A conscience does not prevent sin. It only prevents you from enjoying it.
‹anonymous›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
25Jan
2015
Sun
18:13
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Transfiguration of Our Lord

Matthew 17:1-9

Transfiguration of Our Lord 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here…”

Could you imagine being there? How glorious it must have been! Jesus takes you to be with Him up to the top of the mountain where a most radiant light shines from Him. To top it off, Moses and Elijah appear—only two of the greatest figures in Scripture! “This is cool,” someone might say these days. Or, you could just say what Peter says, and mean the same thing: “It is good for us to be here.”

Of course, there have been many more opportunities for Peter or another disciple or follower to say such a thing.

24Jan
2015
Sat
14:18
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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If He's Not a Heretic, Am I?

An Open Letter to the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Dear LCMS,

It is with great confusion that I write this letter. I recently read that Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker has been exonerated of teaching false doctrine in the LCMS. He has been declared not a heretic. I want to rejoice in that decision, and if that truly were the case, I would certainly rejoice in it. However, I find that what he has been teaching and preaching is diametrically opposed to what I have been teaching and preaching, and what is believed, taught, and confessed at my congregation.

NOW District Affirms Women's OrdinationFirst, there is the count of women's ordination in the LCMS. I have long been taught and believe and now teach that the Office of the Holy Ministry is to be filled by men. This has nothing to do with any kind of hierarchy among the sexes. This has nothing to do with any ability or lack thereof in any woman, as not all men are cut out to fill this sacred office, either. It has everything to do with propriety and the conscience of the believer. To men, Jesus gave the authority to forgive and retain sins as validly as if it were God Himself doing it, because He is. (John 20:21-23) It follows, then, that these are the ones to whom it was given to administer the rest of the Sacraments, even as St. Paul says. (1 Corinthians 4:1) It should follow also that since the pastor is to speak with the voice of God, that since the Voice of God, Jesus, is male, perhaps the voice the Christian hears from the Altar be that of a man. Then, there's the line from the Augsburg Confession, a book to which Rev. Becker and I have both subscribed: "Of Ecclesiastical Order [our churches] teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church or administer the Sacraments unless he be regularly called" (Augsburg Confession XIV, emphasis mine). This is what I have taught, but Rev. Becker teaches otherwise.

When you read Genesis 1, how to do read it? "Even and morning were the nth day," right? There has long be controversy that the day that Moses wrote about (at least in the first chapter of Genesis) isn't really a day, but refers to a period of time that is much longer than a day—an era or epoch, perhaps. Word studies conclude that the word day that Moses uses is nothing other than a day. There is a marvelous little book by Joel D. Heck, In the Beginning, God: Creation from God's Perspective, which goes into great detail what the Scriptures teach and we in the LCMS believe and confess regarding the Six-day Creation. However, Rev. Becker wants you to think otherwise. Included in his views on the creation comes also a favorable view of Darwinian (or perhaps Theistic) Evolution.

So, I have this question. Since Rev. Becker has been exonerated, I must conclude that he is not teaching false doctrine (as was stated in that previous article), and since he and I teach differently, am I teaching false doctrine? Do the Scriptures and Confessions say things differently than I have believed all along; am I wrong? If so, then I suppose charges of false teaching ought to be leveled against me.

Sincerely,
Rev. Geoffrey A. Wagner, pastor
Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church - Elizabeth, CO
18Jan
2015
Sun
17:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Confession of St. Peter

St. Mark 8:27—9:1

Confession of St. Peter 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If we were to review all the accounts of St. Peter from Scripture, we could make this generalization: sometimes he is so rock solid, but sometimes he is soft and wavering.

