The Vocation of Vacation

By Scott Keith

“If you are a manual laborer, you find that the Bible has been put into your workshop, into your hands, into your heart. It teaches and preaches how you should treat your neighbor. Just look at your tools––at your needle and thimble, your beer barrel, your goods, your scales or yardstick or measure––and you will read this statement inscribed on them. Everywhere you look, it stares at you. Nothing you handle everyday is so tiny that it does not continually tell you this, if you will only listen…. All this is continually crying out to you: ‘Friend, use me in your relations with your neighbor just as you would want your neighbor to use his property in relations to you.’” Read More


Life in the Promise

By Paul Koch

At night I read to my son when he gets into bed. We just finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. If you’re unfamiliar with the basic story line, the four Pevensie children enter into a magical land called Narnia through the back of a large wardrobe in a spare room. Now, the land they find there is locked in a perpetual winter caused by an evil witch. When one of the children says that winter isn’t all bad because you can play in the snow and of course there is Christmas, they learn to their horror that there is no Christmas in Narnia. The witch’s power makes it always winter but never Christmas. Read More


A Jagged Contention: Perpetual Slavery

“[St. Paul] would dearly love to stir and persuade [the Galatians] to not let themselves be influenced by the false apostles and not to let these men ensnare them once more in the yoke of slavery. It is as though he were saying: ‘The issue here is no trifle or mere nothing; it is an issue between either endless, eternal freedom or slavery.’ For just as freedom from the wrath of God and from every evil is not political freedom or a freedom of the flesh but an eternal freedom, so the slavery of sin, death, and the devil, which oppress those who seek to be justified and save through the Law, is not physical slavery, which lasts a while, but a perpetual slavery. For self-righteous people of this kind, who take everything very seriously—and they are the ones whom Paul is discussing—are never serene and peaceful. In this life they are always in doubt about the will of God and are afraid of death and of the wrath and judgment of God; and after this life they will suffer eternal destruction as punishment for the unbelief.” Read More


Confession and Confession

By Jaime Nava

As a pastor and sinner, there’s an unspeakable privilege in the office I’m called to. God’s Word comes through my unclean lips. Each week, we commune on the body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine because the promise was spoken. The Words of Jesus echoed once again for sinners to hear, see, and taste forgiveness. To be able to place eternal life into people’s mouths is something I am certainly not worthy of. Despite that, here I am doing what the congregation called me to do. And I’m not alone. The people, those I shepherd for the Good Shepherd, go out into the world. They speak forgiveness to each other. They unlock the heavenly gifts of life by letting wrongs go. Read More


Stick to the Script

By Bob Hiller

This has been an overwhelming week for the ol’ Haymaker. I have begun serving a new congregation in beautiful San Diego County (Community Lutheran Church). Though I’ve been a pastor for the better part of a decade, I have found myself completely overwhelmed. I know it’s a pious cliché for pastors to say that their calling is too big for them, and that they have to rely on the Lord. But dude, I am in over my head. I am thrilled that the Lord has placed me in this new place. And I am completely overwhelmed. Read More


Call Day Musings

By Ross Engel

This week was Call Week at our two seminaries. Both St. Louis and Ft. Wayne placed vicars, deaconess interns, deaconess candidates, and candidates for the Office of the Holy Ministry into congregations. Last night, two of our Ft. Wayne “Bell Ringers,” Greg Bauch and Michael Daniels, received their placement assignments for their first Calls into the Office of the Holy Ministry. What an exciting time for them both! Read More


Learning to Hate Confirmation

By Paul Koch

I have learned to hate Confirmation.

For those outside of the Lutheran tradition, Confirmation is a day when the youth, being instructed in the teachings of the church, are called upon to give a public confession of the faith. They often dress up in white robes and stand before the congregation, where they are asked to answer questions such as: Read More