Posts tagged “Augsburg Confession

Presentation of the Augsburg Confession

Posted on June 25th, 2017

Sermon for the Commemoration of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession June 25, 2017 Immanuel Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Virginia “Jesus Christ is Lord.” Before there was an Apostles’ Creed, or Nicene, or Athanasian – before any of the great councils, before any catechism – before the New Testament itself was gathered together from the writings of the earliest disciples of Jesus – before all of this was the most important confession upon which all other confessions are built: “Jesus Christ is Lord.” “Jesus Christ is Lord” is the original confession of the Church. To understand what this means is the subject of all true Christian study; to confess with all your heart, soul, strength and mind Jesus Christ is Lord is the source of…

Sermo Dei: Psalm 119:41-48 (Waw)

Posted on June 15th, 2016

June 15, 2016 Evening Prayer, Wednesday of Trinity 3 At the head of the Augsburg Confession, the first great Evangelical statement of faith in the sixteenth century, is this Bible verse: “I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame.” The Evangelical princes stood before the Emperor, Charles V, who had other things on his mind than reforming the church. He needed church unity in order to keep the sale of indulgences going, because he needed the money to fight his wars. The war with the Turks was a serious concern. Unity in the church is of profound importance. But for those great leaders at Augsburg, they knew there was something of still greater importance: fidelity to…

Sermo Dei: Reformation 2014

Posted on November 1st, 2014

“What drunken German monk wrote these?” That was Pope Leo X’s response when he was shown a copy of Luther’s Ninety-five Theses, posted on the door of the Schloßkirche in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. Perhaps those were your mental words about some of the songs we’ve sung so far this morning. “What drunken German monk wrote these?” I love these songs, but admittedly they can be an acquired taste. They come from a different time and place, and we cannot help but be affected by our own language and culture. But liturgy is not about taste – or at least, liturgy should not be about taste. We live in a unique time, a tragic time when Christian worship has degenerated into shallow pop…

Presentation of the Augsburg Confession 2014

Posted on June 25th, 2014

On this day in 1530, a group of German princes stood before Emperor Charles V, in the city of Augsburg, and made a confession of the true, orthodox, catholic, Christian Faith. Their confession began with a verse from the Psalms: “I will also speak of Thy testimonies before kings, and shall not be put to shame” (Ps. 119.46).   This confession, although recently written, was nothing new. It was something very old – a confession of the teaching of Holy Scripture and a correction of abuses that had corrupted the church. While written by Philip Melanchthon, the princes and churches that subscribed to it made it their own. Earlier this month, when I was in Nashville for the ordination of our brother Eric Philipps,…

Ideals in Lutheran worship

Posted on March 13th, 2012

There’s an interesting discussion here at Rev’d McCain’s blog about whether or not there is an “ideal” Lutheran form of worship, in the comments to a post that warns us of “The High Church Danger to the Lutheran Church.”  As best as I can tell, the warning is against the liturgical practice of a departed brother who is now a priest in the Antiochian church, whose order of service was never removed from the church website. Yet McCain seems to suggest a movement  of  high church pastors and churches, which is a great surprise to me, since I feel virtually alone out here in the Lutheran wilderness. Truly our Confessions give wide latitude regarding ceremony. Yet is there really no ideal form of practice? Paul…

The Holy Spirit Is Always the Spirit of Christ (Part 3 of 3)

Posted on July 15th, 2011

This is part 3 of 3. You can read part 1 here, and part 2 here. The work of the Holy Spirit revealed in the New Testament does not begin in Acts. Rather, we see the Holy Spirit chiefly in relation to Christ. Consider the following passages: “Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’” (Luke 1.34f) “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened…

Consecration of Deacons

Posted on August 9th, 2009

At Immanuel, I inherited a practice of a permanent order of men who assist the pastor in the reading of Holy Scripture and distribution of the Sacrament in the Divine Service. They also assist in other ways, such as crucifer for processions and helpers at Holy Baptism. I love and trust these men; they are sacrificial and encouraging, dedicated to their service. I am generally troubled by the liturgical practice in American Lutheranism, where laypeople routinely read the Scriptures and distribute the Sacrament. Since the deacons at Immanuel are not ordained, I cannot reconcile my own practice with AC XIV. However, I’ve come to view our Deacons (as incarnated at Immanuel) as a kind of middle thing: they are laymen (not ordained) and yet they regularly,…