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Friedrich Wyneken, Pastor and Missionary

May 6, 2021 • Pastor Alfonso Espinosa

Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 23:1-22; Luke 12:13-34 And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. . . Fear not, little flock, for it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:22, 32) In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Rev. Friedich Wyneken was driven to spread the saving Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ. He is a tremendous example to us of someone who lived out the Great Commission of our LORD. He arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, from Germany in 1838 and then went westward to expand the Kingdom. He labored intensely and realized he needed help, so he returned to Germany to ask for it. He came back to America with more pastors to not only reach the many Germans coming to America, but also to reach Native Americans. As the need for pastors increased, he became a co-founder of a practical seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and later returned to the East Coast to serve as a congregational pastor. The LORD, however, increased his service as he became the second president of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. It is hard to imagine all the challenges that Pastor Wyneken faced during his lifetime, especially as the country was headed towards civil war, but today's lectionary from Luke's Gospel gives us a good indication of what energizes such servants. When we know Christ as our Savior, then we also know that He is almighty and all compassionate. We can trust Him when He bids us not to be anxious. He really will provide for all our needs as we walk faithfully in our God-given vocations. Furthermore, we can continually take stock that no matter the hardships, the LORD has told us why we never need fear: "for it is the Father's good pleasure to give [us, we who are baptized into Jesus] the kingdom." And with the kingdom of God granted to us, we will also have all that we need in order to accomplish what God has put before us to do. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. LORD Jesus Christ, You want all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. We give You thanks for sending Friedrich Wyneken as missionary and pastor in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan to evangelize the Native Americans in these states, to be a founder of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, and to serve as second president of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Protect and encourage all missionaries who confess the true faith among the nations by proclaiming Christ crucified; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

June 24, 2021 • Pastor Jeffrey Horn

Today's Reading: Luke 1:57-80 Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 30:1-9, 18-33; John 20:1-18 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways. (Luke 1:76) In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Church has been celebrating the incarnation of Christ since the Gospel was first proclaimed (Genesis 3:15). After Adam and Eve sinned, God called them out of their hiding place of fear and shame. He promised to send a Messiah to rescue them from sin and death. The Seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head. The promise of the Messiah is woven throughout the Old Testament, through the words of Moses and the prophets, and through the sacrifices and feasts the Jews were commanded to observe. Believers looked with hope and anticipation to the time when God would send the Christ. And ever since Jesus won His victory on the Cross, the Church has continued to celebrate the mystery of the incarnation. All year long we find events that remind us that the Son of God became man. From the Annunciation, Visitation and Birth of John, to Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, and the Presentation, Christ our incarnate Lord is proclaimed. The mystery of the incarnation is so wonderful that we think about it all the time, just as our brothers and sisters did in the Old Testament. Today, we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, and we rejoice that his entire life was spent pointing to the incarnate Lord. When the angel Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to Jesus the Messiah, he told her that her aged cousin Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy. Mary went immediately to see her. At the sound of her greeting, John the Baptist, yet in the womb, leapt for joy because his Messiah, Jesus, was present in Mary's womb (Luke 1:41-45). John believed in Jesus even before he was born, and proclaimed Him as Messiah even before he could speak. He did this all his life. Through his preaching and baptizing he called people to repent and be ready for Jesus. He still speaks that message to us today. On his birthday, we hear his joyful call to repent and believe in Christ, the incarnate Son of God. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Almighty God, through John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, You once proclaimed salvation. Now grant that we may know this salvation and serve You in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Wednesday of the Third Week after Trinity

June 23, 2021 • Pastor Jeffrey Horn

Today's Reading: Small Catechism: Lord's Prayer, First Petition Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 27:1-24; John 20:1-18 Hallowed be Thy name. What does this mean? God's name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also. How is God's name kept holy? God's name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it. Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God's Word profanes the name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father! (Small Catechism,Lord's Prayer, First Petition) In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you could ask for anything in the world and be confident you would get it, what would it be? Before you answer, remember the old saying, "Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it." Receiving what you ask for can bring unintended consequences. Thankfully, Jesus guides you in the Lord's Prayer to pray for the best things possible. In the First Petition, you begin by asking for God's Name to be holy. This might seem strange, since God's Name is always holy anyway. But you're asking that God's Name will be holy in your life, in your family, and congregation. God makes His Name holy in you through His Word, the Bible. He causes you to hear it and understand it and believe it. He sends you pastors and teachers who explain it clearly. He gives you a good congregation in which to gather to hear Christ preached and to receive the Sacraments. In this petition you ask that God's Word would be given to you in its truth and purity. You're asking that no false doctrines would be taught, so that no one is deceived. You're also asking that you, your family, and your congregation would hear the Word of God and follow it faithfully, living according to what God says. And finally, you're also pleading that anyone who has fallen away from believing or living according to God's Word would be drawn to repent and believe again. And may the Gospel of Christ also reach those who have never heard the Word. Lord, have mercy! "Hallowed be Thy name." Rejoice in the teaching of Jesus and ask for this petition first. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Your name be hallowed. Help us Lord, In purity to keep your Word, That to the glory of Your name We walk before You free from blame. Let no false teaching us pervert; All poor deluded souls convert. ("Our Father, Who from Heaven Above LSB" 766, st.2)

Tuesday of the Third Week after Trinity

June 22, 2021 • Pastor Jeffrey Horn

Today's Reading: 1 Peter 5:6-11 Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 25:1-22; John 19:23-42 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Imagine you're on a nature hike. You're strolling down your favorite trail, taking in the sights and scents of nature. Suddenly you hear a loud ROAR down the path. You look up and see a lion prowling toward you. That would change your trek a bit, wouldn't it? Peter compares Satan to a roaring lion, seeking prey to devour. His prey is a baptized child of God. He hunts with temptations to sin, lies about God's Word, and persecution from the world. A Christian walking through this world cannot ignore Satan's roaring threats any more than a hiker can ignore a lion on the trail. When you were baptized into Christ, you were made God's child. You were marked by God as His own. He forgives your sins. He sends His angels to watch over you. You are redeemed by Christ the crucified. And Satan hates all of that. He hates Christ. He hates you. As you go through this world, it is vital that you remember this. But Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows how to deal with a lion. Look to Him to keep you safe from harm. First, be a humble sheep in His flock. Don't be proud and go running away from Him. Even when times are hard, follow where Jesus leads. He knows what He is doing. Second, look to Him for all you need. As a sheep bleats when hungry or thirsty, you can bleat to Jesus, too. Tell Him your anxieties. Trust that He cares and can help. Thank Him for His mercy even before the help arrives. Third, stay with the flock. You are not alone. The lion threatens all your brothers and sisters in Christ. You're all in this together. Together you hear God's Word, sing His praise, partake of the Supper, and help one another. You're much stronger when you go through trials with your church family. God is faithful and He will strengthen you. His strength will be a blessing long after the hardships are over. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. I walk with Jesus all the way, His guidance never fails me; Within His wounds I find a stay when Satan's pow'r assails me; And by His footsteps led, My path I safely tread. No evil leads my soul astray; I walk with Jesus all the way. ("I Walk in Danger All the Way" LSB 716, st.5)