Online Sermons
January 16, 2022

 



Epiphany


 



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

January 16, 2022

The Second Sunday After the Epiphany

 

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

Father of heaven and earth, hear our prayers, and show us the way to peace in the world.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

 

 

First Lesson:  Isaiah 62:1-5

Psalm 36:5-10

Second Lesson:  1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Gospel:  John 2:1-11

 

Opening Hymn:  “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise” (LBW 90)  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVWsOpMYp9A

 



 




Sermon: January 16, 2022

 

Devine Wine

John 2:10

 

The Reverend Philip Nesvig

 

Today’s Gospel story is about wine—150 gallons of wine.  That will get the attention of most of us!  This is “Total Wine & More!”  But is our story about wine or something else?  Maybe it’s about marriage.  Our hymnal has this lovely prayer in its “Marriage” service.  “Eternal God, our creator and redeemer, as you gladdened the wedding at Cana in Galilee by the presence of your Son, so by his presence now bring your joy to this wedding.”  See, the story must be about the joy that Jesus brings to a couple at their wedding.  Then again, maybe it’s about the first of Jesus’s seven signs which, John tells us, was a way for Jesus to “reveal his glory.”  Or maybe this story is about “the third day.”  John drops a hint here for Christian ears.  The Creed says “on the third day he rose again.”  That makes it sound like a preview of coming attractions, a trailer—if you will—of Easter Sunday. 

     Maybe this story is about the stereotypical “Jewish mother.”  Mary is chiding Jesus, and Jesus responds with what is called “oppositional behavior.”  “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me?”  “Woman?” Mary might have sneered.  “You dare to call me “woman” and not “Mother?!”  Not “Mom?!”  Maybe this story is about “cancel culture,” that is, setting aside the Jewish purification rite of washing pots and dishes, hands and feet in order to be ritually clean at the wedding.  Maybe Jesus is saying, “Throw that dirty water out, and replace it with fresh water.  I am the fresh water.  Wash with me in the waters of baptism.”  And, if a wedding miracle is going to happen, it’s going to happen with clean water!  Maybe this gospel story is about a peculiar kind of etiquette—namely, get the wedding guests lightheaded with cheap wine, then start pouring the good wine.  What sense is there in that?  Well, what sense is there in most of what Jesus said and did?  There is no obvious sense, except for these three words:  First—“My hour has not yet come,” said Jesus.  And, John the story-teller concludes this episode with “Jesus revealed his glory.” Now the third word, equally important to the first two words is this.  “His disciples believed in him.”

     What is this Gospel passage about?  Well, it really is about wine—not human wine, but “divine wine.”  Divine wine is a contrast to human wine, both in quantity and in quality.  The quantity is the self-emptying of Jesus at the cross.  That’s mighty big!  The quality is the new life given through the resurrection.  In order to appreciate these contrasts, let’s take a quick look at human wine.

     One of my best friends for the last 45 years has been Leonard in the Walla Walla Valley.  He was raised to manage apple orchards but expanded to vineyards about 20 years ago.  He and his wife own a fabulous 10-acre vineyard which produces grapes for several well-known wineries.  (See me after the service for which bottles to buy!)  I have followed Leonard around in his vineyard, observing the production of grapes from their May bloom till their October harvest.  I have watched his crew harvest the grapes, then truck them to the winery for the crush.  Then there’s the yeast, the fermentation, the filtering, the barrels, and finally the wait.  After 2.5 years, there’s the bottling, but in between comes the barrel tasting and the blending.  Then the bottling line is set into motion and off comes the corked wine, then the foil and the labels.  What’s left to do?  Marketing and sales!  Now comes the enjoyment of the consumer.  That’s human wine at its best.

     One day I asked Leonard how to make bad wine.  He looked at me like I had two heads.  He was not into making bad wine but very high quality wine!  “Well,” he began, “if you don’t have good grapes, good growing conditions, a timely harvest, good yeast, good fermentation, good blending, or if you water it down, then you’ll have bad wine. Cheap wine. Even the cork will make a difference.  There are plenty of shortcuts, but I’m not into bad wine.”

