The Resurrection of Our Lord

 

The Resurrection of Our Lord

April 21, 2019

Divine Service, Setting IV

LSB p. 203

Welcome to the Divine Service. Here, our Lord delights to lavish gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation upon His people. Please fill out an attendance card and pass it to the center aisle after the offering, where an usher will collect it.  Visitors are asked to speak with the pastor before communing here.

Bold Print spoken in unison where applicable.

 

Preparatory Rite

Opening Hymn:  “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today“                                              LSB 457

Confession & Absolution                                                          LSB 203

 

Service of the Word

Introit

I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously;

the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.

The LORD is my strength and my song,

and he has become my salvation.

Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power,

your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.

You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;

you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.

You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain,

the place, O LORD, which you have made for your abode,

the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.

The LORD will reign forever and ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and will be forever. Amen.

I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously;

the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.

 

Kyrie                                                                                         LSB 204

Gloria in Excelsis

 

Salutation and Collect of the Day                                              LSB 205

Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

Old Testament Reading                                                  Isaiah 65:17–25

17“For behold, I create new heavens

and a new earth,

and the former things shall not be remembered

or come into mind.

18But be glad and rejoice forever

in that which I create;

for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,

and her people to be a gladness.

19I will rejoice in Jerusalem

and be glad in my people;

no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping

and the cry of distress.

20No more shall there be in it

an infant who lives but a few days,

or an old man who does not fill out his days,

for the young man shall die a hundred years old,

and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.

21They shall build houses and inhabit them;

they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

22They shall not build and another inhabit;

they shall not plant and another eat;

for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,

and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23They shall not labor in vain

or bear children for calamity,

for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD,

and their descendants with them.

24Before they call I will answer;

while they are yet speaking I will hear.

25The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;

the lion shall eat straw like the ox,

and dust shall be the serpent’s food.

They shall not hurt or destroy

in all my holy mountain,”

says the LORD.

 

Gradual

Christ has risen from the dead.

[God the Father] has crowned him with glory and honor,

He has given him dominion over the works of his hands;

he has put all things under his feet.

 

Epistle Reading                                                     1 Corinthians 15:19–26

19If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Alleluia                                                                                      LSB 205

 

Holy Gospel                                                                        Luke 24:1-12

1On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8And they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

 

Nicene Creed                                                                             LSB 206

 

Hymn of the Day:  “Awake, My Heart, with Gladness“                               LSB 467

 

Sermon

Prayer of the Church

Offering

 

Service of the Sacrament

Preface                                                                                     LSB 208

Sanctus

Prayer of Thanksgiving                                                             LSB 209

Lord’s Prayer

The Words of Our Lord

Pax Domini

Agnus Dei                                                                                 LSB 210

 

Distribution Hymns: 463, 466, 474, 805

 

Nunc Dimittis                                                                           LSB 211

Post Communion Collect                                                           LSB 212

Benedicamus and Benediction

 

Closing Hymn:  “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands“                         LSB 458

Acknowledgments Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

 

 

Good Friday Tenebrae Vespers

Good Friday Tenebrae Vespers

All enter in silence.

Bold print spoken in unison where applicable

               

 

 

Opening Versicles

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise.

Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord.

Praise to You, O Christ, Lamb of our salvation.

 

Psalmody                                                                    Psalm 22 (See Insert)

 

Reading 1                                                                           Luke 22:39-53

39And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

47While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

 

O Lord have mercy on us.   Thanks be to God.

A candle is extinguished.

 

Hymn: “Go to Dark Gethsemane”                                                                          LSB 436

 

Reading 2                                                                                                    Luke 22:54-65

54Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62And he went out and wept bitterly.

63Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

 

O Lord have mercy on us.   Thanks be to God.

A candle is extinguished.

 

Hymn  “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”                                                                LSB 451

 

Reading 3                                                                                                  Luke 22:66-23:5

66When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67“If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

1Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. 2And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” 3And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 4Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”

 

O Lord have mercy on us.   Thanks be to God.

A candle is extinguished.

 

Hymn: “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”                                                               LSB 450

 

Reading 4                                                                                                      Luke 23:6-25

6When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12And Herod and Pilate became

friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.

13Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16I will therefore punish and release him.”

18But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.

 

O Lord have mercy on us.   Thanks be to God.

A candle is extinguished.

 

Hymn: “Upon the Cross Extended”                                                                         LSB 453

 

Reading 5                                                                                                    Luke 23:26-31

26And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 27And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

O Lord have mercy on us.   Thanks be to God.

A candle is extinguished.

 

Hymn: “Were You There”                                                                                       LSB 456

 

Reading 6                                                                                                    Luke 23:32-43

32Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

39One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

 

O Lord have mercy on us.   Thanks be to God.

A candle is extinguished.

 

Hymn:  “O Perfect Life of Love”                                                                              LSB 452

 

Reading 7                                                                                                    Luke 23:44-56

44It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.

50Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, 51who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. 52This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. 55The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.

On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

 

O Lord have mercy on us.   Thanks be to God.

 

Lenten Responsory                                                                                           LSB 222

We have an advocate with the Father; Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.

He was delivered up to death; He was delivered for the sins of the people.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven and whose sin is put away.

He was delivered up to death; He was delivered for the sins of the people.

We have an advocate with the Father; Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.

He was delivered up to death; He was delivered for the sins of the people.

 

Hymn:  “O Darkest Woe”                                                                                       LSB 448

Sermon

 

Hymn:  “Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle”                                                     LSB 454

Kyrie

Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy;

Christ, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy;

Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Collects

 

The final candle is extinguished and the Altar Book is slammed shut, symbolizing the death and sealing of the tomb of our Lord. 

The Christ Candle is carried out in recession.

After a moment of silence for prayer and meditation, all leave in silence and minimal light.

Acknowledgments Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

 

Service continues Easter morning: 

6:30a Sunrise Divine Service                  7:30-8:30a Breakfast & Egg hunt

9:30a Easter Day Divine Service

Maundy Thursday

 

Maundy Thursday

April 18, 2019

Divine Service, Setting IV

LSB p. 203

Welcome to the Divine Service. Here, our Lord delights to lavish gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation upon His people. Please fill out an attendance card and pass it to the center aisle after the offering, where an usher will collect it.  Visitors are asked to speak with the pastor before communing here.

Bold Print spoken in unison where applicable.

Preparatory Rite

Opening Hymn:  “When You Woke That Thursday Morning“                     LSB 445

Confession & Absolution                                                                                        LSB 203

 

Service of the Word

Introit

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;

our God is merciful.

I love the LORD, because he has heard

my voice and my pleas for mercy.

Because he inclined his ear to me,

therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;

I suffered distress and anguish.

Then I called on the name of the LORD:

“O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;

our God is merciful.

 

Kyrie                                                                                                                                  LSB 204

 

Salutation and Collect of the Day                                                                        LSB 205

O Lord, in this wondrous Sacrament You have left us a remembrance of Your passion. Grant that we may so receive the sacred mystery of Your body and blood that the fruits of Your redemption may continually be manifest in us; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

Old Testament Reading                                                                       Jeremiah 31:31–34

31“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Gradual

[Christ] entered once for all into the holy places, by means of his own blood,

thus securing an eternal redemption.

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant,

so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

He sent redemption to his people;

he has commanded his covenant forever.

 

Epistle Reading                                                                                        Hebrews 10:15–25

15And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

16“This is the covenant that I will make with them

after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws on their hearts,

and write them on their minds,”

17then he adds,

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

 

Holy Gospel                                                                                                  Luke 22:7-20

7Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” 9They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” 10He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters 11and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” 13And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

14And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Nicene Creed                                                                                                                LSB 206

 

Hymn of the Day:  “Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain“                             LSB 435

 

Sermon

Prayer of the Church

Offering

 

Service of the Sacrament

Preface                                                                                                                       LSB 208

Sanctus

Prayer of Thanksgiving                                                                                      LSB 209

Lord’s Prayer

The Words of Our Lord

Pax Domini

Agnus Dei                                                                                                              LSB 210

 

Distribution Hymns: 627, 805

 

Nunc Dimittis                                                                                                     LSB 211

Post Communion Collect                                                                              LSB 212

Benedicamus

 

Psalm 22 and the Stripping of the Altar                                              See Insert

Acknowledgments Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

Easter Day at Hope

Pastor Simek

Easter Day at Hope, Jerseyville

4/21/19

“A New Creation”

Sermon Text: Isaiah 65:17-25

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” That is the first Easter message, the first resurrection proclamation. He is risen. But it is not the first time it had been said. “Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” Jesus had predicted it before His crucifixion that He would die and be raised and it happened.

Jesus died. He was crucified. He endured an excruciating, painful death, suffering at the hands of sinful men, suffering because of sinful men, suffering and dying because of you, because of your sin. You are a sinner, a son of Adam through whom comes sin, disobedience and unfaithfulness, even doubt so that the resurrection of Jesus would seem to you as an idle tale as it had the disciples. What does His resurrection have to do to me? What power or difference does it make to me? These are just words, some story or fairytale, that with them or without them it isn’t going to change my tomorrow.

And while I would certainly argue that they will, putting that aside for a moment, how short-sighted are we if we simply live only for tomorrow? And in every other aspect of our life, we don’t. We buy groceries for more than tomorrow. We save money or at least budget our money assuming we will live longer than just tomorrow. So why do we not think beyond tomorrow, beyond this week, month, or even year when it comes to the things of God and the resurrection of Christ?

Because more certain than even tomorrow is the end. You are a son of Adam and in Adam all die. All. Not even Jesus was able to escape this fate. You will not escape death. You will die. Then what? What happens after death? Heaven or hell? Well even that is a bit short-sighted on the scale of all eternity. What happens after death is resurrection. What happens after Jesus dies for you? Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Death is not the end. Death does not have the final say because Christ has been raised from death which means you and all people, all, will be raised up. And all those in Christ, will be given eternal life. Just as death came through one man, Adam, so through one man, Jesus, all will be raised up and made alive. Jesus takes on death, endures death, to overcome death and bring life. Death has no sting. Sin has no power. They have been defeated. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

And in this resurrection, everything is different. Sin is different. It, you, are forgiven. Death is different. Tomorrow is different. All of time and eternity is different because Christ has been raised. All things are made new. Sin and death no longer rule this life and this earth, but God reigns in power over it, having power over sin and death, forgiving sin, saving and raising from death.

And that changes everything about today and tomorrow. Tomorrow, you are not living in your sin, bearing the burden and guilt of your wrong, waiting for the inevitability of death to strike. You have been set free by the cross and the empty tomb. You are free to live without fear. You are free to rejoice and be glad. You are free to look at a friend or loved one who has passed away and say, “I will see you again,” because it’s not over. You are free to look at your own death, to lay on your own death bed, to be pinned and strangled by death and find comfort, even smile and laugh at death, because as hard as death fights you, as soon is it wins it loses because after death comes resurrection because Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

And in this resurrection, the New Life, New Jerusalem, New Heaven and New Earth, “the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.” The pain and suffering, the difficulty and struggle, every hardship you have faced in this life will be gone and done. And what of the future? “Be glad and rejoice forever… for behold I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people.” The future is gladness, rejoicing, and joy forever. “No more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days.” There will be no weeping, no mourning, no distress and no death. The infant shall live. The old man will be alive. There will be no more death, no more expiration, no more end. For all of eternity we will live in our homes and our vineyards, in the Paradise of the New Creation which God has prepared for us to be with Him. God and Man, God dwelling with you, forever.

This account of the resurrection is no idle tale. It is no myth or fairytale that makes no difference. It is the greatest Gospel proclamation that we would run to the empty tomb, run to the resurrected body of Christ, run to His Word and Sacraments and marvel at them and receive them because they change everything, today, tomorrow, and for all eternity because Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.

Good Friday at Hope

Pastor Simek

Good Friday at Hope, Jerseyville

4/19/19

“Who’s Right? Who’s Wrong”

Sermon Text: Luke 22:39-23:56

They had to be right. There was no other way, no other possibility. The Jews had made up their minds and they had to be right. Jesus was not God. His trial was not about His innocence or His guilt, it was about whether or not He agreed with them. Jesus knew it. He knew His trial was a mockery and a sham. He even tells them that “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer.” This is not a trial for the truth, but for agreement because there was nothing that was going to change the minds of the Jewish council. They had to be right.

