Author Archive

November 2023 Update!

Times flies! As I noted in my last post as of June 19, 2020 I got busy at Zion Lutheran in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio… and I still am! But so much has happened in family and ministry. See “About Us” for detailed updates. I will soon get new family photos up. Now there are 11 grandchildren with another on the way. God has been so good to us and we pray His blessings on all friends and acquaintances. I have been keeping some family photos updated on Facebook, www.facebook.com/carl.rockrohr. I am also working on an updated design for this rockrohr.net website… Blessings!

Luther Devotions on Jesus’ Teaching of Lazarus and the Rich Man

I have not posted much recently, it’s been busy months with COVID 19 adaptations of ministry at my congregation, Zion Lutheran in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio. All are invited to visit Zion’s new website! – www.zionrco.org.

Some of the best things to share are always teachings from Martin Luther. These two excepts are from this week’s readings from Luther for the Busy Man (pages 226-227) from his sermon on Luke 16:19-31. Blessings!

LUTHER:

Where there is true Christian faith, rich attire and sumptuous food will never be major considerations. Christian faith does not look for earthly good, honour, pleasure, power or anything outside of God Himself. It seeks, desires and clings to nothing but God, who alone is the highest good.

Whether there is costly fare or little to eat, whether there is splendid attire or nothing but very simple clothing, makes very little difference to Christian faith. Even if Christians must wear costly attire and wield great power in a position of honour, they think little of it. It may be that they have been forced into this by circumstances or that they must adopt such procedures in the interests of their neighbour. Queen Esther declared that she wore her royal crown reluctantly, but was compelled to do so for the sake of the king. David would have preferred to remain a common man. He was compelled to become king for God’s sake and the sake of the people.

This is the way all believers regard their elevated roles in this world. They are compelled to accept power, honour and glory, but they never allow their roles in life to ensnare their hearts. Basically they continue to serve God and their neighbour however they may find themselves situated in this life.  

and

One sin follows another. The rich man clothed in purple and faring sumptuously every day forgot his love towards his neighbour. He let poor Lazarus lie at his door and gave him no help. Even if he was disinclined to give Lazarus some help personally, he could still have ordered his servants to make a shed available to him where they could have done something for him.

This came about because he had no real understanding of God and had never experienced God’s goodness. He who has experienced God’s goodness also has some feeling for his neighbour’s misfortune. But he who has never experienced God’s goodness, also has no feeling for his neighbour’s misfortune. Even as he finds no pleasure in God, so also his neighbour’s plight never touches his heart. Faith is so constituted that it looks to God for all that is good and relies on God alone. Out of such faith man learns to know God, how good and gracious He is. From this knowledge of God, man’s heart is also softened and inclined to mercy, so that he readily does for everyone what he feels God has done for him.

The result of all this is love, by which a man begins to serve his neighbour with his whole heart, with body and life, with property and honour, with soul and spirit. He is ready to bestow everything on his neighbour, as God has done this for him . He does not look for healthy, high, strong, sick, noble and holy people, who have no need of him, but for the sick, the weak, the poor, the despised people who are sinners, to whom he can be useful. On these he can exercise his mercy and serve them as God has served him.

Palm Sunday Devotions

Zion’s new website is down for a bit… here are the devotions in pdf document and audio file for Palm Sunday. Feel free to download or listen online.

Devotion_April5_2020

Sermon: “Confidence and Peace in the Word of God which Jesus Gives Us” John 16:12-15

Pastor Carl Rockrohr, Sunday Service, May 19, Zion Lutheran Church, Ridgeville Corners, Ohio.

Download mp3 file here.

Little Free Library at Zion RCO

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Meeting Seminarian Kyle Brown

Zion Lutheran Church RCO has supported Seminarian Kyle Brown and his wife, Brittni, and son Everett. We got a chance to hear him preach and have lunch with him and his family at Mom’s Dinner in Napoleon, Ohio. It was great to have a time to visit. God’s blessings to you Pastor Elect Kyle, Brittni and Everett! They are headed to New Mexico as he takes his first call to a duel parish. Click for larger photo.

Meditation on Jesus’ Last Words from the Cross

Pastor Carl Rockrohr, Good Friday Service, April 19, Zion Lutheran Church, Ridgeville Corners, Ohio. These meditations were in three different parts during the service, I edited them so they are altogether.

Download mp3 file here.

Holy Week Devotion from Luther: “if one sees that Christ’s heart and will are in these sufferings, it produces real comfort, confidence and pleasure in Christ.”

Frequently Deborah and I read Luther for our morning prayers, today Luther helps us think about our Holy Week meditations.

Hebrews 10:1-7 — 1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”

Luther: Christ’s sufferings are understood correctly when we do not simply regard the sufferings as such, but recognize and grasp His heart and will to suffer. For if one regards His sufferings in isolation, without recognizing His heart and will therein, one will be shocked by Christ’s. sufferings rather than rejoice in them. But if one sees that Christ’s heart and will are in these sufferings, it produces real comfort, confidence and pleasure in Christ.

The psalmist praises this will of God and Christ in suffering when he says, “In the roll of the book it is written of me; I delight to do thy will, 0 my God; thy law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40.7,8.) The epistle to the Hebrews also refers to this when it says, “By that will we have been sanctified.” (Hebrews 10.10) It does not say through the suffering and blood of Christ, which is pure enough, but through the will of God and of Christ, that they were both of one will to sanctify us through Christ’s blood.

This will to suffer He also manifests in the Gospel (Matthew 16.21-23), where He proclaims beforehand that He is going up to Jerusalem to suffer Himself to be crucified. It is as though He were saying, ” Look into my heart to see that I am doing this willingly, without compulsion, and gladly, so tha you may not be shocked or dismayed thereby when you see It come to pass, and begin to think that I am doing it unwillingly, that I must do it, that I am forsaken and that the Jews are doing it by their authority. (SL.XI.526,3)

PRAYER: Thanks be to you, loving Father, for sending us such a ready and willing Saviour, whose love for us has been manifested in His readiness and willingness to suffer and die for us and in our stead. Mercy and love are all your ways, and those of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[From page 156 of Luther for the Busy Man, translated by Dr. P.D. Paul, Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, South Australia, 1974.]

Rev. Paul Rockrohr Commissioned to be Navy Chaplain by USMC Captain James Rockrohr

Our eldest son, Rev. Paul Rockrohr, was commissioned to be a Navy Chaplain by his brother, USMC Captain James Rockrohr, this afternoon. The ceremony took place at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Golden, Colorado where Paul has been the pastor for over 3 years. James flew in from Ft. Sill, Oklahoma to swear in Paul today.

Article in Defiance, Ohio Crescent-News: “Rockrohr feeling right at home at Zion Lutheran in Ridgeville Corners” (March 22, 2019)

Article and Photo Tim McDonough/C-N Photo

Thank you to Tim McDonough at the Crescent-News in Defiance, Ohio for a nice feature article.

Towards the end of the article…

What Rockrohr found at Zion Lutheran, and in Ridgeville Corners, is a church and a community that walks the walk when it comes to service.

“Being here, from the beginning actually, always felt like a good fit,” Rockrohr said. “We’re worshipping about 45-50 people each Sunday, and I started a Bible study on Wednesday nights and we’re getting about 18 people or so each week, so I learned right away that the people have a deep desire to learn God’s word. That’s always fulfilling for a preacher and teacher.

“This congregation does a lot of community outreach,” added Rockrohr. “We host a food bank once a month, we hosted a Thanksgiving meal for the community at the firehouse, we have a Christmas carol sing, we have a litter pick-up day, we’re working on a lending library that will be erected in the front of the church, and we put up a Christmas tree at the intersection at (U.S.) 6 and County Road X and had people decorate it and served hot chocolate.”

Having served as a missionary in Africa, Rockrohr is pleased that the congregation is involved in outreach outside of the community as well. A mission trip is planned through H.A.R.P. Inc. (Helping Appalachian Rural People) in southern Ohio later this year, and the church has taken up offerings for missions in Nigeria at different times as well.

Having been at the church for nearly a year, Rockrohr is pleased to have built relationships with his congregation and the people of Ridgeville Corners, that the congregation is doing the work to focus on doing what God is calling them to do, and that he finds himself in a place, “not far,” from anywhere.

“I find myself in the middle of a very friendly, busy place,” said Rockrohr. “I’ve lived in Ghana where there is not much infrastructure, so to be able to get in my car and drive to Archbold, Napoleon, Defiance, Fort Wayne or Toledo is easy, my wife and I feel connected here. I look forward to working on re-energizing the people who aren’t engaged here, and learning even more from everyone.

“It’s important to me to pass on the faith to the next generation and the teachings of God’s word,” added Rockrohr. “Times change, but people still need community, hope, faith and direction, so passing on the faith to the next generation will help lead them to God, and everything He promises. As a grandparent, that really resonates with me, and it’s my passion to pass on that spirituality so that we can sustain it for the long-term.”