Tag Archives: Lent

Invocavit Midweek Vespers

gate-of-heaven-violet-1024x1024Invocavit Midweek Vespers

February 21, 2024 AD

Psalm 40
Matthew 26:30–56
THE PREACHING OF THE PASSION: GETHSEMANE
Wednesday after Invocavit 2024

In our Lenten services this year we will be meditating on the passion of our Lord as recorded in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew. Last year we meditated on the Passion as recorded in Saint Luke’s Gospel. And of course all four Gospels tell of our Lord’s Passion in considerable detail. Now WHY God has given us not just ONE but FOUR Gospels which tell of the life and death and resurrection of His Son, we simply do not know though it may well be that just one telling of this story couldn’t possibly unfold all the riches of Christ’s saving life and death and resurrection.

In ONE HARMONIOUS witness
The chosen FOUR combine;
While each HIS OWN commission
Fulfills in EVERY line.

And so THIS year we consider the Passion according to Saint Matthew,-who was one of the Twelve Apostles and so had in fact been an eye witness to the public ministry, passion and resurrection of the Lord.

As we begin these meditations on the passion, we might well remember the words Moses heard when the angel of the Lord called to him out of the burning bush: “Put off your shoes from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Now all of Holy Scripture is holy ground – because in all of Holy Scripture the Holy Spirit is pointing to Christ – but the story of Jesus’ Passion is in-a real sense Scripture’s “Holy of holies” because there as nowhere else we catch a glimpse of “what no eye has seen nor ear heard-nor the heart of man conceived,” that love of God beyond understanding, the lengths to which that love will go to reclaim the human creatures who have taken up arms against Him; here we see what it cost God to redeem and save us – each and every one.

And what did it cost our Maker to redeem and save us? We catch a glimpses of that cost in the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane: “My Father, if it be possible, lei this CUP pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as you will.”

And what is that cup? We read in the 75th Psalm: “It is God who executes judgment… for in the hand of the Lord there is a cup… and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.” And there are many similar passages in the Old Testament in which the word “cup” speaks of God’s judgement, God’s wrath, “a cup… all the wicked of the earth shall drain, down to the dregs” Yet here the holy Jesus who knew no sin, who is Himself the Light and Life of God, Himself pure overflowing love which knows no end, faces the terrible prospect of draining the “cup prepared for the wicked’ – the cup of God’s wrath against sin.

Now God’s wrath is not like yours and mine! There is nothing in it of pettiness, of spite, of vindictiveness, of pleasure at the misery of one who has offended us, who has become our enemy; yet it still is wrath, the reaction of the altogether holy and loving God to the sin which disfigures and destroys His beloved human creatures. Because in His baptism the sinless Son of God had taken His place among sinners under the judgment of God, He now must – though Himself holy and sinless – drink the cup of wrath prepared for the wicked, drain to the dregs that bitter cup.

No wonder Jesus prays that this cup may be taken away from Him! But his prayer really is prayer, not a demand; He doesn’t set His own will over against the will of His Father, for the wish He expresses depends completely on the will of the Father: “Father, if it is Your will to take this cup from Me; nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done.” Jesus never ceases always to pray in perfect union with the Father will and willingly goes – to the cross.

Preaching on the passion only months before his own difficult death from cancer, Dom Gregory Dix had this to say:

The spiritual agonies of the passion – the final grappling with the iniquity of sin by the soul of Jesus – is something we cannot hope to understand, because we are sinful and He, though tempted in all things as we are, was entirely sinless. We can only connect this dreadful inner conflict with the statement of Saint Paul, “God made Him to be sin who knew no sin so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

“What no eye has seen nor ear heard nor the human heart of conceived,” the lengths to which the love of God will go to reclaim the human creatures who have taken up arms against Him! The Son of God takes on Himself all that is ours that He might give us all that is His – the “happy exchange” so often spoken of by the-ancient fathers and by . Luther. The incarnate Son of God drains the bitter cup of wrath so that He might give you and me and all poor sinners the blessed cup – of salvation.

