Professor E.A.W. Krauss
Photo courtesy of Concordia Historical Institute
Dear friends in Christ,
We continue our survey of Church History from the book of Professor E.A.W. Krauss from our St. Louis seminary of a century ago.
This month we continue our look at the founding father of our synod, C.F.W. Walther. Today we find the immigrants settling into their new country, the United States. In spite of great financial hardship, our fathers began a school for training of pastors and teachers and Christian lay leaders. We also see the great hardship that they endured when the great sin of their leader, Martin Stephan, was exposed. More on that next month.
- [Part 5] Dr. C. Ferd. W. Walther
After the passengers of the four other ships had reached New Orleans and reunited, they traveled up the Mississippi and reached St. Louis on 19 February 1839. The members of the immigrant congregation who stayed behind in St. Louis called Pastor Otto Hermann Walther to be their pastor. The others settled in Perry County and divided themselves there into several small congregations which called the other immigrant pastors. C.F.W. Walther who arrived in Perry County in May of 1839 took over Dresden and then Johannisberg. “In spite of the bitter poverty that dominated the colony,” and in spite of the dreadful offense caused by exposing M. Stephan’s wrongs, and the talk that soon followed, “the candidates residing at that time in the colony, Ottomar Fuerbringer, Theodor J. Broehm and J. Fr. Buenger still considered establishing an institution for educating preachers and teachers. Walther, Loeber and Keyl also joyfully agreed to the plan of the candidates and promised their complete cooperation. With Walther, they bought six acres of land in the Dresden colony and saw to it that a log cabin was built for that purpose. They did most of the work since the settlers were struggling with great poverty.” In the summer of 1839 the following notice appeared in the St. Louis “Anzeiger des Westens” [Gazette of the West]:
“Institution of Instruction and Education.
We, the undersigned, intend to establish an institution for instruction and education that distinguishes itself from the usual elementary schools in particular by the following: that in addition to the common elementary subjects, it includes all classical learning that is necessary for a true Christian and scholarly education such as religion, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, French and English, history, geography, mathematics, physics, natural history, elements of philosophy, music, and drawing. In the named disciplines, the pupils of our institution are to be so advanced that after the completion of a complete course of study they will be qualified for university studies. The esteemed parents who wish to enroll their children in our institution are requested to take closer notice of its plan and arrangement with Pastor O. H. Walther in St. Louis, 14 Poplar Street, between First and Second Street. The instruction shall begin, God willing, 01 October this year.
The settlement of the German Lutherans in Perry County, near the Obrazo, on 13 August 1839.
C. Ferd. W. Walther, Ottomar Fuerbringer, Th. Jul. Brohm, Joh. Fr. Buenger
The first students were: Hermann Buenger, Theod. Schubert, Fr. J. Biltz, J. A. F. W. Mueller, Ch. H. Loeber.
Two and a half months before the emigrant society had to publicize the following in the Anzeiger des Westens:
Several weeks ago the undersigned felt themselves compelled to combat publicly on these pages the various evil rumors that had come here from Germany and that had also been spread here against the bishop at the time, Stephan. For both according to our own observation as well as according to the strict judicial investigations of this man, all accusations made against this man were completely unfounded. We particularly clung to his firm Lutheran confession and had no qualms about immigrating with him to America and publicly declaring that we were convinced of his innocence.
Unfortunately, though, in most recent weeks we made a discovery that convinced us that we had been most shamefully deceived about that man. It filled our hearts with horror and shock. Stephan had in fact made himself guilty of the secret sins of lust, unfaithfulness, and hypocrisy; and we who exposed him were the ones to whom the confessions had been made in complete freedom. We then immediately made the necessary announcement to others.
Until now, we have, in ignorance, both defended this man and also voluntarily joined him. However, because God, by His gracious leading, has opened our eyes to this, we now publicly renounce ourselves from this deeply fallen man.
We hope to God that He, who until now so visibly took care of us and the congregation that emigrated with us, would turn away from us and others all harmful results of the great offense that was given.
First Lutheran College, Perry County, MO, 1839
This declaration, dated 27 May 1839, was signed by pastors Loeber, Keyl, Buenger and Walther. Stephan’s sentence of removal was dated: “Perry County, 30 May 1839.” He was then removed from the community. He was placed in boat and brought across the Mississippi to the Illinois side to a place the sailors called “The Devil’s Oven,” because at that place many ships had already been wrecked and many people perished. Stephan remained there some time and later took the call to a union congregation. He died on 22 February 1846 without any sign of repentance and was buried in the churchyard at Red Bud, Illinois. The exact place where he lies is not known. This too is a warning that almost speaks louder than if one would read on a tombstone: “Martin Stephan, a leader and misleader of many souls. Whoever stands, take heed, lest he fall.”
So far Professor Krauss
REMEMBER YOUR OFFERINGS EVEN IF YOU CANNOT BE IN CHURCH ON A SUNDAY. THE WORK OF YOUR CHURCH CONTINUES.
ASH WEDNESDAY IS 06 MARCH—SERVICE AT 7 PM WITH IMPOSITION OF ASHES:
Sermon: 2 Peter 1. 2-11
Sharing In The Divine Nature
- God’s greatest gift to us
- Our most holy task
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, the season when Christians meditate on the great price Jesus paid to save us from our sins. This season also reminds us to take up our cross daily to follow Jesus—even suffering, if need be, for His name.
As disciples of our Lord Jesus we are called again to renewed struggle against everything that leads us away from love of God and love of our neighbor. Repentance, fasting, prayer, and works of love—the disciplines of Lent—have helped Christians through the centuries in waging this “spiritual warfare.” The disciplines of Lent prepared the catechumens of the early church for their baptism on Easter, and prepare us today for a full and transforming celebration of Christ’s glorious resurrection.
Beginning in the tenth century, ashes were imposed on this day upon penitent sinners in preparation for their restoration to full communion with the Church. Since the eleventh century, ashes have been imposed upon all the faithful who desire them, as a reminder that the wages of sin is death, for “dust you are and to dust you will return” [Gn. 3.19]. We begin Lent marked with ashes on our foreheads, and end it with the reminder that these marks of mortality are obliterated in the washing of baptism: “We were buried with Christ through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may lead a new life” [Rm 6.4].
REMEMBER THE TIME CHANGE FOR SUNDAY 10 MARCH: The tradition of using Roman numerals on timepieces was established by the early clocks on church towers. During the Crusades, the Church drew the line from the infiltration of heathen Islamic learning by banning the adoption of Arabic numerals on its clocks. To this day, most 'classic' clocks and watches have Roman numerals. [Source: Watch Around Nr. 008 Autumn 2009-Winter 2010]
PRAYER FOR LENT BY ST. BRIDGET : We implore You, by the memory of Your cross’s hallowed and most bitter anguish, make us fear You, make us love You, O Christ. Amen.
LENT SERVICES: Our Lenten services are rightly especially dear and valuable to us. In them we examine our Savior’s holy Passion. What an important subject it is! What is comparable to them? How small and insignificant in comparison are all those things with which the wise and learned of this world busy themselves! The Passion of our Savior is the center of the entire work of redemption, the spring of all salvation, the source of all comfort, the firm foundation of our faith, the anchor of all our hope in life and in death. How important and valuable must the passion of our Savior be! And how dear to us should these services be in which we consider this story of all stories!
EXTRA SERVICES IN LENT TO PONDER OUR LORD’S SAVING WORK:
St. Luke 22.39-46
Go To Dark Gethsemane
St. Mark 15.14-15
Our Lord Whipped
St. Matthew 27.27-31
Jesus Is Crowned With Thorns
St. John 19.16-17
Jesus Carries His Cross
St. Luke 23.33
Meditation with your crucifix [bring your crucifix with you to church]
18 April—Maundy Thursday
Isaiah 55. 2-3
God’s Word And Sacrament Do Everything
19 April—Good Friday
Meditations on the Stations Of The Cross
FROM THE “THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN” CATEGORY:
The great LCMS theologian, Dr. Francis Pieper writes about fake news already being perpetrated in his day. He writes about the “statesmen” and their allies in the media agitating to work up Americans into a war with Germany during WWI. In 1924 he writes:
“The French Revolution, which is often adduced as an example of an intensified obsession spiritualis [this Latin term means an intensified operation of the devil in individuals—ed.], is matched by occurrences of more recent date, such as the activity of the Communists and many Socialists, the deliberate falsehoods of the statesmen and their allies of the press during and since World War I. The “scientists” who rave against the Christian Church and the Word of God as though they were insane might also be listed here.” [Christian Dogmatics: Vol 1, pg. 509 CPH]
LET YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE AND ACTIVITIES PREACH THE GOSPEL TO YOU:
Prayer: Lord Jesus, the second and new Adam, clothe me with Yourself so that I put away all evil desires and lusts, and crucify and slay in me the dominion of the flesh. Be unto me a strong garment against the icy coldness of this world so that I may be preserved and warmed by You. Without You, all things droop, decay and die; but in You we live safe, strong, and mighty. As now I cover my body with these garments, so, O Lord, cover and clothe me with Yourself, especially my soul. For You are the garment of my salvation and the cloak of my righteousness. And unto You be glory and honor and praise, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen. [Pr. J.K.W. Loehe, 1808-1872, quoted in [The Lord Will Answer: A Daily Prayer Catechsim, CPH, 2004, pg. 124]]
THE EUCHARIST IS A FIRE THAT INFLAMES US, THAT, LIKE LIONS BREATHING FIRE, WE MAY RETIRE FROM THE ALTAR BEING MADE TERRIBLE TO THE DEVIL. --St. John Chrysostom
Our Lord speaks and we listen. His word bestows what it says. Faith that is born from what is heard acknowledges the gifts received with eager thankfulness and praise. Music is drawn into this thankfulness and praise, enlarging and elevating the adoration of our gracious giver God. Saying back to Him what He has said to us, we repeat what is most true and sure. Most true and sure is His name, which He put upon us with the water of our Baptism. We are His. This we acknowledge at the beginning of the Divine Service. Where His name is, there is He. Before Him we acknowledge that we are sinners, and we plead for forgiveness. His forgiveness is given us, and we, freed and forgiven, acclaim Him as our great and gracious God as we apply to ourselves the words He has used to make Himself known to us. The rhythm of our worship is from Him to us, and then from us back to Him. He gives His gifts, and together we receive and extol them. We build one another up as we speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Our Lord gives us His body to eat and His blood to drink. Finally, His blessing moves us out into our calling, where His gifts have their fruition. How best to do this we may learn from His Word and from the way His Word has prompted His worship through the centuries. We are heirs of an astonishingly rich tradition. Each generation receives from those who went before and, in making the tradition of the Divine Service its own, adds what best may serve in its own day—the living heritage and something new.
–Norman, E. Nagel, Introduction to Lutheran Worship [Commission on Worship] 1982
IN TIME FOR OUR LENTEN SELF-EXAMINATIONS:
17 Signs of Lack of Humility— Jose Maria Escriva
The Furrow 263: "Allow me to remind you that among other evident signs of a lack of humility are:—Thinking that what you do or say is better than what others do or say;
—Always wanting to get your own way;
—Arguing when you are not right or — when you are — insisting stubbornly or with bad manners;
—Giving your opinion without being asked for it, when charity does not demand you to do so;
—Despising the point of view of others;
—Not being aware that all the gifts and qualities you have are on loan;
—Not acknowledging that you are unworthy of all honor or esteem, even the ground you are treading on or the things you own;
—Mentioning yourself as an example in conversation;
—Speaking badly about yourself, so that they may form a good opinion of you, or contradict you;
—Making excuses when rebuked;
—Hiding some humiliating faults from a [Christian friend], so that he may not lose the good opinion he has of you;
—Hearing praise with satisfaction, or being glad that others have spoken well of you;
—Being hurt that others are held in greater esteem than you;
—Refusing to carry out menial tasks;
—Seeking or wanting to be singled out;
—Letting drop words of self-praise in conversation, or words that might show your honesty, your wit or skill, your professional prestige...;
—Being ashamed of not having certain possessions..."
Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 1 John 2.9
“I have every right to be angry. I was attacked and will forgive only when the other person has first apologized. With my evil words I was only paying back for what was said about me.” Can there be situations where a person may speak and think this way without it being wrong?
God shows what He thinks of that: Whoever hates is still in darkness! Even when you are good Christians, but lacking love, then is everything for nothing—and indeed love toward all other people! Paul writes: And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. [1 Cor. 13.2] If I have memorized the Bible but do not have love, that is worthless to God. If I never doubt God and firmly trust in Him, but I live in continual quarreling with someone, then I am nothing! If I give time and money for God’s kingdom, but on the other hand if my head is full of angry words and thoughts about others, God is not pleased. No, love is patient and kind. It does not keep track of evil; it endures everything [compare 1 Cor. 13].
Are there thus situations in life, in which one can say: I am rightly angry and will not forgive”? No. With anger or hatred in the heart we cannot please God.
Is, then, every person lost because no one can love perfectly? Yes, we would be lost—if Jesus would not forgive also our lovelessness. And yet John lays love upon the heart. It should pain our soul when we find anger, strife or even hatred. Our conscience should strike us if the devil persuades us to even the smallest hint of dislike.
