Sunday, May 26, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with those effected by the May 20th tornadoes killing at least 24 people in Moore, Okla., some of them children. The two LCMS congregations serving the area are:
Trinity Lutheran Church
St. John's Lutheran Church and School
Both churches escaped damage and are open and busy serving members of their congregations and community who have experienced damage and loss.
How You Can HelpYou can help these congregations as they respond. The easiest way to help is through the LCMS disaster response effort. Your gifts for Disaster Response provide a constant resource of funds that can instantly be made available to help those in need.
You may also give by mail:
Make checks payable to "The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod" with a memo line or note designating ‘Disaster Response’
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
P.O. Box 66861
St. Louis MO 63166-6861
Or by phone:
Monday, May 20, 2013
If suddenly this morning the weather were to change, dark clouds filled the sky, thunder lightning, hailstones, and storm appeared, our reaction would probably be "What's going on? The weatherman said we were gong to have a perfect day today." We might be taken aback more if at the same time a large ball of fire appeared in the chancel, broke apart into small tongues of fire, and each landed on someone's head.
Luke’s description makes it clear that something tremendous happened in Jerusalem on that first Pentecost. There are some dimensions that are not ordinary, ever day occurrences. They are strange, different, unusual.
Our trouble, however, is that we today view this story as a kind of quaint museum piece—an exhibit of things that happened long ago. Certainly strange and unusual, but somehow we fail to see the connection between that event and our lives today.
Yet the early Christians were very much in tune with these events and understood their meaning. God had used these means and methods before. Throughout the Scriptures a storm or great wind is a sign of the presence of God. One of the signs of God's presence on Mount Sinai was the thunder and lightning in the storm. The same is true of fire. We all recall the pillar of fire that went with Israel from one place to another. When these phenomena occurred in the Scriptures, instead of thinking of weathermen or fire extinguishers, the early Christians immediately thought of God. These were two signs by which God was assuring them of His presence.
As Luke records it: These early Christians were all together in one place says our text. They were gathered for worship and God appeared; He made His presence known. This first Pentecost was an experience of elemental force. Like a cloudburst that overwhelms a parched land, so the Spirit of God came to the first disciples. So while it was a wondrous experience for these early Christians, it may not have been as foreign and strange as it is to us today. Then we here "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit." The Christian church was born.
God's Presence Today
When we remember this, we can say that this morning, Pentecost 2013, here at Faith Lutheran, and every Sunday morning, is a similar experience for God's people. But He doesn't use fire and wind; He has other sign of His presence here, other means that He uses to assure us that He is here. He says, for example, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." He declares that He is present in the Word spoken in our worship. He is here in our worship service as He speaks to you in Scripture readings, the sermon, and the Absolution, He is here in and with the bread and wine to give us the body and blood of Christ, personally and individually.
It is the same kind of day. Although it is likely you will not see tongues of fire or hear the wind, He is here. Not in some sort of spooky sense, but God Himself is present because He has promised to be. Therefore when the church gathers, it is more than just a social group getting together. It's more than just putting in an hour for some good cause, or even some good work. It is God Himself gathering you together, so that He can work on you and accomplish His good purpose in your lives. That's what Pentecost is all about—the power of God's Spirit at work in the lives of Spirit-filled people, building the Church of God here on Earth.
God's Presence In Faith’s History
25 years ago a group of Spirit-filled people came together in a fledgling congregation and began to dig a basement out of a hillside on Bieker Road. Some of you are sitting here this morning; others were your fathers, your husbands, and your brothers in Christ. The foundational work they did, and all the subsequent planning and labor, stands as a demonstration of the power of God's people on Earth. But it is not, and was not, the structure that caused the church to be and to grow. It was the power of the Holy Spirit working through believers. Before there was a building there was a Church. Before there was a building there was right teaching and preaching of God's Word; there were the sacraments and the forgiveness of sins.