     Now let’s use the metaphor of wine and turn it from human wine to divine wine.  What do we get?  Are we into “bad wine” or “divine wine?”  Bad wine is the easy wine—the easy religion.  We may call it any number of things.  One bad wine is “cheap grace,” as Bonhoeffer famously called it.  Cheap grace is grace without the cross of Christ, grace without confession and repentance.  Another bad wine is glory road theology where your faith is made valid by the good things which happen to you.  This is fine when “the mountain is out,” but watch out when nature isn’t kind.  Be very careful of feeling good about being a Christian through looking at the beauty of nature, the joys of friendship and human love, the gradual climb up your employment ladder, the Seahawks & Huskies record, your disease-free Covid status, your longevity, your retirement plan with all the perks lined up to satisfy you. 

     Bad wine is all our human accomplishments which we use as substitutes for the real thing—the Divine Wine who is Christ.  Bad wine is an idol.  Divine Wine is the Son of God, Jesus Christ and his grace and the forgiveness of all our sins.

     Be very careful with all of this.  It is not “divine wine” or anything close to it.  You may think your hour has come when things are going well, but your clock may well spin backwards, and you suddenly see that your hour didn’t come but left, sending you into a downward spiral.  Instead, the only hour that comes which is always timely, always punctual, always dependable, always never late or too early but “right on time” is the hour that came long ago for Christ our Lord.  It came to him on Good Friday.  It was his submission to the will of the Father.

     For those of us of a certain age, we remember the TV commercial with the somewhat snooty Orson Welles shilling for Paul Masson:  “We will sell no wine before its time.”  Compare that with Galatians 4.4-6:

    “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.  And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ’Abba!  Father!’  So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.”

     So we confess our sins this and every day.  We settle for bad wine, and confess that is our preference.  It is, after all, cheap, so it’s good for our bank account.  But then we rejoice.  Do not be misled or mistaken.  The Divine Wine is costly but only for Christ.  The Divine Wine—Christ himself— has been given to us “in the fullness of time.”  It is grace—gratis!  Christ’s hour came at Golgotha, his revelation of glory.  And in our own time this Sunday morning we participate in that hour of crucifixion glory with the means of grace—the wafer and the sweet Port wine from our silver chalice.  It’s Divine Wine, and it doesn’t get much better than that!

     Christ’s hour of glory came hidden in the despair and abandonment of the cross.  Nevertheless, that hour was the revelation of God’s glory in the life and sacrificial death of the Word made flesh—full of “grace and truth” from the beginning when he appeared in human form—and then revealed in the fulness of glory on the day of resurrection. 

     So to review:  Jesus said his hour had not yet come at the wedding of Cana.  Instead, the hour came for Jesus at the cross.  That was the right time.  And his glory was revealed precisely at that time, when, to use the words of St. Paul, “he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.”  But God was not done with him quite yet, says Paul.  “Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  (Phil. 2.8-11)

     Now comes the third word to hear and observe.  “His disciples believed in him.”  To believe is to “trust and obey” as the Gospel hymn says, “because there’s no other way.”  The servants—the waiters at this wedding—obeyed the word of Jesus even though they may not have believed what was about to happen.  But obedience counts for a lot in the kingdom of God, so the servants—the waiters—filled the six jars with water to the brim.  The rest was up to Jesus.  In a way that none of us is prepared to explain or understand, the water became wine—fine wine fit for this joyous marriage feast. 

     The servants obeyed, and the disciples believed.  To believe is to trust even without complete evidence or understanding.  The disciples led the way in trusting.  They drank the “divine wine.”  If you’re having trouble trusting, try some “divine wine.”  It’ll make you lightheaded, but in a good way.  Divine wine will help you see clearly the ways of Christ in our world.  Divine wine will move you to display not the works of the flesh, which are obvious says Gal. 5.  “Fornication, impurity licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealously, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.”  No.  Divine wine will move you to bear the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Drink this “divine wine,” all 150 gallons of it!  Drink and rejoice.  You are receiving a mouthful of grace and truth. (Jn 1.17) Drink and serve.  You are being empowered to bear fruit.  “Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15.7) Drink and trust.  Your sins are forgiven.  Evil will one day be completely vanquished.  The victory Christ received over death will one day be yours.  Drink and receive the peace that passes all understanding.  Amen.

 

 

Hymn of the Day:  “All Praise to You, O Lord” (LBW 78)



 




 

We remember in prayer church members.

