The Lutheran Spokesman (December 1996)
In this issue:
Christmas Is A Mystery
A Fragrance From Life To Life
On Being Different
Reformation's Effect On Appreciation Of Christmas Blessing
Lessons From Job
Dedication In Austin
1997 Bible Reading Guide (A separate, downloadable portion)
For Circulation and Subscription Information, click here.
The people who handle sweepstakes contests seem to know a lot about
the way Americans celebrate Christmas. As you read this article,
millions of entry-forms have already been addressed, bundled, and are
now waiting to be fed into the stream of mail after December 26. Not
before Christmas, when Third Class mail is impatiently tossed aside;
not months after Christmas, when life's pace is back to normal, but as
close to the 26th as possible.
Merchants ride the wave of pre-holiday excitement, as enthusiasm soars
and anticipation builds, but sweepstakes companies look beyond Christmas
when bank-accounts are depleted and shallow wells of holiday sentiment
run dry. The season for which Americans spend more time preparing than
any other, ends abruptly; like a blown fuse. The world's interest in
Christmas may seem passionate, but is only passing.
No surprise here. True today are the words that Paul penned by
inspiration nearly two thousand years ago: "Without controversy, great
is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh" (1 Tim.
3:16). "Mystery" is the key word, both to the passage and to the
reason why the world abandons the season so suddenly. Bright lights and
festive gatherings, gift giving and false notions of worldly peace,
these may generate a holiday spirit, but have little to do with the
mystery that Christmas is about. "The "mystery of godliness" is beyond
the grasp of human reason and cannot be understood apart from the
Spirit's power. No wonder the world shrugs and moves on to other
And yet, the same "mystery" is precisely what makes our celebration a
No Ordinary Birth
Every birth is a mystery. Each is an awesome miracle of God's wisdom
and power. But here is no ordinary birth and Jesus is no ordinary
child. This is the birth and He is the Child to whom all of Scripture
testifies, upon Whom the faith of every believer rests. The mystery is
not that a child would be born but that the Child was born. Not
another in the long line of sinners, born in a natural way, but God
Himself coming to this earth to redeem us from our sins. Each Sunday
we rattle off the truth: "He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of
the Virgin Mary." But think of what that means: This Child, helplessly
cradled in His mother's arms, is really the almighty God!
Therefore, lest seasonal distractions rob us, Christians need to step
back from the mad worldly scramble and to quietly ponder the
stupendous truth that "God was manifested in the flesh."
Why not revisit those wondrous accounts in Scripture -- noting every
miraculous detail, allowing the Spirit to drench your heart with
joyful appreciation and to fill your faith with the wide-eyed wonder
that does not diminsh with time. Replay the scene in the theater of
your mind, asking, not, "How could this happen?" but, "What happened?"
and "Why?" Then listen to the Spirit's response: "In this the love of
God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son
into the world that we might live through Him" (1 Jn. 4:9). It's
another mystery, of course, one we call the Gospel, which heralds
God's unfathomable love for us, and yields the peace of sins
Ironic, isn't it? The world's celebration screeches to a halt because
Christmas is a mystery. Yet, the same mystery charges our faith with
Thanks to the Spirit, you can celebrate a lifetime of Christmases and
the same message never loses its wonder. Even winning the sweepstakes
is pointless by comparison.
-- Pastor James Albrecht
On the compound where our missionary lives in Nigeria there is a tall
and stately tree called the "Queen of the Night." It's a name
well-deserved. Once the sun has set and the countryside is enshrouded
in night, the large flowers on the tree release their fragrance. The
lovely aroma is refreshing in the midst of the dark African night.
The dark night of sin has set in upon this world. It began with our
ancient parents thinking they knew better than their Creator. Since
then from sire to son the bane descends and over all the curse
impends. Yet in the midst of the benighted world there is that
enlivening fragrance. It is not of this creation as the "Queen"
produces. It is not the odors of Edom brought by worshipers to Him.
It is what He became and brought to the Father for us. " . . . Christ
loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice
to God" (Eph. 5:2).
The blessed Child who came on that dark night so long ago was none
other than the mighty God come to ransom our race. He came for us who
since Eden have gone to rack and ruin. He came for us who so feebly
stumble around in iniquity's shadow. While the fragrance of the
"Queen" may be refreshing, the King's fragrance of salvation is
exhilarating. Like the shepherds we abandon the darkness to come
and peer into the manger.
The Aroma Of Salvation
There we see Him who reflects the glory of God and bears the very
stamp of His nature. Though His arms are tiny and seemingly
ineffectual, yet this is the One who upholds the universe by His Word
of power. This is the One who would make purification for sins and sit
down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:3).
After long years of service on this dismal orb, He would give the
ultimate. From that tree He would send forth not the putrifying stench
of death, but the life-giving aroma of salvation. "Father, forgive
them . . . It is finished . . . ." While it would seem that the
darkness had engulfed Him, that would not be the case. The fact of the
matter is that the enliving aroma of His salvation is wafted on ocean
breeze to distant isle and massive continent. It is carried by the
ministering zephyr to valley and plain and mountain.
Concluding their adoration the shepherds wre inspirited in Him who is
the sweet savour of God unto salvation. They went jubilantly back out
into the dark night. "Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and
praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen. . ."
Let us this Christmas imbibe that which yields lasting cheer and
impart it as the shpeherds did. "And when they had seen Him, they made
widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child"
(Lk. 2:17). May we, on this festival and continually, say: "Now thanks
be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us
diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place" (2 Cor.
-- Pastor David Koenig
Two opposing concepts in Scripture, oddly enough, have something in
common. One concept is "sinfulness." The other is "holiness." That
they are opposites is obvious. What they have in common is that both
denote "separateness" or "differentiation." Stay with me.
For example, in Isaiah 59:2 God says: "Your iniquities have separated
you from your God." This means we are different from what God
originally created and intended us to be. Made originally in the
"likeness" of God, man is now distinctly unlike God. Throughout
Scripture "sin" marks this discrepancy. Sin is separation. Sinful man
is "set apart" from his God. Quite a distinctive category.
In A Class By Itself
The Bible clearly teaches this. The word "bible" means book. We call
it "holy" because it is "different." Here God has provided us a
written revelation that is separate from all other writings. You
might want to paste a new label on the front of your Bible which says
"Different Book" or "This Book is different from all other books in
the whole world!"
That is exactly what the title "Holy Bible" means. This book is in a
class by itself, set apart fgrom all other so-called sacred writings.
It is just plain different. And why? Because, for one thing, it
depicts our sinfulness as no other book can. But more -- it describes
and bestows such a different solution. It removes sinfulness and
confers its opposite.
In A Category By Himself
God is holy. This means that God is in a category all by Himself:
pure, untainted, immaculate. He is so different that we cannot even
begin to imagine it. He commands us to be different, too. He says:
"You shall be holy (different), for I the Lord your God am holy
(different)" (Lev. 11).
We cannot even begin to imagine, let alone fulfill this command, try
as we might. So God does it for us. He really is different from all
those other "gods" and their "sacred" volumes. They leave it up to you
to sort things out for yourself. Not so the God of the cross, the
different God who authored that most blessed and different book.
Distinct From Sinners
He sends a Savior. And this One is really different -- "holy,
harmless, undefiled, set apart from sinners" (Heb. 7). He is
absolutely distinct from sinners, since He is God. and yet He comes to
deal with sinners -- "receives them and eats with them"! (Lk. 5)
He will even remove their sinfulness, taking it into His own holiness
-- "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (Jn. 1). "God
made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the
righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5). This different One becomes
the very opposite of holiness, that we might become the opposite of
That is really different. And God arranges it that through faith (not
works -- and there's a blessed distinction) we also are different.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me!
But there it is. And there is still more to come.
-- Pastor Warren Fanning
(On his next turn the author intends to continue his good thoughts in
the same vein. -- Ed.)
A Christmas Message From Our CLC President
REFORMATION'S EFFECT ON APPRECIATION
OF CHRISTMAS BLESSING
"God has stooped to speak heavenly truths in human words, so that
we might know the riches of His grace..."
