Luther’s Notes on the Gospels: Sts. Peter and Paul the Apostles

June 29th Matthew 16:13-20 New King James Version 13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the … Continue reading

Luther’s Notes on the Sunday Gospel: Trinity 4 -Christian Unity and Peace

Luke 6:36-42 New King James Version 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. 37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. … Continue reading

Luther’s Notes on the Sunday Gospel: Nativity of John the Baptist

June 24th Luke 1:57-80 New King James Version Birth of John the Baptist 57 Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord … Continue reading

Luther’s Notes on the Sunday Gospel: Trinity 3 -The Lost Sheep

Evangelism: Luke 15:1-10 New King James Version The Parable of the Lost Sheep and The Parable of the Lost Coin 15 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees … Continue reading

Luther’s Notes on the Sunday Gospel: Trinity 2 -Invitation: The Great Supper

Invitation: Luke 14:16-24 New King James Version The Great Supper 16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were … Continue reading

Luther’s Notes on the Sunday Gospel: Trinity 1 -Dives and Lazarus

Historic Series Trinity I: Luke 16:19-31 New King James Version The Rich Man and Lazarus 19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a … Continue reading

Worship Styles: A Century Ago

Today there is massive pressure to change Confessional Lutheran forms of worship in order to adapt to the culture. This pressure is not new. Here is an article from a century ago on this same topic. The pressures are the … Continue reading

Divine Service — an Explanation is now in its FOURTH printing

I’m pleased to announce that we are now on the FOURTH printing of the pewcards shown below. This card was prepared and printed so that it may help the laity better understand the liturgy and its richness. We have shipped … Continue reading

Why Christians Make the Sign of the Holy Cross (and a word on genuflection)

In The Small Catechism, Martin Luther encouraged Christians to retain the practice of making the sign of the cross. The Missouri Synod, following Luther’s advice, has encouraged Christians to continue making the sign of the cross, notably at a number of places during … Continue reading

“Blest Servant of the Master” – A Hymn to Honor a Retiring Pastor

What a joy it is to follow in the footsteps, nay, serve alongside such faithful men whom the Lord has called into the Holy Office that each of us might receive the gifts of Word and Sacrament! I saw Rev. … Continue reading

I Wonder if the Time Has Come

It’s been since October that I’ve had the chance to offer anything here at Steadfast Lutherans. With that, here’s what I’ve been pondering as of late… I wonder if the time has come. I know the mutual predilection for many … Continue reading

Guitar Setting: Wachet Auf, P. Nicolai, from Bach’s Setting

This is a transcription of J.S. Bach’s setting for P. Nicolai’s Wachet Auf. This particular setting is used for Hymn 544 in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary “Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying.” A slightly less complex transcription of Wachet Auf … Continue reading

“A Mighty Fortress is Our God” — Sermon for Reformation Sunday

Reverend Christopher I. Thoma + Text and Theme: Lutheran Service Book, Hymn 656, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (The Preaching of the Gospel for this feast takes a different form than what is our usual practice. The intention is to … Continue reading

Passiontide: Passion Sunday, Palm Sunday, Holy Week

Passiontide (Passionalia) is the historic name for the last two weeks of Lent. From ancient times these two weeks were called “The Great Week” (Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα) and “Passion Week”. It was not only the last week as Holy Week, but … Continue reading

Luther’s Small Catechism and Lent

Dr. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism has been associated with the season of Lent since the time Luther first published in chart in time for Lent in 1529. In his sermon of March 25, 1529, he says: “This exhortation ought not … Continue reading

Divine Service — an Explanation is now in its third printing!

I’m pleased to announce that we are now on the THIRD printing of the pewcards shown below. My boss, a solid lutheran owner of a print shop, took this on because he agreed with me that it may help the … Continue reading

O Emmanuel: December 23rd, The “O Antiphons”

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel Hymn Verse: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel. Latin Text: O Emmanuel, … Continue reading

O Rex Gentium: December 22nd, The “O Antiphons”

Come, Desire Of Nations Hymn Verse: O Come, Desire of nations, bind All peoples in one heart and mind; Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, And be Thyself our King of Peace. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O … Continue reading

O Oriens: December 21st, The “O Antiphons”

O Come, Thou Dayspring From On High Hymn Verse: O Come, Thou Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by thy drawing nigh; disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadow put to flight. Latin Text: O Oriens, splendor … Continue reading

O Clavis David: December 20th, The “O Antiphons”

O Come, Thou Key of David, Come Hymn Verse: O Come, Thou Key of David, come, And open wide our heav’nly home, Make safe the way that leads on high, And close the path to misery. Latin Text: O Clavis David, et … Continue reading

O Radix Jesse: December 19th, The “O Antiphons”

O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s Stem Hymn Verse: O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem, From ev’ry foe deliver them That trust Thy mighty power to save, And give them vict’ry o’er the grave. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come … Continue reading

O Adonai: December 18th, The “O Antiphons”

O Come, O Come, Thou Lord of Might The Hymn: O come, O come, Thou Lord of might, Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height In ancient times didst give the law In cloud and majesty and awe. Rejoice! Rejoice! … Continue reading

O Sapientia: December 17th, The “O Antiphons”

O Come, Thou Wisdom From on High The Hymn: O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, Who orderest all things mightily; To us the path of knowledge show, And teach us in her ways to go. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall … Continue reading

Divine Service — an Explanation

Many of you have observed the “Explanation of the Divine Service” pamphlets that are found in the pew racks at Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville while attending a conference or event there. The Brothers of John the Steadfast have worked … Continue reading

The “O Antiphons”

The hymn “O, Come, O, Come, Emmanuel” (TLH 62; LW 31; CW 32; ; ELH 110; LSB 357) is a rendition of the medieval “O Antiphons” also called the “Greater Antiphons.” An Antiphon is a selection of Scripture and prayer … Continue reading