Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

20 February 2017
  + Rasmus Jensen, Chaplain and Explorer +
20 February AD 1620

Danish Coat of Arms In 1619, King Christian IV of Norway and Denmark sent the ships Enhiørningen and Lamprenen in search of the Northwest Passage to India. The crew of sixty-four Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, and Germans was led by Captain Jens Munk, an experienced naval officer. The ship's chaplain was Danish Pastor Rasmus Jensen, who became the first Lutheran minister in the New World.

The explorers journeyed as far as the western shore of Hudson Bay, finally reaching present-day Churchill, Manitoba on 7 September 1620. Winter's cold comes early at that latitude and ice soon trapped them. Scurvy, famine, and brutal cold slowly killed the crew. The captain's journal shows that Jensen delivered a Christmas sermon and celebrated the Lord's Supper.

Not long after, Jensen's health deteriorated. Captain Munk wrote, "On the 23rd of January ... the priest sat up in his berth and gave the people a sermon, which sermon was the last he delivered in this world.... On the 20th of February, in the evening, died the priest, Mr Rasmus Jensen as aforesaid, who had been ill and kept his bed a long time." We know little about Pastor Jensen save for the records of this voyage. No known pictures exist and no records have been found as to his education or prior parish responsibilities.

In July, Captain Munk sailed for home on the Lamprenen with the only two surviving members of his crew. They reached Bergen, Norway on 20 September, seven months to the day after their chaplain's death. Whether or not the harsh winter influenced their decision, Danish Lutherans subsequently concentrated their mission efforts in the much warmer climes of India and the Virgin Islands, particularly Saint Thomas.


Most gracious God, we thank you for your servant Rasmus Jensen and for all other ministers who accompany Christians traveling to distant, desolate, or perilous places, seeking to minister to those they accompany and to those they meet, sharing their hardships in the name of Him who humbled Himself to share ours, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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18 February 2017
  + Martin Luther, Doctor and Reformer +
18 February AD 1546

Martin Luther Martin Luther, born on 10 November 1483, in Eisleben, Germany, initially began studies leading toward a degree in law. However, after a close encounter with death, he switched to the study of theology, entered an Augustinian monastery, was ordained a priest in 1505, and received a doctorate in theology in 1512.

As a professor at the newly-established University of Wittenberg, his Scriptural studies led him to question many of the church's teachings and practices, especially the selling of indulgences. His refusal to back down from his convictions resulted in his excommunication in 1521. Following a period of seclusion at the Wartburg castle, Luther returned to Wittenberg, where he spent the rest of his life preaching and teaching, translating the Scriptures, and writing hymns and numerous theological treatises.

Of course, Luther didn't work alone. First of all, he knew that the Holy Spirit, working through the Word, was principal actor in the Reformation, and said, "While I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends ... the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything." However, his "friends," including Philipp Melanchthon, Nicholas Amsdorf, Johannes Bugenhagen, and others contributed mightily to the cause. Meanwhile, his prince, Frederick III of Saxony, defended him. Finally, he probably received no earthly support greater than that of his beloved wife Katie.

We remember and honor his lifelong emphasis on the Biblical truth that for Christ's sake God declares us righteous by grace through faith alone. He died on 18 February 1546, while visiting the town of his birth.

Please visit Xrysostom for The Life of Martin Luther: A Chronology. A number of recommended books and web sites are included along with this biographical outline.


Psalm 46
Isaiah 55:6-11
Romans 10:5-17
John 15:1-11


O Lord God, heavenly Father, pour our Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people, keep them steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and comfort them in all temptation, defend them against all enemies of Your Word, and bestow on Christ's Church Militant Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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17 February 2017
  + Michael Praetorius +
15 February AD 1621, transferred to 17 February

Michael Praetorius Lutheran musician, composer, and musicologist Michael Praetorius (Prätorius) was born in Kreuzburg, Thuringia to Pastor and Mrs. Michael Schultheis (or Schultze), on 15 February 1571. Praetorius was a Latinization of the family name and Michael later favored the monogram MPC (Michael Praetorius Creutzbergensis). While still a boy, he began studying philosophy at the University of Frankfurt, where his brother Andreas was a professor.

Praetorius became organist at Frankfurt and later held the same post at Lüneburg. In this latter town he began his career as Kapellmeister. While only 18, he began serving Herzog Heinrich Julius of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel as a minor member of his court. In 1604, Praetorius became the prince's Kapellmeister and organist. He was also appointed honorary prior of the Ringelheim Monastery near Goslar but wasn't required to stay there. He died at Wolfenbüttel on 15 February 1621.

Praetorius was, by all accounts, an accomplished musician and certainly a prolific composer. He also involved himself in the study of musical art and practice. His major work in this field was The Syntagma musicum, "not a piece of music but a scholarly historico-theoretical masterpiece." Of this, he completed three volumes. The second volume of this work is the most elaborate and valuable treatise on instruments and instrumental music from the 16th Century and is considered one of the most remarkable examples of musical scholarship in existence. The planned but uncompleted fourth volume was to have involved counterpoint and we can only wonder how much of the history of that topic we lost with his death at age fifty.

Musarum Sioniarum Among his other titles were Musae Sioniae, a compendium of over 1200 chorale and song arrangements published in nine parts, and Hymnodia Sionae. The 1612 Terpsichore, his sole surviving secular work, is a collection of more than 300 instrumental dances.

His harmonization of Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming) remains popular. He also arranged and composed the beautiful Mass for Christmas Morning.

His compositions and arrangements generally show a strong Christian faith filtered through his passionate Lutheran understanding of Scripture, grace, and faith. He helped move music from the late Renaissance into the early Baroque and forms the first half of a pair of Lutheran bookends to that period, the latter being J. S. Bach.