There was all that was necessary to be Faith Lutheran, a Church of the true God. But the Holy Spirit gave the congregation abundant gifts. He gave Faith Lutheran the skill and resources to build a structure dedicated to the glory of God. But like that first Pentecost, the birth, establishment and growth of Faith Lutheran, is not only a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit working through believers, but it is a promise of even greater things in a world to come.
So this morning, on this “anniversary of the Church” while we take a deserved "time out" to reminisce about the times past, we must maintain the true course and goal of the true Church of God, we must take with glad hearts the command of our Lord to go out into the world and bring all nations to the foot of the cross. There to hear and see what God has done for all men. There to feel the healing power of God's grace on a soul infected with sin.
Just outside the tiny town of Exira, Iowa, is a famous landmark. There is a legend that young farmer was out plowing his field when a group of Union soldiers passed by. Overwhelmed by patriotism, the young man leaned his plow against a young oak tree and left to join the Civil War—and never returned. Today, passersby stop at Plow-in-the-Oak Park to picnic by the once-young tree that grew and swallowed up the farmer's once useful plow.
Goals are like that. If we set them aside for a time, we're apt to find them swallowed up in the changing scene and rapidly growing world. Good goals should never be put aside, but pursued until, with the grace of God, they are achieved. We must continue to be about the building of the Church of God here on Earth and here in Washington, Missouri.
God's Presence In Spirit-Filled People
That Pentecost recorded by Luke was a one-time event. But the world today still needs Spirit-filled people, swift as the wind, to take the word of God to people in languages that they can understand. The world today still needs Spirit-filled people, strong as the wind, to run up and down the streets and lanes of Washington, Missouri proclaiming the Good News to a world incredibly depressed and grim, lonely and gloomy—the Good News of a Savior crucified and risen again. The Good News of a Savior who cares.
Brothers and sisters, members of Faith Lutheran Church, I contend that you have been and are still God's Spirit-filled people.
Spirit-Filled People Care And Show It In Their Lives. They control their fears and overcome their flaws. They keep their sharp tongues and flaming tempers in check, They say with the apostle Paul: In the midst of life's hardships and cruelties, we have found more than victory through Him who loved us. They triumph even over the final enemy, which is Death. They see their resurrected Lord come out of that dismal garden at the crack of the first Easter dawn, and they know the power of the Spirit He promised. They have no reason to go around any longer hanging sad and sorrowful. Instead, they go forth laughing and leaping, shouting and singing.
Spirit-Filled People Are Changed. Change is not all bad. If nobody could be changed were would we be? People are often rigidly inflexible, stubbornly bullheaded, and arrogantly right about everything. In almost every case, people like that are dead wrong. Spirit-filled people have to be ready for change, prepared to accept change—even change in themselves.
Spirit-Filled People See God At Work. Jesus Christ himself said that the Spirit is like the wind. you can see the results, even though you can't see the wind. The Spirit is like the wind. It blows were it chooses He said. That's the way the Spirit is. None of us can tell the Spirit what to do. We have to accept Him and His work. We have to recognize His power. We have to admit the changes He produces in ourselves and in others.
Spirit-Filled People Are "On The Go." They are not the most consistent people in the world. The only thing consistent about them is that the Spirit moves them. Otherwise, you can never predict exactly what they are going to do. They will love when others are hateful. They will forgive when others are intent on getting even. They are ready to move when others are standing still. They are where the action is, not looking for the safe comfortable seats.
Spirit-Filled People Are Fiery. When God's Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost, split tongues of fire sat on their heads. What happened? They were aglow with the Spirit and ablaze with God. They were fervent and fired up, "enthusiastic" in the first meaning of that word—filled with God. Spirit-filled people today are energetic and passionately committed to Jesus Christ. They spend their lives doing things for other people in the name of Jesus.
You might think that in a world of hate, strife, violence and war, who needs fiery and aggressive people who are angry and hot-tempered, making life a constant battle? Certainly, nobody needs them. But the world does need Spirit-filled people on fire for God, given to love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, goodness, patience and self-control. Those are gifts of the Spirit. The lives of Spirit-filled people embody them.
The world needs people on fire with faith graciously given them as a gift from God—on fire with love, on fire with the power of the Spirit, The world needs people who have left behind those former days of apathy and lukewarm commitment. It needs people who are revved up for Christ, turned on for God, fiery and fervent followers of Christ: dreaming impossible dreams, bearing impossible loads, fighting unbeatable foes, and "marching into hell itself," with a heavenly cause.
The fire of the Spirit crackles with life. That's the way it is with Spirit-filled people. They are alive. They are energetic. They are active. They are vibrant. They are on the move and on the go for God. They are not out to hurt people, but to help them. They know the task is monumental and the time is short. The Spirit moves them to be God's people with confidence and a zest to touch the lives of others with the Good News.
Spirit-Filled People Are Alive. They don't go around with long faces and set lips. They are not always shaking their heads and saying "no." Their greatest word is "yes."
Spirit-Filled People Have A New Language. There are fewer foul, filthy, sharp, profane, vicious, wounding words. Spirit-filled people are empowered and moved to speak words that heal and gladden and soothe and reconcile; building people up instead of tearing them down. People are attracted to them because they have compassion and love.
The Spirit of the Lord fills the world. He is here and He is busy. He is doing exactly what Christ said He would do. When the counselor comes...the Spirit of Truth, ...He will bear witness to me. That's what the Spirit is doing: Telling people the Good News of God as you have it in Jesus Christ.
Like most Christians, we sit like rocket ships on the launching pad, ready for orbit but never used. We are like Christmas trees never sold, or beautiful paintings never hung; or a CD unplayed. We spend a lifetime seemingly studying God's Word, listening to His commands, and fellowshipping in His Church; but seldom do we do what God has called each and every one of us to—to take His Word to all people, to witness to the atoning work of Christ Jesus. But Spirit-filled people are different. They hear God speaking and they respond.
God's Presence In Us As Spirit-Filled People
There is forgiveness from God for you. Jesus Christ died for you. That's the Spirit talking to you today. If it were not for the Spirit of God, the message would have long since died. There is new life from God for you in Jesus Christ. It comes by faith, and it acts by love. That mission would long since have died if the Spirit of God were not active. The message and the mission are yours to take with you each day, and, as true believers, the Spirit of God seeks to talk through you, to further the message and mission thorough you, each day.
There have always been people like those at the first Pentecost who have asked, "what does this mean?" It is a good question. This means exactly what the rest of the book of Acts tells us: repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ happen all the time through the power of God's Spirit. The wind is blowing and the fire is burning. Jesus has gone to the place of His lordship, and His Spirit has taken His place here on Earth. It is just as Jesus said, If I do not go away the Spirit cannot come.
Jesus went to His cross, to His grave, and then to His glory—to His Father. Returning to Heaven and picked up the mantel of power and authority which was His before time, and which He had set aside to humble himself to become man. By going to Calvary, by lying in that garden grave, and then triumphantly rising from the dead, and by returning to His seat of power in Heaven, God's Spirit comes, richly and fully, to enliven the lives of ordinary people, people like you and like me, and to bring us to Jesus. As people redeemed by God have just got to be filled with His Spirit. Otherwise, you would not be trusting in God, hoping in God. You are alive. You are forgiven and forgiving. You are loved and loving. You are Spirit-filled.
The Spirit of the Lord speaks Word of God. Listen to Him and renew your belief in Jesus your Savior every day. The Spirit of God lights your fire today and fans the flames with the wind of His power. Use the gifts He has given you to build and strengthen the Church on Earth and bring souls to the family of God. Believe, hope and trust in God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
My prayer for you is that the grace of our Father Almighty, the love of the Son who redeemed you, the power of the Spirit who brought you to the one true faith, and the peace of God which passes all understanding, be and abide with you. Amen.
