Our Mission...... As men, women, and children united in faith in Christ Jesus, we believe he commanded us to “go and make disciples.” We therefore will proclaim the Gospel of Christ through our words and actions to the community, campus, and others. We will teach God’s word in its truth and purity to help each other grow and mature in faith preparing us, God’s people, for “works of service.”
Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, River Falls, WI
545 Apollo Road
River Falls, WI 54022
The point here dare not be lost. It is not that anyone who wants to be or claims to be a preacher is one. For the text expressly tells us that the Spirit of God did indeed rest on these two men, so that they prophesied in accord with God's will and Word. They preached with an immediate call, even though that call had not been publicly attested, as was the call of seventy. The point rather is the humility of Moses. He rejoiced in the gifts that God gave to his people and desired that those gifts be even more abundant to the glory of God and the benefit of God's children. Service to the glory of God is our goal, be it that of the greatness of the prophets, that of the seventy chosen by God to assist, or that of those in the assembly with still other gifts from the Lord. For not one of us has all of God's gifts; the needs of each, no matter how gifted, should keep each one humble as each looks for his God-given opportunities to serve, while giving thanks for the gifts and service of others.
Pastor Clayton Welch on the Gospel Lesson
Even in the one who is God Incarnate expected to suffer. He knew the depths of his coming sorrow. But he embraced it. For by it he would enter into his glory, namely, the glory of his office of our Savior. Any suggestions that he should do otherwise could come only from the devil. He who suffered the cross for us also has assured us that we too will suffer the cross in consequence of following him. It is likewise of the devil to expect that should be otherwise. For to seek or expect escape from our cross ends in a denial of his cross and its saving benefit. Notice that Jesus promises his cross and the cross for the disciples at exactly that moment when their faith in him was most confident and secure. Moments of peace are moments of preparation for the cross, not ends in themselves.
It is God's nature to give good gifts to his children. In fact those are the only kinda of gifts he can give. For his essence is changeless. His surpassing goodness he has demonstrated in becoming our father by means the gospel. What then should we conclude in every time of trouble or need? It is a good gift from God and will yet be seen as such. Freed by his fatherly goodness from fear, we strive to follow after him in imitation of is purity and his kindness. Yes, we even try to become vehicles through which he shows kindness and goodness to those around us who are in need.
Adding to God's Word is just as bad as subtracting from it. In both cases man sets aside what God has said in favor of what he wants in order to justify himself apart from God's Word and Christ's work. Precisely because the Word of both the law and the gospel is addressed to the heart, it allows for no additions, no subtractions. For to the extent that the heart is cleansed by the gospel, to that extent what flows from it will be clean in accord with the law. An unclean heart can produce only unclean works, whether that uncleanness is apparent or hidden behind a veil of hypocrisy. Those who would take the law seriously need first and always the cleansing power of the gospel; those who refuse to take the law seriously prove thereby that their hearts are still unclean and separated from God.
Based on Ephesians 5:15-20—Vacuums Want to Be Filled
As with the other readings this Sunday, this reading also stresses that there are only two paths to walk. Either we walk in folly or in wisdom. Those whose food is wisdom walk with God. Their path is one of understanding and joy, even in the evil times. For the Spirit fills them by his means of his Word of peace and joy and thanksgiving in Christ. That Word, through which the Spirit comes, they sing and say to themselves and to one another, that they may always be filled with saving food and be found on that path of wisdom with and in Christ.
If anyone ever had reason to be discouraged and to complain, it was surely Elijah in this chapter! But what does God do with Elijah's complaints? He ignores them! For God has work for the prophet to do and lays on him no more than Elijah can bear, in spite of Elijah's complaint to the contrary. But since God has commanded him to do what seemed impossible, to continue in the face of such adversity and persecution, God gives Elijah a powerful sign of providential care in the face of human need and weakness. That is always his way with us, to demand and expect the impossible, to show us our total inability to do the impossible and then to provide what is needed to accomplish his bidding.
Pastor Clayton Welch Speaks on the Word of God from Exodus 24:3-11
—Powerful Blood Comes from a Powerful God
There is no fellowship with God apart from the shedding of blood. Even when the children of Israel have promised to do all that God commands, they need to be sprinkled with blood to make them holy and acceptable to God. For sinful they are; sinful they will remain. But once God has cleansed them with blood, he hosts a meal of fellowship as a reflection of their blessed union with him. In the New Testament, that fellowship is even more intimately marked by the meal at which Christ is the host and the blood by which he gives us holiness is the food. In thanksgiving for that meal and all it gives, we too pledge to do his will, while still trusting in his pardon.
Pastor Clayton Welch
First Lesson, Amos 7:10-15, Pentecost 8
Our Lutheran Confessions repeatedly assert: No one should preach who has not been properly called. Amos, together with the other prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament, had immediate calls from the Lord. Our pastors and teachers have mediate call from the same Lord. It is in grace and to save that the Lord sends his called servants with his Word. Woe to those who maliciously imply that such called servants are merely seeking bread through the message they bring; for in them will be fulfilled the warnings of that Word. Pastors do well to remember and cherish the saving function given them by the Lord through that call; hearers do well to listen to the Word of the Lord and give thanks to God that he cares enough for them still to send his servants into their midst with that Word; for even its sharpest rebukes are sent for our eternal good.
The whole world does indeed go into God's courtroom. But how astonishing, how amazing, how wonderful the result! Christ trades places with the world, takes on its well-deserved punishment and effects for it reconciliation. In view of that central fact of history and of the scriptures, who would want, who would dare say in the day of distress that God doesn't care? Far better to say: In deepest woe his sublime act of love for me has given me every reason to trust him. Reconciled, redeemed, forgiven, I am a new creature and live to serve in love him who loved me perfectly and gave himself for me.
Sermon lead by Pastor Clayton Welch Based off of Mark 3:20-35.
Jesus Christ alone is Savior. However, people we might most expect to know that and believe often fall short of expectations. His own earthly family had misgivings about his work, and the religious leaders actively opposed him. To this day many fail to understand him and some even consider him in a league with the devil. But behold his grace! He stayed to save. He continues with his Word to draw a family to himself. Notice the singular nouns in verse 35: By grace and by the Word of promise it is as though I were his only brother, sister, or mother. So total is the redemption; so intimate is the connection.
A Special thank you to Pastor Tom Kutz for bringing us God's Word today.
Sermon Based off of John 20:19-31
Jesus appears to his disciples, first on Easter evening and then a week later. Thomas, who was absent on the first occasion, is present on the second, and he responds in faith. "These" - all that John had written in this Gospel - "are written that you may believe"
Jesus instructs his followers about his suffering, death, and resurrection. When Peter Tries to discourage him, Jesus points out that the way of the Christ - and of the Christian - is the way of the cross.