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Trinity Lutheran Church, NOTL, 60 Anniversary Celebration

Alleluia! Christ is risen!  (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!)

Thank you for visiting the website of Trinity Lutheran Church of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Trinity rejoices in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. We invite you to rejoice with us in the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation, which our gracious God bestows upon us through His Word and Sacraments. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.  Jude 24-25

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On my heart imprint Your image, Blessed Jesus, King of grace,
That life’s riches, cares, and pleasures Never may Your work erase;
Let the clear inscription be: Jesus, crucified for me,
Is my life, my hope’s foundation, And my glory and salvation!

Lutheran Service Book, Hymn #422

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Greetings in the Name of the risen Christ,

With the resurrection of Christ, all who are baptized into Christ are His brothers and sisters.  Now, through our sins, we all have betrayed and denied and deserted Jesus.  But rather than calling us sinful reprobates, Jesus calls us His brothers and sisters.  Of course, we have done nothing to deserve this high honour.  Rather, our being Jesus‘ brothers and sisters is a gift, a pure gift, which Jesus won for us through His death and resurrection and gives us in Holy Baptism. 

Yes, in Baptism, you were made God’s own dear child, which makes Jesus your Brother.  And in spite of your sins, He does not abandon you, and He does not just put up with you.  Instead, He loves you.  He loves you through and through.  Jesus loved you so much that He suffered and died in your place the horrifying fate you justly deserved because of your sins.  Having shed His blood for you, Jesus is now your Blood Brother.  His blood, shed for you, is greater than your sins.  His blood washes us clean of sin and makes us holy, so that now, as it says in Hebrews, He is not ashamed to call [us] brothers (2:11).  

Let that sink in for just a moment.  Jesus is not ashamed to call you His brothers and sisters, and so He does not give you what you deserve because of your sins.  Rather, He bore all your sins on the cross and He left them there when He rose from the dead.  And now He is ever cleansing you through His Holy Word and His Holy Baptism and Absolution and Supper.  In spite of the weakness of your sinful flesh and through all of life’s adversities, the risen Christ remains at your side as your faithful Brother.  Never will He leave you; never will He forsake you.  And you have His promise that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [you] from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).  Yes, His love is greater than all your sins and trials, and His shed blood washes you clean and makes you holy in God’s sight.  And so Jesus is not ashamed to call you His brother, His sister.

And there is more Good News. Not only are we related to Jesus, but we also share in His victory. Jesus, our Brother, rose from the dead. The grave is empty, the body is risen.  And this means that you and I and all of Jesus’ brothers and sisters will live forever, for [Jesus is] the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in [Jesus], though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in [Jesus] shall never die  (John 11:25).  The devil’s power over death—the devil’s power to accuse us of our sins so that we lived in fear of hell—that power is broken.  Of course, in this life we remain poor, miserable sinners, but in Holy Baptism, Jesus calls and makes us His own dear brothers and sisters and He gives us His victory over death and the gift of eternal life in Him.  Now, we live in the promise that our Brother Jesus made to us, the promise that though we die physically, yet shall we live; the promise that our bodies will be raised up on the last day, glorified, and we will live with our Brother Jesus forever. 

This is the Christian hope.  Not that Jesus will fix all our problems or exempt us from the suffering of this life or put a bandaid on every hurt that comes along.  The empty, open tomb gives us a much greater hope.  Jesus is risen, and He will raise up all His brothers and sisters to eternal life!  Our last and greatest enemy, Death, lies conquered, vanquished under the cross-bruised heel of Jesus. The reign of Death and Grave is ended; the reign of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Life, has begun.   Amen.

Christ is risen!  (He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!)

Pastor Ritter

Praying The Lord’s Prayer in a Pandemic: An extended prayer in response to COVID-19

Our Father who art in heaven,

O God, You call us all to be Your children.

Be a Father to us now in our distress.

Hallowed be Thy name.

O God, in Your name is mercy and salvation.

Teach us to honour that name in all things, and to call upon it in every trouble.

Thy kingdom come.

O God, You rule heaven and earth.

Bless the work of the Church, that Your kingdom would continue to be proclaimed even in this time of upheaval and disruption.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

O God, Your way in all things is perfect.

Enliven us with Your Holy Spirit, that we would willingly walk in the way of your commands.

Teach us to love You with heart, soul, and mind.

Teach us to love our neighbours as ourselves, ministering to them in every need of body and spirit.

Give us this day our daily bread,

O God, provision for all our earthly needs comes as a gift from You.

Remember those facing financial uncertainty and hardship in this crisis, and grant them every needful thing.

Soften the hearts of Your people, that we would share freely with those who have less.

And forgive us our trespasses,

O God, You desire the death of no person, but instead seek the salvation of all.

Draw all people to Yourself in this time of increased awareness of human mortality, that we would find in Your Son, Jesus Christ, forgiveness for our sins and the hope of eternal life.

As we forgive those who trespass against us,

O God, Your mercy is over all that You have made.

Make us conduits of Your love and Your grace, showing to others the forgiveness and reconciliation You have first shown to us.

And lead us not into temptation,

O God, You do not shift like shadows, neither are You wearied by the changes and chances of this life.

Be our soul’s anchor in this trial.

Befriend the lonely; comfort the sick; and console the dying.

Defend us from the temptation to despair of Your love.

You are our fortress; let us not be shaken.

But deliver us from evil.

O God, against You no foe can prevail.

Spare Your people, O Lord, and bring an end to the disease which threatens.

Guide those in authority, that they might diligently work to protect the nations.

Equip physicians and healthcare workers with knowledge and resources to care for the afflicted.

Our times are in Your hand, O Lord; rescue us from danger.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen.