Psalm 46:10 for Now

Online Liturgies September - December 2021

 

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 our building 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

September 26, 2021


 




Let us not avenge ourselves

nor repay evil with evil,

but suffer just as Christ does.

He suffers, just as He taught

and commanded,

does not avenge Himself,

does not return evil with evil, and so on.

 

(Luther’s Works 69:195.)

 




 



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

September 26, 2021

The Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

 

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

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, you call us to work in your vineyard and leave no one standing idle. Set us to our tasks in the work of your kingdom, and help us to order our lives by your wisdom. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

  

 


First Lesson: Jeremiah 11:18-20

Psalm 54:1–7

Second Lesson: James 3:16–4:6

Gospel: Mark 9:30–37

 

Opening Hymn:  “When Morning Gilds the Skies” (LBW 545)



 





Sermon: September 26, 2021

 

Call on God’s Wrath

(Jeremiah 11:20)

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

     God wants to help us. And so he makes it crystal clear that if we call upon him he will save us (Acts 2:21). That is his primary role in our lives. He comes to forgive us our sins so that we will not have to spend eternity in hell but rather have a room in his grand and glorious heavenly mansion (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46, John 14:2). But there’s more. He also comes to fight for us against our earthly enemies. From of old we are told – “Our God will fight for us” (Nehemiah 4:20). Remember how the Lord helped out Gideon in the battle against the Midians – scaring away the enemy, with a simple, loud series of blasting sounds (Judges 7:20)? Or how about when God sent two hundred soldiers to free Paul from jail (Acts 23:27)? So while God does his glorious work of salvation for us, he also does our dirty work for us on earth – keeping us safe from our enemies. Therefore we stand with Jeremiah of old and cry out to God – “let me see your vengeance upon my enemies, for to you have I committed my cause” (Jeremiah 11:20). And these same words are there in David’s promise that all believers share in – “God will requite my enemies with evil;” and in his faithfulness he will “put an end to them” (Psalm 54:5). And more startling still there is the prayer – let my enemies “be like the snail which dissolves into slime” (Psalm 58:8).

      Furthermore these prayers for help against our earthly enemies are not left hanging. No, instead strong support for them undergirds them. The first is the old yet ever-chilling pronouncement from God that “vengeance is mine” (Deuteronomy 32:35). In this mighty word we hear God reserve for himself, and for our benefit, his swift assault on those who look to undercut or otherwise, weaken, silence or get rid of us. And this word is not buried in some mythical, bloody past of the Old Testament – but is also right there twice in the New Testament (Romans 12:19, Hebrews 10:30). The other provision has to do with the variety of ways in which God comes down upon our enemies. This assures us that his pursuit of our enemies covers the waterfront. At one point God calls those assaults on our behalf his “four sore acts of judgment – sword, famine, evil beasts and pestilence” (Ezekiel 14:21). Added to these could be the earthquake in Numbers 16:32 – as well as the hailstones and storms in Isaiah 30:30 and Ezekiel 13:13. Martin Luther also tosses in the devil, fire, disgrace “and every misfortune which there is or can be on earth,” as additional measures of God’s wrath against our enemies (Luther’s Works 76:235). Clearly for Luther “the wrath of God… is no joke” (LW 28:264). And so neither should it be for any of us. Everyone should be scared to death by God’s wrath.

     But this is sadly not so – especially in God’s church. Many fear that if they concede the reality of God’s anger, there’ll be no turning back. All that will be left, they fear, is doom and gloom. But that’s not the case at all. Divine horror will persist, regardless of what we make of God’s assaults. That much is for sure. But for the believer in Christ there is so much more than God’s wrath. That’s because the blood of Jesus has saved us from that wrath (Romans 5:9). Here is the huge step forward that American Christians give up on. We avoid Biblical wrath because we fear getting stuck in it – becoming hateful and vengeful people ourselves. But Romans 5:9 won’t allow for this. We are not to worry about God’s wrath being inflicted on others by us. No, we instead are to concentrate on his wrath striking Jesus. That’s because his assault on his own Son for our sake is the sole source of our hope and our joy (Isaiah 53:4–5). Luther explains. “We must have someone,” he preaches, “who suffered an innocent, pure death for us and thereby paid God so that such wrath and punishment might be taken from us” (LW 57:123). Alleluia! – because precisely that happened in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. And in this sacrificial payment is our hope and joy. Why? Because as a result of it, we are rescued from punishment and given the promise of everlasting life. And Luther was further convinced that we can count on this gift. So he argues that “when we are fatigued, let us run to the fresh and untiring Christ and not remain with ourselves” (LW 17:30). Yes, by all means! Both are needed – God’s wrath and the untiring Christ. The wrath protects us; the untiring Christ refreshes us by forgiving us when we repent. Both are needed. Rejoice and be glad. Tell the whole truth about God and his message (Acts 20:27), and then take God’s protection and refreshment to heart.

