Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Sixteenth  Sunday After Trinity September 22–23, 2012

A large funeral procession carrying the only son of a widow is confronted by another large procession, Jesus and His followers. Death and Life meet face to face at the gate of the city (Luke 7:11–17). Filled with compassion, Jesus comes into direct contact with our mortality in order to overcome it. He touches the coffin and speaks His creative words of life, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” Jesus does what is neither expected nor requested. For through Christ, God the Father “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:14–21). Jesus bore our death in His body that we may share in His resurrection. Even as Elijah stretched himself out three times over the Zarephath woman’s son (2 Kings 17:17–24), God stretched Himself out over us in the threefold application of His name in the baptismal water, breathing new and everlasting life into us. “To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”—LSB Notes

Please Pray For: Juanita Rankin, Talon Fickas, John Haynes, Margaret Branham, George Van Huss, Joan Shipp, Crystal Ray, Ruth Hedrick, Walt Hedrick, Mary Kay Schmidt, Colin Starks, George Shepherd, Donna Smith, Erna Van Winkle, Mary Ehrat, Art Ehrat, Katie Ketchum, and Bill Hoff.
Military: Please keep in your prayers all Military persons.
Hospitalizations: Please notify Pastor GeRue about any sickness or hospitalizations.

Lutheran High Trivia Night, Friday September 28, 2012 7 pm at Knights of Columbus Hall at Iles and Meadowbrook Rd. We have 2 teams from Trinity. Thanks for you support and have fun..

Lutherans for Life –
Life Thought: Whoever receives a child, receives Jesus (Mark 9:37). Whoever receives anyone, especially the vulnerable and needy, receives Jesus. It would seem to follow then that if we reject a child, if we reject the vulnerable, we reject Jesus. May God preserve us and our nation from the latter and renew our zeal to do the former.

Life Quote: “All your sins—original sin that condemns even the seem­ingly innocent baby, sins of sex outside of marriage, the sin of having an abortion, the sin of leaving women in the helplessness and despair that leads to abor­tion (that’s the sin of all of us who haven’t done everything we could to help!)—all our sins were forgiven when Jesus reached out His arms for you on the cross. You are forgiven!” Carl C. Fickenschner II, associate professor of pastoral ministry and missions and dean of certification and pastoral education, Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Saturday, September 22         5:30 pm                            Divine Service
Sunday, September 23           9:00 am                                 Bible Class
                                             10:00 am                            Divine Service
                                               3:00 pm   Circuit Forum @ Farmersville
                                      5:00 pm   Circuit Pastors Farewell for Kirby’s
Wednesday , September 26     5:30 – 6:45 pm                  Confirmation
                                               7:30 pm                                             AA
Friday, September 28                                             Pastor’s Family Day
                                               7:00 pm                 Lu High Trivia Night
Saturday , September 29         5:30 pm                            Divine Service

The Intersection of Church and State
A Lutheran Hour program on Religious freedom in America. Broadcast Sunday, September 30, 4:00 pm on Fox Business Channel. Dishnet 206. Directv 359. NewWave Cable 141.AT&T 211 or 1211.

Voters will meet on Sunday, September 30 after church.
We will also have a fellowship potluck dinner that day.
LUTHERAN HOUR "With God, There Is Great, Even Greater Grace"
Lutheran Hour Speaker: Rev. Gregory Seltz
God gives great and even greater grace because we need it and only God can provide it. (James 4:5-10)
WLUJ              Springfield, IL    89.7 FM                  Sunday 3:00 pm
WLLM             Lincoln, IL          1370 AM Sunday 7:00 am & 7:00 pm
WSMI              Litchfield            1540 AM                Sunday 9:30 pm

Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity
Proverbs 25:6–14, Ephesians 4:1–6, Luke 14:1–11
Whoever Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted
      ―Do not put yourself forward in the king‘s presence (Proverbs. 25:6–14). Rather, take the lowest position at the table. Humble yourself before Him. For your place is not for you to take but for Him to give. Conduct yourself with all lowliness and gentleness, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1–6), that the King may give you glory in the presence of those at the table with you. ―For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 14:1–11). 
         Is this not the way of Christ? He is the one who took the lowest place, who humbled Himself even to the point of death for us. He is now exalted to the highest place at the right hand of the Father that penitent believers may be exalted together with Him in the resurrection. To the humble at His Supper He says, ―Friend, move up higher, giving you His very body and blood for your forgiveness that you may ascend to take part in the great wedding feast which has no end.

