God: Our Refuge and Strength

God is our refuge and strength, a helper who can always be found in times of trouble. That is why we will not fear when the earth dissolves and when the mountains tumble into the heart of the sea. Its waters roar and foam. The mountains quake when it rises. Psalm 46:1-3 (EHV)

“A Mighty Fortress” is Martin Luther’s most famous hymn, and is, in fact, one of the best known hymns of all time. This hymn has been called, “the battle hymn of the Reformation.” Lutherans throughout the world love to sing this hymn, especially on days like today—the day of Reformation.

It was 501 years ago today that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis looking to debate the legitimacy of indulgences. This little act was the flame that started the fire of the Reformation of God’s Church. In the years that followed Luther’s life wasn’t easy. He was condemned as a heretic, excommunicated by the Pope, and then finally declared and outlaw by the emperor. Luther’s life was in danger because he dared to stand firm on the truth of God’s Word. In fact, after he made his famous “Here I Stand” speech, refusing to take back any of his teachings because they were based on God’s Word, his life was in such danger that he had to be “kidnapped” and hidden in a castle.

It was some years after this (we aren’t exactly sure when) that Luther wrote his famous hymn. Luther based this hymn on Psalm 46, the first three verses are printed for us above.

This psalm starts us out by saying, God is our refuge and strength. On our own we can’t stand against our enemies. We praise the Lord that as of right now our lives are not threatened because of our faith; we aren’t imprisoned for standing up for what the Bible teaches, and none of us have felt the need to go into hiding in order to save our lives. And yet our enemies are just as strong and just as powerful as they were 500 years ago, for our battle is against our sinful nature and against the devil. He hates the gospel and any truth of God’s Word. On our own we can’t stand up to him, so we turn to the Lord Almighty who is with us, the God of Jacob who is our fortress (verse 7).

The Lord defends and protects us against all our enemies; he gives us the strength we need to stand up for the truth of the gospel. But much more than that—he is our Savior from our enemies. Christ has suffered and died on the cross; in love he has sacrificed himself as our perfect sacrifices. By his power over death he has defeated death. No one on earth is able to stand up to our old evil foe—the world’s prince, the devil. But Christ has fought that battle for us, he has accomplished our salvation (“the deed is done”). The Lord truly does love us for he has saved us and protects us.

Through the living waters of the gospel, the Lord has worked faith into our hearts through which he dwells inside our hearts. While wars go on all around us, while kingdoms rise and fall, the Church remains. Because he is with us the Church, which Christ bought with his own blood, will not fall

Throughout the rest of his life Luther loved to sing his hymn, “A Mighty Fortress” whenever he faced a difficult time and throughout the centuries Lutherans have done the same. God certainly is our refuge and our strength—he is our Mighty Fortress.

— Pastor Frey  

Church News

Ladies Craft Night

We will be making a pumpkin centerpiece on Sunday, November 11 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Cost of the craft is $8 and can be paid on the 11th. We will have snacks and free babysitting. There is a sign up sheet in the back of church with a picture of the centerpiece. If you have a child who is in 6th grade or older and would like to babysit, please add them to the sign up. If you are bringing children to be babysat, please include the number and ages so we can plan appropriate games and activities for them. Hope to see you there!

WELS Interactive Faith

On November 7th a New Interactive Faith will begin. Interactive Faith is an online Bible study led by WELS Pastors/Professors. This streaming and interactive study will be held on Wednesday evenings in November at 6:00 or 8:00 pm. Don’t worry—if you miss a class you can always watch it later. This fall, Pastor Eric Roecker, director of the WELS Commission on Evangelism, will use video vignettes from the new movie To the Ends of the Earth to guide our discussion. Our prayer is that these lessons will make you more confident in your conversations with those who do not yet know their Savior.

For more information, click the link below.


Care Packages

We want to send care packages to our members that are away at college and for any family members who are in the service. If you would like to donate items for these packages, we need crackers, hot chocolate, candies and other snack type food. If you would like to give a monetary gift that will then be used to purchase items for the care packages, please put it in an envelope marked Care Packages and place in the offering plate. Please have all items at church by Monday, November 12. Parents of students and service men/women, please make sure we have their address. Questions, contact one of the Pastors or the church office.