The Lutheran Church and Purgatory, Pt. 1

Purgatory2

This is our pastor’s newsletter article for the June 2016 issue of our congregational newsletter. Last month, we looked the body’s resurrection and the intermediate state of our souls being in heaven until Jesus calls forth our bodies on the Last Day. The Roman-Catholic Church also believes in an intermediate state of existence for heaven-bound […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 8: Christian Prayer, Pt. 2

Why Pray

Last week, we looked at the Lord’s Prayer as a model prayer and a prayer to say verbatim.  Today, we continue looking into why we pray when our Father knows what we need ever before we pray—and other topics.   Why Pray?  “Grace Alone” Jesus doesn’t command prayer (just like He doesn’t command helping the […]

John 8:48-59: Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity

Trinity Latin

The Trinity is all over the Scriptures.  In the first book of the Bible, Genesis describes God the Father speaking the Word as the Spirit hovered over the waters of the deep.  In the last book of the Bible, Revelation describes the Lamb, Jesus, who was slain but now alive.  He sits enthroned at the […]

Ruth, Lesson 2: From Moab to Bethlehem

Gleaning

Last week, Naomi told her two daughters-in-law—twice—not to come with her to Israel.  We now find out their response after they both earlier said they still wanted to go. Read Ruth 1:14 What do Orpah and Ruth respond?   “Cling”: Hebrew, dabaq, meaning to “cleave”, “cling”, or “hold fast to” a person or thing. With […]

Acts 2:38: Pentecost Today = Preaching and Delivering Forgiveness

Pentecost Today

Fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, ten days after He ascended, 120 Christians huddle together.  They wait for Jesus, for Him to fulfill His promise to send the Spirit.  Without warning, a mighty wind, the breath of God, fills the room where they wait.  They look and see moving, flickering tongues of fire […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 7: Christian Prayer

Teach Us to Pray

If we want to know about Christian prayer, then we turn to the Christ, who gave us His prayer. Read Matthew 6:5-6 When Jesus says, “When you pray,” what does He assume is part of His disciples’ lives?   What does Jesus NOT want our prayers to become?   Read Matthew 6:7-8 “empty phrases”: Greek, […]

Ruth, Lesson 1: Introduction; Living in the Land of Moab

Death of a husband

Love stories never grow old—but not all love stories are between lovers.  The story of Ruth is a love story: Of God for Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz; but also of Ruth’s love for God, which overflowed in her kinship with Naomi.  A mutual love also developed between Ruth and Boaz—a mature and understanding love, moving […]

Luke 24:47: Preaching Repentance into the Forgiveness of Sins

Pr Rich Heinz

Before our Lord ascended into heaven, He gave His Apostles several enduring mandates, commanding them what to do until He returned.  We’re most familiar with the one in St. Matthew’s Gospel. Having gathered His Apostles on the mountaintop, Jesus told them: “Disciple the Gentiles by baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son, and […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 6: Helping the Poor and Stewardship

We earlier looked at vocation—serving others in our everyday lives.  For this to happen well, it requires managing what we have in a good way.  Thus, a look into stewardship is proper.   The Origins of Stewardship Genesis 1 tells us of God creating the world and everything in it.  “The earth is the Lord’s, […]

Satan, Demons, and Christ’s Descent into Hell

Fallen Angel

The Creation of the Angels In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).  The angels were part of this creation from the beginning. In Job’s suffering, God told him about the creation of the world.  “Who laid [the world’s] cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted […]