavirus, Their Bodies Betrayed Them,” The Seattle Times, April 2, 2020.)

The power that we need to live and believe doesn’t therefore come from us (2 Corinthians 3:5). Christ doesn’t come for the healthy, but for the sick (Mark 2:17). So Luther could argue that nothing is better for “understanding the words of God [than] the weakness of the human mind” (LW 33:99). Indeed, “Christ has been given to us in order that we should take from Him, rely on Him, and believe that all He has is ours, that all He can do has been done for our benefit” (LW 30:59). Amazing, isn’t it?! Self-reliance dissolves before God – and right in front of us. In fact, “everything that you have not done He will forgive you, and all that you cannot do He will give to you” (LW 57:76). Magnificent! And why? Because Jesus bore our sins on the cross so that we will not have to be punished for them. That sets us free.

It sets us free because on the cross Jesus was cursed for us (Galatians 3:13) – crying out that God had forsaken him (Matthew 27:46). But his anguish was for our glory, and His pain was for our salvation. Whoever believes this, Luther proclaims – “that his own sins… are laid on our dear Lord and that it was on account of this that He was… nailed to the cross, and there poured out His precious blood for us so that He, as the sole bearer of sins… might cleanse us from our sins and justify and save us – whoever believes that – possesses it” (LW 58:45–46). What a joy! Just think of what Jesus has done on the cross. He “became the… payment for the world’s sins through His own blood and so takes way [God’s] wrath” – something “no one” else can do (LW 77:321).

How shall we celebrate this gift of salvation? Some purveyors of our culture say that during these dreary days of the coronavirus pandemic we should watch again the twenty-five year old hit movie, Clueless – since “within its effervescent silliness is a story about taking care of those you love and helping to make the world a little better” (Moira MacDonald, “Clueless is… a Needed Ray of Sunshine,” The Seattle Times, March 29, 2020). Well, maybe, but improving the world seems a stretch. Luther seems closer to the truth about watching out for the wrath of God regardless of the good deeds that we offer up (LW 13:130). And so fasting still has it prominence until Easter arrives. Continue to deprive yourself of the foods that you like – knowing that when you do so in humility it is actually “God’s work” within you, and so you should “praise and honor” him for it (LW 59:271). Pray to God for help with fasting – knowing with Luther that “Christ’s kingdom increases in affliction and decreases in peace” (LW 76:288). And thank him also for Christ’s passion and death – because of which you are saved for all of eternity – even though that will include honoring the curse that was laid on Jesus – because of our sins and for our salvation. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (LBW 482)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young

Ana Korsmo  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Britt Marie Hansson

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Olin & Noreen Martin

Gretchen Hoyum

Marv Morris

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:      “Ride On, Ride On in Majesty!” (LBW 121)

 





 





Online Sunday Liturgy

March 29, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover


 

 

Sins are increasing one after another… without a bad conscience. There was reportedly a peasant who gathered so many bushels of grain that he had more than enough for himself. [But he was] so mired in greed… that, sooner than let go of a single bushel, [he] let the mice devour them…. I do not grieve as much over the [selfishness] as over the wrath of God, for God will punish greed. For that reason, an affliction will suddenly befall us [1 Corinthians 10:12]…. Everything hangs by a thread [and yet we] pay no heed to God…. God grant that I do not live to see it. God delays. But you provoke Him to strike…. May God grant you the grace to acknowledge your sins…. [for] when God lets go of the reins, there is no stopping.

 

 

[Martin Luther, Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4:1–7 (1539)

Luther’s Works 58:24–25.



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

March 29, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Be with us during these days of Lent, O Lord our God, that we might be put in our place – confessing our sins and giving you all the glory. By your Word, fill us with wisdom from on high; and by your mercy grant us a strong confidence in the forgiveness of sins – for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Lesson: Ezekiel 37:1–14.

Psalm 116:1–8

Second Lesson: Romans 8:11–19.

Gospel: John 11:1–53.

 

Opening Hymn: “Glory Be to Jesus” (LBW 95)



 

Sermon:  March 29, 2020

“Suffer With Jesus”

(Romans 8:17)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     When the faithful cry out the words of Psalm 4:6 – O that we might see better times – do they know what they’re saying? Martin Luther would say No! They don’t know what they’re talking about because first they cannot define, identify and justify what better times or good days would be; and furthermore, they want better days only to ensure that no one rebukes or hinders them from enjoying the life they want (Luther’s Works 51:27, 13:43). So be warned. Those words from Psalm 4:6 are actually spoken by a fool and not by the Holy One of Israel. They should be condemned and not emulated – just as the foolish words in Psalm 73:11 and in Luke 12:19. Psalm 4:6 are foolish words because they long for a life that wouldn’t be any good.

