Thursday, August 26, 2021

Gospel of the Sacrament of the Altar

Since we have been talking about the Sacrament of the Altar lately, I’d like to say more here. I would like to address the Gospel benefits of this blessed Sacrament, for it is truly a blessing that the devil wants you NOT to receive and will do anything to stop you.

In talking of closed communion with other denominations, and sometimes with each other, there is some confusion between being cautious about who we commune because of the harm it may cause, and therefore thinking the benefits are not given to those who are admitted to the table. This too, I think the devil has had his way with us and so I would like to clarify.

First let’s consider that all precautions have been made, and you are a disciple of Christ approaching the table. That is, that you have been Baptized, and properly catechized, before communion. This is in accordance with Matthew 28’s command to make disciples by Baptizing and teaching. This is closed communion; simply making sure the communicant is a disciple of Christ. We often use the “shortcut” of determining the catechesis given by asking the quick question; Are you a member of a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in good standing? If yes, we can be quite reasonably assured that you have been properly taught. Sometimes this is not the case, but thankfully I think it is still rare. If the answer is no to that question, then we need to determine what you have been taught and who you are in communion with (denomination) to determine the issues which may need to be discussed.

But then, with the assurance that you are in fact, a disciple of Christ (and in this case, a LCMS member in good standing), then there is the “worthiness” language. This is not closed communion, but the warnings of 1 Corinthians 11:17-33 to disciples of Christ. This is simply what a Baptized and Catechized disciple of Christ does. In the hymnal on LSB page 329 is Christian Questions and Their Answers. These are a series of self-examination questions, for you, as a disciple of Christ to determine if you are coming to receive the blessed Sacrament of the Altar in a worthy manner In a nutshell, it means; Do you believe that you are a sinner, have no hope to redeem yourself, but trust in Christ as your true Savior alone, and He truly gives Himself to you in His body and blood for your benefit? If so, then come and receive that benefit! Do not let the devil convince you otherwise!

 

Yet still, the devil’s assaults are numerous to convince you to NOT partake. Things like.

Pastor, I know someone that has done me harm, and I just can’t seem to forgive them for what they did. Shouldn’t I abstain? No! Come to the Sacrament and receive His forgiveness (for your lack of forgiveness to your neighbor) and for Him to give you the strength to forgive! You believe that you are a sinner, no?

But pastor, what if I am mad at the you, and I can’t forgive you! Same. Come, receive, be forgiven, and may it give you strength to come and sit down with me to discuss what the problem is.

But pastor, I have hatred in my heart towards someone. Isn’t that dangerous? Yes, having hatred in your heart can be dangerous to your faith, but that is handled with individual confession and absolution. Things like unrepentance, hatred, and a multitude of sins are covered under that seal to give forgiveness for specific issues. Take advantage of it, receive forgiveness from God Himself, then feed your faith with the Sacrament. Besides, how does NOT receiving forgiveness of sins by the body and blood of Christ, help with that hatred? Instead, confess your sin, and receive the full benefit of the blessed Sacrament.

Or the latest one; But pastor, I fear I may catch something and die. Which do you fear most? Eternal death, or temporal death? Or, as Jesus says in Matthew 10:28; And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. We take many precautions in the distribution of the Sacrament, but ultimately it is God’s will and timing when you shall be taken unto Him. And besides, Christ will raise you up again.

These are not the only reasons we have come up with to not take this blessed Gospel given to us, yet any reason we come up with for voluntarily going without the Sacrament for a long period of time, is detrimental to your faith. It is like going into battle naked because you no longer wear the armor of God to protect you against the assaults of the devil and world. Come, eat and drink, replace that battle torn armor with a new set.

            I highly recommend further reading, for this blessed Sacrament is THE greatest gift known to His Church. Please check out our Confessions. Specifically, section V of Luther’s Large Catechism. It is well worth the read.

 

Together in Christ,

Pastor Terry Makelin

Friday, August 20, 2021

Getting/giving/taking/having…Offense

As I noticed that my “weekly” blog has already faltered to an intermittent blog. I pray this has not offended you. I have not fully integrated blogging into my schedule, and for those who were expecting more from me, I ask your grace. Yet, in today’s understanding giving/getting/taking/having offense is the greatest sin I could ever commit! However, what is ‘offense’? And is ‘giving offense’ a sin? Armed with those two questions I began a deep dive into Scripture and want to share a few things with you.