I chose to transfer his commemoration to this date since his birth and death both fell on 15 February, when the LCMS commemorates Philemon and Onesimus. The days adjacent are already reserved for Saint Valentine (the 14th) and Philipp Melanchthon (the 16th).

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16 February 2017
  + Philipp Melanchthon +
16 February AD 1497 – 19 April AD 1560

Philipp Melanchthon Philipp Melanchthon, a brilliant student of the classics and a humanist scholar, was appointed to teach along with Martin Luther at the University of Wittenberg in 1518. At Luther's urging, Melanchthon began teaching theology and Scripture in addition to his courses in classical studies.

In April of 1530, Emperor Charles V called an official meeting between the representative of Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism, hoping to effect a meeting of minds between two opposing groups. Since Luther was at that time under papal excommunication and an imperial ban, Melanchthon was assigned the duty of being the chief Lutheran representative at this meeting. Thus, he made the primary verbal and written defenses of the Evangelical (Lutheran) position.

We especially remember and honor him as the author of the Augsburg Confession, which was officially presented by the German princes to the emperor on 25 June 1530, as the defining document of Lutheranism within Christendom. Following the Roman Catholic response, Melanchthon wrote the Apology (Defense) of the Augsburg Confession.

Unfortunately, Melanchthon's desires for peace within Christendom led him to later rewrite and weaken some of the Augsburg Confession's language. The resulting Variata were palatable to some who disagreed with certain Lutheran teachings and allowed for false teaching to infiltrate Lutheranism. Ask the Pastor details some of this in a post on the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.


Psalm 46
Isaiah 55:6-11
Romans 10:5-17
John 15:1-11


O Lord God, heavenly Father, pour our Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people, keep them steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and comfort them in all temptation, defend them against all enemies of Your Word, and bestow on Christ's Church Militant Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Note: We commemorate Philipp Melanchthon's birth date because his death date often conflicts with Holy Week or Easter observances.

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15 February 2017
  + Philemon and Onesimus +
15 February, New Testament

Onesimus and Paul Philemon was a prominent first-century Christian who owned a slave named Onesimus. While the name "Onesimus" means "useful," Onesimus proved himself "useless. (Philemon 11)" He ran away from his master and perhaps even stole from him (v. 18).

Somehow, Onesimus came into contact with the apostle Paul while the latter was in prison (possibly in Rome). Perhaps he knew that Paul and Philemon had a friendship and went to Paul in order to protect himself from harsh treatment should he be returned home.

In any event, through Paul's proclamation of the Gospel he became a Christian. After Onesemus confessed to the apostle that he was a runaway slave, Paul directed him to return to his master and become "useful" again, as Paul had already determined him to be (v. 11).

In order to help pave the way for Onesimus' peaceful return home, Paul sent him on his way with a letter addressed to Philemon, a letter in which he urged Philemon to forgive his slave for having run away and to "receive him as you would receive me (v. 17)" Paul encouraged Philemon to think of Onesimus "no longer as a slave ... but as a beloved brother. (v. 16)"

The letter was eventually included by the Church as one of the books of the New Testament.

Those looking to Scripture for a definitive statement on slavery find mixed messages in this brief epistle. While Paul seems to urge Philemon in the direction of treating Onesimus as a freedman, he certainly leaves open the option that Onesimus might be returning to slavery, albeit in a much-improved situation.

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14 February 2017
  + Saint Valentine, Martyr +
14 February A.D. 270(?)

St. Valentine Details of ancient Christianity are sketchy since for much of the Church's early years, it was a crime to be a Christian and records were hidden or kept purposely incomplete to protect believers. Thus, the story of Saint Valentine, as well as those of many others ancient believers, must be pieced together from fragmentary evidence.

Some ancient accounts record a physician and priest living in Rome during the rule of the Emperor Claudius II. This Valentine become one of the noted martyrs of the third century. It seems that his main "crime" was joining couples in marriage. Specifically, Valentine married Roman soldiers. Evidently, Claudius thought that single men made better soldiers while Valentine and the Church resisted the immorality of less-permanent relationships.

The commemoration of his death, thought to have occurred during the year 270, became part of the calendar of remembrance in the early Western Church. Tradition suggests that on the day of his execution for his Christian faith, he left a note of encouragement for a child of his jailer. The note was written on an irregularly-shaped piece of paper which suggested the shape of a heart. This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring that now are the highlight of Valentine's Day in many nations.


Psalm 95:1-7a
Ezekiel 18:1-9
1 Peter 4:12-19
John 2:1-11


Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of Your love in the heart of Your holy martyr Valentine, grant to us, Your humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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13 February 2017
  + Aquila, Priscilla, Apollos +
13 February, New Testament

Priscilla and Aquila Aquila and his wife Priscilla (Prisca) were Jewish contemporaries of Saint Paul. They traveled widely, perhaps in part for business reasons but later certainly because of unrest and persecution in Rome. They went to Corinth and met the apostle, who joined them for a time in the tent-making trade (Acts 18:1-3).

Priscilla and Aquila, in turn, teamed with Paul in his mission of proclaiming the Christian Gospel. The couple later traveled with him from Corinth to Ephesus (Acts 18:18), where the two of them established a home that served as hospitality headquarters for new converts to Christianity.

Apollos, an eloquent man, was one of their numerous Jewish pupils in the faith: "Being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus. (Acts 18:25)" Apollos later traveled from Corinth to the province of Achaia, where he showed "by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. (Acts 18:28)"

We especially remember these three for their great missionary zeal.

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10 February 2017
  + Silas +
10 February, New Testament

Silas and Paul Saint Paul chose Silas, a leader in the church at Jerusalem, to accompany him on his second missionary journey from Antioch to Asia Minor and Macedonia (Acts 15:40). Silas, also known as Silvanus, was imprisoned with Paul in Philippi (Acts 16:16-40) and experienced the riots in Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-9) and Berea (Acts 17:10-15).