Sometimes, Peter is solid as a rock. And well he should be given that his name “Peter” means “rock.” First of all, we have from the account from our Gospel lesson this morning the confession Peter makes. Jesus asks the disciples who people say He is. The words on the street are that he’s John the Baptist or Elijah or Jeremiah or some other prophet. Not one of them is correct, but that’s what people believe. So, he turns to the disciples and asks them, “But who do you say that I am?” “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Peter confessed. He is correct, and here’s why: flesh and blood has not revealed this to him, but the Father who is in heaven. (cf. Matthew 16:17)

As if to confirm Peter’s solid-as-a-rock confession, Matthew tells us that Jesus goes on to say, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

11Jan
2015
Sun
17:22
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Baptism of Our Lord

Matthew 3:13-17

Baptism of Our Lord 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”

Jesus is revealed as the Son of God, yet again. To Mary and Joseph, Jesus was revealed to be the Son of God as His conception was announced by an angel. (cf. Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:20-23) To Elizabeth, Jesus was revealed to be the Son of God as her son, John, leaped for joy in her womb. (cf. Luke 1:41-44) To the Shepherds, Jesus was revealed as the Son of God as the angels announced His birth to them. (cf. Luke 2:10-11) To the wise men, Jesus was revealed to be the Son of God by the star and the words of the chief priests and scribes in Jerusalem. (cf. Matthew 2:1-11)

These are just the few revelations of Jesus as the Son of God, the Lord, and the Christ that we have heard in this hallowed place over the last month and a half though Advent, into Christmas, and just this past Tuesday evening. There were other revelations (or at least hints) that happened between the visit of the wise men and the baptism of our Lord. The boy Jesus in the temple, teaching the teachers comes to mind (cf. Luke 2:42-52), or perhaps when He was only 40-days old and presented in the temple before Simeon and Anna. (cf. Luke 2:25-38)

6Jan
2015
Tue
22:35
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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Proclamation of the Date of Easter

An Epiphany Tradition

Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of His return. Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.

First, let us recall the year’s culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: His last supper, His crucifixion, His burial, and His rising celebrated between the evening of 2nd April (Maundy Thursday) and the evening of 5th April (the Resurrection of Our Lord).

Each Easter—as on each Sunday—the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed by which Christ has forever conquered sin and death.

From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy.

  • Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will occur on 18th February.
  • The Ascension of the Lord is commemorated on 14th May.
  • Pentecost, the joyful conclusion of the season of Easter, will be celebrated on 24th May.
  • And this year, the First Sunday in Advent will be on 29th November.

Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the passover of Christ in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints, and in the commemoration of the faithful departed. The following feasts and commemorations occur on Sundays:

  • The Confession of St. Peter on 18th January.
  • The Presentation of the Augsburg Confession is observed on 28th June, transferred from 24th June. [This is a custom at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church.]
  • St. Michael and All Angels is observed on 27th September, transferred from 28th September.
  • St. Luke, Evangelist on 18th October.
  • Reformation Day is observed on 25th October, transferred from 31st October.
  • All Saints’ Day is on 1st November.

To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come, Lord of time and history, be endless praise, for ever and ever. Amen.

22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Epiphany of Our Lord

Matthew 2:1-12

Name Year Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Yesterday was the twelfth and final day of Christmas; it was the end of the season of Christmas, which means today begins the new season, and it begins with the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord.

4Jan
2015
Sun
14:26
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Second Sunday after Christmas

Matthew 2:13-23

Second Sunday after Christmas 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

It’s a story familiar to one who has spent a childhood in Sunday School.

A young man has older brothers who are not too fond of him. In particular, they are envious of him because he happens to be his father’s favorite son. He had dreams in which he sees representations of his family bowing down to representations of him. That didn’t help ease the tension between his brothers and him. His father had given him a special coat, too—more to be envious of.

One day, his brothers plot to get rid of him. They wanted to kill him and bring his coat back to their father and tell them an animal had killed him. One of them, however, convinced the rest not to kill him. He was sold into slavery, his coat covered with animal blood, and the lie told to their father.

1Jan
2015
Thu
13:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Circumcision and Name of Jesus

Luke 2:21

Circumcision and Name of Jesus 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dear Redeemed of God, God has a name! And it is that name by which you are saved. Y’shua, the name which means YHWH is salvation—Iesos in Greek, Joshua in one form in English, Jesus as English speakers commonly call Him. YHWH saves, YHWH is Savior, God is Savior!

Born in a barn in Bethlehem, the Son of God is one with man, and like man, He takes a name. It was the name given to Him by Himself through the messenger Gabriel to both Mary, His mother, and Joseph, His guardian. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” (Luke 1:30-31) “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21) He shall be called Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.