Lest the Darkness Define Us

Imperfect copies of imperfect copies are we. The fall into sin introduced not only death but also physical decay and disease. Every Sunday, we admit as much in our Confession of Sin, “We are by nature sinful” (LSB 151, 167). All this means we are in a death spiral. Like “sin entered the world through […]

COVID, the Vaccine, and Shepherd of the Hills

At last, the COVID-19 vaccines are here! For us now, this only includes the Pfizer- and Moderna-produced vaccines. Missouri is prioritizing our vaccinations based on someone’s assessed health risk. To do this, our state is grouping its citizens into four categories, with people receiving their inoculations during four distinct phases. Included in Phase 1B, Tier […]

To Isolate or Not, Such is Our Reality

This is our pastor’s article for the September edition of our congregational newsletter. The Old Testament doesn’t view life and death as mere biological facts.  Read Scripture, and you will find both death and life as an interpretive lens to help understand reality.  Within the words of Scripture, life flows with fruitfulness and abundance, for […]

Getting Back to Normality Despite COVID, or at Least, Trying

A couple of weeks ago, a member of our congregation approached me.  In short, she shared with me her assessment of our COVID-19 prevention practices.  Well, I quipped back, “Yeah, coming to church is safer than grocery shopping.”  To this, she agreed.  Next, she said I should send out a message, so others in our […]

Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!

Now, if we preach Christ as raised from the dead, how can some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  Further, if Christ has not risen, our preaching is pointless, and so is your faith… and you are still in your sins.  So, this means those who fell asleep in Christ […]

Psalm 22 and Maundy Thursday

The end of Maundy Thursday finishes with our Altar Guild stripping the altar of its paraments to prepare for Good [God’s] Friday.  The lights are dimmed and the paraments are put away in reverence.  As this is taking place, the pastor chants Psalm 22. A Bit about the Structure of Psalm 22 After the invocation, […]

The Christian, COVID, and our Medical Authorities

Honor the physician for his services, according to your need of him. For the Lord created him, whose gift of healing comes from the Most High, and whom the king will reward. The physician’s skill will distinguish him, and, in the presence of the great, he will be admired. The Lord created medicines from the […]

Mark, Lesson 1: Introduction

By Pr Rich Futrell Overview With the events in his Gospel, Mark makes no attempt to link them to the historical events taking place within Judea or the Roman Empire.  Neither does Mark bother to explain the links between the various events he covers, the exception being what takes place during Christ’s passion.  Rather, his […]

The Monsters Among Us

This is our pastor’s newsletter article for October 2019. Ancient peoples dreaded the deep.  The darkened abyss gurgled with predatory beasts, fanged creatures to swallow you whole, hungering for more.  Today, those shrieking, mythical denizens still fill us with wonder, if not terror.  In the Bible, the book of Job mentions the leviathan and other […]

Subjective Justification

Recap and Intro Justification: God’s declaration of righteousness, which also establishes someone in a state of righteousness.  This can only happen because someone’s sins are forgiven.  (“Justification” can also refer to someone revealing his righteousness by how he lives, for example, in much of James.) Christ, in His saving work, justified the entire world.  Before […]