The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
(05 July 2015)
Ps. 123:1-4; Ezekiel 2:1–5; 2 Cor. 12:1–10; Mark 6:1–13
LSB 839: O Christ, Our True and Only Light
The Ministers of Christ Are Sent with His Authority to Forgive Sins and Give Life
The Prophet Ezekiel was raised up by the Spirit of the Lord and sent to speak an unpopular Word to the rebellious house of Israel. As a prophet, he was not to speak his own word, but to preach the Law and the Gospel: “Thus says the Lord God,” whether the people “hear or refuse to hear” (Ezek. 2:4–5). So, too, in the footsteps of the Prophets before Him, the Lord Jesus “went about among the villages teaching” (Mark 6:6). In His hometown, as elsewhere, “many who heard Him were astonished,” marveling at His wisdom and at the “mighty works done by His hands,” and yet, “they took offense at Him” (Mark 6:2–3). The offense culminates in His Cross, which is, ironically, the heart and center of His “authority over the unclean spirit” (Mark 6:7). It is by that authority of His Cross that those He sends preach repentance, “cast out many demons,” and heal the sick (Mark 6:12–13). Thus, the Apostle Paul boasts in the Cross of Christ and in his own weaknesses, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient, and that the power of Christ “is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:8–9).
Looking Forward to Sunday Morning: Pentecost 6 (3-Year Lectionary) “The Mercy of God” – Dr. Carl Fickenscher – Issues, Etc.
Dr. Carl Fickenscher of Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the propers for Pentecost 6 with Pr. Todd Wilken on Issues Etc (mp3, 57:35, 23.3 MB, 2015-June-29)
Worldview Everlasting - Everlasting Extras - Greek Tuesday - Mark 6:1-13
Pastor Jonathan Fisk teaching Mark 6:1-13
Lectionary Podcast - Proper 9 - Series B - Mark 6:1-13 with Dr. John Nordling
Dr. John Nordling, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., exegetes the Gospel for Pentecost 6
By Adriane Heins
In a landmark 5-4 ruling June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry in any state in America, even in states where same-sex marriage currently is not recognized.
“Today was a tragedy in the history of Western and world civilization,” LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison said soon after the ruling. “Five justices cannot rewrite all of history, much less can they redefine what God has defined.”
Speaking to the future, he said, “We will continue to be faithful to the institution of marriage as conceived by our founders. If those who wrote the Fourteenth Amendment could have known that it would be misused for this purpose, they would be absolutely shocked and horrified. Truth does not change. God’s Word does not change.”
As for the LCMS, Harrison noted, “We will continue to be faithful to God’s institution of marriage and natural law, and we will also be compassionate to people who are damaged by this misdirection.”
Harrison also released a letter to the church today, noting that “We respect the divinely given dignity of all people, no matter their sexual preference. We recognize that, under the exacting and demanding laws of God, we are indeed sinners in thought, word and deed, just as are all (Rom. 3:9ff.). We confess that the ‘blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all our sins’ (1 John 1:7).”
In his letter, Harrison also encouraged LCMS Lutherans to “continue to reach out to those who continue to be harmed by the ethic of radical sexual freedom, detached from God’s blessing of marriage.”
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress (Psalm 46:1–7).
A one-person majority of the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong – again. Some 40 years ago, a similarly activist court legalized the killing of children in the womb. That decision has to date left a wake of some 55 million Americans dead. Today, the Court has imposed same-sex marriage upon the whole nation in a similar fashion. Five justices cannot determine natural or divine law. Now shall come the time of testing for Christians faithful to the Scriptures and the divine institution of marriage (Matthew 19:3–6), and indeed, a time of testing much more intense than what followed Roe v. Wade.
Like Roe v. Wade, this decision will be followed by a rash of lawsuits. Through coercive litigation, governments and popular culture continue to make the central post-modern value of sexual freedom override “the free exercise of religion” enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
The ramifications of this decision are seismic. Proponents will seek to drive Christians and Christian institutions out of education at all levels; they will press laws to force faithful Christian institutions and individuals to violate consciences in work practices and myriad other ways. We will have much more to say about this.
During some of the darkest days of Germany, a faithful Lutheran presciently described how governments lose their claim to legitimate authority according to Romans 13.
The Caesar cult in its manifold forms, the deification of the state, is one great form of the defection from the [true] idea of the state. There are also other possibilities of such defection. The government can forget and neglect its tasks. When it no longer distinguishes between right and wrong, when its courts are no longer governed by the strict desire for justice, but by special interests, when government no longer has the courage to exercise its law, fails to exercise its duties, undermines its own legal order, when it weakens through its family law parental authority and the estate of marriage, then it ceases to be governing authority.
Raising such a question can lead to heavy conflicts of conscience. But it is fundamentally conceivable, and it has time and again become reality in history, that a governing authority has ceased to be governing authority. In such a case there may indeed exist a submission to a superior power. But the duty of obedience against this power no longer exists. [Hermann Sasse, “What Is the State?”(1932)]
As faithful Christians, we shall continue to be obedient to just laws. We affirm the human rights of all individuals and the inherent and equal value of all people. We respect the divinely given dignity of all people, no matter their sexual preference. We recognize that, under the exacting and demanding laws of God, we are indeed sinners in thought, word and deed, just as are all (Romans 3:9ff.). We confess that the “blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all our sins” (1 John 1:7). We confess that God’s divine law of marriage and the entire Ten Commandments apply to all, and that so also the life-giving sacrifice of Christ on the cross is for all. It is a “righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:22).