They were apart for some length of time, after which he rejoined Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:1-5). Apparently, he remained there for an extended period.

One account stands out for most readers of the New Testament. The time Paul and Silas shared in the Philippian prison gave them a special opportunity to proclaim the Gospel. God freed their bonds during an earthquake but they refused to escape and instead saved their jailer from committing suicide because of his responsibility for them. The Lord used these two and the surrounding events to witness to the jailer about His love and forgiveness through Christ Jesus. Working through the Gospel, the Holy Spirit brought him and his household to faith in Jesus and led them to be baptized.

Aside from these accounts, the Scriptures record little else about Silas and his relationship with Paul.

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05 February 2017
  + Jacob, Patriarch +
5 February, Old Testament

Jacob Deceives Isaac Jacob was the third of the three great Hebrews given the title of patriarch, following his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac. Jacob was the younger of the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah.

He received his name because before birth he gripped his brother Esau's heel, seeming even then to be struggling for supremacy (Jacob can mean "He grasps the heel" or "he cheats"). After wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, Jacob, who certainly had lived up to the name of "Deceiver," was renamed Israel, which means "he strives with God" (Genesis 25:26; 32:28).

His family life was filled with trouble, much of it caused by his acts of deception toward his father and his brother Esau and his parental favoritism toward his son Joseph (commemorated on 31 March). He spent many of his later years grieving over the death of his beloved wife Rachel and the presumed death of Joseph, who had been appointed by the Egyptian Pharaoh to be in charge of food distribution during a time of famine in the land.

Late in life, as he was blessing his sons, Jacob uttered God's prophetic promise that the Messiah would come through the line of his fourth son, Judah (Genesis 49:8-12).

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02 February 2017
  The Presentation of Our Lord
and the Purification of Mary
2 February, New Testament

The Presentation of Our Lord The Presentation of Our Lord at the Temple, one of the Christological feasts of the Christian Church, is Scripture's final infancy narrative concerning Jesus. After the Presentation, the Bible says nothing more about Him until His twelfth year.

Many liturgical calendars name this the Feast of the Purification (of the Blessed Virgin Mary), emphasizing its Marian connection. Still another term used is Candlemas, drawing the name from the tradition of blessing the coming year's church candles on this day.

Saint Luke is the only one of the Evangelists to describe the event (see 2:22-40), something likely unfamiliar to most of his Gentile readers. According to the Gospel, Mary and Joseph took the Baby to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth to consecrate Jesus to God and to complete the ritual purification of Mary, both of these because of the command of God's Law (Exodus 13:1-2, 11-16; Leviticus 12).

Upon entering the temple, the family encountered the devout and holy Simeon. Luke records that he was promised that "he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. (Luke 2:26)" Simeon took Jesus into his arms, prayed the prayer that would become known as the Nunc Dimittis, or Canticle of Simeon, blessed the parents, and prophesied regarding Jesus and Mary.

The prophetess Anna (2:36-38) was also in the temple. She, too, offered prayers and praise to God for sending the Savior.

In the Western liturgical calendar, the Presentation of Our Lord falls on 2 February because this is the fortieth day of Christmas. It is the last festival determined by the date of Christmas and thus shows that the Epiphany season is drawing to a close. Most churches in the East observe the occasion on 14 February since they celebrate Christ's Nativity on 6 January.


Psalm 84
1 Samuel 1:21-28
Hebrews 2:14-18
Luke 2:22-32 (33-40)


Almighty and ever-living God, as Your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, grant that we may be presented to You with pure and clean hearts; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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01 February 2017
  + Claus Harms +
1 February AD 1855

Claus Harms German pastor and theologian Klaus Harms was born at Fahrstedt, Schleswig-Holstein on 25 May 1778 and baptized the next day in the neighboring community of Marne. Before entering university, he worked in his father's mill. He also farmed for a brief time.

His early religious and philosophical leanings tended strongly toward Rationalism but change commenced after he began studies at the University of Kiel. First, Friedrich Schleiermacher led Harms toward a less extreme, slightly more Evangelical understanding of Christianity. Further study of Scripture and older Lutheran writers pulled him away from the liberal, inner-conscious Christianity of Schleiermacher toward traditional, orthodox Lutheranism.

By the time of his graduation, it's unlikely that Harms would have been certified for the ministry by the crass Rationalists or the disciples of Schleiermacher. Therefore, he took his oral and written examinations before J. L. Callisen, the orthodox Lutheran superintendent of Holstein.

Following his studies and a stint as tutor and guest preacher, Harms was married in Probsteierhagen in 1806. Later that year, he was called as deacon (assitant pastor) at Lunden. After serving there for ten years, he accepted a call to serve the St. Nikolai Church in Kiel as archdeacon. He became chief pastor and superintendent in 1835. All through this period he continued to distance himself from Rationalism and the feeling- and experience-based theology of Schleiermacher to increasingly espouse the pure Lutheran doctrine of the 16th Century.

Claus Harms Harms's personality and preaching style led to growing popularity in Kiel and beyond. He drew international attention in 1817. On the 300th anniversary of the Reformation, he published Luther's original Ninety-five Theses and ninety-five additional theses of his own composition, "directed against all sorts of false and confused knowledge within the Lutheran church." These latter attacked Rationalism and unionism and called for a return to pure Lutheran theology and practice.