Lord, help, that I love and forgive, even when I do not feel like it. Amen.
[By Pr. Andreas Heyn in God Is For Us, 20 August 2018]
Devotional Reading from 17th century Lutheran Theologian Johann Gerhard
O most godly Jesus, I thank You that, receiving the penalty of my sin, You willingly underwent hunger, thirst, cold, exhaustion, ridicule, persecution, sorrow, poverty, imprisonment, scourging, the piercing of thorns, and even a bitter death on a cross. How great is the fire of Your love that persuaded You to plunge willingly into the sea of that suffering for a miserable and ungrateful slave. In Your innocence and righteousness, You were free from all suffering, but Your immeasurable and indescribable love made You a debtor and a defendant in my place. I committed the crime; You underwent the punishment. I plundered; You made amends (Psalm 69:4). I sinned; You were punished.
In the various ways You were made to suffer, I see evidence of Your love for me. Those fetters, those scourgings, those thorns that injured You were because of my sins. You bore all this because of me, because of Your indescribable love. Your love was not satisfied by the assumption of my flesh. You desired to establish that love even more firmly through that most bitter passion of Your soul and body. Who am I, most powerful Lord, that for the sake of a disobedient slave You willingly served so many years? Who am I, the most disgraceful bond-servant of sin and whore of the devil, that for my sake You, fairest bridegroom, did not refuse to die? Who am I, kindest Creator, that for my sake, a most wretched creature, You did not shrink from the punishment of the cross?O kindest Jesus, I recognize the depth of Your mercy and the earnestness of Your love (Luke 1:78). You appear to love me more than You love Yourself because You gave Yourself up for me. Why was the sentence of death pronounced on You? You are completely innocent. Why were You, the fairest among the sons of men, spit on (Psalm 45:2)? Why did You, the righteous one, undergo flogging and fetters? All these abuses rightly belonged to me. But You, because of unspeakable love, descended to the prison of this world. You clothed Yourself with my servile dwelling, willingly taking on Yourself what I justly deserve. Because of my sin, I was to be assigned to the unceasing, scorching flames of hell. But You boiled with the fire of love on the altar of the cross, setting me free from these flames. I was to be cast away from the face of the heavenly Father because of my sin. But for my sake, You chose to be abandoned by Your heavenly Father. I was to be tormented forever by the devil and his angels. But You, because of immeasurable love, gave Yourself for me and were harassed and crucified by the servants of Satan.
Truly, most loving Bridegroom, to You I am a blood bride. For my sake, You poured forth blood so abundantly. Truly, fairest Lily, to You I am an injurious and piercing thorn. I placed on You a harsh and enduring load. The weight of this so pressed You that drops of blood freely flowed from Your body. Because of Your love, Lord Jesus, only redeemer and mediator, I will sing psalms of praise to You for eternity. Amen.
Devotional reading is from Meditations on Divine Mercy, pages 67–69 © 1992, 2003 M. C. Harrison. Published by Concordia Publishing House.
FROM OUR SYNODICAL PRESIDENT:
The following statement from President Harrison is intended not only to address the current situation in our country, but also to provide a continued confession of the LCMS’ position opposing abortion. President Harrison’s statement is available for use in your congregation, local paper or any avenue proper for your situation.
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).
On Jan. 22, 2019, the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on demand, the governors of both New York and Illinois signed laws to extend and promote abortion.
“This is the evolution of humankind in America,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he signed the Reproductive Health Act into law. In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order to ensure taxpayer funding of abortions, saying that it would make his state “the most progressive … in terms of women’s reproductive rights.”
Life, not death, is the goal of humanity. History testifies that death is never the means through which justice and human rights prevail. We do not advance on the graves of our children. Germany, which sought eugenics as the solution to problems, now has strict abortion laws. To defend and support life is the goal of every just government, and the right to life is the hallmark of a good society.
Yet abortion laws have allowed the abortion of more than 61,000,000 children since Roe v. Wade. That’s nearly 50 times the number of American soldiers killed in all wars. The abortion industry and its proponents take great lengths to avoid facing the fact that abortion dismembers a living child in a horrid pool of its own blood. This is barbaric.
Abortion is a lie. Science is on the side of life. We shall stand against the barbarism of abortion until our dying breath. Abortion is illogical, as we slaughter babies in the womb while developing ever-better care for other unborn children. Abortion contradicts the natural law written on human hearts that teaches us it is wrong to kill.
