Posts tagged “Confirmation

Sermo Dei: Palm Sunday 2017

Posted on April 9th, 2017

It’s nice to talk about resurrection, but the words I speak at the time of death sometimes feel hollow. It’s all future-oriented, and while I believe it, we’re still left with the corpse. Someone has to call the funeral home, someone has to open the grave, and then there we are, looking down into the earth. Most of our life is so sanitary, and even at death, we farm out the dirty work to others. But there, when the casket descends, and you see off in the distance the men waiting to come and close the vault and cover it with dirt – for just a moment, you see and you know that our clean lives are a lie. Squirt the anti-bacterial fluid, rub…

Sermo Dei: Pentecost 2013 [Confirmation]

Posted on May 19th, 2013

At our last Catechesis session, we had a terrific discussion about who runs the verbs, who is the subject of the verbs in the Divine Service, and who is the object. Of first importance, God is the subject, we the object. So we don’t come to church to worship. The sentence “Carter worships God” sounds pious, and correct at first hearing. But it makes Carter the actor, Carter the doer, not God. If you want to understand the Bible, remember that God is the first subject, not you. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” God makes man. God gives gifts to man. Jesus dies for sins. The Holy Spirit rebirths us, the Holy Spirit regenerates us. God runs the verbs.…

Trinity 16 sermon

Posted on October 12th, 2011

Gospel: Luke 7.11-17 Note: Part of this sermon reflects on the confirmation of three adults at this service. You are merely matter. Stuff, sludge, a mutated creature without a creator, risen up from a primordial stew. You are merely matter, and therefore you do not matter – your life is of no significance, and in fact, it would be better for the earth if you did not exist. You are a polluting gasbag, damaging the ecosystem. You are a blight on the planet. You are merely matter, and you do not matter. Such is the message of the New Atheists. Some of them hate you, and it is really a hatred of themselves, a hatred of humanity. They are not humanists, they are anti-humanists.…

Sermon at the Vigil

Posted on April 23rd, 2011

Great Vigil of Easter 2011 Rejoice this night, O Christians! For you were slaves, but for your ransom God gave His Son! Rejoice, Whitney, for on this holy night all your sins are washed away! Rejoice, Whitney, and Lee, and Anne Hayes, and Kevin, for this night the bounty of the Lord’s Table is opened to you! Rejoice, all you whose innocence has been lost, for tonight in Christ it is restored! Rejoice, all you who have been downcast, for tonight our Lord invites you to share His joy! For this is the night when Christ, the Life, arose from the dead! Rejoice, for God has remembered you sons and daughters of Adam, into whom He breathed the breath of life in the beginning.…

Baptisms and Confirmations at the Vigil

Posted on April 12th, 2011

The rite for the Vigil of Easter in Lutheran Service Book contains a form for baptisms and confirmations, but they are very simple orders without many of the elements found in the LSB Altar Book’s “Alternate Form” for Baptism based on Luther’s rite. The Easter Vigil rite in the Daily Divine Service Book seems to presume no baptisms or confirmations (My congregation uses a richer form based upon Luther’s rite which I obtained from my liturgics professor in seminary, then Dean of the Chapel, Dr. Daniel Reuning. This was also the form used at Redeemer church in Ft. Wayne under Pr. Evanson. The two documents forming the basis for this rite can be found in the American Edition of Luther’s Works, volume 53.) I…

Wonderful Day

Posted on July 11th, 2010

Today saw the culmination of several efforts which have occupied my time lately. Hana, a woman from Ethiopia and the mother of two students at our parish school, was confirmed and received her first Communion today. Also, Robert Kieselowsky was installed as vicar at Immanuel at today’s Divine Service. It is a convertible vicarage, meaning that he will, Deo volente, stay at Immanuel after his ordination as an associate pastor and headmaster of our growing school. This has been a long road, with quite a few challenges, so it is a great relief to finally get to this point. I’m amazed at how richly the LORD has blessed Immanuel!

Trinity 6 sermon

Posted on July 11th, 2010

Gospel for Trinity 6: Matthew 5.17-26 Note: Our new vicar, Robert Kieselowsky, was installed at this Divine Service. We also had an adult confirmation (Hana Tsehay). “This is the Gospel of the Lord,” the reading from St. Matthew ended. Really? Gospel means “good news,” and today’s lesson – Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount – is hardly good news. “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Good news? Not unless your righteousness is better than the most rigid followers of the Law. Whoever is angry with his brother is in danger of the judgment. Good news? Not at all. “Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of…

Feast of St. Bartholomew (Luke 22.24-30) and Confirmation of Sarah Mackay, Tim and Paul Goeglein

Posted on August 25th, 2008

“Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?” This is one of the questions asked in the rite of Confirmation. It is an astonishing question to ask anyone. Sarah, Tim, and Paul (all Biblical names, by the way!) will be asked it in a few moments, and I doubt they are really prepared to answer it. I doubt any of us are prepared to answer it. It’s not unlike the marriage vow. It’s one thing to say “I will” when asked on your wedding day, “Will you love and cherish your spouse in sickness and in health, for better or for worse?” Sickness and worse have not come yet.…