Roger's Postings

Friday, August 18, 2017



Romans 11:1-2a; 29-32.                 Mercy alone: for all are disobedient        20/8/17

                                                                                                               

(Rom 11:1-2)  I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. {2} God did not reject his people,

(Rom 11:29-32)  for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. {30} Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, {31} so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. {32} For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.



Today in this reading God addresses an issue that is often on our minds: who is out of God’s kingdom and who is in, and what is the criteria for this. Where does that person or that church stand in their relationship to God and his acceptance of them? Are we all going to be in heaven? These are fair questions and ones that needs to be on our minds from time to time. The interesting thing, here, is the answer that is given in response to this question. The last verse sums up the answer that he has built up over the last couple of chapters in the book of Romans: For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.



Did you hear that? For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. God has bound all of us; shut all of us up together in our common disobedience toward God. All of us stand under the same judgement. Not one of us can stand up and say, ‘We’re OK Jack. This doesn’t apply to me.’ Hear this loud and clear: all of us are disobedient and deserve nothing but the wrath of God.



That being the case let us not fall into the trap of many of the Jews, and of many people today. You see, many of the Jews had become so ‘high minded’ in their thinking that they were God’s people simply because they were Jews; and after all, they were doing very well in living according to the rules of the church of the day as well. They didn’t need Jesus. They had no need of God’s mercy. They were in; and everybody who was not with them was out.



So we find that God gives them over to their disobedience; and troubles and heartache abound. He then extends his mercy and the Good News of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection, to the Gentiles; many of whom became Christians because they believed in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross for the forgiveness of their disobedience. They believed that it was through Jesus alone that life and salvation had been won for them.



So God through Paul has these words to say to them and us: Did God reject his people? By no means! God did not reject his people,

…. for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you.



Of course, we don’t go far down the track before we find that many of these Gentile people, like the Jews, soon fell back into trusting that they were God’s people because they could speak in tongues; or were pretty good at living the Christian life; or had some good experience; or some such thing. But their trust was no longer in God’s mercy but in themselves and what they were doing or experiencing.



Now is it any different today? Where, even do we stand, in this regard? Have we too come to the point where we trust in ourselves; our faith or knowledge; our experiences; our having our life under control; or in something other than Jesus Christ and the mercy that God has extended to us through him? Have we become so ‘high-minded’ that we are in control? We can change what God has said to suit ourselves and what we want.


Certainly our world and many parts of the ‘church’ have all kinds of ‘self help’ programs; promotion of positive thinking and meditation practices that can help us overcome all kinds of difficulties. They have entertainment and fun ways of ensuring that we can hide from the disciplines of life; and many other things that seek to help us to get and have our life under our own control. If and as we live by these things we will be OK, is the thinking.



Yet the reality is far from this. The more we think we have our life under control, the more our disobedience becomes evident and the more our world crumbles around us. The more we allow ourselves to be distracted from our focus on Christ and what he has done for us; and place it on what we do, the more we find that either our pride or our failures come to the fore and destroy our lives. Our disobedience thereby ensures that we find no hope in ourselves and what we do.



We can see this coming to the fore in this gay marriage debate. Having chosen to go against what God has to say in his Word, many then become so arrogant and bloody minded that they cannot even see that they are seeking to foist their view on everyone else, no matter what the cost or the damage that is done to society. We don’t want to believe in God, but instead trust that we can do life far better by ourselves, and are reaping the consequences.



As a result, we can come to no other conclusion than, not one of us is any better than any other: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Not one of us can be ‘high minded.’ Not one of us can condemn another or look down on another. Not one of us can make life for ourselves. We are all disobedient.



No matter how hard me might try to be good and loving and all the rest, the more it all unravels and the more that troubles and disobedience abounds in our lives. We just cannot make life for ourselves without reference to Jesus Christ and his death on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. It is only when he is taken seriously that we can find true hope and certainty.



At the same time, we are then called on to remember that God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. God does not reject his people and turn his back on them. His desire is for all to be saved. His call is still there for us all to repent and believe the Good News. The gift of his Holy Spirit is still there for all: it is irrevocable. That includes all today who are seeking to promote so much that is clearly contrary to God and his Word.



That means that he does not go back on his word and his promise. He does not change his mind in any way in this regard. His promise is sure. Even though we so often turn away from him and go back to disobedience, he remains unchanged in his thoughts with regard to us. He still holds his mercy out before us and to us. He wants us; and seeks to help us in every way, to turn back to him and his grace.



But at the same time he leaves us in no doubt that if we continue to be disobedient and no longer seek to avail ourselves of his mercy, then we can expect nothing but his wrath. If we continue to want to achieve life by and for ourselves then he will leave us to stand before him in our disobedience and therefore face an eternity in Hell.



However, we can be sure that as we avail ourselves of his mercy: God's gifts and his call; then we have every reason to go forward with confidence. Yes, daily recognising that we have been sinful and fallen back into disobedience, but then turning to our baptism and recognising that we there died with Christ and were raised to life with him. We have been forgiven, so can once again look to him, learn from him and seek his help and his gifts to continue to live in light of his mercy: Regularly spending time in his Word and weekly worship so that he can train us to look away from ourselves to him and his mercy.