Saint Matthew tells us that, before Jesus and His disciples left the upper room to go to Gethsemane, they “sang a hymn.” And since it was the Feast of Passover that hymn was almost certainly the so-called Great Hallel of the-Psalter, Psalm 111 through Psalm 118 in which we find this verse, “I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.” Jesus had that very night taken in His hands the cup, had given thanks, and had made of the wine in that cup His blood, and then on the cross poured out His blood in death so that just as the angel of death passed over the homes of the Israelites marked with the blood of the Passover Lamb, so the cup of wrath might pass from us who by baptism and faith are washed in the blood of the true Passover Lamb.

“I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord!” Because of that cup of salvation, in which our sins are dead and nevermore remembered in all eternity, we have the absolute assurance that when the cup of suffering does pass our lips, as it surely must for each and every one, there is nothing in it of wrath or judgement but only a means whereby we are more fully conformed to the image of Him who suffered the judgement we deserve under the wrath of God, our merciful Savior, who through the cross – both His and ours – leads  us to our joyful resurrection.

Amen.

Click here to listen and subscribe to Pastor McClean’s sermons on iTunes.

Our Saviour Parish News, February, 2024



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
February, 2024

ASH WEDNESDAY
Divine Service with the Imposition of Ashes
February 14, 7:30 P.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Once again we are about to begin our annual journey through Lent and Holy Week to Easter. Although Christmas is a more popular festival, which is in various ways celebrated even by those who do not see in the Child born of Mary our God and Savior, it is Easter that is for Christians the Feast of Feasts, the Holy Day of Holy Days, the Crown of the Christian Year, and all the seasons and festivals of the Christian Year (including Christmas) only make sense in the light of the Day of the Lord’s resurrection.From ancient times Christians have felt the need to prepare for Easter and that is why the Church has always the holy season of Lent in preparation for the glad feast of the Lord’s resurrection.

On Ash Wednesday there will as usual be Divine Service with imposition of ashes at 7:30 P.M. On the following Wednesdays there will be Vespers and Litany at 7:30 P.M. preceded by a soup supper at 6:30. Offerings given at the soup supper will be used to provide gift certificates for needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year the meditations at the Lenten Vespers will be based on the Passion as narrated by Saint Matthew. In using the Litany at Lenten Vespers we remember that Dr. Luther once said that after the Lord’s Prayer itself the Litany is “the best prayer that can be made” It was Pastor Wilhelm Loehe (1808-1872), that great 19th century father of the faithful Lutheran Church who founded the Seminary in Fort Wayne and then gave it to our Synod, who had this to say about the Litany: “Beginning with adoration, confessing Christ in its heart, it ends with the lovely Agnus [O Lamb of God…have mercy] which leads our thoughts to eucharistic heights…how evangelical, how entirely agreeable to our Church.”

The A Capella Choir of Concordia University Nebraska will give a concert of sacred and secular music at Immanuel Church, Loch Raven and Belvedere, at 7:00 P..M. on Thursday, March 7th. This choir of 72 auditioned voices has performed both internationally and throughout the United States. The Upper School Choir of Concordia Preparatory School in Towson will open the evening and will sing with the A Capella Choir. There is a need for people willing to provide lodging for members of the choir on the night after the concert. If you are interested, you may email
averykaser@concordiaprepschool.org.

The Epiphany Choral Vespers on January 21st, was a wonderful celebration of the new organ console which had been dedicated to the memory of Joseph Silver last October. I am sure that everyone will agree that Cameron Kuzepski, our guest organist for this service, is a remarkably gifted organist, composer, and choirmaster. It was a real treat to hear him play and to hear the quartet which sang settings of Psalm 72 and the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) which he had composed. This service was well attended and the reception that followed was delightful. We are much indebted to everyone who helped make this happen. I am hoping that we can from time to time have such choral Vespers on Sunday afternoons. Such services provide a good opportunity to invite our friends who attend other churches and those who are unchurched to worship with us.

Helen Gray, our dear sister in Christ, fell asleep in the Lord early in the morning on Thursday, January 11th. She was given Christian burial following the funeral service here at church on Saturday, January 20th. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon her and may the risen Lord comfort all who mourn with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection!

Remember in your prayers all those for whom our prayers are desired: Bridget Bauman, James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Timothy Doswell, Quilla Downs, Bunny Duckett, Steve and Joyce Eaves, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Sherry James, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Chris Mokris, Marion Rollins, Elaine Schwab, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Gary Watson, Dennis Watson. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 700 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.

