Welcome to Lent at Redeemer — Trees in the Bible — February’s MRG

Our next Men’s Reading Group (MRG) at Redeemer

Our next Men’s Reading Group (MRG) will take place at the home of our brother, David M, on Saturday February 15, 2020. The location may change depending on how David and his wonderful wife may feel at that time. We will still meet at the church if we cannot share this moment of fellowship with David at his home.

So what will our topic be? Continue reading “Welcome to Lent at Redeemer — Trees in the Bible — February’s MRG”

Jesus: Our Brother, Our Savior, Our Lord

Yesterday, the Son of Man traded places with the son of the father (bar Abbas) so that we may wear the Father’s robe and live in His kingdom. Tomorrow Jesus does what all the big brothers of Scripture failed to do….  He completes the work God sent Him to do — to seek and to save we who are/were lost — the younger rules over the elder.  And yet Christ is both Adam’s younger brother, both being in the flesh sons of God, and His older brother, being begotten of God before all eternity.  And if you look at the track record of brothers in the Bible, you see the theme of older/younger played out.  Cain killed Abel.  Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah, and chosen by God over Ishmael.  Jacob ruled over Esau, taking his birthright.  Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt.  Yet it was Joseph who saved his brothers from starvation.  And David, Israel’s second and greatest king, was the youngest brother chosen by God over all of his brothers and anointed by Samuel.  Are you starting to see the pattern?

Jesus, the firstborn of the resurrection, came in the flesh to live among us.  God often told His children, “If you obey me and do all the things I have commanded, I will be your  God and you will be my people.  I will come to you and make my dwelling place among you.”  Well, we chased him away through our sin, our idol worship, and self-indulgence.  So He sent His Son, His one and only Begotten Son, to make us His people once again.  He sent our Big Brother after us to drag us out of the bars, brothels, wars, movie theaters, sports arenas, fast boats, fast cars, fast planes, internet, hotels, motels, highways, homes, gutters, jails, pits, darkness, blindness.  He sent Jesus to get us and bring us home.  And Jesus gave up His birthright as the first born from before creation, not counting equality with God something to be grasped, in order to bring us home.  He traded His life for ours, so that we may wear the white robe of righteousness, the robe of children of God, and stand with Him in His kingdom.  And because of the work of Christ, Jesus calls us friends.  He can call us that because He has entrusted to us as part of our inheritance, the work that God gave Him to do.  And so now, because Jesus has overcome death, because He has given us life, we are able to carry out the work of Christ on earth as His hands and feet.

The Gospels do not spend much time at the empty tomb.  In fact, the angels tell the disciples and the women who seek Christ at the tomb, you will not find Him here.  But Jesus always told His disciples to find Him at the Cross, for that is where we truly and finally meet Him.  The empty tomb remains our hope for eternal life, and our symbol of new life.  But it is a life that requires us to be as Jesus, and go after our little brothers and sisters and bring them home.  And we do that by taking up the Cross and bringing Christ to them.

Have a blessed, joyous, happy Easter.  He is Risen!

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  This is a nice feature, and I share it here with you today.  Thank you for reading.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

I Don’t Want to Go to Church with Hypocrites…… Just Work, Live, and Play with Them

HT to my wife who put me on to the following statement which she found on a facebook status. It is the ultimate “Facebook Status Theology.”  And it is spot on.  It is attributed to a Pastor in Nashville,  Tennessee.  All I can say is, “Preach on,  Preacher man.”

image

“I don’t want to go to church because there are too many hypocrites in the church.” Well you go to work with hypocrites but you don’t quit your job. You eat in restaurants with hypocrites but you clean your plate. Hypocrites are in your barber shops and beauty parlors but you still look fly. Stop making excuses and go back to church; I’d rather go to church with a hypocrite than to go to hell with one.