As we in this way look to him and trust in all that he has done for us and has to say to us, then we not only can go forward confident in his grace; but we have the assurance that others will notice this goodness and mercy and want it for themselves as well. There we have the main mission strategy for our congregation; to live in God’s mercy to such a degree that it shows and that our families and others around us can see this great wonder of God and want to avail of it for themselves.



So does God reject some and favour others? No; all have sinned and live in disobedience. It is those who reject and no longer avail themselves of his mercy that are in trouble. However, these he gives over to even greater disobedience so that they might perhaps recognise their dire situation and once again avail themselves of God's gifts and his call which he has irrevocably made available to them.



For our part let us ever thank God for the mercy he has extended to us; and may our one great desire in life be to ever look to the source of this mercy and trust in his goodness toward us; and then to point others to him to whom all glory belongs; our great God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To him be all praise and honour forever and ever. AMEN.



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish

Saturday, August 12, 2017


1 Kings 19:9-18                                  The Whisper of God                        13/8/17



{9} There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" {10} He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." {11} The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. {12} After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. {13} When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" {14} He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." {15} The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. {16} Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. {17} Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. {18} Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him."



For many people today, everyday life is a real struggle: there seems to be so many pressures and difficulties that they have to face.  The suggestion continually promoted by our society, is that we can have and be so much and so great; and yet the reality is far from what it promises. So often then these people feel as though they have to cope on their own, and that they are the only ones going through the hassles that they are going through, and that no-one else knows, understands or cares.



In fact, it often seems to these people that everyone is out to get them, with eyes watching for their every mistake, and looking for a chance to get them, and in doing so, they often imagine things to be so much worse than they actually are. So they run and hide in their own little shells; even though they may be living and working in the rush tear of life. They withdraw their 'real me' away from all who they feel are out to get them.



Meanwhile they cover their real selves with a false bravado and outward ‘she’ll be right mate’, but within feel scared, discouraged and disheartened; all alone in the busy, hostile world. Life is so tough for many people.



Even in relation to church (our own church too) and the spiritual side of life, there appears to be the same concerns. If we look around us we see many faces missing from our midst, and this surely is a real concern for all of us. To see week after week many people who claim to be Christians not here. Where are they?  Why aren't they here? Are these people too hiding themselves away in their own little shells, feeling weak and all alone? Are many of them discouraged and disheartened; running scared and trying to hide from God: thinking that he doesn't miss their attendance?



Or again because in the whole church scene we are confronted with all kinds of different thinking and practice, which is tugging us this way and that, and the focus has shifted from our God and what he has done and made available for us; to ourselves and what we are to do, we are left wondering what is it all about. Are we the only ones left who are faithful, and are we in danger of being overcome? Sometimes it seems as if we too are on the verge of dying; no longer is Christianity what it was meant to be, and so are left hassled and frustrated - lonely or fearful?



Well yes, life is a struggle in a sinful broken world - even for a Christian – even within the church. So my heart goes out to those who are not here for this reason. But let us all get some comfort and strength from out text here today. Elijah too knew what it was to feel weak and all alone: Elijah who not long before this, experienced God's spectacular power at work at Mt Carmel. He'd seen God burn up his sacrifice which he'd doused with water, in front of all the idol worshippers and false prophets, who couldn’t do the same with their sacrifice.



And now, a short time later he is running scared. He had known and seen God's power and yet now he was running for fear of his own life. Now he felt as though he was the only one of God's people left, and that nothing was going his way: so he runs and hides in some distant cave: hiding from the threat and danger that he perceived was there. Where was God's power now when he needed it most of all? It seemed as though God had deserted him and left him all alone: forgotten him - left him to be torn apart and destroyed.



Hide as he might try though, he can't hide from God. God speaks to him and asks what he is doing there hiding away. To which he replies: why God? Why have you allowed all of this to happen? Evil has taken control! To this God says - 'Go out to the mouth of the cave and I will show you how I mostly operate and how I make my presence known to the people.’



So Elijah goes near the entrance and mighty wind comes along and tears the mountain apart: shattering rocks and all of that. Surely this is God at work, again showing me his power. This is the way I like to see and know God; as long as he is for me and not against me. But NO - God was not in wind! The same thing happened with the earthquake and the fire - but no God. Poor Elijah - by now he would have been quite perturbed.



But then instinctively he knew the presence of God was at hand. He heard it - the whisper of God - the still small voice of God. No earth shattering revelation; no spectacular miracle: but the sound of gentle quietness, and it is there that God made his presence and will, known to Elijah: there God let him know that He was in control, and it was there that Elijah knew that he was not all alone.



 It was there then that the whisper of God said, ‘go back and do the work I am giving you to do.’ The still small voice said, ‘go back - even though life will not be easy. Go back, and through you I will do what needs doing in righting this nation. Go back and you will find that you are not the only one of my people left; there many others as well: Seven thousand in fact.’



Now this must surely make us today stop and think also, because we too, often, look for God to make his presence known in a spectacular way. We often feel alone and discouraged - not trusting God and his word and the sacraments, and we'd like to see him come through and tear the town apart; performing some mighty act or miracle, not only to make us sure of his presence but also to give us a sense of importance; of being a part of the action.



And when we are attacked or feel let down by the Church or God; when we are unsure whether the whole church bit really has any value; or when we see our membership declining and we are wondering what is going on or feel that we have failed God. At those times, we too often want to run and hide – to give it all away: particularly when we don't see God stepping into the situation in some spectacular and powerful way.



