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

August 30, 2020



 


Bulletin Cover

 

 

 

 

Philippe Petit (b. 1949), on his high wire act between the twin towers, World Trade Center, New York City, August 4, 1974. The span was 131 feet, and the height was 110 stories or 1,350 feet.

 

Faith causes the heart to cling fast to celestial things and to be carried away and to dwell in things that are invisible…. This is how it happens that the believer hangs between heaven and earth,… that is, that in Christ he is suspended in the air and crucified…. [So this faith] is an exceedingly arduous thing, because it is a rapture and a removal from everything one experiences within and without to the things one experiences neither within or without, namely, to the invisible, most high, and incomprehensible God…. [Therefore] the greatest of all trials is the trial of faith, against which the devil employs both his strength and that of all men and all things.

 

(Luther’s Works 29:185, 149, 238.)




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

August 30, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, you have given great and precious promises to those who believe. Grant us the perfect faith which overcomes all doubts. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 



First Lesson: Isaiah 56:1, 6–8

Psalm 67

Second Lesson: Romans 11:13–15, 29–32

Gospel: Matthew 15:21–28

 

 

Opening Hymn:  “Father We Praise You” (LBW 267)




 



 

Sermon:  August 30, 2020

“Have Great Faith”

(Matthew 15:28)

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

     Faith in Jesus gets us into heaven after we die (John 14:1). But how much of it do we need for it to work? Matthew 17:20 says it only takes a small amount – nothing more than a tiny mustard seed. This is very reassuring since we aren’t able to muster much more than that – being only wretched bodies of death ourselves (Romans 7:24). Furthermore our trust in Christ hinges on him choosing us before we choose him (Philippians 3:13, John 15:16). If that weren’t so, no one could believe in Jesus – since we can’t do anything without him (John 15:5). We’re just the clay that God makes into whatever he wants (Romans 9:20). Martin Luther drives home this point on our dependence. “Learn to know God, leave everything to Him, and see that you cling to the Head,” he thunders. “In short, nothing that is in us or can be done by us makes us Christians” (Luther’s Works 56:117, 77:189). No wonder that belief is a gift (Ephesians 2:8).

     But faith isn’t inert. It can be enhanced – it’s pliable. That’s why the disciples go to Jesus and say – “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). But why ask for more of it, if a little of it will do? The reason is that Jesus wants us to love him with “all of our heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22:37–38). Now that’s a boat load – nothing like a little mustard seed at all! No wonder Jesus lifts up the woman who believed in him under duress, exclaiming – “O woman, great is your faith!” (Matthew 15:28). And that accolade comes all the way down to us, thousands of years later, saying – “May your faith be great too!” Jesus wants us to grow up and become mature (1 Peter 2:2, Colossians 1:28). But how do we increase our faith? The answer is unexpected and surprising. It takes hardship for your faith to grow. We, however, think that duress destroys faith. But not so. It rather provides the needed fertilizer to get faith growing (LW 6:162). Indeed, Christians “always thrive best when men are most determined to persecute and suppress them” (LW 45:347). This was the case of the humiliated woman of great faith in Matthew 15. Jesus called her a dog and she settled for eating scraps from under the table. How humiliating! But it didn’t crush her, nor lead her into the bitterness of despair. Instead, beating her down actually lifted her up (Edna Hong, The Downward Ascent, 1979, Marlena Graves, The Way Up is Down: Becoming Yourself by Forgetting Yourself, 2020). How could that be? Luther knew. He argued that “no one is so dangerous to me as I am to myself” (LW 57:196). Indeed, “we have no greater enemy than ourself” (LW 42:48, 27:364). So dying to ourselves doesn’t hurt us (Galatians 1:20). Being beaten down by the traumas of life isn’t bad for us. Forgoing pleasure doesn’t deplete us. Nothing else will “soften [us] up” (LW 35:18). Our “fallow ground” needs to be broken up before faith can grow (Jeremiah 4:3, Hosea 10:12). Strange as it sounds, this is the Biblical message and it works. Saint Paul benefited from being “abased” (Philippians 4:12) – and so should we.

     Faith, then, is more than trusting in Jesus – it also includes fighting against ourselves and whatever is contrary to God. It includes fighting the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). Because faith is at stake, this “struggle is much worse than death, prison, or any disease or persecution” (LW 28:373). Therefore we need help. And so, in our battle “Christ must also do battle and make war” (LW 59:267). He fights against the devil to destroy his works (1 John 3:8). He fights to make faith possible and bring us salvation. And so he “puts away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). And he also puts away the “wages of sin,” or its consequences, which is death (Romans 6:23). Sin falls and then death with it – in a chain reaction (LW 76:443). The freedom that comes from this breaking up of sin and death enables us to fight the good fight of faith. No longer are we tricked into approving things “that manifestly conflict with the divine Scriptures” (LW 60:62). Now we can “steadfastly endure in hardship so that we may be stirred up to resist the devil [for the] defense of the Church” (LW 73:381). In all of this we give thanks to God for his mercy and strength to hang in there.

     And we also get to work. We have to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). We can’t sit on our hands! There’s too much to do equipping the church for the good fight of faith. We have to help each other learn how to exercise self-control (1 Corinthians 9:25). At the heart of that is the righteousness that comes from being trained in the holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16). And right next to it is praying constantly – making petitions of praise and for protection (1 Thessalonians 5:17). May our faith rest in Scriptures and prayer as it struggles and fights to become great. Amen.

 


Hymn of the Day:   O Christ, the Healer, We Have Come” (LBW 360)

 

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 persons 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

Melissa Baker

Melanie Johnson

Dorothy Ryder

  

 

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. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Rick Reynolds

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Heather Tutuska

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

Holly Finan

Wayne & Chris Korsmo

 

Pray for the United States during this presidential election year, and for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. 

 

Pray for those suffering in the southeast from the hurricanes.  And pray for those suffering in Iowa from the derecho, and for those in California suffering from the terrible fires.

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Jane Collins

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:    “How Firm a Foundation” (LBW 507)



 



 

 

The Original Bakery

9253–45th Avenue SW

Seattle, WA 98136

 

August 22, 2020

 

 

 

“We… deserve nothing but punishment.”

 

[Martin Luther, The Small Catechism, III.16 (1529),

The Book of Concord (1580) ed. Tappert (1959), p. 347.]

 






 





Online Sunday Liturgy

August 23, 2020



 


Bulletin Cover

 

 

 

We should not preach Christ with fury or with a tempest of words. Indeed, Christ can be preached in no other way than peacefully and calmly. For roaring talk pertains to the Law…. Therefore [it] should be revealed with thunderbolts to those who are foolish and stiff-necked, but the Gospel should be presented gently to those who are terrified and humbled…. “Behold, a bruised reed my servant will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench” (Isaiah 42:1–3). He will prefer to console the timid and the afflicted.

 

[Martin Luther, Lectures on Hebrews (1518),

Luther’s Works 29:143.]




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

August 23, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

Almighty God, you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray. Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, and give us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 



First Lesson: 1 Kings 19:9–18

Psalm 85:8–13

Second Lesson: Romans 9:1–5

Gospel: Matthew 14:22–33

 

Opening Hymn:  “Oh, Worship the King” (LBW 548)




 



 

Sermon:  August 23, 2020

“Praise God's Word”

(1 Kings 19:12)

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

     We like this still small voice of God in 1 Kings 19:12 – but for all the wrong reasons. Martin Luther knew about this. He thought it was because we are “nothing but bags of worms or bags of manure, infested with lice, maggots, stinking and foul” (Luther’s Works 22:133). We are like this because we think that if we hold on to this verse tightly enough we can drown out Exodus 20:18–19 about God thundering from Mount Sinai and scaring the wits out of us with his law and wrath. But what Luther called God’s “cataracts” (LW 10:156), cannot be so easily silenced. That’s because God wants the “unpleasant and… deadly voice” of his law to “screech dolefully” in our ears, in order to condemn us and to drive us to Christ (LW 2:160–63, 16:232). These thunderbolts are needed for the “foolish and stiff-necked” (LW 29:143) even though we may already have joined the minions of those who are looking for and longing for a better Bible that is lighter on the condemnation and heavier on the delights of this earth” (Timothy Egan, A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith, 2019, p. 89). Indeed, nothing else than Gods cataracts will get through to us foolish creatures. Even though we hanker after something nicer, we’ll never be helped by “a God without wrath [bringing] men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross” (H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America, 1937, 1988, p. 193). No! We need far rougher treatment than that. Therefore, “it is always God’s wonderful practice to make all things out of nothing” and so he must first “reduce all things to nothing” (LW 7:105). For “whoever considers himself hale and hearty is not interested in a physician” (LW 22:458) let alone in Gods healing hand (Romans 3:11).

     Gods voice, then, cannot just be a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12). That reductionism would leave sinners high and dry – without any hope of being turned around (Acts 14:15). For that to happen, a “savage purging” is needed, “not to destroy us,” but “to improve us” (LW 7:231). We need to be hit hard by God’s condemning law. We cannot forget that “the violence of the fire, the storm, and the earthquake had to come first, before the Lord Himself followed in the still small voice” (LW 26:311). This is why God’s word must break us into pieces and cut us up (Jeremiah 23:29, Hebrews 4:12) before it blesses us (Luke 11:28). Only this will draw us away from the earthly (Colossians 3:2) – which is what blinds us from seeing the ways of the Lord (2 Corinthians 4:4). This is what it takes to move us away from the mantra – “take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:19). This is what gets us to “share in the sufferings of Christ” (1Peter 4:13). This is what pulls us away from loving the world (1 John 2:15–17, James 4:4). This is how we come to deny ourselves daily (Luke 9:23). This is what gets us to “eagerly await” judgment and Christ’s return (Hebrews 9:27–28). And this is what establishes the church in “the genuine, legitimate, Christian sense and spirit of the Word of God,” and where this word is “present in its purity and is active, the church is there” – making it “like an immovable column” (LW 28:302).

     These blessings directly come from Christ’s crucifixion. Indeed, “our Lord Jesus Christ is the one and only Victim with which satisfaction has been made to the wrath of God” (LW 7:227). Without his sacrifice on the cross that wrath would only bear down on us (John 3:36) – and this is not some “trifling wrath of God” either (LW 77:19). It’s horrible! It’s torture (Revelation 9:5). Therefore declaration of this sacrifice for us – while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8) – only comes “gently to those who are terrified and humbled.” Indeed, “we should not preach Christ with fury or with a tempest of words” (LW 29:143). Now we’re ready for that still small voice (1 Kings 19:12). “A dimly burning wick he will not quench” (Isaiah 42:3). If it were to come any earlier, it would be wasted on us rank sinners – manure and all (LW 22:133). Here we have at last the fragrant aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:15). Here we have at last the precious Christ who doesn’t trip us up (1 Peter 2:7–8). This is the message of salvation which the church has for the world. Let us then confess with Luther – “I want to be and remain in the church and the little flock of the fainthearted, the feeble, the ailing, who feel and recognize the wretchedness of their sins, who sigh and cry to God incessantly for comfort and help, who believe in the forgiveness of sin, and who suffer persecution for the sake of the Word, which they confess and teach purely and without adulteration” (LW 22:55).

     May we then stand together in the church and hold on to the word of God – with both its bashing and its blessing. We need both the old bashing of the law and the new blessing of the Gospel (Matthew 13:52). We need the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). Both are needed to save us. Let us then give up on that silly, truncated, attenuated word of just easy-going gentleness. May we come before the Lord with both the old and the new and forever delight in, and praise his blessed word. Amen.

 


Hymn of the Day:   Thy Strong Word” (LBW 233)

 

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 persons 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

Melissa Baker

Melanie Johnson

Dorothy Ryder

  

 

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. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Rick Reynolds

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Heather Tutuska

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

Holly Finan

Wayne & Chris Korsmo

 

Pray for the United States during this presidential election year, and for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. 

 

Prayers for those suffering in Iowa from the derecho, and for those in California suffering from the terrible fires.

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl 

 

Pray for those who have died:

Avis Standefer



 

 

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:    Jesus, Priceless Treasure” (LBW 457)



 



 

 

A voice said, Look me in the stars

And tell me truly, men of earth,

If all the soul-and-body scars

Were not too much to pay for birth.

 

[The Poetry of Robert Frost, 1969,

ed. E. C. Lathem, p. 362.]

 

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that

suffering produces endurance,

and endurance produces character,

and character produces hope,

and hope does not disappoint us,

because God’s love has been poured into our hearts

through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

 

[Saint Paul, The Book of Romans 5:3–5.]






 





Online Sunday Liturgy

August 16, 2020



 


Bulletin Cover

 

 

A sword will pierce [Mary’s] soul…. means that she [will] carry great sorrow and grief,… exactly as we speak of heartbreak. [So] the Christian church, the spiritual Virgin Mary, [sees] that the gospel is tortured… through her heart,… in accord with her name; for Mary means ‘a sea of bitterness’ [Ruth 1:22] [and so] a deluge of suffering inundates her.

 

[Martin Luther, Sermon on Luke 2:34 (1522),

Luther’s Works 52:119–20.]

 

Mary… was not crucified… for us.

 

[Martin Luther, Sermon on John 19:25–27 (1529),

Luther’s Works 69:262.]

 

[Mary, Mother of our Lord] and her Fruit are blessed…. in one’s heart by praise and benediction for her child, Christ – for all his words, deeds, and sufferings. And no one does this except he who has the true Christian faith because without such faith no heart is good but is by nature stuffed full of evil speech and blasphemy against God and all his saints.

 

[Martin Luther, The Hail Mary (1522),

Luther’s Works 43:40.]




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

The Feast of Saint Mary, Mother of Our Lord

August 16, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, you chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of our Lord. Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her in the glory of your eternal kingdom. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 



 

First Lesson: Isaiah 61:7–11

Psalm 34:1–9

Second Lesson: Galatians 4:4–7

Gospel: Luke 1:46–55

 

 

Opening Hymn:  “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” (LBW 42)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOF9JLJkPis




 



 

Sermon:  August 16, 2020

“Bless Saint Mary”

(Luke 1:48)

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

     God’s Word calls all of us to bless Saint Mary, the Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ (Luke 1:48). So we are to praise her and give thanks to God for her – we are to bless her again and again, in very generation. On this Saint Mary Festival, we will then do just that, in obedience to the Holy Scriptures, as we have been struggling to do in our church, every year, for the last forty years. Those many celebrations have even included on occasion Martin Luthers 1535 hymn on Saint Mary, To Me Shes Dear, the Worthy Maid (Luther's Works 53:29294).