The nature of such a publication as the Spokesman requires that
articles be submitted well in advance of their appearance. Hence this
Christmas message is being written in the season of Reformation.
Writing for Christmas season in the season of the Reformation
nevertheless reminds one of the close link between the events that are
celebrated by us as Lutherans.
The birth of Christ, celebrated each Christmas season, stands on its
own. The birth of our Savior and all that it means is the greatest
sinfle event in human history. From the pormise of the Savior to the
fulfillment of His birth, from the manger to the cross, from the empty
tomb to the ascension, there are many common threads. One is that the
God of Love is the faithful God. The days of this evil world are
winding down, yet the Christian looks foward to the future with
confidence. He who has fulfilled every promise relating to faith and
salvation in the past will fulfill those yet to come to pass. He who
sent His only Son to redeem the world, will deliver all from every
evil work all who believe.
But how do we know this, except through the Word of God! It is for
that very reason Satan attacks faith in the Word, that very Word of
God which was proclaimed in the open again in and after the
Reformation. Luther said: "Man must have the Word of God and cling to
it by faith. As soon as he allows this to be taken away from him, he
is lost and helpless. . . . If he has brought a man to doubt whether
it really is the Word of God, then he (Satan) has won the game" (What
Luther Says, Vol. 3, p. 1491, #4819).
What does Scripture say? We read in John 1:14: "And the Word became
flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the
only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Said Luther: "I
would probably be as shrewd as any heretic if I wanted to criticize
these words: 'the Word was made flesh.' Here one must believe, not
see, measure, or comprehend" (WLS, Vol. 1, P. 150, #448).
This Christmas season we hear again the wonderful words of God spoken
through the angels to the shepherds: "Unto you is born this day in
the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord" (Lk. 2:11).
Soon after Christmas we will begin the consideration of Lent, follow-
ing the Savior to Calvary, and observing all that He did and bore in
our place that we might be reconciled unto God.
Even as Jesus in His humiliation cloaked Himself in our flesh and
became man, yet without sin, so the Word of God, too heavenly for
human expression, nevertheless is cloaked in words we speak. God
reveals the mystery of salvation through the external Word, Luther said.
God has stooped to speak heavenly truths in human words, so that we
might know the riches of His grace which otherwise would remain hidden
from us. We cannot separate the Word from Christ, or Christ from the
Word, and still have Christmas, much less the blessing of Christmas.
As brethren we wish to one another all the blessings of this blessed
season of our Savior's birth. Most assuredly this wish comes from this
office to all who read these words. May the peace of God be with you
all. This peace which passed all understanding, however, Luther did
not know until he searched and studied the Word of God. So, even as
we wish all the peace of God in Christ Jesus, we as earnestly pray that
each of us will stay in the Word, faithfully hear the Word, and with
confidence confess the Word without which neither the message of
Christmas or its blessed effect has meaning.
Christ first, and then Reformation. Without Christmas there had been
no Reformation; with the Reformation the message of Christmas --
salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone -- would have
remained a deep, dark secret. This Christmas season, thank the Lord
for both, and enjoy the blessings of both!
-- Pastor Daniel Fleischer
"That We Might Have Hope" (Rom. 15:4)
The Book Of Job
LESSONS FROM JOB
A tragic car accident leaves its victim paralyzed for life. A young
man finds out he has terminal cancer. An expectant mother miscarries
her child. A cyoung couple unexpectantly loses an infant. A tornado
demolishes an entire city block killing many in its path. These
tragedies take place daily in our world to both believers and
unbelievers. Why does a righteous God permit His children to suffer
so intensely? Why aren't Christians immune to such problems? In order
to help answer these questions, let us turn to Job, who is well-known
for his suffering.
Job's Faith Is Tested
Job was an extremely wealthy man from the land of Uz who was "blameless
and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1). He
placed his trust in God's promises, and through faith in the coming
Savior was declared righteous by God. Yet God permitted Job to suffer
at the hands of Satan. In a single day Job lost all of his property
and his ten children. This test of faith, however, was passed by Job
who uttered these humble words; "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken
away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (1:21).
