SOURCE: Unsplash | Wim van ‘t Einde


Sermon Starter

“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:5-7).

Wisdom is difficult to find. The more wisdom that one gains, the more difficult it is to ask for more. The reason? Wisdom leads the bearer of it to see things as they really are. Wisdom leads the bearer to see the world for what it is. Wisdom also exposes the hypocrisy which exists in the church. The blessed Martin Luther was given a good amount of wisdom.

He looked at the church which was a product of the Middle Ages and he saw hypocrisy in many ways. But God didn’t give him all his wisdom at the beginning. It would have been too much for Luther to bear. He started out with a few things, but in time it grew. Luther, when in hiding in the Castle Wartburg, began translating the Old Testament and New Testaments in German. What was his source? The Hebrew and the Greek Bible.

This proved to be an eye opener for Martin Luther. He began to see things for what they were and he started to realize that there were other doctrines being taught in the Church that were not according to the Scriptures as he read the Hebrew and Greek. As Luther read the holy scriptures in their original languages he grew in wisdom. Not human wisdom–Godly wisdom.

The papists claimed that the doctrines which they were teaching and practicing were the doctrines from of old. But, in reality, the revelation of the holy scriptures showed that the doctrines of the papists were actually novelties. They were fairly new teachings. Wisdom is difficult to find and difficult to request, because as Luther’s life demonstrates, he suffered greatly because of the wisdom that had been given him.

It so happened that Martin Luther’s brave stand against the church and the papists who ran it was a move that opened the floodgates and many theologians rode on Luther’s coat-tails. Luther’s brave stand enabled men of different doctrinal persuasions to follow him and form their own denominations. This long process has come to be known as the Reformation.

Sunday School Starter

The Early Childhood Class will study “The Restoring King.” Josiah becomes king of Judah at only eight years old. During the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah begins the restoration of the temple. When they clean the temple, Hilkiah, high priest and Josiah’s faithful teacher, discovers the Book of the Law. Hearing the words of the Law, Josiah tears his clothes in repentance and directs Hilkiah to inquire of the Lord concerning the people. The Lord responds, telling Josiah that because of his penitent heart He will hold back the disaster from Josiah’s kingdom. The students will continue memorizing the Third Commandment and Explanation.

The Lower Elementary Catechumens will study “The Poolside Sign.” For thirty-eight years, a paralyzed man has lain by the pool of Bethesda, hoping to enter it and receive healing. Jesus asks if he desires healing and then tells the man to take up his bed and walk. When the Jews see the man carrying his bed on the Sabbath, they question him about who told him to do this, but the man doesn’t know who Jesus is. After encountering Jesus at the temple, the man reports back to the Jewish leaders, who persecute Jesus. This class will continue memorizing the Fifth Commandment and Explanation.

Catechesis with Pastor will begin to focus on the golden thread of the Reformation — the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed, Justification by grace through faith in Jesus and the Divine Liturgy. The First Article of the Creed and its explanation should be memorized by now.