     This double message is Christianity. These two points are the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). Both have been given to us to maintain Gods wrath and Christs grace (John 1:17). Both punishment and reward come from God. This is Luthers brief summary of our faith which he found in the severity and kindness of God in Romans 11:22. As our most eminent teacher, Luther's summary must also become our motto as well. And so Luther cries out to the church would that we knew “how important God considers obedience, since he so highly exalts it, so greatly delights in it, so richly rewards it, and besides is so strict about punishing those who transgress it” (The Book of Concord, ed. T. Tappert, 1959, pp. 576, 384). But when Christians get stuck in the deceitfulness of sin which hardens their hearts (Hebrews 3:13), and the gall of bitterness... in the bond of iniquity overtakes them (Acts 8:23), then they forfeit their motto. Then the twofold nature of Christianity is lost. Then they have eyes but do not see; ears but do not hear (Mark 8:23). And this happens all of the time in the church. Luther therefore concludes that when this spiritual plague consumes us, its worse than any resperatory virus could ever be. And thats because this spiritual contamination turns us into damnable knaves, pure and simple (LW 24:280, 43:228). How ghastly! And thats because all that they then want is kindness and grace without any severity or punishment. Indeed, now they sin because of stubbornness and wickedness. Therefore let us separate from them and depart from their midst” (LW 3:286). If not, let us at least bear witness to what is right and to rebuke what is wrong” (LW 69:195).

     So be especially careful. Much is at stake. Therefore as you struggle to live out your days in this grand new way of Christian living, be vigilant. Be sure that you “never avenge yourself” (Romans 12:19), for “he who retaliates is in the wrong” (LW 6:201, 46:25). So give up on seeking revenge for yourself – even though it’s our “tired timeless cry: I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you’” (Fraser Sutherland, Bad Habits: Poems, 2019, p. 42). Let us put a stop to that tired, timeless cry! Never forget that revenge is God’s business – not ours – since God alone is the one “who gave life [and] can rightfully take it away from those who have sinned” (LW 9:83). Our business is to try to “live peacefully with all” (Romans 12:18). Therefore let us “learn to leave vengeance to God” (LW 29:121). Luther then adds that God’s also better at getting even than you could ever be. His punishments are “more severe,” and those needing them “will not escape” from them (LW 21:124). So “God forbids us to hit back and take revenge. He not only comforts us that he will be avenged, but he also frightens us from meddling in [his] office; He alone will revenge and repay. At the same time… he compels us to have pity on them, since we have to leave room for God’s wrath and let them fall into God’s hands” (LW 76:235). So don’t forget that vengeance is God’s business, and not ours. Let these words dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16). And believe in them by the mercy of God as you struggle to know the right way to escape your enemies and be free of any fear of them by calling on God’s wrath. Amen.

Hymn of the Day: “All Depends on Our Possessing” (LBW 447)

 



 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (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.]