Lawmakers and bureaucrats in our country have become emboldened to force citizens to go against their conscience. People publicly celebrate laws that lead to the deaths of children.
How long, O Lord, how long?
Our Christian faith teaches us to value life and to love each and every person as our neighbor. Love is life, and life is the great gift of love. Death is our natural enemy. This can be seen in our lives and in our world each day. Even the birds that seek food in winter testify that life is the goal of their movements and their work. The flowers that grow toward the sun seek the light that enlivens them. We all live under God, who grants life to His whole creation.
And in the giving of His Son to be the Savior, God shows that He is the Lord of life. Jesus came to love. He taught us to love all people, including those whom we consider our enemies. He taught us to unconditionally love every person, even those whom this world considers unworthy of love.
Jesus not only taught us to love. He brought healing and wholeness to the broken. He proclaimed peace to those who were troubled. He sat with those who were excluded. He lifted up those who were beaten down. But most of all, He loved through the sacrifice of His own life on the cross. He died to forgive the sins of all humanity. His forgiveness is a free gift for all who trust in Him, including those who suffer from guilt for aborting their child. He rose on the third day.
The resurrection of Jesus is God’s grand statement that life is the goal of this creation. The resurrection of Jesus proclaims that all creatures find the goal of their existence in life. Just as God raised Jesus from the dead, so we learn that God treasures life over death.
We live as citizens in this world, and we seek to be obedient to our nation’s laws. We thank God for our leaders and for this great land He has given to us and for its precious freedoms and opportunities. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod advocates strong citizenship and active participation in government. We obey the laws of our land and encourage those around us to do so.
We are, however, bound by our conscience to speak against those laws that are unjust and, especially, those laws that violate God’s law and the natural law that binds all mankind. Abortion and other means through which humans kill humans violate these natural and moral laws that form the foundation of society.
Therefore, we stand against these actions and against all laws that sanction abortion or the taking of innocent life. We cannot stand silent when people elected to positions in which they are to protect citizens continue to pass laws and advocate for legislation that undermines the sanctity of human life. Our conscience is bound by both the Word of God and reason to speak for life as a precious gift of God and to speak against any and all who promote the killing of unborn children. We cannot hide the evil of these laws under the banner of “rights” or “privilege.” Children’s lives are at stake. They cannot speak for themselves. We will speak for them, and we will work to protect their lives.
And we will continue to work to love and support the women who face difficult choices or suffer from the consequences of abortion. We support young mothers who have chosen life for their children. We work to provide adoption and other opportunities to care for children in need. And we continue to show God’s mercy to all, just as He, in Jesus, has mercy on all.
We will work, love and pray that all might know the love of Jesus and trust in Him for salvation. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Prayer: Gracious Father, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are Your ways higher than our ways and Your thoughts higher than our thoughts. We do not understand the disregard for the work of Your hands and the wanton destruction of human life that has taken place through the atrocity of abortion. Bring an end to abortion, euthanasia and all other legal means to unjustly take life. Instill in Your people love for life as is pleasing in Your sight. Grant wisdom and strength of conviction to those who make, execute and administer our laws, that they might protect the unborn, the aged and all those whom they govern. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
March 2018 LCMS Stewardship Newsletter Article
Everything we have and everything we are is a gift of God’s providential care. We understand that we’re not islands unto ourselves. We could not exist without those who have gone before us and those who walk alongside us. God has given us forefathers in family, country, and faith. We are recipients of what God worked through them. We know God provides for our well-being through these means.
He gives us farmers and ranchers so we can eat. But more than that, God created and gave us all the things those farmers and ranchers cultivate. He gave us the corn, the beans, the wheat, the cows for milking, the steers for grilling. He gave each of those things for our nourishment and sustenance. Without God creating and instilling in those things their taste, their nutritional value, etc., we would not exist.
God gives us doctors, surgeons, nurses, and hospitals. He gives us medicine and medical instruments, and, of course, He gave us everything to make those medicines and medical instruments. He instilled in those things the properties to be utilized for those purposes. Without God creating and instilling healing properties into those things – and without God creating the ability within man to learn this and implement it to serve our medical needs – we would not enjoy the health we do now.
But there’s more. He gives us gainful employment through our employers and provides for the necessities of life through the labor of our hands:
“Then Moses said to the people of Israel, ‘See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan.’ ” (Exodus 35:30–34)
And one step back from that, He has created and given us hands, and attached to hands are arms with strength. He created us with minds to make those arms and hands move and accomplish the work set before us. And with that mind, He has given us reason and senses.
That mind, because of the reason God has instilled in it, is able to work through difficult problems before we press those arms and hands into labor. It allows us to grapple with concepts and run through scenarios instead of having to experience every situation personally. It allows us to learn from the mistakes, as well as from the accomplishments, of ourselves and others. This can be done for our entire body, all our skills and talents, everything that makes us … us.
So, everything we have and everything we are is a gift from Him. This is what we confess in the First Article of the Creed when we say that we “believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”
And it is for this, all of this, that we give thanks. And that is what stewardship is all about — giving thanks for God’s provision for us. To give thanks is more than having an attitude of gratitude, more than just a feeling in our hearts.But that is just the First Article of the Creed. We confess two more articles that deal with God’s provision for our spiritual well-being. He sent his Son to die and be raised on the third day for our justification. He delivers that justification through the means of grace (baptism, preaching and the Word of God, and the Lord’s Supper). And to give you those means of grace, He gives pastors and teachers, etc. Literally everything we have and everything we are in this life – and the next – is an inexpressible gift from God.
It is an action. It begins in the heart, but it doesn’t stay there. It works its way out through the mouth in praise for God’s gifts and in love and charity through the hands to our neighbors in family, country, and church.
“For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey him” (The Small Catechism, 16).
So give thanks to God for His inexpressible gifts — for everything we have and everything we are. Do this not only in word but also in deed.
Each person’s sojourn has a story line with continuous questions, challenges breakthroughs and struggles. The avenues we traverse can be lined with ribbons of joy and sorrow that help us navigate the corridors of celebration and pain to offer wisdom.
Some find romance in the relational furrows of time often steeped in fulfillment’s wonder. Others drown in loneliness, where the noise of dark spaces subdue feelings. Human heart’s feelings and our brain’s thoughts share common themes while enduring uniquely singular circumstances.
Many children grow embraced by parents who nurture each life stage of development. Sadly, many children live alone too early to connect. While life’s journey progresses, most humans travel with encouragement and/or discouragement. Most lifetime journeys mature on a path seeking the balance between resistance and reward. Sadly, some don’t find the balance.
Life’s journey can be empty. Comfort is given in a Spirit sent as a messenger to remind us we are not alone. Our journey’s companion bears our sorrows and carries our pain. Even our celebrations are anticipated by angelic forces, who long for our homecoming.
Life’s journey swirls forward with updrafts and downdrafts. Those who, by grace, have not rebuffed the Spirit’s gift of faith, navigate their lifetime journey as on the Emmaus Road. The Christian’s journey comes with a promise.
We do not walk alone. Our end is planned for us by the One who formed us. Our journey enjoys the protection of salvation on a path that leads back to the Garden. God not only gave us the inheritance of eternal life, He sealed it with his own lifeblood. He sent His Holy Spirit to comfort us along the way.
If our lifetime journey were to last 150 years, wouldn’t now be a good time for us to start our own planning? Our plans encourage others to share in the temporal and spiritual blessings of a lifetime journey not walked alone.
For more information, contact Robert Wirth, LCMS Foundation Gift Planner @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-863-4427.
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We begin an exciting new series on February 28 on Sharper Iron digging into the book of Genesis (8:00 a.m. CT), continue in the study of Ezekiel on Thy Strong Word (weekdays at 11:00 a.m. CT), and worship together during Daily Chapel services weekdays at 10:00 a.m. CT. Hear your favorite programs on demand at kfuo.org or wherever you get your podcasts.
Worship with us on Ash Wednesday 3/6 with a live broadcast service from Peace Lutheran Barrackview in St. Louis at 11:00 a.m. CT, continue in the new Sharper Iron series "In the Beginning was the Truth" in the book of Genesis (weekdays at 8:00 a.m. CT), and hear stories from fellow Lutherans and organizations around the Synod on The Coffee Hour (weekdays at 9:00 a.m. CT). Find your favorite programs on demand at kfuo.org or wherever you get your podcasts.
PREMIER CONFERENCE FOR LUTHERAN LAITY...You're invited to attend the Issues, Etc. "Making the Case" Conference Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 at Concordia University Chicago. Topics include: Secular Progressivism, Christian Joy, The Lord's Supper, The Hippocratic Oath and Conservatism. Speakers include: Matt Harrison, Ross Douthat, Hans Fiene, Wesley Smith, Will Weedon and Aaron Wolf. Early bird registration is $115 and includes three meals. For more information, visit www.issuesetc.org or call (618) 223-8385.
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