Jane Harty and family

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Holly Petersen

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Robert Schorn

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Alan Gardner

Tabitha Anderson

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Hank Schmitt

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Gary Grape

Larry & Diane Johnson

Nita Goedert

Mariss Ulmanis

Shirley & Glenn Graham

Karen Granger

Mike Nacewicz

Mike Matsunaga

Bill & Margaret Whithumn

The Robert Shull Family

Mary Cardona

Emily, Gordon and Evelyn Wilhelm

Angel Lynne

Randy Price

Nick Karlson

Paul Sponheim

The Thoren Family

Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church (Clarkesville, GA)

 

Pray 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 the COVID virus in the USA and in the world. Pray for peace in our country and around the world. 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 we will be able to gather together again soon, 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:  “As with Gladness Men of Old” (LBW 82)  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB8rKNrlpDQ



 

“It is normal for crises, or emergencies, or at least for problems like this to arise in life and in marriage.  Wine gives out.  This biblical text, often used at weddings, can teach us at the beginning of the story that the extravagant wine of wedding celebrations will always, eventually, give out, and (as the story teaches) that Jesus is always equal to the crisis.  Is it not encouraging to marriage that Jesus’ first miracle repairs marriage’s needs and failings?

     “My hour has not yet come.”  Usually in our Gospel the weighty expression “my hour” means the still outstanding hour of Jesus’ paradoxical glorification-in-crucifixion.  Jesus’ “hour” consistently suggests The Great Weekend of his humiliation and exaltation.  Here, in its first use, it could sound like it means the hour for Jesus to begin his public ministry.  For now, his second-sentence “my hour” remains almost as mysterious as his first-sentence address, “Woman” and his accompanying question, “What are you trying to do with me?”  The most important point is this:  Jesus’ “hour” is the initially secret but gradually revealed center of every story in the Gospel:  Jesus’ Cross is the crux of the Gospel story as a whole and of each story in it in particular, and it is the key to the right understanding of every story.”

     “Wine always gives out.  We have the deep privilege of living contact with the Winery.  Let us trust him presently by doing “whatever” he tells us to do.  The most important “doing” of all, throughout John’s Gospel, and now here in this story at the beginning of his public ministry, is to trust Jesus.”

 

Frederick Dale Bruner, “The Gospel of John,” c. 2012, p. 128-130.

 

“Christ lures all hearts to himself, to rely on him as ever ready to help, even in temporal things, and never willing to forsake any…..Christ waits to the very last moment when the want is felt by all present, and there is no counsel or help left.  This shows the way of divine grace; it is not imparted to the one who still has enough, and has not yet felt his need.  For grace does not feed the full and satiated, but the hungry, as we have often said.  Whoever still deems himself wise, strong, and pious, and finds something good in himself, and is not yet a poor, miserable, sick sinner and fool, the same cannot come to Christ the Lord, nor receive his grace.”

 

Sermons of Martin Luther,   Vol. 2:61ff.

 



 

 

 

 


Online Sermons
January 9, 2022

 



The Baptism of Christ


 



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

January 9, 2022

The Baptism of Our Lord

 

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

Father in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit.  Make all who are baptized into Christ faithful in their calling to be your children and inheritors with him of everlasting life; through your son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

 

First Lesson:  Isaiah 42:1-7

Psalm 29

Second Lesson:  Acts 10:34-38

Gospel:  Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

 

Opening Hymn:  “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” (LBW 76)  

 



 




Sermon: January 9, 2022

 

The Beloved of God

Luke 3:22

 

The Reverend Philip Nesvig

 

Today we revisit a portion of the Gospel passage we heard on Dec. 12th.  Among the four gospel writers, Luke is the only one who says that John’s preaching is “good news.”  You may remember that this mention of “good news” follows directly after the first three verses of our Gospel reading for today.  John the Baptizer humbly acknowledges that his baptisms are done only with water.  But someone in the future would be baptizing with “the Holy Spirit and fire.”  This someone—who is not identified—will be carrying a winnowing fork in his hands, threshing the grains of wheat, breaking these grains open, saving them for use but throwing the outer shell of the grain—the chaff—into the unquenchable fire.

     “How,” we ask, “could this ever be defined as good news?”  And, as we celebrate the “Baptism of our Lord,” how does this help us understand the meaning of Jesus' baptism and our own baptisms?  First off, let this passage shock you!  The shock is that we might be chaff and not wheat.  When we use our brief order for confession and absolution in our hymnal, we shock ourselves with the acknowledgement that we are indeed chaff.  You know how the pastor’s admonition sounds,  “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  The pastor is not making this up—nor did some worship committee back in the late ‘70s when the green hymnal was developed.  No, it’s in the Bible: 1 John 1.8.  Then the pastor gives a hopeful invitation.  Again, this is written in 1. John 1.9.  “If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Now it’s our turn. “We confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.”  In terms of our Gospel text today, we are saying, “We are chaff, and we deserve to be thrown into the unquenchable fire.”