Readings for the Week of 16th Sunday after Trinity
September 23                                Psalm 119:17-24, Lamentations 3-5
September 24                                          Psalm 119:25-32, Ezekiel 1-3
September 25                                          Psalm 119:33-40, Ezekiel 4-6
September 26                                          Psalm 119:41-48, Ezekiel 7-9
September 27                                      Psalm 119:49-56, Ezekiel 10-12
September 28                                      Psalm 119:57-64, Ezekiel 13-15
September 29                                              Looking Ahead to Sunday
                               Proverbs 25:6–14, Ephesians 4:1–6, Luke 14:1–11

Draft of Sermon for Trinity 16 September 22-23, 2012

Luke 7:11-17   Trinity 16  September 22-23, 2012  “Do Not Weep”

The two easiest emotions for almost every person are sorrow and anger. We can get angry at another person - or group of people - at the drop of a hat. That is, in part, why we see so many losing control and doing horrible things to other people on the news. Anger is easy, and it is contagious. You see that in riots. People often do not know why the riot started, but they share the anger.

Sorrow is another easy to come by emotion. It can consume a person just like anger can consume a person, but the difference between anger and sorrow is that anger is directed outward, usually, and strikes at others, while sorrow is inward directed and the sorrowful person usually strikes at themselves in their sorrow. It seems too much to bear. I would guess that most of us have known of someone who was consumed by their sorrow and could not escape it.

Our Gospel shows us an encounter between Jesus and a woman who was filled with sorrow. She had a good reason for her grief, her only son had just died, and she was a widow, which, in those days in particular, compounded the reasons for her sorrow. And Jesus stepped up to the grieving woman and said simply, "Do not weep." I invite you to look at this simple scene with me, and the miracle that Jesus performed under the theme, Do Not Weep.

The story itself is amazing, and you could get lost in the details, and forget the underlying message. Here was a woman who had already lost her husband. Her son was now her only support. Suddenly, he is gone as well. I know that it is suddenly, because the Jews buried their dead on the same day they died, unless they died quite late in the day - and then they would be buried on the next morning. This woman was devastated. He only child was dead. The true depth of her sorrow, and the troubles that it was bringing to her might be measured in the crowd of mourners - "a sizeable crowd was with her", according to Luke. Although it was not their sorrow, they could share it a little.

Now, I have heard that in that culture you were obligated to join the funeral procession, if you were aware of it. We see echoes of that cultural expectation in the funerals in today’s Middle East - they always seem to be huge crowds, large parades. Among the Jews in particular, it was disrespect to YHWH that the sorrow of death did not touch them - because death will finally touch everyone, and death is part of life. They believed, rightly I think, that one ought always to recognize and honor life, even - perhaps especially - when it has been extinguished.

In the Gospel, Jesus is approaching Na'in from Capernaum with a large crowd following Him. That means that this miracle was no small, private affair. It was well witnessed and well-attested to. When Jesus surveys the scene, he felt compassion. I am sure that the meeting appeared to be pure chance - and I am just as certain that God timed all things that this meeting would happen just as it did. And it happened not just to show us the power of Jesus, or that He could do it, but to show us the compassion of Jesus.

He could have ignored it - or joined in with the crowd to wail and mourn at the visitation of death and all the attendant sorrows and troubles it brings. After all, death was nothing unusual even back then. In fact, death was more public, and less postpone-able then than it is now. And when somebody died, they were taken home and cleaned up and wrapped up and buried that same day - there was no mortuary to hide the reality of death for a time, and no dressing the body up and putting on make-up so that the dead appeared merely to be sleeping. But Jesus did not ignore death, this time. He also did not simply go along with the crowd. Perhaps this funeral reminded Him of His own coming death, and His mother's approaching sorrow. Whatever was going on in the mind of Jesus, He stopped the procession and told the mother, "Do not weep".

Then He healed the man, that is, He made him to be alive again, and gave him back to his mother, to the joy and wonder and fear of everyone there. Life conquered death. Jesus spoke to the dead man as if he were merely asleep, and the man heard Him and awakened from death itself. Of course, he had to die again, one day, but that is another story for another day, and it is a part of this story that the Bible does not take time to tell us. What is striking - aside from raising the dead, of course - is the compassion of Jesus. Although this raising of the dead happened only occasionally in the ministry of Jesus, He has that same compassion towards us all.

"He died for all", the Bible tells us, and "God so loved the world" - not just certain persons in it - "that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." He saw our need in sin and He healed us, raising us from the dead, so to speak, since we would have died eternal death in hell without Him. And, through His Word, He has called us to life eternal and made us heirs of glory with Him, just as He raised the son of the widow of Na'in with His Word on that day.

