Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Reflecting

"Martin Luther . . . entered a monastery as a youth, and . . . as a man, shattered the structure of the medieval church. Luther spoke out against the corrupt religious practices then existing. He demanded that the authority for doctrine and practice be Scriptures, rather than Popes or Councils, roared across the face of the world and ignited the Great Reformation. Accused of heresy and threatened with excommunication and death, Luther maintained his bold stand and refused to recant. In his crusade the eliminate religious abuses, he did more than any other man to establish the Protestant faith."       Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H. Bainton, copyright 1950 by Pierce and Smith.


Martin Luther

Luther rose is a widely recognized symbol for Lutheranism. This seal was designed by Dr. Martin Luther while teaching at Wittenberg, and it has become the primary emblem of the Lutheran Church. Comprising it are: the black cross, for faith in Christ crucified; the red heart, for faith in the Saviour; the white rose, to show that faith causes joy, consolation and peace; the blue sky, to denote that such joy of faith in the spirit is the beginning of heavenly joy to come; and the golden ring surrounding all, to signify that such bliss in heaven is endless.


1 May, 2019

SERMON

Lent is an opportunity to examine our lives and how we live up to the expectations that we have for ourselves—as believers and followers of Christ.  It’s kind of scary, because looking inside is scary.  To honestly search is to unflinchingly look at the foundations on which we have built our lives. What do we hope to achieve?  What do we measure ourselves against?  How will we know if we have lived up to our baptismal promises?  God’s promises that were pronounced upon us and for us in our baptism?  


Make no mistake about it.  We are held to a higher standard than anyone else on this planet.  We, the followers of Christ, are the ones that bring the light of Christ to the world.  That is done in a constant and purposeful clinging to God at every moment.  Always the question may be: “Am I fulfilling God’s purpose for me at this time, in this place?”


READINGS FOR MAY

Sunday May 5

Acts 9:1-6 [7-20]

1Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" 5He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." 7The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. 8Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." He answered, "Here I am, Lord." 11The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, 12and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." 13But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; 14and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name." 15But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; 16I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name." 17So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, 
20and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God."


1 May, 2019

The Rose of Luther

Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.