     But not everybody is happy about that – regardless of what Luke 1:48 and Martin Luther say, that this is what we are to do! No, they feel that praising Saint Mary in any manner whatsoever will only take glory away from the Holy Trinity – and so this August feast day should have its plug pulled. But that antipathy may come from a deeper place than wanting to reserve glory for God alone. It may instead have to do with how God favored her (Luke 1:28). Primarily that comes, of course, through being the mother of God. But notice the joining, ensuing damage attached right away to that motherhood. Quickly we see that Mary’s young life was anything but a rose garden – regardless of how she is depicted in western art. No, right out of the chute Joseph wants to divorce her because of her surprise pregnancy – miracle or not (Matthew 1:19). And then that prophesy about having a sword pierce her heart (Luke 2:35). So, close on the heels of divine favor there is shame and pain. Who would want to celebrate that? Keep your Saint Mary festival to yourself. No thanks; I’ll skip it.

     But Christianity has a way of turning things upside down (Acts 17:6) – and making liabilities look like assets. “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Who would ever have thought that! And so with Saint Mary. In her Martin Luther saw “the Christian Church, the spiritual Virgin Mary” – and not as some victorious champion, but as the one with a pierced heart. And in that defaming he saw the gospel “tortured… through her,” in her pierced heart (LW 52:119). “When I am weak, then I am strong” – the church is singing with the Virgin Mary. But should we really do that? Shouldn’t we instead let shame and pain remain awful, as they truly are? Not for Luther. He argued rigorously and dramatically that the church thrives best when its enemies “persecute and suppress” it (LW 45:347). And he added that “if there is no opposition [in the church], Christ is not there either” (LW 52:119). In order for us to grow in grace we need to be opposed by adversaries who wish we were dead and gone.

     Why is this trauma so good for the church? Luther believed it was because “Christianity lives only by fleeing and deserting temporal cities, places, goods, honor, body, and everything earthly, and goes through them to eternal life just as it goes through sin, suffering, and death.” So it would be a disaster “to build the church half upon temporal things, to mix the physical and the spiritual, and to unite sin and grace” (LW 39:219). The church needs to be weaned of the temporal – and suffering helps it do that. That’s because we don’t leave the temporal easily. That’s why it takes suffering to pull us away from it. We have to die to the world before we can live with God. “Therefore, it is impossible for someone who does not first hear the law and let himself be killed by the letter [2 Corinthians 3:6], to hear the gospel and let the grace of the Spirit bring him to life” (LW 39:185). So “one thing brings the next” – “if you now turn back to Me, I will turn back to you too” (LW 20:161). Living is linked to dying as is thriving to suffering.

     But what if working out one’s salvation in suffering and shame, and in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), is too much for us? What then? First, we can’t “use or understand Scripture as referring to a man’s being able to do a thing when it speaks only of his being required to do it.” And that’s because, secondly, “being able to do a thing and being required to do it,…. are far apart” (LW 20:162). They’re so far apart that we need rescuing – because we’re “at war” and defeated by that war (Romans 7:24, 23). Sin has worn us out. This drives us to Christ – where we find “the highest article of our faith,” namely, “the forgiveness of sins through Christ” (LW 12:27). Not to Mary, but to Christ, for Mary “was not crucified... for us” (LW 69:262, 22:146). And how, again, does Christ’s crucifixion help us? Well, God “sent His only-begotten Son into the world to make peace with [Him] for our sins by His death, and through His blood to cleanse and save us without our merit” (LW 78:300). Amazing, isn’t it? That’s why for anyone to believe in this, it must be because God has implanted it in us as a pure gift for us (Ephesians 2:8, James 1:21). This is how law and gospel work together for our salvation. First, we must have “the voice of the law that men may be made to fear and come to a knowledge of their sin and so be converted to repentance and a better life. But we must not stop with that, for that would only amount to wounding and not binding up, smiting and not healing, killing and not making alive, leading down into hell and not bringing back again, humbling and not exalting. Therefore we must also preach the word of grace and the promise of forgiveness by which faith is taught and aroused” (LW 31:364). Glory be to God for the whole counsel of God – both law and gospel (Acts 20:27)! Without “such faith no heart is good but is by nature stuffed full of evil speech and blasphemy against God and all his saints” LW 43:40).

     But there’s more, if you can believe it. We must also walk in the spirit, taking care of our families and neighbors (Galatians 5:25). We must also do good works (James 2:26). But be sure that you have the “right balance.” “Don’t be lazy or idle, but don’t rely solely on your own work and doings. Get busy and work, and yet expect everything from God alone” (LW 14:115). On this feast of Saint Mary, we should underscore our association with the lowly, since she was of low estate herself (Romans 12:16, Luke 1:48). And that makes her the mother of the church mater ecclesiam (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1999, §963). Luther thought this would please her more than anything, “to have you turn in fear from all lofty things on which men set their hearts, seeing that even in [Christ’s] mother God neither found nor desired anything of high degree. [Rather] the exceeding riches of God joined in her with her utter poverty, the divine honor with her low estate, the divine glory with her shame, the divine greatness with her smallness, the divine goodness with her lack of merit, the divine grace with her unworthiness” (LW 21:323). May we also pursue these same half dozen couplings in our lives, and so, now, and in every generation, bless Saint Mary. Amen.  


Hymn of the Day:   “My Soul Now Magnifies the Lord” (LBW 180)

 

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 persons 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

Melissa Baker

Melanie Johnson

Dorothy Ryder

  

 

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. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Rick Reynolds

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Heather Tutuska

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

Holly Finan

Wayne & Chris Korsmo

Avis Standefer

Pray for the United States during this presidential election year, and 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:    For All Your Saints, O Lord” (LBW 176)



 



  

“Mamma,” Eva said, suddenly, to her mother, one day, “why don’t we teach our servants to read?”

     “What a question child! People never do.”

     “Why don’t they?” said Eva.

     “Because it is no use for them to read. It don’t help them to work any better, and they are not made for anything else.”

     “But they ought to read the Bible, mamma, to learn God’s will.”

     “O! they can get that read to them all they need.”

     “It seems to me, mamma, the Bible is for everyone to read themselves. They need it a great many times when there is nobody to read it.”

     “Eva, you are an odd child,” said her mother….

     [Eva went on to explain what she would do with any wealth she might acquire.] “I’d… buy a place in the free states, and take all our people there, and hire teachers, to teach them to read and write.”  

     Eva was cut short by her mother’s laughing.

     “Set up a boarding-school! Wouldn’t you teach them to play on the piano, and paint on velvet?”….

     “Come, come, Eva; you are only a child! You don’t know anything about these things,” said Marie; “besides, your talking makes my head ache.”

      Marie always had a head-ache on hand for any conversation that did not exactly suit her.

Eva stole away; but after that, she assiduously gave Mammy reading lessons.

 

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

chapter 22, at the end)

 

 

 

 

There is a reason why the term “Uncle Tom” became an insult during the era of Black Power; it had as much to do with Tom’s unintelligible sexuality as with his alleged servility before his white owners. [In James Baldwin’s critique, he] described Uncle Tom as ‘black, wooly-haired, illiterate; and phenomenally forbearing,” by which Baldwin means to suggest that Tom is unduly passive, unduly ‘unmanly’…. Baldwin’s… critique is that because of Uncle Tom’s passivity, combined with his unadulterated blackness, Stowe is offering an implicitly racist representation of an African-American protagonist in fiction, one that domesticates native black resistance and the capacity to rebel…. [What his critique misses is] that Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a great book… because it is a great revival sermon, aimed directly at the conversion of its hearers.

