Sermon for 12.03.23 “Waiting for Christ”

Advent 1, 12.03,23

*Text:* Mark 13:24-37; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

*Theme*: Waiting for Christ

*Other Lessons: *Isaiah 64:1–9; Psalm 80:1–7; Mark 11:1–10

1. *In the Name of the Father…Amen.*

1. *The Epistle and Gospel lessons serves as our sermon text for this

1. *Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.*

1. *Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*

*Almighty and Everlasting God, as we enter this sacred season of Advent, we
come before You with hearts open and spirits attuned to the message of
Isaiah 64. *

In these ancient words, we find the echo of our own longing – a cry for
Your presence to break into our world, to rend the heavens and come down,
to make Your name known to those who do not call on Your name.

Lord, in Your great mercy, hear our prayer.

We acknowledge, like clay in the hand of the potter, that we are the work
of Your hand. Shape us and mold us according to Your will. In our
imperfections and frailties, remind us of Your steadfast love and unending
mercy. Forgive us for the times we have turned away from Your ways and
hardened our hearts.

In this season of anticipation and hope, we yearn for the transformative
power of Your love.

We wait for the promised coming of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, who
brings light into our darkness and peace to our turmoil. As we prepare our
hearts for His birth, let us not lose sight of the profound mystery and joy
of Your incarnation. Amen.


1. *What do the following things have in common?:*

1. In a long line at the grocery store.
2. Stopped at a stop light and late for an appointment.
3. A child on Christmas morning.

1. *The common element?:*

1. Waiting!

1. Waiting in that long line to purchase your groceries for the family.
2. Waiting at the really long red light and about to miss your
3. Waiting rather impatiently, an eager child ready to open
their presents that are under the Christmas tree.

1. *The context of Mark 13:24-37: waiting*

1. Mark 13:1-22

1. Christ predicts the destruction of Jerusalem;
2. Desire expressed by the disciples about the signs concerning
the end times and Christ’s return in glory.

1. Mark 14

1. Preparations made for Jesus’ body to be buried.
2. Jesus getting ready to celebrate the Passover one last time.
3. Jesus instituting His holy Supper.
4. Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.
5. Jesus’ betrayal and arrest.
6. Jesus on trial before the chief priests and Sanhedrin.
7. The chapter closes with Peter’s three denials concerning

1. Themes of Advent: waiting in anticipation and preparation for the
coming of Christ at His birth and when He comes again in glory.

1. A pregnant woman waits in anticipation for her child to be born.

1. As she waits, she prepares.

1. Getting the nursery ready.
2. Buying ample supply of baby formula, diapers, clothes.
3. Taking her vitamins.
4. Maintaining her health.
5. Keeping her doctors’ appointments.

1. The end times are now!

1. Christ will come again as promised!

1. That promise is as sure as the first promises concerning His birth,
life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension
back into heaven.
2. As we are reminded of Christ’s first Advent and His
second coming in glory, what are we to be about?

*1. Be a proclaimer! (Mark 13:24-27)*

*Mark 13:24–27 (NASB95)*

*24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED

*25 AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in
the heavens will be shaken. *

*26 “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power
and glory. *

*27 “And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His
elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the
farthest end of heaven.*

1. Jesus uses very vivid imagery:

1. An eclipse that will not end.
2. Meteor shower/storm unlike any that have been seen before.

1. And then, there He is: The Son of Man in all His glory!

1. Coming back to bring home to heaven the elect (those who trusted in
Christ for salvation in this life)
2. Coming again to “judge the living and the dead” (Apostles’ and
Nicene Creed).

1. What Jesus proclaims here is something that has been known for many

1. Daniel proclaims in chapter 7 of his book:

*Daniel 7:13–14 (NASB95)*

*13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of
heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of
Days And was presented before Him. *

*14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the
peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is
an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.*

1. *Application for our lives*

1. Option #1: Be fearful to the point of paralysis.

1. Looking over your shoulder in paranoia.
2. Buy all the food and supplies you can.
3. Buy a doomsday shelter or convert your home into one.

