Rev. Matthew and Kali Wood serve on behalf of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Indonesia, based in Medan. Matthew works closely with the Indonesian Christian Lutheran Church (GKLI). He helps train pastors and lay leaders by providing resources through educational workshops, translation projects and other efforts in cooperation with the GKLI.
This Sunday Rev. Wood joined us to share how the Gospel is being shared with the people in Indonesia. During his sermon Rev. Wood proclaimed that the forgiveness of sins we have in Christ is the foundation of both our faith and life, and how is teaching is being revealed to many in Indonesia for the very first time. In his presentation he told us a story about the village of Kuamang Kuning.
There the local GKLI congregation looked with mercy upon a group of Sanak people, a jungle dwelling people who lost their home due to the development of palm oil plantations. The congregation taught them how to farm and sell produce in addition to the freedom we have in the Gospel. This wasn’t a simple lesson in theology but had a great practical impact upon this people who, for example, believed that a child’s death in the womb meant the whole people had to move due to the presence of an evil spirit. Knowing that Christ is greater than any evil spirit changes their way of life. The GKLI also worked with the LCMS and the Lutheran Church in Australia to build housing and shelter for the Sanak people. So far this ministry has resulted in 19 baptisms!
For more information you can watch his presentation below. Don’t forget and visit his family’s website and sign up for their newsletters. You can also watch Rev. Wood’s sermon here.
18“For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.
22“For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the Lord,
so shall your offspring and your name remain. 23From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the Lord.”
Psalm 50:1–15; antiphon: v. 23
1The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting. 2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
3Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
before him is a devouring fire,
around him a mighty tempest. 4He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people: 5“Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!” 6The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge!
7“Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God. 8Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me. 9I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds. 10For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills. 11I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12“If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine. 13Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats? 14Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and perform your vows to the Most High, 15and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him. 6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
18For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
22[Jesus] went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 29And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
Psalm 117; antiphon: Psalm 96:6a; 115:18
Splendor and majesty are before him;
we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!
Collect of the Day
O Lord, You have called us to enter Your kingdom through the narrow door. Guide us by Your Word and Spirit, and lead us now and always into the feast of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Introit Psalm 102:18–22; antiphon: v. 13
You will arise and have pity on Zion;
it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come.
Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:
that he looked down from his holy height;
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die,
that they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,
and in Jerusalem his praise,
when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
Collect of the day
Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
First Reading/Old Testament Nehemiah 8:1–3, 5–6, 8–10 1 All the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. 2So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. 3And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. . . .
5And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. 6And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. . . .
8They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
9And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Psalm 19 1The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge. 3There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard. 4Their measuring line goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun, 5which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. 6Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
7The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple; 8the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes; 9the fear of the Lord is clean,
the just decrees of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether. 10More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb. 11Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults. 13Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Second Reading/Epistle 1 Corinthians 12:12–31a 12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
Holy Gospel Reading Luke 4:16–30 16[Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself.’ What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.” 24And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30But passing through their midst, he went away.