Yet before I get into what Scripture says, I want to try to define what ‘offense’ is in today’s understanding, because the meaning of that word has changed greatly in the last few decades. The dictionary definition (off those wonderful muddy waters of the internet) defines “offense” as: The act of causing anger, resentment, displeasure, or affront. Or The state of being offended. By that definition, anything said can be offensive! With one word or slip of the tongue it can be offensive depending on how the words are received, not how the words were intended. This is scary. People have lost jobs, had their careers ruined, been cancelled, and many other things, not because they wanted to cause offense, but because their words were received as offensive.

So, what does Scripture have to say about it? A quick word search of the word 'offense' in the English Standard Version of the Bible reveals some interesting observations how the interpreters used this word to describe the usage of the word in the Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). In the OT, it has primarily the meaning of “transgression”. You can cause offense (transgression) against individuals, transgression of nation, against nation, and then true sin, which is transgression against God (in general or against His Word). In the New Testament, the word “offense” has the root word, which is where the word 'scandalous' comes from. It is offensive (scandalous), to cause/ make someone to no longer believe, or they themselves give up believing. It is a transgression against God’s law when you sin against Him (or your neighbor) and it is a scandalous to cause/make/abandon faith. In summary, Scriptures define “offense” in two ways. Doing what is wrong or causing someone to do wrong or stumble (in the faith).

This is not quite the way in which today’s understanding of “offense” is! Is it? The key here is the intent of doing wrong. And of course, in the Bible, who decides what is right or wrong? God! So offense (sin) is not subjective (self-interpreting by how you feel about it), but objective (the offender had the intent of sinning against you). Therefore, in Scripture, 'true offense', IS sin because it is ultimately offensive to God. It is also truly offensive to someone else, if they intentionally sin against them. I emphasize the word intentionally, because sometimes someone can sin against someone unintentionally via the flesh, simply by impulse, misspeaking, or even stupidity. And while yes, this is sinful, the best construction should be applied and generous grace given while waiting to see what is their true intent. Is it to cause harm?

So, back to the beginning; Is giving/getting/taking/having offense a sin? Sometimes, but usually not. Maybe to the world’s definition it always is, but like many things, the world has turned things upside down from what God’s Word says. The question itself is backwards and should be; Is giving/getting/taking/having sin, offensive? Yes. Sin against each other is sin against God. When we are talking about sins against God, well, let's just say that maybe it is understandable to be a little angry, resentful, displeased, or affronted (the world’s definition of offense) about it. So,the next time you feel ‘offended’ with that internet bully, or when someone lets you down, or when someone says something that gets your ire up, ask yourself; What sin against God have they committed against me? Was it intentional? Ask them; What is the offense and what is my sin? This is what Jacob asked of Laban in Genesis 31:36 Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me?

And if it is sin against you (and God)? Well…you know Jesus Christ and His forgiveness. When it comes to sin, always look to Jesus Christ, where true Peace is found and given through His Word and Sacraments, and we will get into what God’s Word says about what we can do when offensive sin is intentionally inflicted upon us in another blogspot. Pastor Terry Makelin 08-17-21

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Table of Duties

 In Luther’s Small Catechism it lists a Table of Duties for various vocations. There is of course, the inherent danger of listing duties of a Christian, and that is, that we only hear the Law and not the Gospel. Yet, I remind you that you are a baptized child of God.  In God’s eyes, you possess the perfect righteousness of Jesus.  In fact, before you even start to read them, you know by faith what the end goal needs to be: more Jesus, less you.  When we rely on ourselves, we will fail.  When we try to improve ourselves, we will fail.  When we make a list of all our shortcomings, we realize the impossibility of our situation.  When we look at ourselves at all, it leads to despair.  That is the work of the Law, it shows us our sin.

Yet the Law is good, because it drives us to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In Christ, we can acknowledge our duties as something we often fail to do. The solution is not to work harder at them, or try to do more, or rely on anything of ourselves, but seek the forgiveness earned by Christ in His Word and Sacrament to sanctify us to do better.

Therefore, with all this talk I have been doing about when to call the pastor and what he can do for you, I thought it would be a good idea to review the Scriptural expectations, and how they are presented in the Book of Concord and various rites of the church. These are set forth for the benefit of each other. And while these duties are separated by vocation because of responsibilities, there is no separation of Christ. We are on the same team.  We want the same things.  This congregation is not your church or my church, but His church in this place. You want a pastor who will faithfully serve you the gifts God offers…and so do I.  I want parishioners (and myself) who hunger to be fed in faith and love…and so do you.  The solution is more Jesus Christ, and less of ourselves.

Again, if there are any questions you have, or one of these responsibilities you are struggling with, or you think there is something I should be doing better at doing, please contact me. In Christ, and with His mercy and His forgiveness, we are sanctified to serve each other in this way.

Together in the communion of Jesus Christ,

Pastor

 

Pastoral

The Scriptural expectations of the pastor are detailed in various rites, Call documents and the Book of Concord.  The rites of confirmation, ordination, and installation are often spoken as a confession of these responsibilities, or sometimes a vow. They are:

·        Perform the duties of the pastoral office in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions

·        Conform his preaching and administration of the Sacraments to the Lutheran Confessions (contained in the Book of Concord of 1580)

·        Faithfully instruct both young and old in the chief articles of Christian doctrine

·        Forgive the sins of those who repent, and never divulge sins confessed to him

·        Minister to the sick and dying

·        Demonstrate to the Church a constant and ready ministry centered in the Gospel

·        Admonish and encourage the people to a lively confidence in Christ and in holy living

·        Be diligent in the study of Holy Scripture and the Confessions

·        Be constant in prayer for those in his pastoral care

·        Instruct, watch over, and guide the flock over which the Holy Spirit has placed him

·        Administer the Word of God in its full truth and purity

·        Administer the holy Sacraments in accordance with their divine institution

·        Guard and promote the spiritual welfare of the members

·        Guide the congregation in applying the divinely ordained discipline of the Church, according to the Word of God, and to assist and lead members in practicing the forgiven life with one another

·        Promote and guide the mission activity of the congregation, in the local community and Synod- and District-wide endeavors

·        Be a resource and guide in Christian education and train parents to teach the faith to their children

·        Preach Law and Gospel in each sermon and make it easy to understand.

·        Teach Bible class to understanding and edification.

 

 

The Scriptural expectations of the parishioner are also stated at confirmation, the Book of Concord, ordination and installation services, Call Documents and often are spoken as a vow, that with God’s help, you will accomplish them. They are:

Parishioner

·        Hear the Word of God and receive the Lord’s Supper faithfully

·        Live according to the Word of God, and in faith, word, and deed to remain true to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even to death

·       Continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it

·       Receive the pastor as a servant of Jesus Christ, giving him the honor, love, and obedience that the Word prescribes

·       Aid the pastor by word and deed, supporting him with diligent and faithful assistance, fervent prayers, and desiring to learn from him (Bible studies, activities, etc.)

·        Aid the pastor as he cares for his family

·        Make appropriate arrangements for the pastor’s continuing education

·        Support the congregation with your resources/service. Be diligent to “put the best construction on everything”

·        Work with the pastor to equip God’s people to glorify Him and extend His kingdom by living out your Baptism in all vocations

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Servants serving Servants

 Last week, I shared “When to contact your pastor”. I failed to mention that this was provided by someone else. But OK, so maybe you don’t want the pastor to know your business. Perhaps you do not know the confidentiality He is Called by God to keep (many don’t).

We see in the movies where the Roman Catholic Priest is not allowed to divulge who the murder is, even though he knows because it was revealed “under the seal” of the Confessional booth. And while we do have differences from our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic church concerning Confession (see The Apology of the Augsburg Confession / Art. XIIb (VI): Of Confession and Satisfaction), we do hold to the confidentiality of confession “under the seal”. That is, what is said in the confidence of private confession is between you and God, not you and the pastor. He cannot divulge it to anyone, not even his wife. In our ordination and installation vows we are to forgive the sins of those who repent, and never divulge sins confessed to him. This is how the pastor serves you in the vocation of the Office of Holy Ministry.

Yet perhaps the issue is not a sin you are struggling with that is bothering you. Perhaps it is something you simply wish to talk to you pastor about as that in-person seelsorger sent by God for the care of your body, spirit, and mind. Then confidentiality is as you desire it. As an example, Prayers will not be said in church for you unless you want it to be added to the Prayer of the Church. While Scripture says that prayers of the saints are a great benefit, your confidentiality is honored and I will include them in my prayers as I pray for each member of the congregation.

But I am still afraid to go to you pastor! Please! Don’t be. I am your servant. I cannot serve you if I am in the dark about your needs. Yes, I am called to point out your sin so that you can repent of them, but that is not my full-time job! As your servant sent by God for you, I have various means of applying the salve of the Gospel. I can pray, bless, read Scripture, and perhaps most importantly, be an ear. Still, I am not clairvoyant, you have to tell me. Sometimes repeatedly (grin).

But what if my problem is with you pastor? How am I to handle that?

The answer to that is the same whether it is between you and me, your pastor, and you and another person, following the guidance of Matthew 18. Be open and upfront about it with the person you have an issue with. The goal of course is forgiveness, solving and diffusing issues without giving the devil a foothold between us, turning it into factions and disunity.

Perhaps it is helpful to establish a few courtesies of fellow sinners in service to each other

·        If you have a problem with me, come to me in person so we can discuss it and I will do the same if I have a problem with you.

·        If someone comes to you about me, please send them to me and I will do the same for you (if they come to me about you).

·        If they consistently come to you and still can’t come to me privately, offer to come with them (not as a mediator or interpreter, but as a quiet, supportive friend).

·        If they still refuse to address it face-to-face, pray to God to heal the situation and let the Holy Spirit handle it in His time and way. Just be careful to always put the best construction on both people’s characters and refrain from rumors. We have a common enemy (sin, Satan, and the world) and it is not each other!

·        Of course, confidence is still maintained. If it is supposed to be confidential, don’t tell. Yet, if not, feel free to share with me to seek on how to handle the situation. The danger here then, is manipulation. Do not manipulate and do not allow yourself to be manipulated into aiding division of the body.

·        And finally, when in doubt; Ask. We will look to Scripture for His Will in the matter.

Please remember: God has provided you and I for each other and through the forgiveness earned by Christ, given us Himself, to endure the evil of the world together, with Him, until the end.

Together in Christ,

Pastor Terry Makelin

When to Contact Your Pastor

 Sometimes people wonder when they should call or contact their pastor. Of course, preaching, teaching, and administering the mysteries of God in the Sacraments are one of your pastor’s primary duties, but he is also called to be your seelsorge, or soul-healer.  He is never “too busy to be bothered” and please do not assume he knows or has your contact information.  Here are some suggestions on when to “bother” him 

Call your pastor:

 

·        * When your conscience is troubling you and/or you desire private confession and absolution


·        * When death is imminent, or if grief is prolonged and does not diminish


·        *When you, or a loved one, is going into the hospital


·        *When you would like to receive a blessing, of house, home, life events, or person


·        *When you hear of a congregation member entering the hospital or nursing care (please don’t assume I know)


·        *When you have not come to church to hear his Word spoken and preached for a prolonged period, especially if you are not able to do so.


·        *When you have withheld from partaking, or have been unable to partake, of that blessed Sacrament of the Altar, for a month.


·       When You would like a prayer said for you, a loved one, or an acquaintance


·       *When you would like me to add someone, or yourself, to my personal daily prayers - or - add to the church’s weekly prayer list (e.g. issues of thanksgiving, needs, patience in suffering, or requests for healing)


·       *When you find you no longer desire the Sacrament of the Altar


·       * When you have a question, concern, or suggestion concerning the church, including something I have said, or another member from the congregation has said


·     * When you, or a loved one, struggle with alcohol, drugs, pornography, or other harmful behaviors


·       * When you or someone you know has been the victim of any kind of abuse


·       * When you have entered a serious dating relationship (as soon as it becomes serious, especially before talking of living together or setting dates for marriage)


·       * When you have an issue in your marriage that is unresolved after a month of trying to reconcile


·       *When pregnant, that we might arrange for the child’s baptism


·       * When you need an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and a friend to care for your hurts


·        *When you’re wrestling with a spiritual issue or have a question about something the Bible says.


·      * When you know someone new in your neighborhood, or someone else you know, who just wants to know more about Jesus and His Word.

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list.  At all times, contacting your pastor is about delivering Christ for you.  Your pastor – as unworthy for the Holy Office as he may be - has been divinely called by God to be His under-shepherd, in this place, at this time…for you.  If you are not currently being served by any pastor, feel free to call Pastor Makelin at (605) 925-7219 or - if an emergency - his cell at (402) 336-7819. He would be happy to listen and talk with you.

Pastor Terry Makelin

St. Paul Lutheran Church

Freeman, SD

07-18-21

Saturday, July 10, 2021

IN PERSON OR ON SCREEN?

 Is live feed just as good as gathering? Does a shut in need the pastor, or can they just see him on screen? When answering that question, it becomes a question of what do you believe and practice? 

We believe God comes to us in person. Not as some inner voice but rather from outside of us in Word and Sacrament, and in the "in the stead" and "by the command" of the Office of the Ministry. This is the confessional Lutheran faith practiced for generations. 

We believe that God delivers these sacramental gifts (from Him to us), through the hands of men (pastors) as His instruments, placed into the Office of the Holy Ministry, by Divine call and the rite of vocation (ordination).

We believe the Divine call and ordination of these men is done through His visible church on earth known as congregations. Being “Church” is being members of His body by faith in Jesus  Christ – no matter which Christian denomination or sect. Being a congregation is when His Church gathers (congregate). True faith in Christ (what the congregation believes) can be seen by what it teaches. 

We believe therefore, that these men (pastors) are called to serve as under shepherds of Christ in service to the congregation - in order to provide the Divine gifts of Word and Sacrament, in the stead (standing in His place) and by His command (He authorized it and instituted it). Therefore, when the pastor absolves, it is as if by God Himself. When the pastor binds, it is by God Himself. When the pastor preaches, it is by God Himself. When the pastor reads Scripture, it is God speaking His Word. When the pastor Baptizes, God Baptizes. When the Pastor speaks the Words of Institution over the elements of the Lord’s Supper, God is speaking and instituting the blessed meal for His people in that place. Not that these men are pure and Holy mind you, but they are God’s chosen instruments in that place at this time, so His people can see, hear, taste, and smell the God among them. This is a blessed thing!

We believe when a pastor delivers the blessed gifts of Word and Sacrament in a congregational worship setting, his hand is God’s hand, his mouth God’s mouth, his ear, God’s ear. No one else in the congregation is called to do this thing for them. No one else in our congregation can preach or handle the Sacraments, only their called and ordained pastor.

Granted, even in a congregational setting, we do sometimes have “elders” help with the distribution of the Sacrament of the Altar (Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Communion) by carrying the blessed tray of body, or blood, but this is only done by men, deputized by the pastor in that place, and only after training to recognize the seriousness, that they are handling is the very Holy and very precious body and blood of Christ Himself, who is not only is the host via the instrument of the pastor, but the meal, present there in the elements of bread and wine (and no, we do not try to explain how it  can be, it just IS because He said it is). Yes, we may also sometimes deputize other pastors in our confession of faith (synod) to deliver Word and Sacrament to the people in that congregation, but again, only those of our confession of faith. We call this Pulpit and Altar Fellowship.

We believe then, that when it comes to those who cannot come to the regular place He has promised to come (the congregation worship setting), it is the pastor’s Divine call and duty to go to homes, houses, battlefields, hospitals, assisted living facilities and nursing homes, prisons, and anywhere else his people are, to deliver God Himself through His Word and Sacraments by their pastor’s hand, as an extension of the place of worship (sanctuary). Bottom line, since the congregation member cannot attend the Altar of God in that place, the pastor brings that place’s Altar of God to them.

