Monday, October 26, 2015

Sermon Oct 24-25, 2015 - Reformation

Title: You are free in Christ!
Text: Romans 3:19-28

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

Fredrick Douglas once said, “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate [deplore] agitation are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.”

Frederick Douglass.

Martin Luther certainly felt the thunder and lightning that he did not expect when he nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg castle church door on October 31, 1517. What he intended for theological debate and discussion caused turmoil, divided the Christian church in two, and marked the beginning of what we know today as the Lutheran Reformation. The freedom that we who name the name of Christ received is in the Son and because of His wonderful work:

You are free in Christ!

Today we remember and celebrate the Reformation of the Church, began by the former Roman Catholic Priest and Augustinian Monk, Martin Luther. We also celebrate the joy that we who today benefit from this blessed freedom found in the Gospel message, will continue together with the whole church to reach the lost with this same gospel message.

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law … 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

This was the crux of Luther’s struggle. How could a sinful man stand before a holy God? He would ask himself, “Must God condemn sin? Yes. Am I a sinner? Yes. Must God condemn me? Yes!”

This struggle and torment tore at Luther as he tried to understand the depth of the fall into sin and the rescue that was enacted on our behalf in the person and work of Jesus Christ. As one myself who came to Lutheranism as an adult, and also as one who struggled to find peace with God, I came to identify a great deal with Luther. One book that was important in my transition to Lutheranism was Heiko Oberman’s, Luther: Man between God and the Devil. It was not only a history of Luther and the reformation but it also was a perfect picture of where Luther stood … between God and the Devil. On the one hand judged and condemned as a sinner by God and on the other hand tempted and taunted by the Devil. Luther thought, “Where can peace be found in this life let alone the life to come?”

For there is no distinction:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Rom. 3:22b-24

You are free in Christ!

While verse 24 says pretty much the same thing it was Chapter 5 and verse 1 that gave Luther what he was looking for … peace.

5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace was God’s gift but the means that Luther now understood was through the instrument of faith. This gift of Grace and Faith gave Luther hope and peace in a God, not of wrath but of love.

25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

[The word propitiation carries the basic idea of appeasement or satisfaction, specifically toward God. Propitiation is a two-part act that involves appeasing the wrath of an offended person and being reconciled to him.]

So not only is God no longer angry because Jesus has accepted all of God’s wrathful anger in a once and for all sacrifice at the cross, but in Christ by faith you receive what Christ received … God’s favor … on account of that same sacrifice.

Luther was free and the Roman Catholic Church wouldn’t be the same.
Not that Luther was trying to topple or rebel against the Roman Church but just to reform it. It’s a little like a student finding an error that the teacher wrote on the blackboard. The student points out the error not to show up the teacher but to show that he was paying so close attention that this error jumped out at him. The proper response from the teacher is to thank the student and move on. That’s what Luther thought would happen, that his propositions in his 95 theses posted on the door of the Castle Church would bring theological debate and he felt confident that he could prove that his thinking was right by the word of God.

You are free in Christ!

I was born on April 18, 1955 and baptized in May of that year. My first remembrance of Church was at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, in McKeesport Pennsylvania. The services were in Latin … and I didn’t understand a word. Not much different for the Church members in Luther’s day. Remember the only thing they knew about God was what the Church told them. The Bible was in Latin and they, if they didn’t read Latin were in the dark.


One movie that I show to my confirmation students is a film called Martin Luther Heretic. The title says a lot about how the church viewed Luther … as one who taught falsehood. One scene that is especially poignant has Luther teaching his students the difference between the scripture in Latin and what he found in the ancient Greek. He points out that in the Latin it reads, do penance but in the Greek is reads, change heart. Luther saw that the Latin was a mistranslation of change heart. The changing of our heart from being God’s enemies to being at peace with God is all God’s work.

This set Luther free to preach the freedom of the Christian who at birth is bound to sin, just like you and me, but who is freed from sin, death and the power of the Devil by God’s gift of Grace through faith and this is not of your doing, not a result of works (doing penance) so that no one can boast. Eph 2:8-9

This led Luther to the Diet of Worms, in Germany to hear the charges of heresy, in front of the Emperor Charles the V, which were brought against him and to give a defense for what he believed, taught and confessed. This happened on April 18, 1521, 434 years to the day of my own birth, so I felt a certain kinship with Luther as I wrestled with my own religious upbringing.