     Now this is stiff medicine to swallow on Sunday morning or anytime.  Who is volunteering to be burned, to face the refiner’s fire? (Mal. 3.2-3) (I don’t see any hands!)  We are all thinking that the “good news” Luke connects to the ministry of John the Baptist is not that we are “chaff,” but that we are “wheat.”  This is more pleasing to our ears, and not nearly as terrifying as facing the furnace of fire.  I saw a Facebook cartoon this week that illustrates this in straightforward terms.  Two preachers are standing at their podiums with signboards hanging from their lecterns.  The sign on the left says, “Sermon Series:  What God has said.”  There is no one gathered around the preacher.  The sign on the right says, “Sermon Series:  What you would rather hear.”  A crowd of people is eagerly gathering around this preacher!

     Cartoonists love to exaggerate, but there is always some truth being proclaimed.  Neither Luke nor John the Baptizer were cartoonists, and we may wish to say they are making exaggerated claims.  But their own extraordinary language leaps off the page and makes us consider whether we are wheat or chaff.  There are those who delude themselves and put a bumper sticker on their car that reads, “This car has wheat for its driver.”  This car will be sparkling new and fresh, always something to be boasted about and eventually retired to America’s Car Museum by the Tacoma Dome.  It is usually fairly easy to see when someone is assuming to be wheat.  There is the smell of pride and self-righteousness emanating from this driver’s spotless car and tailpipe!  (After all, it’s an electric car!)

     Now let us look at the car driven by someone who is chaff.  This car will never be a museum piece.  It’s all beat up, lacking in style or flash, and we easily cast aspersions upon the driver!  The car and the driver sure need that Classy Chassis car wash for a beginning, and maybe even a new paint job.  In case you’re wondering, the default position for Lutheran thinking about faith is to say straight out that we are the trashy car.  We are the chaff.  What are we to do?

     Well, it never hurts for Lutherans to listen to Luther himself!  So the bulletin back has Luther tell us both the bad news about ourselves—that we are chaff, but also the good news of God in Christ.  God likes to work with chaff!  Take a look with me. 

      “It is God’s nature to make something out of nothing; (that is “chaff.”)  hence one who is not yet nothing (“chaff”), out of that person God cannot make anything.  Man, however, makes something else out of that which exists; but this has no value whatever. (that is pretending that you’re “wheat.”) Therefore God accepts only the forsaken, cures only the sick, gives sight only to the blind, restores life only to the dead, sanctifies only the sinners, gives wisdom only to the unwise.  In short, He has mercy only on those who are wretched, and gives grace only to those who are not in grace.  Therefore no proud saint, no wise or righteous person, can become God’s material, and God’s purpose cannot be fulfilled in him.”

Commentary on Psalm 38.21; “Luther’s Works,” vol. 14, p. 163

 

     Do you see how this works?  God can’t really do much for any grain of wheat that isn’t willing to submit to the winnowing fork and the refiner’s fire!  But for those who despair over being cast aside as chaff, there is a solid and confident hope.  You are “God’s material?”  God can miraculously do something with chaff, with the sick, the blind, the dead, the sinners, the unwise, the wretched, those who think they’re not in grace.  “God’s material” is each one of us who have ears to hear both words of fear and words of hope.  Wheat has something to fear!  But “chaff” listens for words from beyond their own life situations.

     Luke, Luther, and I have been speaking in metaphors to proclaim the good news.  Here’s another metaphor.  The life of faith is life on a teeter totter.  (My grandchildren have been in town for a week, so it’s a handy visual image for me!)  The 9-yr-old girl outweighs her 5-yr-old brother.  Not by much, but she has the advantage on the teeter totter!  Our faith teeter totter is about whether we are wheat or chaff.  If we spend too much time believing we are either wheat or chaff, the teeter totter will always bounce us around.  It will never be in balance.  And we will have a distorted understanding of who we are as the baptized children of God.  Once again, if we think we are wheat, we succumb to pride and self-righteousness.  If we think we are chaff, we fall victim to despair and anxiety.

It’s easy to be out of balance in our lives of faith…easy until we worship the fulcrum placed in the center of the teeter totter.  The fulcrum is the cross of Christ.  The fulcrum’s purpose is to bring balance, purpose and joy to our lives.  It is the good news of what God has done for us in Christ.  Let us turn once again to Luther on the back of the bulletin.

