Monday, September 14, 2015

13 September 2015, The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Pastor Cain and Immanuel
welcomed home the Rev. James Moshier
as guest preacher at Matins and Bible Class leader.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Synod president urges day of prayer to end abortion

Join Lutherans on September 12 to remember the value of life while praying to end abortion.

Join Lutherans on September 12 to remember the value of life while praying to end abortion.

Harrison encourages Lutherans to
'kneel before the Crucified One'
"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and
we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers" (1 John 3:16).
Last month, thousands of people gathered at Planned Parenthood locations across the United States. Together, they participated in a National Day of Protest, speaking out against the murder of tiny babies still within their mothers' wombs. It is our hope that the media and the government took notice, and that they will begin a rigorous and honest look at the horrors that occur each day at Planned Parenthood and, one day soon, put an end to abortion altogether.
While many of you may have participated in that event, we also invite all members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to take part in a Day of Remembrance on Sept. 12 — not just at Planned Parenthood locations, but at your churches, outside your schools, in your homes and by the gravesides of children who have been aborted.
Why pray? Why take time to remember? Because our Lord has promised us that He hears and answers prayers! When we pray for the protection of these little children, when we ask Him to send comfort and peace to mothers whose choice to abort their children haunts them, when we tell Him of our desire to care for moms and babies in our midst, and when we beg Him to help us speak for life, He hears.
And He does not let our prayers go unanswered.
What the world — and places like Planned Parenthood — intends for evil, God works for good. And He is still at work even now, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting our sins against us as He made Him who had no sin to be sin for us. We remember and pray because we are forgiven. The outcome is already certain.
Through the wood of the cross, joy has come into the world! Death has been put to death, and Satan's evil work against the smallest of children will only continue for a time.
That's why we pray: Because Christ is risen, and not just for us but for all people. That's what we tell those who stop outside our churches and ask what we're doing, who yell as we pray outside Planned Parenthood clinics, who are curious about why we care. We pray because as the Church, our "message is a call to be reconciled with God," as the sainted Lutheran pastor Hermann Sasse reminds us. We "have no other Gospel than the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins. … What [Jesus] alone and no other person brought, and still brings, is … forgiveness."
The days are indeed busy; your various vocations fill your time, as they should! But pausing to remember the deaths of these babies, to pray for those who are plagued by guilt over the deaths of their children, to come alongside women in crisis pregnancies is worth it because each one of them is of worth to Christ. His forgiveness and His love are worth it! Reminding the world of the One who died and rose for 10-week-old babies even as He died and rose for 10-year-olds and 100-year-olds is worth it.
On Sept. 12, please join us in a Day of Remembrance. Let us together kneel before the Crucified One who yet lives, who is working all things — even death and suffering and hardship — for good. He causes us to pray and — wonder of wonders! — has seen fit to remember us day in and day out, no matter who we are or what we've done.
We have provided A Vigil of Repentance in Remembrance of the Victims of Abortion and A Sermon in Memory of the Victims of Abortion for your use should you find them helpful when organizing a prayer vigil at your congregation or school.
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
P.S. While we expect more information regarding Planned Parenthood to be released, we as the Church will simultaneously put forth a concerted effort to share good news that upholds life, telling the stories of our Recognized Service Organizations, congregations and individual members who are working — in big ways and small — to care for the unborn and their mothers. Please visit and the LCMS Facebook page routinely to learn more.

<![if !supportLists]>·      <![endif]>LCMS Video: "It Is Time to End Abortion"
<![if !supportLists]>·      <![endif]>LCMS Life Ministry
<![if !supportLists]>·      <![endif]>A Sermon in Memory of the Victims of Abortion
<![if !supportLists]>·      <![endif]>A Vigil of Repentance in Remembrance of the Victims of Abortion
<![if !supportLists]>·      <![endif]>National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children on Sept. 12

If you have questions about this email or need assistance, please contact the LCMS Church Information Center at 888-THE LCMS (843-5267) or

