Archive for December 2010

Harrison Sermon at Concordia Theological Seminary (Ft. Wayne) Chapel

Friends in Christ,

I pray you are well, and just about ready for Christmas! I enjoyed my first official visit to the Ft. Wayne Seminary this week past, at the invitation of President Wenthe. Flew up on Tuesday morning, and back to St. Louis on Wednesday afternoon. Meeting the faculty was a great pleasure. We discussed many issues. I particularly enjoyed hearing from each of them about what they have been working on as of late.

I preached Wednesday at Kramer Chapel, a place and pulpit that hold for me many fond memories. You can listen to the sermon by clicking HERE: Harrison Sermon at CTS Chapel. After chapel the entire student body met for a convocation. I could have spoken interminably (as a Synod official I have that particular ability), but I decided simply to take questions for the entire hour. It was marvelous. Great questions. Good theology. Wonderful humor. We spoke about preaching, pastoral practice, the importance of residential theological education, Luther, and many other topics.

The highlight of the visit was a walk into, through and around the new Ft. Wayne Seminary Library facility, still under construction. Unbelievable. President Wenthe, the faculty and the Board of Regents deserve the Synod’s deepest appreciation and gratitude for their stewardship of this great institution.

Blessed final days of Advent!

Matt Harrison

Luther's Later Preaching

The most recent volume from the new series of Luther’s Works: American Edition from Concordia Publishing House just arrived on my doorstep. These words from editor Christopher Boyd Brown’s introduction give much to think about in terms of one’s own preaching, catechesis, as well as the church being in constant need of reformation.

A closer comparison of Luther’s later sermons with this of the first years of the Reformation reveals that his preaching has indeed been transformed by the pedagogical efforts of the previous decades. The sermons of the 1540s are now interwoven with echoes of the Small Catechism and the hymnal, linking the content of the sermon with what the hearers already know by heart or are learning. Certain old topics also receive new emphasis. Especially notable is Luther’s late preaching on Baptism–particularly on the Baptism of Christ in relation to the Baptism received by Christians.  [Luther’s Works, 58:xviii]

Now to read some of Luther’s sermons in this hefty volume . . .

Advent Open House in the President's Office

Folks at the International Center are stopping by this week for an Advent Open House in the President’s Office. A party game/quiz has kept things pretty lively!