Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sermon Wednesday in 3 Lent - Matthew 7:1-12

‘Don’t judge me!’
It is the aggrieved and aggressive manifesto
of the teenager, of the nonconformist,
of the transgressor of the mores of society or church,
the defense of behavior or attitude
that parent or peer deems deviant or destructive.
‘Don’t judge me’ is closely related to the opinion
that everything is a matter of opinion;
that there are no standards by which to judge
between absolutely right and absolutely wrong.
‘Don’t judge me’ seems to be the only creed for our time,
a statement of faith in untrammeled individual choice,
one that understands life to be full of gray areas
in which most things, if not all things, can and must be tolerated.

One Step Closer - Thanks be to God!

Tsena Dinssa has been approved for ordination by the Candidacy Committee of the North American Lutheran Church!

Approval for ordination means that Tsena has fulfilled the requirements to become a pastor in the NALC. In the Lutheran tradition, one does not become a pastor until one is called by a congregation. He will be available to interview with congregations who are seeking a pastor. When a congregation calls him, he will be ordained to the Holy Ministry.

Tsena hails from Ethiopia and has been in the United States for many years, serving as a lay minister in Oromo Lutheran congregations in Dallas and Washington D.C. He graduated from Trinity School for Ministry in 2013 and has been a member of St Stephen since October, 2013. He has assisted Pastor Frontz in worship, especially on Saturday evening, and has become a valued member of St Stephen.

O Lord, we implore you to raise up for the work of the ministry faithful and able servants who will count it all joy to give themselves for the sake of your dear Son and for the souls for whom he shed his most precious blood; and fit them for their holy office by your bountiful grace and heavenly benediction; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What are you seeking? - Wednesday in 2 Lent

Wednesday in Lent 2 – 19 March 2014 – Pr. Maurice Frontz
Matthew 6:19-34

Where is your treasure?
What is your focus?
Whom do you serve?
What are you seeking?

In four different but similar ways
our Lord Jesus makes clear
how we ought to live
and for what we should pray.
In asking these questions, our Lord directs us back
to the prayer which he taught us.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sermon Lent 2A - March 16, 2014

Lent 2A
Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 121; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17
St Stephen Lutheran Church
March 16, 2014

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s one of the most famous clandestine meetings in all of history.
Nicodemus, a leader of the Pharisees,
comes in secrecy to the upstart Rabbi from Galilee.
He comes out of the night,
bringing news, that Jesus has attracted notice.
Even though Jesus is an outsider,
uneducated in the standard Rabbinical circles,
he must be in God’s favor,
for the signs which accompany Jesus’ ministry
are unmistakable expressions of God’s power and presence.
And so Nicodemus comes,
perhaps under orders,
perhaps on his own,
to see what this rabbi, this teacher, this God-favored man
is all about.
He may expect a rabbinic pedigree,
where he was taught if he was not taught at the accredited schools,
whose feet he studied at,
and how he explained his signs from God.
What Nicodemus did not expect is to have his world turned on its ear.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sermon - 1st Wednesday in Lent

Almsgiving, fasting and prayer
are the three spiritual practices
Jesus expects of his people.
But he expects them to be done in a different way
than most people do it.
Spiritual practices are not to be performances.
They are not to be done in order to be seen by others,
nor to be evaluated by the self,
nor to impress God.
They are not performances.
Almsgiving, or giving for the relief of the poor,
shows love for God by imitating his generosity
and being the conduit through which God provides for the poor.
Fasting is the denial of self
which gives up earthly goods
in order to focus on the one true need.
And finally, prayer is not a virtuoso act of holiness,
not the stringing together of beautiful words
or the feeling of deeply felt feelings
in order to force God to act
or to gain approval from others.
Rather prayer is trusting, loving communication,
asking God to do his will
and to sustain us on our journey.

Monday, March 10, 2014

In blessed memory


Stephen Baronetski, a member of our Saint Stephen Faith Family, died on March 8, 2014 at the age of 22. He and his family had moved from this area, but in his childhood and young adulthood he was part of our Weekday Church School and Confirmation ministries. A viewing will be held at Slater's in Scott Township on Tuesday, March 11, from 2-9. Funeral services will be at 11 am, Wednesday, March 12, at Slater's. 

Please join me in prayer for his family and friends, especially his mother Jacqueline and his father Michael.

Yours in Christ, Pastor Frontz

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sermon Lent 1 - March 9, 2014

Lent 1A
Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11
St Stephen Lutheran Church – The Rev. Maurice C. Frontz
9 March 2014

When we were taught to receive the Holy Communion,
we learned to receive the bread in one of two ways.
We either hold our hands out with one palm in another
or perhaps we open our mouths to have it placed on our tongues.
Both of these ways express a deep truth -
the truth of our dependence upon God.
Instead of reaching out to take the bread,
we wait upon someone to give it to us.
In some small way we are giving bodily expression
to what the faith teaches us:
that we don’t need to reach out for what we desire,
but that God will provide what we need.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

John Chrysostom on Negligent Words

 'For (St. John) Chrysostom, the root sin is negligence, expressed most clearly in the easy familiarity of neighborhood gossip. For in gossip we treat other people's lives as occasions for entertainment and titillation, as opportunities to express complacent superiority or to express a burning envy.' -R.R. Reno, Genesis