Much as Luther condemned the magisterial use of reason which placed rational thought above faith in Christ, Harms wrote, "We could call reason our time's pope, our antichrist.... (Thesis 9)" He claimed the right of Lutherans to have authentic Lutheran clergy: "Reason rages in the Lutheran church: it tears Christ from the altar, throws God's word from the pulpit, casts excrements into the baptismal water, mixes all sorts of people when it comes to God-parents, erases the address of the confessional chair, hisses out the priests, and all people with them, and has been doing this for a long time. (Thesis 71)"

Furthermore, Harms lauded a proper balance in Word and Sacrament ministry. Theses 92-94 say, "The evangelical-catholic church is a glorious church. It rests on and builds itself preferably by the sacrament. The evangelical-reformed church is a glorious church. It rests on and builds itself by God's word. More glorious than both is the evangelical-Lutheran church. It rests on and builds itself by the sacrament as well as God's word."

While Harms had considerable influence throughout Germany, we must also recognize his huge, albeit indirect, contribution to American Lutheranism. His Christ-centered, confessional Lutheranism led C. F. W. Walther and others to their awakening into true Lutheranism later during the 19th Century.

Besides his credentials as a theologian, Harms was a qualified musician. As such, his growing Lutheran identity led him to restore Lutheran hymnody to the church. Many of his textual reforms remain to present times. However, he never had the same success with the restoration of the original melodies and the bold syncopation of the traditional chorales stayed buried under the bland metrical style for many years following.

Among his writings are the aforementioned Theses, volumes of his sermons, an autobiography, and his 1830 Pastoraltheologie. Due to blindness, Harms resigned his pastorate in 1849. He died on 1 February 1855.

Quotes from The 95 Theses of Claus Harms at the Internet Archive's copy of LutheranWiki.

See also the articles at Christian Cyclopedia, the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, and Wikipedia.

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28 January 2017
  + Matthias Loy +
26 January AD 1915; transferred to 28 January*

Matthias Loy Matthias Loy (1828-1915) was born on 17 March to Matthias and Christina Loy, a pair of German immigrants. The family lived in near-poverty in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg. He was the fourth of seven children. Matthias, Senior was a lapsed Catholic who apparently held only nominal religious beliefs for most of his life. Christina came from pietistic Lutheran stock in Württemberg. She did what she could to give the family some semblance of a Christian education and made sure that all but the eldest child were baptized as infants. Even her first-born son eventually was confirmed into the Lutheran Church.

When Matthias was six years old, the family moved to Hogestown, Pennsylvania. He lived with his family until he was fourteen. They then apprenticed him to Baab and Hummel Printers of Harrisburg. During the next six years, he worked for them while attending school. Mr. Hummel brought Matthias to the attention of Harrisburg minister C. W. Schäffer. Pastor Schäffer urged Matthias to consider a pastoral vocation. To this end, he studied studied Greek and Latin under the Harrisburg Academy's principal. This led to enrollment as a full student at the Academy. He hoped to enter the Gettysburg Theological Seminary, perhaps the epicenter of Lutheran liberalism in America.

Illness led Loy's doctor to encourage the young man to move farther west. Matthias found an employment opportunity with the United Brethren Publishing House in Circleville, Ohio. There he would become printer for the Brethren's semimonthly German paper. Loy came to Circleville in 1847 and quickly met the Lutheran pastor. This good soul suggested that Matthias waste no more time getting on with his pastoral education and suggested that he enroll at the Theological Seminary in Columbus. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio was much more conservative and confessional than the Lutherans he had left behind in Pennsylvania.

'The Story of My Life' With the promise of financial aid through the Lutheran pastor, Loy sought and received release from his printer's contract and left for Columbus. Of Matthias's time there, C. George Fry writes, "It was at this institution that he received the only two years of formal higher education deemed necessary to be a pastor. In 1849, after a two year 'cram course' that included academy, college, and seminary, Loy was graduated and installed as a minister in Delaware, Ohio."

Loy was finally surrounded by orthodox Lutheran theology and he made the most of his time at the seminary. As a student, he was immersed in Lutheran doctrine and began reading Der Lutheraner, edited by C. F. W. Walther. This led to a long relationship with Dr. Walther, a friendship that grew so great that even their eventual disagreements over predestination and the fracturing of the Synodical Conference couldn't destroy.

According to Fry, these two men, along with Charles Porterfield Krauth, "must be seen as a common effort to preserve traditional Lutheran theology from the corrosive effects of 'the acids of modernity' in the last half of the nineteenth century. These three titans — Walther in the West, Krauth in the East, and Loy in the middle — could be compared to three anchors holding fast the ship of Lutheran Confessionalism during the ferocious storms of the Modernist-Fundamentalist Controversy."

In 1860, the Joint Synod of Ohio elected Loy President. Four years later, he was appointed editor of the Lutheran Standard. After sixteen years in the ministry, Capital University, Columbus, Ohio called Loy as professor of theology. He resigned as president of the Ohio Synod in 1878. Around this time he also returned the call to become English-language professor of theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Wilhelm Friedrich Lehmann, Loy's successor as synodical president, died in 1880 and Loy returned to that office, succeeding him also as President of Capital University. He started the Columbus Theological Magazine in 1881. Loy retired as professor emeritus in 1902 and died on 26 January 1915.

Matthias Loy Loy was instrumental in the formation of the Synodical Conference. However, at the Ohio Synod meeting at Wheeling in 1881, the synod withdrew from the Conference. This came about over sharp differences in understanding Predestination. Many Ohio Synod pastors taught that God predestined people according to His foreknowledge of whether they would come to faith while the Missouri Synod condemned this as false doctrine.

During his life, Loy wrote several books. Of special note is his seminal work The Augsburg Confession: An Introduction to Its Study and an Exposition of Its Contents.

He also wrote at least twenty hymns, including An Awe-full Mystery Is Here, The Law of God Is Good and Wise, The Gospel Shows the Father's Grace, and Jesus, Thou Art Mine Forever. His hymn translations included All Mankind Fell in Adam's Fall, The Bridegroom Soon Will Call Us, Let Me Be Thine Forever, and Thy Table I Approach.

