golter's mussings April 2021

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

  • Utterly Thrilling

    April 1, 2021

    Holy Week is uttering thrilling.

    Oh, yes, for preachers there’re lots of sermons.

    But I love it. The extra services, studying and preaching of the Holy Texts of salvation, you can’t beat it.

    It’s utterly thrilling.

    But this week, I have on my mind the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15.

    Not the wayward son per se, but the waiting Father.

    Yes, the younger son returns home broken.

    The world does this to people.


    Bad choices.

    Digging deeper and deeper holes.

    A slide downward of emptiness.

    But the Father does not chastise.

    He embraces his wayward son.

    This Holy Week is no passing commercial that appeals to the emotions.

    It’s not empty entertainment.

    Rather, it’s the real, live unfolding of the drama of salvation.

    People are itching to get out of isolation. Isolation has had its corrosive impact, deep down to the soul.

    The Father waits to embrace wandering souls, bruised and broken.  

    We wait to welcome with His embrace of surprising mercy and forgiveness.

    I’m wondering what new faces will come home to the Father this Holy Week.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Practical Easter Living

    April 10, 2021

    What does Easter life look like?

    Well, it’s a whole different life.

    Even strange.

    You can’t calculate it by normal standards.

    It’s something of joy in the strangest things.

    Oh, I find joy in this weekend’s Master’s golf tournament, but that joy is fleeting. Easter causes an impulse to give, a life of giving.

    The opposite - of course - is clutching, calculating, fearing that you don’t have enough. God sets you free from such stinginess.

    He didn’t first calculate the cost of His Son for you.

    Many Christians see the tithe (10 percent) as a godly way to support the Church’s spreading of the Good News.

    The tithe is not like some kind of government tax that you have to do. Rather it’s a “get-to” of joy.

    Clutching is joy-less; giving is a fundamental principle of Christian living.

    “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35).

    The offering is not a mere act but a giving of our very self.

    In fact, this is the most important part of our offerings.

    The giving of ourselves!

    A life of generosity is Easter made practical.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • You need Constant Forgiveness

    April 23, 2021

    You need constant forgiveness.

    Christians remain sinners.

    Your faith needs constant forgiveness.

    It’s a high art to know and understand this. The Holy Spirit must teach you this.

    This has direct application to the Lord’s Supper.

    Some may not feel the hunger or need for this Sacrament.

    Luther writes: “What shall I do if I cannot feel this need or if I do not experience hunger and thirst for the Sacrament?”

    He answers: “I know no better advice than that they put their hands to their bosom to determine whether they are made of flesh and blood. If you find that you are (a human being), then for your own good turn to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians and hear what he says about the fruits of your flesh…adultery, fornication, impurity…anger…jealousy…” (Large Catechism V par. 75).

    Constant sinning requires constant forgiveness.

    His Supper offers exactly what you need.

    A life of generosity is Easter made practical.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Channels of Divine Gifts

    April 30, 2021

    So says Chad Bird in his delightful book, “Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing.”

    He lists various criteria that define Lutheran hymns:

    They aim not to create the right atmosphere or mood for worship, but serve as a vehicle for the Spirit-filled Word of God.

    Music in the malls creates a mood or an emotion; that’s their intent. Positive shoppers buy more! At the very least, one must say music has power.

    Music in Lutheran worship is to feed and stir up faith. It delivers divine gifts to faith and offers hearts and minds the opportunity for praise.

    A Lutheran hymn is not entertainment but proclamation.

    Music as entertainment, says Bird, has its place in society; Christians are free to enjoy it. Bird writes: “The purpose of Evangelical—Lutheran hymnody is not to amuse the crowd or to put on such a grand performance that the congregation jumps to its feet with feverish hand clapping. The hymns proclaim a divine message which is not entertaining but sustaining, given to feed the sojourning Church as she makes her way through the world, but is not of the world,” (p. 18).

    Bird lists a total of five criteria, too much for this blog.

    He offers delightful help for your reflection.

    Perhaps you might order this 39-page little booklet.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran