Saturday, June 28, 2008

Daily Readings for June 30 - July 5

Romans 14:1—15:3
1 Samuel 26:1-25

Romans 15:14-33
1 Samuel 28:3-25

Isaiah 11:1-5
Luke 1:39-56

1 Corinthians 1:10-31
2 Samuel 1:1-27

1 Corinthians 2:1-16
2 Samuel 5:1-25

1 Corinthians 4:6—5:5
2 Samuel 6:1-23

Small Catechism for Memorizing - Trinity VI (June 29)

“Where is this written (concerning the Sacrament of the Altar)?”

The holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul write:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”

In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Bible Verse for Memorizing - Trinity VI (June 29)

“Simon Peter said [to Jesus], ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (Matthew 16:16)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Daily Readings for June 23 - 28

Romans 4:1-25
1 Samuel 17:1-58

Romans 5:1—6:2
1 Samuel 18:1-21

Romans 6:12-18
1 Samuel 19:1-24

Romans 7:1-25
1 Samuel 20:1-42

Romans 8:1-39
1 Samuel 22:1-23

Romans 13:1-7
1 Samuel 24:1-22

Small Catechism for Memorizing - Trinity V (June 22)

What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.

Bible Verse for Memorizing - Trinity V (June 22)

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Immanuel Calls Rev. Todd Peperkorn to be Associate Pastor

On Wednesday, June 11, the Festival of St. Barnabas, Immanuel called Rev. Todd Peperkorn of Messiah Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin to serve as Associate Pastor and principal of our K-8 classical Lutheran school. We are thrilled at the prospect of Pr. Peperkorn's service among us, and ask your prayers that the Lord's will would be done, that He would guide and care for the Peperkorn family, and do what is best for His whole Church.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Daily Readings for June 16 - 21

Acts 27:1-44
1 Samuel 9:1-27

Acts 28:1-31
1 Samuel 10:1-27

Romans 1:1-15
1 Samuel 12:1-25

Romans 1:16-32
1 Samuel 13:1-14

Romans 2:1-29
1 Samuel 15:1-35

Romans 3:1-31
1 Samuel 16:1-23

Small Catechism for Memorizing - Trinity IV (June 15)

Confession: What do you believe according to these words (from John 20:22-23 concerning the Office of the Keys)?

I believe that when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they exclude openly unrepentant sinners from the Christian congregation and absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us Himself.

Bible Verse for Memorizing - Trinity IV (June 15)

“Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Daily Readings for June 9 - 14

Acts 21:1-39
1 Samuel 2:1-21

Acts 21:40—22:29
1 Samuel 3:1-21

Acts 11:19-30; 13:1-3
Mark 6:7-13

Acts 24:1-27
1 Samuel 5:1-12

Acts 25:1-27
1 Samuel 7:1-17

Acts 26:1-32
1 Samuel 8:1-22

Small Catechism for Memorizing - Trinity III (June 8)

Confession: Where is this written (concerning the Office of the Keys)?
This is what St. John the Evangelist writes in chapter twenty: The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:22-23)

Bible Verse for Memorizing - Trinity III (June 8)

“Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

There will be a Call Service on Wednesday, June 11 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Within this service, the Voters’ Assembly will make a decision regarding calling someone to serve as Associate Pastor/Principal at Immanuel. This is vital to our school’s continued operation as our interim school administrator is leaving soon. (A Pre-Call Information Session will be at 7:00 p.m., before the Service.)

The purpose for having a service and not just a meeting, is to pray fervently for the Holy Spirit’s guidance on this important decision. In this service we will sing psalms and the Litany, hear the Word of God, and pray for wisdom, before voting on issuing a Call for this office. Please note: only members of the Voters’ Assembly are allowed to vote, according to our constitution. Our circuit counselor, Rev. Jack Meehan, will provide leadership in this Call Service along with Pastor Esget.

Everyone is encouraged to attend this Call Service. Please pray diligently for our church during this time, that the Lord would guide us and bless us, and bring a servant into our midst to help us in our work.

Trinity 2 Sermon: Luke 14.15-24

Last week, we heard about a rich man who threw great feasts; but these parties were for himself, and for his friends and family. Meanwhile, Lazarus lay nearby in the gutter, starving, suffering, lonely. He received no help from that rich man. No food. No consolation. In death, however, he was given a place of honor, next to Abraham, at the heavenly banquet. The rich man had showed him no kindness, but God welcomed Lazarus to His feast, and his body full of sores became strong, his empty stomach was filled, his sorrow turned to joy, his loneliness replaced with eternal friendship with God, angels, and saints.

About that heavenly feast, Jesus today tells a parable proclaiming that everyone is invited; God is the true Rich Man, the world’s King who throws a banquet to end all banquets. The best parties in our experience are exclusive; only the wealthy, the powerful, the famous, the connected get invited. But the guest list for the heavenly party tells us something about the Host: He is incredibly generous. The host, of course, is God, whose generosity knows no bounds. He has been generous to you from the beginning: He gave man a body, a beautiful world to dwell in, and filled it with pleasures and gifts. And even when man spurned the feast God had prepared, and seized instead the diabolical junk food that would destroy him, still God kept on inviting man to His feast.

Today’s parable depicts the people invited in three groups: the prominent Jews; the poor, maimed, lame, and blind Jews; and finally, the Gentiles (those out in the highways and hedges). It is tempting to condemn the people for whom this parable was originally intended – those Jews who were not accepting Jesus; but isn’t it true that we, who mostly belong to that third group, the Gentiles – isn’t it true that we have also often despised the Supper to which we have been invited? The pastor is tempted simply to go through the motions, say the right words, do his job in a perfunctory way. I know that you, too, can be worried and distracted by many things, such that you do not regard with seriousness the Supper to which the Lord calls you. You too have bought pieces of ground, that must be cared for; you too have oxen, i.e., jobs, that can consume you; you too have spouses and families that clamor for your attention. And besides all that, there is is the ongoing temptation to presume that this world’s feasts, this world’s leisure, this world’s games and amusements, are more important. You have made your goals, your gossiping, your gluttony, of the highest importance, and disregarded the Lord’s call to leave everything and have Him alone for your God.

Do you come here as though you own the place, claiming your seats and letting your own words be most important? Do you consider it a routine and ordinary thing that you became a member of the Church by Holy Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit? We are guests in the Lord’s House, not owners; privileged to be invited, but easily evicted if we treat our Lord’s gifts callously, carelessly, something to be fitted in when convenient with our other priorities.

So we must never forget that we are beggars invited by grace to the Rich Man’s home; we are starving men invited to a feast. And what is that feast? Nothing other than our Lord Jesus Himself, whose living body gives life to our dying bodies, and whose cleansing blood gives forgiveness to our lives of sin.

How deeply tragic, then, if we disregard that Feast, while searching for other food that cannot satisfy. Think of all the things you have pursued to give delight to your body. Did it last? Was it beneficial? Think of the possessions you decided you absolutely had to have. When you got them, did you not tire of them and desire some new thing? Think of the things that have filled your heart: lusts, desires for revenge, dreams of fame and glory - what can they achieve, other than to make a person selfish and bitter?

Today your King calls to you to leave aside your fixation on this world’s feasts, and fix your eyes on your heavenly home. Only what you receive here, in this Sacrament, endures into the life to come.

Little children, now is the last hour. You are being called to the dinner. The end of all things is at hand. Do not turn aside, but run with repentance to the altar and beg forgiveness. Be eager in your prayers for the coming of the Lord. Be ready for His coming by daily repentance. And serve the poor, maimed, lame, and blind – all those in need around you – with whatever gifts you have. For we are called to love not in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Last Sunday, we heard about a rich man who would not invite a beggar to his feast. Today’s gospel shows us that we are poor, yet have God for a generous, philanthropic Rich Man. He has invited you to His Supper, to His home, to His forgiveness, to His love. Quit making excuses. Quit trying to serve two masters. Quit chasing this world’s riches. Quit condemning others and trying to be lord and master. Leave all this, and come, for all things are now ready, and even your excuses are forgiven in the Body and Blood of Jesus.