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Friday, December 29, 2017

What is this bread? What is this wine?

LSB hymn 629
(stanza 1)
What is this bread?
Christ's body risen from the dead:
This bread we break, This life we take,
Was crushed to pay for our release.
O taste and see, the Lord is peace.
After celebrating the joy of Christmas, we soon embark on the season of epiphany (Jan-Feb). Defined (by Webster's dictionary) as "sudden insight," or "intuitive understanding", the season of epiphany gives insight and understanding to the true identity of Christ. Thus, ultimately answering the question, "Who is Jesus?". From the visit to the Magi (Mt 2:1- 12), the baptism of our Lord (Mk 1:4-11), Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael (Jn 1:43-51), Jesus healing many (Mk 1:21- 28;29-39), and to the transfiguration (Mk 9:2-9), the Lord reveals that He is the Savior of the nations. In the epiphany account of the transfiguration, Jesus took with Him, Peter and James and John and on the mountain, and he transfigures before them. "His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light" (Mt 17:2), Moses and Elijah were conversing with the Lord. What a sight! As Jesus reveals Himself by the very words of the Lord, "This is my beloved Son; listen to Him" (Mk 9:7). Through His ministry, the Lord reveals who He is and what He has come to do, ultimately leading to His own death and resurrection. Yes, the Lord manifested himself in many ways and continues even to this day by His Word and Sacraments. On the night when he was to be betrayed, "Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And He took a cup and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Mt 26:26-28). Jesus institutes the Supper and commands them to "Take, eat", "Drink of it, all of you". For in the Supper of our Lord, we partake in His very own body and blood, served in with and under the consecrated bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins. What a blessed gift to receive as we live under the cross of Christ!

Throughout the season of epiphany, we well have a special sermon series on the Sacrament of the Altar to renew and rejoice on the gifts given by our gracious Lord. (share the event on Facebook)

    1/7 -- Sacrament of the Altar: Nature
    1/14 -- Sacrament of the Altar: Benefits
    1/21 -- Sacrament of the Altar: Power
    1/28 -- Sacrament of the Altar: Preparation

I encourage all of you to attend as we dwell upon the word of God and the comfort that He gives through His gracious and glorious means. May this be an opportunity for you to enrich and strengthen your faith in the lavish riches of God's word that delivers you, in His body and the blood, your ultimate peace - the forgiveness of sins.
Hymn 629 (stanza 2)
What is this wine?
The blood of Jesus shed for mine;
The cup of grace, brings His embrace
Of Life and love until I sing!
O taste and see, the Lord is King
And indeed He is!

Happy New Year! And may God bless and lead you through another year in Christ Jesus!

+Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:
http://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2018/2018-01-Newsletter.pdf

Monday, November 27, 2017

Who is coming to town?

He's making a list
He's checking it twice;
He's gonna find out who's naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town
A very very, very familiar tune that is in regular rotation at every department store this Christmas season. But though we envision Santa Claus riding in his sleigh while dasher, dancer and prancer and the rest of the gang make sure that every gift is delivered just in time for Christmas, we must ask ourselves, “have I been naughty or nice”? Or as the tune later reads...
He knows when you are sleeping,
He knows when you’re awake
He knows when you are bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
Again, we must ask ourselves, “have I been bad or good”? On further examination, we very well know that if Santa were to come to town, there would be great wonder whether we would measure up to his standard. For if we were to follow this song to its every word , not only would the onus be on us, but we would inevitably fall short because of sin.

As we enter into the season of Advent (meaning “Coming”) we reflect upon the coming of Christ from past, present and future. It is in this coming that we look inward as we ask the question, “why did Jesus come to the world for us?” He did not come to see if we were good enough but “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2Cor5:21). Jesus is our redeemer who paid the ultimate price for our sins so that all the questions, “have I been naughty or nice?”, “have I been bad or good?” are laid to rest by Jesus body and blood shed on the Cross. Without Jesus coming to us in the flesh, who could answer for our sins?

In the victorious lamb of God, Jesus comes to us this day by His word and sacrament. Hearing His word (Rom 10:17), dwelling on Holy Scripture (Col 3:16, 2Tm3:16-17, Jsh1:8), Baptism (Gal3:27, Rm6) and receiving His body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins (Mt26:26-28, Mk 14:22-24, Lk22:19-20, 1Cor11:23- 25) , we are given His word that delivers forgiveness, life and salvation. Without Jesus coming to us in the word, where would be in this dark world? And thus we are pointed to what is to come in His final return where He will take us home. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev21:4). A glorious picture of great anticipation as we faithfully wait for what is to come in His return. Without Jesus coming to us on the last day, where is our hope?

Thanks be to God for our merciful Lord who says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev1:4). And by His word, we await in faith for the advent of our King. For in His arrival, whether it is past, present, or future, we are greatly comforted in Him, for He is our true restoration.

May God bless you this Advent and Christmas season.
+Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:
http://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2017/2017-12-Newsletter.pdf

Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email