You are free in Christ!

To those inside and outside the church the Lutheran liturgy and Roman Catholic liturgy look similar. We have many of the same elements, invocation, confession of sins, the creeds, and even the readings for the day are the same coming from the historic lectionary. We baptize infant, instruct our youth, have confirmation and receive the Lord’s body and blood in the sacrament of the Altar. So why was there the battle in 1521 and why does it still rage today? In a word … it’s the gospel.

Lutherans believe that we are saved by grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, and that we know this by the means of Scripture alone. No works, no penance, no merit Luther knew as those bound in sin from birth that, “the only thing we contribute to our salvation … is sin.”

In Augsburg Germany on June 25, 1530 the public reading of the Augsburg Confession first took place.

[Chancellor Christian Beyer, a member of the government of Duke John, elector of Saxony, read before Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and a gathering of princes (a “Diet”) in the city of Augsburg, Germany, a confession of faith signed by seven princes and two city councils in whose lands the teachings of Luther and the Wittenberg reformers had taken root in the previous decade. Luther’s colleague, Philip Melanchthon, is the principal author, though he used several previous documents in the preparation.]

Justification … how are men saved continues to divide the church.

Lutherans say in article IV of the Augsburg Confession:

1] Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for 2] Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. 3] This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4.

The Roman Church counters in Canon 9 of the council of Trent:

If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.

It is either all of Christ or we do something. It hasn’t changed in almost 500 years. There are many similarities and big differences still between Lutherans and Catholics.

“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate [deplore] agitation are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.” Fredrick Douglas
Luther brought the thunder and lightning but not to be a agitator but to restore the Gospel. To give the peace of God to we who are bound in sin. To bring true freedom to those bound by the Devils lies that we can do anything to merit forgiveness.
Let it be proclaimed!

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

You are free in Christ!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Sermon Oct. 17-18, 2015

Title: The first will be last and the last first!
Text: Mark 10:23-31

29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

As a hundred thousand fans watched, Richard Petty ended his 45 race losing streak and picked up stockcar racing's biggest purse at the time: $73,500. It all happened at the Daytona 500. Petty's win, however, was a complete surprise. Going into the last lap, he was running 30 seconds behind the two leaders. All at once the car in second place tried to pass the No. 1 man on the final stretch. This caused the first car to drift inside and force the challenger onto the infield grass, and slightly out of control.

What happened next was incredible. The offended driver pulled his car back onto the track, caught up with the leader, and forced him into the outside wall. Both vehicles came to a screeching halt. The two drivers jumped out and quickly got into an old-fashioned slugging match. In the meantime, third-place Petty cruised by for the win.

Source Unknown.

The first will be last and the last first!

Last week we spoke of treasure in heaven and how so many people see their treasure here on earth in what they have or do. The rich young man in the gospel last week went away disappointed because he had great possessions instead of following Jesus. Many in this life also follow material gain while at the same time giving up the need for spiritual feeding.

A friend of mine who makes his living teaching guitar always keeps Sunday as his day of rest where he doesn’t teach or play gigs … and the Lord knows that  he needs the money. But instead he goes to church and focuses on his spiritual feeding and family time.  He’s told me once, “God always meets my needs … rarely early … but always on time!”

Jesus, in speaking to his disciples about those who trust in riches or wealth says:

“Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! Remember the young man went away disappointed because he had great possessions. And Jesus then adds:

25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

We all know how hard it is to just thread a needle don’t we? Have you ever sewn or tried to sew a button on? I have … it wasn’t good. The picture on the bulletin cover gives a pretty strong idea of how difficult it is.

So, the image of entering the Kingdom of God by any means other than,

8 by grace … through faith and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph 2:8-9

So the things of this world and all of the accomplishments you achieve won’t measure up in God’s cup of salvation. It is all gift … both grace and faith. The disciples ask:

“Then who can be saved?” Who can meet the requirements? Who can get through the eye of the needle? Jesus tells them: “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

The first will be last and the last first!