When we see terrible suffering in so many parts of the world, such as the ongoing wars in Ukraine and in the Holy Land, we can have a sense of helplessness in the face of so much needless suffering. But one way to provide help is through Synod’s LCMS World Relief and Human Care. You can give online through this secure website: lcms.org/givenow/mercy or you can call Synod’s Contributor Care Line: 888-930-4438. Or you can send a check to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, PO Box 66861, Saint Louis, Missouri 63166-6861. Make your check payable to “The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod” and write “LCMS World Relief and Human Care” on the memo line.

We learn in Holy Scripture that the Lord Jesus began His earthly ministry in this way: “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14,15). Lent is a “penitential season” when we are especially conscious that – as Dr. Luther said in the first of his 95 Theses – “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ says, ‘Repent,’ he intended that the whole life of Christians should be one of repentance.” Both the Greek and the Hebrew word for repentance show that repentance is a change of heart, a change that God alone can work in us as we listen to His word of judgment and mercy. For Christians every day is a day of repentance. Lent is the season of the Christian Year that we are most especially conscious that this is so, and therefore we are called to examine our lives in the light of God’s Word. So consider your life in the light of the Ten Commandments or in the light of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7) or in the light of Saint Paul’s catalog of “the works of the flesh” and “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatins 5:19-24). And then confess your sins to the Lord. And remember that – as we are taught in the Fifth Chief Part of the Catechism, The Office of the Keys and Confession – pastors are always willing to hear the confession of penitent sinners. The hymnal we use in fact provides a form for individual confession and absolution at page 292. I am always willing to answer any questions about this. Call me at (410) 554-9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. As a dear friend of mine likes to say: “In private confession we learn not so much how sinful we are but how forgiven we are.”

The Lord’s People are in the Lord’s House at the Lord’s Own Service every Lord’s Day. May it be said of us as it was of the first Christians: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, April, 2023



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
April, 2023

PALM SUNDAY—APRIL 2; DISTRIBUTION AND PROCESSION OF PALMS AND DIVINE SERVICE, 11:00 AM
MAUNDY THURSDAY—APRIL 6; DIVINE SERVICE AND STRIPPING OF THE ALTAR, 7:30 PM
GOOD FRIDAY—APRIL 7; THE LITURGY OF GOOD FRIDAY, 7:30 PM
EASTER EVE—APRIL 8; THE EASTER VIGIL AND THE FIRST HOLY EUCHARIST OF EASTER, 7:3O PM
EASTER DAY—APRIL 9; FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 11:00 AM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Once again we stand at the threshold of that week in which the Church throughout the world celebrates the memory of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. At the approach of Easter there come to mind the memorable words of Walter Kuenneth (1900–1997) in the preface to the second edition of his book, The Theology of the Resurrection. The first edition had been published in 1933, the year when Hitler came to power, the second edition in 1951 after Germany and the world had suffered the consequences of Hitler’s rise to power in all the misery and terrors of the Second World War. Kuenneth’s words continue to speak the truth also in our day:

The course of history, as it has so terribly disclosed itself to us, can only be a confirmation of the Christian insight that all mankind is trembling on the brink of destruction and groaning under the tyranny of death. In this dark night of the world there is only one single source of light: the joyful news, “Christ is risen!”

Easter Day is the very heart and center of the Christian year, the day when every Christian will be present in the House of God to meet the risen Lord in the Holy Sacrament of His body and blood.

In addition to the Holy Week services at Our Saviour there will again be a Good Friday Tre Ore Service from 12:00–3:00 PM at Bethlehem Church, 4815 Hamilton Avenue. Come when you can, leave when you must.

Palm Sunday is the deadline for ordering Easter lilies which this year cost $16.00. Be sure to enclose with your check the names of those you wish to remember or honor.

I think that the Lenten soup suppers were much enjoyed and want to thank those who prepared and served them: Bernie Knox, Merton Masterson, Gabe Purviance, Mary and Paul Techau, Jean and Wayne West. The offerings at the soup suppers will help to provide ALDI gift certificates at Thanksgiving and Christmas for needy families connected with the Waverly School. Do remember to bring items for the GEDCO food pantry and for the Helping Up Mission.