 

[Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin

(New York: Norton, 2007) pp. xviii, xxii, xxix.]






 





Online Sunday Liturgy

August 9, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover

 

I the Lord love justice.

 

(Isaiah 61:8.)

 

Judge with right judgment.

 

(John 7:24.)

 

Whatever you wish that men would do to you,

do so to them.

 

(Matthew 7:12.)

 

Christ chides and warns [us] against judging according to [our] own foolish reason, discretion, and opinion, which is like looking through a painted glass that loses its color. A deluded person views nothing properly with his distorted thoughts, even when faced with words of truth; for his heart is embittered and inflamed by hatred. He resembles a painted glass. He judges others by the standard of his own heart, as an enemy whom he sincerely hates and despises.

 

[Martin Luther, Sermon on John 7:24 (1531),

Luther’s Works 23:240.]




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

August 9, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

O Lord our God, open our hearts and minds to you, that we may live in harmony with your will and receive the gifts of your Spirit. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 

 



First Lesson: 1 Kings 3:5–12

Psalm 119:129–136

Second Lesson: Romans 8:28–30

Gospel: Matthew 13:44–52

 

 

Opening Hymn:  “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” (LBW 526)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spE-BE23qxA




 



 

Sermon:  August 9, 2020

“Seek Wisdom & Justice”

(1 Kings 3:11)

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

     Who in their right mind would do that? Who would not instead ask for money; take it; and run? All of us, indeed, would rather have the cash. No doubt about it. But not Solomon of old. He could have asked for wealth, but he didn’t. He instead asked for the wisdom to tell the difference between good and evil (1 King 3:11). But didn’t he already know that? Wasn’t his request, then, a waste – a lost opportunity for great fortune? Surely he knew that killing people walking down the sidewalk in front of your house is wrong, and that providing emergency medical care for the injured is right. So what did he need to find out that he didn’t already know?

     Solomon was worried about weightier moral issues – like how to “distinguish between spirits” (1 Corinthians 12:10). They have to do with broad social trends like greed and licentiousness (Mark 7:22, 1 Thessalonians 2:5). And we are to be on top of them. “Test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Take being fair, for instance. Do you know how to do that? God loves justice, and so should we (Isaiah 61:8, Philippians 4:8). But that doesn’t tell us how to be just and fair. Does it mean coming up with a plan for a society free of all prejudice (John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, 1971)? Or does it have to do more with finding practical ways to remove injustices wherever you find them (Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice, 2009)? But how would you even know? Have you been fair when you have given everyone a chance to achieve? Or do you also have to assure some measure of success in addition to their efforts? Does that have to be added? And how much has to be added? And how do you know when all the prejudices have been identified and removed from the good society? Or is the only way to be fair if everyone is equal in every way? These questions are hot ones. Ouch!

     In the face of this confusion Jesus tell us to treat others the way we would like to be treated (Matthew 7:12). That’s called the Golden Rule. This is the right judgment we are to practice (John 7:24). If we don’t follow this law we will end up calling “evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). Martin Luther knew that this mixing-up is what gives us a “corrupt heart and… blurred vision.” When that happens, what “Christ and his adherents do must necessarily be wrong, but what the devil and his followers” do must be just fine (Luther’s Works 23:240, 242). But can we straighten this out? We long for a world “that’s more user-friendly” (Woody Allen, Apropos of Nothing: Autobiography, 2020, p. 313). But we suffer from severe limitations. Nothing at all is sound in us (Isaiah 1:6). Indeed, a “deluded person views nothing properly with his distorted thoughts, even when faced with words of truth; for his heart is embittered and inflamed by hatred” (LW 23:240). Why can’t those words of truth from God himself move us in the right direction? The answer is breathtaking, to say the least. Those words don’t turn us around, because we think we can “correct” them, supposing that we are “smarter than our Lord God” (LW 23:208). “What God has done is too poor and insignificant, even childish and foolish…. This is the nature of the shameful wisdom of the world, especially in the Christian church” (LW 51:384). Too bad that we haven't taken to heart the wish from that old pop song to “find a good book to live in” (Melanie Safka, “What Have They Done to My Song Ma?” 1970). Luther knew that good book was the Bible that we should learn to live in by thinking the way it does (LW 25:261).

       Now to get going in that direction, a shock is needed. This shouldn’t surprise us because this is exactly what it took to turn the Apostle Paul around (Acts 9:3–4). And our shock is Matthew 20:15 – “Do you begrudge my generosity?” Here Jesus does what is unfair – not paying everyone the same for the same amount of work – and he calls it being generous. Now there’s a shock for you! We also see it in the Parable of the Prodigal Son when the father celebrates the wayward son’s return, but not the older, faithful son’s kindness and help, steadfastness and industry (Luke 15:25–32). This lavishing of grace by God upon the undeserving (Ephesians 1:8) is a game-changer, as they say. Now something matters more than being fair – if you can believe it. Now sinners don’t receive their just desserts. Instead, they’re treated like righteous saints when they aren’t. That’s because they’re made to look better than they are. Robes of righteousness cover them (Isaiah 61:10). And we’re washed sparkling clean “in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). And that blood is the key to it all. Jesus is punished and dies as we should have when he fulfills the “just requirement” of the law (Romans 8:4). On the cross he cancels this legal bond which stood against us by suffering under it himself (Colossians 2:14). So Jesus dies for undeserving sinners (Romans 5:8). And that shock from the cross is what draws us to him (John 12:32). Then the righteousness of God is ours, and we belong to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30, Philippians 3:12). May we then trust in him big time – with all of our heart, mind, and soul, knowing that, before we get there, even a little confidence will do (Matthew 22:37, 17:20)

     Oh, and there is one more shock – just so you can match your faith with your works (James 2:26). You who have been lavished upon by God’s grace and received far more than you deserve (James 2:13), God calls you also now to do the same for others. So surpass justice, just as God has done in your salvation. Go ahead and “count others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3) – regardless if it makes any sense to you or not. And remember that those “who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please” themselves (1 Corinthians 15:1–2). May God continue to bless us so that we can abide in this godly wisdom and justice. Amen.

 


Hymn of the Day:   “O Word of God Incarnate” (LBW 231)

 

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 persons 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.

