Each Sunday the divine service offers a taste of heaven, as when the congregation sings the very same songs recorded in the Book of Revelation. Meanwhile, we remain here on earth, where Christians face challenges and even persecution as they seek to pass their faith to the next generation. Never fear, for God is here—present in Word and Sacrament!
Singing Heaven’s Song while Still on Earth
The Hausvater Project presents:
- Dr. Ryan MacPherson’s discussion of Jesus’ words “Blessed are those who are persecuted,” revealing the surprising connection between persecution, boldness, and joy as found throughout the New Testament.
- Mr. Douglas Lindee’s framework for a man-to-man discussion that will help fathers rise to the challenge of mentoring their sons for Christian manhood.
- Pastor Jonathan Conner’s continuing series on the Divine Service, this time focusing on the the The Sanctus, that is, the heavenly “Holy, Holy, Holy” song, which both the Prophet Isaiah and St. John the Evangelist overheard in their visions of God’s dwelling place.
Blessed Are the Persecuted
By Ryan MacPherson
The New Testament knows of no evangelism without persecution, in response to which God provides both boldness and joy—boldness to evangelize and joy for both one’s own salvation and also for the salvation of others who are converted amidst persecution. Sometimes the most menacing of the persecutors are themselves converted and then called into the ministry of evangelism. The stoning of Stephen under Saul’s watch and the missionary journeys and epistles of Saul-become-St. Paul were woven of the same salvation-history cloth concerning which “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Characteristically, God triumphs for His people despite initial appearances to the contrary.
As God’s apostles in the home, Christian parents who evangelize their children no doubt will experience persecution from others; as God’s apostles to the congregation, Christian pastors may expect the same. It’s not a question of which nation you live in, but of whose Name has been attached to you by Holy Baptism. As Jesus noted in John 15:18–19:
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Persecution may seem overwhelming at times, but those who have learned to have hope on Good Friday will not fail to see Easter Sunday. “Blessed are those who are persecuted,” said Jesus. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:10–12).
Click to Continue Reading: http://www.hausvater.org/articles/341
The Father as Mentor to His Sons: 10 Topics for Man-to-Man Discussion
By Douglas Lindee
How can today’s Christian fathers prepare their boys to be Christian men, when many of the cultural supports from former days have been removed and when the person most well-suited for the task of passing on the arts and skills of manliness and fatherhood—the boy’s father—is absent a majority of the time? If today’s fathers cannot mentor their sons, where will tomorrow’s fathers receive the training they need?
Fathers have had their difficulties in all periods of time, but today’s fathers face challenges that are somewhat new to the past few generations. The Industrial Revolution separated laboring fathers from their families, just as the Feminist Revolution more recently has separated mothers from their families. Schools now absorb the majority children’s time during their most creative and productive years and train them to become employees for multi-national corporations, not entrepreneurs within their local communities. In the classroom and beyond, boyhood and masculinity are denigrated, and Christianity is openly attacked. From where, then, will the next generation of Christian men arise, capable to lead, provide for, and protect their families?
Click to Continue Reading: http://www.hausvater.org/articles/342
The Divine Service, Part 7: The Sanctus
By Jonathan Conner
Through the words of the Sanctus the congregation is invited to join heaven’s song! With the hosts of heaven we acknowledge the Lord as the “holy, holy, holy” God. In all creation, whether in heaven or on earth, He stands unrivaled in holiness. Our thrice repeated holies also make a bold confession about the Sacrament that the congregation is preparing to receive. In heaven the saints are worshiping Jesus, the Lamb of God. In Holy Communion we receive Jesus, the Lamb of God, and sing His praises with the hosts of heaven. St. John tells in his Gospel that Isaiah’s vision was, in fact, a vision of the pre-incarnate Jesus. The Seraphim were glorifying Jesus! The Sanctus confesses that these realities are connected to the Sacrament of the Altar.
The first verse recorded heaven’s song of praise; the second verse reflects earth’s. In chapter 21 of his Gospel Matthew records Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Upon His coming people shouted, “Hosanna [literally: “save, I pray”] to the Son of David [i.e., to the Promised Messiah]! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Through the Sanctus we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and Deliverer. Furthermore, we acknowledge that He is about to do His work of saving and delivering in the Sacrament of the Altar. Through the gift of His body and blood He forgives our sins, and as the Small Catechism expresses, “where there is forgiveness of sins there is also life and salvation.”
Click to Continue Reading: http://www.hausvater.org/articles/338
Forgiveness in Christ: it’s for you and your children. (Acts 2:38-29)
The Hausvater Project seeks to equip Christian men and women for distinctive and complementary vocations in family, church, and society, by fostering research and education in light of Holy Scripture as proclaimed by the Lutheran Confessions.