1. Option #2: Be fearful with awe and reverence for the Lord.

1. Christ is coming back to take all believers to be with Him in heaven
and finally banish sin, death, and the devil forever!

*2. Be Ready! (Mark 13:28-31)*

*Mark 13:28–31 (NASB95)*

*28 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already
become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. *

*29 “Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that
He is near, right at the door. *

*30 “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these
things take place. *

*31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.*

1. *The meaning of the fig tree:*

1. Passing of the seasons:

1. winter turns into spring, spring into summer
2. Predictable occurrence.
3. Jesus’ return: unpredictable!
4. Therefore be ready!

1. *What did Jesus mean when He said: “Heaven and earth will pass away,
but My words will not pass away”?*

1. The Word of God, like the Persons who spoke it, lived it, and
inspired it, is eternal.
2. What is true of God’s words is true of Jesus’ words, for Jesus
is God, the Second Person of the Trinity.
3. God is eternal!
4. Therefore, God’s Word is eternal!
5. Therefore, it will outlast all of creation!

1. *Application for our lives*

1. Now is not the time to be “lazy” in regards to one’s faith!

1. Be observant to what is going on in the world, trusting the Lord that
He has EVERYTHING under His control.
2. Stay tuned into the Lord!:

1. Read His Word daily.
2. Spend time in prayer daily.
3. Remember your Baptism daily.
4. Spend time with your fellow brothers and sisters in
Christ, whether by phone, text, email, direct message,
or in person visit

1. Give encouragement as well as receive it!
2. We are all in a battle for our souls and we are not to
do it alone!

1. As soldiers are trained to serve in the military, one of the many
things they learn is this:

1. Be battle ready, whether it is a time of peace or a time of war.

*3. Be Alert! (Mark 13:32-36)*

*Mark 13:32–36 (NASB95)*

*32 “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven,
nor the Son, but the Father alone. *

*33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed
time will come. *

*34 “It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and
putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also
commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. *

*35 “Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the
house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster
crows, or in the morning— *

*36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep.*

1. *Now is not the time for “sleeping” when it comes to our faith.*

1. Stay awake!
2. Stay alert!
3. Don’t waste time trying to figure out the exact day or hour of
Christ’s return because you will be like the rest who have
tried the same
thing: wrong!
4. No one knows when Jesus will return, but He will return!
5. Augustine: “Let no one then search out for the last Day, when
it is to be; but let us watch all by our good lives, lest the
last day of
any one of us find us unprepared”

Various Authors. The Lutheran Study Bible (Kindle Locations 266183-266184).
Concordia Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

1. *With being awake and alert, there is a need for vigilance.*

1. Maintaining your concentration for a sustained period of time.

1. Working as a usher/security guard while studying at the seminary.

1. *Application for our lives*

1. Live a lifestyle of:

1. Watchfulness in prayer.

1. Praying for those who don’t yet know the Lord
2. Praying that these people would trust in the Lord for
salvation before it’s too late.

1. Watchfulness in your devotional reading.

1. Encouraging yourself in your walk of faith.
2. Encouraging others in their walk of faith.

1. Watchfulness in service to others.

1. Serving as a watchman.

*4. Be Vigilant! (Mark 13:37)*

*Mark 13:37 (NASB95)*

*“What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’ ”*

1. *Your vigilance is to be constant.*

1. Be alert:

1. Physically.

1. Dressed and ready for action

1. Spiritually.

1. Dressed with the full armor of God.

1. Be actively engaged in the Lord’s work:

1. Reading God’s Word
2. Prayer
3. Worship on Sunday/Wednesday
4. In your daily life
5. Service to others

1. *Application for our lives*:

1. Be proactive in your faith!

1. God has blessed you with this gift.

1. He expects you to exercise it to His glory and the betterment of

1. Be actively engaged in the mission and ministries of the Lord’s
Church here at First Lutheran.

1. Don’t use the excuses of:

1. I’m too old.
2. I’ve already put my time in for God and country.
3. I’m too busy.
4. I don’t know what I can do to help.
5. Let somebody else do it.

1. If you don’t do it, who will?
2. If you don’t do it now, when?


1. *Be a proclaimer of the Word, that all may hear and believe! Be
ready! Be alert! Be vigilant!*

1. Advent serves as a call to action:

1. Live a life that anticipates Christ’s return any day and at any time.
2. Live a life of worship and service

1. *At the beginning of every sermon, I usually share these words or a
variation thereof with you, words from 1 Corinthians 1:3:*

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1. *Do you know why I do that? *

1. Is it because I seek to share some magic formula with you, in order
for you to have a better life?
2. Perhaps it is what I’m supposed to say and how every sermon is
supposed to start?
3. With these words, I am reminding you that, as you await the
return of Christ, you have the unconditional love, mercy, and
of God found in Jesus Christ that eternally saves you.
4. Right now you have peace with God.
5. Everything is well between you and God because of Jesus
Christ’s saving work, and as your pastor, you need to be
reminded of this


1. *When God wanted to greet us, He did something that gives this word
of greeting its true value*.

1. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior and Lord.
2. It is only through Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection
for us that we have God’s grace.
3. We have His unconditional, unearned, and undeserved love,
mercy, kindness, and forgiveness.
4. We have peace with God knowing that everything is well between
us and Him.
5. As we wait for Christ’s return, we are comforted by that grace
and peace that only God can give.
6. With what the Lord gives us daily, we are then truly ready to
greet Jesus when He visibly appears on the Last Day. Amen.

1. *Let us pray:*

Lord, we pray for our world, longing for Your justice, peace, and healing.

May Your Spirit move among us, bringing renewal and restoration.

Guide us to be bearers of Your hope, love, and light to all those we

We lift up to You those among us who are suffering, whether in body, mind,
or spirit.

May they feel Your comforting presence and find strength in Your unending

God of all ages, as You have been with Your people through generations, be
with us now.

Renew our faith, rekindle our hope, and deepen our love for You and for one
another. Amen.

1. *The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your
hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.*
2. *In the Name of the Father…Amen.*


Sermon for 11.26.23 “The orthodox life”

Last Sunday of the Church Year (Proper 29), November 26, 2023
Text: Matthew 25:31–46
Theme: The end time life, part 2: The Orthodox Life
Other Lessons: Ezekiel 34:11–16, 20–24; Psalm 95:1–7a; 1 Corinthians

(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.
(B) The Gospel lesson for today serves as our sermon text for this morning.
(C) Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
LSB 698:1-2 May We Thy Precepts, Lord, Fulfill
May we Thy precepts, Lord, fulfill
And do on earth our Father’s will
As angels do above;
Still walk in Christ, the living way,
With all Thy children and obey
The law of Christian love.

So may we join Thy name to bless,
Thy grace adore, Thy pow’r confess,
From sin and strife to flee.
One is our calling, one our name,
The end of all our hopes the same,
A crown of life with Thee.