Luke Douglass

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

Janice Lundbeck

Melissa Baker

Melanie Johnson

Dorothy Ryder

  

 

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. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Rick Reynolds

The Rev. Alan Gardner

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

Carrie Jaecksche

Misty Bentz

Holly Finan

Wayne & Chris Korsmo

Pray for California troubled by fires, the East Coast troubled by hurricanes, Beirut devastated by an explosion, for the United States during this presidential election year, and 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:    “God of Grace and God of Glory” (LBW 415)



 



  

 

[Tom’s master, Augustine St. Clare, saw him] busily intent on his Bible, pointing, as he did so, with his finger to each successive word, and whispering them to himself with an earnest air. “Want me to read to you, Tom?” said St. Clare…. “If Mas’r please, said Tom, gratefully, “Mas’r makes it so much plainer”…. St. Clare read on in an animated voice till he came to the last of the verses [on judging the goats and the sheep in Matthew 25]…. St. Clare seemed struck with this last passage, for he read it twice, – the second time slowly, and as if he were revolving the words in his mind. “Tom,” he said, “these folks that get such hard measure seem to have been doing just what I have, – living good, easy, respectable lives; and not troubling themselves to inquire how many of their brethren were hungry or athirst, or sick, or in prison…. What a sublime conception is that of a last judgment!” St. Clare said, – “a righting of all the wrongs of ages! – a solving of all moral problems, by an unanswerable wisdom!.... Those who are excluded from Heaven… are condemned for not doing positive good, as if that included every possible harm…. What shall be said of one… who has floated on, a dreamy, neutral spectator of the struggles, agonies, and wrongs of man, when he should have been a worker?.... I confess that the apathy of religious people on this subject [of slavery], their want of perception of wrongs that filled me with horror, have engendered in me more skepticism than any other thing…. One can see, you know, very easily, how others ought to be martyrs”…. “And what are you going to do?” said Miss Ophelia. “My duty, I hope, to the poor and lowly, as fast as I find it out,” said St. Clare, “beginning with my own servants, for whom I have yet done nothing…. But, suppose we should rise up tomorrow and emancipate [a whole nation], who would educate these millions, and teach them how to use their freedom? They never would rise to do much among us. The fact is, we are too lazy, and unpractical, ourselves, ever to give them much of an idea of that industry and energy which is necessary to form them into men. They will have to go north, where labor is the fashion.”

 

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

chapter 28, at the end)

  

 

 

Although the popularity of Uncle Tom’s Cabin decreased in the last half of the twentieth century, Stowe’s novel remains widely read and referenced. Despite continued criticism of the work on political, aesthetic, or regional grounds, the novel has remained a best seller in the United States and abroad and has been translated into more than sixty languages…. Currently, there are some one hundred and fifty editions in print worldwide.

 

[Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin

(New York: Norton, 2007) pp. xlvi–xlvii.]

 

  






 





Online Sunday Liturgy

August 2, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover

 

 

  

The Rock of Gibraltar, circa 1400 feet high, photo from 1810.


The works that God… does are firm, certain, unchangeable, and eternal. Just as He Himself is unchangeable and eternal. Therefore, they stand and abide, firm and unfailing,… even if they are completely misused.

 

[Martin Luther, Sermon on Matthew 3:13–17 (1534),

Luther’s Works 57:181.]

 

In God…. to be, to live, to hope, to know are substantial matters, not accidents, as they are in man.

 

[Martin Luther, Disputation on John 1:14 (1539),

Luther’s Works 38:255–56.]

 

God is not changed just because you are changed.

 

[Martin Luther, Lectures on Romans 11 (1518),

Luther’s Works 25:432.]

 

I am the same Lord and deal in the same spirit, though in different works and with other people.

 

[Martin Luther, Lectures on Isaiah 41 (1529),

Luther’s Works 17:37.]

 

God does not change His mind as man does (1 Samuel 15:29). Accordingly, throughout Scripture… a later statement is not at variance with an earlier one.

 

[Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis 4 (1545),

Luther’s Works 1:304.]




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

August 2, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

Dear God, pour out upon us your spirit to think and do what is right, that we, who cannot even exist without you, may have the strength to live according to your will. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 



 

First Lesson: Isaiah 44:6–8

Psalm 86:11–17

Second Lesson: Romans 8:26–27

Gospel: Matthew 13:24–30

 

Opening Hymn: “Before Jehovah’s Awesome Throne” (LBW 531)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcyUMT7uhzE

 




 



 

Sermon:  August 2, 2020

“Love the Rock”

(Isaiah 44:8)

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

     What will happen to us? What will happen to the compassion we depend on coming from our good shepherd, Christ Jesus, our Lord and our God (Matthew 9:36, John 20:28)? What will happen when Jesus runs up against Isaiah 44:8 that God is a rock? How can a rock love us, show compassion and be kind to us? How can a rock be incarnate in Christ Jesus? A rock is so cold and solid. The big ones are heavy and immovable. How can such a Rock of Gibraltar care for us, bolster us, and save us? What will happen to us if God is our rock, and if Jesus is a boulder?

     The Bible sees no problem here. God is a rock (Isaiah 44:8) and God is love (1 John 4:16). They’re in the same holy book; they go together; they belong together. But critics say that’s impossible. Rocks and love clash and are incompatible – and so a loving rock of a God, makes no sense at all. Thinking that God is our rock is a delusion. That’s because in order to love someone, there has to be give and take. The lover adjusts to the needs of the beloved if there is to be any love between them. But rocks can’t do that. They’re immutable because they’re immovable – and that makes them unloving. Very smart people have been arguing for a long time that the church and its Bible are wrong about this. Trying to push a loving but immutable God is a “gigantic hoax of priest craft” (Charles Hartshorne, The Divine Relativity, Yale, 1948, p. 26). For the careful reader, the Bible even seems to be aware of this hoax, allowing for change in God “in ways entirely appropriate to the change” we experience in our lives (Charles Hartshorne, Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes, SUNY 1984, p. 43). God, then, must be changeable if there is going to be any love coming to us from him.

     But all of this theological uproar hasn’t changed the Bible a bit. It still says that God can’t change because he won’t change (Malachi 3:6). Martin Luther says that’s because our unworthiness cannot “hold back” his love for us, since his love for us was given “freely” to us in the first place, not being based on “any merits of any men,” since we’re all sinners and without any merit any way (Luther’s Works 18:413). Even though God does “different works” with various people, he remains “the same Lord” through it all, working “in the same spirit” (LW 17:37). The same goes for his holy Word which is “eternal” and applies “to all men of all times [remaining] the same through all the ages” – even though “in the course of time customs, people, places, and usages may vary” (LW 14:290). So God doesn’t erode like nature (Psalm 102:27). He’s changeless. And God isn’t fickle like people (Numbers 23:19). He’s faithful (1 Corinthians 10:13). What he brings is perfect – not being subject to any “variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:27). “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is [his] faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22). “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14), he says, and you can’t change that. No wonder his only son is the same every day and for all times (Hebrews 13:8). According to the Bible, if God weren’t changeless his love would be flimsy and worthless. But because he is changeless, his love is “firm, certain, unchangeable, and eternal” (LW 57:181). And that’s because his love for us is not based on our love for him. Luther, again, sees this very clearly. God “loves us,” he writes, “because of His love” for us; we are not loved by God “because [we] are attractive [to him]” (LW 30:301, 31:57). He doesn’t have to like us to love us. And that non-reciprocal love we can count on and admire – “we love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). While we were sinners he died for us (Romans 5:8). About this rejection of reciprocity, Luther states the obvious – “God is not changed just because you are changed” (LW 25:432). And so we want to imitate his love because it’s better due to being irreversible – “God does not change… as man does (1 Samuel 15:29)” (LW 17:258). Unlike us, “God refuses to change His ways…. It is God’s nature to help… by grace alone, without any merit or any works” coming from us (LW 56:207, 210). If God were changeable we couldn’t count on that.

