Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just like Ascension is often called the Forgotten Festival of the Church Year (Did you remember it?!) the Holy Spirit is sometimes called the forgotten person of the Trinity. Today we remember the vital work of the Holy Spirit in bringing us to faith in Christ and helping us live our faith in Christ with a series of devotions that follows Luther’s Explanation to the Third Article of the Apostles Creed. It starts…

1.  That I cannot by my own thinking or choosing believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him.

          One of the pictures God chose to use in the Bible to help us picture the work of the Holy Spirit is birth or rebirth. “No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit,” Jesus said. You know I can still remember the day I chose to be born. Maybe you can too. I recall thinking to myself, “Self, you should become a person.” So I carefully planned when I would be conceived and then choosing August 13th 1967 as my day of birth. Now you are all giving me those looks that says we always knew something was wrong with you we just didn’t know what. You are crazy. And you would be right if I actually meant what I said. It is ridiculous to talk that way and honestly it takes glory away from our great Creator God, doesn’t it? And yet some people today claim they do that for their spiritual birth. They claim they decided to believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord. They decided when to be reborn. They are wrong. Talking such ways is ridiculous, sinful and takes glory away from our Savior God, from the Holy Spirit. Consider what God says about our spiritual condition by nature.

Ephesians 2:1 (NIV1984)  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.

What can the dead do? NOTHING!

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV1984) The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God,  for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Who can understand apart from the Holy Spirit? NO ONE!

1 Corinthians 12:3 (NIV1984) Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

Except by the Holy Spirit. Join me on this festival day in confessing and repenting of any ways by which we have deliberately or unintentionally stolen the glory of the Holy Spirit by taking credit for our faith life in any way. Let’s make sure the way we talk gives Him the glory. For we confess we cannot by our own thinking or choosing believe in Jesus Christ our Lord or come to Him.

Hymn:  CW#186 vv 1-2            “O Spirit of Life, O Spirit of God”

2.  That the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel. 

Someone once called the Holy Spirit the mouthpiece of God. There is good reason for that. Listen to what Peter tells us.

2 Peter 1:20-21 (NIV1984)  Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

What a blessing to have the words of God Himself available to us each and every day. We have that only because of the Holy Spirit. There may have been some 36 different human authors over a period of about 1600 years writing the 66 books of the Bible, but the Holy Spirit was the real author. He is the mouthpiece of God and you know what the mouth of God can do. It can say, “Let there be light,” and there is light. It can create a universe in an instant or take 6 normal days. It can say this nation rises and this empire falls and they will. And it can do more than that. It can take a dead person and make him alive, physically or spiritually. The Holy Spirit did that for me and you just like He did for the Thessalonian  Christians. Hear the words of God.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 (NIV1984)  But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And so we confess that the Holy Spirit has called us by the Gospel.

Hymn:  CW#282              “Lord, Open Now My Heart to Hear”


3.  That the Holy Spirit has enlightened me with His gifts.

Some of you here are parents. All of you are children of someone and so whether you are a parent or someone’s child and your parents in any way tried to be what God expects of parents you know that parents don’t just bring children into the world, birth them, and leave them to fend for themselves. Parents continue to provide care for their children. They want the best for their children. They stay involved in their children’s lives, maybe sometimes too involved. God the Holy Spirit does not just bring children of God to spiritual life and then leave them to fend for themselves. He wants the best for us and provides for us in God’s Word. He helps us to live fighting the desires of our sinful natures so we don’t bring consequences of sin into our lives and the lives of those we love. Listen to some of the good things the Holy Spirit has for us. They are called fruits.

Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV1984)  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Is there anyone here who wouldn’t benefit from more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control? They are hanging from the tree of God’s Word waiting to be plucked. They come from the Holy Spirit. But just like parents can prepare a great meal for their kids and have all sorts of good gifts for them to use the children still need to eat and use. So do we. What do you think? Does your life reveal an appreciation for the fruits of the Spirit? Are they desired, prayed for and sought in the Word of our Holy God? That’s the only we they come and so we confess that He enlightens us with His gifts.