Our Gospel lesson today doesn't just say Jesus has the power to raise us from the grave - although it does make that point powerfully - it shows us the compassion of Jesus. The message speaks to each of us in our times of pain and sorrow, saying, "Do Not Weep". It teaches us about the caring of our Lord - something we often forget to think about because life has rough edges and sharp corners and we have to deal with pain, and tragedy, and terrorism, and hurricanes, and what all. But God would, by the words of our Gospel lesson, teach us about the compassion which moves Him, so that, in the words of our Epistle Lesson today, "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."

The Greek word in our Gospel translated, "felt compassion", means "moved in his guts." It means that this was not some abstract, academic notion, but the same sort of compassion you feel when you turn on the Television and see the destruction of a hurricane, or watch the draught in so many places this summer, or witness the people who have had their homes, and all of their possessions, burned up in fires. Jesus knows how we feel. Better yet, He knows how we should feel. He understands how loss and grief and sorrow feels. He understands the hurts and the fears. He doesn't fear the way we do. He never did, because He was never without hope - and He had the certainty of the good will of God for us, and for Himself. But He knows - and He understands fear and pain from a very personal standpoint. He can feel it right along with us - that is what compassion means; to feel along with. And His message, through our Gospel lesson today, is Do Not Weep.

In all of our troubles, He is there. He knows our pain and He is watching over us. He takes no pleasure in our pains and suffering - which is why He died for us, to spare us the greatest suffering of all. He was under no obligation to stop and care for the pains of this widow woman. Surely there were thousands of other opportunities to do just the same in the lives of others, where He did not. But for this one He acted to lessen her pain and meet her needs. He did it for her, but he did it also to remind us that He can, and that He has compassion on us all.

You know that you stand in a special relationship with Him, by virtue of your Baptism, and His choosing of you to be His children. That choice comes with certain troubles connected to it, guaranteed. But it also comes with His compassion guaranteed. The troubles come because the world hates Christ, and we show the world Christ shining through us in His Word and in His worship and in His working through us. When we face these troubles, we have the promise of God that He is with us every step of the way to strengthen us and that we shall not have to bear more than we are able to endure.

Jesus has also given us His Word and the fellowship of the saints, and the powerful gift of the Holy Supper to help us and strengthen us and encourage us. When we partake of the Holy Supper, we receive Christ's true body and blood, and with that forgiveness and strengthening and His presence in us and with us to make us equal to the work which He gives us to do, and whatever cross which He calls us to carry in His name.

That doesn't mean that pain will not hurt, or that we will not be genuinely challenged by the cross which we must bear. It would not be a cross if it did not bring pain and hardship. But Jesus bids us "Do Not Weep". When He bid the woman not to weep, He was not merely wishing something and giving her nothing else, but He had a plan and took action to alleviate her sorrow. He has a plan for us as well. He has promised us that He will not give us more than we can endure - and everything we must endure is stamped with His purpose.

And in the hour of trouble, or pain, or sorrow, we can find great comfort in knowing that Jesus has compassion for us just as He had compassion for that woman in her sorrow and deep need.

Be of good cheer. In every situation, we may trust that our God knows our sorrow and knows our needs and is working our good and our blessing - and, as with the woman in our Gospel, Jesus bids us, Do Not Weep. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 16-22, 2012 Daily Readings

The Fifteenth  Sunday After Trinity September 15–16, 2012

SUNDAY’S DIVINE SERVICE– “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24–34), for they require two contrary forms of service. Worry is the worship given to the false god of mammon, an unbelieving anxiousness and focus on the things of this world. Faith is the worship of the true God, a confident trust that He is a loving Father who will care for all of our needs in both body and soul. The widow of Zarephath served God, that is, she believed the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah that the bin of flour would not be used up nor would the jar of oil run dry (1 Kings 17:8–16). He who feeds the birds and clothes the flowers will certainly provide for our daily needs. For He has already provided for our eternal needs, clothing us with Christ’s righteousness in Baptism and feeding us His body and blood for our forgiveness. With such confidence we are liberated from worry and freed to do good with our material resources, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 5:25–6:10).

Please Pray For: Joe Worth, Elena Howarth, Emily Rodenbeck, Phyllis McElroy, Dorothy Robison, George Van Huss, Crystal Ray, Ruth Hedrick, Walt Hedrick, Erna Van Winkle, Mary Kay Schmidt, Dorothy Schroll, Kathy Schmidt, John Haynes, Bill Uchtman, Colin Starks, George Shepherd, and Donna Smith.
Military: Please keep in your prayers all Military persons, especially Brittany Worth who is deployed to Afghanistan.
Hospitalizations: Please notify Pastor GeRue about any sickness or hospitalizations.