All of the signs Jesus had done didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that Jesus had turned water into wine, had cast out demons and healed people, had preached truth, forgiveness, and shown true love. Jesus could not be God. It didn’t matter that Pilate didn’t agree with them. It didn’t matter that he found no guilt in Jesus, that he saw that Jesus had done nothing worthy of death, that he did everything he could to get Jesus released and tell the Jews that they were wrong to cry out for Jesus to be crucified. Jesus would not comply, would not agree, would not affirm their truth and He had to die.

They had to be in the right. Their truth had to be true and anything and everything was subject to them. They put themselves in the place of God, subjecting all things to themselves. Their thoughts and their ways were of highest authority and when Jesus didn’t fit into their box of what a man was supposed to be and do, yet didn’t fit into their box of who the Messiah was supposed to be and do, they crucified Him.

We do the same thing. We put our truth, our ideas and opinions first and foremost and expect God to fit into them, into the boxes we create for Him. We want to say that He must do this or that in order to be God. He must not let anything bad happen to me or He is wrong. He must come to me in this way or do this thing for me or He must not be God. Or we put demands on Him and what He does because we think we deserve it as though He owes us. I have been good, I have done things the right way, I have followed the Law so You have to or ought to do what I want. I’ve done what you’ve asked of me, now You do what I ask of you.

It doesn’t matter what He has already done. It doesn’t matter what He has promised you and how He has promised to deliver it. It doesn’t matter that He has told you that the grace and assurance you seek is given to you in your baptismal waters, is proclaimed to you in His absolution and His Word every Sunday, is delivered to you through bread and wine that is the body and blood of Jesus. He has shown us who He is and how He is going to work for us, but we want it our way. We tell Him that He has to or we want Him to do something else, something that fits our demands and expectations, something more or at least different. So Jesus is crucified.

He is beaten, blindfolded, slapped in the face, punched in the nose, and mocked. He is flogged, whipped with the cat-of-nine-tails, with leather laced with bone and glass that would rip His flesh from His bones because we have to be right. He is nailed to a cross, stakes are driven through His wrist piercing every tendon and nerve, sending shooting pain through His body for as long as He hangs there, struggling to breath, bleeding from the crown of thorns on His head, the nails through His wrists, His bare beaten back as it scrapes against the splintered wood of the cross so that He can lift Himself to take just one more breath because you have to be right. He dies because you want to make yourself God, put yourself above Him and demand that He conforms to what you think.

But you are not always right. The Jewish council is not right. Pilate is right, there is no guilt in Jesus. The Roman centurion who sees His death is right, certainly this man was innocent, righteous, right. Jesus is right. He is the Messiah. He is the Christ. He is God and Man for you. He is the one who is forsaken by God for you. He is the one who is scorned and despised, stricken, smitten, and afflicted for you just as the Psalms and the Prophets said. He is the one who is crucified for you, made wrong for your wrong, to make you right, righteous, and innocent by His righteousness and innocence. By His death, you are forgiven of all of your sins, all of your arrogance, and all of your self-righteousness. That is what Jesus says and He is right.

And He can and will prove it. He proves that He is right in His death and He will prove that He is right again. God, the real God, not those who make themselves a god, will prove it. He will speak and give the final word as to who is right and who is wrong on the third day, Sunday, and your third day. On Sunday, He will declare and prove without a doubt that Jesus is right, righteous, and innocent. And on your Third Day, when you and all people stand before Him, He will prove without a doubt that you are right, righteous, innocent, and forgiven. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Maundy Thursday at Hope

Pastor Simek

Maundy Thursday at Hope, Jerseyville

4/18/19

“A New Covenant”

Sermon Text: Jeremiah 31:31-34

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

God is faithful. God is true. When God makes a promise, draws up a contract and a covenant, you can be certain that He will do it and keep His promise. He will fulfill and do exactly what He says He will. He always has and He always will. Since the very beginning, when He made a promise to Adam and Eve that if they ate the fruit of the tree of knowing good and evil they would surely die, and sure enough, they died. Yet when they ate the fruit He also made them another promise, the Promise of a savior that would bring them life.

And when God makes a promise to the people of Israel while they are in the wilderness, makes a covenant with them, you can be certain He will carry it out. In this covenant, God sets before them a way of life and a way of death. He gives to them the Ten Commandments and the whole law and says that if they do these things, they will surely live, and if they don’t, they will surely die.

This is the covenant that God made with Israel when He brought them out of Egypt, and they agreed. They said they would do all that God told them, that they would be obedient. He would be their faithful husband and they would be His faithful bride. And God was faithful. He cared for them, took them by the hand and guided them out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into the Promised Land. God was faithful to this covenant, but the people were not. They broke the covenant. They did not uphold their end of the bargain. They desired not their Husband, but themselves. They chose the way of death and as God promised, they died.

We, too, are guilty of breaking this covenant. We are not faithful to our God. We have failed to do the Ten Commandments and be obedient. We are guilty of desiring not God, but ourselves and our own will and our own way. We have chosen the way of death, and as God promised, we will die.

But our death doesn’t do anyone any good. God does not benefit. It does not make Him more righteous when He punishes the guilty sinner. God does not want us to die even if it is a death we have brought upon ourselves. He wants for us a way of life which means we need something new, and He promises, in Jeremiah, a new covenant with His people.

And in order to bring about the new, He must fulfill the old. The old covenant, the way of life and death must be brought to a close, the agreement not ended, but upheld to the very end. And this covenant and agreement, this marriage, between God and His people is “’till death do us part.” So either we or God must die. The old covenant can only be fulfilled by death, by blood, and God has no desire for your death. He is the one who dies and fulfills this old covenant so that He might give us the new.

And this very night, the night in which He was betrayed, He gives us a new covenant, a covenant with His people in His blood by His death. The old fulfilled, the new instituted, not by the blood of an animal, not by the blood of a goat or of a lamb, but a covenant, a promise, a contract and agreement made by the blood of a man, the blood of God and His life which is given and poured out that you would not walk in the way of death, but the way of life.

For this new covenant which God makes with His people is not a way of life or a way of death. It is not a matter of do it and live or don’t do it and die. The death has been taken away, fulfilled at the cross in the death of Christ. In this new covenant, there is only life. This new covenant which is made by the pouring out of Christ’s blood is a covenant of forgiveness.

In the promise of this new covenant, God says that in it, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” In the new covenant made by the blood of Jesus your iniquity is forgiven, your sin is remembered no longer. It is a covenant, drawn up by God, signed and sealed by the blood of Jesus, so that as sure as we are that Christ was crucified and died, we can be equally sure that our sin is forgiven and God has prepared for us the way of life.

And this life given to us in the new covenant, in the death of Jesus, is the life of His resurrection, that though we die, yet we shall live. And the promise of this forgiveness and life is delivered to us in bread and wine, His body and blood, for us Christians to eat and to drink, to taste it and be assured and confident that God has delivered His Son to death for us, delivered that death and the blood of His covenant to you, delivered you from death to eternal life. That is His promise, the promise of the One who is faithful and true, the promise of the one who always does what He says He will do. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Palm Sunday at Hope

Pastor Simek

Palm Sunday at Hope, Jerseyville

4/14/19

“The King of Peace”

Sermon Text: Zechariah 9:9-12

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

God has done it before. In fact, He has done it a lot. When His people have been in slavery, oppression, or under attack by an enemy, God has raised up for them a champion time and time again. When the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, God raised up Moses to set His people free. When they were in the Promised Land and were attacked by surrounding countries, God raised up for them judges, like Samson, who led and fought off their oppressors, bringing peace to Israel. When the Israelites wanted a king, He gave them David, a king after God’s own heart to lead the nation, then David’s son Solomon, who brought Israel to the height of its power and wealth before the nation divided. And after that, God continued to bring forth kings and prophets in the midst of the turmoil during the history of Israel, its conquering, exile, and return of the people to the Promised Land, all the while promising a king that would eventually come and bring everlasting peace.

On Palm Sunday, the Jews think that king has come. They greet Jesus who was riding on a donkey just as Solomon once had. They laid down their cloaks and palm branches before Him, welcoming Him into Jerusalem the way that had done with kings before Him. They cried Hosanna, save us, crying out to God that they would be set free from the oppression of Rome. They looked for their peace in a king, a political leader, even though time and time again, throughout their entire history, these kings had only given temporary peace.

You think that they would learn that true, everlasting peace does not come from the king of a nation or some political leader or way of life. Although, you would think that we would have learned that too. You would think that we would know better than to put our hopes of peace in a person, a king or a president or any political figure, because even the best ones, even Moses, even David and Solomon, are not able to bring about real peace.

So our hope for peace should not, and cannot, be in politics for that kind of hope is in vain. If your hope for peace, for a better life, better education, better protection of the unborn and the aged is in a president or a political party, your hope is misplaced. If your identity is first placed in a nation, that I am an American, your identity is misplaced. If your identity as an American first and everything else second makes you question Scripture or you impose your American worldview on the Bible so that it fits into your identity as American, then your identity is misplaced.

The Israelites were not saved from Egypt in the days of Moses, or preserved in the days of the judges, or prospered in the days of David and Solomon because they were the nation of Israel, but because they were children of Abraham, not by blood, but by faith. Their identity was not in their politics, but in their savior. They were, first, children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were, first, children of the Promise. They were, first, Christians and everything else fit into that identity and only then were they, and are we, able to see Jesus for who He is.

When we throw out our preconceived notions, throw out all American precedent, throw out our western, American, worldview and find our identity, first, in being a Christian, we can see what Jesus is all about. Do not let politics or your political identity as an American be your god and idol before Christ. Repent.

Put God and your Christian identity first and make everything else fit into that. Define America and what it means to be an American first according who you are and what it means to be a Christian. Impose Christianity on what it means to be an American rather Americanizing Christianity. Don’t look or try to find hope in politics or a leader, a king, or a kingdom of this world, but look to Christ.

In Him is a true, eternal King. In Him we can rejoice greatly and shout aloud. He is a truly righteous King and He alone brings everlasting peace. And He does it not by conquering kingdoms and nations of this world, but by defeating sin, conquering the devil, overcoming death and hell, making peace for Man with God. He does it by the cross. There is where He is high and lifted up. There is where He is a champion and king. There is where He is victorious.

While our identity in this world says there is no victory in death, God says His greatest glory is dying for you, shedding His blood for you, making a new covenant with you to set you free from the waterless pit of hell and bring you into the stronghold and mighty fortress of His kingdom. By His death, you are forgiven for your national idolatry, and made a citizen in the kingdom of God.

And by His resurrection, you too are raised. You are raised a child of Abraham by faith, a child of God in the Spirit so that when this world fails to bring peace and your body fails to bring life, God will raise you once more to live in His eternal kingdom of peace. His is a kingdom not of this world, but of the next, the new, the New Heaven and New Earth, the New Jerusalem. There He is and will ever be enthroned to live and rule in peace. There shall be no division, no enemy, no opposing party or candidate, only God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, upon the throne ruling in unity and peace, dwelling with Man, living at peace with you forever. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Palm Sunday

 

Palm Sunday

April 14, 2019

Divine Service, Setting I

LSB p. 151

Welcome to the Divine Service. Here, our Lord delights to lavish gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation upon His people. Please fill out an attendance card and pass it to the center aisle after the offering, where an usher will collect it.  Visitors are asked to speak with the pastor before communing here.

Bold Print spoken in unison where applicable.

 

Preparatory Rite

Processional Hymn:  “All Glory, Laud, and Honor”                            LSB 442

We wave our palms, especially during the refrain of the hymn, to commemorate the waving and laying down of palms before Jesus at His triumphal entry.

Confession & Absolution                                                                            LSB 151

 

Service of the Word

Introit

Blessèd is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

We bless you from the house of the LORD.

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!

Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Blessèd is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

We bless you from the house of the LORD.

 

Kyrie                                                                                                           LSB 152

 

Salutation and Collect of the Day                                                  LSB 156

Almighty and everlasting God, You sent Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross. Mercifully grant that we may follow the example of His great humility and patience and be made partakers of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

Old Testament Reading                                                                   Zechariah 9:9-12

9Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!

Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!

behold, your king is coming to you;

righteous and having salvation is he,

humble and mounted on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

10I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim

and the war horse from Jerusalem;

and the battle bow shall be cut off,

and he shall speak peace to the nations;

his rule shall be from sea to sea,

and from the River to the ends of the earth.

