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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 the Lord Jesus Christ!
During these 40 days of Easter, the Church rejoices in the many "convincing proofs" (Acts chapter 1), which Jesus gave of his resurrection. Luke tells us that "over a period of 40 days" Jesus gave these proofs through various resurrection appearances. Then He was taken up into heaven as He ascended on high!
God's blessings on our Confirmands this month-confirmed on CONFIRMATION SUNDAY on May 5th. May we all continue "in the apostles doctrine, breaking of bread, fellowship and the prayers" (Acts chapter 2). We continue to rejoice in the gift of Luther's Small Catechism which summarizes for us the 6 Chief Parts of Christian doctrine!
We will again celebrate "THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD" on Thursday evening May 9th (the culmination of the 40 days of Easter) at a 7:30 pm Divine Service of Holy Communion. There will also be special hymns and Scripture lessons. Come receive our Ascended Lord's gifts!
We will also rejoice in the gift and vocation of Christian motherhood on MOTHERS' DAY - May 12th. God bless all the mothers and grandmothers in our families and congregation.
ARMED FORCES SUNDAY is May 19th when we thank the Lord for those who served so that we might be able to worship in the U.S.A. in freedom and liberty. Thanks to all who served and to those who died so that we can be free! Go to the cemetery on MEMORIAL DAY - Monday May 27th - and place American flags on the grave plots of our veterans to honor their sacrifices on our behalf!
THE DAY OF PENTECOST - is Sunday May 19th. The Holy Spirit is poured out on the church to be witnesses to the resurrection of our Lord (Acts chapter 2). This day celebrates the reversal of the Tower of Babel in Genesis when God confused the languages of the world and people were driven apart into many nations. Now in the one language of the Gospel, God gives the Holy Spirit to all people to bring the nations of the world back together again into the Church.
HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY - is May 26th. The glorious revelation of our One God in Three Persons into whom we are baptized in Matthew 28:16-20. The great Athanasian Creed is confessed. The name of the only true God, into whom we are baptized, calls us to confession of the divine mystery of the Trinity.
In Holy Baptism we are incorporated into the Body of Christ, and in heaven we are the great multitude of every tribe, nation, race and language singing our Alleluias to the Lamb who sits upon the throne!
In our Lord,
From the Vicar
In an age where emotion is often used as a trump card to win an argument, it is good to be reminded that our personal feelings do not affect matters of truth. In response to a well-reasoned, thoughtful explanation of a facet of theology, I've heard folks begin their critical response with the words "Yes, but I just feel that..." Generally what follows these words is an emotional case contending why the doctrine or practice of the church should be disregarded on the grounds that it doesn't mesh with the personal feelings of the individual. Though it may seem silly to us to use one's own heart as the standard and judge of truth, it's more common than you might think. Of course, when this postmodern reasoning is used to diminish, place aside, or deny the Gospel, we know that it is the devil at work. But moral relativism---that is, having our own opinions rule over God's word---is not the only way that the devil uses our feelings to attack faith. Another way he seeks to sever the bridge between us and Christ is to point us to our feelings when pondering the question "Does God forgive me?" The first Missouri Synod president, C.F.W. Walther, saw this in his day and offered an example to illustrate the absurdity of such thinking:
"[Imagine this instance:] "You have cruelly insulted someone, and every time you recall that event, it torments you. You desire pardon and the restoration of your friendship with the person you have insulted. How can you be assured that he has forgiven you? Will you wait until your heart feels some kind of relief, which would make you think that your former friend has forgiven you? If you take that approach, everybody will tell you: 'You are an idiot. The important point is not how you feel, but how the person whom you insulted feels.'" Law & Gospel, Thesis IX
Here Walther gets to the heart of the matter. No one considers whether or not they "feel forgiven" when it comes to an offense against another person; why, then, should we ever think in such a manner concerning God's forgiveness? He has made no promise of us having any feeling in connection with His absolving us of our sins, and, besides, feeling and emotions are capricious objects upon which to find any sense of certainty. They change all too much and are far too easily affected by a multitude of variables, many of which are unknown to us or outside of our control.
Put simply, the person who places their assurance of God's love and forgiveness on his feelings, is bound to have his faith shaken by something as simple as a mood swing. It would not be unlike a man building his house upon the sands. So, then, rather than tying the certainty of your salvation to the emotional roller coaster that characterizes human life, tie it instead something strong and outside of yourself. Tie it to Jesus. Tie it to the cross. Tie it to his promise. He is the rock, upon which the church is built, and he is the comfort for the convicted man who is burdened by his guilt. So if and when you are troubled, don't let your feelings keep you from prayer. Don't let the devil make you think you are not loved by your Creator just because you are having a bout of melancholy. It simply isn't true. For just as neither height nor depth nor anything in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ, neither can sadness, depression, or gloom. Through these and all other emotions, he remains our loving God and Savior.
Vicar Aaron Uphoff