We Cannot Remain Quiet Any Longer

pp-video-its-a-babyComparisons to Nazi Germany are always dangerous to make. It’s too easy to be dismissed as overstating your case. Nazi Germany symbolizes utter evil. What Nazi Germany stood for and did is in fact that: they dehumanized, medically experimented on, and murdered a vast swath of humanity in a short period of time. Utter evil.

The scourge of abortion is our modern-day holocaust. We are living through it. Some 55 million-plus children have been murdered in abortion procedures since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Planned Parenthood, the nation-wide abortion mill here in the U.S., contributes almost 400,000 of these murders every year. Almost 94% of pregnant women who come into Planned Parenthood and receive services end up having an abortion there.

These statistics are horrifying. Yet statistics are abstract. We can be horrified and still look away. In the last several weeks a series of undercover videos have revealed that Planned Parenthood harvests the organs of later-term children they murder, profiting from the sale of these organs. Every one of these videos has shown this in graphic detail. I have watched the videos.

We Christians can no longer look away or say we didn’t know what was happening. We have to know what is happening; we must see it, or at least know the descriptions of what is going on in these abortion mills, our sacrificial temples to the god of sexual license. We should never have looked away in the first place.

In the most recent video, a baby boy who has survived the abortion is still alive outside of the womb; placed into a plate. His heart is still beating. A medical technician then cuts through the chin, face, and forehead of this child – still alive! – in order to harvest his brain for medical research.

This is the truth of our culture of death. We have dehumanized our children to the point that we will consider them a commodity, useful only so far as to make our lives better. What horror. Words cannot describe the monstrousness of all this.

Beloved, we live in Nazi Germany.

If we remain quiet, we are accessories to murder. Lord, help us! Lord, have mercy! O Lord, open my lips!

This Saturday there is a coordinated nationwide protest against Planned Parenthood from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m (local time). I hope that if you are able you will go. It’s not our obligation to go and protest this Saturday, but we must speak out. It will take courage. It will take a willingness to listen to those who would speak against us. It will take a resolve to stick it out – no matter what – for the sake of the 55 million children who have been murdered, and for all those who await a similar fate. It will require us to be ready with the Gospel for those who repent.

There will be many more opportunities for all to get involved in helping out crisis pregnancy centers and other pro-life organizations around the country. Every day you may have opportunities in your lives to question the American assumption of the right to an abortion; the supposed right to murder a child.

We should not act because we might win. We must act and speak because it is right and true. Our Lord loves life, He loves you, and He has died for all sin. Let’s repent of our quietness and quickly begin to be Gospel voices for life.

Lord have mercy on us. Amen.

Sermo Dei: Higher Things Te Deum Friday Matins

Text: Luke 1:46–55

Mary couldn’t keep the Law; neither can you. Mary didn’t earn God’s favor by her purity or good works; neither will you. Our salvation is born not out of riches, but out of poverty. The salvation of the whole world is not born in splendor or glory, but in lowliness, in a manger, from the womb of a virgin whose unexpected pregnancy is cause for her fiancé to divorce her discretely and consign her to a life of quiet shame.

It’s hard to believe that God’s reign of redemption begins in this way: not with a royal birth announcement, no fawning media, no paparazzi desperate to get a shot of the pregnant mother or the new-born king, but instead with a nobody sinner.

Mary is great, though; great because of whom God has made her to be, because of what God has given her to do. She is the bearer of the Son of God, Jesus, the Christ. She is great because the Holy Spirit has come upon her, overshadowing her with His power.

She is great because she receives from the Lord in faith, believing His promises. She is saying, “Let it be to me according to all the promises that God has made to his people. Let it be that salvation should be accomplished through this Son that God is giving to me.”

Let this be for all those who are poor in spirit, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who come before the Lord with empty hands and hearts. Mary and we are beggars, who cannot and will not earn the Lord’s favor but instead gladly receive his love and grace. We don’t receive the proof of His love in glorious things, but instead in lowly things: Jesus dead on the cross; in words spoken by your lowly sinner pastor; in simple washing; in sometimes stale bread and overly sweet wine. All the promises of salvation come to us, according to and by the Lord’s Word.

These mighty and eternal promises of God to love and save you and me are sung throughout the Scriptures. But perhaps they’re best summed up in the glorious fourth servant song of Isaiah, which tells us all about the wondrous love of Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary to die for her and you and me and the whole world:

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all…” (Isaiah 53)

This is a song about Jesus. He is God, Mary’s Savior. And He is God, your Savior. He exalts the lowly. And He will exalt you, even from your grave, into the resurrection of eternal life. Jesus fills the hungry. And He will feed you at this altar, and your altar at home, and at the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom. “His mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.” His mercy will be poured out on you.

Though Mary had nothing by which to show herself great in God’s eyes, He gave her Jesus. Though you have nothing to show for yourself before the Lord, He gives you His words and promises in the Gospel so that you can treasure them up in your heart. He fills up your empty, beggar hands with Jesus. Your sin goes to Jesus, His righteousness to you. Your lowliness to Jesus, His glory to you. Your poverty to Jesus, His riches to you. Your death to Jesus, His life to you. 

Magnify, O soul! Rejoice, O spirit! For God your Savior has done great things for you, in lowly ways. Your death to Jesus, His life to you.

In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

– Pastor Michael Schuermann

Sermo Dei: +Peg Seitz+

Text: Luke 5:1–11

Dear Family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“It’s not about me.” That’s what Peg wanted to get across – she titled her book with this sentence. It’s not about Peg. It’s about Jesus. Everything is about Jesus; all of life is about Jesus. That’s what Peg believed.

This belief is a gift from God. Jesus says, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” The one necessary work that God asks of us, and that God works in us, is that we believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior. Peg believed in Jesus Christ, her Savior.

But she couldn’t do it on her own. She was sinful from conception, just as King David knew he was when he wrote down those words in Psalm 51: “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Like all of us, Peg was dead in her transgressions.

But new life was given to her from God. Her faithful parents brought her to the font, where she was baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection on October 1, 1953. Thereafter she walked in the “newness of life” that Paul describes in Romans 6, which we spoke together at the beginning of the service. “We were buried therefore with [Jesus] into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Having been blessed with the baptismal gifts of a regenerated heart, the Holy Spirit, faith, and the complete and certain forgiveness of her Sin, Peg could rightly say that it wasn’t about her. It’s all about Jesus, for her; and for you.

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A Need to Speak for Life in Illinois

In 1977, the State of Illinois saw a bill passed through the legislature and signed into law that implemented a ban on the taxpayer funding of abortion. This included not allowing coverage of abortion services in state employee health plans, as well as not allowing the coverage of abortion services in Medicaid. That year – 1977 – over 12,700 abortions were paid for by tax dollars under Medicaid. The ban was challenged in the courts, but was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980.
The ban has since remained in effect, but a bill was recently introduced into the Illinois House that seeks to remove this ban on taxpayer funding of abortion through Medicaid and state employee health plans. In other words, the removal of the ban would allow blanket funding of abortion services with taxpayer dollars, with basically no restrictions whatsoever. The bill also would allow the Department of Human Services to provide taxpayer-funder grants to organizations that provide referrals for, counsel for, or even provide abortions (e.g. grants would be allowed from the state to Planned Parenthood).
Simply put, this is a terrible bill that is not only harmful to our littlest neighbors and women in need to true help, but is also dangerous to the consciences of so many citizens of the State of Illinois.
The bill has made it through committee and now is on the calendar to be debated and voted one by the full Illinois House, likely sometime in mid to late April.
I’m asking you to take a few minutes and write a letter or make a phone call to your State Representative and tell him to vote “NO” on IL HB 4013. Again, please take a few minutes and write a letter or make a phone call. To confirm your Representative, you can search here.
If you’re unsure what to say, politely ask them to vote “NO” because the bill would 1) be harmful to unborn children who have no say in the matter of whether they should be killed by abortion or not; 2) would be harmful to mothers and fathers who are scared and in need of help, but are misled into thinking that killing their child is the best way out; and 3) would be harmful to the consciences of Illinois taxpayers, who should not be forced to subsidize the intention killing of unborn children in any way.
Please also be unceasingly praying that our leaders at the state and national level would seek to protect the unborn, mothers and fathers who are scared, and the consciences of all citizens.

It Is Finished

sprach er:
[Jesus] said

Es ist vollbracht!
It is accomplished!

30. Aria Alto
Violino I/II, Viola, Viola da gamba sola, Continuo
Es ist vollbracht!
It is accomplished !
O Trost vor die gekränkten Seelen!
What comfort for all suffering souls!
Die Trauernacht
The night of sorrow
Läßt nun die letzte Stunde zählen.
now reaches its final hours.
Der Held aus Juda siegt mit Macht
The hero from Judah triumphs in his might
Und schließt den Kampf.
and brings the strife to an end.
Es ist vollbracht!
It is accomplished!