Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Divine Call

As many know I have received a Divine Call to serve Grace Lutheran of Lancaster California. Man, calls are tough business. St. Paul had it easy --
he is struck blind - visited by Jesus Christ Himself and told to go to Damascus - end of story. I'll let you know when the Call has been made clear to me. Thanks for all your prayers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Reality of Death

I read a great piece this week about death. The link is here. Just my thoughts on the subject -- humanity (read modern culture) degrades life (abortion, euthanasia, etc) because we deny the reality of death. I preached at a funeral not long ago - " you know why we use such beautiful caskets? I answered that rhetorical question with this -- "to hide the ugly truth within - a dead human being." We are taught that death is a part of life!? Nothing could be further from the truth - God, our beloved Father, created us to LIVE - and live in perfect communion with Him. Death is punishment. The fear that most often accompanies death (i.e. on the part of the living) is simply the LAW of God unalloyed and at full potency. There in the casket is the result of sin and sinfulness - and it is gut wrenching and terrifying. How does one without faith in the Resurrection and the Life, Jesus Christ, face this enemy? I pray for them.

Thanks be to God that we have trust in Jesus Christ who has risen from death - it could not hold Him and it will not hold you who are in Christ Jesus! Live in the grace and peace of Christ.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yep, I'm behind and busy!

Believe it or not -- I do ponder all manner of theological situations and have the best intentions of sharing them with whomever may choose to read this -- no excuses -- if you check in on this now and again I will endeavor to be more faithful with sharing the Word of Christ and making the blogosphere a little more worthwhile.

pr. leary

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My favorite shot

Below is my favorite "artistic" shot from the Lawrence/Monmouth game I photographed a couple weeks ago. Critiques?

STS Conference

I am looking forward to an upcoming ecclesial conference hosted by the Society of the Holy Trinity. The conference addresses the marks of the Church, the foci this year is prayer and the Office of the Holy Ministry.


Bethel, Valpo and Wheaton took three from the falcons but I am certain that the hardships faced and learned from those non con games will manifest themselves in the NAthC.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Concordia Falcons break Camp

The Concordia Falcons players and coaching staff are (I would imagine) at this time going over what went well and what needs improvement from the scrimmage at Carthage early today. I will be photographing the game v Bethel next saturday. I am looking forward to it -- ALOT. I'll pass on any news I get and will post a couple pics.

3 -0 (in the pre season)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Packers Flex their Muscles in 09-10

The boys in Green and Gold seem to be meshing well this season. The O line is being taken notice of in the local press. Formerly the weak spot of the team it seems to be one of the stronger this year. Aaron Rodgers showed the NFL last season he is ready for a leading and successful role on the Packers. I have yet to see them play missing both pre season games already played. I'll make my season picks AFTER I see them play.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Funeral Sermon for Robert Monti

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” St John 8

Pedagogy, teaching, training, passing the mantle, instructing, making wise – the Scripture is replete with these ideas. There is knowledge to be possessed, that for most is certain – it is often the manner of acquisition where in the debates rage. And so Truth is often seen as is beauty that is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps you have heard it said this way – that may be true for you but… Or the every popular that’s your opinion. The skeptical consideration of truth is not an outcome of only modern society either. A certain Roman official questioned the same in about 30 A.D. “What is truth?”

In like fashion truth is questioned still today and perhaps even more than ever. Then, for all and sadly for you here today reality sets in – some truth will always remain however hard humanity strives to make it palatable or endeavors to deny it. One certain truth of life is that everyone will die. Ancestors have passed. Forefathers have been laid to rest. People cease to be. For you the truth is that husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend – Christian, Bob has died. That is pretty inescapable – both in terms of our thinking an in terms of our experience. And therein is the sting of the Law of God – death. Saint Paul writes to the Corinthian Christians and to us,

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

The law of God – yes, the command and commandment to do as God wills and works is good. The harsh reality of the Law is that we do not, we cannot keep it. And the consequence of the abrogation of the Holy and unchanging Law of God is evident – sadly it is as plain as the casket laid before you.

And so must we conclude that truth is simply the stark realization that all die? Certainly not, death is a reality – but Jesus Christ is the Truth. St. John in his Gospel records the words of Jesus that serves as a Spirit led comfort to you – Know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free. For St. Paul concludes his teaching about sin and death with these words,

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

It is the truth of Jesus Christ – rather the Truth Himself Jesus Christ that frees. Bob was well aware of the Truth of Jesus Christ. That Truth pervaded his life and teaching. Whether one is a public and professional educator or not the fact remains that all of us are always teaching someone, something – the only question is whether those subjects being taught are in line and in the light of the Word and will of Almighty God – I suppose that you need no reminder of the subject matter of Bob’s life…but just in case over the next days consider Bob’s obituary – teaching to the end.

Should we then end there with our romanticized memories and giddy thoughts of all the good that Bob was able to accomplish and teach? If so -- I and we have not learned well our lesson – for the lesson of the life of our deceased brother in faith Bob – is not what it is that he has accomplished but that which by faith was accomplished in him –

The truth of the lesson that lies in state before you is that sin and sinfulness find as its end death of the body and – and this is a true saying – without the One who is the Way, Truth and the Life death of the spirit.

Bob came to know the Truth that has upon his death set Him free through faithful teaching. Teaching that came to Him first in and through the cleansing waters of Holy Baptism – for on that Bob was enrolled in what one may rightly and faithfully call the school of the Holy Spirit. And his life from that day to the Saturday of his death was a matriculation in and through that institution of heavenly education. Through the faith engendered in him through Holy Baptism Bob came to know the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. He came to know the Truth and Jesus Christ set him free.

And do not be mistaken that the freedom your husband and father enjoyed came only through death – oh the ending of the struggle and suffering – while there is certainty that his suffering has ended – the freedom that Bob was taught and sought to exemplify and teach to you all – was displayed in the hopefulness that marked these final years. A person does not face his certain death with the candor, humor and ease that Bob did unless he knew and believed that he was set free from the condemnation and judgment that God metes out against sin –

Bob believed, taught and ever confessed the Truth revealed to him in Christ – that all who believe on Me though they die yet will they live. Christ Jesus takes the sin of the world upon Himself and in His death and resurrection life everlasting is won. That is the Truth – world, devil and sinful self can rail all they like - this is the Truth that sets you free.

In the end – that is when our blessed Lord returns to bring the culmination of our faith – the re-creation of all things in heaven and on earth – beloved husband, father, grandfather will return with our Lord Jesus. Body and soul once more reunited – he and we will stand before God Almighty – those who know and believe the Truth will be received into the heavenly city of God’s residence. The prophet Jeremiah teaches that in the great and terrible day,

“…no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”