As we approach the end of the Christian Church year, the lectionary turns our thoughts to the time of Christ’s blessed return. From Matthew Carver’s Hymnoglypt blog: Here is hymn #432 in Walther’s hymnal, “Die Zeit ist nunmehr nah” (P. Gerhardt, 1653), translated by J. Kelly, formerly appointed for Trinity XXVII (Matt. XV). I offer my own emendation, update, and recommended cento (about 3 minutes instead of 4 minutes). Schamelius (the first publisher) gave it the title: “Sweet Thoughts on the Entrance to Eternal Life at Christ’s Last Coming.” Here is the tune.
Tune: Auf meinen lieben Gott.
THE TIME is very near
When, Lord, You will be here;
The signs of which You’ve spoken
Your advent should betoken;
We’ve seen them oft fulfilling
In number beyond telling.
2. What shall I do then, Lord,
But rest upon Your Word,
The promise You have given
That You will come from heaven,
Me from the grave deliver
And from all woe forever?
3. O Jesus Christ, how fair
Will be my portion there!
The welcome You’ll address me,
Your glances, how they’ll bless me,
When I, the earth forsaking,
My flight to You am taking.
4. Oh, what will be the word
You’ll speak, my Shepherd Lord!
What will be then Your greeting,
Me and my brethren meeting?
Your members You will own us,
And near Yourself enthrone us.
(5) 7. I’ll see then and adore
Your body’s bruises sore,
Whereon our faith is founded—
The prints of nails that wounded
Your hands and feet be greeting,
Your gaze with rapture meeting.
(6) 8. O Lord, alone You know,
The joys so pure that flow
In life’s unfailing river
In paradise forever,
You can portray and show them:
By faith alone I know them.
(7) 9. What I’ve believed stands sure,
And shall remain secure;
My part that wealth surpasses
Which here the rich amasses;
All other wealth will wither,
My portion holds together.
(8) 11. You’ll say, “Come, taste and see,
O child beloved by Me,
Come, taste the gifts so precious
I and my Father gracious
Can give you without measure,
Come, bask in endless pleasure!”
(9) 16. How sad, O Lord, am I,
Till I shall see on high
You come in glory hither
To bring Your Church together;
Were You but now revealing
Yourself, my wish fulfilling!
(10) 17. The time is known to You;
This is my action due:
To be prepared for going,
And all things so be doing,
That every moment even
My heart may be in heaven.
(11) 18. This grant, Lord, and me bless,
That so Your truth and grace
May keep me ever waking,
Lest Your day, overtaking
Me unawares, affright me,
But may, O Lord, delight me.
Translation J. Kelly, alt. by M. Carver, 2011.
Wow! We had no idea, none, that the President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod was doing this….enjoy.
Called “the American Luther,” Rev. Dr. C. F. W. Walther is celebrated as a founder of the log cabin college (1839) that became one of the ten largest seminaries in North America: Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. The educational emphasis and precedents Walther set made his theological heirs highly influential in American Christianity a century later when the synod fully embraced English. Walther’s legacy persists through his most widely read book, Law and Gospel. He tirelessly led the publication of Der Lutheraner journal (founded 1844) and became the first president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. You can purchase a copy of the book here.
In 1847, when Walther helped to found The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the church body included only 19 pastors, 30 congregations, and 4,099 baptized members. At the time of his death forty years later (May 7, 1887), the church body had grown to 931 pastors, 678 member congregations, 746 affiliated congregations, 544 preaching stations, and 459,376 baptized members. The 200th anniversary of Walther’s birth is an important milestone for the history of confessional Lutherans and for North American Christianity.
Christoph Barnbrock is professor of Practical Theology at the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel, Germany, which is the seminary of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church(SELK).
Alfonso Espinosa serves as senior pastor at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Irvine, CA, and teaches as an adjunct professor of theology at Concordia University, Irvine.
Jeffrey Holtan serves as pastor of Divine Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church (WELS) in Milwaukee, WI.
Charles Schaum is the general editor for the 2010 edition of Walther’s Law and Gospel.
Thomas Egger is a professor of Old Testament studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and developer of the Waltherana Research Guide on behalf of the Concordia Historical Institute.
View other Walther Books – Click Here
Our newly released book on the history of the Christian Church, The Church from Age to Age, is getting rave reviews from pastors and professors alike. The book is available in Kindle format as well as in print. Check out these comments:
• From Dale Coulter, Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Regent University School of Divinity: “I received my copy of The Church from Age to Age today and have already adopted it for my Church History 1 course in the spring. I think it is a very good text, and was glad to be asked to endorse it.”
