Pastor David Nehrenz
FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
Dear Saints in Christ,
This month, on June 4, we celebrate an important festival in the Christian Church –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 exult our glorious Lord!
Pastor’s summer vacation dates: In Ohio and Michigan June 22 to July 7.
Vicar will be here for Sundays June 25 and July 2.
Church Year Dates for this month:
Holy Trinity Sunday June 4
In the Athanasian Creed, we boldly confess the holy mystery of the Trinity. There is one God in three Persons – The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
BARNABAS June 11
a hard-working missionary who aided the apostles
(Acts 11:19-30; 13:1-3)
FATHER’S DAY Sunday, June 18
We thank God for men who have faithfully served as Christian fathers and as heads of their families in the service of our Lord Jesus!
THE NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST June 24
the birth of the great Forerunner of Christ (Luke 1:57-80)
PETER AND ST. PAUL, APOSTLES June 29
two bold Apostles who were martyred for Jesus
(1 Cor. 3:16-23)
Vicar Jonathan Anderson
God of the Prophets
Happy ordination month! Is that a thing? It may not be noted on the Church calendar but the annual calling from the seminaries results in a large number of ordinations in the month of June as graduating seminarians begin their service as pastors of the Church.
Fittingly, June 14th is a day of remembrance for the holy prophet Elisha, the man anointed to be prophet in place of Elijah. (1 Kings 19:16) Elisha, of the tribe of Issachar, was a prophet in the Northern Kingdom of Israel around the years 849-786 BC. All called to serve in the Office of Holy Ministry are to follow the example of Elisha. Once Elijah cast his cloak upon Elisha, summoning him to serve with him, Elisha sacrificed the oxen he was plowing with, cooked them on a fire kindled with the yokes, and gave the meat to the people to eat. Elisha left all to serve the LORD as a prophet of Israel; once the oxen were killed and yokes burned, there was no looking back, no Plan B. While Elisha was uniquely anointed as a prophet, every disciple of Christ is called to leave all and follow Christ without looking back. (Lk. 9:62)
Elisha also gives us a pattern of boldness to emulate. Elijah struck the Jordan River with his cloak in the sight of fifty sons of the prophets, the waters parted, and Elijah and Elisha crossed on dry ground. When Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him before he departed, Elisha boldly asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit. Elijah said this was a hard thing but that it would be granted if Elisha saw him as he was being taken. And it was so. Elisha took up the cloak fallen from Elijah when he was taken up and struck the waters of the Jordan saying, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” (2 Kings 2:14) The waters parted and Elisha crossed over, indicating in the presence of the sons of the prophets the spirit of Elijah now rested upon Elisha. The Spirit remained in Elisha even in death. A dead man thrown into Elisha’s grave touched his bones and sprung back to life. (2 Kings 13:21)
May it be those men who publicly prophesy among the Church today would have the same boldness to ask for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit as did Elisha. And may it be all in the Church would boldly ask the LORD to pour out His Spirit upon us all as the prophecy of Joel continues to be fulfilled among the Church to the end of the age. (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:16-18)
The Church is called to pray for pastors and esteem them. (1 Thess. 5:12, 25) So this June, as men are yoked with the mantle of Holy Ministry, we pray the words of the hymn God of the Prophets, Bless the Prophets’ Sons (LSB 682:1,2):
God of the prophets, bless the prophets’ sons;
Elijah’s mantle o’er Elisha cast.
Each age its solemn task may claim but once;
Make each one nobler, stronger than the last.
Anoint them prophets, men who are intent
To be Your witnesses in word and deed,
Their hearts aflame, their lips made eloquent,
Their eyes awake to ev’ry human need.