Hymn:  CW#181 vv. 1,2,5           “Come, Oh, Come, Life-Giving Spirit”

4.  That He does this for the whole Christian Church on earth.

Have you ever out of place? By that I mean have you been in a situation where you started to realize, these people don’t think like I do. They don’t have the values I do. They don’t believe what I do. If so you are not alone. Remember the prophet Elijah? How he felt he was the only believer left in Israel?  He wasn’t. He just felt that way. God had others Elijah didn’t know about. Sometimes we might feel that way. The number of Bible believing Christians seems to be shrinking in our country. Christian influence on our nation as a whole certainly is. At these times we get to joyfully remember that the Holy Spirit is working in other people too.  That’s why God had Paul urge us.

Ephesians 4:3-6 (NIV1984)  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Romans 8:26-27 (NIV1984)  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

One body. One Spirit praying for all the saints, all the believers. This is the Holy Christian Church. All believers everywhere. Sadly today we live at a time when the Holy Christian Church which is an invisible unity has been splintered into literally thousands of visible Christian Churches. The Devil has been too successful in interjecting false teachings alongside of God’s word that prevent us from expressing the unity of the Spirit with many others. We look forward to the time when we will. We rejoice that God’s Word works wherever it is proclaimed and despite the false teachings the Devil lays aside it. We are happy to confess that the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth.

Hymn:  CW#182                   “Holy Spirit, Ever Dwelling”

5.  That He will give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5 (NIV1984)  Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

 You know I can’t imagine a scenario that has me saying in any way shape or form, especially to a woman, something like this. “That’s a nice tent you are wearing.”  And yet God tells us we are wearing a tent. A tent is simply a dwelling place. A place to live for a time. Tents are temporary. And with the words the Holy Spirit had the Apostle Paul write in 2 Corinthians He is simply reminding us that heaven is our home. Our current bodies don’t work right. We groan. We are burdened. All those aches and pains and organs and systems failing help us to long for our heavenly dwelling that is permanent. We won’t be wearing a tent but glorious resurrection bodies that will never falter or fail. Where is the Hoy Spirit in all of this? He is the deposit placed in us as a guarantee. Our bodies are temples, dwelling places for the Holy Spirit and He is there to guarantee to us that God’s promises are true, heaven is our home and it is coming. Let’s think about that. You know whenever you buy something important and expensive you look at the guarantee. It’s an indication of the manufacturers reasonable expectation of how long that product will go without failing in any way. And so a lot of electronics come with 1 year warranties. Cars will come with a 3 year 36,000 bumper to bumper and some come with an impressive 10 year powertrain warranty. I heard on the radio not long ago of  Penny Mustard Furnishings 287 year warranty on some of their furniture. How about the Holy Spirit’s? It’s forever. Beat that! And so we confess that He will give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. And since we’re Lutherans we like to add our own version of Amen, say it with me, “This is most certainly true.

CW #190 vv1-2 “We now implore God the Holy Ghost”

