February 16, 2006
I Cor. 16:9   For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

NEWS – The CLCI celebrated a 25-year Jubilee on Feb. 8th with a worship service and fellowship meal. While the church was in existence well before 1981, it was in that year that the relationship with the CLC-USA began. In that year a CLC member, John Rohrbach, met with Pastor V. S. Benjamin and then gave information to the church in the USA about the work that could be done in India. Soon after that formal fellowship began and continues to this day.   This service was a joyous occasion with solo’s being sung, and with the children and orphans singing several songs. There was much thankfulness and praise to God for the continued spreading of His Word.

Thumbnail Sketches – Luke

Luke was a Gentile and tradition has him as a native of Antioch (Syria). He might have been one of the seventy sent out by the Lord, as his Gospel is the only one that records that sending in 10:1-23. The same inference is made in regard to Cleopas’ companion on the way to Emmaus, that it may well have been Luke, since Luke is the only one who records that short walk. 24:13-35.  We do know for sure that he worked with Paul. Col. 4:14 Luke joined Paul on the second journey at Troas and on the third for a time as well as on the prison trip to Rome. Acts 16:10-41, 20:5-21:18, 27:-28:16 He was with Paul when he wrote Colossians (4:14), Philemon (24), to Timothy (II Tim. 4:11).

Luke’s Gospel is one that emphasizes a universal outlook showing how our Lord had compassion for all peoples. He brings forth a prominent point of women in the kingdom: Mary, Elizabeth, Anna, Joanna and Susanna; the women who helped Jesus (8:2-3); the widow of Nain (7:11-12); the sinful woman (7:36-50); Mary and Martha (10:38-42); the woman with a spirit of infirmity (13:10-17), and the women who mourned for Jesus on the way to Golgotha (23:27), and of course the women at the tomb (24:1-11). While Matthew had the “kingdom of heaven (or of God)”51 times in his Gospel, Luke’s favorite __expression is the “Son of man.” In chapter 15 Luke gives us in rapid-fire Jesus’ three parables on the “lost”, which so reminds us why our Lord came – to seek and to save the lost.

I    Introduction. 1:1-4
II   Birth and childhood of John the Baptist and of Jesus.  1:5-2:52
III The Ministry of John the Baptist. 3:1-20
IV The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus.3:21-4:13
V   Public Ministry in Galilee. 4:14-9:50: Beginning in Nazareth; miracles, calling of disciples, teachings, conflicts with religious leaders, Mission of the Twelve, The great confession at Caesarea Philippi and the Transfiguration.
VI The Journey to Jerusalem. 9:51-19:27:The mission of the Seventy, Teachings, miracles, cures, and disputes. Going through Jericho.
VII The last week in Jerusalem.19: 28-24-53: Triumphal entry, lament over Jerusalem, cleansing of the Temple. Disputes with religious leaders, and teachings; the apocalyptic discourse. The supper, Gethsemane, arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and resurrection appearances and ascension.

Thumbnail Sketches – John

Different from the other Gospels this one names its author as “the disciple whom Jesus loved…who has written these things.” 21:20, 24 There can be no question from the other references in the Gospel that the author is John. “The claim of the Gospel itself is that it was written by an eyewitness…A note at the end of the chapter (21) tells us: ‘This is the disciple who testifies of these things and who wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true’…This ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’ is mentioned also as one of the company at the Last Supper (13:23), as being present at the crucifixion (19:26), and as an eyewitness, in Peter’s company, of the empty tomb on resurrection morning (20:2ff.).” Bruce, p. 57-58 NT Documents Combine this with a process of elimination comparing the other Gospels references and one comes up with John.

John evidently was a Palestinian. He was part of the inner circle of the three among the Twelve. With his Gospel record being written last he takes a different approach to recording all about Jesus. He basically answers the question, ‘Who is Jesus?’ His answers are: l) the Word of God (l:14); 2) the Lamb of God (l:29,36); 3) the Messiah (l:41); 4) the Son of God (l:49); 5) the King of Israel (l:49); 6) the Savior of the world (4:42). This has its climax with Thomas’ “My Lord and my God”(20:28). Instead of following the life of Jesus, his Gospel centers on in part seven signs to show who Jesus is and what His purpose was: l) turning water into wine (2:1-11);2) the cure of the nobleman’s son (4:46-54); 3) the cure of the paralytic (5:1-18); 4) the feeding of the multitude (6:6-13); 5) walking on the water (6:16-21); 6) giving sight to the blind (9:1-7); 7) raising of Lazarus (ll:1-45). He also records seven “I am” sayings of Jesus: l) bread of life (6:35); 2) the light of the world (8:12); 3) the door of the sheep (10:7); 4) the good shepherd (10:11); 5) the resurrection and the life (ll:25); 6) the way, the truth, and the life ( 14:6), 7) the true vine (15:l).

I    Prologue. 1:1-18
II   Revelation to old Israel: the public ministry. 1:19-12:50: John the Baptist; calling of disciples; cleansing of the Temple. Signs. Nicodemus and the woman of Samaria. The climactic sign, the raising of Lazarus; the religious leaders decide to put Jesus to death. The close of the public ministry.
III Revelation to new Israel: disclosures to the disciples.13:1-20:29; The Upper Room: washing the disciples’ feet, discourses, and prayer. Gethsemane, arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and appearances of the risen Lord.
IV Conclusion of the book.20:30-31
V   Epilogue. 21:1-25

Highlights – Eglise Lutherienne de Confession au Congo
Our sister church in the Democratic Republic of Congo now has 2063 souls served by 38 pastors, 36 assistants and 7 catechists. They are divided into six districts with the concentration of the members in Katanga Province. Although they lost two pastors this last year, that was more than made up five times over.  The head of the church, Pastor Muzakuza, makes trips to the outlying stations throughout the year to train the pastors. On Sunday afternoons the pastors who are close in attend a class. All pastors have to go through: the 14 pamphlets on differences between us and other churches, Mueller’s “My Church and Others” and of course the catechism ending with an examination. The translation committee has done a lot of translating into French and Swahili. The CLC was able to supply the ELCC with 500 Swahili catechisms translated by the translation committee and printed in the USA. Once all pastors are familiar with the catechism then it will be distributed to members to be taught from it. While there are some who were Lutheran previously, most have come from other backgrounds.
The church began in 1998 with Pastor Muzakuza’s family. Government registration of the church does present a serious problem as it is so expensive and difficult. We have not been able to start any self-help programs due to trying to find something that is workable. As many of you may know, the country is coming out of some very difficult times with civil war and economic hard times. Our prayers are with our brothers and sisters that God would continue to bless them with His all-sufficient Word.

Pastor Koenig