.The Formula of Concord: Articles VII & VIII
Article VII: The Holy Supper of Christ
The Lord’s Supper is of vital importance to Christ’s Church for it delivers Christ’s saving work to us. As Luther wrote in the Small Catechism,
What is the benefit of this eating and drinking? Answer: These words, ‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,’ show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation. (SC, VI)
Luther held to Christ’s plain words “This is my body,” and “This is my blood.” But others who followed Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin judged Christ’s words using their reason. They could not understand how Christ’s body and blood were really present in the Lord’s Supper. Therefore, they argued that Christ’s body and blood were “spiritually” or “symbolically” present in the Lord’s Supper.
The Formula of Concord rejects the “spiritual” and “symbolic” view of the Lord’s Supper. The Formula also combats the Roman Catholic view of transubstantiation, which states that the substance (or essence) of the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ. Instead of appealing to reason alone, the Formula states that the Lord’s Supper “is not grasped in any other way than through faith alone, and it is revealed in the Word alone” (EP, VII, 42). We Christians do not only believe the things we can understand. We believe in God’s Word over what reason tells us.
When Christ says, “This is my body,” and “This is my blood,” “which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,” we, in child-like faith, believe these words. We believe that Christ’s body and blood are “truly and essentially present, distributed with the bread and wine, and received with the mouth by all those who use this Sacrament” (EP, VII, 2). Furthermore, the Sacrament does not depend on our believing, it depends on Christ’s promise. So even when we are weak in our faith Christ’s promise remains true. In fact, “the Supper was instituted especially for Christians weak in faith, yet repentant. It was instituted for their consolation and to strengthen their weak faith” (EP, VII, 9). We approach the Lord’s table seeking His forgiveness, life, and salvation, simply clinging to His word of promise.
Article VIII: The Person of Christ
Closely related to Article VII on the Lord’s Supper, Article VIII is responding to the same blunder of trusting reason over God’s Word. Reformed theologians did not understand how the infinite God could be contained within the man Christ. Yet, Scripture teaches that Christ is true God, “I and the Father are one” (Jn 10:30), and true man, “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5).
The Bible teaches that Christ has two natures or essences: Divine and Human. These two natures were joined together in the person of Jesus Christ in the incarnation. Christ’s two natures are united in such a way that “there flows everything human that is said and believed about God, and everything divine that is said and believed about the man Christ” (EP, VIII, 9). In other words, “God is man and man is God” in Christ (EP, VIII, 10). Because Christ is God, He is almighty, eternal, and can be anywhere He desires. Because Christ is man, He has flesh and blood and can die. With this understanding, we can say that God’s Son suffered and died for us. And in the union of these two natures, Christ’s flesh and blood receive the power and privileges of His divine nature. Christ, even though He is truly human, can walk on water, appear in upper rooms, and can give His true body and blood on altars all across the world for Christians to eat and to drink.
Articles VII and VIII are very closely intertwined, for they both deal with how God works His salvation for us in ways that we humans can see, touch, and taste. In both of these articles, we submit our reason to the clear words of Scripture, that the Son of God became man and died for us and He continues to give us His flesh and blood for the forgiveness of our sins, life, and salvation.
Blessings, Vicar Dailey.
LIVE LIKE YOU ARE BAPTIZED!
There is a great deal of uncertainty as we live with the COVID – 19 pandemic. We have heard the warnings to wash hands and keep your distance, don’t gather with large groups. Our kids are stuck at home experiencing distance learning even as restaurants and other businesses are certainly not doing “Business as usual.” The stock market has tanked and we’re not sure when we will be able to offer in-person worship. There is a lot of fear in the midst of uncertainty. You need not despair. You belong to Christ who died and rose for you. In your baptism, you have been made new.
Baptism is not a magical formula to keep Christians safe. But, in Baptism, the Holy Spirit unites you to Christ and His resurrection. St. Paul writes, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
You “live like you are baptized” when you believe that nothing separates you from God’s love in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:31–39). You live in Baptism when you laugh at the devil’s attempts to induce you to fear and dread. As Luther says, “Send those terrors right back to him” (LW 43:127). Be confident; you do not fear death, for you are united to Christ.
Death, however, still looms on the horizon for us all: “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Or in the words of Luther: “Since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God and with a true and firm faith patiently await our punishment” (LW 43:119).
