Dr. John Bombaro presents at the Mission Forum for the Lutheran Church of Pakistan. “Can Orthopraxy Be Missional?
At the Mission Forum for the Lutheran Church of Pakistan held in Cumming, Georgia, Dr. Bruce Lieske gives a concise overview of orthodox Islam.
Blessed New Year to each of you in the Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Kairos Network is pleased to announce to you that there will be a Mission Forum for the future work of the Lutheran Church of Pakistan on January 12-14, 2020.
A forum of the church to come together by LCMS missions and sister churches to bring God’s Word and Sacraments to Pakistan.
PRESENTATION 1 – Can Orthodoxy Be Missional?
PRESENTATION 2 – Building A Sacramental Culture
PRESENTATION 3 – The Lutheran Church of Pakistan Project
PRESENTATION 4 – Missions To An Unbelieving World
Rev. John J. Bombaro, Ph.D. (King’s College, University of London) is a missionary of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, serving as the Assistant Director of Theological Education at the Luther Academy, Rīga, Latvia. In this role, he works to plant an English-speaking congregation in Riga. He teaches Lutheran theology and mentors seminary students in a Bachelor of Divinity program at Riga Luther Academy (the Latvian Ev. Luth. Church’s seminary). He assists in the re-accreditation of the seminary, not only as a Latvian seminary but also as an English-speaking seminary accredited throughout the European Union. He builds confessional and strategic relations between regional partner churches and synods. With Melinda’s help, John also coordinates conferences around Eurasia for pastors and other church workers.
Rev. James Krikava serves the Lord as a missionary through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the Eurasia region, based in the Czech Republic. In this role, James serves as the regional director for the Eurasia region. He partners with local church leaders and current LCMS international mission leadership to strengthen and sustain existing congregations in this part of the world. He also is involved with theological teaching and with building relationships with other church bodies that are currently not in fellowship with the International Lutheran Council (ILC).
Vicar Dass, along with his wife Julie (not pictured for her safety), are missionaries to all people, but mostly to adherents of the religion of Islam. They both grew up as Christians in Pakistan, but now serve as dedicated servants of Christ in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Vicar Dass is studying to be a Lutheran pastor through the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and will be ordained in 2021. His passions are studying God’s Word, sharing Christ, and reading the writings of Martin Luther. The Lord is preparing them to go to Pakistan to establish a Biblical, Lutheran Church there. Jay and Julie are working with 9 young men in Pakistan who are eager to study at the Lutheran Seminary in Riga, Latvia in Fall of 2020.
Living Faith Lutheran Church
1171 Atlanta Hwy
Cumming, GA 30040
915 Ronald Reagan Blvd
Cumming, GA 30041
Call and set up your reservation at 844-359-4652. Mention the Mission Forum at Living Faith Lutheran Church to get the special rate.
If you are in the area, attend as many events you are able.
Sunday: January 12, 2020
9:00 AM – Bible Study 1
10:15 AM – Divine Service – Rev. Jim Krikava
12:00 PM – Lunch and Fellowship
Afternoon – Open for Mission Meetings
Monday: January 13, 2020
8:00 AM – Coffee and Welcome
8:30 AM – Matins in the sanctuary
9:15 AM – Bible Study 2
10:15 AM – 1st Presentation – Dr. John Bombaro
11:30 AM – Table Discussion and Prayer
12:00 PM – Lunch at Living Faith Lutheran
1:00 PM – 2nd Presentation – Dr. John Bombaro
2:15 PM – Table Discussion and Prayer
2:30 PM – Break
2:45 PM – Lutheran Church of Pakistan Project
4:00 PM – Question and Answer
4:30 PM – Overview of Islam – Rev. Bruce Lieske
5:00 PM – Dinner at Living Faith Lutheran
6:00 PM – Evening Prayer in the sanctuary
7:00 PM – Reception at Living Faith Lutheran
Tuesday: January 14, 2020
8:00 AM – Coffee and Fellowship
8:30 AM – Matins in the sanctuary
9:15 AM – Bible Study 3
10:15 AM – 3rd Presentation – Rev. Jim Krikava
11:30 AM – Table Discussion and Prayer
12:00 PM – Midday Prayer and Departure
SOLA SCRIPTURA. SOLA GRACIA. SOLA FIDE.
All congregations in Georgia are invited to bring friends and join us for a festive Reformation Day Celebration at Living Faith Lutheran Church, 1171 Atlanta Hwy, in Cumming. We gather to receive our Lord’s powerful Word and Sacraments in order to be refreshed and renewed by His astounding grace! Praise our Lord for all He has said to us and for all He has done!
The REFORMATION CHOIR will have its rehearsal at 2:30 PM and ALL are welcome. Living Faith’s director of parish music, Nancy Smith, will be directing and leading on the newly installed organ. If you are not in the choir, gather early also at 2:30 PM to hear about how God is working in the our congregations.