     “Is not this a beautiful, glorious exchange, by which Christ, who is wholly innocent and holy, not only takes upon himself another’s sin, that is, my sin and guilt, but also clothes and adorns me, who am nothing but sin, with his innocence and purity?  And then besides dies the shameful death of the Cross for the sake of my sins, through which I have deserved death and condemnation, and grants to me his righteousness, in order that I may live with him eternally in glorious and unspeakable joy.”  What Luther is saying is that we are no longer to sink either into despair or rise to exaggerated pride.  No.  The life of faith begins when the cross becomes the fulcrum for our teeter totter lives.  The event which declares with water and the word that we are the beloved of God is our holy baptism.

     “Who can ever grasp this glory and power of holy baptism with human senses or understanding?  It is true that we do not see this with our eyes, but Christians are the kind of people who should not insist upon seeing, but rather hold fast to the Word and believe.” 

Baptism of Bernhard von Anhalt, 1540; “Luther’s Works,” vol.  51, pp. 316, 323, 327

 

     Now we have arrived at the question raised by the crowd who were so sharply condemned by John the Baptizer.  “You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruits worthy of repentance.” (Luke 3.7)  The worthy fruits of repentance are all round us, ready to be picked off the tree of faith.  We are those who have multiple opportunities to pick the fruit of faith and use it in our lives because of our baptism into Christ. 

     We are never completely free of the chaff stuck to our seeds of wheat.  There will always be some missed opportunities in the life of faith.  We blow it at least as often as we get it right.  The good we would can become the evil we didn’t intend, but it happened anyway.  But don’t despair!  Remember you are the beloved of God, made “beloved” because God’s voice echoes through the ages.  “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”  (Lk 3.22) For all who are baptized, there is the shocking but delightful good news that for the sake of Christ, God is calling you “beloved.”  You have been loved….not to the moon and back as is so frequently said these days….but you have been loved to the cross and back, to the fulcrum of our teeter totter life. 

     Balance is possible as one of the beloved of God.  If you’re feeling dizzy, come to the Communion rail and receive the bread of life and the wine of forgiveness.  It’ll do wonders for you!  These simple means allow you to experience God’s mercy through the cross of Christ.  These simple elements—the water of baptism and the bread and wine of Holy Communion—will keep you in faith because Christ has promised to be present.  These elements will move us forward like they did for the Apostle Paul, who was well aware that he was a mix of wheat and chaff.  Nevertheless, he could write boldly yet humbly to the Philippian Christians, “not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; (for today let’s call his goal a balanced life on the tear totter of life).  But I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own…..one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3.12b-13) 

     Press on!  Christ has made you his own in baptism.  You are the beloved of God!

 

 

 

Hymn of the Day:  “To Jordan Came the Christ, Our Lord” (LBW 79)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmDzL03cs_E



 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Jane Harty and family

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Holly Petersen

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Robert Schorn

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Alan Gardner

Tabitha Anderson

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Kurt Weigel

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Hank Schmitt

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Gary Grape

Larry & Diane Johnson

Nita Goedert

Mariss Ulmanis

Shirley & Glenn Graham

Karen Granger

Mike Nacewicz

Mike Matsunaga

Bill & Margaret Whithumn

The Robert Shull Family

Mary Cardona

Emily, Gordon and Evelyn Wilhelm

Angel Lynne

Randy Price

Nick Karlson

Paul Sponheim

Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church (Clarkesville, GA)

 

Pray 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 the world. Pray for peace throughout the world. 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.

 

Died:  Crystal Tudor

 

                                                                       

 

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 we will be able to gather together again soon, 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)  



 

“God’s Material”

 

“It is God’s nature to make something out of nothing; hence one who is not yet nothing, out of that person God cannot make anything.  Man, however, makes something else out of that which exists; but this has no value whatever.  Therefore God accepts only the forsaken, cures only the sick, gives sight only to the blind, restores life only to the dead, sanctifies only the sinners, gives wisdom only to the unwise.  In short, He has mercy only on those who are wretched, and gives grace only to those who are not in grace.  Therefore no proud saint, no wise or righteous person, can become God’s material, and God’s purpose cannot be fulfilled in him.”