This reaction of Job to tragedy puts us to shame, doesn't it? How
often do we, when faced with comparatively insignificant tragedies,
react with spite and self-pity, wondering why God has been so cruel to
us. "Why did God allow me to sprain my ankle right before the big
game?" "Why do I have to suffer from this facial blemish on the day
school pictures are taken?" "Why do I have to be sick on my birthday?"
These complaints sound pretty petty in comparison, don't they?
Unsuccessful in his first attempt, Satan obtained permission from God
to cause physical suffering to Job. Permission was granted by God with
the condition that Job's life be spared. Job was stricken with painful
boils from head to toe. So altered was his appearance that his three
friends could not even recognize him. He also had to deal with the
poor advice of his wife who instructed him to "curse God and die!"
(2:9) How did Job respond to these new attacks? He told his wife she
was speaking foolishly and said: "Shall we accept good from God, and
not trouble?" (2:10)
But Job was a sinful human just like you and me. He too struggled with
his "old man." After being visited by his three friends who offered
him no comfort in a week, Job cursed the day of his birth. Job uttered
strong complaints against God; yet he never cursed God as Satan had
predicted and as his wife had suggested.
God Is Faithful
Job's friends finally spoke, but their words only made things worse.
They surmised that Job must be suffering so severely because of some
dreadful sin which he had committed. It is true that certain sins do
lead to earthly consequences which may be difficult to bear. But it is
also true that some hardships, such as Job's, do not come to us as a
direct result of some grievous sin. The amount of suffering in one's
life is not directly proportional to the sins one commits. In fact,
in Hebrews we read: "For whom the Lord loves He chastens" (12:6).
Oftentimes it seems like those who suffer most are those whose faith in
Christ is strongest. But God also leaves us with these words of
comfort: "God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond
what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of
escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13). God knew the
strength of Job's faith, just as He knows the strength of ours.
The prolonged suffering, however, did have its effect on Job. In
response to his friends accusations of wrongdoing, he went too far in
saying he had done nothing to deserve this kind of torture from God.
Job was a sinner, and as a sinner he deserved eternal punishment in
hell. Although Job was suffering intensely, this suffering cannot
compare to the suffering we all deserve because of our sin. Job needed
to be humbled in his self-righteous attitude, as do we at times.
A younger friend of Job, Elihu, rebuked Job's attitude toward God. He
told Job that he did not have the right to question the wisdom of God.
He reminded Job that God may allow affliction for any number of
reasons, many of which man's simple mind cannot comprehend. God does
not exercise justice in accordance to our way of thinking. Elihu also
comforted Job by telling him that God is loving and that He restores
people from the clutches of suffering and sin.
Finally, it was time for God Himself to address Job. God reminded Job,
through a series of questions about the universe, that Job's limited
knowledge pales in comparison to that of the Creator God. In the last
chapter of the book Job recognizes his sin and repents "in dust and
ashes." God then blesses Job with another large family, many
possessions, and a long life.
What We Can Learn
What can we learn from the account of Job? Certainly we can learn
patience in tribulation. Few of us will ever experience the tragedies
Job faced as a child of God. But when suffering does come, let us bear
it with humility and patience.
We can also see from this account that we have no right to question
the wisdom and justice of God. His ways are perfect, ours are sinful.
We do know that the trials He allows Christians to endure are for
their eternal benefit. But most importantly, the bok of Job provides
us with hope for deliverance from this world of sin. For in chapter
10 of Job are recorded these familiar words: "I know that my Redeemer
lives." Job was able to withstand the trials of Satan because he
clung to the Savior whose foretold death and resurrection assured Job
of his own salvation. The book of Job paints to Jesus who suffered
hell for us, and who provides the perfect example of patience in
tribulation. Because of what Jesus bore on the cross, we can bear
the crosses in our lives.
Lord, as we pass thorugh this vale of tears, grant us patience in
suffering and the hope of heaven through Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Oh, for a faith that will not shrink
Tho' pressed by many a foe;
That will not tremble on the brink
Of poverty or woe.