Happy Birthday This Week: John Haynes, Valerie GeRue, Suzanne Maddox
Happy Anniversary: Dick & Stephanie Sisson

Lutherans for Life –
Life Thought: “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24b) Who cannot identify with this tension? All Christians live on this teeter-totter. We bounce up and down between faithful and faithless countless times daily. This should give us empathy and a loving manner when confronting others with their sin as we realize how much we all need the grace and forgiveness of God in Christ.
Life Quote: “It can never be in society’s best interests that anyone should be killed because they are ill, or that the health service should be turned into a death service … Whatever public opinion may say, doctors have an overriding duty to an ethical code that says ‘first do no harm.”’ Melanie Phillips, British columnist
Saturday, September 15         5:30 pm                            Divine Service
Sunday, September 16           9:00 am                                 Bible Class
                                             10:00 am                            Divine Service
Monday, September 17          6:30 pm                          Parish Planning                       
Tuesday, September 18          8:00 am                           NM Ministerial
                                               5:00 pm           Unity Board of Directors
Wednesday , September 19     5:00 – 7:00 pm                  Confirmation
                                                7:30 pm                                 AA
Thursday, September 20           7:30 am            Virden Chamber
Friday, September 21                                             Pastor’s Family Day
Saturday , September 22         5:30 pm                            Divine Service

Voters will meet on Sunday, September 30 after church.
We will also have a fellowship potluck dinner that day

Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity
A large funeral procession carrying the only son of a widow is confronted by another large procession, Jesus and His followers. Death and Life meet face to face at the gate of the city (Luke 7:11–17). Filled with compassion, Jesus comes into direct contact with our mortality in order to overcome it. He touches the coffin and speaks His creative words of life, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” Jesus does what is neither expected nor requested. For through Christ, God the Father “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:14–21). Jesus bore our death in His body that we may share in His resurrection. Even as Elijah stretched himself out three times over the Zarephath woman’s son (2 Kings 17:17–24), God stretched Himself out over us in the threefold application of His name in the baptismal water, breathing new and everlasting life into us. “To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”

Collect: O Lord, we pray that Your grace may always go before and follow after us, that we may be continually given to all good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord . Amen.

Old Testament: 1 Kings 17:17–24
Epistle: Ephesians 3:13–21
Holy Gospel: Luke 7:11–17

Readings for the Week of 15th Sunday after Trinity
September 16                     Cain Murders His Brother Abel—Genesis 4:1-1-15
                                                                                   Titus 3:8-15, Philippians 1:21–2:11
September 17
                                                                                    Philemon 1-25, Philippians 2:12-30
September 18                                David’s Thanksgiving to God—2 Samuel 7:18-29
                                                                                   Hebrews 1:1-14, Philippians 3:1-21
September 19          David Shows Kindness to Mephibosheeth—2 Samuel 9:1-13
                                                                                Hebrews 2:5–3:6, Philippians 4:1-23
September 20                               David and Bathsheba— 2 Samuel 11:1-17, 22-25
                                                                            Hebrews 4:14–5:14, Colossians 1:1-23
September 21        The Prophet Nathan Confronts David - 2 Samuel 11:26-12:15            Hebrews 6:1-20, Colossians 1:24–2:7
September 22                                      Looking Forward to Sundays Lessons:         1 Kings 17:17–24, Ephesians 3:13–21, Luke 7:11–17

Sermon Trinity 15 September 15-16, 2012

Trinity 15        Matthew 6:24-34        September 15-16, 2012


In the Name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The God of Abraham is a jealous God. He will not share the adoration of His children with anyone or anything else. You shall have no other gods. You are to fear, love, and trust in the God who called Abraham out of Chaldea, who parted the Red Sea and gave His holy Law to Moses, who multiplied the widow’s flour and oil in Zarephath, who sacrificed His Son to make you His, above all else.