Some necessary work on the organ has been completed ahead of schedule; the result is very pleasing. After careful study and reflection, the Church Council is planning on moving forward with still more improvements to the organ. And the floors in the education building were recently cleaned by professional cleaners. I think that our property has been well cared for down through the years; it remains a continuing challenge.

Our Sunday morning Bible class has completed its study of the First Letter of Peter. We have begun a study of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. Come join us! But note that the Bible class will not meet on Easter Day.

This year’s Saint Mark’s Conference will take place April 24–25. The theme of this year’s Conference is The Praying Church. Although primarily intended for pastors, everyone is welcome to attend. More information on the Conference can be found at our website: oursaviourbaltimore.org.

On Sunday, April 30, Redeemer Church at 4211 Vermont Avenue in Irvington will celebrate its 125th Anniversary with Divine Service at 5:00 PM followed by dinner. If you will stay for dinner, be sure to email church@redeemerlutheranbaltimore.org.

We continue to remember in our prayers James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Qulla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, Jean West, Wayne West. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road in Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224; Louis Bell at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, Md 21208; Queenie Hardaway at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road 21207.

If you are unable to come to church but still wish to receive the Sacrament, email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com or call me at (410) 554–9994. And please do not hesitate to contact me if you need a ride to church. I hope that those who are able to come to church will do so, especially during Holy Week and on Easter Day. It is in fact the Lord Christ Himself who invites you to meet Him as He comes in the preaching of His Word and in the Sacrament of His body and blood. When He so graciously invites us, how can we fail to respond with gladness?

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Reminiscere Midweek Vespers

gate-of-heaven-violet-1024x1024Reminiscere Midweek Vespers

March 8, 2023 AD

Psalm 110
Mark 14:53-65

 

 

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
Daniel 7:13-14

Again the high priest asked Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
Mark 14:61-62

The Holy Scriptures are that book in which the Holy Spirit bears witness to Christ. That is what Holy Scripture is! That is what Holy Scripture is for! And what that means is that everything we find in the pages of Holy Scripture truly points to Christ. Sometimes that is very evident, and sometimes that is far from obvious, FAR from clear. But we never rightly interpret or understand the Scriptures unless we see ALL that is written there in the light of Christ.

I

In the portion of the Passion History we heard this evening, the high priest asks the Lord Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” meaning the Son of God. Jesus replies: “I am.” “I am.” But this simple answer doesn’t ONLY mean, “Yes, that’s true.” Jesus’ answer, “I AM,” points to the mystery of who He is. For “I AM” is in fact the name of GOD revealed to Moses at the burning bush. For after God appointed Moses to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, Moses said, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” Then God answered Moses, “I am who I am. Say this to the people of Israel ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” “I AM has sent me.” “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” “I AM.

It is especially in Saint John’s Gospel that we find the “I AM” sayings of the Savior: “I am the Bread of Life, I am the True Vine, I am the Light of the world, I am the good Shepherd, I am the resurrection and the Life, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life;” and perhaps the greatest of all of Jesus’ I AM sayings is when He says to His enemies, ‘Before Abraham was, I AM.” Saint John tells us that when His enemies heard those words they tried to stone Him because they believed that His claim to the very name of God was blasphemous.

And so in His answer to the high priest, our Lord again claims for Himself the very name of God, the great I AM. And He identifies Himself with the Son of Man in Daniel’S prophecy, the Son of Man who “comes with the clouds of heaven to the Ancient of Days and is given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him, [whose] dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” Says the Savior, “You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Saint Paul wrote to Timothy, “Great indeed is the mystery of our religion: God was manifest in the flesh.” And in Jesus’ reply to the high priest Jesus Himself points to the mystery of who He is — as we say In the Nicene Creed, “God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten, not made; being of One substance with the Father, through whom all things were made” — Himself the Great I AM, truly One of the Holy Trinity.

II

But none of this could be seen by the high priest and his council and his guards. What they saw was an obscure Jew from the obscure town of Nazareth in Galilee whom His followers had acclaimed as the promised Messiah, but whom the high priest and his council saw as both a threat to THEIR power over the people; and so they envied Him and were jealous of Him. And they saw Him as a clear and present danger to the nation’s stability under the Roman rule, a Messianic figure under whose influence things could very easily get out of hand.

And so we see Jesus falsely accused and condemned as countless human beings have been falsely accused and condemned down through the ages world without end. But in judging HIM, His enemies were in fact judging themselves. As Saint John writes, “And this is the judgement: that the Light has come into the world and men preferred darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”

III

In the trial of Jesus we see the works of darkness: the bitter fruit of envy and jealousy, of lust for power, of doing what seems to be expedient rather than what is right and good; we see the power of lies and deception. And so, as we again meditate on our Lord’s trial we must ask ourselves: How is it with me? Am I envious or jealous, do I take pleasure in dominating others? Do I do what is expedient rather than what is right and good? Am I guilty of lying and deception? Am I indifferent to the plight of the weak and helpless — as Jesus was weak and helpless in the hands of His enemies who falsely accused and condemned Him and spit on Him and beat Him without mercy?

It was Saint Augustine who said, “So far had our pride cast us down that only the humility of God could raise us up.” Saint Paul writes that though Jesus “was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but humbled Himself.” Our Lord’s whole life was one of perfect humility, but it is especially in His passion that we see that perfect humility, silent before His accusers, accepting the miscarriage of justice, the spitting, and the beating without complaint as the meek Lamb of God.

In the trial before the high priest we see the One who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead unjustly judged, accepting the condemnation which would bring Him to the cross where He would suffer In our place the condemnation we by our sin have deserved so that we might be acquitted, forgiven, fully and freely pardoned — in the hour of our death and in the day of judgment. And on that day we shall see the perfect and complete fulfillment of His answer to the high priest’s question: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” “I AM.” And you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Click here to listen and subscribe to Pastor McClean’s sermons on iTunes.

Our Saviour Parish News, March, 2023



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
March, 2023

Mid-Week Lenten Vespers
Wednesdays, 7:30 PM
Soup Suppers 6:30 PM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

At this year’s Lenten Vespers we are meditating on the Passion of our Lord according to Saint Mark. He was not himself an eyewitness of these events, but from earliest times it has been understood that Mark’s Gospel is based on the teaching of Saint Peter, who was an eyewitness. Typical of the witness of the early church fathers is that of Saint Irenaeus who wrote: “After the death of Peter and Paul, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us the things preached by Peter.” So as we listen to the Gospel according to Saint Mark we are hearing the voice of Saint Peter.

Remember that Lenten Vespers at 7:30 each Wednesday is preceded by a soup supper at 6:30. Donations at the soup suppers will be used to purchase Thanksgiving and Christmas ALDI gift certificates for needy families connected with the Waverly School.

Several weeks ago, in his weekly message to the people of Immanuel Church in Alexandria, Pastor Esget called their attention to two prayers which can be used in our private devotions during Lent. One is the Lenten prayer of Saint Ephraim the Syrian, a theologian and hymn writer who lived during the 4th century:

O Lord and Master of my life,
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to your servant.
Yes, O Lord and King,
Help me to see my own faults and not judge my neighbor,
For You are blessed unto the ages of ages.

The other is the church’s Collect—the appointed prayer—for Ash Wednesday which was written by Thomas Cranmer in 1549 for the first Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. This prayer came into use among English-speaking Lutherans here in America in the late 19th century. The service books of our Synod at one time directed its use throughout the season of Lent.

Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that Thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

Both these prayers are so rich in content that they also provide much food for meditation during the Lenten season.

With Easter little more than a month away, it is time to order the Easter lilies. Each plant costs $16.00. Be sure to include with your check the names of those you wish to honor or remember. The deadline for ordering the lilies is Palm Sunday, April 2. Envelopes are available at church.

At the end of this newsletter you will find the schedule of our Holy Week services. It is not a minute too soon to make plans to attend these services in which we remember and celebrate our Savior’s passion, death and resurrection, the foundation of our faith as Christians. In truth this is the heart of the Christian Year. Is it too much to expect that Christians will join in the services of these great holy days?

Some necessary work will be done on the organ beginning Monday, March 6. That means that we will not be able to use the organ for several weeks. In the meantime we will use the piano, which has recently been tuned. The work will be completed before the beginning of Holy Week.

I am grateful that the pastor’s study has gotten some long needed attention. There has been some water damage which predates my arrival here in May 2013. That has now been repaired and the study given a fresh coat of paint. Jean West put us in touch with Rafael Montoya who has done a splendid job for a very reasonable price.

Let us continue to remember in prayer: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, Jean West, Wayne West. Maggie Doswell remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782; Yolanda Ford at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224; Louis Bell at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Drive, Pikesville, MD 21208; Queenie Hardaway at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207. It is now possible to visit them; cards are always welcome.

Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 12. Remember to set your clocks forward by one hour: “Spring forward, Fall back.”

Please remember to bring food items for the GEDCO Food Pantry. I am sure we all realize that the need remains very great. And remember to bring personal care items for the Helping Up Mission. Boxes for these works of mercy can be found just inside the door from the parking lot north of the church.

The Sunday morning Bible Class is continuing its study of the First Epistle of Peter. The Christians Peter addressed were suffering because of their faith. Come join us at 9:45 AM! Questions are very welcome.

If you are sick or wish to talk with me or bring you the Sacrament, do not hesitate to call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

Lent was anciently the time when candidates were prepared for Holy Baptism at Easter. At your baptism (and again at your confirmation) you promised to be faithful to the triune God by walking in conformity to the will of God, being sustained by faithful use of the means of grace: by listening to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word and by the Holy Sacrament. Ask yourself: Have I been faithful to the promises made at my baptism and confirmation or am I negligent, even indifferent to God’s gracious gifts in His Word and Sacrament? There is also this. As a baptized Christian, you are a member of Christ’s mystical body, the Church, and therefore have an obligation to your fellow members, not least by encouraging them by your presence at Divine Service on the Lord’s Day. When you needlessly absent yourself from the Divine Service, you not only sin against God but also against your fellow Christians. Lent is especially a time for repentance, for new beginnings. Think on these things! Says the psalmist, “O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells” (Psalm 26:8).

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER 2023

Palm Sunday—Distribution of Palms, Procession and Divine Service; 11:00 AM
Maundy Thursday—Divine Service and Stripping of the Altar; 7:30 PM
Good Friday—Liturgy of Good Friday; 7:30 PM
EASTER EVE—The Easter Vigil and first Eucharist of Easter; 7:30 PM
EASTER DAY—Festival Divine Service; 11:00 AM. Bible Class will not meet.

Our Saviour Parish News, February, 2023



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
February, 2023

ASH WEDNESDAY
February 22, 2023, 7:30 PM
Divine Service with the Imposition of Ashes

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Easter Day is the heart and center of the Christian Year, for apart from the resurrection of our Lord there is no salvation. Saint Paul writes:

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:17–20)

From ancient times the Church has prepared for Easter by forty days of fasting and prayer which call to mind the Savior’s fast of forty days in the wilderness. In the English-speaking world this forty day season is called “Lent,” a word which comes from an old English word “lencten” which means “spring” and refers to the lengthening days at this time of year. And just as earth comes to life after the death of winter, so also the Lenten season is a time of spiritual renewal through reading and meditating on God’s Word, through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In Christ’s sermon on the mount (Matthew 6:2–21) it is very clear that our Lord expects those who would follow Him to devote themselves to prayer, fasting and almsgiving—not because God needs our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving but because we do if we are to be ever more closely conformed to the image of the Savior. We pray in response to God’s command and promise that our prayers are heard. We fast because our bodily appetites—though good in themselves—are disordered through sin. We give alms as a weapon against selfishness remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) and because of the tremendous need that meets us on every hand. Do keep in mind the needs of the GEDCO food pantry and the Helping Up Mission. Boxes for donations are just inside the door near the church office.