From the New York Times: German Austerity’s Lutheran Core

HT to New Reformation Press for the article from last week’s New York Times.  The author reminds Lutherans of the continued relevance of distictively Lutheran doctrine and practice drawn from the well of the Reformation.  That well is fed by the spring of living waters, Christ Himself.

OPINION German Austerity’s Lutheran Core

By STEVEN OZMENT Published: August 11, 2012

IF there’s one nationality the rest of the world thinks it readily and totally understands, it is the Germans. Combine their deep involvement with Nazism and anti-Semitism and, voilà! —2,000 years of gripping, complex history vanishes.

Since the beginning of the euro crisis, this reductionism, which can be found inside Germany as much as outside it, has come in the form of sifting through the fatal legacy of the Weimar era, the years of promising democracy that began in the defeat and humiliation of World War I and ended with the Nazi takeover in 1933.

On the one hand, we’re told, the 1920s legacy of destabilizing inflation explains Germany’s staunch aversion to expansionary monetary and fiscal policies today; on the other hand, the Nazi taint on the interwar years seems to prove for some that, even in 2012, the intentions of democratic Germany can’t be trusted when it comes to Europe’s well-being.

But rather than scour tarnished Weimar, we should read much deeper into Germany’s incomparably rich history, and in particular the indelible mark left by Martin Luther and the “mighty fortress” he built with his strain of Protestantism. Even today Germany, though religiously diverse and politically secular, defines itself and its mission through the writings and actions of the 16th century reformer, who left a succinct definition of Lutheran society in his treatise “The Freedom of a Christian,” which he summarized in two sentences: “A Christian is a perfectly free Lord of all, subject to none, and a Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all.”

Continue reading “From the New York Times: German Austerity’s Lutheran Core”

Why Do We Go to Church? — via The White Horse Inn

From Michael Horton at The White Horse Inn blog.  Horton articulates the issue that seems to be at the heart of the discussion about our worship that usually ends up centering on music and style or preference.  Where one sees bias in another’s opinions, another sees continuity with the past.  Either way we usually end up talking past each other and miss the elephant in the room.  Horton takes on the elephant by asking the question — Why do we go to church?  I think if we grapple with this question honestly, we might be able to work through differences of style or music preference.  What do you think?  The entire article is reproduced below.

Why Do We Go to Church?

How the “Worship Wars” Often Miss the Real Issue
Michael Horton
http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2012/05/22/why-do-we-go-to-church/

Where going to church was for most Americans the default setting, today it’s a conscious choice. Many churches tried wooing Boomers back with softness and smiles, affirming images of a God who is helpful for our life projects, and myriad activities for the kids. Many of their children and grandchildren are burned out on it all. Some head for the exit, toward Rome, the East, or the “spiritual but not religious” category. Others are calling the church to be less consumer-driven and to make God the focus.

For too long the “worship wars” have coalesced around style. These are not unimportant questions; how we worship says a lot about the object and significance of the event. However, all the sides (simplistically drawn between “traditionalists” and “contemporary-worship” advocates) in the debates share more in common than any do with the rationale of Reformation Christianity.

Continue reading “Why Do We Go to Church? — via The White Horse Inn”

On the Eve of the Mid-South District Convention — Our Connection to the Ancient Church via WMLT blog

On the eve of the Mid-South District convention, Rev. Herb Mueller reminds us of the genius of our Lutheran Confessions. What has sustained us as Lutherans is a dogmatic adherence to these confessions which summarize what Scripture teaches and, hence, a fevernt belief and trust in the Word of God. The 482nd anniversary of the presentation of the Augsburg Confession to the Holy Roman Emporer is commemorated on Monday, June 25, 2012. May our pastors and lay delegates be reminded of who we are and what defines our confession, our walk together. May our pastors and lay delegates have the courage and boldness to cling steadfastly to the Word of God as our forbears once did rather than chasing after the latest fads, gimmicks, and programs. God’s Word does what it says it will do and never returns void. Click the link to read the post. http://wmltblog.org/2012/06/our-connection-to-the-ancient-church/