Acknowledgement and thanks to Rev. Oswald Hoffman for the inspiration of Spirit-filled people from a sermon heard in 1990 by a young impressionable seminarian.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Come join the Faith family on Sunday May 19th to discuss the future of our church family.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:12-26, John 17:1-11
For thousands and thousands of years, some scholars have studied the Bible by focusing on the meaning or symbolism of certain numbers. We must be very careful when studying those numbers, for it is all too easy to focus on the numbers themselves and search for so-called hidden meanings while failing to understand why God has given specific numbers for us to understand. But that’s not to say that all Biblical numbers are meaningless, for some numbers we read most certainly do have implications for our study of the Scriptures.
Take, for example, the number 40. When God sent the great flood to destroy the wicked people while preserving only Noah and his family – and preserving the life of animals and birds – Genesis 7:12 says that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt. Sinai when God gave him and us the Ten Commandments – and when the Children of Israel rebelled against the God who had led them from the slavery of Egypt, they were forced to spend 40 years wandering in the wilderness before their children could finally enter the Promised Land. Following His baptism, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness as Satan tempted him. Last Thursday marked Christ’s ascension into heaven – an event that took place 40 days following His resurrection. What you see here is a pattern – a pattern of the number 40 representing either a period of testing, a period of preparation, or a critical period of God’s redemptive history of His people.
Another symbolic number – one that is less often used but which has great importance – is the number 12. In the Book of Genesis we learn how God chose the 12 sons of Jacob to be His covenant people. Those sons and their families – better known as the 12 Tribes of Israel – were given more than just the promise of a homeland flowing with milk and honey. More importantly, they were given the promise of being the ancestors of the Messiah, the Promised One who would lead them not only from temporary, painful human bondage, but from the deadly and eternal spiritual bondage of sin.
God did, indeed, lead the 12 Tribes to the Promised Land. This great nation that had descended from the 12 sons of Jacob now began to live – or so it seemed – in one communion as God’s faithful people. But the oneness was often tested and was sometimes shattered. In the Book of Judges we read of conflict when members of the Tribe of Dan, who were unhappy with their portion of the Promised Land, so they set out to conquer new lands for themselves. Then we read of the Tribe of Benjamin being attacked by armies of the other 11 tribes. Under King David and King Solomon the 12 Tribes seemingly were united in peace. But following Solomon’s death, the Promised Land was broken into two nations, the nations of Israel and Judah. The 12 Tribes were broken apart, never again to be unified or complete. Just as sin had corrupted all of God’s creation when Adam and Eve first defied God, sin had likewise corrupted God’s chosen people, and they would never again – never in all of recorded history – be one.
The memory of the 12 Tribes remained firmly planted in the psyche of Jacob’s descendants who still followed the true God in what was left of Israel 2,000 years ago. And it was then – 2,000 years ago, during the ministry of Jesus – that 12 again became an important number in Scripture. Although we are told that large numbers of people followed Jesus for much of His ministry, Jesus personally selected 12 men to be His Apostles. On one occasion recorded in Matthew chapter 19, when Jesus was discussing life in heaven following His second coming, He told the Apostles: “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
And yet, it was one of the 12 – Judas Iscariot – who broke the fellowship of the Apostles by betraying Jesus and killing himself. In Luke’s record of the Acts of the Apostles, the good doctor describes the earliest church in the interim between the ascension and Pentecost. The visible physical presence of Jesus in the church is gone, and the Spirit has not yet been poured out. And so the eleven and those who also followed Jesus awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit by devoting themselves to prayer and the study of Scripture. Peter leads the community.
Peter addressed the group and recited verses from two of the Psalms, including these words from Psalm 109: “Let another take his office.” The fellowship of the Apostles had been broken. The purpose of this gathering was to discuss the appointment of a replacement for Judas. The 11 Apostles felt compelled to include the larger group of ‘brothers’ to help in selecting a replacement. Luke notes 120 persons were present; indicating not only their involvement as members of the body of Christ, abut also their unity and their togetherness when decisions need to be made.
