SERMON: Pentecost 12 (Aug 31)

Category: News, Sermon Tags: September 2, 2014 @ 9:00 am

The Rev. Franklin Wilson

The Rev. Franklin Wilson


Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28


“Truly you are to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail.”
“Do not claim to be wiser than you are.”
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

According to Cardinal Newman, Incarnation (God in human flesh) is the most unique of all Christian teachings, and today we see why:  “Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands off the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”  Incarnation (and for that matter resurrection!) inescapably involves suffering and death.

Matthew introduces the prediction of Jesus’ death with these word: “From that time on….”  But, from what time?  In the previous verse, Jesus sternly commands his disciples to keep his identity secret.  He didn’t want his identity as “the Christ” known.

We know from what Matthew says that the disclosure of Jesus’ impending death was unwelcomed.  In fact Peter publically rebuked (dishonored?) Jesus for saying such things.  In words rich with ironic tension, Peter admonishes Jesus and says, “God forbid it, Lord!  This must never happen to you.”  But, of course, in speaking this way, Peter is addressing both God and Lord, demanding (in a sense) that God forbid God from doing what God must do.

As such, Peter speaks for us when we command God to damn this or that, as though the Lord of the universe were at our beck and call.  Peter speaks for us when we swear an oath, use the Lord’s Name in careless fashion, and thereby imply that God serves us, and not the other way round.

Peter rebukes Jesus, and an argument ensues in which Jesus famously utters his ad hominem attack: “Get behind me Satan!  You are not on the side of God, but of men.” Here more gently translated, “You are setting your mind not on divine things, but on human things.”

But who wouldn’t?  I mean, what human being wouldn’t set their mind on things human?  How could they do otherwise?  Who wouldn’t try to prevent their friend from suffering and death?  And especially if that friend had just been revealed as “the Messiah,” the Christ?  It seems reasonable to assume that “Messiah” means privilege and protection from the kind of atrocity Jesus foretells.  Why wouldn’t Peter and God protect the Messiah?  Wouldn’t it be a “divine thing” to preserve the life of Christ?  Why does Jesus attack Peter as “Satan” when Peter simply warns Jesus against suffering and death?

Satan, of course, is another name for “the Devil,” the Tempter, the fallen angel who at least biblically works to thwart the will of God.  When Jesus says he must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be put to death, and be raised, it’s the must that troubles; it indicates divine volition—the will of God.  In other words, Jesus foretells God’s intention and, from what little we know of God, at least we know that what God intends comes to pass.  The creation is, therefore, no accident—but the direct consequence and manifestation of God’s will.  So also, our own presence: we, too, may be viewed as direct manifestations of God’s mind, God’s will, God’s intention worked out in created stuff.  The same may be said of the whole creation: the earth, seas, sky, planets, sun, moon, and stars in their orbits.  This is all well and good.

And yet….Something’s not right.  In fact, a lot seems wrong.  And I don’t refer merely to public wrongs like Assad’s Syria and ISSIS, and murder by drone, and murder by beheading, and murder by inaction, and murder by starvation, and murder in Fitchburg.  Why is it generally so much easier to see public wrongs than private ones?  Why is it so much easier for me to see your wrongs than it is for me to see my own?

The problem seems more subtle than the obvious wrongs of murder, and rape, and violence in every shade of gray.  Why, after all, did Jesus prohibit his friends from telling people he was the Christ?  Then, too, why did there even need to be a Christ?  And why must there be secrets?  Never mind a messianic secret.  More to the point, why do I have secrets?  And, here things may begin to get a bit uncomfortable, why do you have secrets?  And why do we feel the need to keep secret things about ourselves—certain uncomfortable things—things that are only too human and probably not divine?  Or are they?  Incarnation muddies the waters.  Now that God has become human flesh, exactly what things are human and what things divine?