So we too need to remember that by and large God reveals himself in a very down to earth, quiet and gentle way, not in the mighty and spectacular. Most often it is the still small voice of God that breaks into our lives and makes God and his will known in our lives. Often it is the whisper of God that lets us know that God is still in control.



In the Bible - his Word – he tells us of his love and forgiveness, and what is good for us. In Baptism and Holy Communion, he further, in a quiet and simple way reminds us of the forgiveness, life and salvation that is ours through Christ's life, death and resurrection. And it is through these means of grace that he assures us that we are not on our own; but that we are joined to Christ and Christians of all times and places. Most of the time it is in quiet ways that God comes to us and speaks to us and reassures us.



So rather than running off and hiding in our busyness and involvement in all kinds of things, we often need to get quiet and listen; allowing God's still small voice to be heard: quietly reading his Word, meditating and praying, taking time to be with him in worship and at the Lord’s Table. Because it is there that he will come and make himself known to us, and remind us that we are not on our own.



There also he quietly tells us, to go back out into our everyday world and be the people he wants us to be: sharing his love and Good News to those around us; encouraging one another, and thereby allowing God to have an impact in our community. There he whispers, ‘go out and be my people, for I am with you always.’



And with his gentle voice comes power: The power to step out and do what God has in mind: power to do what we can't do on our own. Remember Peter in the Gospel reading, at Jesus’ command he steps out of the boat and walks on water; no problems, until once again he focuses on his own frailties and weaknesses, and it is then that he starts to sink. But even then, God's hand is there to lift him up once again. However, it was Jesus’ quiet command that enabled him to walk on water and to go on and do the Lord's bidding.



This morning again the gentle voice of Jesus says to us and to our community; ‘Come. Come, one and all - for I am here with you. I love you and forgive you, and I have the best of everything to offer you. Come - no more need you feel discouraged and all alone. Come and be my people - I will bless you and keep you, now and always.   AMEN.



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish


Saturday, July 29, 2017


Romans 8:26-39.                              Prayer - when can't pray!!!          30/7/17



{26)  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. {27} And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. {28} And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. {29} For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. {30} And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. {31} What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? {32} He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? {33} Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. {34} Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. {35} Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? {36} As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." {37} No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. {38} For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, {39} neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.



What a great encouragement we find here in these verses before us this morning. Particularly for those of us who are weak and who struggle with life, especially in the area of prayer. So often today we are given the impression that if we are a good Christian, then we won't struggle and hassle in this area; and all by in large will be well for us.



The thinking often goes: when it comes to prayer, it is something that should come naturally to all of us. We should have no real trouble in praying and in what needs to be prayed for. The better the Christian, the easier and better will be the prayers, and greater things will happen around us as a result.



Sadly, so often it seems, that this is what it we are told it should be like for a Christian who has it all together. Along with that we are made to feel guilty or within ourselves feel bad and inadequate, because that is not the way that it is for us personally.



I wonder how many of us here today have troubles in this area. When we have to pray it often seems to make no real sense at all – we mumble and jumble words, with lots of pauses. We have trouble in thinking what we should even be praying for. So we think the prayer is so weak and ineffectual. When we don't automatically see the results that we had hoped for, we are left feeling that it is all a waste of time.



Now how many us here when we need God most all find that perhaps all we do is yell and scream at him. We can't seem to say anything worthwhile and helpful. Then we worry like heck that we have fouled it all up. Perhaps we are not so good after all; and so are left feeling weak and hopeless.



Yet it is right here that we reminded that when we are at our weakest;

When we are lost for words and don't know how to pray; it is then that the greatest prayers ascend to God. Yes, that is what God's Word here says. Wow - that is something - that is a real encouragement to us all.



Now there are a lot of people in ‘Christian’ circles who have trouble with what I am saying here. The charismatics and ‘super- Christians’ may find this hard to swallow. To the ‘me’ focussed person it sounds ridiculous. But that is what this text is saying to us here today. To me that message is most encouraging indeed.



For all of us who struggle and feel weak and ineffectual this really does give us a lift and hope; it helps us to keep going. Above all it re-emphasises the greatness and love of our Lord, who cares for us, simply because he does. As a result, the things that need to happen in our lives happen, because he has made us a part of his family. He does what is best for us, even when we don’t know what that is or how it can happen. As a result, life has a peace and serenity about it that is beyond belief.



Let me use an illustration to help us understand all of this. A tiny little new-born baby. How does it survive? How does it get what it needs? It can't say in well-articulated words what it wants. Mum can you please change my nappy because I have made a mess in mine. Or mum can I please have a feed, for I am hungry. No it merely cries.



How does it get fed and changed? How does the message get through? Mum knows, doesn't she? She might only hear a little squeak - a half cry – and she is there - baby's every need is taken care of. Even though the baby cannot communicate well, its needs are met.



But then what happens when we get older and think that we are much smarter. We think that we are pretty good with communicating our needs and wants. We have learnt how to use and manipulate the system. But what happens? Mum can have I have some lollies or biscuits, even though it is almost dinner time. Often with no please or thank you associated with it. Then we wonder why we are not enjoying our dinner, or our teeth are rotting away, or why we don't get what we want.



A little further on; Dad can we sit up and watch this program on TV, but we don't say that it is an Adults Only program. Then we wonder later in life why our morality all screwed up. We become very good at asking for and manipulating things so we get our way, to hang with the cost.