Peter and the other followers of Jesus understood that the full number of the twelve must be restored. It is necessary that one of the men should become one with them in their future travels. The decision would be based on the criteria established by Peter regarding this election, This successor should have at least two qualifications: (1) he must have been with Jesus and the disciples from Christ’s baptism to his ascension, and (2) he must have been witness to the resurrection, as were the other disciples. Peter determined the requirements, but the final choice was left to the Lord.
The job description is stated in two words: “ministry” and “apostolic” which grants the new disciple the full right of apostleship equal to that of the 11.
They identified two men who had been followers of Jesus from the start of His ministry. God’s choice, determined by casting lots, was Matthias. The name of the one selected was Matthias, and he was added to the number of the apostles.
While most of the decisions you and I may don’t appear to be as momentus as selecting an apostle of Christ, today we want to hear what Scripture has to say to us about making appropriate decisions. Along the way we’ll be looking at the examples of seeking counsel from God’s people and direction from God.
On this Mother’s Day, I have a several questions to ask you: How do you get along with your mother-in-law? How did you choose the mother of your children? What qualifications did you use in selecting a mate to bring to God’s altar for a promise of lifetime commitment? What qualifications would you list for the mothers whom we remember today? Good mothers and good parents do not happen by chance, but often require important decisions. Today we want to talk about making important life decisions.
The first step in making good decisions is to state or identify the problem/issue in a clear and concise statement.
For the disciples, the issue was a ‘now what? Jesus had appointed 12 disciples They were down one. They needed to find a replacement for Judas. Peter stated the agenda in a clear sentence when he said, “It is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us.”
Our difficulty in making choices and decisions is that we often deal with wishes rather than needs. We do not say what we really need. In fact, our hidden agenda does not allow us to be honest in a simple statement of need.
Jesus never wished to die. In fact, in the garden he asked his heavenly Father to remove the cup of suffering. But there was also a divine must, a divine need. In order to save humankind, Jesus needed to die for us and give his life as a ransom for many.
Second step in good decision-making is to identify possible solutions.
The disciples set certain qualifications. They had to choose someone who had been with them from the beginning, who knew all things that had taken place so that he could give the testimony of an eyewitness.
Even more important than the qualifications of an apostle was the function of an apostle—“a witness of [Christ’s] resurrection.” These qualifications were demanding, but the successor was to be part of the mission team of the apostles.
In selecting people to fill positions in the church, we may be tempted to concentrate on such things as job-related skills or a life of-the-party personality. But today’s disciple needs to be spiritually mature and committed to the Savior, as were the original disciples.
Peter did not act alone in making the decision. He asked the community of believers to review possible solutions. He depended on the Spirit to guide the community. The community asked God to lead them in their search for the right person. The church prayed as a group and acted as a group.
One of the hardest parts in making a decision is truly to seek GodÕs help and the advice of fellow Christians in choosing the best person for a particular task.
There is a world to be gained. There is a ministry that has to be done. An apostle must be sent. There is a story that has to be told. There are people who need to hear of the goodness of a resurrected Lord. Those charged with this awesome task find it gratifying when they successfully select candidates who are fit for ministry and who fulfill the ministry.
Do we decide on activities and make decisions that will further our kingdom, or further the kingdom of God? Judas made a bad decision. It was a personal decision based on frustration, disappointment, and greed. Yet Jesus died for the bad decisions of all people, beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He paid for decisions that you and I regret. He died even for the sins of someone as estranged as Judas or the thief on the cross. He died to pay our debt and then arose on the third day to empower us to be his witnesses. His Spirit gives us the wisdom to make decisions to honor his name.
Decisions are never easy, be we are called on to make decisions all the time. Some are personally important, that will further our kingdom, like deciding on a spouse. But there are time when we are called on to make decisions that will further the kingdom of God by selecting people for church offices and tasks. We need to know our needs, we need to evaluate the best possible solutions, we need to involve the community, and we need to go to God in prayer.
Faith is the community of Christ gathered here in Washington, Missouri. Through Word and Sacrament, you have been witnesses of what Christ has done in this place and in your lives. We are human and we will make mistakes. We are all guilty of making decisions and judgements out of frustration, guilt, disappointment, and greed. Jesus died for the bad decisions of all people, including you and me. He paid for decisions that you and I regret. He died even for the sins of those who have caused us heartache and hurt by their decision. He paid our debt, He paid your debt, and then He rose on the third day to empower us to be his witnesses.
As a result of the Jerusalem Council the number of the twelve was restored. Everything was in readiness for the sending of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Everything was in readiness for the Apostles – the twelve – to begin following Jesus’ command to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
After the few verses we heard earlier, we are told no more in Scripture about Matthias – he is never mentioned again. For that matter, only a few of the Apostles are actually mentioned in the final 23 books of the New Testament. All of our attention will now be focused not on this number, but to the apostolic witness to Christ and the spread of the Gospel throughout what then was most of the known world.
It is in this witness and spreading of the Gospel that we focus in on the number cited by Jesus in today’s Gospel lesson: the number one. In His prayer for the Apostles, Jesus asks: “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
“Even as we are one,” Jesus said. Today Christians confess oneness in creeds – statements of what we believe – in the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed – but in Jesus’ day, the oneness of the Jewish people was represented by these words from Deuteronomy chapter 6, words known as the Shema: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Even though the Shema was spoken for centuries before God’s people understood the Trinity it actually is totally consistent with everything that Jesus taught and everything that we Christians believe. Two weeks from today is Trinity Sunday, the day that we focus so specifically on our belief in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – three persons but one—and only one—God. This belief in the oneness of the Triune God – our confession that we make here and now – represents the prayer of Jesus “that they” – that we – “may be one.”
One of my favorite Psalms is that appointed for us today; it is Psalm 133. It’s only three verses long; please open your hymnals to the front, and let’s read those words together:
1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
Unity … blessing … life forevermore. What beautiful words, representing the life we have – or should have – as redeemed believers in Christ. But as we look around the religious landscape of modern Christianity, we seldom see much if any unity. Instead, we see denominations based on false teachings and flawed understandings of Scripture. We see churches that deny the truth of Scripture and substitute the sinful and shortsighted opinions of mankind. In our own beloved Missouri Synod our fellowship is divided by issues including forms of worship, denial of the clear Biblical mandate for closed communion, and even – by a few – calls for the ordination of women pastors. Sometimes congregations are split into warring factions to the extent that hate and fear replace love and fellowship. As long as we draw breath on this earth, Satan will never stop trying to create division and destroy your fellowship, just as he destroyed the fellowship of the 12 Tribes and the fellowship of the 12 Apostles.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ;
I thank God every day that Faith Lutheran Church here in Washington is not beset by these false beliefs and false practices. I thank God that this congregation holds fast to the teachings of Scripture and the teachings of Scripture alone. This doesn’t mean that you may not, on occasion, disagree on some issues or details. But in matters of faith, you are one. Jesus prayed: “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one.” Jesus continues to make that same prayer for us. And He will do so continuously until we are brought to Paradise, where we and all believers shall worship our Triune God with one voice, in unity for all eternity.
You have begun a process, a journey toward healing and making this ministry whole. His Spirit gives us the wisdom to make decisions to honor his name. The first century church has given you the model for the days and months to come—they asked God to lead them. The church prayed as a group and acted as a group. In this way they received the blessing of God upon their decision.
You are the church of Christ in Washington. Ask God to lead you. Pray as a group. Care for one anther and find unity. Then act as a group. Serve God and serve one another. God has promised that your decisions will hallow His name and serve his holy will and his kingdom, both here and for eternity.
Ascended Lord, the vistas are high, the horizon is long, the landscape seems endless. From our vantage point, spreading the Gospel to all the world sounds impossible. Give us patience and perseverance, reminding us always to follow you fully in the places you have chosen for us. And keep us focused on our tasks at hand until the day when your name will echo over every hill and valley. Amen.
with thanks and acknowledgment of Pastor Terry O’Brien
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
From the Memorial Moment
Wednesday of Easter 6
8 May 2013
8 May 2013
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (ESV)