But, of course, at least in part Incarnation means God knows our secrets—all of them, and not only the things we do, but the things we don’t do; and the things we imagine and the things we refuse to imagine.  Hence, Jeremiah’s laments—complaints to God.  This is the surest sign of Jeremiah’s fidelity as a prophet: he complains to God, tells God off, accuses God of being fickle, and false, and untrue.  When, all along, God is true, but hidden as false; revealed, but under opposites; merciful, but just; loving, but hard—the Rock, the Mighty Fortress, the Powerful weakness.  The God who forbids murder yet saves the world by the murder of his Son.  The God who rules the world in timeless order, yet enters the world in disorder.  The God who is good, yet suffers our evil.  The God who is powerful, but comes to us in the weakness of a child, a rejected and crucified Jew; comes to us not in condemnation only, but as the Condemned,  as the Damned, and the Dead in order to deliver us from the very condemnation, damnation, and death we inflict upon him.

After all, the story does not end with “Get behind me Satan,” but with the crucified Christ raised on the third day; not with the resurrection of the condemned Christ only, but with the promise of our resurrection as well.  Sermons end.  Our sin ends.  Our lives end.  But resurrection is the end-beginning that has no end.  Resurrection is where the story both ends and begins.  Therefore, in light of Christ’s risen flesh, we are free to deny our flesh, take up the cross, and follow him.  All that we might both die and live in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Weekly News: Aug 31-Sep 7

Category: News, Weekly Tags: August 29, 2014 @ 9:00 am


Fall learning for all ages begins soon! Take part! Sunday School, Sunday Forum, Confirmation and classes for all ages begin soon! To learn more, stop by the welcome desk or speak with Pastor Wilson or Pastor Pohlman.



Jeremiah 15:15–21
Psalm 26:1–8
Romans 12: 9–21
Matthew 16:21–28

NEW THIS FALL! Women’s Study

Throughout the history of Christian spirituality women played a prominent role. Join Nancy Raabe as we read and discuss the writings of prominent women mystics. Readings will be available at the welcome desk on Sunday, Sept. 1.

Sign up for fall Breadbreakers

Breadbreakers is one of the best ways to get connected at Luther Memorial. Small groups of 6–10 people gather to eat together 3–4 times, after which the groups are shuffled and the fun starts again. Each group decides where to meet and when. Families, singles and couples of all ages are welcome! New groups begin Sept. 1. Sign up at the welcome desk. Questions? Contact Kirsten Heggeseth, coordinator (, 616-0772).

Young Families Brunch: Saturday, Sept. 13

Come for a morning of conversation and play on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 9:30 am in the Great Room. We’ll enjoy brunch, then let the children play. Please bring an egg dish, fruit, breakfast pastry or juice to share. Learn more at the welcome desk or contact Kirsten Heggeseth (

Welcome LCC interim pastor

We welcome Pastor Eric Jones, who has begun serving as Interim Campus Pastor next door at the Lutheran Campus Center. We will have an opportunity to welcome him officially when he preaches at LM on Sunday, Sept. 14.

Special congregational meeting: Sunday, Sept. 14

The Congregation Council has called for a special congregational meeting for Sunday, Sept. 14 at 9:15 am in the Great Room. We will vote on a proposal to engage the services of Kubala Washatko Architects for a master planning process for our facility.

The Road Home: Sept. 14–21

Luther Memorial will host homeless families through The Road Home of Dane County during the week of Sept. 14–21. Volunteers are needed to donate food for meals and volunteer to set up and clean up the classrooms, cook meals, play with children, do laundry, and stay overnight as hosts. Sign-up coming soon!

Game night! Friday, Sept. 26

Gather in the Great Room for another evening of fun for all ages on Friday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 pm. Bring your favorite games and a snack to share!

New members received: Sunday, Sept. 28

New members will be received during Holy Communion on Sunday, Sept. 28. Stop by the welcome desk to register, or contact Suelyn Swiggum (258-3160 or to learn more.