 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

The Nancy Lawson Family

Holly Petersen

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Rollie

The Tuomi Family

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Anthony Brisbane

Susan Curry

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Kurt Weigel

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Gary Grape

Larry & Diane Johnson

Wendy & Michael Luttinen

Michael Clark

Nita Goedert

Mariss Ulmanis

Brett & Kathy Moury

Shirley & Glenn Graham

Karen Granger

Mike Nacewicz

Mike Matsunaga

Bill & Margaret Whithumn

The Robert Shull Family

Mary Cardona

Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church (Clarkesville, GA)

Emily, Gordon and Evelyn Wilhelm

 

Pray for those wounded and killed in the shooting last Thursday in Collierville, Tennessee, just outside of Memphis. Pray for those killed and wounded in the train accident yesterday in Joplin, Montana, just north of Helena. Pray also for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. And pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America. Pray for peace in South Africa and Afghanistan. Pray also for those suffering from the earthquake in Haiti. Pray for those suffering from the aftermath of hurricane Ida. And pray for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl




 




Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

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

 

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

 

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



 


 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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


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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3lJ2RLFO7s



 


 

 

The vengeance and wrath of God are carried out in various ways:

sometimes through government, sometimes through the devil,

sometimes through illness, hunger, pestilence, fire, water, war,

hostility, disgrace, and every misfortune which there can be on earth.

 

(Luther’s Works 76:235) 

 




 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

September 19, 2021


 




So faith by itself,

if it has no works,

is dead.

 

(James 2:17)




 



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

September 19, 2021

The Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

 

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

 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity. Grant us the fullness of your grace, that, pursuing what you have promised, we may share your heavenly glory. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.  

 


First Lesson: Isaiah 50:4–10

Psalm 116:18

Second Lesson: James 2:1–18

Gospel: Mark 8:27–35

 

Opening Hymn:  “Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now” (LBW 253)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lord+jesus+christ+be+preawnt+now



 





Sermon: September 19, 2021

 

Do Good Works

(James 2:17)

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

     Christianity is about believing in Christ Jesus. That’s why it isn’t called Peace-ianity or – for that matter – Friends-ianity or Books-ianity, or Love-ianity or Music-ianity or even Justice and Righteousness-ianity, but only Christianity (Acts 11:26). Even so there’s still more to it than Christ. But that being said, we still have to be careful what we add and how we do it. And that’s because faith in Jesus is at the center of it all and must never be compromised in any way by what we add. We have to keep uppermost John 3:16 – “Whoever believes in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, should not perish but has eternal life.” That verse, with its resounding testimony, has to stand free and unscathed by any other material added. And what are those other things? Well, there are many. But chief among them is James 2:17 – “Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” Going with this verse – and in the same vein – is Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” And the same can be said for Galatians 5:25 – “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

     So good works are the primary additional matter to be included in Christianity. No doubt about it. But that doesn’t make them any less of a problem. Now why is that? If they’re so wonderful and belong in Christianity, how can they be such a problem? Well, it’s because they always want to usurp faith. They try to take over Christianity. Good works try to be what saves us from the wrath of God and the fires of hell and makes our lives godly. Good works are the tail that want to wag the dog! But they cannot and they must not, and so they have to be demoted. They can’t be in first place. No, they instead have to play second fiddle to grace and faith. They have to follow faith, not precede it. Martin Luther had this just right – while also grasping the difficulty involved. He therefore argues that faith must be “preached against works, even if works cannot be left out afterwards” (Luther’s Works 67:76). But how is that done? It has to be argued, Luther thought, that “no heart ever becomes righteous without faith [and] no works make anyone righteous, but the heart must first be righteous and good” (LW 78:324). Therefore “all works done before justification are… good for nothing” (LW 75:365). In that way good works are demoted. They aren’t strong enough to purify us in the sight of God. Their goodness is derived – coming from faith which precedes them. So good works cannot stand alone, being good whether the one doing them is good or not. Only a good tree can bear good fruit (Matthew 7:17). “So stick to the principle that bearing good fruit refers to the kind of life and good works that are in agreement with the Word and the commandment of God” (LW 21:261).

