Lutherans observe St. Michael and All Angels in our liturgical calendar because it is a feast day that points directly to Christ. Throughout Scripture angels are warriors and messengers, appearing on God’s command to deliver either judgment or His Gospel message. They announced Jesus’ birth, ministered to Him after Satan tempted him in the wilderness, and were present at His resurrection and ascension. We celebrate Michaelmas (an old name for the day) because it points to Jesus.
Philipp Melanchthon, a colleague of Martin Luther, wrote a hymn commemorating the day. You can find “Lord God, to Thee We Give All Praise” in the Lutheran Service Book, number 522.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” Revelation 12:7-12
After 17 years of faithful service to CTSFW, our friend and colleague, Karen Fuelling, is retiring this week. Her greatest joy has been to work with the LWML, Brakebush Chicken and other generous donors to provide for the daily needs of students and their families through the Food and Clothing Co-op, the Christmas Marketplace and Christmas gift cards.
Thank you Karen and God’s blessings as you enjoy a well-earned retirement!
As recovery for the devastation caused by earthquakes and hurricanes continues in some places and begins in others, we thank God for the opportunity to come together to learn from those who have firsthand experience of disasters around the world. CTSFW welcomes the 2017 International LCMS Disaster Response Conference, which began yesterday morning in Sihler Auditorium and goes until Thursday.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home:
Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.
Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.
A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Soon bears us all away;
We fly forgotten as a dream
Dies at the op’ning day.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while life shall last
And our eternal home!
“All discussions of Life issues begin and end with ‘Jesus is Lord.’” So goes an underlying and driving theme of the Lutherans for Life regional conference, which took place in Sihler Auditorium on the CTSFW campus this past Saturday. “A strictly apologetic approach will only take things so far,” Dr. Peter Scaer, associate professor of Exegetical Theology at CTSFW and one of the speakers at the event, said. “You must preach repentance and thereby forgiveness.”
Before Jesus called Matthew as one of His twelve disciples, he was a tax collector, in his time seen as the worst of sinners. But through God’s great love and mercy, this sinner also became a saint, the author of the first book of the New Testament, and a gift from the Lord to His Church.
“As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.
“And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard it, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.'” Matthew 9:9-13
Yesterday, first-year pastoral ministry students and deaconess students received their fieldwork assignments. Afterwards they met over lunch with the pastors they will train under for the next two years.
What a joy to see God’s hand at work as they begin their pastoral and diakonal training! Our gratitude goes out to the congregations and pastors that partner with us to make this happen, year after year.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Rev. Jim Kress, CTSFW 2003, has his waterproof communion kit ready to go to care for his flock in the wake of Irma. He and his wife, Lisa, have prepared their home, church, and early childcare center as best they can to withstand the hurricane. Jim serves at Redeemer in Englewood, FL (lives in Port Charlotte). They have provisions stored at the church ready to share with others afterwards.
Orientation for new students began this morning with a Matins service in Kramer Chapel and welcome from CTSFW President Rast and CTSFW Student Body President Amadeus Gandy. They’re off to Loehe Hall to learn more about the ins-and-outs of seminary life with Dean of Students Dr. Gary Zieroth. Opening Service is Tuesday, September 5, at 10:00 a.m.