Words of Hope

November 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This month’s TLO Disciple theme is: Words of Hope.

In the Summer of 1527, during the ministry of Martin Luther, a plague swept through Europe. At the time, Germany and much of Europe was polarized by the events of the Protestant Reformation. In addition to the social breakdown and disease, there were divisions between Protestants and Catholics over the cause of the plague. Catholics blamed Protestants for dividing the Christian Church and Protestants regarded the plague as God’s judgement upon the idolatry and decadence of the time. Into this mistrust, the Word of God brought hope through the Gospel of Christ.

Church Reformer Martin Luther wrote that the usage of “hope” in Scripture has two senses, as the thing hoped for and as the feeling of hope. Colossians 1:5 says, “because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.” In this verse hope is the thing that is hoped for. In Romans 8:24-25, hope is the feeling, “Hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Christian hope is a promise of God that has an unchangeable character. and for us who are being saved, this hope an anchor for the soul.

My home congregation where I was baptized, Confirmed and Ordained, is Mt. Hope Lutheran Church, Bloomington, Minnesota. The name of the congregation is a constant reminder that the message of the Gospel is a message that is firmly set in the heavens. I pray as you mediate on this month’s TLO Disciple you will be strengthened in faith and emboldened in your struggle against sin as you eagerly await the final coming of Jesus when He will bring to completion in you the perfect righteousness that He has won for you.

Pastor James L. Kroonblawd
Enjoy the Words of Hope in this powerful video. Click here to begin.
From God's Word
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)
Engaging the World with the Gospel of Hope
Planting Hope Among Refugees
Written by Luz M. Soto

I spotted a lone little boy out the side window of the mission van. He stood in the middle of the Chamizal Park paved plaza, watching as the van was maneuvered into an open space alongside the curbed parkway. I could see the tents to the left side of the plaza, people standing off to the side, but that little boy had my complete attention. He stood so still until the van doors opened and the servant team members from Our Father Lutheran Church in Centennial, Colorado stepped out. Read the rest of the story

Who is YLM? Find a welcome from Rev. Dr. Karl Heimer, YLM Pastor and CEO, by clicking here.
From God's Word
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Eph 1:18-19a
Coronavirus: Nothing new about disease … or the need for the Gospel
By Rev. Dr. Mark Wood

There’s really nothing new about the new coronavirus (also called COVID-19). Human history is filled with instances of epidemics, plagues, and pandemics. The Bible speaks about plagues and widespread diseases in accounts of the past and in accounts of our future. Deadly disease is nothing new. Neither is the greater threat to mankind.

In Revelation 9, we read about the horrible destruction that will one day ravage the earth. The figurative language of this chapter has caused many people to speculate about the exact nature of the three plagues discussed here.

Whatever they may be (and it’s very unlikely that they are coronaviruses), verses 20 and 21 make it clear that mankind faces a far greater problem than these plagues.

“The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Rev. 9:20–21)

While the world around us is fixated on COVID-19, how to respond to it, and the fears of contracting it, there is something that is a far greater threat to them than they realize.

Many people in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and even our families are more concerned about a disease with a 1-2% mortality rate than a condition with a 100% mortality rate — a condition that every one of them has already contracted.

We know that this greater problem is sin. We also know that handwashing, antiseptic wipes, microbe-trapping face masks, and isolation cannot spare any of us from the deadly consequences of sin.

Only the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ can save us. Click for more.
Caring for those with Depression
By Todd A. Peperkorn, STM

From: Making Disciples for Life: Caring For Those With Depression, Todd A. Peperkorn answers some important questions for us:

Why has the pandemic exacerbated depression and other mental illnesses?

What can we do as the church to care for members in this time?

What is the most important thing that we can do?