When we get older still, we just take what we want and do what we want without consultation at all and we think we are very clever; we have got it all together and we can do as we please. Life becomes all about me and what I think and what I want.



Now in all of this, who is best off? Who is the most cared for? Who gets what they really need and are most at peace? Our brain and pride says the older and smarter we get the better it all is. The more we can say what want and the bravado that we have, the more we will get what we want and the happier we will be.



But if we think it through seriously, we are playing a fool’s game. More often than not, we are mucking it all up for ourselves and for others. We       seek the wrong things, because we don't know, or want to know all the facts.  The baby however, more than any, gets the best attention and is the most at peace, perhaps for the very reason that it can't communicate well.



Now I know this illustration has its limits and shortfalls, but we can see something of a crossover into the area of our prayers and our life before God.



As Heavenly Father, he takes good care of us as his children. Through baptism we have been made his children, and he promises to take care of us. So we can be sure that He is there taking care of everything for us. Seeking to do what is best for us. Whether it is troubles or hardships even, he is there using it all for good. Even when we act like a spoilt teenager and do things which are completely wrong, he is ever there seeking to use the troubles we bring on ourselves for our good. He may allow these troubles to harm us so that we turn back to him and seek again what is good for us.



So when it comes to prayer, even when not a word of prayer comes or it is a jumbled up mess of words, we have the assurance that God's Spirit is there bringing our concerns to the one who can do something about it. We know that as a result of Jesus’ coming to earth and living, dying and rising again, all for our benefit, that he is now concerned about us and what is going on in our lives.



He wants us to have the best, and his Spirit is taking our every need to God whether we speak it or not. Above all, because it is his Spirit who is doing the asking on our behalf, we know that he is asking for only what is good and beneficial for us. He knows God's will far better than we do, and he knows what will truly help us.



So always, we can be sure that our needs are being brought to our Lord, whether we are in the mood for it or not: whether we pray or not; whether we think it is good enough or not. The Spirit is pleading for us, and that has to be the best of prayers. So when we can't pray, rest assured that your every need is reaching the one who needs to hear it and who wants to help.



Now with that assurance and encouragement we can go on confidently; and we can also pray. Just as a parent loves to have their children talk to them and ask for things, even more so does the Lord ache to have us speak to him. He dearly loves us to share our thoughts and concerns with him.



He also longs for us to look to him and be guided by him as to what is good and right for us. Wanting us to really feel that closeness that comes through communication. But now to do it knowing that the Spirit is there making sense of what we are saying and bringing it to the Lord in a way that is truly right and good.



Our Great and gracious God cares about each of us always. Especially when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable. How comforting and reassuring that us for us as we go through life. To him then be all glory and honour, now and always. Amen.



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish

Saturday, July 22, 2017



Isaiah 44:6-8.                      No other God???                                                             23/7/17



{6) "This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. {7} Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come-- yes, let him foretell what will come. {8} Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."



Sit back and take careful note. God in these three verses has a great deal to say to our present day world. This generation that is so smug in its thinking that it can be accepting and tolerant of many different gods, religions and denominations, believing that they all have the truth and the spirit, even if more or less. Or which thinks it can say there is some sort of god out there, but we don’t need to take him all that seriously. ‘Surely if he is god, and a loving one at that; then he will accept us all no matter what; after all we are good-living folk.’



At the same time there is also an important message in this for those who are struggling and searching for hope and genuine answers. In the face of hopelessness and a bleak future, we have here a turning point; a bright light which gives a real hope and a certainty to everything that lies before us. In the face of a myriad of points of view and appeals for openness and tolerance and all kinds of liberalism, we have a clear word that silences them all to meaningless chatter.



This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty. Here we have the Lord Almighty himself speaking: not some pompous, self-righteous person full of his own self-importance. Not some philosophy that has been pandered about by those wanting to erase any thinking of God from the face of the earth. No here we have the one and only God who is Lord over all things: both, ruler and King of all, as well as Saviour and Redeemer:  The Almighty one who is over all and through all and in all: The one and only true God.



Here is the One who truly is the one that we need to take seriously. The One who in the end we will all be answerable to; no matter who we are or what we think and believe. To those who take him and what he says seriously there is great hope and a great future. However, to those who do not believe or take him seriously there is nothing but eternal damnation.



That being the case; listen carefully! This Almighty Lord says:

I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come-- yes, let him foretell what will come. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."



Here remember that these words were spoken to an Israelite nation that had become so slack as God’s people that he allowed them to be taken over by a foreign nation and taken into exile as slaves. He is the same God who created the world in the very beginning; The same God who miraculously brought his people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land; The same God who wo promised that he would send the Lamb of God to save his people and establish his kingdom forever.



In many ways these Israelites had become the same in their thinking as we in this nation have become. Though God had richly blessed them over the years, they became complacent in their attitude toward him; and justice and mercy was no longer a part of their thinking. Yes, they still acknowledged the Lord, but they tolerated and even took part in the other religions that they had allowed to creep into their nation. Their worship had become far removed from that which the Lord had set before them and they refused to listen and change their ways when it was called for.



From the very beginning God had set down before them the way that they should live and act in their relationship to him and the people around about them. He also told them very clearly over and over again, that if they failed to heed these commands, then he would bring them down. They however became so arrogant and apathetic in this regard; even when God sent his prophets to warn them, they ignore them and persecuted them. They believed that they had it all under control and that they would be OK.