Other chaplain or spiritual care persons can give prayers and comforting words, but only your pastor is called for you to deliver Word and Sacrament to you. It is an imperative practice of our faith to have pastors of the congregation physically and in-person, visit their people to absolve, to preach, to read His Word, to bless, to give communion, etc. Pastors bring Christ Himself for the people they have been called to serve. 

This is why live feed is not as good as gathering. It is also why, this past year, we were at odds with the policies developed during the pandemic that delegated responsibility of distribution of the Sacrament of the Altar to anyone else but by their pastor’s hand. 

Because it is by that hand and mouth, in a congregation setting, by which are the instruments that Jesus Christ Himself, the host, and meal, has chosen to deliver His gifts in order to strengthen your faith in Him and love for one another. 

Pastor Terry Makelin

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Feasts, Festivals, and Occasions:

 Because of the abuses of worshiping the saints, many people do not know that the Christian (Lutheran) church does have special days set aside for those saints and special days in which we wish to bring attention and focus to the workings of God in His church.  We do not pray to the saints to ask for their intervention, and we do not necessarily have these commemorative days in order to honor THEM, but instead, along with special commemorative events, we pause to give glory to God for working through these people and events to continue His church throughout all the centuries. These feasts, festivals, and occasion days are listed on pages x and xi in the front of your hymnal.

In Article 21 of the Lutheran Confessions, they list three reasons for such honor.  First, we thank God for giving faithful servants to His church.  Second, through such remembrance our faith is strengthened as we see the mercy that God extends to His saints of old. And Thirdly, these saints are examples by which we may imitate both their faith and their holy living according to OUR calling in life.  So, we give thanks, our faith is strengthened by their witness, and we have these examples of faith and works to imitate in our lives.

Usually these dates end up during the week, and we do not hold special worship services, (though I do encourage that on these days you give thanks in your home devotions). Some however, are moved to the nearest Sunday, when they are principle feasts of Christ (boldface in the hymnal), as they are important in the life of the church year to commemorate. Sometimes, it doesn't even have to be a principle feast (such as Reformation Day) and we will move it from the day it is on, to the nearest Sunday. This practice varies from congregation to congregation as local customs and preferences vary from congregation to congregation.

It is my intended practice, that when a feast, festival, or occasion occurs on a Sunday, we will pause from our regular church year celebrations to observe it and principal days will be moved to the nearest Sunday, as is the case for this Sunday; The Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

Now here is something more special about the Nativity of St. John the Baptizer day.  When it comes to saints, we usually commemorate their death dates, when their earthly calling was ended (usually by martyrdom), and they were called to rest from their labors, but there are the rare times when we celebrate nativities, or birthdays.  One such birth observance is not of just a saint, but the commemoration of the birth of our Lord.  THE Nativity, Christmas. We mark the nativity of John the Baptist in parallel with the Nativity of our Lord, exactly six months from Jesus’ nativity date (if we hadn't moved it to the nearest Sunday).  Remember the angel came to Zachariah and told Him that Elizabeth and he were going to have a son? And six months later, the angel came to Mary and said you are going to have a son and Elizabeth is already six months along? This was all foretold and laid out, because John the Baptist’s entire birth, life, and death, was to prepare the way for the Lord’s activity in this world, as foretold by the prophet Isaiah in our OT reading and as was told to his priestly father, Zechariah, in the temple by an angel.

So there is a reason for the madness, that the Nativity of John the Baptizer who preached repentance is the forerunner of the Nativity of Christ the Savior who preached forgiveness of sins. May God bless you.

Pastor Makelin

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Back to Blogging introduction

As we move to our website (Stpaulfreeman.org) we will be shifting the focus of this blog spot to what it is designed to be, and that is for text communication. We started the website because of where the videos are stored (YouTube).

But first, a little bit about where we have been. The purpose of the videos had always been for our brothers and sisters in Christ of St. Paul Freeman who, because of some mobility issues, could not get to the Divine Service (shut-in and facility bound) so they could watch it later. For the facility bound, they would gather together in thier chapel areas, so to remotely worship with their brothers and sisters from St. Paul Lutheran, just a different time and space. A volunteer would hand deliver memory sticks and bulletins to the facility so that they could do this. For homebound, the volunteer or I would bring them DVD's with a DVD player for them to watch. Then, I would go to those places or their homes after they had watched, and give them Holy Communion in a congregation-gathered setting if passible...until COVID hit.