*Since his death date (26 January) and birth date (17 March) both conflict with long-standing festivals on the sanctorial calendar (Titus and Pádraig respectively) and since 27 January belongs to John Chrysostom, I moved Loy's commemoration the first open date, 28 January.


Quotes from C. George Fry's Matthias Loy: Theologian of American Lutheran Orthodoxy [PDF]. This excellent biography was printed in The Springfielder, October 1974, Volume 38, Number 4.

Additional Reading includes Loy's autobiography, The Story of My Life, which the Internet Archive has in several formats, including PDF, Nook (EPUB), and Kindle (MOBI). See also entries at Net Hymnal and the Christian Cyclopedia.

Suggested Lection

Psalm 46
Isaiah 55:6-11
Romans 10:5-17
John 15:1-11


O Lord God, heavenly Father, we pray that, as You raised up Matthias Loy to lead Lutherans in America into a renewed appreciation of their confessional heritage and to a fuller confidence in the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, so You would continue to provide us with faithful pastors and leaders, keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, defend us against all enemies of Your Word, and bestow on Christ's Church Militant Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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27 January 2017
  + John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church +
27 January AD 407

Saint John Chrysostom, Preacher, Bishop, and Theologian, was called Chrysostom (Greek for"golden-mouthed") by his hearers. He was a dominant force in the fourth-century Christian church.

Saint John Chrysostom Born in Antioch around AD 347, John was instructed in the Faith by his pious mother, Anthusa. After serving in a number of Christian offices, including acolyte and lector, John was ordained a presbyter and given preaching responsibilities.

His simple but direct messages found an audience well beyond his home town. His title came from his legendary preaching abilities. An unsubstantiated but widely circulated tale is that pickpockets and cutpurses would flock to services because he held his audience so spellbound that they could easily rob Saint John's hearers.

In 398, John was made Patriarch of Constantinople, where His determination to reform the church, court, and city brought him into conflict with established authorities. Eventually, he was exiled from his adopted city. Although removed from his parishes and people, he continued writing and preaching until his death in 407. It is reported that his final words were: "Glory be to God for all things. Amen."

John Chrysostom was one of four Eastern theologians among the eight Doctors of the undivided Church. The other three were Athanasius, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nazianzus. The four great early Western (or Latin) doctors were Augustine, Jerome, Gregory the Great, and Ambrose of Milan.


The following excerpt is based on the passage, "[T]he letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)" It comes from his Sixth Homily On 2 Corinthians.
Yet he says these things not in one sense only, but in reference to those who prided themselves on the things of Judaism. By the "letter" here he means the Law which punishes those who transgress; but by the "spirit" he means the grace which through Baptism gives life to those who by sins were made dead.

In the Law he that has sin is punished. Here, he that has sins comes and is baptized and is made righteous, and being made righteous, he lives, being delivered from the death of sin. The Law, if it lay hold on a murderer, puts him to death. The Gospel, if it lay hold on a murderer, enlightens, and gives him life.
Quoted from The Lord Will Answer: A Daily Prayer Catechism © 2004 by Concordia Publishing House.


Psalm 49:1-8 or 34:15-22
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Luke 21:12-15


O God, who gave Your servant John Chrysostom the grace to proclaim eloquently Your righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of Your Name, mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellency in preaching and fidelity in ministering Your Word, that Your people shall be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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26 January 2017
  + Saint Titus, Pastor and Bishop +
26 January, New Testament

Saint Titus Saint Titus, Pastor and Confessor was sent by Paul as bishop and pastor to Crete.

Along with his other duties, he was also to "appoint elders in every town (Titus 1:5)" — in other words, he chose and consecrated the first generation of Cretan pastors and appears to have been the island's de facto bishop. While there, he was to himself be a faithful shepherd for Christ's flock as he trained and placed others into the Office of the Holy Ministry.

Titus is mentioned as Paul's companion in some of the epistles: 2 Corinthians 2:13; 7:6, 13-14; 8:6, 16, 23; 12:18; Galatians 2:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:10.

The letters Paul wrote to Titus and Timothy are collectively known as the Pastoral Epistles. Much of Christianity's understanding and practice of the pastorate comes from these three relatively brief letters.


Psalm 71:1-14
Acts 20:28-35
Titus 1:1-9
Luke 10:1-9


Almighty God, You called Titus to the work of pastor and teacher. Make all shepherds of Your flock diligent in preaching Your holy Word so that the whole world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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25 January 2017
  The Conversion of Saint Paul
25 January, New Testament

Spiritus Gladius Today celebrates the Conversion of Saint Paul through the revelation of the risen Christ to him on the road to Damascus. The zealous Pharisee Saul was traveling to arrest followers of Jesus. Instead of capturing Christians, Paul found Himself made captive by his Savior's boundless grace and became Christ's primary apostle to the Gentiles. Accounts of the event are in Acts 9:1-22; Acts 26:9-21; and Galatians 1:11-24.

Paul's normal symbol in ecclesiastical art is a shield with sword and open Bible. The Latin words Spiritus Gladius (sword of the Spirit) come from the apostle's words about the armor of God, where he urges believers to take up "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)" The sword also reminds us of the traditional accounts of his martyr's death, which speak of his beheading during the Neronian Persecution.


Psalm 67
Acts 9:1-22
Galatians 1:11-24
Matthew 19:27-30


Almighty God, as You turned the heart of him who persecuted the Church and by his preaching caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world, grant us ever to rejoice in the saving light of Your Gospel and to spread it to the uttermost parts of the earth; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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24 January 2017
  + Saint Timothy, Pastor and Bishop +
24 January, New Testament

Saint Timothy Today we commemorate Saint Timothy, Pastor and Confessor. The festival days for Pastors Timothy and Titus are set on either side of the day marking Saint Paul's conversion. This proximity reminds us of their connection with the apostle, including his establishing them in office and the letters he wrote to them.

Timothy grew up in the faith as taught by his mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois. He was a companion of Paul for many of the apostle's travels and spent much of his own pastorate in Ephesus.

Timothy is mentioned in Acts 16-20, and appears in 9 epistles either as joining in Paul's greetings or as a messenger. Additionally, two of Paul's three "pastoral epistles" — 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy — were addressed to him and his congregation.

The letters Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus are collectively known as the Pastoral Epistles. Much of Christianity's understanding and practice of the pastorate comes from these three relatively brief letters.


Psalm 71:15-24
Acts 16:1-5
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Matthew 24:42-47


Lord Jesus Christ, You have always given to Your Church on earth faithful shepherds such as Timothy to guide and feed Your flock. Make all pastors diligent to preach Your holy Word and administer Your means of grace, and grant Your people wisdom to follow in the way that leads to life eternal; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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20 January 2017
  + Sarah +
20 January, Old Testament

Sarah, whose name means "princess," was wife (and half-sister) of Hebrew patriarch Abraham (Genesis 11:29; 20:12). In obedience to divine command (Genesis 12:1), she made the long and arduous journey west, along with her husband and his relatives, from Ur of the Chaldees to Haran and then finally to the land of Canaan.

She was originally named Sarai but the Lord commanded her change in name (Genesis 17:15). At the same time, He changed Abram's name to Abraham (from "exalted father" to "father of a people"; Genesis 17:5). While her new name held no change in meaning as did her husband's, the Lord still thought it proper to identify her in a new way as He continued the Messianic line through her.

Sarah She remained childless until old age. Then, in keeping with God's long-standing promise, she gave birth to a son and heir of the covenant (Genesis 21:1-3). When first promising Abraham and Sarah a son of their own, He told Abraham, "You shall call his name Isaac [he laughs]. (Genesis 17:19)" Evidently, the Lord anticipated both Sarah's celebration at his birth (Genesis 21:6) and her previous disbelieving laughter when she first heard she would become pregnant (Genesis 18:12-15). Thus, God reminds subsequent generations that He always "gets the last laugh."

We remember and honor Sarah as faithful wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac, the second of the three great patriarchs. Thus, she became biological mother to the people of Israel and spiritual mother to all who believe in Jesus Christ, her greatest descendant. We also acknowledge her gracious hospitality to strangers (Genesis 18:1-8).

Following her death at the age of 127, Abraham laid her to rest in the Cave of Machpelah (Genesis 23), where he was later buried (Genesis 25:7-10).

Saint Paul used the example of Sarah bearing Isaac according to divine promise to illustrate the relationship Christians have with God through the Gospel's promise. Galatians 4:21-31 contrasts Ishmael, the child of the slave woman Hagar, with Isaac, the promised child of the free woman Sarah. The author of Hebrews was inspired by the Holy Spirit to record that even though she initially laughed at the Lord's seemingly impossible prediction, "By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. (Hebrews 11:11)"

Scripture quoted from the ESV.

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18 January 2017
  The Confession of Saint Peter
18 January, New Testament

Keys of the Kingdom Today we celebrate God's blessed revelation to the disciples that Jesus was more than a good man, a holy man, an outstanding teacher, or an awesome miracle worker: Thus, we also celebrate that through the Apostles and Evangelists, we also know and believe that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:16)"

Flesh and blood still don't reveal this to us; faith is still a gift of the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God. However, with the primary means of the Gospel Word, God uses the secondary means of flesh and blood to proclaim and teach each new generation this central confession of the Christian Faith.

Thus, once the Father, working through the Holy Spirit, created faith in Peter and the others that Jesus was the Anointed One promised by the prophets, Jesus commissioned them to minister in His Name. Yet they weren't to begin immediately. Peter's great Christological "aha!" would sit in silence until after the Son of Man went to Jerusalem to "suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. (Matthew 16:21)"

After the Resurrection, the Apostles received the fullness of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and immediately put this confession into the world. Preaching, teaching, baptizing, and absolving sinners, the original disciples discipled others. The Good News of the suffering, dying, and risen Messiah led thousands, then millions to the Faith.

Office of the Keys Using the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven — the binding of unrepentant sinners' trangressions to them and the remission of sins for those who believe in Jesus as their Savior — remains the Church's mission. Their exercise is through the divinely created Office of the Holy Ministry, wherein Christ's called pastors continue to forgive sins on behalf of their Lord.

Through the pastoral office, Jesus continues to breathe His Spirit upon His appointed messengers. They continue the apostolic practice of forgiving sins in His stead and by His command while still firmly declaring the unremitting wrath of God against those who will not repent and believe: "If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld. (John 20:23)"

The Lutheran Confessions are replete with many instances and expressions of this gracious office. One brief and clear section is in the Small Catechism in the writing on Confession.


Psalm 118:19-29
Acts 4:8-13
2 Peter 1:1-15
Mark 8:27-35 (36-9:1)


Dear Father in heaven, You revealed to the apostle Peter the blessed truth that Your Son Jesus is the Christ. Strengthen us by the proclamation of this truth that we too may joyfully confess that there is salvation in no one else; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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10 January 2017
  + Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa +
Basil the Great of Caesarea, 1 January AD 379
with Gregory of Nazianzus, 9 May AD 389
and Gregory of Nyssa, 9 March AD 395

Saint Basil the GreatSaints Basil and the two Gregorys, collectively known as the Cappadocian Fathers, were leaders of Christian orthodoxy in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) in the later fourth century. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa were brothers; Gregory Nazianzus, Patriarch of Constantinople, was their friend. All three were influential in shaping the theology ratified by the Council of Constantinople of 381, which is expressed in the Nicene Creed.