11As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,

I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

12Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;

today I declare that I will restore to you double.

 

Gradual

[Christ] entered once for all into the holy places, by means of his own blood,

thus securing an eternal redemption.

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant,

so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

He sent redemption to his people;

he has commanded his covenant forever.

 

Epistle Reading                                                                                Philippians 2:5-11

5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Holy Gospel                                                                                    John 12:12-19

12The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15“Fear not, daughter of Zion;

behold, your king is coming,

sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

Nicene Creed                                                                                                    LSB 158

 

Hymn of the Day:  “Ride On, Ride On in Majesty”                             LSB 441

 

Sermon

Prayer of the Church

Offertory                                                                                                          LSB 159

Offering

 

Service of the Sacrament

Preface                                                                                                            LSB 160

Sanctus                                                                                                           LSB 161

Prayer of Thanksgiving

The Words of Our Lord                                                                            LSB 162

Proclamation of Christ

Lord’s Prayer

Pax Domini                                                                                                  LSB 163

Agnus Dei

 

Distribution Hymns: 444, 427, 604, 805

 

Post Communion Collect                                                                        LSB 166

Benediction

 

Closing Hymn:  “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna”                                       LSB 443

Acknowledgments Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

 

 

 

Lenten Wednesday 5 at Hope

Pastor Simek

Lenten Wednesday 5 at Hope, Jerseyville

4/10/19

“Passover Lamb”

Sermon Text: Exodus 12:1-14

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Similar to Good Friday, Passover is sort of a strange day to celebrate. At Passover, in every Egyptian home, someone died. There was not one home of all the Egyptians where death didn’t strike, yet it is a celebrated event. It is a reminder of the tenth and final plague to strike the land of Egypt when God passed through the land and killed every firstborn of man and beast. Passover celebrates death.

You might argue that it’s not the death of the Egyptians that is celebrated, but that the Israelites did not die in this plague, but the only reason the Israelites did not die is because a lamb died. A lamb without spot or blemish, a perfect lamb a year old, fully grown and in its prime was slaughtered. An innocent victim was killed, its blood, shed, the lamb, dead. So even if it doesn’t celebrate the death of the Egyptians, it does celebrate the death of the lamb.

And by the death of this lamb, the shedding of its blood which was then painted upon the door posts and lintel of the homes of the Israelites, the people of God were passed over. They were spared death because the lamb died. They were saved because the lamb was slaughtered. They were set free from their slavery to the Egyptians because the blood of the lamb was shed.

And every year this was celebrated and remembered with a meal, a Feast of Unleavened Bread, a Passover Seder, where the story was retold to remind the people that a lamb and its blood had saved them from slavery and death and set them free to live as God’s own children.

It sounds bad, even sick, twisted, or demented to celebrate death, even that of a lamb. Passover is a strange celebration, but one that is not all that foreign to us because we, as Christians, celebrate death too. We celebrate not our death or the death of our enemies, but the death of a Lamb in our place, on our behalf, by whose death we are set free and saved.

On Good Friday, in just a little more than a week, we will celebrate the death of the Lamb, the shedding of His blood that we would be passed over from the plague of death coming for us. For you, O Man, you are dust and to dust you shall return, but by His blood, you shall return to life. The blood of Jesus is shed for you. His life is given for you so that as judgment and death falls upon those around us, you are passed over by death and given eternal life.

And we celebrate this death not just on Good Friday, but in every Supper. We don’t have a Passover Seder, but we eat and drink at the wedding feast of the Lamb and His kingdom. And we retell the story, remind ourselves every week that our Lord Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb, on the night in which He was betrayed, when He was arrested, tried, judged and condemned, beaten and flogged, shed His blood and was crucified, hanging on a cross until He died, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, “Take, eat. This is My body which is given (on the cross) for you.” And in the same way also, He took the cup after supper, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, “Drink of it all of you. This cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you (on the cross) for the forgiveness of sins.”

Here in these words and in this meal we celebrate death, the death of the true Passover Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, who saves and rescues us from slavery to our sin and from all the power of death and the devil that we would be set free, that we would live even when we die, that we would be called children of God. That is the story of our salvation. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

The Fifth Sunday in Lent at Hope

Pastor Simek

The Fifth Sunday in Lent at Hope, Jerseyville

4/7/19

“Judgment Two Ways”

Sermon Text: Isaiah 43:16-21

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Our God is a God of awesome power and might. There truly is no ruler, no army, no nation, or any other god like Him. He is able to create and move mountains with only a word. He created the whole world and everything in it in only six days, speaking and it was done. And He has shown His power and might throughout history, even within the U.S. even as recent as in your lifetime and mine.

We have all seen the beauty of creation: the plants and flowers as they bloom and grow, the fresh layer of perfectly white snow that covers the grass as far as we can see. It really is pretty, until it melts and the waters and rivers rise and the next thing you know the roads and farm land is underwater. Then we see the power of God in the water, washing away not just dirt, but cars or even houses, dealing with the damage of the water in the homes that remain. Or we can see His power in the air, in the wind, in a tornado as it picks up cars, trees, and the roof of a building. Our God is a God of awesome power and might.

And as much as we have witnessed His work, there were few, if any, other times in all of history, where God revealed His power as clearly as in the Exodus. Those are the works of God that Isaiah is referencing in our reading today. The ten plagues that fell upon Egypt, but left the people of Israel untouched. Finally convincing Pharaoh to let God’s people go after killing the firstborn of all Egypt, sparing the Israelites by the blood of the Passover lamb. Leading the people of Israel in a pillar of cloud and of fire, dwelling with them in it, protecting His people when the whole of the army of Egypt came after them, bringing their enemies to a halt while Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, making “a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters” for His people.

So God saved His people by His miraculous and mighty works. However Egypt had been destroyed, plundered, and exiled. The whole of their army that chased the Israelites into the sea, the “chariot and horse, army and warrior, they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick.” God’s power and His judgment goes two ways. There are two options. Not everyone is saved by His mighty work, but some are condemned.

It’s not what God wants. He gave Pharaoh nine chances, nine other plagues, before bringing about the death of the first born. The Egyptian army didn’t have to follow the Israelites into the sea, yet through the hardness of the heart of Pharaoh and his people, they brought judgment and condemnation, the limitless power of the almighty God, upon themselves.

So beware the hardness of your own heart. Beware of your own ego and self-righteousness. Beware of your own entitlement and desire lest you be like the wicked tenants and find yourself casting out the heir and killing him for your own peril because if God can kill all of the first born sons of an entire nation overnight and can drown the entire army of one of the most powerful countries in the world in a moment, what could He do to me?

So repent of your hardness of heart, your ego, and your self-righteousness. Repent of your own desires and the desires of men but set your heart, your ego, and your desire upon the things of God. Because this God of limitless power and might has not drowned you or destroyed you for your sin, but sent His Son to suffer and die in your place.

Your judgment for your sin has been executed and carried out upon Jesus. God has used His power and might not to kill you, but to save you, and He has done it in a way that shows His almighty power is even greater than what is shown in the plagues and the sea. There, He takes the away the life of His enemy while preserve the lives of His people, but in His new thing, He brings forth life from death.

He does not just kill Jesus and take His life away. The Passover lamb is not merely slaughtered to preserve the lives of the living, but the Passover Lamb of God is brought back to life from the dead. He is crucified and yet risen again. God has power not just to take life, but to give it and has all power and might over all of the living and the dead. He has the power not simply to keep you alive, but to bring you back to life from the dead.

And that is exactly what He has done for you. You who were dead in your trespasses and sins were washed by water and Word, crucified with Christ and risen with Him. He drowns your sin, extinguished and quenched like a wick, forgiven not in the Red Sea but at the font. There you are not just kept alive, but brought back and saved from your slavery and death to sin, created new, raised up a new creation.

And as He has done it there, He will do it again. Just as Christ rose from the dead and walked out of His tomb, so too shall you be raised from the dead, walk out of your tomb, body and soul together for your death has been overcome by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Your sin and death has been defeated by the One who has power over death. Our God of awesome power and might has used His almighty power not to kill you, but to save you, to give you life right now, in this world, and there in eternity, in His kingdom, in His New Creation, where He gives to His people food and drink, the people whom He has formed and saved by Himself, by the blood of His Son, “that they might declare (His) praise.” In the Name of Jesus. Amen.