Lent is a time for saying no to everything in our lives that contradicts Christ and His love for us and for every human being. We need to hear God’s Word calling us to repentance, we need to hear God’s Word showing us the Lord Jesus in whose death our sins are dead and who calls us to follow Him in faith and hope and love. Again this year we will have our Wednesday evening Lenten services at 7:30 PM, preceded by a soup supper at 6:30 PM. On Ash Wednesday we have the Divine Service with imposition of ashes. On the other Wednesdays in Lent we have Vespers, the church’s order for evening prayer, with the Litany. Dr. Luther regarded the Litany as “next to the holy Lord’s Prayer the very best that has come to earth.” The late Rev. Dr. Luther Reed wrote: “The Litany is a responsive prayer of the church, penitential in character but unselfish in its intercession for all human need and mighty in its grasp of the grounds for divine compassion.” In a word, the Litany is one of the church’s treasures; sadly, it has in more recent times been a neglected treasure.

No one can look at the world today and fail to see the ravages of human selfishness, greed, and lust for power. No one can fail to see the groaning of the fallen creation in earthquake, fire, and flood—to say nothing of the ravages of disease. Through all of this God is calling us to repentance and amendment of life. Is His voice being heard? Are you and I hearing His voice?

The Church Council continues to address the maintenance of our buildings and will keep you informed as progress continues. We are hoping to have some necessary work done to the organ in the weeks ahead which will mean that we will be without the use of the organ for several Sundays. The piano in the front of the church was recently tuned so that it can be used while the organ is out of commission.

Do consider joining us for the adult Bible Class on Sunday mornings at 9:45. We continue our study of the First Epistle of Saint Peter.

We continue to remember all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Robert Siperek, Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. In my recent visit to Maggie Doswell she told me how much she appreciates the cards sent to her. She remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford is still at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardway is at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.

If you are not able to come to church and want to receive the Sacrament at home, do not hesitate to call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. Do let me know if you need a ride to church. We are continuing to livestream our services at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook.

Remembering that every Sunday—also every Sunday in Lent!—is a “little Easter,” the Lord’s People are in the Lord’s House at the Lord’s Own Service every Lord’s Day.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, April, 2022



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
April, 2022

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER DAY

PALM SUNDAY—Procession and Distribution of Palms
Divine Service,  April 9, 11:00 AM
MAUNDY THURSDAY—Divine Service and Stripping of the Altar
April 14, 7:30
PM
GOOD FRIDAY—The Liturgy of Good Friday
April 15, 7:30
PM
EASTER EVE—THE EASTER VIGIL
April 16, 7:30 PM
EASTER DAY—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE
April 17, 11:00 AM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I must begin by thanking you for the wonderful celebration of my 80th birthday on the last Sunday in March. It was a real treat for me to have a guest preacher that morning, my good friend Pastor Brian Westgate. The brunch that followed Divine Service was delightful in every way. Many thanks to everyone who had a hand in preparing it and to everyone who sent cards and gifts! I have been asked a number of times how it feels to have reached this age. My answer to that question is that I am very grateful to God and to all the people through whom He has blessed me for so many years, including the people of Our Saviour congregation. But I must admit that I am also astonished! As God gives strength, I look forward to serving you in the days to come. Thank you—and God bless you for your kindness and generosity!

This coming Saturday, April 9, we are having a work day at church to prepare the church for the coming festival. We begin at 9:30 and conclude at noon. Do join us if you can.

April 10, Palm Sunday, is the deadline for ordering Easter lilies. As with many items, the price has gone up to $15 for each plant. Order envelopes can be found on the table in the back of the church. Remember to fill out the form to honor or remember a loved one and return it to Judy Volkman.

For the third year in a row we will be celebrating Easter during a pandemic that has yet to end and very unsettled conditions in the world. I must admit that I had assumed that something like the Russian invasion of Ukraine was the kind of thing that belonged only to the increasingly distant past. It has now been almost eighty years since the end of the Second World War. Given all these circumstances, I find myself returning yet again to some words that were written not long after that catastrophe by the distinguished Lutheran theologian, Walter Kuenneth (1901–1997):

The course of history, as it has so terribly disclosed itself to us, can only be a confirmation of the Christian insight that all mankind is trembling on the brink of destruction and groaning under the tyranny of death. In this dark night of the world there is only one single source of light: the joyful news, “Christ is risen!”

That is the foundation of our faith, the sure and certain ground of all our hope! It was Saint Augustine who said, “We Christians are an Easter people and alleluia is our song.”