(A) I want you to close your eyes and use your imagination to see a
picture. Imagine, if you can, a world in which people actually did what
Jesus teaches us to do in our Gospel for this morning, Matthew 25:31–46.
(1) “I was hungry and you gave me food.”
(A) Can you see a world in which right-wing, flag-waving,
ultra-nationalists provide food and drink to illegal aliens as they sneak
across the border into this country?
(2) “I was sick and you visited me.”
(A) Can you see a world in which radical LGBTQ activists visit in the
hospital social conservatives who reject same-sex marriage and care for
them when they’re ill and in pain?
(3) “I was in prison and you came to me.”
(A) Can you imagine a world in which true-blue, gun-toting, passionate
law-and-order types leave their weapons at home and go into jails to
encourage and help those imprisoned there?
(B) If you can, then your imagination is better than mine.
(1) For what you are seeing is not any place in this world.
(2) What you are imagining is the kingdom of God.
(3) When Jesus calls us to do these things, and to love our enemies and
pray for those who persecute us, He is not imagining a fantasy world.
(4) He is painting a picture of what it means to follow Him into humanity’s
darkest corners and lift up those we find there into the light of His love.
(5) He is calling us to do for others what He has done for us.
(6) He is calling us to live what might be called the “orthodox life.”
(I) God calls Christians to live an “orthodox life.”
(A) This will sound odd to many because we have come to associate the word
orthodox with teachings, that is, with ideas rather than with actions.
(B) But from the biblical perspective, “orthodoxy”—glorifying God
rightly—is not simply a matter of believing the right things.
(C) An “orthodox life” is a life aligned with God’s will and glorifying Him
by letting the life of Christ manifest itself in us.
(1) God certainly cares that we believe the right things, and He repeatedly
calls upon his people to believe his teachings and to proclaim them
(a) So believing the right teachings is an important aspect of the orthodox
(2) God also calls upon his people to worship Him rightly.
(a) In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, God instructs His
people on how they are to worship Him.
(b) And while it is important to distinguish between what matters to God in
worship and what does not, the whole Scriptures bear witness to God’s
concern that we worship Him in the way that He desires to be worshiped.
(3) Living an orthodox life as we await the Bridegroom’s return is
displayed in how we treat other people.
(a) As St. Paul reminds us in 1 Cor­in­thians 13, even if one:
(1) Can speak in tongues,
(2) has the gift of prophecy,
(3) understands all the mysteries,
(4) has all the knowledge,
(5) and has faith great enough to move mountains,
(6) without love he is nothing (1 Cor 13:1–3).
(D) It is easy to understand why we prefer to ignore this aspect of the
orthodox life.
(1) It is usually much easier to speak the right ideas and to worship in a
proper form.
(2) It is hard to love, and especially hard to love the unlovely.
(3) Yet that is what God says we are to do as we await our Bridegroom’s
(II) The call to live an orthodox life can make us feel quite uncomfortable.
(A) It can make us uncomfortable because it sounds as if God is asking us
to earn our own salvation by our good works.
(1) The language of “reward” and “punishment” is easily misunderstood in a
text like this.
(a) It is important to remember that this is a parable, a story told to
teach a lesson, not an exposition on the doctrine of justification.
(b) When we interpret parables, it is important that we not go beyond the
purpose for which the parable is given.
(1) The purpose of the parable in the teaching ministry of Jesus must guide
our interpretation.
(c) The purpose of this parable, like the parable of the talents from last
Sunday, is to teach the followers of Jesus how they should live as they
await the Bridegroom’s return.
(1) It is a mistake to use the parable for any other purpose.
(2) Within the parable, Jesus speaks these words to those for whom before
the foundation of the world God has already prepared the kingdom for them
to inherit (v 34).
(a) From eternity, God has appointed his Son to be your Savior.
(b) And in time, Christ Jesus went to the cross to prepare a place for you
in his Father’s house.
(c) Those on Jesus’ right will be all those who have believed in his death
and resurrection.
(d) The love they show to others is not the basis of their status before
God; it is a reward for their faithfulness.
(3) The Word of God certainly teaches that God will reward the good works
of Christians (1 Cor 3:8; Mt 5:12; Lk 6:35).
(a) We should not hesitate to teach this even as we make it clear that the
good works that earn this great reward are the fruit of true faith, not the
cause of it.
(B) Most of all, the call to live an orthodox life makes us uncomfortable
because it forces us outside of our comfort zone.
(1) Love demands that we put ourselves out for those who cannot possibly
benefit us in return.
(a) Love gives what it has to provide for those who are hungry and thirsty.
(b) It tends the sick.
(c) Love welcomes strangers, even foreigners.
(d) Love goes into prisons to care for criminals.
(e) Love embraces those who hate it.
(f) Love prays for those who persecute it.
(2) Love does all of this knowing full well that none of those it helps can
possibly do anything in return.
(3) Love does all of this because it has experienced the love of God and
longs to be the means by which God’s love reaches out to all the unlovely,
that they might lovely be.
(III) Who among us has lived this orthodox life?
(A) Only one: Jesus.
(1) You probably cannot imagine how a world like this would be, because
this fallen world can never be that way.
(B) Of all mankind, it is only Jesus who has lived a truly orthodox life, a
life that reflects the perfect love of God to every person in every
(1) But his perfect, orthodox life God counts for you who believe in him.
(2) And his perfect love in going to the cross has paid for all your
“heterodox living,” your failures to love.
(C) So why does Jesus ask you to live such a life?
(1) Because by the grace of God Jesus lives his life in you.
(2) You were put to death in Baptism and raised to a new life … the life of
(3) In faith, you can begin yet again today to live the life of Jesus.
(D) By Faith in the Love Jesus Lived and Died for You, You Can Begin to
Live the “Orthodox Life” each and every day.
(1) Not perfectly, to be sure.
(2) Not until the coming of the Bridegroom will the life of Jesus be
perfectly revealed in you.