When COVID hit and restrictions were beginning, we considered everyone to be shut in and went "live". We turned to YouTube and FaceBook for live-streaming and it was no longer necessary to deliver memory sticks. We also were able to have our videos placed on the local cable channel 90.

Since live-streaming is no longer necessary, and the website will work for getting the videos to our home and facility bound shut ins (and to those few visitors online we picked up who have been watching), we will take this blogspot back to what it was intended years ago.


I have not blogged in the past, so please bear with me. This past year and a half however, has brought many things to light concerning society’s worldview that I feel is important that we address. Many issues have risen, and each could be written and discussed at great lengths. In no particular order, are some below:

 

·        Healthcare’s separation of mind, body, and soul, with the body as priori.

·        The purpose of civil government in God’s three orders of estates (Church, Civil, Family)

·        Trust in man (media, science, social order, morality, etc.) over God

·        Human relationships (virtual, in-person, dependency, interdependency)

·        Fear as a means to manipulate (fear of death, guilt, shame, etc.).

·        Definition of “truth”

·        Purpose of life/death

·        Definition of what is church, worship, pastor, and love

 

This is a lot, and you can sense the anxiety of society today because of it. It is like a whack-a-mole game. You go to hit one to address it, and then, thinking it has been beaten down, another pops up from a different angle, and even the one you just smacked, pops back up. The difference between the whack a mole game and today’s issues however, is that you do not score points, and nobody wins! There are no rules, then there are rules that seemingly  change with the wind, and there is no order! No matter how much we try to make the game easier, or define the new set rules, the game goes on without us, even if we quit trying. The lack of order in our lives is frustrating to say the least. Exhausting, depressing, and life-sucking is probably more descriptive! This lack of “order” is the definition of chaos and insanity. No order will drive you crazy. Yet, there is  order. God’s order and therefore, Peace. That Peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding.

 

This is what I hope to help with this blog, is to examine the world’s happenings in a confessional Lutheran worldview. May it be a blessing to you. Pastor Terry Makelin


Saturday, June 19, 2021

06-20-2021 Order of Service and Announcements

 

Order of Service

Opening Hymn                                                                                 Page 737

   

Devine Service 3 (Page 184)  

Sermon hymn                                                                                   Page 608

 

Sermon                                                                         Luke 15:1-10 or 11-32                                 

“By God’s grace, Jesus Receives repentant sinners!”

 

Communion hymns                                                                    687, 683, 915

 

Closing hymn                                                                                    Page 726

 

ONE CHRIST: The Lord’s Table is open and offered to all current, confirmed members in good standing of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (and churches that we are in pulpit and altar fellowship) who desire it.  This assumes we confess the oneness of the same faith in Christ's Words, have been taught how to examine ourselves, and are truly repentant for our sins (worthily). We ask that all guests of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Freeman, please announce your intention to commune with us to the pastor before the service. Oneness at this Communion rail, also pre-supposes the horizontal oneness with each other in doctrine, so if you belong to/attend a different doctrinal confession, we invite you to come forward to receive a blessing indicated by folding your arms over your chest as you come to the rail, or remain in the pew and pray for the day when divisions would cease. Thank you for respecting our teachings. - Pastor.

 THE CHALICE IS OFFERED FIRST DURING OMMUNION. Data has shown, the chalice is “more sanitary” than individual cup! - Pastor

IN YOUR PRAYERSPlease pray for those members in area facilities: Salem-Mennonite Home, Wyona, Norbert, Marlene, Sharon, Darlene, Bob, & Eldora. Oakview Terrace, Lavonne, Orville, Millie, Bernice, Alice, Ruth and those Low Mobility at home: Susan, Connie, and these Additional Requested Prayers:  Kahlen, Bryan*, Sarah*. and Jerroll


Gospel of the Sacrament of the Altar

Since we have been talking about the Sacrament of the Altar lately, I’d like to say more here. I would like to address the Gospel benefits o...