quod pro nobis traditum est

Saturday, July 29, 2006

freedom in the Christian feast

"The freedom with which we are concerned in the Christian feast - the feast of the Eucharist - is not the freedom to devise new texts but the liberation of the world and ourselves from death. Only this can make us free, enabling us to accept truth and to love one another in truth."

- Benedict XVI (Feast of Faith, p. 65)

Friday, July 28, 2006

in the liturgy of the Church

"When you are baptized, partake of Holy Communion, receive the absolution, or listen to a sermon, heaven is open, and we hear the voice of the Heavenly Father; all these works descend upon us from the open heaven above us. God converses with us, provides for us; and Christ hovers over us--but invisibly. And even though there were clouds above us as impervious as iron or steel, obstructing our view of heaven, this would not matter. Still we hear God speaking to us from heaven; we call and cry to Him, and He answers us. Heaven is open, as St. Stephen saw it open (Acts 7:55); and we hear God when He addresses us in Baptism, in Holy Communion, in confession, and in His Word as it proceeds from the mouth of the men who proclaim His message to the people."

- Martin Luther (From 2 Sermons on the Saturday after St. Anthony's Day, 1538; Luther's Works, Vol. 22 : Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 1-4. p.201 )

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

on ordination

Some days are unforgettable. We remember our birthdays for the annual reminder of our change in age. We remember our confirmation day or the day of our First Communion. We remember graduating from high school or college. Husbands and wives remember their wedding date (and hopefully their anniversaries!)

Pastors remember when they are installed as pastor of a congregation. Yet one day that ought to be unforgettable for pastors is the day of their ordination into the Office of the Holy Ministry. Installation services are more common than ordination services. Recently, I participated in a service that included both the ordination and installation of a pastor who had recently graduated from the seminary. Although I did not know the new pastor this was an opportunity to welcome him to the area and, more important, an opportunity to be part of a day that is set apart by the word of God and prayer for this young man's entrance into the holy ministry.

It is a privilege and honor for a pastor to be reminded of the day when he received his "holy orders." While participating in such a service might serve as a reminder of the pastor's age and how long ago it was when he was ordained, it is moreso a reminder to the pastor and the Church what the pastoral office is all about.

My ordination into the holy office, 15 years ago this July, was unforgettable in more ways than one. My father was involved as well as pastors from the area and the guest preacher from Florida. The service was at 3:00 in the afternoon. All went well and then a summer storm passed through Milwaukee during the service knocking out the lights in the church. Normally, the daylight would be sufficient but the sky was quite dark making it very difficult to see what was going on in the service. The pastors up front read the Holy Scriptures by candlelight at the altar and, without further use of the organ, the closing hymn was changed to the Common Doxology sung a cappella. The lights next door were out at the reception following the service. Rather than serve "as a sign of things to come" which was joked about, maybe half-seriously, this made a memorable day even more memorable (and which also fit well in scriptural terms of darkness and light). With all of the challenges that face churches in the city the holy ministry is the same as in other places.

Ordination is more than the day and the memories. Christ's work continues in His Church where the Lord chooses and uses men to preach the Gospel and administer the Sacraments (see, for example, Matt. 28, John 20; Augsburg Confession, Articles IV, V, XIV). The Church continues its life in the apostolic doctrine and tradition.

Ordination then is a beginning of Christ's ministry in flesh and blood among the faithful. The Apostle encourages the young pastor, Timothy, to take heed to the doctrine and the ministry - "the gift" - he has been given:
"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." (1 Timothy 4:12-16)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

St. Michael's Liturgical Conference

The St. Michael's Liturgical Conference will this year be hosted by Redeemer in Ft. Wayne on Monday, September 25, 2006 A+D. The keynote speaker will be Dr. David Scaer. His topic is "Eucharistic Themes in the Gospels". The conference will feature a Holy Communion Service with the Healey Wilan musical setting and full ceremonies. The conference will also feature a catered lunch and afternoon workshops on the ceremonies and rites of consecration for the Holy Communion.

Monday, July 17, 2006

not just a theory

"All sensible people know that if you are tired and hungry a meal
will do you good. But the modern theory of nourishment-all about
the vitamins and proteins-is a different thing. People ate their
dinners and felt better long before the theory of vitamins was
ever heard of; and if the theory of vitamins is some day abandoned
they will go on eating their dinners just the same."
- C.S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity", 54.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lutherans and Worship

Regarding the topic of Lutherans and Worship I commend to your reading these posts on the following blogs:

"Diversity in Lutheran Worship" (July 11, 2006) on


"Optional Orandi begets Proscribed Credendi" (June 17, 2006) on

Whether or not one agrees with use of the historic or traditional liturgy one can see the differences that confront us today in what passes as "worship." Hopefully, and unfortunately, we see that the differences are not only a matter of worship but also a matter of faith.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

your comments

In part it is not taking the time to learn how blogs work and partly it has to do with avoiding more work.

Nevertheless, an observer has helped me reconsider the state of my blog and I have made some changes to make it more accessible to you.

Whether or not you may have noticed before, now you are able to add comments to the posts. Please be patient with me if I do not respond quickly to your comments - I am still learning how to do this and am also trying to avoid more work ;-)