Here are a handful of pictures from the Reformation service last night. If anyone missed it (or simply wants to watch again), the video of the service will be up for the next seven days. You can either find it by scrolling down our Facebook page, or by visiting http://www.ctsfw.edu/reformation500/.
We’ve had a few people ask about attendance and online viewership, and so far we’ve counted almost 800 people in attendance at the service (most of them in Kramer Chapel, with overflow in Sihler Auditorium), with nearly 14,000 views on Facebook and another 2,500 who watched the livestream on our website.
While the 500th anniversary may itself be over, there’s still a lot happening on campus. In commemoration of the importance of God’s Word to the Reformation, tomorrow the Student Association is going to begin a public reading of the entire Bible, beginning at 3 p.m. this Thursday, November 2nd, and ending at 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 5th. The continuous reading of the Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is open to everyone. You are welcome to come to Sihler Auditorium day or night, to listen for as long (or as short) as you’d like. To view the reading schedule, go here: https://my.ctsfw.edu/document.doc?id=3180.
Following that, this Sunday and Monday there are several Music Events taking place in Kramer Chapel, all of which are also open to the public. On November 5th, you can come and listen to an organ recital at 4:30 p.m., then later come for the All Saints’ Choral Vespers at 7:30 pm. On November 6th, there is Choral Evening Prayer at 5:00 p.m., and a Hymn Festival at 7:30 p.m. Most of these will be livestreamed. We’ll post more details later this week.
In the evening when you go to bed, make the sign of the holy cross and say:
“In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Then kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may also say this little prayer:
“I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.”
Then go to sleep at once and in good cheer.
Today’s already proving to be a Reformation-rich day here on campus. After chapel I asked Dr. MacKenzie to pose for a picture with his book, “The Reformation.” The coffee table-style book presents an overview of the Reformation through both images and text, and can be purchased from our bookstore here: https://bookstore.ctsfw.edu/reformation.
As a bonus, in the background you can see Dr. Grime (Dean of the Chapel) and a handful of seminarians preparing for this evening’s 500th anniversary worship service. If you can’t make it to hear President Harrison preach in person, you can join us by watching the livestream here on our Facebook page at 7:30 p.m. (EDT).
In the morning when you get up, make the sign of the holy cross and say:
“In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may also say this little prayer:
“I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.”
Then go joyfully to your work, singing a hymn, like that of the Ten Commandments, or whatever your devotion may suggest.
(Luther’s Small Catechism: “How the head of the family should teach his household to pray morning and evening”)
CTSFW planned to have one more student this fall, but the man in question was deployed before he could begin his first year at the Seminary. He’s still in our thoughts, prayers and on our mailing list, and his wife asked that we pass on this message:
To the people of the Seminary sending care packages,
Thank you for the vast resources that have been provided. The cards, soap, snacks, hymn CD, divine service CD and bulletins, the books, service book and Greek Grammar, thank you, it is going to go to good use and I am humbled by everyone’s kindness to me and my spouse. Whether I am able to attend the Seminary next fall or am delayed for any reason, sooner or later I will be there and very much look forward to it. Thank you for the prayers and personal time to send these out.
Yesterday was the commemoration of three faithful women in the Church, and because our calendar stacks these things on top of each other, today we commemorate three hymnwriters, Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann and Paul Gerhardt.
Some highlights: Nicolai wrote the tune to “Allelulia! Let Praises Ring”/”O Holy Spirit Enter In,” and the other two wrote the text to a couple of my favorite Lenten hymns, “O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken” (Heermann) and “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (Gerhardt). However, since neither are in season I’ll leave you with an Easter hymn by Gerhardt instead (LSB 467):
Awake, my heart, with gladness,
See what today is done;
Now, after gloom and sadness,
Comes forth the glorious sun.
My Savior there was laid
Where our bed must be made
When to the realms of light
Our spirit wings its flight.
The foe in triumph shouted
When Christ lay in the tomb;
But lo, he now is routed,
His boast is turned to gloom.
For Christ again is free;
In glorious victory
He who is strong to save
Has triumphed o’er the grave.
This is a sight that gladdens–
What peace it doth impart!
Now nothing ever saddens
The joy within my heart.
No gloom shall ever shake,
No foe shall ever take
The hope which God’s own Son
In love for me hath won.
Now hell, its prince, the devil,
Of all their pow’r are shorn;
Now I am safe from evil,
And sin I laugh to scorn.
Grim death with all his might
Cannot my soul affright;
It is a pow’rless form,
Howe’er it rave and storm.
The world against me rages,
Its fury I disdain;
Though bitter war it wages,
Its work is all in vain.
My heart from care is free,
No trouble troubles me.
Misfortune now is play,
And night is bright as day.
Now I will cling forever
To Christ, my Savior true;
My Lord will leave me never,
Whate’er He passes through.
He rends death’s iron chain;
He breaks through sin and pain;
He shatters hell’s dark thrall;
I follow Him through all.
He brings me to the portal
That leads to bliss untold,
Whereon this rhyme immortal
Is found in script of gold:
“Who there My cross has shared
Finds here a crown prepared;
Who there with Me has died
Shall here be glorified.”
Dr. Bushur now occupies a chair in honor of Carl and Erna Weinrich, the parents of Dr. Weinrich. In celebration of the establishment of the Chair in New Testament and Early Church Studies, Dr. Bushur gave a public lecture on “The Catholic Paul: Allegory & Perspicuity in Irenaeus’ Reading of Scripture.” As a layperson (who, admittedly, struggled with the terminology), my takeaway of convocation was that though the Word is clear and perfect, we sinners can’t fully understand it either clearly or perfectly. That does not, however, make Scripture malleable. Instead, we strive to understand these things in the context of what God has submitted to our knowledge: the created world, and in the person of Jesus Christ.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Dr. Gieschen led convocation hour this Wednesday to talk about Angelomorphic Christology, a religious and historical examination of how angel and angel-related traditions impacted the early Christian Church’s study of Christ. In honor of his book being republished in softcover, Dr. Gieschen also signed copies of “Angelomorphic Christology: Antecedents and Early Evidence.” Copies can be purchased at our bookstore, either in-person or online here: https://bookstore.ctsfw.edu/category/exegetical.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Luke, Evangelist. The physician wrote the Gospel of Luke and recorded the history of the early Church and the work of the apostles in the book of Acts. Because of his detailed account of Christ’s sacrificial work, St. Luke’s shield (which can be viewed in Wyneken Hall) portrays the winged ox, the symbol of highest sacrifice.
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”