January 6th has long been the date when the church celebrates Epiphany and the visit of the Wise Men to the Christ Child. This event, recorded in Matthew 2 is distinct from the account of Christmas recorded in Luke 2 and is often called "Christmas for the Gentiles." Join Pastors Ben Libby and Nathanael Mayhew as they study the historical event of the visit of the wise men and one of the hymns that tells that story: As with gladness men of old. We will learn about Epiphany, and look at the application of the account of the wise men to our lives today, and review the history behind this 250 year old Epiphany hymn.
In our hymn review this week, Pastors Ben Libby and Nathanael Mayhew dig into the more unfamiliar and modern Christmas Hymn, Where shepherd's lately knelt. They will discuss the author and the tune, as well as the Scriptural background for the text and its doctrinal content. They will also talk about the unique feature of the hymn, which puts it in the first person as we view the Baby in the manger through the eyes of a shepherd, and contemplate the meaning of this glorious news for us in a personal way.
Join Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Ben Libby on this All Saints' Day review and discuss a very appropriate, familiar and favorite hymn: For all the Saints. They will discuss the author and composer of the text and tune and take a look at the meaning of the words and their Biblical foundation. As we remember the saints who have gone before us on this All Saints' Day what a joy to remember the victory that Christ has won for them and for us through His life, death and resurrection!
What is the relationship between justification and sanctification? This hymn answers that question. Join Pastors Rob Sauers and Nathanael Mayhew as they dig into the theological riches of the Stewardship Hymn: O God of Mercy, God of Might. This hymn correctly points us to who God is and what God has done to redeem us and every sinner. It also points out that knowledge of this precious truth moves the Christian to respond in love to his/her neighbor. This hymn weaves together a host of Biblical passages and narratives to teach us Universal Justification, Stewardship, Christian Love and much more!
As we look ahead to Trinity Sunday this weekend Pastor Rob Sauers joins Nathanael Mayhew to dig into the Trinity hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy, LORD God Almighty (Hymn 246 in The Lutheran Hymnal). Learn about the background of the hymnwriter, and the Scriptural foundation for the hymn itself and how it describes the nature of the One and only true God, from His power to His mercy as well as our response to this truth.
Pastors Rob Sauers and Nathanael Mayhew take a look at the background and theology of the Lenten hymn penned by Italian reformer Girolamo Savanarola. This is the oldest of the hymn in the Lent section of The Lutheran Hymnal, dating before the time of Luther. It captures the meaning of the crucifixion of Jesus and reflects on how we should react to the suffering and death of Christ for us. Join us for a look at this instructional and reflective "Reformation" hymn on Christ's work for us.
Is the Devil real? What about devils? Pastors Ben Libby and Nathanael Mayhew take a look at C.S.Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters" which is written from the perspective of a demon teaching a young temper the ropes in leading humans away from God. In the 31 letters, it describes how the devil and his evil cohorts use the things of this life to destroy faith. While it is a work of fiction, Lewis has a good grasp on human nature and gives Christians something to think about in their own lives. This is especially appropriate during Lent as we reflect on the temptation of our Savior and how He endured the devil's temptations in our place. It is an eye-opening and soul-searching read!
What is the Transfiguration of Jesus all about? What is the point of that event in the ministry of Jesus and why do we still celebrate it in the church today? Join Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers to discuss the importance of the festival of Transfiguration which serves as a bridge between Epiphany and Lent, and to look at the Transfiguration Hymn: O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair! This is one of only a few Transfiguration hymns in the hymnals we use, but powerfully summarizes the importance of the event, both then and for us today!
This week Nathanael Mayhew joins Neal Radichel for a look at the hymn "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord" for our Review series. This hymn (#462 in The Lutheran Hymnal) discusses the church. This is appropriately found in the "Communion of Saints" section of the hymnal and brings out the blessings which the LORD bestows upon sinners through His church on earth. We will discuss the background of the hymnwriter, Timothy Dwight who was a very talented American hymnwriter and the grandson of Jonathan Edwards. We will also dig into each of the seven verses of this hymn and look at their meaning and Scriptural foundation. We hope you will listen in and benefit from a deeper appreciation of this wonderful song of praise!
Pastors Neal Radichel, Mark Tiefel and Nathanael Mayhew have a round table discussion on the 2 year anniversary of the Burden and Blessing podcast. They reflect on how the project started and how it has changed and developed over the past two years. They discuss the many people who have come on board and assisted both on stage and behind the scenes to make Burden and Blessing what it is today.
It is our prayer that the Biblical content which we offer serves to encourage and strengthen those who listen and always welcome your support, suggestions, and constructive criticism. Soli Deo Gloria!