Friday, April 10, 2009

O Sacred Head Now Wounded

A very blessed Good Friday to everyone! This afternoon we were blessed at Good Shepherd to gather around the blessed Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ in both Word and Sacrament as we celebrated the Chief Service. My dear faithful and pious wife and I observed our annual watching of The Passion of the Christ after service. In a bit, we will again gather around the Light of the World as we extinguish the candles during the meditation on the last words of our Lord from His blessed throne. Tomorrow morning we will again gather to meditate upon His holy repose in the tomb and the faithless faith of His disciples and the faithful faithlessness of His enemies. And joy beyond telling, we will gather at the foot of the cross as we keep the Vigil of His glorious and blessed Resurrection through which we are given the assurance of life and justification through His holy sacrifice. This year one of the faithful saints of Good Shepherd has constructed a life-size cross beneath which we will gather at the fire and await the raising up of our Phoenix, Christ, the Life and Light of the World.

This week is very busy for faithful pastors, but a better busy I could not hope for! If you are in Western Michigan and would like to stop by to join us that would only make our joy more wonderful. For my brothers and sisters who await the joyous dawning of the Feast of the Resurrection, God's peace and comfort as we wait expectantly at the foot of the cross and the door of the tomb!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Want to preach good funeral sermons?

Then start by preaching the commemorations and feast days of those blessed saints who have gone before us in the faith whenever possible (although I think it best to keep with the Sunday readings unless a saint's feast day falls on the Lord's Day and it is not already a feast of Christ).

That is how I look at funerals, as feast days of saints of God in Christ, for that is truly what those faithful departed are, full and complete saints, revelling the in the glory of the Lamb who was slain. When preaching on a saint day or commemoration, we Lutherans know that we do not preach about the individual, but rather about that golden and precious thread of faith that binds them to Christ and through Him to all the Church, militant and triumphant. Indeed, precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints!