From a Book Worth Reading:

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“And They Devoted Themselves to the Apostles’ Doctrine . . .” [ACTS 2:42]

From a Book Worth Reading:
Therefore he said, “He ascended on high and has led captivity captive and has given gifts to man.” (Ephesians 4:8).

Since [our Lord Jesus] has gone up, what is he doing? What is his office? Does he let angels play before him and court him, or is he idle? No! Listen to what the prophet and Saint Paul say further in verse 8, “He has not only ascended but has also led captivity captive and has given men gifts.” There you hear what his office is. He accomplishes two kinds of things. He has captivated captivity and does not stop doing it, but holds it constantly captive; that is one. The other: He has given gifts to man. He still gives them without ceasing until the end of the world and distributes them among his Christians. …

What then is the captivity that Christ has taken captive? Some have pressed for the interpretation that Christ has freed the holy patriarchs out of the outer prisons of Hell when he went up to Heaven. But that is not the thought revealed here by the words themselves which portray to us another kind of captivity that took me and you and all men captive; namely, a spiritual one through which the soul is captivated and is held captive unto eternal death so that were they not saved by the one who went up into Heaven, they would be like a their or murderer sentenced to physical death.

So now this is the captivity that took and held us captivated, the law, sins, death, devil, and Hell. For there stands the law, pleading and compelling us so that we should be good and “Love God with our whole heart and our neighbors as ourselves.” We don’t do that and it is impossible for us to do. But since we do not do it, it takes us captive. That is, it accuses us and a judgment falls over us so that we are guilty of eternal death and damnation. For his judgment sounds in Deuteronomy 27:26, “Cursed is everyone who does not fulfill all the Words of this law that he acts according to them.” Or, as St. Paul repeats and clarifies in this passage, Galatians 3:10, “Cursed is everyone who does not remain in all that is written in the book of the law, that he do it.”

[From: Luther’s Family Devotions, For every Day of the Church Year, Translated by Joel Basely, p. 288ff..¬]

A NOTE OF THANKS FROM THE ELDERS

Thank you to all of those who serve the congregation by helping with the Lord’s Service, including all those who volunteer to be greeters, those assisting with the altar guild, those helping to prepare the bulletins, those providing the gift of music, and many others looking after the upkeep of the facilities. And also those who sign-up for ushering.

Would you like to help with ushering in the Lord’s Service? Ushering is normally done by gentlemen who have been confirmed and older. Also, when the need is there, younger men of the congregation have also served as ushers. If you would be willing to help with ushering, please check with Austin Heermann—he can help with getting your name on the schedule and with providing instructions for the ushering tasks.

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