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"…the Scriptures cannot be broken." John 10:35

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Pentecost’s Primary Miracle

COVER STORY – PENTECOST

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me
in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8)

Soon we will arrive at one of the high festivals of the church year, Pentecost. This year Pentecost falls on Sunday, May 23. This is the day when we commemorate the outpouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit on Jesus’ disciples. It happened fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection, ten days after His ascension. In obedience to the instructions Jesus had given them, the disciples tarried in Jerusalem in anticipation of receiving this gift. As they were gathered at a certain location in the city, all of a sudden, out of the blue, extraordinary things started to happen. The sound of a gale-force wind filled the house where they were staying. Something that looked like tongues of fire appeared and came to rest on each of them. They were given ability to communicate in languages they had never gone to school to learn.

For what purpose did God cause these supernatural phenomena to occur? The sound of a howling wind, itself a miracle, served the purpose of drawing people to the place where the disciples were so they could hear the message Jesus had given the disciples to share. The fiery tongues miracle conveyed a loud and clear message to all those gathered around: “Something noteworthy is going on here! Let’s find out what it is!” But the primary miracle (on a scale of one to ten you could give it a “ten”) was the sudden ability the Spirit gave the disciples to speak the wonderful works of God to others with courage and boldness, so that many were led to faith. These one-time scaredy-cats, who not long before had secluded themselves in a locked room to avoid detection, were changed into people who were supremely happy—and not the least bit afraid—to openly spread the Gospel of Jesus! They just couldn’t keep themselves from telling the assembled multitude about the Savior Who lived for them, died for them, came alive on Easter morning, and Who promises to come back to take all who trust in Him into the place of perfect peace. It was through the sharing of these blessed truths that thousands were converted and became recipients of the priceless gifts of forgiveness, new spiritual life, and an unfading inheritance in the life of the world to come. It’s not difficult to imagine how, when they returned home from the Pentecost festival, they also became witnesses for Jesus in the places where they lived. Read More…

Bread of Life May 2021

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“BREAD OF LIFE” READINGS MAY 2021 

TLH = The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941; WS = Worship Supplement 2000; LSB = Lutheran Service Book, 2006

Date Hymns Reading Comments

May 1 TLH 633 1 Chronicles King David prepared his son Solomon for the building of the Lord’s temple. God’s house
28:1-10, 20-21 was important then and it still is today.

May 3 TLH 478 Zechariah 2:1-13 The Lord’s believers (His “Jerusalem”) enjoy His presence and His protection. 

May 4 TLH 220; LSB 564 Zechariah 3:1-10 Although Satan tries to accuse us of sin, Jesus defends us by covering our sins with His righteousness, just as Joshua was given a change of clothes in Zechariah’s vision.

May 5 TLH 214 John 14:27-31 Jesus has gone to His Father, but He has not left us alone or without comfort. We are
comforted by the peace of Jesus’ forgiveness every day.

May 6 TLH 342 (LSB 611) John 15:1-17 Those who are connected to Jesus bring forth the “fruit” of good works in their lives. We especially know Christ’s people by their love for others. Read More…

With Talent on Loan from God

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DEVOTION—DIVERSITY OF GIFTS

Love him or hate him, larger-than-life radio personality Rush Limbaugh had some interesting catch phrases, one of which forms the title of this article. It is more correct than most people might think. We have all been given talents and abilities from God. He does expect us to use them to His credit and His glory. He will demand an accounting from everyone when He returns. Although we all have various talents and abilities, they are often abused and misunderstood. May the Holy Spirit guide us, as He is a giver of most wonderful gifts (Galatians 5:22-23).

Keep jealousy in check. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing another’s abilities and wondering, “Why can’t I . . . (fill in the blank).” It is also easy to consider someone else’s talent as more important or prominent than the talent we possess and then to belittle or under-appreciate our own. What a horrid world this would be if we all possessed the same abilities! Everyone would be scrambling for the same positions and leaving who knows how many unfulfilled. Rather, let us thank God for the talents of others, as well as our own.

His will, not ours. The norm today is to perpetually promote the lie to our children that they can be whatever they want to be. A quick inventory of our own desires versus abilities will show the fallacy of this statement. You may have wanted to be a professional athlete, but reality shows that only 1% of the top 1% have the ability to do so. Another may wish to be an architect; however, no one will trust an engineer or designer if he happens to be terrible at math. TV personality Mike Rowe, of Dirty Jobs fame, encourages young people not to follow their passion when pursuing a career. Rather, he suggests, find something you are good at and bring your passion with you. Read More…

WS 224, LSB 497 “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord!”

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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING

One of Martin Luther’s greatest contributions to Christian worship was his effort to collect and produce hymns for the congregation in their own language. He was insistent that people should become active participants in learning and proclaiming the Gospel through singing. For the Festival of Pentecost he wrote the German hymn Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott — Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord!

He based this hymn on a text and melody that was already familiar. There was a Latin antiphon (responsive prayer) in use that was spoken or sung at Pentecost. It went, “Come, Holy Spirit, fill up the hearts of your believers, and kindle in them the fire of your love: You who have gathered the nations in the unity of the faith through all the diverse languages. Alleluia, Alleluia.” Luther translated this antiphon and made it the first verse of his hymn, fitting it to a melody that was similar to the one heard in church. It is a prayer that the Holy Spirit would come and pour out His gifts in our hearts, gifts such as faith, peace, and forgiveness. Truly, without the Spirit’s work in us we could neither receive nor hold on to any of these blessings, as Paul teaches, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3 NIV84) Further, we do not ask the Spirit’s blessings for ourselves alone, but for people everywhere. We pray that He would work in others too, and unite them with us in the Holy Christian Church. Thou in the faith dost men unite / Of ev’ry land and ev’ry tongue; / This to Thy praise, O Lord, our God, be sung. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Read More…