Issues of Life and Death

by Deac. Betsy Karkan “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’” (Genesis 3:4) All lies about death started with this simple statement. It is not however, just the first lie among many about death; it is also every lie about life, because at its core it says that God, who is… Read More >

Formula of Concord Study: Article IX

by Rev. Aaron Moldenhauer Arguably the most opaque passage of the Creed is that Christ descended into hell. The passage is based on Scripture, but these scriptural passages (e.g., 1 Peter 3) lend themselves to multiple interpretations about what the descent into hell was, leading to centuries of debate on this article. Which part of… Read More >

Help your church and community celebrate the Reformation

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has created new, free materials for you to help promote the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year in your congregation and community. With it being a popular and current news story, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is a unique opportunity for congregations to proclaim Christ in… Read More >

Interacting with the Scriptures

by Rev. Dr. Jonathan Mumme With Gutenberg’s invention of movable type printing and waxing literacy especially among the urban population, Christian interaction with the Bible entered a new phase in the Reformation era. In this, Martin Luther played a direct hand, not only with his translation of the Bible, but also with his introductions to… Read More >

“O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright”

by Mr. Jonathan Swett Philipp Nicolai’s two most famous hymns–for which he was both author and composer–are “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme) and “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” (Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern).  The fact that these have been commonly referred to as the “King and… Read More >

Dürer’s Christ Among the Doctors

by Dcs. Carolyn S. Brinkley Faces, hands, and books swirl around the divine Child in Albrecht Dürer’s oil painting Christ Among the Doctors. The artist’s rendition of Luke 2:41-52 is far from a typical, placid, generic temple scene. Rather the mood is surreal and has a nightmarish quality. Dürer draws you, the viewer, into the inner sanctum of the learned… Read More >

Bible Study with Luther: Galatians 6:1-18

by Rev. Paul Doellinger Following in the footsteps of St. Paul, Luther and the Reformers sought true peace and unity in the Church through the pure proclamation of the Gospel. Indeed, the only way peace and unity can be achieved in the Church on earth is through the pure teaching of salvation by grace alone,… Read More >

Formula of Concord Study: Article VIII

by Rev. Mark Bestul As my congregation’s Book of Concord study group hears me speak of the contents of the Formula of Concord, they might hear the expression “Articles VII and VIII.” Both historically- and theologically-speaking, seeing these two articles together is proper and useful. They almost serve as “A and B” of the same conversation,… Read More >

The Gloria in Excelsis

by Rev. Dr. Mark Birkholz I grew up attending Trinity Lutheran School in Clinton Township, Michigan. Every year the children of the school presented a Christmas program. It was a little different each year, but one part was always the same: the kindergarten angels. Every year the kindergarten students would dress in white robes with… Read More >