Sign up for Women’s Retreat: Oct. 3–4

Join us for an overnight retreat at Holy Wisdom Monastery Friday, Oct. 3–Saturday, Oct. 4. Cost is $120 and includes lodging and three meals. Partial scholarships are available — see Phyllis Pleuss. Holy Wisdom is handicap accessible. The Rev. Marsha Swenson will lead us in exploring “Faith and the Me Filter.” Questions? Contact Phyllis Pleuss at 827-5698 or

Fall theater outing: Friday, Nov. 28

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
LM tickets are still available for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical at the Overture Center—Friday matinee, Thanksgiving weekend. Special rate: $45/seat, 3rd row of the circle. Children must be at least 6 years old. To reserve your tickets, sign up at the welcome desk or email Bob Steffen ( or Suelyn Swiggum ( A few donated tickets are available at reduced cost ($10).

Preschool enrolling for fall

If you have a child ready for preschool this fall, Luther Memorial Preschool provides a wonderful experience for children ages 2–5 years, taught by friendly and talented teachers. Learn more at or contact Suzanne Du Chateau at 258-3168 or

Coffee hour hosts needed!

Make or bring treats on Sunday morning! Learn more and sign up at the welcome desk.

Pastoral care

When in need of pastoral care, please call or email the church office (258-3160 or In case of emergency or on weekends and evenings, please contact the pastors at home:
Pastor Franklin Wilson……204-9268
Pastor Brad Pohlman……..444-7604


Copyright © 2014 Luther Memorial Church, All rights reserved.

August 31, 2014

Sunday Forum

9:15 a.m., Great Room

Next week: Fall Welcome
Pastors Wilson and Pohlman will lead discussion on fall ministry at LM, review summer activities, and help preparefor the congregational meeting on Sunday, Sept. 14.

This week

Sunday, August 31
8 am Holy Communion
9:30 am Summer Choir Rehearsal
10:30 am Holy Communion

Monday, Sept. 1
Labor Day – Church Closed

Tuesday, Sept. 2
First day of LM Preschool
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
6:30 pm Library (Library)
7 pm Men’s Group (Fireside Rm)

Wednesday, Sept. 3
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
10:45 am Bible Study (Luther Room)
12 pm Organ Recital
5:30 pm Campus Communion

Thursday, Sept. 4
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
5:30 pm Recorder Ensemble
(Choir Room)
7 pm Adult Choir (Choir Room)

Friday, Sept. 5
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)

Sunday, Sept. 7
8 am Holy Communion
9:15 am Sunday Forum (Great Room)
Sunday School (3rd Floor)
10:30 am Holy Communion
4:15 pm Children’s Choir (Choir Rm)
4:15 pm Training Choir (3rd Floor)
5 pm Youth Choir (Choir Room)
6 pm Confirmation (Great Room)

Upcoming Events

This Fall
Homecoming Sunday: Sunday, Sept. 7
Young Families Brunch: Saturday, Sept. 13, 9:30 am
Special Congregational Meeting: Sunday, Sept. 14, 9:15 am
The Road Home: Sept. 14-21
Game Night: Friday, Sept. 26
New Members Received: Sunday, Sept. 28
Women’s Retreat: Oct. 3-4
Pig Roast & Ministry Fair: Sunday, Oct. 12
Confirmation Retreat: Oct. 17-18
Food & Fellowship: Sunday, Oct. 26 (The Vintage)
New-to-Luther Orientation: Saturday, Nov. 1, 9 am
Men’s Retreat: Nov. 7-9
The Road Home: Nov. 16-23
“Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Outing: Friday, Nov. 28, 2 pm

Mark your calendar!

Fall classes

All regular classes begin Sunday, Sept. 7! Contact Pastor Brad Pohlman at to learn more.

Sunday Forum
Sundays: 9:15 am (Great Room)

Sunday School
Ages: 3 years – grade 6
Sundays 9:15 – 10:15 am
(Education wing, 3rd floor)

Nursery care for ages 0-4 will be available Sundays 10 am-noon.