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 20th, 2012

John 17:11b-19 Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify[a] them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. FATHER PROTECT THEM BY YOUR NAME In the name of Jesus, friends of sinners, dear fellow redeemed children of God and especially you the members of this year’s youth confirmation class, Does the name Clint Hill sound familiar to you? He was the secret service agent who climbed onto the trunk of the presidential limousine when President Kennedy was shot and pushed Jackie Kennedy back to safety as the car sped off to the hospital. I recently read an article about him and the book he has written about his days with the Secret Service. It detailed his distinguished career protecting the President’s family. He was obviously a very good agent. The article also detailed his guilt over not being able to step in to keep President Kennedy from being shot. Despite all his guilt about it, the whole thing was really out of Clint Hill’s control. God is really good at protecting his people and everything is under His control. Think of how he kept Daniel safe in the lions’ den or the 3 men in the fiery furnace or how he delivered the people carrying the promise of the Savior from slavery in Egypt. On this confirmation day we have a chance to review and hide again under our Heavenly Father’s protection. Jesus says and we say, “Father Protect Them By Your Name.” I. Keep them safe in this wicked world. II. Keep them safe by Your Word. The Confirmation Class will remember the definition of faith. We learned that faith helps us think of a KAT-not cat- but kit-KAT. K-knowledge of the true God, A-Acceptance of God’s Word as true and T- trust in God’s promises. That definition comes from Jesus’ prayer for his disciples on the night before he died on the cross. Jesus prayed, “Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.” Jesus looks at those who trust in Him as his special charge from the Father A few months ago a picture was floating around in the news of two Labrador retrievers. One was a yellow lab lying in the street having been fatally struck by a car. The other dog was a black lab standing near and braving oncoming traffic and other hazards to stay by its side. The dog refused to leave her friend's side. The dog was named Grace by the animal shelter workers. Today in God’s word we hear Jesus praying about his followers. He had kept them safe and now was asking His Heavenly Father to stand right by and protect His followers. All this would be done by God’s grace, His undeserved love for sinners. “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.” Have you ever seen a picture of the wailing wall in Jerusalem? There those who are praying stand right up close to one of the excavated walls of the temple and rock back and forth. That rocking is meant to symbolize God’s invitation to “come near to him.” He is our dear Father. The worshipper rocks forward. Then the worshipper rocks back at the idea that God is completely holy and cannot stand sin. Jesus uses that name Holy Father to refer to God. It is an interesting name that reminds us that God’s deliverance of us from hell and his protection everyday is not something we have earned or deserved. The Bible asks, “Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? “ Sin is not something we can talk our way out of or earn our way out of. Again in the Bible the soul says,” Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” But Jesus made you His special charge too. The Holy Father sent His son who was holy in everything he thought and said and did. In his love he handed that holy record to us and took our sins off our shoulders. Jesus obeyed His Father and went to the cross and paid for all of our un-holiness. Because of Jesus you are the apple of God’s eye. By fulfilling the Father’s plan, Jesus protected us and brought us into God’s family. Notice that Jesus did not ask the Father to pull us all out of the world. Jesus said, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” Jesus prayed that the Father would keep his followers safe in the world. Our Jesus has work for us to do in the world. He promises that we will be His witnesses. But when trouble runs into your life, your Savior God comes running. When the day of trouble comes we call out to the name of Jesus. God says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you will honor me.” On the day of our death we’ll call on that name of Jesus. The Bible says, ”Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Jesus now explains more about His prayer, ““I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” Our confirmands are growing up in a world that tells you that you should do what makes you happy. But the truth is that if we go seeking our happiness in everything, we won’t find it unless that joy comes from doing what Jesus says, “love one another.” Jesus found joy in doing the will of His Father by serving us, so we find fullness of joy in doing the will of our Father by serving each other. “Sanctify[a] them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” Sanctify is a word that means set apart. God set you apart as his own when he called you to faith in Him through the Good News of Jesus. When my wife was recovering from foot surgery she saw a hawk grab a squirrel off of the picnic table on our patio. I would imagine that when we are set apart as God’s we might look a little like a chubby squirrel on the picnic table. We might seem like easy pickins that’s why it is so important to stay close to Jesus and His word. The Bible says, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” That’s why Jesus asks that the Father would keep us safe by his Word. “For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” When Jesus uses that word sanctify, he is drawing a picture for his disciples of a priest getting ready to serve in the temple- slipping into His priestly garments and washing his hands at the lever before he approached the altar. When Jesus prayed, he was about to go before the throne of God and offer His life for the lives of sinners. Jesus’ perfect life would be passed down to us. Out of thankfulness we now serve Jesus. “Those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and rose again.” We remember that when we slip into our confirmation and graduation gowns, into our wedding dresses and tuxes, into our business suits and work uniforms and even when we get ready to die and put on the garments for the wedding banquet of the Lamb in heaven. We belong to the Lord and we are set apart for His service. Your moms and dads have been praying Jesus’ prayer for a long time. “Father protect them by Your name.” That’s our prayer for you today too. Protect them when they go out,when they drive when they go to work, when they go off to school when they look for a spouse. Your heavenly Father will protect you. Stay near His arms. Amen.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ascension Service May 17, 2012 by Pastor Paul G. Eckert

Ascension Service, May 17, 2012, by Pastor Paul G. Eckert

St. Jacobi Evangelical Lutheran Church

8605 W. Forest Home Ave.

Greenfield, Wisconsin 53228



May 17, 2012 Thursday 3:30 & 7:00 P.M.



Pastor: We begin our worship in the name of the Father who gave

His Son for us, and of the Son who gave His life for us, and of the

Holy Spirit who gives us saving faith.

Congregation: Amen.

P: Scripture and Introduction - Walking with Jesus.

Luke 24:13-17, 28-32 - Two of them were going to a village

called Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking

with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked

and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and

walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk

along?” --- As they approached the village to which they were going,

Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly,

“Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he

went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he

took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then

their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared

from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning

within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the

Scriptures to us?”

P: In this service we want to walk with Jesus starting way before this

Emmaus account, and finally we want to walk into heaven with Him

one day. So this service will be like a travelogue, speaking of where

Jesus was and picturing ourselves with Him on His journey. Though

going back to different centuries and places, we’ll keep Ascension

central in our thoughts by singing our Hymnal’s Ascension hymns

throughout this service. We begin our journey speaking a prayer

together, and then we’ll sing the first stanza of Hymn 169.

P and C: Lord our God, open our ears and our hearts to Your Word.

As with the Emmaus disciples, so may our hearts too burn within us

as the Scriptures are opened in this service to see our Savior on His

journey through history for us. We ask this in His name. Amen.

Hymn 169:1

P: Introduction about the Grades 5-8 and Mixed Choir songs

- 3:30 - Grades 5-8 -------------------- “Ain’-a That Good News?”

- 7:00 - Mixed Choir ------------------- “Crown Him Lord Of All”


1. The Garden Of Eden

Scripture and Comment

Genesis 3:12-13 - The man said, “The woman you put here with

me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the

LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The

woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Romans 5:12 - Sin entered the world through one man, and death

through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.

> We confess our sins

Scripture and Comment

Genesis 3:15 - “I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you

will strike his heel.”

John 1:1-3,14 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word

was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the

beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing

was made that has been made. --- The Word became flesh and made

his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One

and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

> We receive absolution

Hymn 169:2

2. Ur Of The Chaldeans

Scripture and Comment

Genesis 12:1-3; 15:7 - The LORD had said to Abraham, “Leave

your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the

land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will

bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I

will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” --- He also

said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the

Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”

John 8:58 - “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before

Abraham was born, I am!”

Hymn 170:1-3

3. Midian

Scripture and Comment

Exodus 3:1-4,10,13-14 - Now Moses was tending the flock of

Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to

the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from

within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not

burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight

- why the bush does not burn up.” When the LORD saw that he had

gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses!

Moses!” --- “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my

people the Israelites out of Egypt.” --- Moses said to God, “Suppose

I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has

sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall

I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.  This is what

you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (John

8:58 - “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was

born, I am!”)

Hymn 170:4-5

4. Bethlehem

Scripture and Comment

Micah 5:2 - “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are

small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who

will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient


Luke 2:1-7 - In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a

census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first

census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And

everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up

from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town

of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He

went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to

him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came

for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She

wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was

no room for them in the inn.

Hymn 171:1-3

5. Egypt To Nazareth

Scripture and Comment

Matthew 2:19-23 - After Herod died, an angel of the Lord

appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the

child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were

trying to take the child’s life are dead.” So he got up, took the child

and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that

Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was

afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the

district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So

was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a


Hymn 171:4-6

Offering ------------- Please fill in the Friendship Register at this time.


