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Welcome to Trinity Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod - Norman, Oklahoma
"In grateful response to God's grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacraments, the mission of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod is vigorously to make known the love of Christ by word and deed within our churches, communities, and the world." -LCMS Mission Statement
Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ!
From the Pastor
Dear Fellow Redeemed,
Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ during this Pentecost season!
The month of July is a good time to remind ourselves of God's institution of both the Church and the State.
The State: Independence Day is July 4th, and then later came the founding of our constitutional, democratic, federal republic - the United States of America. It was and is a great blessing for temporal life and grants us our civic freedoms.
God established the State as His "minister (servant)" as it says in Romans 13:1-7 "The authorities that exist have been established by God...do what is right and he will commend you...he is God's servant to do you good...he does not bear the sword for nothing...he is God's servant (minister), an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer...the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing."
(The State is called "The Kingdom of the God's Left Hand"- it has the office of the sword and rules by Civil Government)
The Church: Established by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, it continues today in Word and Sacrament- the holy, catholic (universal), apostolic church- and gives great blessings of eternal life and spiritual freedom.
God established the Church as His "minister" as it says in 2 Corinthians 4:1 "Since through God's mercy we have this ministry...we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord...." and in 5:18 "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not counting men's trespasses against them." Also in 1 Corinthians 4:1 "Men ought to regard us as ministers/servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things (sacraments/mysteries) of God"
(The Church is called "The Kingdom of God's Right Hand" - it has the office of the keys and rules by Word and Sacrament.)
Thank God for His good gifts to us in our nation and in our church! They are all by grace; we deserve none of them! But God grants them to us as our merciful Heavenly Father! Therefore, let us pray for "all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." (1 Tim. 2:2)
In our Lord Jesus,
Note: Liturgical days this month
- July 22nd - St. Mary Magdalene-
-Read John 20:1, 2, 11-18
- July 25th - St. James, The Elder, Apostle
- Read Acts 11:27 - 12:3a
From the Vicar
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
A Lutheran Radio Station called "Issues, Etc." hosted a conference on June 13th and 14th in Collinsville, IL titled "Making the Case." Greg Laffin, Steve Lemke, Seth Lemke, and I all attended. As you could surmise by its title, it dealt with Apologetics- not only to a culture awash with atheism and criticism towards Christianity and the Bible, but also toward our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, encouraging them to read the Bible with Christ at the center. All four of us found each of the seven lectures to be absolutely riveting and informational. The speakers spoke to all aspects of the church's life, and we were blown away by their knowledge and presentations in their various fields. I recorded each lecture to share it with those who could not make it, and you can find them here: http://tinyurl.com/psvqcss.
Friday opened with a lecture by Jonathan Fisk, author of the book "Broken." He spoke about the confusion in our post-modern society about the words "spirituality" (something inside you) and "religion" (outside you). He made the point rather to be both spiritual AND religious- that our soul is fed by what we hear in our church, and we should receive Christ where he comes for us.
The next day, Christ Rosebrough spoke about misquoted Bible verses. He stressed that we should interpret Scriptures by drawing Christ out of them, and not putting ourselves into them.
Rev. Matt Harrison, President of the LCMS, came to encourage us to remain Confessional in a time when many denominations are following our culture and giving up their stance on doctrine and the confession of the Gospel. His encouragements towards remaining faithful to the clear words of Scripture were poignant and clear.
Craig Parton, the author of "The Defense Never Rests," was the keynote and gave two presentations. His first was on defending the Scriptures as trustworthy to those who cast doubt on it, and the second was about making the case for Lutheranism to Evangelicals, since he himself came out of the Evangelical world, looking for a church that held to a clear view of Scriptures and had rich theology.
Will Weedon occupied the session following lunch, and kept us all awake by demonstrating the beauty of Lutheran hymnody. We sang hymns and enjoyed his presentation.
Finally, Alvin Schmidt made the case for Christianity's positive impact on civilization. From abolishing infanticide, child abandonment, abortion, pagan cremation, and slavery; founding the first hospitals; giving dignity and freedom to women; restoring honor to marriage; and from the Christian contributions to science, law, and economics; he showed overwhelmingly the great positive impact that Christianity has had on civilization and why we are so much the richer for it.
Vicar Joshua Woelmer