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Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Divine Service

It is always important to understand why we have service in the way we do. Therefore in the coming months, we will review each part of the Divine Service. Please follow along as we journey through the joy of the Liturgy (Greek: leitourgia- service for the people). For it is in the Divine Liturgy that God gives and we receive. As Jesus is with us and the Holy Spirit guides and leads through the Word, we come to receive in faith His gifts, the Word and Sacrament, for the forgiveness of our sins.


We begin the invocation (invoke: to call upon God in prayer). We begin with the words (as the Pastor begins with the sign of the Cross and these words), "In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit". To invoke the Trinitarian name, is to call upon the one true God who has called us by name (Is 43:1) in the waters of Holy Baptism (Gal 3:27, Ti3:5). Therefore we invoke the Name that has "called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith" (Apostles Creed Art III). By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are gathered in His name (Mt 28:18-20) as we walk in the newness of life.

Key Verse: Matthew 28:19b "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"

Confession and Absolution

"for if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1Jn1:8). We enter the house of the Lord with confession. In order to draw near to God (for God is present with us) "with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:19-22). We first confess our sins to God, acknowledging our sins (Is 6:5, Ps 32:3-5, 130:1-3) against God and neighbor. And therefore we say, "Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean... we justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment". We indeed, deserve eternal condemnation and death for our sin, and thus we confess to our merciful God for His forgiveness.

The second part of confession is to receive absolution, the forgiveness of sins. Again, by the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit, we receive the words of forgiveness that is connected to the atoning work of Christ. And by the words of absolution, we are certain in faith that we are washed clean, purified and forgiven of all our sins. What a joyous gift that God gives through His promises! Now, we are prepared for worship as we praise honor and laud His glorious name!

Key Verse: John 20:22-23 "And when Jesus had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."

For July: Kyrie, Hymn of Praise, Salutation/Prayer of the Day

Have a blessed June!

✝️ Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Reading and Studying

"And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah" (Ac8:27-28)

After worshipping in Jerusalem, the Ethiopian was heading home. As he was seated in his chariot, he was reading and studying the scroll of Isaiah. Derived from the greek word anaginosko [to read aloud], the Ethiopian "read aloud" the scroll of Isaiah, thus revealing the utmost importance of reading and studying scripture.

It brings me back to my youth when my parents would emphasize the importance of memorizing bible verses. At first, I thought it was a tedious task that was filled with great burden. But after their encouragement of reading and studying scripture, I understood their urgency. For it is the Word that gives life, restoration, and renewal.

Therefore, we must continue to read, digest, and study the word of God. For the Word is "written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name" (Jn 20:31). According to a recent survey by Lifeway Research, only 45 percent who attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Only 40 percent of those who attend church read their bible occasionally (once or twice a month). And 20 percent of those who attend church never read their bible.

The Lord said to Joshua, "Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Jsh1:7-8).

Without the word of God, where would the Israelites be? From where would there strength and courage be found? Where would their faith cling? For without the Word of God, we will look left and right, or be tossed to and fro (Eph4:14) by every wind of doctrine in the world. The Word is our precious gift as we continue to live in the one true Faith. And I encourage all of you to begin the day with the reading of scriptures, prayer and devotion [from the Portals of Prayer]. Also, I encourage all of you to faithfully attend Sunday's Divine Service as you hear and receive the gifts through the preached Word and the Sacraments (Rm10:17). Also, with many varieties offered, I highly recommend that you attend our bibles studies.

Sundays 10:45am: Study on the Gospel of John
Tuesdays 7pm: Study on the Spirituality of the Cross (beginning May 8)
Wednesdays 10am and 7pm: Study of the Luther's Large Catechism: Lord's Prayer.

What a great opportunity for all of us to be strengthened by His Word. For it is the Word of God that continues to root our faith in Christ and in Him Crucified. I pray the Lord grants you the joy to study, digest, read His blessed Word that brings you to the knowledge of the truth (1Tm2:4).

✝️ Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:

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