     But while there is faithfulness in that rock, it doesn’t automatically win us over. For God’s faithfulness can also frighten us. Standing before that mighty rock of God, we tremble. Remember the opening lines from our opening hymn – “Know that the Lord is God alone, he can create, and he destroy” (Lutheran Book of Worship, 531). Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) – that “Danish Luther” (R. F. Marshall, Kierkegaard in the Pulpit, 2016, p. 286) – knew about this. His last published discourse was on it – “The Changelessness of God.” And so he writes that “there is sheer fear and trembling in… the changelessness of God. It is almost as if it were far, far beyond human powers to have to be involved with a changelessness such as that; indeed, it seems as if this thought must plunge a person into anxiety and unrest to the point of despair” (Kierkegaard’s Writings, 23:278). How can we stand it, after all, to hear God say that it is not for our sake that he helps us, but “for the sake of [his] holy name” (Ezekiel 36:22)? That troubles us. If his care for us isn’t inextricably bound up with our deserving it, then won’t his love for us soon peter out?

     And so despair would surely not be far away – if it were nor for the “steadfastness” of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:5). His changelessness is different. It surprisingly draws us to him (John 12:32) – for by that changelessness and steadfastness he was obedient unto death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). And his changelessness doesn’t repel us – for it is a “perfect love” that casts out fear (1 John 4:18). It is a love that suffers for us and with us (Romans 8:3, Matthew 11:28–30). It is a love that “always takes sincere interest in our needs” (LW 78:261). And it can always do that because it’s changeless. And it is just such reliability that can restore us. Indeed because of it, “we die to sin through Christ, who was made a sacrifice for sin and therefore killed sin so that it is no longer able to rule in us” (LW 73:294). Now that’s glorious! Let us then “crowd [his] gates with thankful songs” (LBW 531). And may we also listen to Jesus (Matthew 17:5), if we can but focus on him with a “constant gaze” (LW 26:356). “See to it,” Luther imagines him saying, “that you tread on Me, that is, cling to Me with strong faith and with all confidence of the heart. I will be the Bridge to carry you across. In one moment you will come out of death and the fear of hell into yonder life. For it is I who paved the way and the course. I walked and traversed it Myself, so that I might take you and all My followers across. All that is necessary is that you unhesitatingly set your foot on Me, wager boldly on Me, go cheerfully and happily, and die in My name” (LW 24:42). Indeed, by the poverty of Christ, we become rich – for he takes us with him, that where he is, we may also be (2 Corinthians 8:9; John 14:3).

     With that sacred promise and calling, deeply embedded in our hearts, let us share this good news with one another, and also help our neighbors with their physical needs. In this may we be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord our labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). And may we do all of this out of love for God, and because of God, who is the steadfast one and our Rock. Amen.


Hymn of the Day:   “O Holy Spirit, Enter In” (LBW 459) 

 

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 persons 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.

Luke Douglass

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

Janice Lundbeck

Melissa Baker

Melanie Johnson

Dorothy Ryder

  

 

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. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Rick Reynolds

The Rev. Alan Gardner

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

Carrie Jaecksche

Misty Bentz

Holly Finan

Pray also for Seattle and Portland troubled by riots, for the United States during this presidential election year, and 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:     “On What Has Now Been Sown” (LBW 261)



 



  

 

 

4427 California Avenue SW

Seattle, WA 98116

July 29, 2020

 

The remembrance of David Hume [1711–1776]… first interrupted my dogmatic slumber and gave a completely different direction to my research in the field of speculative philosophy.

 

[Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysic (1783), trans. Gary Hatfield, Cambridge, 2004, p. 10.]

 

I been sleeping all my life. And now that Mr. Marcus Garvey [1887–1940] done woke me up, I’m goin’ stay woke. And I’m gon help him wake up other black folk.

 

(Barry Beckham, Garvey Lives! 1971.)

 

God be gracious to us!... for changing and improving are two different things. One is in men’s hands and God’s decree, the other is in God’s hands and grace.

 

[Martin Luther, Commentary on Psalm 101 (1535)

Luther’s Works 13:217.]

  






 





Online Sunday Liturgy

July 26, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover

 

 

Even if we had all the books of all areas of study on earth laid before us, no one would be able to learn or know from them the origin of Adam, sin, and death, or what sin does, because Holy Scripture alone teaches this. Therefore, we should study it, for it will make us smarter than the whole world is apart from it. Whoever does not seek counsel from Holy Scripture will know absolutely nothing. Now we know how we must die, where we are going, and how to escape death and the devil; we know who has redeemed us and how we are to obtain these great treasures. We learn it from this book of Holy Scriptures alone.

 

(Luther’s Works 68:318–19)

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

July 26, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

Almighty God, we thank you for planting in us the seed of your word. By your Holy Spirit help us to receive it with joy, live according to it, and grow in faith and hope and love. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen. 

 



 

First Lesson: Isaiah 55:10–11

Psalm 65

Second Lesson: Romans 8:18–25

Gospel: Matthew 13:1–9

 

 

Opening Hymn: “Glories of Your Name Are Spoken” (LBW 358)

 




 



 

Sermon:  July 26, 2020

Trust the Bible

(Isaiah 55:11)

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

     Martin Luther trusted in the Bible – even though he knew that there were many reasons not to. Unfortunately, we too know about them, these many years later. For we see what Luther saw – “that in appearance God’s Word and work are very insignificant and despicable because they are not produced and portrayed with great pomp and majesty [and so they fail to] make the eyes stare and the mouth gape” (Luther’s Works 57:143). If the Bible physically vibrated with saving power and literally glowed with an intense, eerie light, we’d pay attention to it, for it wouldn’t any longer look just like an ordinary book. Then we’d diligently prepare for and attend Bible studies, and have the Good Book “regulate” [debent] our lives (LW 17:144). We would want everyone to join in with us poring over this stunning book. But the Bible doesn’t come across that way. And God allows this “for the precise purpose of making a fool out of the world’s wisdom. Since it tries to split hairs and find fault with God’s words and works, not allowing any of them to be right or good, He chooses to give it plenty of them and, despite everything, by such insignificant, despised words to accomplish things in His Christians which it can never understand or achieve”(LW 57:144). 

     Isaiah 55:11 rightly then says that God’s word does not return empty but accomplishes what it sets out to do – regardless of how it comes across and the way it looks. If you fall asleep during a performance of the famous speech, “All the world’s a stage,” in Shakespeare’s As You Like It (1600), then it returns to the Bard of Avon empty. But the Bible isn’t like that. It is reliable and we can trust in what it says and promises us. So when Exodus 3:20 said, for instance, that God will stretch out his hand and smite Egypt, and after that Pharaoh will let Israel escape from slavery into freedom – it happened (Exodus 15:13–16). And when Jesus said in John 11:25 that even though we die we shall live again – it happens because 2 Corinthians 4:14 says that the one who raised Jesus from the dead will also raise his followers from the dead. But when Jeremiah 1:18–19 says that God will turn Jeremiah into a fortified city with bronze walls and no one shall prevail against him – that promise looks broken when Jeremiah is beaten and thrown into a deep hole and left for dead (Jeremiah 20:2, 38:6). Jeremiah certainly believes that the promise was broken (Jeremiah 20:7). But was he right? Well, even though he was beaten, he was not killed. And even though he was thrown into that deep, dark pit – Ebedmelech, the Ethiopian, rescued him (Jeremiah 38:13). So God’s promise to Jeremiah hinges on what the line means that “no one shall prevail against him.” If it means that no one will lay a finger on him, then God’s promise was broken. But if it means instead that when the storms beat against his house, it will not fall (Matthew 17:25) – then the promise was kept.