So the Lord, true to his word, sent in the Babylonians to destroy them as a people. Now here at the time of this original message, the remnant of them that survived, sit as slaves in a foreign land. Again God comes to them and tells them that he is the Lord Almighty, and all that has happened to them, happened because of their disobedience. But he also reminds them that as the Lord Almighty, he has promised that if they once again return to him and take him seriously, then he will again restore them as his people and as a nation.

The Lord said to them:  I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come-- yes, let him foretell what will come. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."



Now to us here, let us hear these words as his words to us also. And don’t be as arrogant as the people of Israel and think that God will act any different toward us. If you do then I would suggest that you tremble and be afraid, for his foretelling of what is before us is just as clearly written for us to know that we cannot play games with God and think that we will come out OK.



His proclamation is quite clear that there will be a falling away in the last times, by many; and we can see that happening all around us; as well, we are told that there will be many who will follow after that which their itching ears long to hear. In other words, they will follow after what makes them feel good, rather than on the clear word of God.



Here, let us be quite clear that there are no other God beside our Lord. All others are nothing but thieves and robbers. They are not, as many proclaim today, as different roads leading to the same end. Any other proclamation that does not centre on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, is not of the Lord Almighty. There on the cross we find our King and our Redeemer. The Lord Almighty himself says: Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."



If that is the case, how can we dare to think that we can dabble here and dabble there, with all kinds of ideologies and odd worships that focus us on things other than Jesus Christ and him alone. How dare we think that we do not need to heed what he has to say with regard to all kinds of things: but instead to twist and change it all to suit our own way of thinking. God has very clearly stated what is going to happen to those people. So beware. He is the Lord Almighty and he is true to his word.



That of course also means that he promises grace and blessing to all who do turn to him and look to him as their Lord and Redeemer. Because he has always been true to his word throughout history, we can therefore trust that as we look to him and what he has done for us through Jesus Christ, we can take him seriously and know that salvation and eternal life is there in him for us.

Here remember again that Jesus came into this world for the very purpose of extending forgiveness, salvation and hope to us. We know that he died on the cross, taking our punishment on himself, thereby ensuring this forgiveness and eternal life to us. He did rise from the dead so that we can be absolutely sure that this is all for real; and that all who are connected to him will also rise from the dead to be with him in heaven.



All this then means, that we can continue to trust his word alone, even as the world around us; changes and ignores it all to suit themselves. We can hold firmly to what he says in the Bible, knowing full well that this is the Word of the Lord Almighty himself, in its entirety. We don’t have to scratch our heads wondering what we must listen to and what we can discard: it is all God’s Word to us all, even today.



That also means that we can hold him up as our Lord and boss as we live out our lives every day. In the midst of a world that ignores and mostly has discarded him, we can know that he is for real, and he is important for our daily lives as well. That of course means that we will regularly come into his house here, in order that he can strengthen and encourage us through Word and Sacrament so that we can remain strong in the midst of the wayward pressures of the world around us.



It also means that as long as we are connected to him and trust in what he says to us, we can have the certainty that our future is good. No matter what our situation may look at the moment the Lord Almighty has already ensured that nothing in all creation can separate us from his love.



So let us always remember these words from the LORD: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come-- yes, let him foretell what will come. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."

To him then, be glory and honour, now and always. AMEN.



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Romans 8:1-11.                 Living the Life???                                             16/7/17

{1) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, {2} because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, {4} in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. {5} Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. {6} The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; {7} the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. {8} Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. {9} You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. {10} But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. {11} And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Fred had listened carefully to the sermons of the last weeks; but the more he thought about it, the more it disturbed him greatly. He couldn’t get past thinking, that he is called to act quite differently to what he knew in his heart he was like. He understood in a deeper way that it was important that he lived this Christian life that was called for from him. But that concerned him greatly, because he found that he was really struggling to be able to live up to what was expected of him.

Despite his best efforts he kept failing to do what he knew was required of him. Even though he tried hard to allow Christ’s light to shine in his life, all he could see was his faults and his failings. But then at other times he found that he was trying to excuse himself and shrug it off as if it were no big deal; after all God loves him and forgives him so it doesn’t matter if he lives completely opposite to what he knows is right. This self-righteous attitude was not sitting comfortable with him either.

So Fred could identify with Paul’s words in last week’s lesson, when he stated: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Rom 7:15) and When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. (Rom 7:21)  He now knew what the right thing was for him to do, but he just couldn’t get it right. This was now playing on his mind and causing him much turmoil.

Over and over again he kept thinking that he was a failure at being a Christian; so how could God love and accept him. Doubts crept in to the point the he began to think that he was just fooling himself about his being a Christian. What is he to do? Where does he turn? Perhaps he should just give up.

So to the Fred's and others with similar thoughts, listen carefully to what God has to say to you here in this reading. To those who are smug in their own self- righteousness, you can switch off and have a sleep. To the rest of you, listen also, for there is a message for you also. Romans 8 is a wonderful chapter for all who are going through a rough time in life and their faith.

Paul here begins by saying that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Despite our doubts, and failures have no fear, for through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death. In other words, because of Jesus' death on the cross, we are assured that nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love. Nothing! Not even our doubts and failings. Jesus has died for us, and through our baptism has joined us to himself.

