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Hymn # 548 - What A Gem

The parting hymn at Christ Lutheran Church this Lord's Day was #548, "My Inmost Heart Now Raises." The hymn is written to be sung in the morning, and is a wonderful way to start day. I especially love the last two verses: 5. God shall do my advising,Whose might with wisdom blends;May He bless rest and rising,My efforts, means, and ends!To God, forever blest,Will I with mi...

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More On The Perpetual Virginity Of Mary

The doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity is unquestioned by most of the world's Christians. That doesn't settle the matter, but it should cause Lutherans to examine both sides of it. Objectors give Matthew 1:24-25 as evidence against the possibility, "When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she...

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Quote From St. Ambrose (5th century)

"Marah was a fountain of most bitter water: Moses cast wood into it and it became sweet. For water without the preaching of the Cross of the Lord is of no avail for future salvation, but, after it has been consecrated by the mystery of the saving cross, it is made suitable for the use of the spiritual laver and of the cup of salvation. As then...

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A Pastoral Letter For 21st Century Christians

Background: Much of St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians leads me to believe that it is not merely an abstract epistle, but that it has all the marks of a homily for those who are about to be baptized, and anointed (chrismated or confirmed) with the Holy Spirit. For this seems to be the church's earliest practice, that candidates were baptized, and upon emerging from th...

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Worship At The Table

This article nicely highlights the things Lutherans are in the midst of recovering, and so I commend it to you. There is one little gliltch in the last paragraph, however. Our worship is not a return to Eden and its tree of life. Rather those looked foward to the Cross and the Supper which do not look backward, but look forward instead to the New Heaven; whe...

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Liturgical Psalmody

The Psalms have been an essential part of Christian worship from its inception. Today we find only traces of such usage in the Introit and Gradual. But in earlier times multiple Psalms were sung aloud to prepare God's people to rightly hear the reading of the Holy Scriptures. But why? What is the logic?  According to St. Augustine, "in them the Lord Jesus Christ hims...

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A Retake On Hebrews Chapter Thirteen

A Retake On Hebrews Chapter Thirteen It seems to me that this chapter of Scripture is not only misunderstood, but also mistranslated into the English. It is in my reading a Eucharistic admonition and liturgical Preface. Beginning with v. 1 philadelphia (brotherly love) should be understood as Eucharistic admonition. "Brother" should not be read as a collegial term in the...

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The Consecration From Article 7 of the Formula Of Concord

The Formula of Concord is one of our official Lutheran Confessions of Faith. Today someone reminded me of this beautiful passage, found in Article 7, concerning the consecration of the elements in Holy Communion. In it the 16th Century Reformers hearken back to St. John Chrysostom (born ca. 347 AD), one of the church's greatest theologians ever. May this beautiful theologi...

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On The Interpretation Of Matthew 5:17

By now you are probably familiar with my remonstrations that Lutherans need to learn how to read / hear Scripture. That we must rid ourselves of the Fundamentalist, a-ecclesiastical, a-sacramental, a-liturgical reading / hearing of it. Should we be so blessed as to accomplish this high goal I think that many of our ecclesiastical ills might also dissolve. In preparati...

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Servant Worshiper Liturgizer

As often as we hear the term "servant" in Scripture such as:Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins ... Psalm 19:13James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, James 1:1 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38 In such verses Servant = Worshiper. So that whe...

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