Christ’s death paid the price for your sins so that even though you “patiently await” physical death, you wait with the hope of the resurrection. To “live like you are baptized” means not fearing the deadly plague — or any disease — more than you fear, love and trust in God. The Lord keep you in His tender and loving care.
Are you passionate about working with Youth? We are currently looking for a motivated person to help organize and coordinate regular youth events with an emphasis on grades 6-12.
If interested, please provide a letter of interest for the position. Letters can be placed in my inbox at Church or e-mailed. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
PRAYERS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Prayer Concerning COVID – 19
Lord God, Heavenly Father, we come to Your throne of grace seeking Your help in the midst of the COVID – 19 pandemic. We thank You that You raise up leaders and have given the authority of our elected national and state leaders to set policy that seeks the health and safety of our citizens. Continue to be with President Trump and Governor Bergum and those who surround them. Give to them wisdom and discernment to make decisions for the good of all whom they serve.
We thank You for the partnerships that have been formed to fill the supply chain with necessary safety and medical materials. Give renewed energy and protection to medical teams and hospital workers on the front lines as they care for patients who have contracted the Coronavirus. Grant healing to those who are sick. Comfort the families who mourn the loss of life. Be with scientists and researchers as they seek remedies to snuff out this silent killer.
Give patience to all who are practicing social distancing by staying home from work. Give hope to the unemployed and underemployed and supply the needs for them and their families. Be with students as they learn from a distance. Help families to be renewed in their relationships as they spend time together. Please stem the spread of COVID – 19 and restore us quickly.
We also give thanks the police, fire fighters, EMT’s, dispatchers, members of the Armed Services and all emergency workers. Continue to bless our nation with safety and protection that permit us to thrive as we use the gifts given by Your gracious hand.
Help us not to lose hope but to know that our hope is in You. Thank You that You have shown Your love for us sinners by sending Your dear Son to suffer all, even death upon the cross, to win forgiveness and life through His third day resurrection. We commend ourselves to Your protection and care and ask that Your will be done.
In Jesus name. Amen.
HOLY WEEK WORSHIP
With the ongoing Coronavirus situation, we aren’t sure whether services for Holy Week will take place. The elders will determine based on the directives from health and government officials.
April 9 7:00 pm Maundy Thursday Service
April 10 12:00-3:00 Tre-Ore at Messiah Lutheran in Mandan
7:00 PM Good Friday Service at Shepherd of the Valley
April 12 7:00 AM Easter Sunrise Service
9:00 AM Easter Service
Due to Coronavirus concerns, there will be NO Easter breakfast served even if Divine Services are held.
The Rite of Confirmation has been postponed and a date will be set.
We are in need of supplies to fill the Little Free Pantry located on the northwest side of the parking lot. We are servicing the pantry about three times a week. All non-perishable food items, personal care, hygiene products, and other necessities are always welcome. Items can be left in the bookshelves located in the coatroom near the church entry. Here is a prayer for the Little Free Pantry from https://www.concordiafumc.com/home/missions/little-free-pantry/: Loving God, bless all who pass this box. For those who leave something, may they know the blessing of giving to You. For those who take something, may they know the blessing of receiving from You. For all who come and for all who pass by, may they know the God of Love and Peace is with them.
SHEPHERD’S HILL AT THE CROSSROADS
Camp schedules for summer 2020 have been set and there are camps available for all ages! Posters and flyers are available, or you can check them out online at www.shretreat.org. There is some assistance with registrations costs available through the Board of Youth.
GREETINGS THIS LENTEN SEASON!
Your Board of Education at Shepherd of the Valley has been working hard on planning Vacation Bible School 2020 “Rainforest Explorers”, coming up soon! We do have a change in dates- instead of the Tuesday through Thursday after Memorial Day, the new dates are:
Wednesday through Friday, May 27th, 28th, 29th, 2020
9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. with early drop off at 7:45 a.m.
We hope this slight change does not negatively affect your child’s attendance. The link for online registration is available on both the church’s website and Facebook page, also the Shepherd of the Valley Sunday School page. You can also type www.vbsmate.com/sotvbismarck into your browser to register. We are suggesting a donation of $5/student. Please let Samantha Henke or Carrie Harling know of any questions or concerns you have.