That will not murmur nor complain
Beneath the chast'ning rod,
But in the hour of grief or pain
Can lean upon its God.
Lord, give us such a faith as this;
And then, whate'er may come,
We'll taste e'en now the hallowed bliss
Of an eternal home.
-- Prof. Joseph Lau
* BROADENING THE BASE
Instead of being called "Editor's Smorgasboard" this occasional column
with comments on happenings in the church and the world will be
broadened by dropping the first word. The intention is to print other
people's good comments (full name given) as well as the editor's
You are invited to pass along ideas for this column from your church's
Newsletter and/or weekly bulletin. Brevity is to be preferred.
Please identify the writer.
* DAILY DEVOTIONAL BOOKLET
Join me in once again thanking Pastor Rollin A. Reim for
compiling the 1997 Readings. He did this happy annual chore for our
readers even as he is now back in the full-time ministry at St.
Stephen's of West Bay, San Francisco. Pastor Reim even sent the print
"camera ready," saving us the time of retyping 365 Bible references.
Including the suggested hymn stanzas, the work is his.
Happy Bible Reading -- and with such a daily menu, a truly blessed
Christmas and New Year from the Spokesman!
* "MORE EVOLUTION FABLES"
(The following was sent to various Minnesota newspapers as a "Letter
to the Editor.")
The Martian (?) meteorite rock story made big news August 5, 1996.
Evolutionists "first became excited about the potential life locked
inside the rock about a year ago" -- evidently sedimentary rock.
However, sedimentary rock is formed only out of extremely muddy waters
such as was formed all over the earth at one time.
The question is: Did water ever exist on Mars at one time? And if it
did, what happened to it? Did some of this presumed water turn into an
extremely muddy mess that entrapped life there as it did on earth at
one time? Then also, did life even exist on Mars? And how did life
turn into rock without any muddy waters occurring on Mars?
Then also, could a comet or asteroid dislodge a piece of this
sedimentary rock and make it fly off into space with such powerful
force to escape Martian gravity, as they claim in this news report?
Has any comet or asteroid ever loosened rocks from the earth with such
force that they flew into space?
All this is quite a fable with many wild assumptions that have no
facts behind them.
What basis do the evolutionists have that the 4 1/2 pound rock was
formed on Mars "4.5 billion years ago, that it was blasted out of the
planet 16 million years ago" and "then landed in an Antarctic ice
field 1300 years ago"? These years are an awful lot of non-scientific
assumptions and postulations without any proof behind them.
Then also they claim: "...There must have been microscopic life on
Mars some 3.6 billion years ago." In regard to this claimed life that
was encased in the potato-sized rock they "found minute objects that
closely resemble fossilized bacteria that had been found on earth."
Why couldn't these "fossilized bacteria" be part of all the fossils
found in sedimentary rocks all over this earth?
This entire fable is another example of how wild the evolutionists
have become in their religious belief that life simply evolved on
Earth and Mars. But scientists who are not creationists have stressed
how totally impossible it is for life in cells, plants, animals, and
mankind to evolve by itself anywhere in this universe, even in ideal
conditions as exists on this earth.
The more the evolutionary fable is pushed into a corner as being
totally non-scientific, foolish, and ridiculous, the more frantic,
"giddy" (their own word), and ridiculous they become in trying to
prove their religious belief.
Carl Sagan, a leading figure in the search for extraterrestrial life,
in response to this Mars rock story, said: "This is the most
provocative . . . piece of evidence for life beyond Earth. If the
results are verified, it is a turning point in human history." -- But
first he and others must prove life evolved under more ideal
conditions even on Earth. No one has ever proven that any kind of life
ever evolved on Earth.
Stanford University professor Richard Zare summed up all this foolish
thinking beautifully: "We think they are microfossils from Mars. But
this is an interpretation. It could be a dried-up mud crack."
Yet the highest men in government are ready to squander "$400 billion"
on this evolution idea. How much better could this money be saved to
not increase our national debt another $400 billion besides what they
already squandered on other evolution religious ideas in order to
promote that religion.