     What does purify us, then, if not good works? Only faith in the sacrifice of Jesus can “purify” us before God (Hebrews 9:14). How does it do that for us? It happens this way. When Christ dies in our place on the cross and is punished for our sins instead of us, he pays a “ransom” for us (Mark 10:45). That’s what makes him our Messiah (Mark 8:39). And when he becomes our ransom, he then turns “divine judgment away from us” and appeases God’s “wrath” for us. Nothing else can do this. “Thus grace was given to us free of charge, so that it costs us nothing; but it costs another very much for us. It was acquired with a countless, infinite treasure, namely, God’s Son Himself. Therefore it is necessary above all things that we have Him who did this for us. It is impossible to obtain grace other than through Him” (LW 76:17). Now if we want to rely on ourselves instead and do good works to try to get into heaven on our own, then we’re nothing but “hardened heads,” as Luther says, and all we have is “a frightening Christ,” who comes with “a thunderbolt to smash the iron cliffs and mountains” of our smug lives (LW 77:85). But when faith in Christ grips us, then we rejoice in this ransom forged on the cross and say “I shall... place my hope in the One who is my Advocate before the Father, and who gave himself for me” (LW 23:179)!

     Good works therefore are a wash-out when it comes to salvation – “for we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law” (Romans 3:28). Luther follows up on this verse by saying that good works never “present satisfaction for your sins before God [since they] leave sins unborne and unpaid” (LW 22:168). Indeed, “we do not partake of eternal life by virtue of our works but solely by faith…. [So] are we not fools to undertake through our good works,” Luther blasts, “to gain what we have already obtained through Christ?” (LW 23:111). Yes we are. Luther is right. That would indeed make us fools. That’s because works can’t save us and we’re fool for thinking they can and trying to make them do it. But that doesn’t make good works useless. They still have a purpose in their own right. Therefore it is a grievous Christian mistake to think that you have been “so liberated by the gospel that there is no further need to do anything, give anything, or suffer anything” (LW 51:207). No, we Christians have been called to “spend our lives [doing] good works, so that we live piously before God, righteously toward our neighbor, and chastely toward ourselves” (LW 57:37). But even then I have to remember and be certain that my good deeds are “not my work, but the mercy of God, who has used me as his instrument” (LW 51:225).

     Take money, for an example. We need to use it judiciously, by the grace of God – paying our way so that we aren’t a burden on anyone else (Galatians 6:5), and also sharing what we have with others in order to lighten their loads (Galatians 6:2). What’s ruled out is hoarding our money in “bigger barns” as Jesus warned us about (Luke 12:18–21). Those barns would make us “haughty,” so that we fail the “test” inherent in our wealth. Passing God’s test on money only happens when, regarding the way you use your money, you “abide in His fear,... humble yourself before Him, and also... render obedience that is due Him” (LW 3:248). So we have to be careful with our money because it is harder for a rich person to get into heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (Matthew 19:24). A rich person with money in hand isn’t inclined to fear God, be humble or obedient.

     Because most Christians don’t care about what God thinks about how they use their money, but operate only according to principles of self-interest and good finance, Saint James attacks us mercilessly. He does this in a truly remarkable Bible passage. It’s from James 5:l–6 and says – “Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire…. You have lived on earth in luxury and in pleasure. You have condemned... the righteous one.” May these words abide in us all – and shake us down to the core. May they teach us the godly life. May they graciously drive us to Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And may they at the last even show us how to rightly do good works. Amen.

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

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

 



 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (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.]



 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

The Nancy Lawson Family

Holly Petersen

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Emma Sagmoen

Greg Lingle

Rollie

Kris, Jamey and Jake Sagmoen

Kari, Simon and Alex Ceaicovschi

The Tuomi Family

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

The Ortez family

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Jeff Stromberg

Dana Gioia

Gary Grape

Judy Berkenpas

Larry & Diane Johnson

Phil Anderson

Wendy & Michael Luttinen

The Olegario Family

Nita Goedert

Mariss Ulmanis

Brett & Kathy Moury

The Carling Family

Shirley & Glenn Graham

Karen Granger

Mike Nacewicz

Mike Matsunaga

Bill & Margaret Whithumn

The Robert Shull Family

Mary Cardona

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America. Pray for peace in South Africa and Afghanistan. Pray also for those suffering from the earthquake in Haiti. Pray for those suffering from the aftermath of hurricane Ida. And pray for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

                                                                       

 

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:  “Son of God, Eternal Savior” (LBW 364)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kElt5qpXiD8



 


 

God does not grant wealth in order to cause you to conclude from it that He is gracious; He has bestowed another greater benefit, and from it you may properly reach this conclusion. He wants to put you to the test, to see whether you are willing to abide in His fear, to humble yourself before Him, and also to render obedience that is due Him. For very few do this; they become haughty because of their good fortune…. Unless hearts are enlightened and ruled by the Holy Spirit,… it is impossible for them not to be corrupted by favorable circumstances…. But the world does not believe this…. They indulge in drunkenness and gluttony…. But it is well known what usually results from drunkenness.

