Wednesday, March 31, 2010

where does Christ dwell

Therefore, my dear Friar, learn Christ and him crucified. Learn to praise him and, despairing of yourself, say, “Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, just as I am your sin. You have taken upon yourself what is mine and have given to me what is yours. You have taken upon yourself what you were not and have given to me what I was not.” Beware of aspiring to such purity that you will not wish to be looked upon as a sinner, or to be one. For Christ dwells only in sinners. On this account he descended from heaven, where he dwelt among the righteous, to dwell among sinners. Meditate on this love of his and you will see his sweet consolation. For why was it necessary for him to die if we can obtain a good conscience by our works and afflictions? Accordingly you will find peace only in him and only when you despair of yourself and your own works. Besides, you will learn from him that just as he has received you, so he has made your sins his own and has made his righteousness yours. -- Martin Luther, 1516

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Christ our Passover

“Jesus was led forth like a lamb; he was slaughtered like a sheep. He ransomed us from our servitude to the world, as he had ransomed Israel from the land of Egypt; he freed us from our slavery to the devil, as he had freed Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. Jesus sealed our souls with his own Spirit, and the members of our body with his own blood.” -- Melito of Sardis

Monday, March 29, 2010

home school persecution

The Romeike family, from Bissinggen, Germany, fled to the U.S. in 2008.

Rather than being concerned about the welfare of the children, government officials sought to stamp out divergent views, the immigration judge had concluded. While Germany is a democratic country and a U.S. ally, the judge wrote, its policy of persecuting homeschoolers is "repellent to everything we believe as Americans."

The family currently resides in Morristown, TENNESSEE. More huddled masses yearning to be free. Why are we trying to kick them out?


+ Palm Sunday +
March 28, 2010
Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! (Luke 19:38)
What is the formula for success? What are charismatic leaders doing and saying that attracts thousands and thousands to hang on their every word? What price must you pay to be part of the party of popularity? Can the church learn from or imitate secular business models in order to increase our market share of souls? The crowd of disciples on this day shouted: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! Only one man knew what price must be paid for that to be fully accomplished. Only one man could do what was needed to prove for all time how much God loved the world. As it became evident that the path to peace and glory would lead first to the cross, the crowds became silent and melted away. God’s idea of success looked like failure; God’s strategy for setting captives free appeared as foolishness; and God’s plan of salvation turned the world upside down. What happens when the Holy Spirit moves us to become followers of the One who was crucified for us? When we follow the One who has been given all authority in heaven and in earth, we will also come to share in His victory over death and the grave.
1. All we have belongs to Him and serves His kingdom
a. The Lord hath need of him.
b. Our time, energy and talents serve His kingdom
2. We begin to rejoice and praise God for all the mighty works we have seen.
a. Lazarus raised after four days
b. Prisoners set free, dead brought to new life
3. The response of Jesus to those who do not yet see
a. The stones would immediately cry out
b. He saw the city and wept over it…you did not know the time of your visitation

Friday, March 26, 2010


Shaking the gates and iron bars, Thou hast made Hell tremble at Thy voice. Hell and Death were filled with fear, O Savior, seeing Lazarus their prisoner brought to life by Thy word and rising from the tomb.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Come, then, ye too, dearly beloved, and let us chant the melody which has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, "Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest; Thou, and the ark of Thy sanctuary." For the holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary. -- St. Gregory the Wonderworker


"And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing. . . . We have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated. . . .Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?"

"Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
-- Patrick Henry

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lent V

+ The Fifth Sunday in Lent +
March 21, 2010
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” (Luke 20:18)

Everyone will be broken or crushed. Those who believe in him must fall into the brokenness of repentance in order to be raised again as new beings, living stones in Christ, the temple of God. But upon unbelievers comes the crushing blow of judgment….those who stumble over Jesus will receive the judgment precipitated by rejection of him, and when the stone falls on them they will be utterly crushed (Just’s Commentary on Luke). “We preach Christ crucified – a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” (I Cor. 1:23).
The power of the cross reminds us that unless we share in the humility of Christ we cannot share His glory.
1. The curse of being crushed
a. Crushed by sin and death -- universal
b. Crushed by the final judgment -- particular

2. The blessing of being broken
a. Brought to the end of self – Fireproof!
b. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Living sacrifices look like???

Friday, March 19, 2010

aids to confession

Fr. Alexander Schmemann provided this summary of the three key areas of confession:

Relationship to God: Questions on faith itself, possible doubts or deviations, inattention to prayer, neglect of liturgical life, fasting, etc.

Relationship to one's neighbor: Basic attitudes of selfishness and self-centeredness, indifference to others, lack of attention, interest, love. All acts of actual offense—envy, gossip, cruelty, etc.—must be mentioned and, if needed, their sinfulness shown to the penitent.

Relationship to one's self: Sins of the flesh with, as their counterpart, the Christian vision of purity and wholesomeness, respect for the body as an icon of Christ, etc. Abuse of one's life and resources; absence of any real effort to deepen life; abuse of alcohol or other drugs; cheap idea of "fun," a life centered on amusement, irresponsibility, neglect of family relations, etc.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick

Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit Three we name Thee
though in essence only One,
Undivided God we claim Thee;
and, adoring, bend the knee
while we own the Mystery!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

holy martyrs

President of First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti Murdered

“Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Ps. 116:15

We have received news that the Rev. Dr. D. J. Louis, founder and president of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti and its affiliated congregations, Lutheran Parochial Schools, Orphanages, medical clinics, High School and Seminary was murdered on Friday, March 12th. We have been given to understand that two assailants were waiting for him seeking money when he and his wife Elucie returned to home in the hills above Port-au-Prince where he had moved his family to avoid violence.

Pastor Louis went to close an outer gate and Elucie had gone upstairs. After killing him, the murderers went up stairs and demanded money. She responded that they had none but that Pastor would write a check. They callously told her: “Don’t worry about him, we shot him.” They then beat her before leaving.

Pastor Louis, a native Haitian, was a graduate of Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana and was acknowledged to be the best Lutheran theologian in Haiti and was the first Lutheran pastor in Haiti. The work God allowed him to do has resulted in the establishment of The First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti, a denomination which is fully recognized by the Haitian government and its schools and Seminary have receive full certification by the government.

The work of Pastor Louis has been supported by the Haiti Lutheran Mission Society, USA (HLMS) which is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. The HLMS is the first organization at work in Haiti whose Board Members are also members of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

Fortunately Pastor Louis’ wife Elucie is safe, and his three sons are in the States. As additional information becomes available we will inform you.

Several years ago the family was also attacked in an attempted robbery. Pastor Louis suffered a severe cut on a leg caused by a machete and Elucie was shot in the back, with the bullet exiting through one of her breasts. The youngest son managed to escape and bring rescuers.

Mr. Dick Buethe, Executive Director of the Haiti Lutheran Mission Society, USA (HLMS) headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska will attend the funeral in Haiti. The funeral is scheduled for either Friday or Saturday, March 19th or 20th.

The HLMS has an all LCMS Board, members living in Nebraska, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.

The HLMS is an independent 501.c charitable organization. It is unique in that all its work is done by volunteers. There is no paid staff, building and medical teams and American pastors who teach in the Seminary travel at their own expense. Even the cost of the quarterly newsletter The Call is funded by board members and an individual who has a special interest in this work. The result is that the HLMS can assure donors that one hundred cents out of each dollar they contribute gets to Haiti to help in the work of spreading the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Several Haitian pastors are serving congregations there and several others are ready for ordination. We are praying that the Rev. Thomas Brinkley, a member of the Board who established a Seminary in Togo will accept the challenge of going to Haiti for several months to assist the Church there during this difficult time. We are told that his help would be most welcome.

Pray for Pastor Louis’ family, for the mission there and for the people of Haiti.

For more information go to or facebook or contact Dick Buethe in Lincoln at 402-440-3449 or 402-474-7149 or myself, Rev. Charles Reimnitz, Past President of the Haiti Lutheran Mission Society at 402-618-0414 or at The Rev. Robert Nowak of Prior Lake, MN is our new president.

The Haiti Lutheran Mission Society, USA PO Box

Monday, March 15, 2010

married priests

We cannot approve the law of celibacy put forth by our opponents because it clashes with divine and natural law and conflicts with the very decrees of councils. It obviously endangers religion and morality, for it produces endless scandals, sins, and the corruption of public morals. Our other controversies call for some theological discussion, but in this one the situation is so clear that no discussion is necessary, only the judgment of any honest and God-fearing man.
Apology XXIII.6

Thursday, March 11, 2010

mission work

Thirdly, our services must be as solemn and beautiful as possible. Beauty and Truth, in our Tradition, are intimately linked. I realize that we can be rightfully criticized for perhaps exaggerating, for over-emphasizing this dimension to the exclusion of other Christian duties, but the necessity of beauty cannot be neglected. If our goal, our mission, is to witness to the Kingdom of God which has come upon us, to testify to our encounter with the Risen Christ, iconography, architecture, music and even landscaping are essential components of our witnesss to the world. We need art, as well as words, that is “adequate to God.” And if a parish, no matter how humble, celebrates its services in an intelligible language, with regular and meaningfull preaching, in an environment of artistic beauty and solemnity, it will, at least liturgically, be adequate to the mission of the Church--to offer Paschal Joy to all who enter and, with attention, participate in its worship. The rest, the encounter, the experience of the Risen and Triumphant Lord, is up to God. -- Fr. Michael Oleksa, Chancellor of the Diocese of Alaska (OCA)

surprised by the gospel

"All of humanity is alienated when too much trust is placed in merely human projects, ideologies, and false utopias...In every truth there is something more than we would have expected, in the love that we receive there is always an element that surprises us. We should never cease to marvel at these things." Benedict XVI