As with all things, we must remember the church’s vocation is to proclaim the Gospel, to comfort those in sorrow and need, to lift up the weary, and to hold up the gifts of God to a dying world. Read more from this helpful article.
Our Faith-Borne Certainty of Hope
By Kevin D. Robson, Spring 2019

Crisscrossing the world’s mission fields, what do you see? Our church’s beloved missionaries — I count you among them — experience and provide witness of humanity’s joys and hardships, sorrows and triumphs. But that’s not all. They “sing of Christ, whose birth made known the kindness of the Lord … the fullness of His deity, the icon of His grace” (Lutheran Service Book 362:1). There are tears and laughter. Apprehension against courage. Birth — and death. Shocking displays of greed and an embarrassment of earthly riches, severe famines and vast spiritual wastelands. No shortage of crosses or trials. No one righteous, but for the righteousness of the Son of God.

But never too remote, wherever the Church may be found, there remains a faith-borne certainty of hope and a watchful anticipation of something new: a resurrection. 

“I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:81, NLT
Engaging the World with the Gospel of Hope
By Glen Thomas

From Seminary to Starbucks— and Beyond Living with the Gospel in church is often comfortable. Living with the Gospel beyond the church doors is often less so. Read this pastor's story originally published in the Lutheran Witness.
Word of Hope
Abortion. It’s so painful. It’s an experience that goes beyond our physical and emotional being. It penetrates deep into the heart of our spiritual life. The pain just doesn’t go away.
LFL’s Word of Hope post-abortion ministry offers confidential post-abortion referral, counseling, and reconciliation. “For those who have had an abortion, there is a need for a word of hope . . .”

Share this website with a friend who needs support.
For more information about Word of Hope click here
Words of Comfort and Hope for Those Who Feel Alone:
A Sermon on Isaiah 51:1-6
God spoke these words through Isaiah for generations not yet born, primarily for those of Judah who would be sent into “Exile” in Babylon about 150 years later. These are words of comfort and hope for those who feel far from home, isolated, abandoned, alone, powerless, hemmed in, threatened, perhaps near death and “exiled.” These are words for missionaries in a far away land: not with loved ones, isolated from that which is familiar or comfortable, sure, reliable, well known, dependable, true or trust-worthy. Read the complete message.
Cast your burden on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved. Ps 55:22
Dr. Martin Luther’s Commentary on Gal. 5:5
For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness.”

In this passage “hope” can be taken in both senses, and accordingly the passage can have two meanings. The first is: “Through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of our righteousness, that is, the hoped-for righteousness, which is surely to be revealed in due time.” The second meaning is: “Through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for righteousness with hope and longing; that is, we are justified, and still we are not yet justified, because our righteousness is still hanging in hope, as Rom. 8:24 says: ‘In hope we were saved.’ For as long as we live, sin still clings to our flesh; there remains a law in our flesh and members at war with the law of our mind and making us captive to the law of sin (Rom. 7:23). While these passions of the flesh are raging and we, by the Spirit, are struggling against them, the righteousness we hope for remains elsewhere. We have indeed begun to be justified by faith, by which we have also received the first fruits of the Spirit; and the mortification of our flesh has begun. But we are not yet perfectly righteous. Our being justified perfectly still remains to be seen, and this is what we hope for. Thus our righteousness does not yet exist in fact, but it still exists in hope.”

Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 27: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 5-6; 1519, Chapters 1-6. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald, & H. T. Lehmann, Eds.) (Vol. 27, pp. 20–22). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.
Take Charge Minnesota

At the 2021 Fall Minnesota South District Pastor’s Conference, the banquet speaker was Kendall Qualls from TakeChargeMN, a Minnesota Non-Profit Corporation (Domestic) filed On September 18, 2020.

While forces attempt to divide the country by race, class and gender and assign people into groups, TakeCharge Minnesota forges a different path by empowering people to take charge of their lives and not to depend on a group, agency, or government for their well-being.

TakeCharge will build a coalition of community champions, academic professionals, and business leaders to ignite a transformation within the black community by embracing the core principles of America – not rejecting them. These principles are embedded in the belief of hard work, education, faith, family, and free enterprise in the personal pursuit of dreams that can be realized by anyone regardless of race or social standing.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer's;
    he makes me tread on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (ESV)

Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950 Highway 55
Eagan, MN 55121