-- Albert Sippert
* A BOOK THE POPE SHOULD READ
Albert Sippert is a member of our CLC church, Immanuel in Mankato,
Minn. Well into his 80's, Sippert continues to get the creation
message out whenever and wherever he can, including on radio talk
shows nationwide. He has been on a number of 50,000 watt radio stations
where he often debates the subject with noted evolution defenders.
For the creation message he brings Mr. Sippert encounters considerable
hostility, even at times from the "objective" talk show host. On the
other hand, many listeners, as well as readers of his book, pass along
rave reviews both of Sippert's courageous testimony to the truth and
his amazing grasp of the facts involved.
Did you read in the national news lately how the Pope came out saying
that evolution is more than just a theory? In effect he was saying that
the "science of evolution" is compatible with the Christian faith. At
the same time he attempted a kind of weak damage control with the dis-
claimer that the human soul itself is crreated by God and is not subject
to the evolutionary process.
Due to his stature in much of Christendom and the world, the pope's
comments aggravate the truth of creation and fuel the fire of the
evolutionists. In that connection a CLC member in the twin cities area
responded on the "CLC Slinger" (E-Mail): "I think (the pope) needs a
copy of Pastor Sippert's book... (which) leads the reader in a very
logical progression of arguments debunking the so-called scientific
base of evolution." Christian News also recommended that the pope read
A 466-page book, Evolution Is Not Scientific: 32 Reasons Why may be
ordered from the author at his home address: 330 Wheeler Ave., No.
Mankato, MN 56003. The cost is most reasonable: $6.00 plus $1.95 for
"Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory,
because of Your mercy and because of Your truth" (Ps. 115:1).
It was on these words that the Rev. L. W. Schierenbeck addressed the
members and friends of St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church of Austin,
Minnesota on June 9, 1996 when the congregation's new house of worship
was dedicated to the glory of God. Well over 200 people listened
attentively as St. Paul's second pastor (1944-69) spoke how God's
name--His Word of healing and refreshment--is the glory of His house.
During his sermon the Rev. Schierenbeck mentioned how he had preached
at all three of St. Paul's dedications -- in 1942, 1953, and now.
Other former pastors and vacancy pastors took part in the service: the
Rev. Carl Thurow (1969-84), the Rev. Albert Sippert (1969), Prof. John
Pfeiffer (1984-94), and the current pastor, the Rev. Stephen Kurtzahn
(1995- ). Several former teachers of St. Paul's School were also
present. The first hymn was The Church's One Foundation (TLH, 473).
This was the first hymn sung at the very first worship service of St.
Paul's on June 15, 1942. The organ was accompanied by trumpet and
violins. The choir, joined by friends of the CLC, sang Christ Is Our
Cornerstone. The children of St. Paul's sang To Thy Temple I Repair. A
delicious catered dinner was served immediately after the service by
one of the members.
The Old And The New
St. Paul's former building, a beautiful stone structure next to the
Cedar River, had been plagued by floodwaters several times since it
had been built in the early 1950's. Two major floods struck within two
weeks of each other in 1978, and another in 1993. It was after this
last flood that the congregation took advantage of a federal buy-out
program of flood-ravaged properties administered by the city of
Austin. Construction of the new building began in May 1995 on property
previously donated to the congregation by members. The groundbreaking
service took place on June 4, 1995. The very first service in the new
facility was conducted on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 21, 1996.
St. Paul's new building is very functional. The sanctuary is wide,
airy, and bright, with a seating capacity of 162. Many items from the
old church were reused in the sanctuary, such as the pipe organ,
stained-glass windows, leaded glass, pews, altar and light fixtures.
The narthex offers plenty of room for worshipers to visit before and
after services. There is a spacious kitchen where several people can
work at one time. The fellowship hall has a high vaulted ceiling and
utilizes new tables and chairs purchased by the members. The pastor's
office is large enough to hold meetings comfortably and faces a large
field with a beautiful view of the countryside. There are two
classrooms for the Christian Day School and Sunday School, with plenty
of storage space as well as a cry-room for the little children.
"In Spite Of Ourselves..."