(A) But little by little, one act of love at a time, the faith that the
Holy Spirit works in your heart:
(1) through the Word,
(2) born in Baptism,
(3) and nurtured by the body and blood of Christ that you receive at this
(4) little by little,
(5) one act of love at a time,
(6) let the “orthodox life” of Jesus shine in you until the Bridegroom
returns and we are all swallowed up in the glory of the Kingdom revealed.
(B) Let us pray:
LSB 698:3 May We Thy Precepts, Lord, Fulfill
Spirit of life, of love and peace,
Unite our hearts, our joy increase,
Thy gracious help supply.
To each of us the blessing give
In Christian fellowship to live,
In joyful hope to die.
Text: Public domain
(C) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(D) In the Name of the Father…Amen.


Sermon for Thanksgiving Eve 2023 “From giving thanks to being generous”

Thanksgiving Eve, November 22, 2023
Text: Luke 17:11–19
Theme: From giving thanks to being generous

A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.

B. The Gospel lesson serves as our sermon text for this evening.

C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.]

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.]


(A) Luke 17:11–19 (NASB95)
11 While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and
12 As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met
13 and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the
priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed.
15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back,
glorifying God with a loud voice,
16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a
17 Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the
nine—where are they?
18 “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this
19 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”
This is the Word of the Lord.
(B) Thanksgiving is something we do.
(1) There’s a verb built right into it.
(2) We give thanks.
(3) Ours was the first country to set aside a day for doing this
(4) That’s a good thing.
(5) Did you know Thomas Jefferson opposed following the example of George
Washington and declaring a day of National Thanksgiving because he didn’t
believe that the president had the authority to do that.
(6) He thought Congress should do that.
(C) Regardless of whose idea it was to set aside a day for thanksgiving, it
is important to stop what we are doing and give thanks.
(1) That’s not the president saying that.
(2) That word comes from the Lord God Himself!
(3) We have so much for which to be thankful.
(4) We are blessed.
(5) We are free.
(6) We have more freedom than we know what to do with.
(D) So why be thankful?
(E) Perhaps the better question should be:
(1) Why not be thankful?
(F) What follows is a list (certainly not exhaustive) of Scripture verses
(1) Encourage us to be thankful.
(2) Show us examples of people who expressed thanksgiving, examples for our
(3) Giving thanks to the Lord is good for the soul.