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

what the Son does

“God is the sun of justice, as it is written, who shines rays of goodness on simply everyone. The soul develops according to its free will into either wax because of its love for God or into mud because of its love for matter. Thus just as by nature the mud is dried out by the sun and wax is automatically softened, so also every soul which loves matter and the world and has fixed its mind far from God is hardened as mud according to its free will and by itself advances to its perdition, as did Pharaoh. However, every soul which loves God is softened as wax, and receiving divine impressions and characters it becomes ‘the dwelling place of God in the Spirit.’”
-- St. Maximos

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

happy lent

"There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures----they are prayer, fasting, and works of mercy. Prayer knocks at the door; fasting obtains; works of mercy receive. Prayer, works of mercy, and fasting; these three are one, and they give life to another. Fasting is the soul of prayer; works of mercy are the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them, for they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, snow mercy; if you want your petitions to be heard, hear the petitions of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God's ear to yourself."

---from a sermon by St. Peter Chrysologus, bishop
from the Office of Readings, Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent

Thursday, March 4, 2010

what's in a name?

The name of our congregation, Concordia Lutheran Church, is rich in meaning!

Fratrum concordia rara
In English: Agreement among brothers is rare.

I wish there were a word as nice as Latin con-cordia, "together-hearts," in English. The heart, cor, was not just a seat of sentiment and emotion in Latin, as it is for us ("sweethearts," "heartfelt," etc.), but was also a seat of intelligence and thought. So when there is concordia in Latin, it means people's minds are operating in unison, that they share the same thoughts and intentions, the same "hearts."

census 2010

by Walter E. Williams

The Census Bureau tells us that this year, it will use a shorter questionnaire, consisting of only 10 questions. From what I see, only one of them serves the constitutional purpose of enumeration -- namely, "How many people were living or staying at this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?" The Census Bureau's shorter questionnaire claim is deceptive at best.

The American Community Survey, long form, that used to be sent to 1 in 6 households during the decennial count, is now being sent to many people every year. Here's a brief sample of its questions, and I want someone to tell me which question serves the constitutional function of apportioning the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives: Does this house, apartment, or mobile home have hot and cold running water, a flush toilet, a bathtub or shower, a sink with a faucet, a refrigerator, a stove? Last month, what was the cost of electricity for this house, apartment, or mobile home? How many times has this person been married?

After each question, the Bureau of the Census provides a statement of how the answer meets a federal need. I would prefer that they provide a statement of how answers to the questions meet the constitutional need as expressed in Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

The Census Bureau also asks questions about race, and I want to know what does my race have to do with apportioning the U.S. House of Representatives? If I'm asked about race, I might respond the way I did when filling out a military form upon landing in Inchon, Korea in 1960; I checked off Caucasian. The warrant officer who was checking forms told me that I made a mistake and should have checked off "Negro." I told him that people have the right to self-identify themselves and I'm Caucasian. The warrant officer, trying to cajole me, asked why I would check off Caucasian instead of Negro. I told him that checking off Negro would mean getting the worse job over here. I'm sure the officer changed it after I left.

Americans need to stand up to Washington's intrusion into our private lives. What business of government is the number of times a citizen has been married or what he paid for electricity last month? For those who find such intrusion acceptable, I'd ask them whether they'd also find questions of their sex lives or their marriage fidelity equally acceptable.

What to do? Unless a census taker can show me a constitutional requirement, the only information I plan to give are the number and names of the people in my household. The census taker might say, "It's the law." Thomas Jefferson said, "Whensoever the General Government (Washington) assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

truth about Islam

This is the purpose of Universal Jihad:

Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and program.

Does the paragraph above sound like something written by an anti-Islamic bigot, someone "out to get Muslims"? It wasn't. And it wasn't written by me. It was written by the most influential Muslim theologian and thinker of the 20th Century, Syed Abul A'ala Maududi.

This is what I am fighting against.

I am a native of India, an American citizen, and a Christian.
Islam's vision is Universal Jihad and global conquest. It is waged on many fronts around the world, using every tool of warfare ever devised by the mind of man, including psychological warfare, terrorism, armed combat, propaganda, covert operations, infiltration, and demographic saturation. It is here on these shores—right now, today—with a focused and openly declared purpose: to destroy the United States Constitution and impose Sharia law.

No nation owes the guarantees of precious rights and freedoms to those who are avowed enemies of that nation. The doctrine of Universal Jihad is an avowed enemy of our nation and of our Constitution.
 Vijay Kumar, candidate for Congress 2010