Commentary on Psalm 38.21; “Luther’s Works,” vol. 14, p. 163

 

“The Glorious Exchange”

 

“Is not this a beautiful, glorious exchange, by which Christ, who is wholly innocent and holy, not only takes upon himself another’s sin, that is, my sin and guilt, but also clothes and adorns me, who am nothing but sin, with his innocence and purity?  And then besides dies the shameful death of the Cross for the sake of my sins, through which I have deserved death and condemnation, and grants to me his righteousness, in order that I may live with him eternally in glorious and unspeakable joy.  Through this blessed exchange, in which Christ changes places with us (something the heart can grasp only in faith), and through nothing else, are we freed from sin and death and given his righteousness and life as our own.

     The man who was so conceived and born in sin is now born anew in the sight of God and he who before was condemned to death is verily a child of God.  Who can ever grasp this glory and power of holy baptism with human senses or understanding?  It is true that we do not see this with our eyes, but Christians are the kind of people who should not insist upon seeing, but rather hold fast to the Word and believe.” 

Baptism of Bernhard von Anhalt, 1540; “Luther’s Works,” vol.  51, pp. 316, 323, 327



 

 

 


Online Sermons
January 2, 2022
 


 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

January 2, 2022

Christmas

 

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

 

 

First Lesson:  Isaiah 61:10-62:3

Psalm 147:13-21

Second Lesson:  Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18

Gospel:  John 1:1-18

 

Opening Hymn:  “The First Noel” (LBW 56)  

 


 



Reading: January 2, 2022

 

The Word Became Flesh

Martin Luther (LW 22:23-25, 73)

 

Christ must become true God; otherwise we are damned forever.  But in His humanity He must also be a true and natural son of the Virgin Mary, from whom He inherited flesh and blood as any other child does from its mother.  He was conceived of the Holy Spirit according to Luke 1:35.  However, Mary, the pure virgin, had to contribute of her seed and of the natural blood that coursed from her heart.  From her He derived everything, except sin, that a child naturally and normally receives from its mother.  This we must believe if we are not to be lost.  If, as the Manichaeans (a heretical group in the third and fourth centuries) allege, He is not a real and natural man, born of Mary, then He is not of our flesh and blood.  Then He has nothing in common with us; then we can derive no comfort from Him.

     However, we do not let ourselves be troubled by the blasphemies which the devil speaks against Christ the Lord.  We cling to the Scriptures of the prophets and apostles, who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  Their testimony about Christ is clear.  He is our Brother; we are members of His body, flesh and bone of His flesh and bone.

     To sum up, we must, first of all, have a Savior who can save us from the power of sin and death.  This means that He must be the true, eternal God, through whom all believers in Him become righteous and are saved.

     But secondly, we must have a Savior who is also our Brother, who is of our flesh and blood.  “In the beginning was the Word”; “this Word,” he added later, “became flesh.”

     The evangelist John says here that the Word – which was from eternity, coequal with the Father in power and glory, through which all things were made, and which is also the Life and the Light of humankind – assumed human nature, was born of Mary, came into the world, dwelt among people in this temporal life, and became like any other human being in all things, took the physical, human form such as yours or mine, and was cumbered with all the human frailties, as St. Paul says in Philippians 2:7.  This means that He ate, drank, slept, awakened, was tired, sad, and happy.  He wept and laughed, hungered, thirsted, froze, and perspired.  He chatted, worked, and prayed.  In brief, He required the same things for life’s sustenance and preservation that any other human being does.  He labored and suffered as anyone else does.  He experienced both fortune and misfortune.  The only difference between Him and all others was that He was sinless.  Since He was also very God, He was free of sin.  And yet He was the one through whom the whole world was created and made.

                        Martin Luther (LW 22:23-25, 73) Sermons on the Gospel of St. John

 

 

Hymn of the Day:  “Of the Father's Love Begotten” (LBW 42)


 

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Jane Harty and family

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Holly Petersen

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Robert Schorn

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Alan Gardner

Tabitha Anderson

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Kurt Weigel

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Hank Schmitt

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Gary Grape

Larry & Diane Johnson

Nita Goedert

Mariss Ulmanis

Shirley & Glenn Graham

Karen Granger

Mike Nacewicz

Mike Matsunaga

Bill & Margaret Whithumn

The Robert Shull Family

Mary Cardona

Emily, Gordon and Evelyn Wilhelm

Angel Lynne

Randy Price

Nick Karlson

Paul Sponheim

Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church (Clarkesville, GA)

 

Pray 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 the world. Pray for peace throughout the world. 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.

 

Died:  Mark Nesheim

 

                                                                       

 

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 we will be able to gather together again soon, 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:  “Let All Together Praise Our God” (LBW 47)