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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Guests in this World

Recently, I took the family for a quick getaway to our favorite spot in Pismo Beach. It is always a wonderful time as we eat, relax, take in the ocean breeze and simply enjoy each other’s company. As we checked into the hotel, the clerk greeted us saying, “thank you for being our guest”. As we were unpacking the suitcase and placing each item in their proper place, the Pastor non sequitur moment began. Seeing the travel toothpaste, travel toothbrushes, travel contact lens solution, and even inputting the hotel wifi password, I asked myself “do we live as if we are simply guests in this world?

“I am a sojourner and guest among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead…” Genesis 23:4. For at the time, Abraham was a foreigner and did not possess any land in the country. Therefore, after Sarah died, Abraham asked the Hittites for a plot of land to bury his wife.

In Luther’s Genesis commentary, he writes, “a guest is a sojourner who is not a proprietor but is a stranger in the land in which he living. He has nothing of his own…Therefore they are sojourners and do not remain in the world but leave the world behind. Thus we are also guests. We have been reborn by the Holy Spirit through Baptism and the Word, and we live on earth as strangers and sojourners” Luther’s Works, American Edition Vol. 4:198.

Again, I asked, “Am I living as if I am a guest in this world? Of course, the great temptation is to believe otherwise as if this world becomes who we are. From the material, to earthly securities, to our own comforts and desires, rather than the anticipation for what is to come on the last day, we confine ourselves to this temporal life. It is quite easy to stumble into such pitfalls because life is whirl wind. So busy it becomes that, in our sinful nature, our eyes veer from the Word and His promises. In so doing, we flee to our flesh and live as if we are not strangers or sojourners in the land. Instead, we set up shop in this temporal life as if it is the totality of our being.

Jesus says “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” John 14:1-3.

Therefore, we are mere guests in this world because Jesus has overcome the world! Through His death and resurrection, we rejoice in the promise that eternal life is our eternal stay. As St Paul writes,

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the thing that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” 2 Cor 4:17-18.

Indeed, we are mere guests in this world, for the Lord has reconciled us to Himself through the power and promise of His Word!

Christ is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!

Have a blessed April in Christ

✝️ Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:

Saturday, February 10, 2024

What Is Faith?

“Didache is a Greek word meaning “teaching” or “doctrine”. Luke tells us in Acts 2:42 that those who were baptized on the day of Pentecost devoted themselves to the apostles’ didache. What follows in this study guide is a course on the didache, that is, the teaching which we have received from the Lord in His Word. This teaching is not our own, but the Lord’s. It has as its source the Holy Scriptures of God. The doctrine or teaching drawn from the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures is confessed in the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther... the first edition of Didache, published in 1992 was developed for and shaped by the joy and challenges of teaching the faith both at the Chapel of the Resurrection (Valparaiso Univ.) and University Lutheran Chapel (Univ. of Minnesota- Minneapolis). Questions and interest from students prompted me to condense my notes into the form of a study guide. Since then, Didache has been used for adult catechesis throughout North America and in a number of overseas locations. I am grateful to fellow pastors who have found it useful in instructing adults in the Lutheran Confession of the Christian faith as well as laity who have found it a helpful study guide in the Holy Scriptures”
-Prof. John Pless, Concordia Theological Seminary

From the book, Didache, by Prof John Pless, the author provides an excellent resource that serves to supplement Luther’s Small Catechism. So excellent it is that I have used this resource over the whole span of my life in the office of Holy Ministry. Not only is it an important book for the field of outreach and evangelism but also an excellent resource for Lutherans to review the doctrine of faith.

The question is, “What is faith?”

As we live in this world, we are being catechized in every which way. From the radio and TV, to social media and even false teaching, we are bombarded by words, words, and more words. Words matter especially when someone asks you, “What is faith?” The answer to this question is not only important for the one who is asking, but also for the one who responds. For, the answer to this question will reveal where our faith truly resides. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to review what it means to confess the faith through the Creeds, The Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, Confession & Absolution, the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

I encourage everyone to attend this class. It will be held every Sunday during the bible study hour beginning on February 25th. If you have not attended Sunday bible study in a while, now is the time to reconnect because this class will edify and engage you in the joys of the one true faith. Also, if you have anyone in your life that needs to hear the Word in all of its truth, invite them so they too may rejoice in the word of Christ alone.

I hope to see you all there.

✝️ Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:

* Copies of the Didache will be available for $10

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