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sermon for 30 August 2015, The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Rev. Paul J Cain
Luke 10:25-37
Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, 30 August 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
And so we meet the Good Samaritan again. I’m not going to pretend that this is the first time you’ve heard Jesus’ parable. I will ask you to consider anew the questions that led Jesus to tell the parable.
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him [Jesus] to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
The man’s primary concern—at least the one he verbally presents—is eternal life. Perhaps there’s a question behind the question. Maybe he’s been in an argument with a friend, a family member or even his own rabbi. Why does he want to know? His question leads to our own questions.
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He [Jesus] said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”
Jesus is a faithful prophet. He is Son of God and still has the vocation of proclaiming God’s Word. Jesus proclaims both Law and Gospel. We begin with the Law.
26 He [Jesus] said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he [Jesus] said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
Yes. Do this and you will live. Good luck.
The Law, written on the heart, tells us what we are to do (and not do). It promises eternal life but ONLY if you are perfectly obedient 100% of the time. No lee-way here. Failure means death. And eternal death. Functionally, the law tells us what to do but gives us no power to comply. How do we respond to the law? Ultimately, we end up in rebellion, rejection, hypocrisy, and self-righteousness, or in terror, revulsion, hopelessness, and self-destruction. Secure sinners need to hear the law so that they lose their false sense of security.
It has been said that preachers are given to afflict the comfortable and to comfort the afflicted. In Christ, that can be understood in an edifying and true way.
Consider the rest of the story, the other main teaching of Holy Scripture, in fact what is to be the predominant, pre-eminent and unique Christian teaching: the Gospel.
The Gospel is made known to us only by the revelation of God in His Word—not nature, nor reason, and certainly not experience. The Gospel tells us what God does for us in Christ. There are no demands. Jesus words, “It is finished!” sum this up well. The Gospel promises Eternal life by grace, through faith, in Christ alone, as proclaimed in God’s Word alone, to God’s glory alone! And what is the threat of the Gospel? None. Zip. Nada. The Gospel gives what it demands: faith. Faith is a gift of God (and so is repentance). In place of the effect of the Law, rebellion and terror, the Gospel produces in you faith, comfort, and salvation. And isn’t that just what alarmed sinners need to hear?
What did this fellow in the text need to hear, Law or Gospel? Perhaps his last question will give us insight: 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
He wanted to justify himself. Let’s put that in plainer language: he wanted to be right. Being right is not always pretty. You’ve met plenty of folks who have paid great costs in order to merely be right. Who is your neighbor?
Allow me to offer some answers. Your first neighbors brought you into this world. If you are married, your spouse is your neighbor. The children you brought into this world are your neighbors. And, of course, the people who live next door, attend your school, and work and play with you. Neighbors inhabit your community and congregation and country.
A pastor’s neighbors include his family, congregation and community, in addition to his brother pastors and sister congregations in the Synod. A congregation’s neighbors include all the members of the congregation, its pastor and his family, the community around it, as well as its brother pastors and sister congregations.
Your neighbor may be sick, poor, lonely, in prison, or even hungry. Your neighbor may look just like you. Or not. Your neighbor may speak English. Or some other language. Your neighbor, simply put, is a person in need that you are given to help and be a neighbor to. And that is why Jesus told the parable. A fellow with many questions may well have wanted to get out of being neighborly to somebody he didn’t want to help.
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Samaritans and Jews were “neighbors” in the proximity sense, but not neighborly. Who was a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers? Even the man with all the self-justifying questions was compelled to answer correctly: the one who showed him mercy.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus had mercy on us. He, the true Good Samaritan, did a Good Friday and Easter Sunday work of mercy we could never accomplish so that we would forgive those who have trespassed against us, have mercy on those who need our help, and to share the Word of life, peace, and mercy to a world in desperate denial that it even needs God or the Word. Lord, help us to have mercy on our neighbors. Generously, faithfully, consistently, and always. Amen.

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, July 27, 2015

26 July 2015, Eighth Sunday after Trinity

Service of Prayer and Preaching (Accompanied by Liturgical Guitar)

The sermon this day was preached without a manuscript.
It is found in its entirety in this video.

Monday, July 20, 2015

19 July 2015, Seventh Sunday after Trinity

Mission Festival: Ghana
Excerpts from Divine Service, Setting Four

Guest Preacher: Rev. Doug Thompson, LCMS World Mission, Ghana

Mission Festival Bible Class with Rev. Thompson

Monday, July 13, 2015

12 July 2015, Sixth Sunday after Trinity

Service of Prayer and Preaching

Adult Bible Class: Zechariah

Monday, June 29, 2015

28 June 2015, Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Pastor Cain preached a sermon without a manuscript on Holy Matrimony.
The audio recording did not work. Sorry!

Synod president responds to SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling | LCMS News & Information

Adult Bible Class: Zephaniah

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sermon for 24 May 2015, The Day of Pentecost

The Rev. Paul J Cain
St. John 14:23-31
Peace I Leave with You
The Day of Pentecost, 24 May 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In John 14:23ff Jesus is answering a question. What question? Who asked it? What does it mean for us? And who else asks questions along the way? Let’s listen to the Words of Comfort the Lord has for you in the verses leading up to our appointed reading for today:
"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."
Words of Gospel comfort abound in these opening verses of John 14. Questions from Thomas and Philip are answered patiently and pastorally, yet with some surprise that mere hours before His arrest these disciples still don’t comprehend the big picture by faith.

Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" Judas the son of James asks Jesus more about the hidden reality that He has been describing. This question is answered in our appointed Holy Gospel, verses 23-31.
Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
The fuller answer is coming. For the moment, we hear this: One who loves Christ will keep Christ’s Word. Such a one who loves Christ does not reject parts of the Old Testament here or New Testament there. Jesus’ Word is not one that we can go and edit with a word processor or a pair of scissors. It is a comprehensive whole. Both Deuteronomy and Revelation speak of the dangers of adding to or taking away from the prophecy of God’s Word. Societal pressures and personal preference are not valid reasons to deny or not keep Jesus’ teaching. They are not merely the words of a man. They belong to the Father who sent the Son.
Some in the world appear to believe that as long as we pass a law to command this or forbid that, that having laws will solve our problems. This theory rises and falls on the belief that laws compel obedience. They do not. Some people choose not to obey laws. People who don’t care about God’s law won’t care about human laws. Church and state stand in the gap between obedience and reality. The civil holiday called Memorial Day reminds us to remember those who died while serving in uniform. The Church Festival of Pentecost celebrates the pouring out of God the Holy Ghost on all Christians, He who delivers to us, here and now, the fruits of all that Jesus accomplished for us as an obedient Son of God and Son of Man.

The Father loves the ones who obey the Word. Such obedience does not earn forgiveness of sins or heaven, but the Father loves such loving obedience as if it were faith’s thank you note for what has already been given in Christ.
Jesus says, “We will come to him and make our home with him.” Jesus speaks of the promised Holy Spirit, mentioned by name in the next section. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to convict each one of us of our sins through the law, and deliver the blessings of the Gospel. Have you felt guilty? Are you feeling guilty? Are there things you’d rather not hear about from the Word of God? Is the Spirit convicting you of your favorite, private, secret sins? Have you been confronted about something you don’t consider to be sinful? The Holy Spirit is doing His job. Repent and believe the Gospel! Leave behind your former ways of disobedience and sin.

"These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Be glad, exult, and be jubilant with joy in the forgiveness of sins, the Gospel.
How could men record the Words of God? This passage deals with that common objection to the faith. Yes, the Bible had human authors, but they were all inspired by the Holy Spirit to record what they did. God knew the historical situation, vocabulary, writing style, and language of each man. The Bible has many human authors, but over them all there is one Divine Author, God Himself. The Spirit was sent to teach and remind. The apostles, prophets, and evangelists were inspired to record what God had given.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Could the comfort of the Gospel be any clearer? He wants to give you peace unlike any so-called peace that the world can give. Peace treaties can be temporary. World peace is elusive. It’s not going to happen! In the last days there will be wars and rumors of wars. The peace Jesus leaves with you is peace with the Lord. That heavenly peace breaks into human history on Jesus’ Cross and vicarious sacrifice. That peace with God translates into peace between those with whom God has made peace. You are to be at peace with one another and love one another. That is how Christians are to be known. And not by backbiting, gossip, making assumptions, plotting behind another’s back, abuse, neglect, uninformed speculation, or even little snide comments that often ARE overheard.
Jesus gives you peace with God. You have the promise of life eternal, an end to the war humanity has fought with God since the Battle of Eden. Jesus signed the peace treaty with His own blood. That is His testament for you, your inheritance of peace. Therefore, make peace with all around you. Share the peace of Christ. Be of one accord in Christ.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
During the Lent and Easter seasons, we alternated Divine Service on Wednesdays with the service of Compline, Prayer at the Close of the Day. Compline is a bedtime service. Our practice has been to include a sermon at the very beginning, but the basic idea of the service historically and pastorally was to give Gospel comfort to Christians so that they may watch with Christ when awake and when asleep, may rest in peace. Brief readings follow confession and absolution, a psalm, and a hymn. This portion of John 14 is one of those brief, comforting, Gospel readings.
As we enter the long Trinity Season with its green paraments, we will resume alternating Divine Service on Wednesdays with the service of Evening Prayer. Gospel comfort will continue all summer and fall here, especially on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. Some people will search all summer, some all fall, and some their whole life long for something give them the comfort they’ve been avoiding or missing in Christ. In St. Augustine's Confessions (Lib 1,1-2,2.5,5: CSEL 33, 1-5) Augustine shares the truth, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Jesus continues: You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.”
Let us rejoice! The Son has gone to the Father to prepare a place for us! Alleluia! He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! He has told us many things before they take place so that you would not be deceived. The one sent from heaven returned to heaven at His ascension, yet He abides with you until the end of the age. He will never leave you nor forsake you. You have His peace with you and His comforting presence for you. His Spirit abides within you! What wondrous love is this! The Peace of the Lord be with you always. Amen.

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.