• From a phone conversation with Robert Clouse, professor emeritus of history at Indiana State University: Dr. Clouse called and raved about the book, saying “I don’t think there’s anything like it on the market.” He feels that our book is the best choice among the other older church history books currently on the market. He feels it is comprehensive, yet accessible to every reader. He just couldn’t say enough good things about it. He ordered several copies to pass on to his colleagues in the hopes that they will promote or adopt the book.
• From Robin Lovin, Dean of Ethics at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology: “This is pretty impressive! This will sell a lot of copies for seminary and college classes.”
From Pastor Larry Peters, via his blog:
A penny if you can recall who said on the writing of many books there is no end. If you cannot recall, save your pennies and use them to purchase a new book very worth the many pennies it takes. From Ed Engelbrecht comes word that the presses have stopped and the book is done:
The Church from Age to Age: A History from Galilee to Global Christianity. You can see a sample of the book on our product page or its Amazon Kindle page. I invite you to compare the price for our book with other general church histories out there. For a comprehensive work (1,000+ pages deep) at $36.99, it has the sweetest price on the market.
I believe that as much as our good people may be short on doctrinal and Biblical knowledge and understanding, they also suffer from the very severe lack of any perspective on church history. It is remarkable to me how ignorant we Lutherans are of our own history, how we look at the muddle of the Christian world today without any grasp of history that has led us to this moment, and how we march into the future making the same mistakes as those before us — yet oblivious to the lessons which should have been already learned. Many of our questions could well be answered by a good church history text. Don’t wait until you head to Seminary to read one and because most of you may not get there, CPH is to be commended for bringing out this one — a thoroughly accessible and complete book on Church History.
Now some of you may think a thousand pages a bit much. I suppose you could look at one of the shorter histories of the Christian Church. Martin Marty has a brief one that has been well used. So does Owen Chadwick. That is all well and good, but a larger work is not without its own benefits. For one, a bit more direct source material. For another, a more in depth review of the events and their meaning. For another, more footnotes and sources for additional study.
I know that CPH publishes a ton of material that is not really marketable — that is they do not make CPH much or any money. Let us turn that tide by addressing our lack with the fine resources that Concordia has brought to bear. This is but one of the many fine works that they have brought out. I know that they have to sell a lot of little widgets to cover the cost of endeavors like this but I wish they could count on us instead of the widgets to make a comprehensive work like this a marketing success. See what you can do, eh?!
Lord, we implore You, grant Your people grace to withstand the temptations of the devil and with pure hearts and minds to follow You, the only God; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
We hear God’s Word:
We Meditate on God’s Word
“Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence” (Prov. 25:6–14). Rather, take the lowest position at the table. Humble yourself before Him. For your place is not for you to take but for Him to give. Conduct yourself with all lowliness and gentleness, bearing with one another in love (Eph. 4:1–6), that the King may give you glory in the presence of those at the table with you. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:1–11). Is this not the way of Christ? He is the one who took the lowest place, who humbled Himself even to the point of death for us. He is now exalted to the highest place at the right hand of the Father that penitent believers may be exalted together with Him in the resurrection. To the humble at His Supper He says, “Friend, move up higher,” giving you His very body and blood for your forgiveness that you may ascend to take part in the great wedding feast which has no end.
Luther on Trinity 17
This Gospel offers us two leading thoughts; one is general and is found in all our Gospel lessons, the other is peculiar to this one. First, in its general character, it shows who the Lord Jesus is and what we may expect of him, and in this is exhibited both faith and love.
2. Faith is here set forth in that this man, sick with the dropsy, looks to Christ and firmly believes he will help him. This faith he had as the result of his previous acquaintance with Jesus. He knows him as a kind, friendly and sympathetic man who always helps everyone and lets none go away uncomforted. Had he not heard such reports about the Lord he would not have followed him, even into the house. He must indeed have had some gospel knowledge and believed the wonderful things spoken about him.
First impression? FANTASTIC.
Why do I say this? Siri. The AI [artificial intelligence[ voice command features on this thing with the “remind” feature is simply outstanding and so helpful. You’ve almost got to experience to appreciate it fully, but the Apple videos about Siri are not at all exagerrating. I already know this is going to be extremely helpful to me keeping me up on things and remind me of things I’ve got to do, all with voice commands. I love the camera upgrade and they’ve also upgraded the sound recording on it.
The picture quality is truly outstanding. Perhaps somebody can tell me if I’m wrong, but the screen looks better to me. I think they adjusted slightly the color balance. But whatever is going on, it is “sharper” and even nicer to look at it. I think Apple really has hit its stride with iPhone 4S. And the fact that now it is avaialable across multiple cell phone providers makes it an even better option for more people. If you have been waiting to get an iPhone, I’d say, now’s the time to take the plunge. The iPhone 4S is a dream come true and I can only imagine how the AI is going to continue to improve. I’m also very pleased the dimensions of the iPhone have not changed, allowing me to continuing using my Mophie external battery case, which is really nice since I’m burning more battery power than ever using Siri and location services.
So many other nice enhancements and features, I can’t really even begin to describe them all. I guess if you have not been an iPhone user from day one, you won’t appreciate all this as much, but trust me…this is a quantum leap forward.
Frankly, I could not be more pleased. Steve Jobs really new how to go out on the top! Kudos, Apple. Home run!
I took the Ruger SR1911 out for another range session, this time putting close to 300 rounds down range, and again, not a single problem, zip, nada. That’s about 750 rounds with no problem. And, as you shall see, the bad guy at the end of the video had a very, very bad day.
We had some fun this afternoon, showing our support for the Cardinals. A photograph of CPH employees showing their Cardinal price in 1926 was found and we thought it would be good to show the tradition continues. I’ll post the picture from 1926 as soon as I can. It is terrific.
Here’s a quick video I shot of the gathering.
Best line….”Eight months to get the little chubby one to yell row. Kind of strange, such a simple word.” I don’t know who the advertising agency is for Geico, but they are brilliant.
I’m pleased to report that for the first time books have appeared in digital/Kindle format before they appeared in print. For instance, The Church from Age to Age, was available in Kindle format before the physical book hit the shelves here at CPH. Here is a look at all the Kindle titles from Concordia Publishing House. Be sure to sort the list by “publication date” and you will see the newest Kindle releases from CPH. I obtained this list by using Amazon’s advanced search function. To do it yourself, click on this link, then type in the “publisher” box: “Concordia Publishing House” and for format choose “Kindle” and, there you go.
I’m really enjoying reading the masterwork that is Albrecht Peters’ Commentary on Luther’s Catechisms, specifically, the second volume in his commentary, this one devoted to Luther’s work on the Apostles Creed in the Small and Large Catechism. What Peters is so masterful at doing is drawing out rich background quotes from Luther from his voluminous writings around the time he was working on the Catechisms, and then synthesizing Luther’s points in clear statements. For instance, check out this beautiful summary of Luther’s understanding of the nature of faith. Gold!
Faith [in Luther's thoughts] takes into account the doubts that lurk within one’s own heart. Luther calls attention to this inner battle of faith. Wherever the Christian is aware of the self as existing before God, in addition to our external needs and pressures, one’s own self-confidence appears as well, along with our enslavement to sin; these are the external and even more importantly the internal realities against which the confidence of faith must press forward. Faith will be aware of its constant companion and most irritating enemy, our own vacillating back and forth between a hybrid confidence in the self and in disconcerting doubt. . . . A naive or subtle trust in oneself and in the world stands on the one side; the sinister anxiety about the world and insidious doubts about oneself stand on the other side.
Albrecht Peters, Commentary on Luther’s Catechisms: Creed, Translated by Thomas H. Trapp. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011, p. 31.
Take a listen, you will find it interesting. Link here.
Some people think that Lutherans are the ones who made up this whole “distinction between Law and Gospel” thing. Well, frankly, Lutherans have, in my opinion, articulated the proper distinction between Law and Gospel in a way that is unsurpassed in Christendom, but…it is a thoroughly Biblical concept and one that was known in the Early Church as well, even if not always well articulated. Here is Chrysostom demonstrating the proper distinction between Law and Gospel.
‘Suppose someone should be caught in the act of adultery and the foulest crimes and then be thrown into prison. Suppose, next, that judgment was going to be passed against him and that he would be condemned. Suppose that just at that moment a letter should come from the Emperor setting free from any accounting or examination all those detained in prison. If the prisoner should refuse to take advantage of the pardon, remain obstinate and choose to be brought to trial, to give an account, and to undergo punishment, he will not be able thereafter to avail himself of the Emperor’s favor. For when he made himself accountable to the court, examination, and sentence, he chose of his own accord to deprive himself of the imperial gift. This is what happened in the case of the Jews. Look how it is. All human nature was taken in the foulest evils. “All have sinned,” says Paul. They were locked, as it were, in a prison by the curse of their transgression of the Law. The sentence of the judge was going to be passed against them. A letter from the King came down from heaven. Rather, the King himself came. Without examination, without exacting an account, he set all men free from the chains of their sins. All, then, who run to Christ are saved by his grace and profit from his gift. But those who wish to find justification from the Law will also fall from grace. They will not be able to enjoy the King’s loving-kindness because they are striving to gain salvation by their own efforts; they will draw down on themselves the curse of the Law because by the works of the Law no flesh will find justification.’
From ‘Discourses Against Judaizing Christians’ I:6-II:1.
HT: Pastor Mark Henderson