Repent — Part 5: 02/16/2024

Broadcast

                            Repent - Part 5
                             Joel 2:18-19
                              02/16/2024


        18   Then the LORD became jealous for his land and had
             pity on his people.
        19   The LORD answered and said to his people,
             ``Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and
             oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more
             make you a reproach among the nations.''  (ESV)

        The season of Lent, the message of Ash Wednesday, is a call
   to repent of our sins, to throw ourselves on God's rich love,
   grace, and mercy.  This goes against our sinful human nature, for
   we desire to be like God, to have things our way, and to have
   complete control of all we do.

        The reality is simple, however.  We have sinned and we have
   no ability to pay the price of our sin.  As individuals, as a
   community, as a nation, God calls us to return to Him so that He
   may be gracious and merciful to us.

        The prophet Joel wrote:
        Then the LORD became jealous for his land and had pity
        on his people.  The LORD answered and said to his
        people, ``Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and
        oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make
        you a reproach among the nations.''


        We have hope.  Jesus Christ, true God and true man, bore the
   price of our sin upon the cross.  His death is our death, His
   resurrection is the assurance of our resurrection.  Our Lord had
   pity upon us, and has blessed us by declaring that we are holy in
   His sight for the sake of Jesus Christ.

        Join us at Trinity Lutheran Church at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday to
   learn more of God's love.  We also have Wednesday services at
   noon and 7:00 p.m. during Lent to hear of God's rich grace and
   mercy.

        May our Lord bless you with the peace of knowing your sins
   are forgiven for the sake of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Repent — Part 4: 02/15/2024

Broadcast

                            Repent - Part 4
                             Joel 2:15-17
                              02/15/2024


        15   Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call
             a solemn assembly;
        16   gather the people.  Consecrate the congregation;
             assemble the elders; gather the children, even
             nursing infants.  Let the bridegroom leave his
             room, and the bride her chamber.
        17   Between the vestibule and the altar let the
             priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep and say,
             ``Spare your people, O LORD, and make not your
             heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations.
             Why should they say among the peoples, `Where is
             their God?'''  (ESV)

        Too many people believe if they simply go to church on
   Christmas and Easter that they are pleasing God.  Nothing can be
   farther from the truth.  All have sinned and fallen short of the
   glory of God, all need to repent.

        Easter is meaningless without the sure and certain knowledge
   that we are the ones who caused Jesus to be nailed to the cross.
   The good news of His death and resurrection for our redemption
   cannot be understood unless we truly prepare by knowing of our
   need for a Savior.

        The prophet Joel wrote:
        Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a
        solemn assembly; gather the people.  Consecrate the
        congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children,
        even nursing infants.  Let the bridegroom leave his
        room, and the bride her chamber.

        Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests,
        the ministers of the LORD, weep and say, ``Spare your
        people, O LORD, and make not your heritage a reproach,
        a byword among the nations.  Why should they say among
        the peoples, `Where is their God?'''


        No one is exempt from appearing before the Lord in
   repentance.  The elders, the children, infants, those
   celebrating, those mourning all are called upon to repent and
   throw themselves on God's mercy.  Know that the ministers of the
   LORD are praying for your redemption, and are lifting up their
   congregations to God for His grace.

        May our Lord grant you the pure desire to come before Him in
   repentance.  Amen.

Repent — Part 3: 02/14/2023

Broadcast

                            Repent - Part 3
                               Joel 2:14
                              02/14/2024


        14   Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and
             leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and
             a drink offering for the LORD your God?  (ESV)

        Today is Ash Wednesday.  This evening, at Trinity Lutheran
   Church, many of our members will receive ashes in the sign of the
   cross on their foreheads.  They will hear the words of the
   funeral service, ``Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.''

        Tonight is one of the two days in the church year when the
   paraments on the altar are optionally black.  Our sin caused
   Jesus to suffer death on the cross, and we mourn because of our
   transgressions.  The forty days commemorate Jesus' temptation in
   the wilderness after His baptism, a time when He fasted and
   wrestled with the devil.

        Yet there is hope.  The prophet Joel wrote:
        Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and
        leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a
        drink offering for the LORD your God?


        God allows disasters, illnesses, and tragedy to humble us
   before Him.  This is to call us to repentance.  In repenting, we
   receive the assurance that our sins are absolved, removed
   completely, and we are declared holy and righteous in God's
   sight.

        Along with the forgiveness of sins comes every blessing from
   God.  Because we trust in Him, we offer sacrifices of prayer and
   thanksgiving, in the same way that the Old Testament grain and
   drink offerings acknowledged God's rich mercy.

        We gather this evening at 7:00 p.m. at Trinity to begin this
   penitential season.  May our Lord bless you during these forty
   days so that you may know of His boundless love.  Amen.

Repent — Part 2: 02/13/2024

Broadcast

                            Repent - Part 2
                             Joel 2:12-13
                              02/13/2024


        12   Yet even now, declares the LORD, return to me with
             all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and
             with mourning;
        13   and rend your hearts and not your garments.
             Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious
             and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in
             steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
             (ESV)

        Joel, the prophet, wrote:
        Yet even now, declares the LORD, return to me with all
        your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with
        mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.
        Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and
        merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast
        love; and he relents over disaster.


        Tomorrow, as we begin the season of Lent, many of us will be
   marked with the sign of the cross using ashes.  This is a sign of
   repentance, a sign that we acknowledge our sin and our inability
   to pay for our own transgressions.

        What is repentance?  We believe, teach, and confess that
   repentance has two parts.  The first is contrition, sorrow over
   our sin, and the terror or conscience that comes from knowing we
   deserve eternal condemnation.  The second is faith, which comes
   from the Gospel, which says that Jesus Christ bore the guilt of
   our sin.  Faith acknowledges Jesus' death and resurrection and
   trusts in Him alone for our salvation.

        Why can we trust that Jesus' death and resurrection are
   sufficient for our redemption from sin and eternal death?
   Because of God's abundant and steadfast love, because He is
   gracious and merciful.

        May our Lord grant us the wisdom to see His grace, to
   repent, and to hold firmly to the promise of life through Jesus
   Christ.  Amen.

Repent — Part 1: 02/12/2024

Broadcast

                            Repent - Part 1
                             Joel 2:12-13
                              02/12/2024


        12   Yet even now, declares the LORD, return to me with
             all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and
             with mourning;
        13   and rend your hearts and not your garments.
             Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious
             and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in
             steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
             (ESV)

        Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, forty days, plus
   Sundays, which bring us to Easter.  The Church uses this time to
   reflect on our sin, to repent, and to prepare for our Lord's
   crucifixion on Good Friday.  Our sins, our transgressions, our
   selfish nature put Him on the cross.  Jesus' death and
   resurrection are our life.

        Joel, the prophet, is one of the men sent by God to call the
   children of Israel to repent and return to God.  He wrote:
        Yet even now, declares the LORD, return to me with all
        your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with
        mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.
        Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and
        merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast
        love; and he relents over disaster.


        The nations of Judah and Israel had forgotten God, and had
   gone after worthless idols.  Although God had preserved them in
   Egypt, and later under David and Solomon, both the leaders and
   people rejected the news of God's love.  Today we find the same
   sin in this nation, where we have forgotten God's rich blessings,
   where everything but the good news of salvation by grace through
   faith for the sake of Christ is proclaimed.

        May our Lord grant that we heed His call to repent, to
   return to Him, for our everlasting blessing.  Amen.

Watering the Earth — Part 5: 02/09/2024

Broadcast

                      Watering the Earth - Part 5
                            Isaiah 55:12-13
                              02/09/2024


        12   For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in
             peace; the mountains and the hills before you
             shall break forth into singing, and all the trees
             of the field shall clap their hands.
        13   Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
             instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and
             it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting
             sign that shall not be cut off.  (ESV)

        The prophet Isaiah wrote:
        For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
        the mountains and the hills before you shall break
        forth into singing, and all the trees of the field
        shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall
        come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up
        the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an
        everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.


        This week we have learned a lot about God's Word.  It is
   both His law, which shows us our need for a Savior, and the
   Gospel, which shows us how Jesus Christ took upon Himself our
   sin.  It is the eternal proclamation that we are saved from sin,
   death, and the power of the devil because of God's rich love,
   grace, and mercy.

        We believe, teach, and confess that the Bible is more than
   just a good book, but it is the Word of God which was written for
   our salvation.  Saint John wrote:
        Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the
        disciples, which are not written in this book; but
        these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is
        the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you
        may have life in his name.1


        Please join us at 9:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church to
   learn more of God's love as found in Jesus Christ.

        May our Lord richly bless you with His peace.  Amen.

   ____________________

   1. John 20:30-31 (ESV)

Watering the Earth — Part 4: 02/08/2024

Broadcast

                      Watering the Earth - Part 4
                            Isaiah 55:12-13
                              02/08/2024


        12   For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in
             peace; the mountains and the hills before you
             shall break forth into singing, and all the trees
             of the field shall clap their hands.
        13   Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
             instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and
             it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting
             sign that shall not be cut off.  (ESV)

        The prophet Isaiah wrote:
        For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
        the mountains and the hills before you shall break
        forth into singing, and all the trees of the field
        shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall
        come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up
        the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an
        everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.


        God's Word contains both law and Gospel.  As we hear His
   law, we are driven to see our sin, and called to repent.
   Repentant sinners are shown the Gospel, that there is truly the
   forgiveness of our sins for the sake of the suffering, death, and
   resurrection of Jesus.  Because we are declared holy, righteous,
   and not guilty in God's sight, we are given the gift of eternal
   life.

        Therefore, even when we have troubles, we have the peace of
   knowing that we are loved by God.  Problems are temporary, the
   gift of salvation and God's rich favor are for eternity.  Our
   focus shifts from this moment of pain and frustration to God's
   gift of life everlasting.