Their defense of the doctrines of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Trinity, together with their contributions to the liturgy of the Eastern Church, make them among the most influential Christian teachers and theologians of their time. Their knowledge and wisdom continues to be heard and known in the Christian Church today.

Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of NyssaWhen we commemorate the brothers, we also do well to remember their sister Macrina (Makrina). The eldest child of their generation, she did much to support and encourage the brothers' theological studies, moral development, and later work. Gregory of Nyssa wrote a Life of Macrina, one that actually focuses more on his sister's last days and death.

Please note that this day of celebration was chosen by The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod for its list of commemorations. Basil is remembered in the East on his heavenly birthday (death date) while the West traditionally celebrated him on 14 June, the anniversary of his consecration.

The occidental Church doesn't commemorate him on his date of death because of its conflict with the Western celebration of a major Christological feast, The Circumcision and Name of Jesus. Recently, Roman Catholicism adopted 2 January for the commemoration. The LCMS chose to remember Wilhelm Loehe on that date and transferred Basil to an open day, combining his commemoration with those of the two others with whom he worked so closely.

Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus were two of the four Eastern theologians among the eight great Doctors of the undivided Church. The other two were Athanasius and John Chrysostom. The four great early Western (or Latin) doctors were Augustine, Jerome, Gregory the Great, and Ambrose of Milan. When the commemoration falls on the Baptism of Our Lord, it is normally transferred to the next open day.


Psalm 139:1-9 or 34:1-8
Wisdom 7:7-14
1 Corinthians 2:6-13
Luke 10:21-24


Almighty God, who revealed to Your Church Your eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in a Trinity of Persons, give us grace that, like Your servants Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who live and reign one God, now and forever.

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08 January 2017
  The Baptism of Our Lord
The First Sunday after the Epiphany, New Testament

Baptism of JesusThe Baptism of our Lord (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:4-11; Luke 3:15-16, 21-22) is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the Epiphany. Christians remember how John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit assumed the form of a dove and came down to rest on Jesus' head while the voice of the Father spoke from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. (Mark 1:11)"

His Baptism marks the first adult appearance of our Lord recorded in Holy Scripture. Prior to this day, the last we hear of Him was following His return from the temple as a twelve year old boy. Luke records, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. (2:52)"

Baptismal StarFollowing His baptism, "The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. (Mark 1:12)" There He remained for forty days of fasting and temptation by Satan. Once the time of temptation was over, Jesus entered into His public ministry as He called the disciples, worked miracles, preached and taught, forgave sins, and prepared Himself for the suffering and death awaiting Him.

With John, we might wonder why Jesus came to be baptized (see Matthew 3:14). However, Jesus told him, "It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. (Matthew 3:15)" Jesus' baptism publicly marked Him as God's Anointed One (Messiah or Christ). He had nothing for which He needed to repent, so His entry into Baptism's waters was not to wash away sins. Instead, He took all the sins of mankind upon Himself. He identified Himself as one of us by being baptized and spent the rest of His earthly life fulfilling our righteousness, keeping the Law perfectly.


Series A

Psalm 29
Isaiah 42:1-9
Romans 6:1-11
Matthew 3:13-17

One Year Lectionary Cycle

Psalm 85
Joshua 3:1-3, 7-8, 13-17 or Isaiah 42:1-7
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Matthew 3:13-17


Father in heaven, at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed Him Your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized in His name faithful in their calling as Your children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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07 January 2017
  + Jakob Andreae, Theologian +
7 January AD 1590

Jakob Andreae Born 25 March 1528 to blacksmith Jakob Endriß and his wife Anna (née Weißkopf) in Waiblingen in the dukedom of Württemberg, Jakob Andreae (also Andreæ or Andreä) came from a family seemingly too poor to support any higher education. However, it was his good fortune to come of age at a time when Duke Ulrich began Evangelical reform in the duchy. Württemberg's mayor, aware of the young man's potential, procured for him a ducal scholarship.

In 1539 Andreae attended a preparatory school in Stuttgart, and two years later he entered the University of Tübingen — at the tender age of thirteen years. In 1545 he began his study of theology under the Tübingen faculty. He stayed only briefly. Württemberg was critically short of pastors and he was placed in the parish after one year of study. His enemies found ample ammunition for their opposition of him due in part to his arrested academic career.

The religious sea change that Martin Luther began with the German Reformation had spread through Europe. In many parts of the continent, the changes went much deeper than did those of the Lutherans. New ways of thinking and of doing theology led to new sects and confessions within Christendom. With all the change around them, some Lutherans began following other ways of thinking, although many remained orthodox followers of Luther.

The signing of the Augsburg Confession in 1530 appeared to signal full doctrinal consent among the Lutherans but agreement was brief. The interpretation of the Scriptures and the roles of the Augsburg Confession, its Apology, the Smalcald Articles, and the Catechisms became controverted. While Philipp Melanchthon and others were already altering the Confessions to suit their shifting interpretations of Scripture, Luther's death in 1546 hastened Lutheran disunity. Into the turmoil of the middle and latter Sixteenth Century stepped Jakob Andreae.

Book of Concord Andreae began this time in theology's public sphere with the intention of conciliation among Protestant Christianity. Yet even at his most irenic, Andreae never forsook fidelity to orthodox Lutheranism. Convinced that it was God's will that the Church would be one (cf. John 17:11-12, 20-23), he sought to reach out to those outside the Lutheran party while also challenging errorists within. The hardliners among the Gnesio-Lutherans unswervingly believed that anyone teaching falsely deserved immediate and absolute condemnation.

This caught Andreae in a bind: He could continue his gentle methods in dealing with errorists, including John Calvin and invite the wrath of the staunchest Lutherans or he could be more forceful with the false teachers and alienate them completely from Luther's heirs.

The actions of others finally led him to give up hope of full unity. A 1570 meeting of theologians in Zerbst in agreed to espouse unity based upon the Augsburg Confession, the Apology, the Smalcald Articles, and the Catechisms. Initially elated with the agreement, Andreae soon saw the Wittenberg theologians qualifying their confessional subscription according to Melanchthon's revisions. This was followed by a series of Crypto-Calvinist reinterpretations of the Lutheran Confessions and led Andreae to realize that it would be impossible to build and maintain a truly Lutheran Electoral Saxony with such errorists in place.

With the entire spectrum of Germanic Protestantism calling upon the Augsburg Confession to support wildly contradictory theological positions, Andreae began arguing for a new confession around which true Lutherans could gather and which could be used to screen and reject errorists. Need for such a confession became even more apparent after Andreae visited Wittenberg and discovered for himself the depth of their Christological differences and found that on their home turf, these theologians had no interest in the unity he desired.

Finding himself stymied by these least Lutheran Protestants, Andreae turned his attention to those who still wanted to fully follow the reforms and the theology of Luther. He finally took of the gloves and started forceful condemnation of the Philippists and Crypto-Calvinists through the series Six Christian Sermons. Martin Chemnitz, David Chytraeus, and others read the copies sent them by Andreae, which asked that the sermons be used as the basis of the new confession. While they agreed with Andreae's theology, they didn't think that sermons were the proper means of making a confessional statement. They asked instead for a thesis-antithesis form.

Jakob Andreae Andreae responded by writing the Swabian Concord, built on the foundation of his Six Sermons. The finished document became the first draft of the Formula of Concord. After Chemnitz and Chytraeus read the document, they worked it into a revision known as the Swabian-Saxon Concord. Into this was assimilated Württemberg's Maulbronn Formula. Next came the Torgic Book, followed by the Bergic Book, developed in the years 1576-1577. The Bergic Book became the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord.

The Formula was included in the Book of Concord, which was published on 25 June 1580, the fiftieth anniversary of the presentation of the Augsburg Confession. Included with the Solid Declaration was the Formula's Epitome, the Augsburg Confession, the Apology, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, Luther's Catechisms, and the three Ecumenical Creeds. Finally, German Lutheranism had the theological consensus which Andreae had so long desired.

Andreae's efforts for church unity based on doctrinal agreement didn't end with the Formula of Concord. In his later years, he continued to espouse pure Lutheran theology and to oppose all who denied or compromised it. This included his 1586 debate on the ubiquity of Christ with Calvinist theologian Theodore de Beza in Mömpelgard, Württemberg (now Montbéliard, France).

In addition to his tireless work on behalf of Lutheran unity, Jakob Andreae also found time for a large family. He married Anna Entringer in Tübingen in June 1546. She bore him twenty children between 1547 and 1579. Of these, eleven reached adulthood. Anna died in 1583. In 1585, he married Regensburg widow Regina Reitter, nee Schachner. Andreae died on 7 January 1590, followed 2 ½ years later by Regina.

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06 January 2017
  The Epiphany of Our Lord
6 January, New Testament

Visit of the Magi The Epiphany season begins today, with the Feast of the Epiphany. This day celebrates the Wise Men bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ Child.

The word Epiphany means "showing" or "manifestation" and the entire season from today until the beginning of Lent deals in one way with the ways in which Jesus was shown to be the Christ, either by His own words and deeds or by the actions of the Father and the Holy Spirit (as in His baptism). The hymn Songs of Thankfulness and Praise (printed below) praises many of these manifestations and anticipates that last, great Epiphany, when Jesus manifests Himself visibly before all mankind and brings His Church home to eternal glory.

In much of the world, Epiphany, not Christmas, is a day for giving gifts to family and friends. Rather than using the day in which the Father gave His Son to a sin-darkened and unexpecting world, many nations choose the day celebrating the gifts the Wise Men brought the Christ Child as a day of giving gifts to their own children (and to others). This Wikipedia article details some of the religious and cultural practices of the day. Of course, some countries are done with the presents before Christmas; they choose Saint Nicholas Day on 6 December as the time of giving gifts.

The Wise Men Traveled from Afar, another Epiphany hymn, is posted at the Happenings and Ask the Pastor blogs. Ask the Pastor also has several archived posts pertaining to the Epiphany: Unbiblical Christmas Carols, Jesus and the Wise Men, and Names of the Magi.


Psalm 72
Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12


Epiphany Star O God, by the leading of a star You made known Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles. Lead us, who know You by faith, to enjoy in heaven the fullness of Your divine presence; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Songs of Thankfulness and Praise
  1. Songs of thankfulness and praise,
    Jesus, Lord, to Thee we raise,
    Manifested by the star
    To the sages from afar,
    Branch of royal David's stem,
    In Thy birth at Bethlehem.
    Anthems be to Thee addressed
    God in man made manifest.

  2. Manifest at Jordan's stream,
    Prophet, Priest, and King supreme,
    And at Cana, Wedding-guest,
    In Thy Godhead manifest;
    Manifest in power divine,
    Changing water into wine.
    Anthems be to Thee addressed
    God in man made manifest.

  3. Manifest in making whole
    Palsied limbs and fainting soul;
    Manifest in valiant fight,
    Quelling all the devil's might;
    Manifest in gracious will,
    Ever bringing good from ill.
    Anthems be to Thee addressed,
    God in man made manifest.

  4. Sun and moon shall darkened be,
    Stars shall fall, the heavens shall flee;
    Christ will then like lightning shine,
    All will see His glorious sign;
    All will then the trumpet hear,
    All will see the Judge appear;
    Thou by all wilt be confessed,
    God in man made manifest.

  5. Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,
    Mirrored in Thy holy Word;
    May we imitate Thee now
    And be pure as pure art Thou
    That we like to Thee may be
    At Thy great Epiphany
    And may praise Thee, ever blest,
    God in man made manifest.

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