Since we are unable to live up to God's standards because of our sinful nature and so cannot make ourselves acceptable to God; God sent his Son to do everything necessary for our forgiveness and salvation. The soul that sins shall die; but Jesus joined himself to us and died in our place, so that we might have life.

 And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. We who now believe in Jesus Christ and the importance of his death on the cross, are now considered by God as being sinless. He sees us as righteous people. As we look to him and trust in him we can go forward with confidence.

So we can know that because we are still sinful while we live on this earth, our body is still subject to failure and death. We will constantly have that battle within us between what we know is right and good and our ability to do it. Just as it was for Paul, there will also be many times when you and I will fail to live the righteous life, even though we know what the right thing is.

We are as Luther once said, 'saint and sinner at the same time'. But that does not mean that we are not loved and accepted by God and that we are not really Christian. And it doesn't mean that we are not to strive to live as God' would have us. We cannot excuse ourselves. But at the same time who now know that we are freely and fully forgiven. We are righteous in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember however that; 'Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.'

So the point is, are we now wanting to live in accord with God and his Word, or do we want to live according to our sinful, selfish nature. Is Jesus Lord of our lives or are we? Do we want what God has given us and has to say to us, or do we want look to ourselves and the world around us, which determines life for us?

As Christians, Paul says: 'You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.' Here remember that we do have God's Spirit living in us. We were baptised. There he promised that his Spirit would live in us to help us: he is now in us always. Yes, God is at work in our life every day, seeking to control what happens in our life; to give us life and peace.

The Spirit is at work in our lives to lead, guide and ever point is to Jesus and what is important for us. As the Spirit draws us to regular worship in his house, we are continually reminded that we are forgiven and thereby have the assurance of eternal life in heaven. At the beginning of every service we have Confession and Absolution; We have the Word read and preached; and we have The Lord’s Supper; ever reassuring us of that which we need most of all. The Spirit is at work leading us to that which is good for us, because we have this constant battle in our lives.

On top of that; take note of what he says next. 'But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.' Did you hear that? When Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin. Our life; our getting our own way; our living the way we want, is dead: it is not important. The things that the world out there sees as important are nothing; they are no longer what now makes for life for us as Christians. We are a part of something infinitely greater.

Christ and his life is what now makes for true living. With him in us, we have that which already has made us righteous and which will help us to live with peace and certainty, despite our struggles. We are now free to be what Christ would have us be. Now we can be children of light; striving to do what is in accord with one who is called a child of God. We can strive now to do what the Spirit would have us do, knowing that we already have that which makes for life.

Here remember also what Paul went on to say in this connection: 'And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.' Did Jesus really raise Jesus from the dead? Yes! Then he also has promised that he gives life to us also; guaranteed.

So we can now go forward with confidence, knowing that we have that which is important working in our life. There is no condemnation toward us, while we allow that Spirit to work life in us. Even when we fail, as we all do along the way, he draws us back and assures us again and again of his forgiveness and help.

It is only when we become smug in our own abilities and righteousness that we are in trouble. When we look here [ourselves and our rights and all the rest] we will struggle and only find death. But with the Sprit working in us, as we listen to and mediate on his Word and as we participate in the Lord's Supper, we will receive all that we need for this life and the next

So as we go forward in life look to Jesus Christ and know that his Spirit is working in us, to help us to live with our struggles to be the person we know that we should be. The troubles will always be there, but as we look to Jesus and all that he has made possible for us, we will find the strength and life that we need. Then we will also find that more and more glory will go to him whom it belongs; to our great God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For to him alone belongs all glory and honour, now and always. AMEN.

Pastor Roger Atze
Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish


Saturday, July 08, 2017


Romans 7:15-25.               What is wrong with me??                             9/7/17



I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. {16} And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. {17} As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. {18} I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. {19} For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. {20} Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. {21} So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. {22} For in my inner being I delight in God's law; {23} but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. {24} What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? {25} Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!



What is wrong with me? As I look back over the past week, month, years, I see that I have done any number of things that I know I shouldn’t have done, and didn’t want to do. At the same time there are things that I know I should have done, but didn’t, and I should know better. What is wrong with me? What a wretched man I am! And I am your pastor.



Time and time again I fail to live the kind of life that I know I should. And then to make matters worse, someone comes along with a smart comment, like, ‘Christians are supposed to be good people, aren’t they?’ ‘What a Hypocrite!’   Or, ‘you can’t possibly die a sheep if you are living a goat’s life’. In a sense they are right. So Again then what is wrong with me?



For most of us we easily fall into the thinking that to be a Christian is all about living a good moral life. We are simply to be good people and the church is there to encourage us to do this. So we look to the church and the bible to tell us how to live the Christian life. It is all about ‘me’ and what I must do. But all too often all we see is our failures and the failures of others around us.



This is a struggle I have, and I am sure that many of you have also. We know the good that we want to and need to do, but far too often we find ourselves doing just the opposite. We want to do the right thing but so often it all seems to go wrong. This is a problem for all of us, including Paul here in our reading. ‘For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do.’

Now we could go along with those out there and say that we have a real problem and that we are hypocrites and much more. But here we are reminded that this struggle and difficulty that we have is not faith-shattering, but in fact the opposite – faith-building.



In fact, this is what the Christian faith is all about. Yes, God calls us to live good, holy lives, but because of our sinfulness we will never be able to achieve this. So the Christian faith is all about what God has done through Jesus Christ and the cross to rectify the situation. Then for us to recognise our weakness and look to God and the help that he has provided.