We will also be looking for volunteers! We had an amazing group show up and make VBS 2019 a wonderful success, so keep a look out in the Narthex for volunteer opportunities. Like last year, we will need supply donations, as well as your time and efforts will be needed in the weeks and days leading up to VBS. Our next Board of Education meeting will meet Saturday, April 18th, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. at the church and will focus on getting VBS planned if you would like to attend. Please keep our VBS planning team in your prayers as we set up this wonderful summer tradition.
Spring is busy for many reasons, but is also a season on renewal and growth. Shepherd of the Valley offers a wide range of educational opportunities for your entire family each Sunday and throughout the week. We are thankful to our members who regularly attend Sunday School, Adult Bible Study, Confirmation classes, or Youth Bible Study. Your attendance keeps fellowship and community alive in our church, and we hope to bless you in return during our Education Hour! If life has gotten busy and it has been a while since you’ve been able to make it to Education Hour, as a member of SOTV, you and your family are valued and ALWAYS welcome to jump back in to any of our classes and studies, as we are here as a church family to help each other grow and learn in Christ.
Greetings Church Family,
Vision Path is still refining steps in the Shepherding Our Strays process however given the current situation our efforts to contact members that have not worshipped regularly is being paused. When it is safe to gather again at the church for services, we will continue to ask that you record your worship attendance. Its important that we continue our work to encourage everyone to worship, hear God’s word and be assured of Christ’s promises. As Easter nears, the evidence of His love for us is before us in a way that can not be ignored or minimized!
Take care of each other, your neighbors and your thoughts as we overcome the challenges of this virus.
Your sister in Christ,
“GOOD FRIDAY PRAYER VIGIL”
The Lord of life continues to be in control of our lives at all times and especially now in the midst of the uncertainty we are experiencing. Shepherd of the Valley will once again be conducting a “Good Friday Prayer Vigil” starting at 8:00 pm on Good Friday and ending at 8:00 am Saturday morning. The Prayer Vigil consists of one-hour time slots whereby one or more persons will be in prayer in the quiet of the sanctuary each hour. There is a signup sheet on the table at the entrance to the sanctuary along with Prayer Request cards that can be used to submit your prayer requests.
You can also sign up online on Shepherd of the Valley’s website at https://sotv-bis.org/good-friday-prayer-vigil/
Prayer requests can also be submitted online at
|April Baptismal Birthdays|
June Hintz 4/2
Doug Hintz 4/5
Joe Kalonick 4/7
Bryce Olson 4/8
LeAndra Buchholz 4/10
Bobbie Burkhardsmeier 4/12
Dorrie Burkhardsmeier 4/12
Carla Unrath 4/13
Brent Purdy 4/14
Cheryl Purdy 4/17
Josh Lawyer 4/19
Dan Houfek 4/20
Zeva Burkhardsmeier 4/22
Corrin Fahrni 4/26
Katelyn Kalonick 4/29
Julie Lawyer 4/30
|THE PURPOSE OF SHEPHERD OF THE VALLEY LUTHERAN CHURCH IS TO PROVIDE SPIRITUAL NURTURE THROUGH WORD AND SACRAMENT, LIVE THE FAITH AND REACH INTO THE COMMUNITY WITH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.|
Johnny & Muriel Espinoza 04/17/16
Dwight & Shirley Cook 04/20/74
1-15 Rob Burkhardsmeier
16-30 Martin Bjergaard
*Apr 5 Robert Knutson & Doug Hintz 815am
Kari Kramer & Laith Hintz 1045am
Apr 12 John Hoffman & Kevin Brockel 700am(Easter)
Curt Krecklau & Dan Jackson 900am(Easter)
*Apr 19 Micheal Henke & Don Gienger 815am
Leon Lippert & Cheryl Purdy 1045am
Apr 26 Dwight Cook & Lonny Lang 815am
Bob Ziebarth & Justin Dever 1045am
*Apr 5 Carrie & Nate Harling 815am
Chuck & JoAnn Falkenstein 1045am
Apr 12 Don Gienger 700am(Easter)
Leslie Watson 900am(Easter)
*Apr 19 Marion Meske 815am
Pam & Lily Dever 1045am
Apr 26 Doug Hintz 815am
Walter & Bernice Rehling 1045am
*Apr 5 Blake N. 815am
Reese D. 1045am
Apr 12 Jason C. 700am(Easter)
Brekken Z. 900am(Easter)
*Apr 19 Zeva B. 815am
Daisy A 1045am
Apr 26 Aspen R. 815am
Kallen H. 1045am