Pastor David Nehrenz
Dear Saints in Christ,
This month we celebrate the important festival in the Christian Church –the revelation of the Holy Trinity.
The revelation of the Holy Trinity is found throughout the Bible and very clearly in (Matthew 28:18-20) “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In the Athanasian Creed, confessed once a year on Trinity Sunday, we say,
“Whoever desires to be saved must, above all, hold the catholic (universal Christian) faith. Whoever does not keep it whole and undefiled will without doubt perish eternally. And the catholic (universal Christian) faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance.”
“For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is another. But the Godhead of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit: The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Spirit uncreated; The Father infinite, the Son infinite, the Holy Spirit infinite; The Father eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet there are not three Eternals, but one Eternal, just as there are not three Uncreated or three Infinites, but one Uncreated and one Infinite.”
“But it is also necessary for everlasting salvation that one faithfully believe the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is the right faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at the same time both God and man. He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; And He is man, born from the substance of His mother in this age: Perfect God and perfect man, composed of a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father with respect to His divinity, less than the Father with respect to His humanity.
“Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ: One, however, not by the conversion of the divinity into flesh, but by the assumption of the humanity into God; one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ, Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead, Ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the living and the dead.”
Our faith is centered on and grounded in the Holy Trinity – The Father who created us, the Son who redeemed us and the Spirit who sanctifies us. We were created in the image of God. We had lost that true image through the fall of man into sin. We are re-created in holy baptism to be restored to that image again. In heaven we will see God in all his splendor, beauty and holiness. What a day that will be!
See you at church in the Divine Services this month as we rejoice, praise and exault our glorious Lord!
Pastor David Nehrenz
Vicar Rob Schrader
The Coronavirus has and is wreaking havoc on our nation and our world. Not only is the virus itself deadly, but it has caused great suspicion, dissension, and division among people – as fear tends to do.
So, I would like to write to you about something that we can unite around, something that can all calm all of our fears. The Psalmist writes, “I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!’” (Psalm 116:3-4). In these distressing times, let us remember that we know the almighty God, and that we can pray to him, asking him to deliver us. The Psalmist goes on, “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful” (v. 5). Not only is our God almighty and able to deliver us, he has the grace and mercy to do it! Though we do not deserve deliverance, he has sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to forgive our sins by his death on the cross and to defeat death itself! Because he has done this, the Psalmist reminds us of our assured hope: “For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (v.8- 9). Not only is God able to do it, not only is God willing to do it, God has indeed done it! We now have eternal life in paradise!
In these uncertain times, be reminded that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 Jn. 4:18), and it’s just that perfect love that God has shown us! Knowing of that love, let us trust in him to deliver us, for he already has! Our norms may change, our economy may falter, and our lives may even be in danger – but our eternal life is guaranteed! Let us unite together in faith and hope, praising our delivering God.
Doesn’t that make you want to praise the Lord? Take a cue from the writers of the final five Psalms and praise the Lord every day. Praise him when you get up for the new day he has blessed you with. Praise him at meal times for the provision he has given to you. Read these Psalms and praise him for his Word. Before you go to bed, praise him for the protection he has given to you. And throughout you day, constantly praise him for the greatest gift of all! Even in the worst of situations, we have cause to praise the Lord for he has delivered us from this evil world of suffering, he has delivered us from hell, and he has given us eternal life with him!
Vicar Rob Schrader