 

(Luther’s Works 3:248.)

 




 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

September 12, 2021


 



Wherever you now are… and in whatever estate you are found, there you are to flee the world. How does this happen? Not by… crawling into a corner or into a wilderness. You cannot escape from the devil and sin in that way. He will find you just as easily in the wilderness… as in the market…. Rather, you must flee the world with your hearts [and] do not adhere to this worldly way of life, but cling to Christ according to… faith and wait for the eternal inheritance of heaven.

 

(Luther’s Works 77:200)



 



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

September 12, 2021

The Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

 

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

 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, you know our problems and our weaknesses better than we ourselves. In your love and by your power, help us in our confusion and, in spite of our weakness, make us firm in faith. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 


First Lesson: Isaiah 35:4–7

Psalm 146

Second Lesson: James 1:17–27

Gospel: Mark 7:31–37

 

Opening Hymn:  “Jesus Shall Reign” (LBW 530)



 






Sermon: September 12, 2021

 

Pursue Purity

(James 1:27)

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

     Saint James pulls us up short. He tells us to keep ourselves unstained from the world (James 1:27). That’s because this is a hostile place – or a “vale of tears,” aus dem jamar tal, as Martin Luther repeatedly called it (Luther’s Works 12:119, 22:119, 24:186, 28:104, 122, 49:270, 53:241, 68:299). And this admonition to purity is part of what it means to practice “pure religion.” So we can’t afford to get it wrong. But these noble words don’t have much of a life among us. They’re instead drowned out by Louie Armstrong’s famous song What a Wonderful World (Thielet & Weiss, 1967). You remember how that well-loved song goes, don’t you? After each of its verses recounting the beauty of nature, the love we show for each other, and the hope of children growing up to be smarter than we are, he concludes three times with his famous line – “And I say to myself what a wonderful world.” When that song holds sway there’s no room left for avoiding the stains from the world because it’s too wonderful to stain any of us. Washed away, then, is the Biblical account of how wicked the world is. Armstrong’s song rules the day. Gone are the words about the devil being the god of this world who has blinded us so that we can’t believe in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4). Luther thought that left us like pigs, lying “in the mire or manure,” resting and snoring and thinking only of where there is “slop and swill,” knowing nothing of death, fearing no hell, looking forward to no heaven, and hoping for “no future life” (LW 57:27). All of this is too negative to make it into a popular song. It’s also too negative for the church when it comes to publishing worship books that see fit to praise the goodness of creation (“All Creation Sings: Another Bad ELCA Worship Book,” The Messenger, April 2021). But Luther is quick to pick it up because of his love for the Holy Scriptures. He can’t forget that they say – don’t love this evil place (1 John 2:15) and don’t be conformed to it (Romans 12:2). And so he adds all on his own – “The world is one big whorehouse, completely submerged in greed,” and “No animal would live as disgracefully as does this world” (LW 21:180, 14:112). No question here that Luther understands what we’re up against! He isn’t wearing any rose-colored glasses! And so he concludes that “the world is like a drunken peasant. If you lift him into the saddle on one side, he will fall off on the other side. One can’t help him, no matter how one tries. He wants to be the devil’s” (LW 54:111)! And this rejection of divine grace, Luther believed, is “greater and more horrible than anyone can express” (LW 26:179).

     What shall we do, then, if we have been taken over by Armstrong’s popular song – and even find ourselves humming it as we walk around during the day? What shall we do if we find ourselves “lodging here in an inn where the devil is master, and the world is the mistress of the house, and all manner of evil lusts are the domestic servants” (LW 69:219)? Try this. Hold on to this word from the Good Book – “I will come and save you” (Isaiah 35:4). Keep that word from God before you. And know that this prophecy was all fulfilled in Jesus dying on the cross. For when that happened, sinners were saved from God’s burning hot and devouring wrath (Romans 5:9). So don’t pass up this great divine rescue, whatever you do! Luther warns us about that. “When the world refuses to have Christ,” as he clearly points out, “it reaps only loss of God’s grace and…. closes heaven on itself and… incurs eternal wrath… and casts itself into the abyss” (LW 24:164). So take up Christ. Put him on (Galatians 3:27). Believe in him and accept him so that you can benefit from him (Romans 3:25). Again Luther has just the right warning – but about faith this time. “If you regard... my medication as nonsense,” he writes, “then you are arbitrarily sentencing yourself to death, and then the fault is yours” (LW 23:337). Start today, then, and fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). Stop trusting in yourselves (Proverbs 3:5). Look to Jesus instead and take up newness of life (Hebrews 12:2, Romans 6:4). And it will be a strange, albeit new, life. Luther describes it this way – “This is the connotation of My words: peace means discord; good fortune means misfortune; joy means anxiety; life means death in the world. Conversely, what the world calls discord, fear, and death, I call peace, comfort, and life. It is life, friendship, and comfort, but not in the world; you will find this in Me. Through My Word your heart will be made invulnerable to the world, the devil, and hell.... When this Word enters the heart, it engenders courage” (LW 24:420). But some sadness is there as well, for “the saints cannot behold the wickedness of the world without intense grief” (LW 2:217).

     Living in that faith, let us then all join together and put the world in its place. Let our motto as a people be James 4:4 “Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Thats because, as Luther notes, “love for God and love for the world are not compatible” (LW 30:249). Let us promote this verse near and far. And well have to work at it because, as Luther again points out, “to give up tangible things for... the Scripture is truly a big order. And people do not do this unless they have died to material things, at least in their feelings,” he adds, “even though in practice they still use them out of necessity rather than willingly.... They do all these things to God, whom they serve in all of these matters, seeking nothing of their own in them” (LW 25:516). Your fleeing from the world in order to remain unstained by it will therefore mean doing so “with your hearts” (LW 77:200). In that case we can live in the midst of material things but without being “carried away by [our] affection” for them (LW 15:9). But as long as we are here we will help to “rescue and protect” others from all dangers (LW 77:201). As for fleeing this world with our hearts, further help for doing so comes from a strange place, to say the very least. It is that great Robin Williams film – Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). In it Louie Armstrong’s song What a Wonderful World is used. But it’s used in such a way that it trashes it! It plays it in the movie while scanning sexual and child abuse, destruction of villages, executions, and police brutality in Vietnam during our war there. So much for a wonderful world! It is shocking for its clarity and courage of depiction. So use this movie clip. Tell people to look it up online. It’s less than three minutes long. It’s well worth it. For it helps us spread the Biblical message – if you can believe that! Thank God for this cinematic witness and pray that he would mercifully help you, living in this thoroughly wicked place, as you struggle to be faithful and pursue purity. Amen.



Hymn of the Day: “O God, My Faithful God” (LBW 504)

 

 



 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (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.]



 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

The Nancy Lawson Family

Holly Petersen

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Emma Sagmoen

Greg Lingle

Rollie

Kris, Jamey and Jake Sagmoen

Kari, Simon and Alex Ceaicovschi

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

The Ortez family

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Jeff Stromberg

Dana Gioia

Gary Grape

Judy Berkenpas

Larry & Diane Johnson

Phil Anderson

Wendy & Michael Luttinen

The Olegario Family

Nita Goedert

Mariss Ulmanis

Brett & Kathy Moury

The Carling Family

Shirley & Glenn Graham

Karen Granger

Mike Nacewicz

Mike Matsunaga

Bill & Margaret Whithumn

The Robert Shull Family

Mary Cardona

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America. Pray for peace in South Africa and Afghanistan. Pray for the many still grieving for loved ones lost in the 911 attacks twenty years ago. Pray also for those suffering from the earthquake in Haiti. Pray for those suffering from the aftermath of hurricane Ida. And pray for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

                                                                       

 

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)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LvoE1vCeT8



 


 

Christians should use the world in such a way that they are always intending to get out of this life, even though they have house and home, wife and child. That is only for this life; they should do what is right for them, but at the same time say: “Today I am here; tomorrow, somewhere else. Now I use this inn; tomorrow I will use another, for I do not intend to remain here”…. He has no lasting place here except as a stranger who comes among the other guests, lives to serve and please them, does what they do, and where there is danger or necessity joins with them and helps to rescue and protect.

 

(Luther’s Works 77:201)

 




 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

September 5, 2021


 



Seek first the kingdom of God.

 

(Matthew 6:33)




 



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

September 5, 2021

The Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

 

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

 

Let us pray:

O Lord our God, we thank you for your Son who chose the path of suffering for the sake of the world. Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience, and give us strength to follow his commands. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 


First Lesson: Deuteronomy 4:1–8

Psalm 15

Second Lesson: Ephesians 6:10–20

Gospel: Mark 7:1-23

 

Opening Hymn:  “Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun”

 (LBW 269)




 






Sermon: September 5, 2021

 

Keep God on Top

(Mark 7:8)

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

     The Bible turns the world upside down (Acts 17:6). It attacks us saying we should quit dwelling on ourselves and those who love us and support us. We need to stop relying on ourselves and our own insights (Proverbs 3:5). We need to think more highly of others (Philippians 2:3). We need to love our enemies and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). We need to follow God rather than our own human customs and ways of life (Mark 7:8). We need to seek first the kingdom of God (Mathew 6:33). We need to be born all over again (John 3:5). Martin Luther was taken over by this Biblical avalanche of strange and foreboding sayings. And so he preached that “it is necessary for us to be careful not to follow the ways of the world or our own reason and good opinions, but rather also to break our mind and will, and do and suffer otherwise than our reason and will assert, so that we are not conformed to the world but do the opposite. So we will daily be transformed and renewed in our minds; that is, we daily, more and more, cling to what the world and reason hate. For example, we daily prefer to be poor, sick, and despised fools and sinners, and finally regard death as better than life, foolishness as more precious than wisdom, shame as more noble than honor, poverty as more blessed than wealth, and sin as more glorious than piety. The world does not have that mind-set, but is minded differently in all things, it remains in that old mind-set unchanged and un-renewed, stubborn and decrepit” (Luther’s Works 76:188–89). Who could blame that old mind-set! But this is as it should be if God’s ways and thoughts are truly so much greater than ours (Isaiah 55:8–9).

     We know about such upheavals in other contexts. Some Americans still remember fifty years ago when Daniel Ellsberg published The Pentagon Papers (1971) which proved that a secret war was going on in Vietnam and Southeast Asia that was contrary to what our government had been telling us. And now just this past week Craig Whitlock has revealed the same sort of thing in Afghanistan (The Afghanistan Papers, 2021). But neither of these are as disorienting as the Bible is to say the least. And that’s why when people pick it up they know not what to make of it – and they end up loving the darkness rather than the light (John 3:19). The Holy Scriptures don’t lead them to love God with all of their heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37). They instead are stuck in darkness – loving themselves and pleasure instead (2 Timothy 3:2–4). The “glory of faith” is lost on them, and they give up on being driven by “the bare voice of God,” which leaves them unable to love and prefer that divine revelation “above everything” else (LW 29:238). No wonder we’re “headstrong, proud, ignorant and deceitful” – anything but humble and trusting in Christ our Lord (LW 73:126). We’ve drifted away (Hebrews 2:1). “We have become foolish through our own wisdom…. Our nature is evil and corrupt” (LW 73:137). That leaves us in a deep, dark hole of moral and spiritual degradation. We know nothing of a “heart and mind” that are “in Christ, from Christ, and under Christ” (LW 75:171). We know nothing of being “so soured on the world” (LW 21:206). But we remain disoriented nonetheless. Ken Burns has shown in his famous documentary on baseball (1994) that it also has a similarly weird streak running through it too – being the only professional sport where the defense has the ball. While this case along with the Vietnam and Afghanistan cases are not exact fits, they still help us understand the disruptive in our lives.