     And likewise are all of God’s Words kept. For God does whatever he pleases (Psalm 115:3) – and no one can resist him (Romans 9:19). That’s because even though God “will not do what you want, [he] will do what [he wants], even when you are hostile and resisting” (LW 17:258). We can’t even prevent God from saving us by refusing to believe in him. Paul tried that and he failed miserably (Acts 9:20). For if our will “prevents [us from being saved], it must be mightier that God’s will…. [Therefore God] dares to stir up the whole world so that it sets itself against His will, so that they may see that His will must be done. How, then, does it make sense to say that I prevent and hinder my being saved if it is God’s will?” (LW 56:122–23). This is true because our faith in Christ is not based on our believing in him, strange though that may sound – but rather on the fact that he has chosen us (John 15:16). This drives us crazy that God would take into his favor those who don’t want him (Isaiah 65:1). We would rather reverse John 15:16, making it say instead: “‘I do not want to be chosen by God, but I want to anticipate Him and choose Him.’ But God can and will never tolerate this; He reverses [back] the order and declares: ‘You cannot and shall not choose Me, but I must choose you. Things will not go as you plan, but as I will. I will be your Lord and Master; I refuse to be taught by you’” (LW 24:260).

     This slap in the face enrages us all the more. We insist if that’s how it’s going to be, then there will never be any faith in us if it must be imposed on us from outside our range of preferences. God may force me in a direction that I do not want to go, but he’ll never make me rejoice in it. But we think that because of a wooden view of conversion that God doesn’t even care about, let alone use. Even though God takes us to himself, it still costs us “much travail” before we actually become his children. Before this selection in fact takes place, we surely have “to be humbled and to become rascals” (LW 30:133–34). This is all part of the potter molding the clay (Jeremiah 18:2–6, Romans 9:21). Faith is more turbulent than a mere change of mind. It’s a fight (1 Timothy 6:12). It’s like hanging between “heaven and earth.” It’s like being “suspended in the air and crucified,” Luther thought (LW 29:185). “To believe in Christ is to reach out to Him with one’s whole heart and to order all things in accord with Him.” And to believe in Christ is to gladly take up “every word” of his. “Because if you fail to believe even one word, you no longer are living in the Word of God. For the whole Christ is in every word and wholly in each individual word” (LW 25:238). That takes divine molding. That takes a fight against the flesh (Galatians 5:17). This “arduous battle” is imposed on us when God chooses us (LW 28:73). That’s because faith remakes us – giving us a new, second spiritual birth (John 3:3). Now we are fixing our minds on heaven and not on earth (Colossians 3:2) – giving up on the transient for the eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). 

     But it’s worth it because Christ is of surpassing worth (Philippians 3:8) – that pearl of great price (Matthew 13:46). What makes Jesus Christ so expensive is that he was obedient unto death, even death on a cross, and by that sacrifice to God, saves us from being punished for our sins (Philippians 2:8, Hebrews 9:14, 26, 1 Peter 2:24). That’s why we’re told that Jesus died “for sin” (Romans 8:3). Luther believed this and argued that Christ took “our sins upon Himself” when he died on the cross. That transfer frees us from any eternal punishment in hell for our sins. So if we give up the faith, “we are done for” (LW 56:87). Off to hell we go when we die, never to bask in the glories grace again (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

     May these words “rekindle the gift of God that is within you” (2 Timothy 1:6). May they inspire you to trust in the Bible and teach it to your children (Deuteronomy 6:7) – knowing full well that “the Word of God is never so despised as where it is richly taught” (LW 67:218). May you nevertheless be inspired to read the Bible regularly – examining its message with all eagerness (Acts 17:11) – knowing that it can’t be for a short time because “in Scripture [there’s] enough to study for all eternity” (LW 75:422). For indeed, once you get going, you “can never hear or learn enough” from the Bible (LW 57:244). May all these words resonate in you, that your faith may grow so that you can trust the Bible. Amen.


Hymn of the Day:   “Almighty God Your Word Is Cast” (LBW 234) 

 

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 persons 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.

Luke Douglass

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

Janice Lundbeck

Melissa Baker

Melanie Johnson

Dorothy Ryder

  

 

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. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Rick Reynolds

The Rev. Alan Gardner

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 Seattle and Portland troubled by riots, and  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 

 

Deaths:

The Rev. Paul Smith



 

 

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:     “On What Has Now Been Sown” (LBW 261)

https://www.youtubec.om/watch?v=2esMntJSozg



 



  

Lutheran Bishop Jón Thorkelsson Vídalín of Iceland

(1666–1720)

 

Human beings are created for mutual help; and we have God’s commandment that we are to strengthen and support one another (Galatians 6:2). God pardon us that we are far from obeying this command as we ought! But if we consider the matter rightly, we see that human help often does not reach very far. Some lack the means to help, others the will; others are far away and not available when trouble strikes, even if they would like to help. But God… never lacks either the power or the will to help. We need not send a long distance for Him, for He is near at hand to all those that call upon Him (Psalm 145:18). Besides, some of our troubles are of such a nature that no human power can remedy them [Matthew 17:19]. But there is no pain whatever that the universal Healer cannot cure. True, often human beings are able to save our lives, but only in so far as He wishes them to be saved at the given time, no further; for “the life of every living soul is in His hands” (Job 12:10). The difference between God’s help and man’s is this, that though He slays, He gives eternal life [Job 13:15]. As our Redeemer says: “He that believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). And notice this, brothers, that even the help we receive from men actually comes from God [John 15:5, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 4:10]; otherwise why should help come sometimes from the most unlikely and unexpected quarters?

 

[Whom Wind & Waves Obey: Selected Sermons of Bishop

Jón Vídalín (1718–20), trans. Michael Fell (1998) p. 216.]

 






 





Online Sunday Liturgy

July 19, 2020



 

Bulletin Cover

 

 

Salvation is hidden

from the wise and understanding

and revealed to children.

 

(Matthew 11:25)

 

 

The kingdom of heaven

belongs to children.

 

(Matthew 19:14)

 

 

Christ gave the nation’s sovereign

the cold shoulder, and He did not invite

men of distinction. He… selected the poorest

and most wretched beggars He could find,

such as poor fishermen

and good, simple, uncouth bumpkins.

 

((Luther’s Works 22:189)

 




Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

July 19, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

God of glory, Father of love, peace comes through you alone. Send us as peacemakers and witnesses to your kingdom, and fill us with joy in your promises of salvation. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen. 

 



 

First Lesson: Zechariah 9:9–12

Psalm 145:1–22

Second Lesson: Romans 7:15–25

Gospel: Matthew 11:25–30

 

 

Opening Hymn: “Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun” (LBW 269)

 




 



 

Sermon:  July 19, 2020

“Don't Be a Smarty Pants”

(Matthew 11:25)

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

     Believing in Jesus isn’t a philosophy. It’s not about arguments for the truth of what he said and did. It’s not about a theory explaining the world as he envisioned it. That’s why he said it wasn’t for the wise and intelligent (Matthew 11:25). Amazing, isn’t it? You would think he would’ve wanted as many smart people on his side as possible to defend what he was advocating so that it would have a better chance of catching on with more and more people in as many places as possible all over the world. But he didn’t. Later the educated and brilliant came. Later he was supported by all kinds of rational conversations, speeches and books. But Jesus never asked for any of this. Maybe that’s why his follower, Soren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), insisted that Jesus “needs no defense, is not served by any defense – [he] is the attacker” (Christian Discourses, 1848, Kierkegaard’s Writings 17:162). Be that as it may, Jesus knew adults would balk at what he had to say, so he gathered children around him instead who would go along with him without bickering or questioning him. In fact he insisted that his kingdom was actually for children (Matthew 19:14). Only kids, he said, could get in (Matthew 18:3).

