Thursday, December 27, 2007

They will know we are Lutheran by our...

Just this past Sunday, I visited a church that was not a member of our beloved Missouri Synod. The liturgy was a bit different. There was not a celebration of the Eucharist. There was not a formal reading of the gospel text. Not that there is some golden rule book that came down the mountain with Moses, but the different practices made me think. What makes our worship Lutheran? Can a person tell you are a Lutheran just by the way that you act?

I think they can. I guess I mean to say, the way the congregation acts. There are things about our worship that are distinctly Lutheran. Our worship is liturgical. It is not some man made thing that each pastor or congregation should feel free to dispense with. It is reflective of the gospel we preach and the sacrifice we celebrate. Our liturgy finds its foundation and identity like our preaching, in the Eucharist. Jesus makes our worship what it is. "God with us" is truly seen, felt, tasted, and even smelled in the celebration of the Lord's Supper. Jesus is God Almighty living with his bride. The texts of our liturgy come from the Bible. The church sees the definition of its Old Testament life in the texts of its liturgy.

The world and others may want to dictate what the church does, but the church shouldn't be swayed by the comings and goings of the world, the devil, and our sinful flesh. The church lives and breaths by her Savior who has decided that he will be with us always... being intimately connected in bread and wine, preached Word, and holy absolution.

They will know we are Lutherans by our Lord, by our Lord...yes they will know we are Lutherans by our Lord.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Howdy! The Cholak's made it to Houston yesterday in one piece. The weather is great and I'm enjoying the niece and nephews. It is great to have the in-laws back from Spain. Tonight the boys are going to see hockey and the girls are heading to the Nutcracker. Isn't it grand? Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Symposia 2008

Hello everyone! The 2008 Symposia Series at Concordia Theological Seminary is just around the corner. Have you registered yet??? The process is easy. Just click here. Do you know anyone that should come with you? Just send them the link! If you have can call 260-452-2241.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Six Shot at Nevada Bus Stop

Six high school students were shot at a school bus stop yesterday. Last week, a shooter killed random people in an Omaha shopping mall. We used to think of shootings in connection with battle fields and armies. We might have even laughed to hear that teenagers in 2007 would think of their school cafeteria as a battleground. It is now common place to hear the news reporters refer to the "war on terror" and not be referring to Iraq or Afghanistan. It's a different kind of age, but it isn't.

The sun and the moon were set in the heavens to be a sign and to show the seasons. It will be the wind and waves that will cause the earth to be perplexed. The (one-year) Gospel reading for Advent 2 spoke of how the world would continue to be the world. It will even crumble and decay until it passes away. Our hope is not in the sunshine or in the wind against our back. Guns will continue to be fired and greed and jealousy will continue to destroy. But this kind of destroying is only surface deep. They can't destroy the way our Lord Jesus destroys.

And that is where our hope endures. The "with-us" God became man and took all the sin and destruction that is man and put it to death. The nails and the timber of Calvary's cross thought they were contributing to a war on terror, by killing that Jesus, but really Jesus was destroying sin, and death, and crushing the head of Satan. And so you and I have hope and we live clinging to Jesus. Heaven and earth will pass away - but the Word of the Lord (that's Jesus) endures forever!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Concordia TheoBLOGical Seminary

It's time for a new blog...the Admission department at Concordia Theological Seminary is starting a new blog. You can find it at and its title: Concordia TheoBLOGical Seminary. Go check it out. Remember it is still being put together and there will be some changes in the near future. There will be offerings from Admission counselors, faculty, and occasional guests.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Mission

Just this past summer, the Board of Regents for Concordia Theological Seminary approved a new mission statement for the seminary. "Concordia Theological Seminary exists to form servants in Jesus Christ who teach the faithful, reach the lost, and care for all." You may have seen it somewhere (look for it). Our new curriculum highlights it, our faculty excels in it, and our students are loving it. Three different kinds of classrooms help with the formation process.

Of course, there are the lectures. Those are the best known classrooms. Our faculty engage in striking discussions and impart some of the most important foundations for ministry. The professors feed off of each other. The new curriculum offers many more opportunities for our professors to team teach. Students make out on that deal.

Then there is Kramer Chapel. The worship life of our community is amazing. Through the gathering of Christ's body daily in the confines of Kramer's large A-frame, the preaching of God's Word and the sacraments shape and build our students. The liturgy stirs up their hearts and fills their lips with God's song.

Learning while resting, it doesn't get any better than that. At Concordia Theological Seminary the community enjoys each other. We gather for meals, for relaxation, and for good Lutheran beverages. All the while, we do it together. Our faculty eat at our lunch tables, and play table tennis in the student commons. Over peas and carrots our faculty strike up conversations begun in class. They know their students and take care of them. Do they need to work some teaching out a little more? Do they need to play some table tennis? What about taking care of family?

In a round about way...through three classroom situations, it all gets done. Three...what a great number.