     Trapped, then, as we are in this ghastly predicament of our pervasive sinfulness, there’s no hope for us. That’s how upsetting the Biblical message is. From it we learn that we cannot save ourselves from this wickedness (Psalm 49:7–9). It’s impossible. And there we are left all by ourselves – with darkness as our only companion (Psalm 88:18). Many have rebelled at this point arguing that historical Christianity was never “seriously believed and perhaps never could be, for belief upon authority in a mystery you cannot understand is not clear belief” (Don Cupitt, Theology’s Strange Return, 2021, pp. xvi–xvii). But most just remained baffled. And there they would stay unless a miracle were to change everything. There we would be unless we were somehow rescued. There we would remain unless we were to believe in that “fragrant offering” that Christ made to his father in heaven when he died on the cross to save us from being punished for our sins (Ephesians 5:2). That’s because that offering saves us from the wrath of God (John 3:36, Romans 5:9). Because of Christ’s agonizing death, God now “lavishes” his grace upon us that we might believe in Jesus and be saved for all of eternity (Ephesians 1:8). Why does this happen? Luther explains it this way. “Christ has taken our place,” he argues in one of his disputations, “and He makes good what we lack and by His blood erases the… decree that stood against us, until finally that Law has been satisfied by one in the place of us all” (LW 73:127). This is the glory of Jesus (John 12:23). May we ever delight in it and believe on the basis of it all of our days.

     Let us then take up that strange and wonderful life of faith. Let us be in the church in a consistent way with what it stands for. Let us not leave our faith behind and fashion a worldly church with no connection to what matters most to Jesus. No, let us remember that we must always remain as our Lord taught us not of the world even though we live in it (John 17:14–15). Luther grasped that paradox stating clearly that “the Church exists in the world but is not the world itself, nor does she live according to the world” (LW 73:302). Some say this is as it should be given the hostile nature of life – remembering that in the Bitterroot mountains of Idaho and Montana back in 1910, a fierce forest fire consumed “three million acres in barely two days” (Timothy Egan, The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America, 2009, p. 9). Be this as it may, Luther then deepens his critique of the world by adding this breathtaking warning which should guide every member of every Lutheran church throughout the world. And it is this – because there are “hard and impenitent people in the churches, we must repeatedly and diligently drive home…. God’s wrath threatening the destruction of the whole world” (LW 73:100). It’s only when our faith is enclosed in such fear that we can live faithful lives in a church that’s in the world. To that end, may the church lift up and nurture pastors to lead the church in this way. May they be brave souls – disregarding even their own safety, as pastors of old did in the wild West when, for instance, one preacher was found “dead,... leaning against a chair, a bridle around his neck and his hands raised as if in prayer” (J. M. Opal, Avenging the People: Andrew Jackson, the Rule of Law, and the American Nation, 2017, pp. 15, 25). Luther knew we needed such people. “It is a great thing,” he preached, “to struggle unceasingly through your whole life. Therefore, there is certainly a need for good trumpets and drums, that is, for preaching and exhortation that strengthen us and keep us brave in the struggle” (LW 75:20). So may God strengthen us for just this lifelong battle. May he enable us to fight everything in the world in order to keep God on top. Amen.

Hymn of the Day: “Oh, that the Lord Would Guide My Ways” (LBW 480)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF4fXnrDiR0

 



 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (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.]



 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

The Nancy Lawson Family

Holly Petersen

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Emma Sagmoen

Zoe Sagmoen

Greg Lingle

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

The Ortez family

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Jeff Stromberg

Dana Gioia

Gary Grape

Judy Berkenpas

Larry & Diane Johnson

Phil Anderson

Wendy & Michael Luttinen

The Olegario Family

Nita Goedert

Mariss Ulmanis

Brett & Kathy Moury

The Carling Family

Shirley & Glenn Graham

Karen Granger

Mike Nacewicz

Mike Matsunaga

Kris, Jamey and Jake Sagmoen

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America. Pray for peace in South Africa and Afghanistan. Pray for the many who died in the suicide bombing at the airport in Kabul, and those mourning their deaths. Pray also for those suffering from the earthquake in Haiti. Pray for those suffering from the aftermath of hurricane Ida. And pray for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

                                                                       

 

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 God. Praise Him” (LBW 529)



 


 

He who does not obey the Son

shall not see life, but

the wrath of God rests upon him.

 

(John 3:36)