     But how can it be that a life of our own choosing wouldn’t be any good? Doesn’t that sound crazy? Wouldn’t it be better, in our day, to have the coronavirus eradicated? Well, take a look at our own land and what do you see? Health and meaningful existence for all? Not quite. Since the 1920s something else has happened. Those roaring, experimental days after WWI, marked the end of our country’s “old rules” – and this change has lasted into the 2020s, giving us “a strange new world both gaudy and sad” (Christopher Knowlton, Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and How It Brought on the Great Depression, 2020, p. 82). Luther knew how the easy life hurt Christians: “When there is peace and quiet, we do not pray. Nor do we meditate on the Word, but we treat the Scripture and all things that belong to God coldly or finally slip into fatal smugness” (LW 8:7).

     So no wonder that Romans 8:17 calls for a life of suffering – instead of one marked by social, cultural and doctrinal freedom and ease. That old Cole Porter musical, “Anything Goes” (1934), has no value for Christianity. No, Romans 8:17 says that we are joint heirs with Christ if, in fact – “we suffer with him.” Martin Luther thought this suffering wasn’t sporadic, haphazard, or optional – but “the chief point of the Christian life” (LW 56:321)! He also taught that it wasn’t self-chosen, but instead came upon the followers of Christ for espousing his way and Word – and as a consequence of offending people by them, endangered their “property, honor, body, and life” (LW 51:198).

     Because this suffering confirms our life with God in Christ, and also makes for endurance, character and hope – we are called to “rejoice” in it (Romans 5:3–5). Do not be afraid, Luther chimes in, but “stretch out your arms confidently and let the nails go deep. Be glad and thankful,” he continues, for “it must and will be with those who desire God’s Word” (LW 48:387)! But isn’t that perverted – even a sign of mental illness? No, because as Luther points out, the “Word of life” given us by God through this suffering “must exercise all its power in death” (LW 30:126). So the dying and suffering aren’t the goal in and of themselves – but instead that precious Word of life that flourishes in our very suffering. And this is axiomatic or certain. For “no sheep is sought except the one who is lost.” So too for strengthening, Luther goes on – it only comes to the weak, and “nothing is built except that which has been torn down.” Therefore Luther concludes that “he who is sated with his own truth and wisdom is incapable of receiving the truth and wisdom of God, which can be received only in an empty and destitute heart” (LW 25:204).

     Is that crazy talk? Is this what Herman Melville (1819–91) feared (Complete Poems, ed. Hershel Parker, 2019, p. 854)?

 

Hurly-burly late and early,

Gossips prating, quacks orating,

Daft debating:

Furious wild reiteration

And incensed expostulations!

 

     Well, I think not. First, that’s because it’s been shown that the weakness of a manic-depressive disorder can become an asset for leaders in chaotic times of social disruption (Nassir Ghaemi, A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, 2011, p. 19 on 2 Corinthians 12:9). But second, it’s because we get in our own way. If we didn’t, we could fashion our own lives and everything would be fine. But as it is, we are desperate and cannot save ourselves (Romans 7:24). We call the good evil, and evil we call good (Isaiah 5:20). We are all mixed up. Only Christ is our light (John 8:12). He alone can rescue us from ourselves. He alone can see the way out. He alone can save us from the wrath of God (John 3:36). That wrath bears down on us for our failures and refusal to obey him (2 Thessalonians 1:8–9). But God, who is rich in mercy, sent his Son, Christ Jesus, to become poor for us on the cross, that by his poverty and suffering and dying, as a result of our sins (1 Peter 2:24), we who believe in him, might become rich, and have everlasting life (2 Corinthians 8:9). Because Christ’s sacrifice is so important, he hangs there on the cross “before God’s eyes, and is still there” (LW 76:405) – and by so doing, overcomes God’s wrath for us for all eternity (Romans 5:9).

     So believe in this and rejoice in your salvation. “You must experience unshakably that [this] is God’s Word, even though the whole world should dispute it. As long as you do not have this feeling, just so long you have certainly not yet tasted of God’s Word” (LW 36:248). Learn from this and “yield [yourselves] to God’s guidance so that he can work” in you and not you yourselves (LW 44:271). Thank God for this promise, and rejoice in your Savior Jesus.