Maybe that is good news for the Lions? It’s funny … because I’m not a big football fan. Working on Saturdays and Sundays for most of my life sucked all the interest out of me for football, both college and pro. I don’t have a favorite team and really I’m happy to see Michigan and Michigan State do well … so it is a bit odd for me to have sports illustrations these last two weekends. I really don’t follow football much, and it is more likely that you’ll see Monica turning on the game than me. I must admit that this Michigan / Michigan State game even woke me out of my football sleep a bit.

Our lives revolve around what we do. How we prepare, what  advantages we find, and how we perform. Some struggle and some excel. The Lions are self evident. We see it in the teams we follow and we see it in our own lives. As my guitar playing friend once told me:
“I use to worship the wood in my hands but now, by grace, I worship Jesus Christ and what he accomplished on the wood of the cross.”

Work hard, do your best, provide for your family, but see the greater gift in what you have received that you could never earn.

28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.”

Last week Jesus told the rich young man to sell everything, give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and then Christ compelled him to come follow me. But he went away in sorrow because he had great possessions.

Martin Luther in speaking in his lectures in Genesis says:

“Do not fear those, says Christ (Matt 10:28), who kill the body, house, and other things, what of it? These things have to be left behind in any case.”

He then continues:

“For neither Peter nor Paul even though they were saintly men, had better flesh than we have.” They too, were children of Adam, [broken in sin] just as we are. Paul sometimes glories and boasts as if he were already victorious over all evils. Sometimes he complains pitiable about fears within and fighting’s without (2Cor.7:5). Where was that completely invincible hero, that victor over all hell, then?”

LW Am. Ed. Vol.5, Pg 27

29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands,

[And in this life] persecutions, and in the age to come [but they will also receive] eternal life.

We will have tribulations and persecutions but also, heaven … and eternal life. That is fully on account of God, in Christ, through the Spirit’s work.

The first will be last and the last first!

We have Christ’s assurance of eternal life and the word of Jesus is always trustworthy and true. Those who trust in him and follow him have what he has promised … eternal life.

And just as Richard Petty crossed the finished line as the battle still raged on the track you too will be given the winners crown … the crown of life eternal in the precious name of Jesus.

The first will be last and the last first!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit!


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sermon Oct. 10-11, 2015

Title: Your treasure is in heaven!
Text: Mark 10:17-22

20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

The body of David Livingstone was buried in England where he was born, but his heart was buried in the Africa he loved. At the foot of a tall tree in a small African village the natives dug a hole and placed in it, the heart of this man who they loved and respected. If your heart were to be buried in the place you loved most during life, where would it be? Would it be in your wallet; in an appropriate space down at the office; or maybe at the soccer field, or cottage, maybe up north; or even at the ballpark?

Where is your heart? Where is your treasure?

Source Unknown.

Your treasure is in heaven!

17 And as [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Isn’t that the question most ask? What must I do? What can I expect? What do you expect of me? We ask it in all aspects of life. We ask it of parents, at school, with friends, or groups of friends. We ask it as we grow older, at work, and at times we rail against those expectations. They expect too much. How can I measure up to that we think?

As a hockey fan I look forward to the Red Wings season. Some might say anything less than the Stanly Cup is a failure, even though the Wings have made the playoffs for 24 consecutive years. For some fans only achieving the ultimate prize … makes it a successful season. The Tigers are done and the Lions can’t even get started.

“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” The rich young man asks Jesus in our gospel lesson for today. As a rich young man he has achieved much success in his life.


To give you some perspective, how many of you know the name Dustin Moskovitz … No one? Well, he is the youngest billionaire in the world. On May 18th 2012 he became an instant billionaire. He was the third employee hired by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. He was in charge of their technology and instead of pay when they began; he received a 6% share of the company. In May of 2012 when Facebook went public he received over 5 billion dollars. He like the man in our gospel lesson today … at 27 … is a rich young man.

So Jesus asks first: “Why do you call me good? And tells him, No one is good except God alone.”

Jesus here sets the stage for what God requires. No one is good except God alone. But trying to go a bit deeper with this young man Jesus lays it out.

19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness [or] defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”

Jesus gives him half of the commandments. He says for a start, how do you do with these? And remember Jesus hasn’t asked him about the table of the law that deals with God.

You are to have no other Gods, do not misuse the name of the Lord your God and keep holy the Sabbath day.

