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pastoral letter

Where are the nine?

Pastoral Letter
November 2010

Dear Fellow Servants:

Ten lepers called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” They probably had heard of Jesus’ healing miracles in Galilee. The report of Jesus’ power had spread throughout the entire region. They addressed Jesus as Master. They also appealed to Jesus for mercy and healing compassion. They believed that Jesus had the power to help them, and they appealed to His mercy for help.Read More »Where are the nine?

A Servant is Humble

Pastoral Letter
September 2010

Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 ESV).

Dear Fellow Servants:

We live in an age which emphasizes self-esteem and self-worth as desirable characteristics.People take classes in self-assertion. This attitude of pride is nothing new. In Jesus’ day the Pharisees or religious leaders were proud of their position and proud of their works. It was the Pharisee who prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men.” Most religions emphasize doing things that make you feel you are better than others.Read More »A Servant is Humble

From the Mountain to the Cross

Pastoral Letter
“From the Mountain to the Cross”
July and August 2010

“Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray….And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.” (Luke 9:28, 36 ESV).

Fellow Cross Bearers:

Sharon and I recently returned from a five thousand mile trip to visit our children and  grandchildren. Along the way I spent a week in Eau Claire, WI attending the 29th Convention of  the Church of the Lutheran Confession. It was a demanding week that involved a lot of sitting,  a lot of listening, and a lot of prayer. It was good to get back home again. But guess what – the  problems that were here when I left are still here. It was back into the demanding regular work  of the pastoral ministry. Someone said that convention will help you appreciate your  congregation and your calling. Sometimes I experience a letdown when I try to turn the  excitement and possibilities of convention into the reality of my ministry.

Read More »From the Mountain to the Cross

May 2010

Pastoral Letter
May 2010
“But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over
them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your
servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man
came not be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”
(Matthew 20:25-28

Fellow Servants:

While I was at ILC attending the recent Co-ordinating Council meeting, I listened to a chapel
address reminding us that the greatest quality for leadership in Jesus’ Church is service. This
is contrary to the thinking of the world. The apostles were incensed because the mother of
James and John had asked Jesus that her two sons be permitted to sit at the right and left
hands of Jesus in his kingdom. The apostles were indignant not because she had asked, but
because James and John might have gotten in the front of the line. Jesus acknowledged that
this is the way it is among the rulers of the Gentiles who lord it over you. But Jesus said, “It
shall not be so among you.” Jesus turned everything upside down, “Whoever would be first
among you must be your slave.”

Read More »May 2010

Redemption for the Past. Hope for the Future

Pastoral Letter April 2010

1 Corinthians 15:35-38; 42-50

Fellow Under-Shepherds in Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life:

Greek philosophy and culture ridiculed the idea of the physical resurrection of the body. Today also the here and now existence of this world is the most important thing. No one wants to think about the inevitability of death. In the beginning of chapter 15, the Apostle Paul emphasizes the reality of Jesus’ physical resurrection from the dead and therefore the reality of our bodily resurrection from the grave. “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20).Read More »Redemption for the Past. Hope for the Future

At the Foot of the Cross

Fellow Servants of Christ:

Pastoral Letter February 2010

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast Save in the death of Christ, my God;

All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

TLH 175:2

Next Wednesday, we begin another Lenten journey that ends at the foot of the cross. The cross is where the saving glory of the Lord is revealed to sinful men. The foolishness of the cross is indeed the power of God. Our lives and our ministries are lived under the cross. The cross is the proclamation of the Gospel of God’s saving love. Second Corinthians reveals the paradox of the Gospel and the Gospel ministry of reconciliation which has been entrusted to us. The preaching of the cross is foolishness and weakness to the world. The glory of the Gospel and the glory of our ministry is hidden to the world because it is the opposite of what the world considers important and world-changing.Read More »At the Foot of the Cross

His Inexpressible Gift

Pastoral Letter
January 2010
2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift.”
As we celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the formation of the Church of the Lutheran Confession,
we give thanks to God for His “inexpressible gift” to us. We give thanks not for the CLC, but for
the Gospel ministry God has entrusted to us. We gift thanks for the “inexpressible gift” of God’s
Son, Jesus and the ministry of reconciliation entrusted to us by the grace of God. Grace is the
undeserved gift of forgiveness and life to lost and condemned sinners.
In this section of 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul speaks of the “grace” of thankful giving.
These believers were enabled by God to bring their offerings out of faith and to show their
thanksgiving to God in a concrete way. Chapters eight and nine of Second Corinthians remind
us of the value of grace-giving:
! We look upon giving as a privilege not a choice.
(2 Corinthians 9:7) “for God loves a cheerful giver.”Read More »His Inexpressible Gift

In Christ God Was Reconciling the World To Himself

Pastoral Letter

October 2009

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

We continue our study of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. In this letter the Apostle Paul presents the glory of the Gospel and the Gospel ministry in contrast to the weakness of those called to proclaim the Gospel. This Reformation month, Paul reminds us of the essence of the Gospel Ministry entrusted to us. God through Martin Luther restored the Gospel truth of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The sedes doctrina of the universal Gospel of reconciliation is revealed in this section of Paul’s second letter to the saints in Corinth.

In This Year of Jubilee We Are Reminded that the Ministry of Reconciliation Is That

“In Christ God Was Reconciling the World To Himself”

The message of the Gospel is what God has done for the entire world. This reconciliation is not something we did or agreed to. God in one act of grace unilaterally reconciled the entire world to Himself. This reconciliation took place solely through Jesus Christ. For God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.Read More »In Christ God Was Reconciling the World To Himself

Our Jubilee in Christ

Pastoral Letter August 2009

The main purpose of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians is to defend the Gospel ministry. Super-apostles had been undermining Paul’s ministry in Corinth because they felt that Paul had a poor speaking ability and was not a very exciting pastor. With their worldly wisdom and influence, they also were confusing the new Christians in Corinth about their life-style as God’s people as well as basic doctrines of the Christian faith such as the bodily resurrection from the dead. They were undermining Paul’s ministry by promoting themselves.

Paul in second Corinthians does not personally defend himself against these attacks. Instead he sets forth the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of a true Gospel ministry. The Gospel ministry does not need gimmicks or worldly advertising techniques to accomplish God’s purposes. After all, God uses the foolishness and weakness of the Gospel to confound the pride of power of men. (1 Cor 1:25) “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”Read More »Our Jubilee in Christ