The Divine Service begins at 4 PM with the Rev. Hiruy Gebremichael of St. Mark Lutheran Church preaching. There is a complete German Dinner to follow.
A free will offering will go to support the Lutheran school ministry to our partner church in Africa through the direct support of some of their students.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:8-10
To the glory of God and the salvation of man!
Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
On August 18, 2019, Living Faith Lutheran Church in Cumming, Georgia would like to invite you to the ordination of Myoung Eon Kang at 4 PM. Myoung’s ordination will take place within the Order of the Divine Service with President Greg Walton preaching, and pastors Chang Soo Kim and Tim Droegemueller presiding. A fellowship dinner will follow in the parish hall. Pray for Myoung Eon and his wonderful family as he prepares to serve the Lord faithfully as a pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod!
These are the last public words of our faithful brother in Christ, Rev. Aaron Simms. Keep St. John the Apostle Lutheran Church and the Simms family in your prayers as they continue to make known the Gospel of our risen Lord Jesus amidst the heartache and pain of this mortal life. The everlasting victory belongs to our brother who faithfully taught God’s Word and confessed the all-sufficient work of Christ throughout His life. Glory to God for the work that our Lord did through his servant, Aaron.
Rev. Aaron Simms writes,
He has risen (Luke 24:1-12). This is the reason that we are celebrating today. We are rejoicing in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ for us.
Three days ago, on Friday, Christ died for your sins, being perfectly obedient to the Father and fulfilling all things. He spilt his blood on the cross to atone for your sins; our great High Priest made the all-sufficient sacrifice of himself on your behalf. On Saturday, yesterday, the Sabbath rest, the Lord’s body was sealed in the cool, stone tomb.
But, now that rest is over and the Son has arisen. Today is a new day, the eighth day of Christ’s Passion week, the first day of the beginning of the new creation. In the original creation, God created in six days and rested on the seventh, and when the first day of the new week dawned things were all very good. Now Christ has come to restore His fallen creation by working the six days of Passion week (culminating in the finishing work of the crucifixion), resting on the seventh, and rising on the first day of the new week so that all things can again become very good.
So, this is the Lord’s Day, Sunday, when Christ rose from the dead, the day of the empty tomb when Christ conquered death by rising to life, leaving the tomb behind, vacant and devoid of power. And where death is conquered, sin is conquered as well, because it is sin which led to the intrusion of death into this world. It is sin, the sin of Adam and Eve, which corrupted God’s good creation by bringing evil into it, including decay and death. But, Christ has defeated all these; he has been victorious.
Therefore, Christ’s death and resurrection has far-reaching consequences that extend beyond our present lives. For, it is not for this life only that we hope in Christ. Christ did not die and rise for us so that we could have more money, more friends, or even more happiness in this life. He didn’t die for us so that we could have our best life now.
How often, though, are our hopes so small, so shortsighted, that they only encompass the span of our lives and end at our deaths. St. Paul says that if this is the content of our hope, this life only, then “we are of all people most to be pitied.” For if we look to Christ simply for blessings in this life, then we are missing the point. For our best life now is not the content of our hope. In fact, often times, we as Christians endure ridicule, suffering, persecution, and death for our faith; our lives now are often anything but peaceful and good. Even today, Christians in Sri Lanka were killed at Easter worship services, just as Christians have been killed for their faith throughout history. If this weren’t enough, we still have the temptations and pull of sin, still suffer decay, and still succumb to death, because although Christ has conquered, and although we have a foretaste of the “good,” things are not yet fully restored to as they should be. Things are not yet “very good.”
So, St. Paul’s point to the congregation in Corinth, and to us as well, is that our hope does not end in death, because the proper object of our hope is the one who has died and yet has risen from the dead and now lives (1 Corinthians 15:19-26). We trust in the one who has conquered sin and death on our behalf, so that just as we too will die someday we will yet live for eternity; our best life is yet to come in the restoration that he is bringing with him upon his return. We will then be reunited with all the Church, including those Sri Lankan Christians who went to the grave today.
So, it is in this Jesus Christ, the one who died and yet rose on this day, that we truly have hope. We were all born into the sin of Adam, cursed by decay and mortal death from the moment of our conception. Our lives lead into death and destruction, and all the things we accumulate in this life go to someone else after we die. If we want plenty of rest, the grave is where it is found, because this life is not easy, nor is it leisurely; we live by the sweat of our brow.
But, Christ has a true rest in store for you that is not in the bed, nor is it in the grave. For, Christ has died for your sins and conquered death for you. It is through his work on the cross and empty tomb that you are saved and brought into the Sabbath rest.