Ages: grades 7-9
Sundays: 6 – 7:45 pm
(Great Room, Luther Room)

NEW! Women’s Study
Sunday evenings (Library)
Sept. 21, 28;  Oct. 5, 26;  Nov. 2, 9

Fall music

Rehearsals begin soon! Contact Bruce Bengtson at to learn more.
Noon Organ Recitals
Wednesday, Sept. 3

Recorder Ensemble
Thursday, Sept. 4, 5:30 pm

Adult Choir
Thursday, Sept. 4, 7 pm

Bell Choir
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 7:30 pm

Training Choir
Sunday, Sept. 7, 4:15 pm

Children’s Choir
Sunday, Sept. 7, 4:15 pm

Youth Choir
Sunday, Sept. 7, 5 pm

Sunday, Sept. 7, 9 pm

Young families brunch: Sept 13

Category: News Tags: August 7, 2014 @ 8:00 am

Come for a morning of conversation and play on Saturday, Sept 13 at 9:30 am in the Great Room. We’ll enjoy brunch, then let the children play with toys from the preschool. Please bring an egg dish, fruit, breakfast pastry or juice to share. Learn more at the welcome desk or contact Kirsten Heggeseth (

The Road Home: Sept 14-21

Category: News Tags: @ 7:00 am

Dale Lavelle and Larry Thies

Dale Lavelle & Larry Thies, coordinators for The Road Home at Luther Memorial Church

Luther Memorial will host homeless families through The Road Home of Dane County during the week of Sept. 14-21.

Sign up in the narthex for the following volunteer opportunities:

  • set up/tear down
  • meal preparation
  • kitchen anchor
  • evening host
  • activity host
  • overnight host
  • breakfast host

We thank all those who have committed their time to this outreach ministry and continue to do so. New volunteers are welcome to try this ministry and experience the feeling of providing this very important service to families who are in need of support at this challenging time in their lives.


BEFORE Sept 14: Contact Dale Lavelle (274-1228, or Larry Thies (845-9267, with questions.

AFTER Sept 14: Please contact Phyllis Pleuss at 827-5698 or to find out how you can help.

Game night: Sept 26

Category: News Tags: August 6, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Luther Memorial Church - Game Night

Gather in the Great Room for another evening of fun for all ages on Friday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Bring your favorite games and a snack to share!

How much fun is Game Night at Luther Memorial? See for yourself!

New members received: Sept 28

Category: News Tags: August 5, 2014 @ 9:00 am

New members will be received during Holy Communion on Sunday, Sept. 28. Stop by the welcome desk to register, or contact Suelyn Swiggum (, 258-3160 ext 15) to learn more.

Senior Day at Oakwood Village West: Aug 25

Category: News Tags: August 4, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Celebrate summer with friends and family at Oakwood Village West on Monday, Aug 25, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., with worship in the Resurrection Chapel, followed by lunch ($9) and a program in the Nakoma/Westmoreland rooms. Let us know if you need transportation or a special menu. RSVP by Tuesday, Aug 19 at the welcome desk or to Suelyn Swiggum (258-3160 or

Ice cream social: Aug 10

Category: News Tags: June 16, 2014 @ 9:00 am

All are invited to an ice cream social at Oakwood Village West on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2–3:30 p.m. Luther Memorial hosts this hospitality event for all the residents of Oakwood Village.

Letter from Jamie Stark, missionary in El Salvador

Category: News Tags: June 15, 2014 @ 10:00 am

Learn more

Letter from Jamie Stark pdf (June 2014)

Check out his blog on living faith in a contrasting culture.
Jamie’s blog:

Jamie Stark - El Salvador Missionary

Jamie Stark: Missionary in El Salvador

How can you support Jamie’s mission work?


The Lutheran Bishop of Jordan and Israel gives one of Christian Chavarria’s crosses as the Lutheran World Federation’s gift of welcoming upon the installation of Pope Francis to his new post in Rome.


Christian Chavarría sketches out his Salvadoran sunset cross designs in his workshop above the temporary home of the main Salvadoran Lutheran Church.

Food & Fellowship: Aug 2

Category: News Tags: @ 9:00 am

July’s Food & Fellowship gathering is sliding into August. Please meet us on Saturday, Aug. 2 at KJs Curry Bowl at 7005 Tree Lane (across from Memorial High School) [Google map] at 6 pm. KJs is one of the few restaurants in America to specialize in dishes from Sri Lanka. Contact Phyllis Pleuss at 827-5698 or by Thursday, July 31 if you plan to attend.