Reformation Praise

On this Reformation Sunday, I give thanks to God for raising up Martin Luther and the other Reformers to show us the truth of the Gospel – that we are not saved by/through works of the Law, but apart from the Law through the grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are saved by Faith alone in Christ alone by God’s grace alone as revealed in the Word alone all to the glory of God alone. And so let pray together and sign God’s unending praise.

It is indeed right and our pleasure to give thanks and praise to You, oh God, our Creator and Redeemer. We are sinful creatures who only want to glorify ourselves – looking out for number one – but through the Law You have convicted us and showed us how we fall short. But through Jesus, You saved us through his death and resurrection. And now, through faith in him, You have given us hope. How can one not be excited about this? How can one not rise up and praise You? How can one not live out loud, proclaiming Your glory through word and deed? And so we do just that by joining with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…

A Reformation Poem

The 5 Solas of the Reformation are highlighted in bold in this poem. They are important statements in understanding the Good News of Jesus Christ as proclaimed in Scripture. The Gospel is from God alone, and praise be to God for that, otherwise we would surely mess it up and condemn ourselves.

Salvation from God was needed by me.
A sinner i am, i can’t disagree.
A Savior i needed, that’s my decree.
Listen right now and i’ll share how i’m free.

God’s grace alone is where it starts,
His love is free straight from His heart.
Through faith alone He will never depart.
For in Christ alone i have a new start.

So where’s this news? Well, it’s God’s Word alone.
It is there it says your sins He atones.
Jesus died and rose, he now sits enthroned.
Through faith alone you will ever be known.

Confess your sins and admit you need Him.
And forgiveness is yours way to the brim.
His light will shine and never grow dim.
And in His great love you will always swim.

Written to the glory of God alone.


Sunday, October 27 is Reformation Sunday. This is a day when we recognize a world-changing movement that God orchestrated through a group of ordinary and sinful men – most notably Martin Luther. Five hundred years later, many continue this “movement” which is nothing more than faithfulness to the Word of God. I pray every day that I remain faithful and stay true to the Word – not striving to tickle itching ears with a false gospel. This world needs scripture faithfulness in the midst of a plethora of false prophets. May I never be tempted to join the crowd.

So, God willing and through His Holy Spirit, I will continue in the footsteps of those first Reformers. The following is a prayer that I wrote that we will use as the Prayer of the Day on Reformation Sunday. May I always be faithful. To God be the glory. Amen.

Holy God, You have saved us by Your grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. Keep us steadfast in Your Word that we would live to Your glory. May we not be content with the status quo but, using the example of the Reformers, may we live out loud in the freedom that we have through the Gospel and stand strong in the mighty fortress that is You. To You be the glory, through Christ Jesus our Lord in union with the Holy Spirit, now and forever, Amen.

Awesome wonder

Holy God,
as I prepare for worship this morning,
I am reminded of these beautiful words:

O Lord, my God,
when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout
the universe displayed

And it is in awesome wonder
that I enter Your courts with praise.
It is in awesome wonder
that I lift my song to you.
It is in awesome wonder
that I offer my petitions, offerings and my very self
to You.

Oh Lord, my God,
You are my Truth,
my Life,
my Salvation,
my Hope.
And being such to me, may I go forth in
Your power
to be a beacon of Light;
standing firm on Your promises,
and not giving in to cultural demands.
May I always live in awesome wonder;
abiding in Your Word;
and being a reforming voice
in this world,
in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Pastor -|—

A Reformation Prayer

Let’s pray…

Holy God,
nearly 500 years ago, one man,
Martin Luther,
started a reformation that would change the Church
and the world forever.


we are not here to worship this man
but rather worship You through another man,
Your Son and our Savior,
Jesus Christ.
For it is through Jesus’ death and resurrection
that we are made righteous in Your eyes.
It is through the Holy Spirit
that we come to know this truth.
It is through Your love
that we even have hope in the first place.

So I ask that Your Spirit may move
through and
around us today
as we hear this Word of Truth from Your Holy Word.
May Your Word create, sustain or strengthen faith
and may it not return to You empty.
And through this Word of Truth,
may we be modern day
as we lead people to Your Son,
Jesus Christ.