And Christ is the firstfruits of what is to come. The firstfruits of a crop provides assurance that the rest of the crop is going to come in. Christ is the firstfruits of the bodily resurrection, because he rose from the dead and therefore he is the guarantee and guarantor of your own resurrection. The point is that because Christ died and rose, you can be sure that you will also rise, although you die. So, your hope in him is not for this life only, but rather extends out into eternity where you will have rest from all your works and from sin and from death. This is the grace and mercy of God that we see on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, that Christ has died and risen for you. Friday we see the consequences of sin and death, as the sinless one died on our behalf; Sunday we see the consequences of God’s grace and power as that sin and death is defeated and life and light breaks into the darkness.
So, all that plagues you in this life – illness, sorrow, decay, temptation, sin, grumbling, conflict – Christ has already defeated these through his cross and empty tomb. These evils came into the world through the sin of Adam, but Christ defeated these enemies of his good creation. And he has also defeated the ultimate enemy, which is death.
Death is still here with us, of course, in this life, but it is no longer the last word. Death is our enemy and it is the enemy of God’s good creation, because it is not meant to be here; it intruded into creation through the sin of Adam. But, this is not how things are meant to be. God created you to live with Him forever, but sin got in the way and brought death and the other evils with it.
However, as we have seen and heard, Christ – the new, perfect Adam – has defeated death; he rose from the dead, he left the tomb behind. And he is returning to raise you up also.
We confess we believe in the “resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” Thus, wherever your bodies are on that last day of this age, the day of his return, Christ will make you alive, body and soul reunited together. If your ashes are in an urn or scattered over field or sea, Christ will make your body alive. If your bones are in a grave, Christ will make you alive. If your body is fallen on some battlefield far away from home, Christ will make you alive. And if you are still alive in the body when Christ returns, he will make you truly alive. For you will live for eternity. And if it were possible for someone to peer into your graves and look for your bodies at that time, they would hear what the angels asked the women at Jesus’ tomb: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
Because when Christ returns he will take death, which he has already defeated, and destroy it forever so that neither sin, nor death, nor the devil can plague God’s good creation any longer. So, as the prophet Isaiah who saw that day says, no more will an infant live but a few days or an old man die, because death will be no more (Isaiah 65:17-25). There will be no more war, no more sorrow, no more death, and the “wolf and the lamb shall graze together.” There will finally be peace, eternal peace.
And you will finally meet in person the Church that has come before you and the Church that comes after you. And you will all then live eternally in the glory of the Lord in a new, restored creation – a new heavens and a new earth. The former sorrows and pains that you had, and death that you experienced will be no more, nor will they be remembered or come to mind. For you will inhabit the new Jerusalem, with no sin or evil or death in it; just the Lord and His people dwelling together forever and enjoying God’s good and perfect creation.
All this because Jesus Christ has risen from the grave. And this victory is yours, because He has willed it to you through the testament of his blood.
So, Easter morning when Christ rose is the day we celebrate every Sunday, and indeed every day as we live out our lives together, as his people, in the light of his victory and in the hope we have in him.
“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” He is risen! He has risen indeed, Alleluia!
A helpful response to an important question about our common problems…
Blessed Holy Week!
Trinity Lutheran Church has its first service in Norcross, Georgia on Palm Sunday, April 14! All is set and ready for the preaching of the unmerited grace of God in Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord! This is a new place at a new altar where people can gather and receive the eternal treasures of the Triune God! This is a place where our Lord will snap the idolatrous chains of Satan that keep people trapped in spiritual death (Ephesian 2:1-10). This will be a place where burden and guilt will be lifted off the shoulders of troubled souls by the forgiveness of sins in our loving Savior, Jesus (John 20:20-23). We give God thanks for the mission heart and support from the Atlanta North Circuit for the purchase of the new hymnals and catechisms. We also thank our Lord for our Florida-Georgia District who have given a generous gift to cover the cost of rent at Norcross Elementary School for 6 months. It is time. If we continue to wait until our weak sinful natures are ready enough to engage in the Great Commission, we will never move. But our Lord Jesus Christ says “Go (Matthew 28:18-19)!” We trust the power of the Word of God to bring all the results. We trust the Holy Spirit Who brings new life when and where He wills (John 3:3-7). “Behold, now is the favorable time (kairos); behold now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)!”
The schedule for the day will be:
- The Divine Service at 9 AM with Dr. Victor Belton preaching (pictured above left).
- Bible Study for all ages at 10 AM.
- The Divine Service in Korean at 11 AM with Rev. Min Soo Kim preaching (pictured below with his family).
- Bible Study for all ages in Korean at Noon.
- Food and Fellowship for all at 1 PM.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen!
The question about evil continues to pop up as a reason for people to “not believe.” It is very common for people to say that “I cannot believe in a God that allows suffering or evil.” This all concerns the question of theodicy. Theodicy basically probes the question “why does a loving God allow evil in the world?” This is a legit question and people are very often legitimately asking this because they are seeking answers. So . . . how do we respond?
Oddly enough, this question is concretely answered in Article XI of the Formula of Concord! Crazy! Thanks to Rev. Wolfmueller for putting this in front of us so succinctly!