Jesus just asks … how do you do with these interactions with your neighbor in the world? The rich young man answers:

“Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And I’m sure there are people who think that they measure up well. “I’m pretty good they think.”

Your treasure is not here but in heaven!

The Red wings pre-season record was 6-0 and 2 … six wins, no losses and two overtime losses. In the eyes of we who are fans that was an acceptable record. Their only losses were in overtime. If they win the Stanly Cup, we as Red Wing fans would rejoice!

But perfection for God is so much more than what we as fans expect. Winning the Stanly cup would be great but perfection in the Lord’s eyes requires no mistakes, no goals against, no injuries, no penalties, no overtime - in fact the other team can’t possess the puck at all - because if they have the puck you’ve missed the mark by not having the it. No missed shots because every shot has to go in the net.

That’s perfection. That’s impossible, you might say … and it is.

Even Miguel Cabrera, the rich young batting champion from the Detroit Tigers makes an out almost 7 out of every ten times he comes to the plate and we revere him as super human with the bat when our God would require 10 hits out of 10 at plate appearances.

That’s perfection. That’s impossible, you might say … and it is.

Your treasure is in heaven!

Jesus loved this young man so it may seem a bit funny what he says next.

“You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

You only lack one thing. It’s your stuff. Jesus say, “Sell it all and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven!”

22 Disheartened [by what Jesus had said to him], he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Your treasure is in heaven!

The other part of the law, the part about this man’s relationship between his stuff … and his God … has now come to light.

He went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

It is not sinful to have stuff … as long as your stuff doesn’t have you I heard a pastor once say.


In 1978 I bought a bike, a Schwinn Varsity. It’s hung in my garage for the last 30 years. I pulled it down to ride a bit and get a bit of exercise. The tires were original and at 37 years old well dry rotted, so I bought tires and tubes and fixed the bike. I got enthused about biking and as can happen started looking and reading about bikes.

I never thought that my bike was too heavy, but when I found a like new 1977 Schwinn Le Tour that was only 30 pounds rather than the 40 pounds of my Varsity I bought it. After all it was only $100.00 and was a beautiful pearl orange and looked and rode like new. Monica asked why I needed another bike after I just fixed up mine … and being 25% lighter just wasn’t cutting it.

So, as good fortune would have it, a beautiful Trek bike, which is a very high quality American made brand, came on the market for $100.00 and it was right here in Waterford. I just had to take a look ... didn’t I? The 25 year old owner had lost interest in biking after taking up drums so I asked him, “Would you take $80.00 for it?” Well, to my surprise he did.
Now, I didn’t need the Trek bike but it was in such nice shape and at the very least I thought, I could sell it in the spring for more if … I wanted to.

When Monica saw the bright red Trek bike she said, “Another one?” You see, this one was lighter too at only 23 pounds and it was a really good deal … but she didn’t seem very interested in hearing about it.

And … I won’t even tell you about the Ladies Schwinn Le Tour I found for $20.00 and fixed up for my daughter Amy. My son told me … “I don’t need a bike dad.”

“Stop looking in the classifieds!” was my wife’s suggestion for what she thought was my bike problem.

Where is your treasure?

“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Others have asked that question too. When Jesus had fed the multitude and they followed him and said:

28  “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God … that you believe in him whom he has sent.”  John 6:28-29

[They were seeking him, not because they saw the signs Christ did, but because they ate their fill of the loaves.] Jesus said to them, 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, the wealth and things of this life but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. John 6:27

The possessions we have, the work we do, and the things we treasure … the bikes in the garage … will not measure up in God’s eyes. It is after all already his and it has been given to you … and how you use it … can certainly benefit those in need, physically and spiritually.

There is nothing to be earned, because it has all been given. There is nothing to do, because it has all been done. Because of Christ, the good teacher, you have received God’s favor. Not for what you have or what you have done but because of what Christ has done for you.

The treasures on earth pale in comparison to the treasure God has in heaven for you.

Jesus says, come, follow me!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit!


Monday, October 5, 2015

Sermon Oct. 3-4, 2015 LWML Weekend

Sermon Title: Seek first the Kingdom of God
Text:  Matt. 6:26, 32b, 33

26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

A personnel manager rejected a job applicant because the firm was overstaffed. But the would-be employee persisted, "Sir, You don’t have to worry about being overstaffed, because the little bit of work that I'd do won't even be noticed!"