However, even as we struggle as a church to come to a unified response to this blatant rejection of the entire history of humankind and its practice of marriage, “We shall obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). Christians will now begin to learn what it means to be in a state of solemn conscientious objection against the state. We will resist its imposition of falsehood upon us, even as we continue to reach out to those who continue to be harmed by the ethic of radical sexual freedom, detached from God’s blessing of marriage. And we will stand shoulder to shoulder with Christians, churches and people of good will who are resolute on this issue.
God help us. Amen.
Pastor Matthew C. Harrison
- Marriage Policy — Sample marriage policy for LCMS congregations and sample provisions limiting the use of church property to marriages that are consistent with LCMS beliefs.
- “Why Marriage Matters” — A Bible Study by the Rev. Timothy Pauls
- Biblical Understanding — Resources that provide a biblical understanding of God’s gift of marriage between a man and a woman
- Case for Marriage — Help for making the case for marriage when talking with those who disagree
- Know a College Student? — Share a letter of encouragement regarding marriage from the Rev. Marcus Zill, director of LCMS U
- Concordia Publishing House — Resources on marriage
- Doxology Conference — Sex, Marriage and the Christian Vision | Aug. 12-13 in St. Louis
- Supreme Court opinion
At its meeting of June 14, 2015, the Voters Assembly adopted a new Bylaw on Marriage.
The marriage policy of Christ Lutheran Church, a member congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, is and always has been consistent with the Synod’s beliefs on marriage. We believe that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24-25), and that God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph. 5:32). The official position of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, as set forth in 1998 Res. 3-21 (“To Affirm the Sanctity of Marriage and to Reject Same-Sex Unions”), is that homosexual unions come under categorical prohibition in the Old and New Testaments (Lev. 18:22, 24; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-10) as contrary to the Creator’s design (Rom. 1:26-27). These positions and beliefs can be found on the LCMS website, along with other statements, papers and reports on the subject of homosexuality and same-sex civil unions and “marriage.” Our pastors will not officiate over any marriages inconsistent with these beliefs, and our church property may not be used for any marriage ceremony, reception or other activity that would be inconsistent with our beliefs and this policy.
1. Pastor Todd Wilken, Host of Issues Etc., Making the Case for Confessional Christianity, 2013-June-14 (mp3, 57:21, 23.2 MB, 2015-May-08)
2. Pr. Will Weedon, Director of Worship for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Making the Case for Classical Christian Worship, 2013-June-15 (mp3, 57:19, 23.1 MB, 2015-May-08)
3. Dr. Alvin Schmidt, Illinois College, Making the Case Against Islam, 2013-June-15 (mp3, 57:20, 23.1 MB, 2015-May-07)
4. Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, "The White Horse Inn," Making the Case against Pietism, 2013-June-15 (mp3, 57:19, 23.1 MB, 2015-May-04)
5. Pastor Chris Rosebrough, Fighting for the Faith, Making the Case against Post-Modernism in the Church, 2013-June-15 (mp3, 1:19:11, 31.9 MB, 2015-May-06)
6. Suzanne Venker, Making the Secular Case Against Feminism, 2013-June-15 (mp3, 57:20, 23.2MB, 2015-May-25)
7. Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, "The White Horse Inn," Making the Case for Christ Alone, 2013-June-15 (mp3, 57:20, 23.1 MB, 2015-May-05)
A Sunday Evening service has been added to the schedule.
If your preacher isn't following these steps in sermon prep, you are being short-changed.
Dr. Carl Fickenscher, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, explains sermon prep to those preparing to preach. (These are 11 parts of a larger homiletics series.)
Sermon Preparation - Introduction:
Sermon Preparation - System of Exegesis:
Sermon Preparation - Biblical Context of a Passage:
Sermon Preparation - Isogogical Importance:
Sermon Preparation - Sources of Isogogical Information:
Sermon Preparation - Breaking Down the Text's Verses:
Sermon Preparation - Approaching the Language of the Text:
Sermon Preparation - Exegesis with Little or No Greek:
Sermon Preparation - The Writings of Others:
Sermon Preparation - Six Steps of Preparation:
Sermon Preparation - Time Frame of the Six Steps:
4801 E. 6th St
Sioux Falls, SD 57110
Christ Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
UPDATE: The Voters Assembly, at its regular meeting of Dec. 21, 2014, adopted its 2015 budget, and voted to continue as a member of the Issues, Etc. 300, for the 5th year.
The Voters Assembly at its regular meeting of January 9, 2011, adopted its 2011 budget. As part of its Missions budget is a line item for Issues, Etc. (via Lutheran Public Radio) and has become a member of the Issues, Etc. 300.
9:30 am Divine Service with Lord's Supper (The Lord's Supper is celebrated every Lord's Day and Festival Service)
10:45 am Sunday School & Bible Classes
5:00 pm Sunday Service (without the Supper)
Advent and Lenten services: Wednesday, 7:00 pm
Note: Services on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are held at 9:30 am.
Recorded sermons can be heard here.