St. Paul's has been blessed beyond measure by our gracious Lord and
Savior. We pray that in boldness we may share the Means of Grace with
our community from our new building. In this connection we would like
to quote from the closing paragraphs of the 25th anniversary
"As we look back upon our history . . . we marvel at the wonderous
grace of God. We are living proof of the long-suffering and mercy of
our God; for our history and a knowledge of the same is a sobering
and humbling record, a reminder of our many sins and shortcomings,
of our ignorance and obstinacy. And yet we gather to praise the God
who still dwells among us with His grace and mercy in Word and
"As we look toward the future we are reminded by the past that we
have no future of ourselves; that our only hope for continuing in
God's Word and the saving grace it brings rests with 'the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant
mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and
undefiled and that fadeth not away.'
"Therefore, in spite of ourselves, it is with confidence that we
face an unknown future in an uncertain world, a confidence founded
in the only-saving God, who has promised, 'Lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world.'"
-- Pastor Stephen C. F. Kurtzahn
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periodicals. This applies particularly to individual subscribers
who should please forward their ZIP + 4 to Business Manager Benno
Sydow if he does not yet have it. His address is in the masthead.
Board Of Doctrine Appointment
Upon the resignation of Paul Schaller because of his new duties at
ILC, Thomas Schuetze has been appointed to replace Prof. Schaller on
the Board of Doctrine.
-- Daniel Fleischer, President
In accord with our usage and order, Mark Kranz, who was called by
Luther Memorial congregation of Fond du Lac, Wis. to be principal and
upper grade teacher (grades 6-8) in its school, was installed on July
-- Pastor John H. Johannes
In accord with our usage and order, Rollin A. Reim, who was called by
St. Stephen Lutheran congregation of Mountain View, Calif. to be its
pastor was installed on the afternoon of November 3rd in a joint
Reformation service with St. Stephen Lutheran Chruch of Hayward.
-- Pastor Michael Sprengeler
In accord with our usage and order, David Lundin, who was called by
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, W. Columbia, S.C. to be principal and
upper grade teacher in its Christain Day School, was installed on
August 18, 1996.
-- Pastor Warren Fanning
Last month it was reported that Pastor John Hein received the call to
Our Redeemer's of Red Wing from the Call Committee for graduates. This
is incorrect. He was called directly by Our Redeemer's congregation.
Change Of Address
Mark G. Kranz
146 21st Street
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
Call For Nominations
The Board of Regents for Immanuel Lutheran College invites voting
members of CLC congregations to nominate an individual or individuals
to fill the vacancy on the ILC faculty created by the retirement of
Professor John Lau at the end of the current school year.
The primary teaching responsibilities of the man nominated will be in
the area of English grammar and literature, Foreign Languages and
Religion. (Foreign Languages include German and another modern
language, preferably Spanish.) Instruction is to be given in both high
school and college departments. Other assignments will be determined
upon mutual agreement in accordance with needs and corresponding
Those placing nominations are encouraged to include information
regarding their nominee's educational background and teaching and/or
professional experience. They should also indicate how their
nominee(s) might help our school in supervising extracurricular
activities (sports, music, theater, etc.).
Nominations must be postmarked no later than December 4, 1996 and sent
Mr. Tom Beekman, Secretary
8410 Rambil Rd.
Eau Claire, WI 54703
A Hymn By Professor Paul Schaller
Angel voices in the night,
Eyes that sparkle with delight,
Gifts and golden candlelight --
Christmas comes again!
Shepherds run to David's town,
Wise men cause a king to frown,
God's own Son to earth come down --
Christmas comes again!
Sinners kneeling in the dust,
Find a Savior they can trust,
Live and die for them He must ---
Christmas comes again!
Peace, forgiveness, love and joy,
Find in Mary's baby boy,
Gone the fears which now annoy --
Christmas comes again!
Hallelujah! Sing today!
Flute and reed and trumpet play,
Lift your voices now and say --
Christmas comes again!
Editor's Note: We thank Professor Paul Schaller for once again
sharing this, his annual special "Christmas Card" to family and
friends, with our Spokesman readers.
Web Editor's Note: To view the music to this hymn, please refer to
the paper version of the Spokesman.