Source Unknown.

This weekend we celebrate the work of the ladies of the LWML, better known as the Lutheran Woman’s Missionary League. You might think of them as the group with the little boxes or mites that are collected where pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are put into mission work in our area and around the world.

You might think as well, “That little bit of money I give won’t even be noticed.” But the giving of mites and the small donations grow by the blessing of the Lord, so much so that the mission goal for the LWML this Biennium is $2,000,000. So, your paper money is appreciated too!

What does that mean … we might ask in a very Lutheran sort of way?

It means that we fear (in awe and reverence), love, and trust God above all things as he uses each one of us as his instruments of peace and service to others, in our community and around the world. It is by your donations that you are used by God in this wonderful way in his mission work to a dying world so desperately in need of God’s peace.

Seek first the Kingdom of God

This mission and sermon theme presents the order of the Christian life. By faith, we who have been chosen by God to believe, through the power of the Holy Spirit, seek God and his will. And we might ask, “What is that will?” But as Lutheran’s we know the answer … to Love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves.


Some of you may or may not know that this past April I was installed as the LWML pastor for the zone we are part of. I’ll be involved also at the fall rally October 17 at Holy Cross Oxford, and serve until and new zone pastor is installed in the spring of 2017. It is an honor to serve in a small way those who serve the Lord and his flock in so many and varied ways.

For instance the LWML is involved in a clean water and evangelism ministry, disaster response, cancer care packages, healthy families initiative, training teachers and leaders for service, helping hands initiative, Deaconess training, Lutheran Youth Corps, Hope for Detroit and so much more to the tune of over $1,400,000. Even St. Paul Pontiac, our own missions outreach, received a sizeable grant for continued mission work.

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

Your heavenly Father knows your needs and also the needs throughout the world. These needs are met by God through means and one of those means that we contribute to is the LWML mites program and that money multiplied by God brings relief and service to a hurting world … not only for the needs of the body to be fulfilled but also for the needs of a world hopeless without Jesus.

President Harrison of the Luther Church Missouri Synod was so impressed with their mission goal of the LWML at their national convention that he promised that if they reach their goal of 2 million dollars this time that he’d bring his banjo to the next convention and do a Jig!

Seek first the Kingdom of God

The truth is though that we don’t seek God. As creatures of sin we seek that which satisfies our flesh and we are drawn away from God by our own sinful desires, the way of the world, and the schemes of the devil. We fall short to be sure. But while we are weak he is strong. While we trip along the way, God will as St. Luke writes in his gospel in chapter 3 that:

5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; (Luke 3:5)

Our God will make a way even through the crazy and crooked paths of this life. You need not worry. He is in control, and through the work of Jesus at the cross; the way of death is conquered and eternal life is secured by him for you and me.

26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.


I have at my home a bird feeder that I made out of two 8’ 4x4 posts. The one post stands upright and the other is cut in two and sits on top with a 12” lag bolt through the two pieces into the base. I have three suet cages, two feeders with wild bird seed, a feeder with oiled sunflower seeds and nectar for hummingbirds. If I look out the window on a good day you might see 12 to 15 birds gathered on the feeder trying to get a seat at the table and a few more on the ground gathering up what falls from above. But what is more interesting is that even when the feeder is empty … the birds are fed and thrive from your heavenly father.

My little feeder gives me a glimpse of the greater work of God. What I do for a few of the many birds in the area of my home God does throughout the world never taking a day off or letting the feeder run out. So the sparrows, blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, finches, wrens and yes, a few squirrels show me the greater glory of him who cares for these who neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

He feeds them and then asks:

 Are you not of more value than they?

Our local LWML and their mite collections are like my bird feeder. It shows just a small snapshot of God’s greater work throughout the world. He lets us help much like a child with a plastic saw and hammer sees himself helping dad build the deck or finish the basement. We go through the motions and God does the real work.

Seek first the Kingdom of God

and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

What the LWML does springs forth from what God has done in the lives of their members … his children. It is a fruit of faith, and it brings the Lord of Glory to those who are need feeding, clothing and the hope that comes only from the Gospel of Peace through the power of the holy Spirit.

Seek first the Kingdom of God for he will never stop seeking those lost sheep of his pasture.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit!