Emergency Procedures for Churches

Our thoughts and prayers this week are with all those who lost a loved one or their homes and belongings in the recent tornados that passed through Central Illinois. We pray in this difficult time for their healing in body, mind, and soul and that the Lord will show us how we can help in the best possible ways. This is also perhaps a good time to mention that several… Read More »

Thoughts on “When Morning Gilds the Skies”

“When Morning Gilds the Skies” was originally the German hymn “Beim frühen Morgenlicht” (literally “By the Early Morning Light”) that first appeared around 1744. In the mid 1800s, an English translation was made by the Reverend Edward Caswall (1814-78), an Anglican priest and in 1899 another appeared by the famous poet and playwright Robert Bridges (1844-1930). The original hymn has 15 stanzas, only five of which are included in our… Read More »

The Connection Between the Lutheran Reformation and All Saint’s Day

Although this year we are celebrating All Saints’ Day on Sunday, November 3rd, the actual feast day is November 1st every year. This past week we celebrated the 496th anniversary of the Reformation (the actual feast day for the Festival of the Reformation is October 31st every year). So, how are the two connected? Well, Frederick the Wise, ruler of Saxony during the time of the Martin Luther, was a… Read More »

Thoughts on “A Mighty Fortress”

In many cases, key thoughts and insights are lost in translation. This is especially true when translating poetry while at the same time trying to maintain the original poem’s meter and rhyme scheme. A case in point is Martin Luther’s popular Reformation hymn “A Mighty Fortress,” of which there are numerous English translations. The first line is fairly easy to translate into English: “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” literally… Read More »

Worship Services Are About What God Has Done for Us

In his time, one of Martin Luther’s struggles was to help people realize that worship services were not about us and what we do for God, but rather about God and what He has done for us. Among other things, he had to come up with a German word for worship. The term he began using was “Gottesdienst,” which literally translated means “The Service of God” or more accurately –… Read More »

Less Than 500 Years Old

In preparation for conducting the American Kantorei’s Reformation Concert at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, last October, I listened to the Roland Bainton biography of Martin Luther. Since then I’ve listened to David Teems’ biography of William Tyndale, who was executed for translating the Bible into English, and am now listening to his other book about the King James Bible. At one point through all of this, I came to the… Read More »

The Prophets and Music

I wish to thank and congratulate Rachel Keehner for her wonderful organ concert last Friday evening (September 27) on the Trinity Concert Series. As our annual celebration of the Reformation approaches, it is good to know that God is preparing a new generation of musicians to carry forward the proclamation of His Word through music. In a letter to the composer Ludwig Senfl, the Dr. Martin Luther discusses the strong… Read More »

Dedication of Trinity’s Musicians

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise… Read More »

Voice of the Martyrs

“So then as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10) In his sermon last Sunday, Pastor Synnott referred to Voice of the Martyrs, an organization that helps, supports, and prays for persecuted Christians worldwide. I thought it would be good to tell you what I know about this organization. Voice of the Martyrs was founded… Read More »

Training a New Generation of Musicians

One of our most important tasks as Christians is to disciple others and pass our faith, leadership, and “Kingdom” skills onto a new generation. To that end I would like to invite you to the first concert of the 2013-14 Trinity Concert Series on Friday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m. This concert will feature Rachel Keehner, who at an early age was called by the Lord to develop her musical… Read More »