But before we come to Holy Easter there is the Holy Week of the Lord’s Passion. I invite you to participate in the blessings of this holiest week of the Christian Year. On Maundy Thursday we go in spirit to the upper room where the Savior institutes the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. As the altar is stripped, we remember how at the Savior’s arrest in Gethsemane all the disciples forsook Him and fled. On Good Friday we stand beneath the cross. Easter Eve brings the Easter Vigil with the lighting of the Paschal Candle, the reading of Old Testament lessons which point forward to Christ’s resurrection, we renew the vows of baptism in which we were joined to Christ’s saving death and life-giving resurrection, and then finally meet the risen Lord as He truly comes to us with that holy Body which death could not hold and with His precious Blood. On Easter morning we again receive Him in the Holy Sacrament, celebrating with great joy the Day of Days, the Queen of Feasts. Because of the Real Presence of the crucified and risen Lord in the Holy Sacrament, our worship is no bare remembrance of all He has done and suffered for us: He is truly present in these Holy Mysteries. And that is why this Holy Sacrament is the beating heart of the Church’s life! I love the old anthem:

O sacred banquet
in which Christ is received,
the memory of His passion renewed,
and a pledge of future glory given unto us!

Let me also call your attention to the Tre Ore Service which will again this year be held on Good Friday at Bethlehem Church, 4815 Hamilton Ave, 12:00–3:00 PM. Come when you can, leave when you must. This is a fine opportunity for anyone who is hesitant about driving after dark. Seven pastors will preach on the Savior’s Seven Last Words.

The annual Saint Mark’s Conference will take place April 25, Saint Mark’s Day, and April 26. Last year we were privileged to hear the Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, the President of our Synod, and the Rev. Prof. John Pless of Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, speak about the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Hermann Sasse (1895–1976). This year the Rev. Dr. John Stephenson of Concordia Seminary, Saint Catharines, Ontario, will speak on Dr. Sasse’s life and witness during the terrible years of the Nazi rule in Germany. Our good friend, Pastor Coats, will speak on the life and work of the Rev. Frederick Roth Webber (1887–1963), and I will speak on the relationship between Dr. Sasse and the Rev. Dr. (Colonel, US Army Chaplain Corps) Arthur Carl Piepkorn (1907–1973). Both Pastor Webber and Dr. Piepkorn had a direct connection with Our Saviour Church: When the decision was made to build this Church, Pastor Stiemke invited Pastor Webber, an authority on church architecture, to address our congregation. Pastor Webber’s book, The Small Church: How to Build and Furnish It has pictures of our Church and praises it as a model church building. Dr. Piepkorn was the officiant at the service in which our beautiful chancel windows were dedicated in October 1951. Saint Mark’s Conference is primarily intended for pastors, but everyone is invited. Information about the Conference can be found at oursaviourbaltimore.org.

Work on restoring the use of our bells is continuing. There are a few more issues that the McShane Company is working through. We hope to have them fully in order in the next several weeks. The bells were placed in the tower in 1934. We expect to rededicate them sometime during the Easter season.

Please remember to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, Wally Techau, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardaway has been living at the Augsburg Home for some time now: 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.

I continue to bring Holy Communion to members who are unable to come to church. If you want me to visit or bring you the Sacrament, call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. If you need transportation, do not hesitate to contact me and I will be glad to make arrangements for that purpose.

Holy Week and Easter are the heart of the Christian Year. My hope and prayer is that you will gladly make use of this yearly opportunity to follow our Savior through His passion and death to His glorious resurrection.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

WORKS OF MERCY

The food collection baskets were overflowing, so we made a delivery to CARES to replenish their stock. We ended up with 5 milk crates of canned goods. Many thanks to all who were faithful contributors. The baskets are now empty and need to be refilled. Let us continue to support those who are in need with the bounty that the Lord has given to us.

The Free Flea Market will resume May 14 from 9 AM–12 PM. Many household items have been donated, so we are good with that. One faithful worker, Quilla Downs, will no longer be there to greet visitors and hand out tickets. We need someone who is willing to take on this responsibility. As always, we need faithful volunteers to serve their Lord in this outreach to the community.
—Judy Volkman