Rev. Sharon Dorr, Interim
2751 Sunset Point Road Clearwater, Florida 33759 727-796-2200
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April 2, 2017 Sermon by Rev. Sharon Dorr
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St. Matthias Church Choir
The St. Matthias Church Choir sings at the 10:00 am worship service every week. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm, as well as Sunday mornings at 9:30 am. During the summer months the choir only rehearses on Sunday morning prior to the service.
You do not need to know how to read music to become a choir member. If you enjoy singing or would like to learn how to sing we invite you to come and join the group.
THE SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR
Reprinted from Luther's Small Catechism
What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine,
instituted by Christ himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.
Where is this written? Answer: The holy evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and St. Paul write thus: In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me. Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
What is the benefit of such eating and drinking? Answer: The words "given for you" and "shed for you.... for the forgiveness of sin" show us that forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given to us in the sacrament through these words, because where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
How can bodily eating and drinking do such a great thing? Answer: Eating and drinking, certainly do not do it, but rather the words that are recorded: "given for you" and "shed for you.... for the forgiveness of sin." These words, when accompanied by the physical eating and drinking, are the essential thing in the sacrament, and whoever believes these very words has what they declare and state namely, "forgiveness of sin."
Who, then receives this sacrament worthily? Answer: Fasting and bodily preparation are in fact a fine external discipline, but a person who has faith in these words, "given for you" and "shed for you.... for the forgiveness of sin," is really worthy and well prepared. However, a person who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, because the words "for you" require truly believing hearts.
"As Christians of the Lutheran tradition, we maintain that Christ is truly present in the bread and the wine of the Eucharist. We also practice an open table here at St. Matthias, whereas all people having faith in this are invited to partake of this holy supper."
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM
Reprinted from Luther's Small Catechism
I. What is baptism?
Answer: Baptism is not simply plain water. Instead it is water used according
to God's command and connected with God's Word.
What then is this Word of God? Answer: Where our Lord Christ says in Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
II. What gifts or benefits does baptism grant? Answer: It brings about forgiveness of sins, redeems from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe it, as the Word and promise of God declare.
What is this Word and promise of God? Answer: Where our Lord Jesus Christ says in Mark 16:16 "The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned."
III. How can water do such great things? Answer: Clearly the water does not do it, but the Word of God, which is with, in and among the water, and faith, which trusts this Word of God in the water. For without the Word of God the water is plain water and not a baptism, but with the Word of God it is a baptism, that is, a grace-filled water of life and a "bath of the new birth in the Holy Spirit." As St. Paul says to Titus in 3:5-8, "He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is sure."
IV. What then is the significance of such a baptism with water? Answer: It signifies that daily the old person in us with all our sins and evil desires is to be drowned through sorrow for sin and repentance, and that daily a new person is to come forth and rise up to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
Where is this written? Answer: St. Paul says in Romans 6:3-4, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."
The Lutheran tradition defines a sacrament as rites which have the command of God and to which the
promise of grace has been added. Therefore the sacraments are actually baptism, the Lord's Supper,
and absolution (the sacrament of repentance). for these rites have the command of God and the promise
of grace, which is the essence of the New Testament.
What then is the Office of the Keys? It is the power which Christ gave His church to offer forgiveness of sins in his name. John 20:22-23 clearly states that the risen Christ breathed on his disciples and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (NRSV)
When we as Christians gather around Word and Sacrament, we confess our sins to God and to one another. We then hear the words, "As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins." We must have faith that when we hear the words of this declaration, that the action of the forgiveness of sins is taking place.
St. Matthias Luthern Church is a member of the Florida Bahamas Synod of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Supporting the Florida Bahamas Synodical Women's Organization and the Women of the ECLA
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