So it is not faith-shattering; because when we struggle in this way we know that certain laws and forces are at work in our lives. It makes us ever aware of the sinfulness that is continually at work in our lives and the sinful nature that we have - even now as Christians. It also makes us aware that God’s good Law is there and at work pointing out our failings and shortfalls – our sin – and so our need to look beyond ourselves for forgiveness and help.



It also helps to show us that when we look to ourselves and seek to live under our own strength and ability we are in trouble. We just cannot do it as we should, and so we are forced to acknowledge our weakness and failure and then look again to the one who truly can give us what we really need. So this struggle that we have is good.



In fact, there is a real problem for us if we do not have this struggle, because it shows that there is a lack of conscience: that there is the absence of any understanding of God’s Law and any desire to live in accord with the will of God. If anybody does not have this struggle in their lives, they are lawless in the full sense of the word, and so are in deep trouble.



Their only desire is to please themselves and to get out of life what they can for themselves: to hell with anyone else. We can already see that our society is well down this track, and the churches are sadly following suit. They seem to think that they can ignore what God has to say to us in his Word because God loves us and accepts us never-the-less. “We’ll all be up there when we die! So it doesn’t matter.” Sadly, despite these hopes, God’s Word is clear that this will not be the case for most.



However, for those of us who are aware of God’s Law and have this struggle in our lives, of doing what we know we shouldn’t be doing and all of that, means that we become painfully aware of who we really are. In light of God’s Word, we know that something is drastically wrong in our lives and that when we look to ourselves and our goodness we are in deep trouble.



Now as Paul says here and elsewhere, that does not mean that God’s Law is bad or that he has fouled up. It means that we have fouled up: that we are not living up to the expectations that God has set for us and created for us to do: and that there is an evil force at work in our lives. It also points us to the consequence of hell for those who do not trust in Jesus Christ and the importance of his death on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.



Yes, it shows that we are all too human: that we are full of sin, and that, nothing good lives in us. That is what is wrong with us! So it shatters any faith we may have in ourselves, and compels us to cry out, ‘what a wretched person I am’.

Having done that it drives us to seek help beyond ourselves. So we cry out with Paul, ‘who will rescue me from this body of death?’ Who is there that can truly help us?



Certainly it is not the saviours that our world is putting forward today: The power of positive thinking; or the doing away with all religious thinking; the accumulation of wealth and material possessions; the conservation of our environment; our technology, and the like. Nor does it help to bury our heads in a glass of beer, or drugs and sex, or some other form of avoiding the big issues of life. No, there is only one way out!



Thanks be to God, that it is through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is through Jesus Christ alone that we can find any real and lasting hope, and the only way out of the mess we are in. Through his life, death and resurrection, we have a sure way out: God’s way out for us all.



All who look to Jesus Christ and the cross, no matter how big their struggles and failures in life may be, they have the assurance of perfection in God’s sight, through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of his death on the cross, God forgives everyone and accepts those who now look to Jesus and put their trust in what he has done for them.



So now again there is hope and joy, now there is a future; despite ourselves and our failure to be the people that we were intended to be. Now we can go forward with confidence; not in ourselves, but in Jesus Christ. Now we can again go forward to live. But not in our strength and ability anymore, but in Jesus Christ alone. As we look to him and live in him, we know that it will all work out.



So our struggles in life are not faith-shattering, but faith-building. Instead of destroying our faith, it turns us away from ourselves to the only one who can truly help us. As we look to our Lord Jesus Christ and trust in him and his promises to us, we can continue on with our struggles, recognising that they are not always in this life going to be taken away from us, for they are a part of life in a sin-ridden world.



These struggles will dog us each and every day of our lives, and yes, will even still cause us a great deal of anguish and pain. But now they will be God’s means of turning us away from ourselves, and help us to continually look to him who is now our Lord and Saviour. As a result, all glory will again go to our great God.



So now we can readily acknowledge our weaknesses and failures. Instead of ignoring, downplaying or denying their existence in our lives; and so truly being hypocritical. We can accept that everyone of us are far from perfect, but at the same time remind ourselves that God’s ways are Good and beneficial for us and our lives in this world.



So we remind ourselves and one another of our need for forgiveness and also of the need for God’s help and the support of and for one another.  In this way we are then enabled and enabling each other to live in the face of all kinds of troubles and hardships. We are in this way living the Christian life as God sees that we need to. We are then enabled to see that great value of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. He will then be held up as Lord and as that which is all important in life for us.



So what is wrong with me? Sin and evil! But thanks be to God that through our Lord Jesus Christ he has provided a way out. So to him alone again then, be all praise, honour and glory, now and always.  AMEN



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish


Friday, June 30, 2017


Romans 6:12-23.                               Dancing to a new tune!!                                                02/7/17



Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. {13} Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. {14} For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. {15} What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! {16} Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? {17} But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. {18} You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. {19} I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. {20} When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. {21} What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! {22} But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. {23} For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Today in this reading our Lord is laying a challenge before each one us here. He is calling us all who are Christians to dance to a different tune than the rest of the world around us. God is encouraging us to now live a new and wholesome life in response to what he has done for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rather than a life of slavery to the things of this world, which ultimately lead to eternal death.



