Amen! Praise and Glory…

Broken, yet chosen.

Naphtali, like all of us, was dead in transgressions. The Resurrection and the Life bought him with His own precious blood. Purchased and won, Naphtali is broken no more, since God has claimed him to be His own child through the waters of Baptism.

Broken and discarded, yet chosen, a small white ark shell lays in the baptismal waters waiting to be employed to give life. Like so many shells on the seashore, this one was once home to a living creature. As happens, the shell was discarded as its inhabitant died or was eaten. Washed by the surf and deposited on land, this shell was chosen for the Baptismal font at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Hyattsville, Md.

The shell’s juxtaposed beauty and brokenness testify to God’s work through means to save His people. The water of Baptism is just water, but with God’s command and His Word, this water brings life and salvation, the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit. Joined with the proclaimed Word, more simple elements, bread and wine, also serve to convey grace to broken people.

“Being Joy:Fully Lutheran is being called by God to proclaim His word and administer His sacraments to His people,” said the Rev. Eric Linthicum, pastor of Redeemer. “There is great joy in serving people who were born in places like, Missouri, Ireland, Mississippi, Ethiopia, Wisconsin, Germany, Washington DC, Eritrea, Ohio, Tanzania, Indiana, Liberia and Maryland to name but some of the birth places of members of Redeemer. We come together as one body using the liturgy and hymnody of the Church to be served by Him in the Divine Service. And to know, that this is just a foretaste of what awaits us in heaven. That is being Joy:Fully Lutheran!”

In Christ, all who are broken are made whole. All who are broken and discarded are called children and heirs. All who are dead are brought into the resurrection of Jesus. At Redeemer, the saints assembled are those whom God has called by His grace through His means into the fellowship of His Son Jesus. Themselves both broken and made whole, they find joy in both receiving the Means of Grace and bringing those means to the people in their lives. This joyful service leads to hymns of praise “…and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Rev 7: 9—12)



  • Stuart Oberheu says:

    Yes and yes, presuming you reference LCMS confessed theology. But, why then do LSB Liturgies all serve two masters as indicated by duel services of Word and Sacrament ? Would the Sacrament exist if the Word had not been incarnate in Christ Jesus? How can the servant be equal to the Master? The Sacrament serves our Savior’s purpose in giving Himself for crucifixion. The eating and drinking reflects Children of God acceptance of our Lord’s grace and faith in the promise of their Baptism. Ordained servants even cite duel ministries of “Word and Sacrament” that define their duel duties. Isn’t that idolatry? The First Commandment says it is. Have 500 years washed away the theology of the reformer’s struggles and submitted to political theology correctness? Where is the LCMS rock?

    So asks this octogenarian who still remembers one Communion service a quarter, after personally announcing desire to partake, and contribution envelopes that were the primary (if not sole) source of income for Home, District, and Synod budgets that funded all relevant service organizations (world with no development or advancement officers). Have God’s Lutheran Children lost “The Way?” Our 21st Century updates are beginning to scream duel songs, and more, that bring into question if their will be a recognizable LCMS theology descendant of the 19th and 20th Centuries at the end of the 21st Century.

    You may include my comments in your reply, if you actually read this and are inclined to comment on mine.

    • LCMS Church Information Center says:

      Thank you for your comment. Since we confess (in agreement with our Lord’s own words) that the Sacrament of the Altar is His true body and blood, which He gives us Christians to eat and drink for the forgiveness of our sins, there can be no opposition between the Word and the Sacrament. As the Word is the Word of Him whom we alone are to worship; so the Sacrament is the Body and Blood of Him whom we alone are to worship.

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