“Created, Redeemed, and Sanctified by the Triune God” (Apostles’ Creed)

Funeral Service
Friday, June 16, 2017

“Created, Redeemed, and Sanctified by the Triune God” (Apostles’ Creed)

Bob, Karen, Michele, friends and family of our dear sister Dottie: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

A Christian funeral service is both a time of sadness and a time of hope. It is a time of sadness, because we will miss our dear loved one. And so we grieve. However, as St. Paul tells the Thessalonians, we grieve, but not as those who have no hope. We do have hope, the only hope that works. For the Christian, our hope is firmly anchored in the goodness and the promises of the triune God. The Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as we just confessed in the Apostles’ Creed: This is where we find the hope to sustain us in the midst of our sadness. And so it is today at this Christian funeral service for our sister Dottie. We mourn her loss, but we also find hope. The basis for our hope is that Dottie was “Created, Redeemed, and Sanctified by the Triune God.”

(more…)

Advertisements
Published in: on June 16, 2017 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

“The Catechism in Six Parts: The Creed”

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

“The Catechism in Six Parts: The Creed”

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, in a big national survey a few years ago–the Pew Survey found that 92% of Americans say they “believe in God or a universal spirit.” 92%! Well, whoop-de-do. Big deal. That doesn’t really say much. Who is this God you believe in? Allah, the false god of the Muslims? Sorry, I bear witness that there is no god called Allah, and Mohammed is his false prophet. Is this “god” you believe in some depersonalized “universal spirit” or “higher power”? That won’t do you any good, either. Is it “God” as you have created him in your own image? A god who winks at sin and suits your personal opinions and is impressed by your “spirituality” and essential goodness? Sorry, Oprah, that is not the God revealed in Holy Scripture.

Just the fact that you believe that one true God exists, that by itself will do you no good. On that point, you are no better than the demons. St. James says as much: “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!” You see, the devil and all the demons know who God is. They even know who Jesus is, “the Holy One of God.” They believe that God exists. But that is not the same as knowing and believing in God in the way that we have just confessed in the Creed.

(more…)

Published in: on March 8, 2017 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

“Thanking God for His First-Article Gifts” (Apostles’ Creed)

Day of National Thanksgiving
Thursday, November 24, 2016

“Thanking God for His First-Article Gifts” (Apostles’ Creed)

Thanksgiving is a time for “Thanking God for His First-Article Gifts.” What do I mean by that? I mean all the good gifts our heavenly Father gives us that are summarized in the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed. Let’s turn there, shall we? Page 322 in your hymnal. We’ll read that article of the Creed itself and then the explanation from the catechism. Together:

“The First Article: Creation. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. What does this mean? I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true.”

In this First Article of the Creed, I think we can see at least seven kinds of gifts that God gives us, along with countless particular blessings within each category. The seven kinds of gifts I have in mind I can call by these terms: Creation. Preservation. Provision. Protection. Mercy. Thanksgiving. Faith. Let’s take them one at a time.

(more…)

Published in: on November 23, 2016 at 1:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,