        Isaiah's view of heaven, his view of eternal life, gives us
   comfort even when we are suffering the effects of this sinful
   world.  We know, because God's Word is true, that He showers us
   with His love.

        May your find comfort and peace knowing that God has given
   you life for the sake of His Son.  Amen.

Watering the Earth — Part 3: 02/07/2024

Broadcast

                      Watering the Earth - Part 3
                            Isaiah 55:10-11
                              02/07/2024


        10   For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
             and do not return there but water the earth,
             making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to
             the sower and bread to the eater,
        11   so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
             it shall not return to me empty, but it shall
             accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed
             in the thing for which I sent it.  (ESV)

        The prophet Isaiah wrote:
        For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and
        do not return there but water the earth, making it
        bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and
        bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out
        from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it
        shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall
        succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


        The rain comes down and waters the earth.  The crops grow,
   and people are fed.  Because they are fed, they have life.

        The law shows us how, without God's grace, love, and
   intervention, we are starved for the goodness of His blessings.
   When confronted with our sin, we cry out, ``Lord, what shall we
   do?''  That is the first thing that proclaiming God's Word will
   do, prepare us for the good news of His mercy.

        For the sinner who sees from the law he has no ability to
   save himself, the good news that God has provided for our
   salvation is the most precious thing we can hear.  Nowhere else
   can we find the assurance that God had provided for our salvation
   from sin and death except in the Gospel.  The message of the
   Gospel is simple, Jesus is our substitute, He took upon Himself
   the punishment we deserve.  In so doing, He has given us His
   holiness and righteousness.

        What do we do to earn this forgiveness?  Believe that Jesus'
   death and resurrection are for you, and hold firmly to Him in all
   troubles.  The sinless Son of God has declared that you are
   reconciled to God the Father, that you have eternal life in His
   name.  May our Lord grant each of us the comfort and peace that
   our sins are forgiven for the sake of Christ Jesus.  Amen.

Watering the Earth — Part 2: 02/06/2024

Broadcast

                      Watering the Earth - Part 2
                            Isaiah 55:10-11
                              02/06/2024


        10   For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
             and do not return there but water the earth,
             making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to
             the sower and bread to the eater,
        11   so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
             it shall not return to me empty, but it shall
             accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed
             in the thing for which I sent it.  (ESV)

        The prophet Isaiah wrote:
        For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and
        do not return there but water the earth, making it
        bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and
        bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out
        from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it
        shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall
        succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


        Who better knows the importance of rain and snow than we who
   live in the rural parts of the country.  Our livelihood is
   affected by the weather much more than those who live and work in
   the cities.  When we don't have enough rain, or when we have too
   much, the crops don't grow and people go hungry.  Only when we
   are blessed with the proper amount of moisture can we produce
   that which feeds this nation with the bounty of God's rich
   blessings.

        The law of God is like that drought or flood which shows us
   that we are helpless in the face of God's power.  God's law does
   not only curb bad behavior as we fear punishment, but it acts as
   a mirror to show us that we are condemned because we have broken
   the law.  The law causes us to cry to God for relief, that God
   relent in His condemnation, that He provides the help we need to
   overcome sin and eternal death.

        Preaching the law returns the benefit of preparing people to
   hear the Gospel, that Jesus Christ bore the guilt of our sin.
   Through His death and resurrection, we are offered the
   forgiveness of our sin and receive everlasting life.

        May our Lord grant that we hear the preaching of the law so
   that we may hear the good news of the Gospel.  Amen.

Watering the Earth — Part 1: 02/05/2023

Broadcast

                      Watering the Earth - Part 1
                            Isaiah 55:10-11
                              02/05/2024


        10   For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
             and do not return there but water the earth,
             making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to
             the sower and bread to the eater,
        11   so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
             it shall not return to me empty, but it shall
             accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed
             in the thing for which I sent it.  (ESV)

        This weeks readings in the Divine Service at Trinity
   Lutheran Church focused on the Word of God.  Our Gospel lesson
   was the familiar Parable of the Sower, where the seed of the Word
   is scattered on both good ground and bad.

        Our Old Testament lesson comes from the book of Isaiah.
        For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and
        do not return there but water the earth, making it
        bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and
        bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out
        from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it
        shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall
        succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


        We proclaim the Word of God, the good news of salvation by
   God's love alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone, in the
   hope that all people might know of the love of God.  This is the
   Gospel message, the good news that we have the hope of
   everlasting life for the sake of Jesus' death and resurrection.

        To prepare us to hear the Gospel, we need to know that we
   are sinners who are otherwise lost and eternally condemned.  That
   is why we proclaim God's law, so that we know we need a redeemer
   from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

        This week we will look at the Word of God and see how it
   contains all we need for our salvation.

        May our Lord grant you His richest blessings this week.
   Amen.