Lord God, thus far in this church service we have traveled many

years and miles from Eden and to the location where Jesus, the eternal

Son, was born with our human flesh and blood. During the time He

humbled Himself and lived His 33 years in the flesh here on earth He

faced our temptations, contended with sins that face us, had to deal

with problems that can be in our lives too, but did all of that without

sinning. As we, who do have sin in our lives, live our lives on this

earth, we come to You, heavenly Father, in our problems and

difficulties and sicknesses and ask for Your help according to Your

wisdom and power. But we above all come to You also with our

thanks and praise that Your Son did what we couldn't do, that He

lived His life on this earth without sin so that He could be a spotless

sacrifice for us on the cross to pay for our sins, so that we can truly

look forward to being one day where there will be no problems or

difficulties or sicknesses or death. Be with all of us as we continue

our travel time from our births to our promised heavenly home. And

please, Lord, pour out Your Holy Spirit on us as a congregation and

as individuals and strengthen us to share Jesus with others so that

others too may know and believe in Jesus as the Way and the Truth

and the Life.

In His name we now also join to pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom

come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our

daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against

us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the

kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

Hymn 172:1-2

6. Jerusalem

Scripture and Comment

Matthew 20:17-19 - Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he

took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to

Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests

and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will

turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified.

On the third day he will be raised to life!”

Luke 23:4-7; 24:6-8 - Then Pilate announced to the chief priests

and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” But

they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching.

He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.” On hearing this,

Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus

was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in

Jerusalem at that time. --- “He is not here; he has risen! Remember

how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of

Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and

on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.

Hymn 172:3-4

7. Galilee

Scripture and Comment

Matthew 28:16-20 - Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to

the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him,

they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and

said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the

name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching

them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with

you always, to the very end of the age.”

Hymn 173:1-2

8. Bethany

Scripture and Comment

Luke 24:50-53 - When he had led them out to the vicinity of

Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was

blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they

worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they

stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Acts 1:1-3 - In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all

that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to

heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the

apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to

these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He

appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the

kingdom of God.

P: And what about after that? What about us now? The disciples

didn’t just stand looking up into the sky after Jesus ascended. So with

us. May we be active in our Christian daily lives as we look forward

to meeting and being with our ascended Lord.

Acts 1:8-11

P: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and

you will be my witnesses

C: in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends

of the earth.”

P: After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes,

C: And a cloud hid Him from their sight.

P: They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going,

C: when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.

P: “Men of Galilee,” they said,

C: “Why do you stand here looking into the sky?

P: This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven,

C: will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into


Hymn 173:3

9. Heaven Now

Scripture and Comment

1 Peter 3:22 - [Jesus] has gone into heaven and is at God’s right

hand - with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Romans 8:34 - Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who

died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of

God and is also interceding for us.

1 Timothy 3:16 - Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is

great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen

by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the

world, was taken up in glory.

Hymn 174:1-4

10. The New Jerusalem

Scripture and Comment

John 14:3 - “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come

back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Revelation 21:1-4 - Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,

for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was

no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming

down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed

for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.

They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be

their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be

no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of

things has passed away.”

Hymn 175:1-6

Closing Prayer

Lord our God, in this service we often have said, “Jesus was

there.” Thank You that we also can say, “Jesus is here and with us

always.” Keep us joyful and strong in that truth as we continue our

travel through life to life that is truly life. We pray in Jesus' name,

who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and


C: Amen.


P: The Blessing

C: Amen, Amen, Amen.

Closing Hymn 169:3


Ladies’ Choir ----------------------------------- “A Clare Benediction”

Closing Hymn 169:3

Jesus said,



Some Announcements

A warm welcome to visitors and to all!

Our regular schedule of services is Sundays at 8:15 and 10:45

A.M. and Mondays at 7:00 P.M. Please note, however, that starting

with June and continuing through August the second Sunday service

will become 10:00 instead of the current 10:45.

We thank our Ascension accompanist, Mrs. Denise Bloomquist,

the choirs, the ushers, the worshipers - all who are in any way

involved in praising our ascended Lord and Savior.

All Scripture quotations are from the NIV which is in our pew rack.

Church Phone 414 425-3030 Timothy J. Spaude, Pastor 414 425-8601

School Phone 414 425-2040 Richard A. Waldschmidt, Pastor 414 425-1485

David Hackmann, Principal 414 529-0214 Paul G. Eckert, Pastor 414 425-4649

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 13/14, 2012
Pastor Timothy J. Spaude
Text: John 15:9-17

1.     You have every reason to be.
2.     You have ways to show it.

John 15:9-17 (NIV 1984)  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends14 You are my friends if you do what I command15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.”

          So many things going on today, how do you fit them all together? In the Church year it’s the 6th Sunday of Easter and we continue to rejoice at the difference a living Savior makes. Our nation is observing Mother’s Day and so we have thoughts of our mother’s love for us and our love for our mothers. At St. Jacobi it’s Examination Sunday where the confirmands are asked a lot of questions. How do you fit them all together?  How about an examination question based on love that is all about Jesus? Here it is. Are you in love with Jesus/
          As you heard from Jesus you have every reason to be. He says,  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Jesus reminds us of His great love for us. Just like children don’t do anything to become the children of their parents we didn’t do anything to earn Jesus love. He loved us first. We know the extent of that love. Our mothers carried us around for 9 months and went through discomfort and pain to bring us into the world or loved us from afar and went through great expense to adopt us. Jesus suffered Hell for us. Jesus fought through every temptation for us. Jesus endured living among sin for 33 years for us. Jesus loves us.
          That’s one reason for us to love Jesus in return but there is more. “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” Often times when people choose people it’s for what they can do for them. And so on my playground you always chose Mark Sellnow for your kickball team because his massive leg meant a sure homerun whenever he was up. Mother’s do a little better.  Mothers don’t get to choose their children or what they will be like. God gives them to them. Mothers who adopt children don’t know what their children will be like but they adopt them anyway. Just like it is between children and mothers, no one can decide to choose Jesus. He chooses. But His choosing is different. Jesus chooses us even though He knows we are sinners, that we have, are and will continue to struggle with selfishness. It’s like he chooses the worst players for His team. He chooses sinners like you and me.
          And His loves goes even further. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Jesus calls us friends! Although He has every right to call us slaves, servants or anything He wants, He calls us His friends. He’s the King of kings and Lord of lords and He calls us friends. He’s the one and only Son of God and He calls us His friends. He’s the one who’s going to judge the living and the dead and He calls us friends. He’s made known to us the Father’s business, His plan to save souls and to use us to get the message out. We’re His friends. We have every reason to love Jesus.
          Now it’s examination time. Are you in love with Jesus? Jesus says we are to remain in His love. That means to stay surrounded by it, empowered by it and changed by it. If we are in love with Jesus it will show.
          Just like children’s love for their mothers shows. Children I know you’re your moms appreciate what you do for them on Mother’s Day. They are happy for the hugs, the kisses, the cards, the gifts you make and the gifts you buy, flowers and everything else. But you know what they would appreciate more? Your willing obedience all year long. That’s a meaningful way to show love to them and the most meaningful way to show love for Jesus. “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” Obedience to Jesus because we want to is a sign that we are in love with Jesus and are remaining in the love He has shown us. That’s why we learn His commands and strive to keep them. We strive to put God first in our lives. We are careful with the use of God’s name. We prioritize worship. We obey with respect those in authority over us. We protect other’s lives and don’t try to make their lives miserable with hurtful words and actions. No matter what kind of misuse of sex is allowed in our country we uphold God’s will for a one man/ one woman marriage and sex used only within marriage. We strive to be content and use money and things in God pleasing ways. We watch carefully how we talk about others and try to protect their reputations. We spread the Gospel. We teach everything Jesus has commanded. These are His commands and obedience to them demonstrates love for Jesus. So what does it say if Jesus examines us and finds that we regularly misuse His name or are casual in scheduling worship time or wear down our parents, teachers and others in authority by making them force us to obey? What does it say if we make someone’s life so miserable they don’t want to go to school or if the people of God are living together without being married or using His gift of sex before marriage? What if we aren’t content and we are using money and things selfishly? Then can we really say we are in love with Jesus?
          Hear His words again, “Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love… 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends14 You are my friends if you do what I command.1 This is my command: Love each other.” This week we will celebrate Jesus’ Ascension into heaven. It is a reminder that we don’t have Jesus with us visibly in person to show our love to. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have Jesus to show love to. He has left us with each other. A meaningful way to show our love for Jesus and to test ourselves to see if we are remaining in Jesus’ love is to see how we are treating each other. Love each other as I have loved you.” Think for a minute. How has Jesus loved you? He gave Himself for you. He loves you by taking you where you are at and helping you get better. He doesn’t leave you even when you are mean to Him. He loves by giving.
          Now are you in love with Jesus? How are you treating each other? Think of the different Jesus’s in your life. Who is your each other? Do you have parents, children, a spouse? Do you have co-workers or classmates, fellow church members? These are your each other. Think of those relationships. Are you a giver or a taker? Loving each other as Jesus loved us means giving what they need. Attention, affection, a shoulder to cry on. Understanding. Apologies. Forgiveness. Helping each other get better instead of pushing each other away. Remain in my love.
          And the result is happiness. I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “If mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I heard another one recently that is similar but different. It was advice to newlyweds that said, “Happy wife. Happy life.” Both phrases talk about a human being’s desire to be happy. And while there are some general truisms there it doesn’t really tell mom or wife how to be happy or help her. But Jesus does. In the midst of His encouragement to stay in His love is the happy nugget of truth. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Do you want to have happiness and joy on this earth while you wait for the complete joy of heaven? Heed the words of Jesus, the bookends of our text. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. Love each other.” Amen.

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 6th, 2012

ACTS 8:26-40 "Good News Travels Fast" Pastor Waldschmidt Imagine that you forgot your tickets for the game at Miller Park or Lambeau Field. Your car is there in the parking lot and the grills and the lawn chairs have all gone up and so your car is stuck. The radio has a cd stuck inside so you can’t tune in the Brewers broadcast and your portable TV was still sitting on the counter at home right next to the envelope with your tickets. So your seat for the game is out in your iron chariot in the parking lot. The game for you consists of waiting and listening for the cheers of the crowd when Donald Driver does a Lambeau leap or Ryan Braun breaks into his home run trot. Today in God’s Word we see an Ethiopian man sitting in his real chariot out in the desert. He was still waiting for the cheers for the Savior God had promised. He had not seen or heard about the wonderful events in Jerusalem when Jesus brought salvation to him and you and me. Still, the good news traveled fast. That’s what we want to think about this morning as we watch and hear the Good News of Jesus travel fast. 1000 years before Jesus was born, a caravan with camels and gold and spices came to Jerusalem. The caravan belonged to the Queen of Sheba which included the area we know as Ethiopia. The Bible tells us, “When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions. 2 Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan —with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her.” Most importantly the Queen also heard about what happened at the temple in Jerusalem. She learned how the sacrifices offered there pointed the people to the Savior who was to come. After her visit the Queen returned to her own country with that Good News of a promised Savior. 300 years after her visit, the Assyrians ripped through the Northern Tribes of Israel and the Jewish people were scattered throughout the world. It could also be that some of God’s faithful Old Testament people found safety in Ethiopia and brought with them the good news of the promise of the Savior. Years after the Queen of Sheba’s visit another government official from Africa visited Jerusalem. The Bible tells us, “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship.” Some incredible things had been happening there in Jerusalem in the years and months before the Ethiopian’s visit. God’s Son had been crucified and His dead body was placed in a tomb. 3 days later Jesus rose from the dead as he had promised. 40 days after Easter Jesus ascended into heaven with the command to his disciples to go throughout the world with the message of sins forgiven. Unless it was an extended trip all these things happened before the Ethiopian Eunuch’s trip. So the Ethiopian was unaware of Jesus or at least unaware of Jesus meant for him. So here he was bumping around in his chariots on the trip back home reading from the Old Testament. He had a problem. It was like he was still sitting in the parking lot waiting for the crowd to roar. He was missing the most important part of the story- the good news that God had kept His promise. "Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading? Philip asked. "How can I” he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth. The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” That’s Isaiah 53. That’s a clear word portrait of Jesus painted almost 700 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. These verses describe how Jesus willingly went to the cross for you and for me. Jesus was deprived of justice so that you and I would never have to feel God's justice carried out against us because of our sins. You see our creator God demands perfection from us. Over and over again in Leviticus, God says, “Be holy as I the Lord your God am holy.” The Eunuch knew that his life fell short of God’s holiness. He needed the Lamb. “Be Holy!” What does he see when he looks at our lives? All too often, in our own homes he sees moms and dads who rarely talk to each other except to criticize and complain. He sees brothers and sisters who can't get through one night at the dinner table without a fight. All too often in our conversations with our friends and neighbors, God hears idle gossip & hateful words coming out of our mouths. God sees our sins. He does not just let them slide by. His justice demands full payment for every sin. That's what Jesus paid on the cross- full payment for all our sins. The Bible tells us, "When you were dead in trespasses and sins...God made you alive again with Christ. He forgave us all our sins." Jesus' death on the cross paid for all my evil deeds and all of your evil deeds. There is no more payment God demands and because of Jesus' death, we're going to live in heaven when we die! What better news can there be! Good news traveled fast. Philip didn’t say, “I’ll tell you on your trip back next year.” On that day Good News traveled fast as the chariot sped along. “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus." It was not an accident that these two men met on the road that day. God was concerned about that one Ethiopian man out there in the desert and He made it so that the Good News could travel fast to him. It was not by chance that you were brought to faith by the grace of God working through His Word and sacraments. It was no accident or chance that many of you had Christian parents wante that Good News to travel fast to you and so they didn’t drag their feet but brought you to be baptized at an early age. It was not mere chance that many of you had Christian parents and grandparents who told you about Jesus while you were little children sitting on their laps or sang to you about the love of Jesus as they rocked you to sleep. It was no accident that some of you married Christian spouses who influenced you to learn about what God has done for you. It was no accident that some of you had Christian friends who shared their friend Jesus with you. It was not by chance that God brought you to faith. God brought others to see how important it was for you to know and they brought that news to you quickly. Are there some people passing you on your road of life who need to hear the Good News? How thrilling it must have been for Philip to tell the Ethiopian that the long awaited Messiah had come and had fulfilled these words of Isaiah! How thrilling it is for you and me to tell others that Jesus has come and paid for their sins too! Maybe that chance will come for you as you ride in the car on the way to work or on a business trip on an airplane. Maybe that chance will come for you to tell aged grandpas and grandmas and your young friends who are feeling unloved and unneeded that Jesus loves them. Many times people will say that they don't know what to say when talking to others about Jesus. I've used that excuse and maybe you have too. Sometimes we think that when talking about Jesus to somebody else that we have to sound just like a seminary professor. No, when talking to others about Jesus, how about using the simple truths found in the song you learned as little children, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." When you think you don't know what to say, think of Philip and how he just shared the good news about Jesus that day. Good News travels fast. God worked in the heart of the Ethiopian "As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said,"Look here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" And he ordered the chariot to stop. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him." God's Word had done its work. God's law had plowed up the man's heart of stone and the Holy Spirit had made the seeds of the gospel grow and they were now bearing fruit in the man's life. He now asked for the assurance that all his sins had been forgiven which God gives us in baptism. "When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea." We are into the last month or so of school. I remember how I always used to feel about this time of year. On the last day of school before summer vacation, I always walked home with a song of rejoicing in my heart smiling all the way. I suppose that this is the way the Eunuch felt as he made his way home to Ethiopia smiling and rejoicing the whole way. The good news traveled fast back to his home. The fact that the Spirit of God took Philip away points out the fact that the mission work we do is God's. He watches over us. He guides our words, He alone grants success to our labors, and He alone deserves the credit and the praise. The Spirit speeding Philip off also shows us that our mission work is never done until the day when Jesus breaks through the clouds again with all of His holy angels with Him. We were not inside “the stadium” there near Jerusalem to see Jesus’ cross and empty tomb. But God made sure the news traveled fast to us. We hear God’s Word announcing the final score. Jesus won. God has given us the pleasure of telling others the Good News about Jesus. You may not meet any Ethiopian Eunuchs this week, but keep on watching for people who don't know the Good News about Jesus. Let’s share the Good News with them and watch the Good News travel fast! Amen.