(I) The Lord strongly encourages us to be thankful.
(A) Deuteronomy 8:10 (NASB95)
10“When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God
for the good land which He has given you.
(B) Psalm 100:4 (NASB95)
4Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks
to Him, bless His name.
(C) Colossians 3:15–16 (NASB95)
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were
called in one body; and be thankful.
16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching
and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
(D) 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NASB95)
16Rejoice always;
17pray without ceasing;
18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(II) We have examples of thanksgiving in the Bible that are there for our
(A) David Psalm 68:19 (NASB95)
19Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our
salvation. Selah.
(B) Psalm 119:62 (NASB95)
62At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You Because of Your righteous
(C) Daniel 2:23 (NASB95)
23“To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have
given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we
requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”
(D) The Samaritan Luke 17:16 (NASB95)
16and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a
(E) Paul Acts 28:15 (NASB95)
15And the brethren, when they heard about us, came from there as far as the
Market of Appius and Three Inns to meet us; and when Paul saw them, he
thanked God and took courage.
(F) 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NASB95)
57but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus
(G) 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NASB95)
15Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
(H) 1 Timothy 1:12 (NASB95)
12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He
considered me faithful, putting me into service,
(III) As with taking medication to help our bodies, giving thanks to the
Lord is good for our soul.
(A) 1 Chronicles 16:8, 34-36 (NASB95)
8Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among
the peoples.
34O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is
35Then say, “Save us, O God of our salvation, And gather us and deliver us
from the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name, And glory in Your
36Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to
everlasting. Then all the people said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord.
(B) Psalm 50:14 (NASB95)
14“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most
(C) Psalm 92:1 (NASB95)
1It is good to give thanks to the Lord And to sing praises to Your name, O
Most High;
(D) Ephesians 5:17–21 (NASB95)
17So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled
with the Spirit,
19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
to God, even the Father;
21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
(E) Philippians 4:6 (NASB95)
6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
(F) Colossians 3:17 (NASB95)
17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
(G) 1 Timothy 4:4 (NASB95)
4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it
is received with gratitude;

(A) Some thoughts to take to heart:
(1) Martin Luther’s last words are supposed to have been:
(a) “We are beggars all.”
(2) G. K. Chesterton:
(a) “I would maintain, that thanks are the highest form of thought, and
that gratitude is . . . happiness doubled by wonder.”
(3) In the Divine Service:
(a) What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me?
I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call on the name of the
I will take the cup of salvation and will call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people,
in the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
(B) Instead of asking “why be thankful and generous to others”, perhaps the
question should be:
(1) Why not give thanks, why not be generous?
(C) As you gather around the dinner table tomorrow to feast on some
wonderful food, be reminded of this:
(1) Remember who it is that is the only source of goodness in the world,
and He is more than enough to fill this and every world that could ever be.
(a) This is the abundance of Lazarus,
(b) the milk and honey of the promised land,
(c) the loaves and the fish,
(d) the never-ending oil and flour,
(e) the life of the dying,
(f) the hope that mends every . . . broken . . . thing. Amen.
(D) Let us pray:
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy]
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.]
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.] Amen.
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(E) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(F) In the Name of the Father…Amen.


Hiring Church Secretary

First Lutheran Church in downtown Little Rock is a congregation of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. We are pleased to announce that we are seeking a committed individual to join our small staff as a part-time church secretary.

Reporting to the Pastor and Board of Elders, the Church Secretary is responsible for:

  • Receiving incoming phone calls, answering questions and providing information whenever possible
  • Sorting mail and taking messages for pastor and staff
  • Scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, taking notes from meetings
  • Preparing weekly bulletin for worship
  • Ensuring the office files are up-to-date and well-organized, and the office equipment is clean and well maintained
  • Ordering office supplies as necessary
  • Maintaining schedule for special services such as baptisms, weddings and funerals
  • Proofreading written materials generated by the pastor as requested, such as bulletins or articles
  • Cooperating with the vestry by performing any other duties as needed


  • Active Christian faith, attending worship services regularly
  • Proficient with MS Office: Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel
  • Organizational skills for efficient office control
  • Ability to communicate professionally with people at all levels both within the church and externally

First Lutheran Church offers a competitive part-time wage for the hours 10a-2p, M-F. Please send your letter of interest
and resume to:

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.