     Accept this message – and believing as a result of it that Christians are “nothing but strange, peculiar people” (LW 20:216) – let us keep up our venerable but unpopular Lenten fast, depriving ourselves of the foods we especially like. And don’t look dismal when you fast – thinking it’s a stupid idea (Matthew 6:16). Then you’ll in fact do it with a right heart. Then your good work of fasting, “be it as big or as little as it will, is a good fruit” (LW 24:233). Pray for strength to fast with this right attitude. Thank God for your Savior Jesus and his saving death. And thank God for Romans 8:17 and the new life it brings through the call to suffer with Jesus our Lord and God. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus” (LBW 487)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young

Ana Korsmo  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Britt Marie Hansson

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Olin & Noreen Martin

Gretchen Hoyum

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 


 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn “O Christ, Our King, Creator, Lord” (LBW 101)






 





Online Sunday Liturgy

March 22, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

March 22, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Be with us during these days of Lent, O Lord our God, that we might be put in our place – confessing our sins and giving you all the glory. By your Word, fill us with wisdom from on high; and by your mercy grant us a strong confidence in the forgiveness of sins – for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Lesson: Hosea 5:15–6:2

Psalm 43

Second Lesson: Romans 8:1–10

Gospel: Matthew 20:17–28

Opening Hymn: “Christ, the Life of All the Living” (LBW 97)


 


Sermon:  March 22, 2020

“Live in the Spirit”

(Romans 8:5)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Listen to this: “On frequent journeys,… danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from [strangers], danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren.” Whoever would say such a thing? Saint Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:26! And he adds this too – “we were afflicted at every turn – fighting without and fear within” (2 Corinthians 7:5).

     Now does anyone today buy into this? Does anyone think it describes our lives for all times? Well, there is a popular song that seems to say so – composed even in a fitting blues idiom: “Trouble in the city, trouble in the farm. You got your rabbit’s foot, you got your good-luck charm. But they can’t help you none when there’s trouble…. Trouble in the water, trouble in the air…. Since the beginning of the universe man’s been cursed by trouble…. Look into infinity, all you see is trouble” [Bob Dylan, “Trouble,” Shot of Love (1981), The Lyrics. Since 1962 (2014) p. 634.].

     And what would Jesus say about all of this? “In this life you’ll have tribulations,” he says (John 16:33)! Shocking, indeed. 

     Where does this leave us? Have Saint Paul, Bob Dylan, and Jesus painted us into a corner? No, not if we keep listening to Saint Paul. He has plenty more to say on the topic. Don’t dwell on the miseries of this life, he thunders. Instead of fixating on the danger and troubles, “live according to the spirit” and set your minds “on the things of the spirit” (Romans 8:5). Do not set your minds “on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). “Walk by the spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Sounds pretty good – but who could ever pull it off? Martin Luther says Christians can do this – if they become “skilled artisans,” making “joy out of sadness, comfort out of terror, righteousness out of sin, and life out of death.” And this they can do when they restrain the flesh “for this purpose,” bringing it into “submission [and subjecting] it to the spirit” (Luther’s Works 27:74).

     But still we groan under the burden of this noble artistic endeavor. How can we develop this needed skill? Look to Christ, “the pioneer and perfecter” of your faith (Hebrews 12:3)! Only he can do for you what you need to get done for yourself! Do you believe that? Luther does! Christ does the works, he preaches, “that deserve to be extolled as works of God: blotting out sin, driving off death, extinguishing hell. These are different works from those trifling things [that we do]” (LW 57:176).

     So live for Christ, and not for yourself (2 Corinthians 5:15). That’s the life in the spirit. Luther can help you. He reminds you that your nature is “corrupted” so that you cannot rely on yourself to survive (LW 7:280–81). “You still stink,” he drones on (LW 7:229)! So sing out with Luther that Jesus “is my eternal life.” Do that after hearing Jesus say himself to you: “I am your life” (LW 23:130–31).

     But what about the dangers and troubles? What about the present threats from the coronavirus? They are not worth comparing with the glories awaiting us after we die (Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17). We have to bite the bullet on this. Luther does: “I preach and you believe that you are redeemed by Baptism, not from pestilence and leprosy but from death, sin, and the power of the devil, and that Baptism works salvation and eternal life in me” (LW 22:479)! He could preach this even after his nine month old daughter, Elizabeth, died of the plague in 1528 and confessed – “so much has grief for her overcome me” (LW 49:203). Yet by her death she “escaped the power of the flesh, the world,… and the devil” (LW 50:238). Take this consolation for yourself, and then be sure to share it with others as you have opportunity (2 Corinthians 1:4).

     And add to this good work your Lenten fast. Keep up your fast in secret before God (Matthew 6:19). Keep it up because it is “necessary that the body become subdued and chastised and subservient to the soul” (LW 52:138). Pray to God to help you fast in this way. Pray also to God in thanksgiving for Jesus who is your eternal life and power. And thank God as well, not only for the call to, but also for the power to, live in the Spirit.  Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “Salvation Unto Us Has Come” (LBW 297)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Britt Marie Hansson

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

                                                                       

 

Deaths

Claudio Johnson S

Nell Sponheim

 



 

 

Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.

 

 


 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn: “Lord Christ, When You First Came to Earth” (LBW 421)





 





Online Sunday Liturgy

March 15, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

March 15, 2020

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Be with us during these days of Lent, O Lord our God, that we might be put in our place – confessing our sins and giving you all the glory. By your Word, fill us with wisdom from on high; and by your mercy grant us a strong confidence in the forgiveness of sins – for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

First Lesson: Isaiah 42:14–21.

Psalm 142

Second Lesson: Ephesians 5:8–14.

Gospel: John 9:13–17, 34–39.


 

Sermon:  March 15, 2020

“Give Up Seeing”

(John 9:39)

Grace and peace to you in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

John 9:39 startles us – but not because it says Christ will give sight to the blind. No, not at all! Rather, it is because it adds that Christ will also take away the sight of those who see. Well, now that’s a fine how-do-you-do! We understand why sight is granted to the blind – it shows mercy and grace to those in need of seeing. But poking out our eyes?! That only seems cruel.

     But it isn’t. God knows we look at what we shouldn’t pay any attention to, and so he helps us by diverting our eyes – by blinding us – so that we won’t waste our time any more by looking at what we shouldn’t be dwelling on. “Turn my eyes from looking at vanities” (Psalm 119:37) – fits in with John 9:39. That’s because both verses are about spiritual visual training.

     And what is that training? Learning how to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). That’s because only when we believe out of obedience, rather than because of what we’ve seen, will we be blessed by God (John 20:29). Here reason is trying to live by sight. But Luther insists faith is the better way to go – for the future life with God, after we die, is “invisible, therefore, it cannot be seen with fleshly eyes or measured with reason” (LW 57:28).

     That’s because Jesus.... brings it about by dying (Hebrews 2:14). That’s unheard of! It even seems impossible. If it is somehow based on God’s love for us, then surely we must sing and say it is a “love unknown” (LBW, hymn 94). That’s because this Lamb of God who dies for us to save us (John 1:29) – and in whom we are also to believe to make his glories transferable to us (John 14:1) – only looks like the carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55). So sight and reason miss Jesus. But faith grasps him and finds joy in him (Philippians 4:4). What faith sees, Luther says, is the Lamb of God, bleeding on the cross, and thereby making “satisfaction” for our sins by his precious blood. This he does “ceaselessly,” so that our sins no longer can “harm us” (LW 56:226–27). Glory be to God! This salvation surely takes our breath away.

     Upon hearing it, believe in it. Upon believing in it, rejoice in it. And when you rejoice, let your roots sink down deeply (Matthew 13:21) by following up your faith with works. During Lent our work of choice is fasting. This we should do with joy – not looking dismal because we miss our favorite foods (Matthew 6:16) – but seeing how fasting helps us draw near to God (James 4:8). Indeed, we thank God for fasting, for by so doing we “subdue the flesh and its lust,” and thereby are “protected from the dominion of Adam” (LW 44:75–76).  That’s what it is like to be close to God in Christ Jesus.

     Pray to God that he strengthens your Lenten fast – and he will, for he wants you to fast as he commands. Pray also words of thanksgiving for Jesus, the Savior, who draws us to freedom from the punishment for sin, and that surely pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Finally, pray to God that his Word may dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16) – especially about losing your sight in things of little worth (John 9:39). Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “My Song is Love Unknown” (LBW 94)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and person where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]



 


 

Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Nell & Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Britt Marie Hansson

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

                                                                       

 

Deaths

Duane Nasner



 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn “Your Kingdom Come!” (LBW 376)