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On Sending Christmas Cards

Christians, if you are going to send Christmas cards this year give serious thought to sending cards with a Christian message, and not holiday cards or post cards with pictures of your pets or children. The chatter in the church for the last 50 years is that every member must be a missionary. That is non-sense of course. The individual mission of every Christian is encaps...

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An Interesting Thanksgiving Day (and it's only 11:00 in the morning)

Though today is Thanksgiving I did my usual early morning routine which is to get breakfast at an area restaurant and work on my sermon for the upcoming Sunday. This is my "happy hour". Following happy hour I spent some time in the 1st District visiting with officers and wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving. They are always grateful for the chaplain's presence which they, ri...

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For Pastors Only - Liturgy Not Poetry

The notion of biblical poetry is the invention of 18th centry Anglican Bishop Robert Lowth. To read something as sweepingly magnificent as Isaiah 2:1-5 (OT lesson for Advent 1 Series A), and to name it poetry neither means anything nor advances anything, but only nominalizes Scripture. But to call it what it is, liturgy, is to say a mouthful. To consider the Scriptures t...

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The Psalm For Advent 2 (Series A)

There are four scripture readings assigned for each Sunday but we only hear three of them read aloud. Each week we hear a reading from the Old Testament, one of the epistles (usually St. Paul), and of course the crown of all Scripture the Holy Gospel for which we stand, sing alleluia and cross ourselves on forehead, lips and heart. But the other reading, the orphan if you...

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On Hearing Scripture

What should we do with the bible? Study it? Believe it? Live by its precepts? Yes. But let us not put the cart before the horse. The first thing every person must do is hear Scripture! Hearing comes first. Every Christian, whether converted by infant baptism, or later via catechesis, first heard Scripture and was blessed with faith fulfilling the Lord's own word. "Blessed...

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The Collect For Advent 1

As you may already know the Collect is an ancient form of western liturgical prayer in which the theme for the Sunday is distilled into short prayer. While there are well-established formulas for most Collects the Collects of Advent are of a more desperate nature! Desperate because the church senses that the end of all things is near. "Nearer now than when we first believ...

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A Retake On Hebrews Chapter 13 - For Pastors Only

The best way to think of the book of Hebrews is as a transcription of an actual first centry mass from the beginning, and up to the actual Eucharist which, under no circumstances, would have been recorded. Not recorded because it was as private a matter as marital intimacy between husband and wife. The actual eucharistic dialogue begins in 10:22 and runs through the very e...

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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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On Theological Reading - by Rev. Alban Butler's Intro To "The Lives Of The Saints"

In his famous book The Lives Of The Saints, Fr. Alban Butler writes of the importance of theological reading for the Christian. While we as Lutherans do not endorse everything he says in this introduction, or in his book, there is still great benefit in reading it. As regards pious reading he says this in his introduction: "AS IN CORPORAL distempers a total los...

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An Evangelical Visits A Lutheran Church - Highly Recommended

This video is highly recommended.I ask you to watch it, and hope that you will. In it an evangelical Christain interviews an LCMS Lutheran pastor and learns about Lutheran faith, and Lutheran worship in a live tour of the sanctuary. It is captivating. Disclaimer: Both participants are little toofreneticfor my taste but that's just me. God made all kinds of Christians...

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