Greetings in Christ,

Pastor Troup is preaching this weekend and his sermon is titled “Who’s in Control Here?” The sermon will be on the Gospel text from the book of Luke where Jesus orchestrates a miraculous catch of fish in order to demonstrate that the disciples will be fishers of men through God’s Word.

As we’ve noted a couple times now in the book of Luke, Luke makes sure we understand that God is not an abstract concept, but God, in His mercy, comes in the flesh to save humanity. He still saves today through His Word.

Each of Jesus’ signs and wonders reveals who He is and the mercy He has for us. Not only does He come to us, but He sends others to proclaim God’s Word so that others are caught up in the net of God’s kingdom.

God’s Word is what does the work and it always makes me think of this quote from Bo Giertz’s book Hammer of God. Context: A new young pastor is speaking to an older pastor. The new pastor is excitedly proclaiming how pious he is that he chose Jesus and that he has such comfort in his devotion (this part of Giertz’s book deals with pietism…confidence in our piety for salvation rather than in Christ’s free grace).

The older pastor lovingly and reassuringly says, “…if you think you are saved because you give Jesus your heart, you will not be saved. You see, my boy? it is one thing to choose Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior, to give him one’s heart and commit oneself to him, and that he now accepts one into his little flock; it is a very different thing to believe on him as a Redeemer of sinners, of whom one is chief. One does not choose a Redeemer for oneself, you understand, nor give one’s heart to him. The heart is a rusty old can on a junk heap. A fine birthday gift, indeed! But a wonderful Lord passes by, and has mercy on the wretched tin can, sticks his walking cane through it, and rescues it from the junk pile and takes it home with him. That is how it is.”

Isn’t that spectacular? The fish don’t jump in the net, neither do we jump into the kingdom. But Christ sends out fishers of men with God’s Word (the Gospel about Jesus Christ) that catches us into the kingdom of God!  

As you prepare for the Divine Service this weekend, you can take a look at the Service Folder to find the readings, prayers, and other parts of the service that will help to guide your reflection and prayer.

You can dig deeper into the parts of this weekend’s service with this segment from Issues, Etc.

Here’s the Lectionary Summary for the upcoming weekend that ties the themes of the weekend together:

Jesus Comforts His People and Builds Up His Church by the Ministry of His Gospel

When Isaiah “saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up,” he was overcome with an awareness of his sin and “unclean lips” (Is. 6:1, 5). But the Lord atoned for his sin, took away his guilt and sanctified his lips with “a burning coal” from the altar (Is. 6:6–7). Not only was he rescued from death, but he was called and sent as a prophet of the Lord’s Word (Is. 6:8–9). Similarly, when Simon Peter and his companions “enclosed a large number of fish” at the Word of Jesus, he humbled himself and said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:4–8). But Jesus comforted Simon, called him to discipleship and declared that he would be “catching men” (Luke 5:10–11). So in the Office of the Ministry, the Church remains the little boat from which Jesus teaches His people (Luke 5:3). Thus are we instructed in the faith, so that we say “Amen” and return thanks with heart, mind, tongue and life. For the preaching of Christ Jesus is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, by which He builds up His Church on earth (1 Cor. 14:12–19).

If you weren’t able to join us for service last week, you can catch up now.

I look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Blessings on your day!

In Christ,
Pastor Demski