     The spirit of Jesus has been reiterating this ever since he first sprang it on the world. That’s because so many of his followers want their faith in him to be intellectually respectable. They don’t want to be thought of as fools – regardless of the ancient, Biblical moniker that Christians are fools for Christ (1 Corinthians 4:10). They want to be thought of as smart – even though their faith isn’t based on reliable observation or non-controvertible evidence (Hebrews 11:1). It’s based on a leap, and not on arguments and evidence – not on walking by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Martin Luther was an intellectual who believed this and therefore had to take a stand against himself. Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation! (2 Corinthians 6:2). Don’t wait for the arguments to line up and the evidence to fall into place. Believe now! God is calling you to newness of life (Romans 6:4). God wants you to believe while living in a society that sings out against the faith – “I’m from the place where the church is the flakiest and nggs been praying to God so long that they atheist” (Michael Eric Dyson, JAY-Z: Made in America, 2019, p. 6). Believe anyway. Know that only those who haven’t seen what they believe in are blessed (John 20:29). Luther knew that Christianity was a leap, but not “across a shallow stream, with safe and solid banks on both sides.” No, he writes, “we must leap from the safe shore of life into [an] abyss without seeing or feeling a sure footing under us. We must leap, as it were, at random, merely trusting… God’s supporting and saving hand” (Luther’s Works 19:66). Children will do this – but not the careful and cautious, not the educated and prosperous, not the socially conscious, not the self-possessed. So Luther wasn’t surprised when he saw Jesus calling the simple, childlike fishermen – who dropped their nets and immediately took off with him (Mark 1:18). “Christ gave the nation’s sovereign the cold shoulder,” Luther writes, “and He did not invite men of distinction. He… selected the poorest and most wretched beggars He could find,… simple, uncouth bumpkins” (LW 22:189). They “live altogether in faith, without reason…. There is a lack of reason but not of faith” (LW 54:335).

     But are we like that? Or are we too smart for our own good? Are we full of ourselves? Have we become smarty pants? Have we fallen into the old trap of relying on our own insights (Proverbs 3:5)? Luther thought that “the worst of all are the most rational” (LW 76:54). Indeed, the “more learned… we are, the greater evil doers we become” (LW 79:248). Faith eludes us. Salvation slips away (Hebrews 2:1). So do you think that Jesus thought the smart were like the rich, and that they too would have a harder time getting into heaven than a camel does going through the eye of a needle (Matthew 19:24)? No doubt they share a common fate. What then shall we do? Divest of our wealth and erase whatever educational advantages we might have? The Bible has another way. Repent, it says. Take on a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17). If you don’t you’ll only get worse – with your sin being magnified, enlarged and aggravated (LW 6:195). Nothing will stop us from being “headstrong, proud, ignorant, and deceitful, unbridled, and haughty” (LW 73:126). But if we repent, then we “begin to hate sin sincerely; to recognize this immense, incomprehensible, and ineffable gift [of Christ’s sacrifice for sin]; to give thanks to God for it; to love, worship, and call on God; and to expect everything from Him” (LW 73:86).

     What drives us to repent is grace (LW 73:74). That grace is rooted in Christ’s sacrifice – whereby he killed “sin by sin.” And Jesus did that by the sacrifice he “made for sin,” by dying as a sinner himself (LW 73:86). That means that Jesus says to you – “You are no longer a sinner, but I am. I am your substitute. You have not sinned, but I have” (LW 22:167). How gracious! How merciful! And how effective. Indeed everything is finished (John 19:30) if this is what Jesus indeed does for us. So “run to Christ in faith” – ad Christum fide (LW 73:110)! May we rejoice and be glad – and watch out for any tampering with salvation on our part. Luther warns us that the world “insists on playing a role in this too. But the more it aspires to do in atonement for sin, the worse it fares. For there is no atoner but this Lamb; God recognizes no other” (LW 22:167). Let that exclusivity fill your hearts with joy – and no envy at all. Know that while you were still sinners, Christ had mercy on you, even though you didn’t deserve it (Romans 5:8). And by being punished in your place, you who were spiritually poor and in despair, are now rich with joy and freedom (2 Corinthians 8:9).

     So be children in the faith, brimming up with joy, peace, and contentment – knowing that you graciously belong to God (Philippians 3:12). Let thanksgiving for this great gift mark all of your days. And once on this road of righteousness, be on the look-out for heartier fare (Hebrews 5:12–13). Heed the call to maturity (Colossians 1:28, 4:12) – seeing it as a proper development of your childlike faith. Get ready to share in Christ’s sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). Watch out for God’s holy Word maliciously becoming “negligently cultivated and learned…. Go to battle, fight, steadfastly endure in hardship…. All these things are necessary” (LW 73:381). And to do that requires that you become mature in the faith – not giving up when the going gets tough (Matthew 13:21). That intestinal fortitude is the maturity sought in our life with Christ – rather than some sort of intellectual sophistication and theorizing. So be ready for that particular, volitional form of Christian maturity, knowing that it has nothing at all to do with being a Christian smarty pants. Amen.

Hymn of the Day:   “Dearest Jesus, at Your Word” (LBW 248) 

 

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 persons 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

Dorothy Ryder

  

 

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. Alan Gardner

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. 

                                                                       

 

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:     “Peace, to Soothe Our Bitter Woes” (LBW 338)



 



 

 

October 5, 1918

All of San Francisco’s amusement and public gathering places and schools were shut down. Two days later even church services were forbidden. The Church Federation of San Francisco recommended to its flocks the prompt reporting of all flu cases, the avoidance of everyone with respiratory illness, “and the cultivation of a wholesome and optimistic spirit and a sense of God’s nearness.” [Like in Philadelphia], Spanish influenza nearly over powered [San Francisco], despite the preparations that had been made. Hospitals overflowed, and the Red Cross, the Board of Health, and the churches improvised emergency hospitals wherever buildings were empty, large, and dry…. Yet San Franciscans didn’t act as if they were grateful. The police had to arrest hundreds for mask violations, and those who theoretically were obeying the law might just as well have broken it [walking around] with a flu mask hanging from one ear or tucked under the chin. Opponents of masking gathered together and founded the Anti-Mask League, which proved to be composed of public-spirited citizens, skeptical physicians, and fanatics…. [However] making a law is one thing, and enforcing it something else. The mayor of Denver, a city which also tried to mask, knew this to be true: “Why, it would take half the population to make the other half wear masks.”

 

(Alfred W. Crosby, America’s Forgotten Pandemic:

The Influenza of 1918, Second Edition, 1989, 2003, pp. 95, 112.)

 

 

A Grand Ledge man who stabbed an elderly man inside a Quality Dairy store after being refused service for not wearing a mask was shot and killed by an Eaton County deputy several miles away, Michigan State Police said…. Tuesday was the second day of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order that masks must be worn inside businesses.

 

(Kara Berg, “Mask Confrontation Leads to Stabbing, Suspect Fatally Shot by Eaton County Deputy,” Lansing State Journal, July 14, 2020.)






 





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 persons 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 persons 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 persons 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 persons 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 persons 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 persons 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 persons 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 persons 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 persons 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 persons 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 persons 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.]