It really comes down to just two options. There are only two gods. One has many names and faces, as many, in fact, as you could possibly want. You can call him “God.” You can call him “Allah,” or “Buddha,” or “Scratch,” or simply make up a new name. He doesn’t mind. He’ll go by anything. He conducts himself as the gentlest and noblest of all masters, existing only to better the existence of his servants, finding commonality amongst all religions, seeking peace and prosperity regardless of cost. His password is tolerance. He isn’t jealous. He is quite modern-minded, sensitive, enlightened, and patriotic. He doesn’t make any demands of his servants. He has no strict doctrine or moral code. He is convenient, never embarrassing, never harsh, never confrontational or condemning. He encourages His followers to enjoy themselves, to pamper themselves, to indulge themselves. He is never shocked by lewd behavior or deviancy. He understands. Life under him is a smorgasbord of personal choices and preferences. He embraces diversity and encourages free thinking. And he glibly tells his servants that they can have as many masters as they want.
But he is a liar. There are only two masters. All his seeming niceties are just bait. It is a trap. He deceives to enslave and eventually to devour. He is willing to bide his time for under that sheepskin of tolerance are claws meant for killing. He lures men to complacency with shallow sweet-nothings, like domesticated animals to the slaughter. Nonetheless, most of the world has fallen prey to his delusion. For he is far easier to take than the other option, the other God, the One of circumcision, sacrifice, and Eucharist. For the other Master is so old-fashioned and quite conspicuously, awkwardly jealous. He won’t allow multiple masters. He offends the sensitivities of fallen man. He calls them “sinners.” He is not tolerant. He tends to be stern. He won’t hear prayers in any other name. He is the God of Truth, the God of Light, not of ambiguity and shadows, not of silky promises in negligees, not of easy pleasure, but of discipline. He is Life. But He is found in death. If you will be His, than you can belong to no other. But you need no other. For no other is of any help, comfort, or aid. Repent. Jesus is One, the only One. And He still wants you.

What shall we eat? We shall eat the Body of Jesus, born of the Virgin, executed for crimes He did not commit, and raised again to glory by His Father given for you. What shall we drink? We shall drink the Blood of Jesus poured out outside the city gates for the remission of your sins. What shall we wear? We shall wear His righteousness, the wedding garment of joy that He provides by Grace.

About what then, shall we worry? Nothing. For all things pale next to this reality: God loves you in Christ Jesus and promises to remove you from this shadowy valley of pain and bring you to Himself in heaven. So what if code enforcement is making you paint the garage, the synod is crumbling around you, your job is on the line, your daughter has a drinking problem, they make fun of you at school, you can’t fit into your wedding dress anymore, and terrorists are threatening America! God is in control. He knows what He is doing.

When Our Lord directed the attention of His disciples to the sparrows and the lilies, it was not much better for them. They lived in an occupied country. Imagine East Germany after World War II. They were poor. Imagine having nothing to eat. I don’t mean not wanting to eat the can of creamed corn and tomato soup in your cupboard, I mean not having a cupboard. Imagine people not living much past the age of 50 and half the children dying by age 5. Imagine foreigners dragging off your adolescent sons to fight in their wars. In the midst of this Jesus says, “I take care of the sparrows. I’ll take care of you.”

From the world’s point of view there is always plenty to worry about. But worrying doesn’t change things. It doesn’t stop terrorists anymore than it prevents tooth decay. No mere man knows what the future holds for the stock market, for America, or for the Missouri Synod. The Scriptures are silent on those things. This is not the promised land. America is not God’s chosen country. We are not better than other people simply because we were born here. We are more fortunate, yes. But we didn’t earn it. In the same way, the Missouri Synod is not the last word on orthodoxy and Truth. Yes, we are fortunate, blessed by God, to have it. But it does not belong to us by Divine Right. Despise the Word of God and it can be taken away. Anyway, tomorrow America and the Missouri Synod and Trinity Lutheran Church will all be thrown into the oven. There won’t be Americans or Missouri-Synod Lutherans in heaven. There will only be Christians, those who were baptized into Christ, heard His Word, ate His Body and drank His Blood for the forgiveness of His sins. No one will care if you were Finnish, German, Russian, or American, let alone what squabbling little Church body you allied yourself with. But despite that, despite the temporary nature of the things God provides for us now, we know this: Jesus is coming back. Death has been defeated. He will not abandon us to the grave.

 For the meantime, it might get better and it might get worse. Lilies bloom, wilt, and die but new ones rise up behind them to bloom again. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Eat the Body of Jesus. Drink His Blood. Wear the clean garments of acceptance that He provides. All things pass away and are burned, save this: the Word of God. That we will not compromise. We will not lie about it to save face, to satisfy those deluded by the devil’s lies, to gain popularity with men. The Word made Flesh has paid your debt. You are forgiven, clean, and whole. And on the last day He shall call you forth from the grave. No man, no terrorist, no bureaucrat, no synod, no institution of higher learning, no government, no devil will stop Him.

In the Name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.