Now we might think, ‘Oh come on pastor, we are Christians; we have got our faith. So look, don’t go getting carried away again, by trying to make us all squares and nerds or whatever you call it these days.’ ‘Look we will be OK. We know where it is at. So what if we go astray a little here and there now and again, we will be fine, we’ll come through in the end.’ And we could go on and on, and we do.



But hang on; are you so sure that you have got it sorted out and together? Are you so sure that you will be OK and that you will come through? Experience will show us again and again, that many, many are not surviving.  Many; if not most, have lost it altogether, and are facing disaster, without even knowing it. Many others have placed themselves in such a precarious position that little short of a miracle is needed in order for them to come through.



Here God is saying just that. Those who think that they can flit here and there: that they can have a foot in both camps, so to speak, can NOT do so and come out unscathed. He quite clearly is saying either, or. You are either a slave to sin which leads to death, or you are a slave to righteousness which leads to eternal life. You are either dancing to God’s tune or the devils. We either are seeking to live for the God who has saved us, or we are living and doing as we please. Either one or the other.



He is saying, how can you, who know that you have been set free from sin, now turn around and play with fire and not expect to be burnt? Surely because we have been set free from sin and assured of forgiveness of sins, life and salvation, we will now want to obey and be slaves to the one who has given us all of this. He and what he says will be all-important in our lives.



But that is where we have trouble isn’t it. We do not want to be slaves to anyone; we today want to be free to do our own thing, and we think that we will get by. Here we need to remember that was the sin of Adam and Eve, and of every human being ever since. We want to be like God: we want to be our own gods: we want to determine what is right and wrong for ourselves, and that is our real sin – even today. We don’t want to listen to God, but do it our own way.

That being the case, we need to remember that the wages of this sin is death – eternal death.



But also in this life we are slaves to that way of thinking, which constantly leads us into real trouble. There is a whole world out there who is slavishly pandering to selfishness and self-centredness as if it is the only god there is; and they are reaping the results. Sure the media, and all and sundry, are praising how wonderful and exciting and alive this new way of thinking is. But even in this life, these people are burdened, lonely and dying inside. We can see these results all around us; and in our own lives as well.



As one who is constantly dealing with people, the world out there is full of people, who outwardly have a veneer of having it all together, but inwardly are in deep trouble and they know it.  But they are slaves to this world’s thinking and so cannot see a way out, except to try harder and pretend that they have got it all together. They are constantly looking for the next guru who promises us an easy and happy life. Then there are those who have just given up and burying themselves in their lives or alcohol, drugs and sex addictions.



So here again we see that the wages of sin is death. So we need to be aware that we are slaves, whichever way we look at it, as this passage says. We are slaves to either sin or to God. We cannot have it both ways. We are either for him or against him. Either we want life, in this world and the next, or we want death. It is a simple and straight forward choice.



This is not simply what I or the church says in this regard. This is what God Almighty himself has clearly said to us over and over again. His Word is true and sure, despite the whims of many who try to change or ignore it to suit their own thinking. Throughout the ages that Word has stood the test and remains in tack. It always will because it is God’s Word. It has much to say to our world today.



Here, let us remember, as we are reminded in this reading, that we have been brought from death to life; we have been set free from slavery to sin and have become slaves to God. We now have a new tune to dance to: and one the leads to life, and real joy and hope. A way of life that is good for us and pleasing to our God. What greater incentive than that, can we have as we go forward in life.



God himself came into this world for the express purpose of helping us out of the mess we have made for ourselves. In our selfishness and self-centredness, we have disobeyed God and brought all kinds of troubles and heart-aches on ourselves and one another; and finally death itself – here and in eternity. However, Jesus comes and takes our punishment on himself so that forgiveness of sins, life and salvation could be extended to us once more.



So we have a new and great Master who has guaranteed the results for us. We therefore are winners, by the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through his life, death and resurrection we have forgiveness of sins: we have been brought from death to life: we have the assurance of eternal life with our great God.



At our baptisms we were joined to all of this. There we died with Christ and were raised with him into this new and glorious life. There we were adopted into his family, so that we can now belong for sure: we can be with him always. Now it is all guaranteed. So we can live. Truly live, as we are meant to live. We can follow him and his ways and it will all work out in the end.



Not only has he saved us, and joined us to all of this, but he has also promised to be with us and give us every assistance possible along the way. He has given us all that we need in order to keep going as his people. Through his Word and the Sacraments, we are constantly assured that we have all that we need to keep us strong and on track.



He has given us a family; the Church, to support and encourage us along life’s way. As we regularly gather together; every week if possible, to be served by Him through the Word and the Sacraments, and as we join with one another, we are given what we need in order to go forward as his people. There we are constantly kept mindful to look to our Lord and follow his ways that are all good and helpful. We have fellow believers alongside us to help and encourage us forward.



So surely, now, we will listen to him, and follow him. We will want to obey him: we will want to be the kind of people he would have us be. Surely we will leave aside this life that is nothing but trouble and death, and aim with all that we can, to stay close to him. We will constantly look to him to help and guide us to live and be the people he would have us be.



Looking to him as the one who not only saved us, but who really knows what it is all about. Surely He will be our Lord and Master. Surely we will seek to obey him. Surely! Surely every single one of us here, will now dance to this new tune that our Lord has placed before us. We will offer our whole selves to him as instruments of a right way of life. For he is our loving, living, all powerful Lord, who has and continues to do so much for us.



To him alone then be glory and honour, now and always. AMEN.



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish