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Pastor John Klatt

The Ongoing Conversation

Jesus_ascension_1Lutheran theologian A.L. Graebner wrote of Christ’s ascension into heaven that it was “the glorious termination of His visible conversation with His church on earth” (Outlines of Doctrinal Theology). Writing in 1898, he was using the word conversation in the older sense of interaction. During His time in this world, especially during His three-year public ministry, Christ interacted visibly with His fellow human beings. Also after His resurrection, He appeared visibly to His disciples and spoke to them during a period of forty days. But then He was taken up into heaven as His disciples watched, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. After that there were only a few extraordinary appearances of Christ such as those to Paul (1 Corinthians 15:8) and John (Revelation 1:10-18).

But wasn’t Christ’s time in this world also a conversation in the sense in which we use the word today? In His ministry as recorded in the four Gospels, Christ engaged His people in a three-year conversation. That was a conversation that was truly unique, in which the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father declared to man the unseen God.Read More »The Ongoing Conversation

The Lord of Hosts Is with Us

The hymn “A Mighty Fortress” (TLH 262), is Martin Luther’s most famous hymn, and one of the most well-known of all Christian hymns. I was reminded of this recently when I heard a character refer to it in an episode from an old TV series. Not many hymn titles make it into popular culture.

“A Mighty Fortress” has long had a place in nearly every Protestant hymnal, and more recently even in some Roman Catholic hymnals. It has been translated into more languages than any other hymn, and there are more than seventy English translations of it.

To say that it is widely known and sung is not to say that it is widely understood or truly appreciated for its message. No doubt many who like it for its majestic tune may not pay much attention to what it says beyond its opening line.Read More »The Lord of Hosts Is with Us

Resurrection Power

“. . . that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”  (Philippians 3:10).

Before his conversion, Paul was a man who knew power. He knew the power of a sharp mind and a good education, of high social standing, of friends and allies in high places. He knew the power that goes with confidence in the rightness of one’s cause. He also understood the power of intimidation by the threat and use of force and violence.

It was surely with a sense of power that Paul set out for Damascus to deal with the Christians there (Acts 9), for he had the full authority of the high priest for his mission. Read More »Resurrection Power