All honor
and glory
and worship
and praise
be unto You, holy God, through Christ Jesus our Lord,


The Pastor -|—

Sunday morning prayer – 10/28/07

HAPPY REFORMATION SUNDAY!!!  Unfortunately, my Reformation Sunday started a little latter than planned.  Back in April I wrote a post titled April Fools Joke.  It was about my "smart" clock that set itself for day light savings time a couple weeks early because the government changed the date of day light savings time without sending my "smart" clock a memo.  Well…it happened again today.  This time I got an extra hour of sleep.  But luckily for me I am an early riser so I had some time to spare this morning but I was still rushed.  It is nice to know I can get up, shower, get dressed, eat and get to my office in 15 minutes.  Not too bad.  Now I will have to pay attention when the "real" day light savings time does come.  So once again…kudos to the federal government on a good "Reformation Sunday Joke".

Anyway, let’s begin this day on a good note and pray together.

Loving and merciful God, you sent your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord to set us free, but this is freedom we often take for granted.  Even though many faithful saints, that have come before us, have proclaimed this freedom, we still cling to the bondage we have been freed from.  We still listen to the lies Satan tell us.  We still think we need to "do something" in order to earn your love.  But it is by grace that you have set us free.  Thank you God for this freedom.  Continue to proclaim this freedom to us through the faithful saints in our lives today.  Remind us of this awesome love so we can be witnesses to the world around us.  Through your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray…AMEN!

God bless your day!


Text study – John 8:31-36

Greetings one and all.  I know I am a little late this week, but I guess better late than never.  Being gone most of the week really threw things off for me.  Posting text study posts really help me to get focused in writing the sermon God wants me to preach.  This week I had to make some adjustments.  So instead on pondering on what I might preach, today I will be pondering on what I am 99% sure I will preach on (you just never know what God will do between now and Sunday.  See Monday randomness for more on that).  So anyway…barring a "1% incident" here is what I am pondering…

The Gospel text for this Sunday (Reformation Sunday) comes from John 8:31-36.  Allow me to include that text for you:

"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"  Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

The word "free" really stands out for me.  Last year I talked about truth, but this year the word "freedom" stands out.  Questions that come to mind are: (1) What is freedom? and (2) What does freedom mean for you?  I think freedom means different things for different people.  It all depends on who you are, when you lived, where you live and the circumstances surrounding your life.  I think freedom sounds different with a 19th century slave as opposed to a 21st century middle aged parent.  Freedom for a low income family living in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis looks different than for a high school senior.  Freedom carries with it a variety of definitions.

For people living in the early 16th century, freedom was something far different than we can imagine today.  When Martin Luther came along, people were in bondage to human traditions made by a Church that ruled with an iron fist.  No grace, no mercy…unless of course you were of the upper class, royalty or clergy.  The common man knew nothing of THE Truth…until Luther came along.

Now for the first time people were hearing a Truth that simply blew them away:  Put your trust in God’s love; we are made righteous through Christ; you are saved by grace through faith; Forgiveness is yours, no matter who you are or what you have done, when you confess.  The grace of God through Jesus Christ is all encompassing and all accepting.  Wow!  That is indeed Good News.  The Truth…it set people free, much to the chagrin of the Church at the time.

What does this mean today?  I think there are a number of things to think about: (1) As Christians today we too often take freedom for granted.  We don’t really ponder WHAT Jesus did and therefor we don’t praise and thank God as we should. (2) Too many people don’t know about this freedom.  The greatest gift of all time, a Truth like no other.  If we know this Truth, how can we keep it to ourselves. (3) As Christians we often take freedom too far.  "I don’t have to go to church.  God will forgive me".  We live by the mantra of "Cheap grace" not realizing how costly this grace really was – the very life of Jesus Christ. (4) Or…we know about this freedom, but choose to embrace bondage.  After the Civil War the slaves were set free, but many of them choose to stay put.  They would rather stay "slaves" than to embrace the freedom they were given.  They didn’t know what to do with that freedom.  I wonder if, as Christians, we like our bondage to sin because sin is more fun and freedom is "scary".

There is a lot to think about when it comes to freedom.  But one thing we need to do as Christians is to keep proclaiming this freedom AND keep listening and learning about this freedom.  We may have good memories, but they are often very, very short.  Through Jesus Christ we have been given the greatest gift of all.  Embrace your freedom and praise God always and forever.  Amen!