Messages from Pastor Raddatz

April 30, 2023, Mount Olive Lutheran Houston TX


For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”  1 Peter 2:19-25 (ESV)

Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in Your sight O Lord. Amen.


Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Good Christian Friends. 

Mel Brooks has said, "Tragedy is when I get a hangnail. Comedy is when someone else falls into an open sewer and dies." We all like to think about suffering on a sliding scale and we often are more concerned about our own suffering than we are about the suffering of others. This isn’t a good thing by the way. St. Peter in our Epistle is counselling against this by pointing us to Jesus Christ as the example of one who considered the suffering of others more important than His own suffering.

St. Peter addresses the suffering of the members of his church.  He puts suffering into categories:

  • Suffering due to our sin means we get what we deserve.   If you are speeding and you get a ticket, you have to pay for the ticket.  If you are able to endure this type of suffering it is no big deal, because you committed the act or the sin.  
  • Suffering unjustly means that you were doing something good or innocent and something happened to you.  You were unjustly treated.  If you endure this is because of the Grace of God.  For we have been called to suffer.


Bengel: 'Credit' denotes praise, not so much from many, as from the good, and here from God Himself.

We all know that the world is broken and sin reigns.   Just as you and I receive power over life and death and sin, BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE ANYWAY.  

For example, 2013, in Regina there was a woman waiting for the bus at a downtown bus stop when the bus went off course and jumped the curb hitting a street sign. The bus didn’t hit the woman, but the street sign came crashing down on her and she died of injuries sustained by the impact of the sign. The driver didn’t intend it to happen. The woman didn’t intend for it to happen. Neither of them woke up in the morning expecting this or planning it. It was an accident. Were Regina Transit and the City of Regina at fault? They did settle a lawsuit with the Supynuk family in 2018 and The Regina Police Service investigated and subsequently found that the city had failed "to maintain a brake system with mechanical components that are secure, functional or not excessively worn or misaligned." -Regina, Saskatchewan news 2013


On the other hand you have Archduchess Mathilda of Austria, daughter of Archduke Albrecht, Duke of Teschen, who died at the age of 18 at the Hetzendorf Palace June 6th, 1867. She had put on a dress made of gauze to go to the theatre. Before leaving for the theatre, she wanted to smoke a cigarette but after she lit the cigarette her father, who had forbidden smoking, approached her, and she hid the cigarette behind her dress, immediately setting its very flammable material on fire which then gave her second and third-degree burns that lead to her death. Had she not broken the 4th Commandment and honored her father’s wishes she would not have been smoking, add to that if she had not hidden the cigarette her dress would not have caught on fire. Had she instead repentantly asked for her father’s forgiveness she would not have died of second and third-degree burns and the whole tragedy could have been avoided.  Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph, Alan Palmer, Phoenix Giant (1997) page 158.


We have been called to endure suffering, but to endure suffering we need the grace of God.  A number of churches in the West continues to have swallowed the lie of prosperity.  These churches preach that as a Christian you will have a wealthy life: a lot of money, a big house and an important job.  Jesus calls us to suffer.  This is a gracious thing in the sight of God.  

So whether your suffering is as small as a hangnail or as big as falling into an open sewer to your death the Christian needs to remember who they are and what that means even in the midst of suffering. They likewise need to remember that whether it is your needs or the needs of others it is not a laughing matter, in many ways this circumstance has come upon us all whether we are doing good or acting selfishly. When we presently suffer economically, socially, spiritually without contracting covid-19 at the end of the day we suffer for others more than we suffer for ourselves and each day we do so again and again until our collective suffering passes.

Very well put. You simply cannot suffer for His sake correctly until you believe that He suffered in your stead.

Dear ones, you who are baptized into Christ Jesus, let us keep in mind who we are in these days of pandemic: You are ones who belong to Jesus and whether you are in the midst of suffering, should that be great suffering or even small suffering, your ultimate security and safety are not in your hands alone but in Jesus’ hands, this is why St. Peter reminds us that by “[Jesus’] wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” Today we have readings and hymns that focus on Jesus as our Good Shepherd the one who guides us and protects us, the one who will finally lead us to our heavenly home. Whatever the circumstances of our suffering as we endure them we are called to do so while doing good for others as best as we are able remembering that Jesus “Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness,” living to righteous means we do all that we do trusting God and serving the needs of our neighbors. So we need to be patient, we need to use common sense, think of the needs of others first, and continue to trust in God.

Bengel: On account of the consciousness of a mind which does things good and pleasing to God, even though they please no man. If his conscience can only have God's approval, unmixed delight remains. 

 In other words, it does not matter if people recognize our suffering, as long as God sees it, which he does, that is all that matters.

Jesus, during His earthly life, even in the hours leading to His death,[5] even as He suffered pain and agony and death upon the cross continually put Himself into His heavenly Father’s Hands.[6] Do likewise. And if people with authority attempt to, or actually do, take advantage of you in these days causing you suffering remember who your true Shepherd is, it is Jesus, all others who would pretend to take a place over and above Him are thieves and robbers[7] and will be held accountable in The End.[8] So if, as a Christian, you do good and subsequently suffer for it, remember “this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.” Pray for all those who have you in their care that they would be wise and kind, that they would work to bring an end to suffering and that they make every decision with the seriousness that is required treating your suffering as a true tragedy not as a comedy. It will be this kind of selfless care of others, this kind of turning away from selfishness that will bear the fruits of love in the midst of suffering. And for all the times you have been selfish and have made poor choices that potentially could have harmed your neighbor, or did harm your neighbor, there is forgiveness for such actions in only one person, in Christ Jesus your Good Shepherd, ask Him for forgiveness for the thoughts, words, and deeds, that have impacted others or yourself negatively; ask Him for forgiveness for what you have done and what you have left undone, even for those things you are unaware of and He will forgive you. For this good and merciful Jesus, your Good Shepherd is the one who shall follow you all the days of your life, and will bring you to dwell in the house of the LORD with Him forever. In your suffering He is with you even if that suffering should lead you through the valley of the shadow of death, because of Him you need not fear evil, you need not fear death, you need not be afraid.[9] Amen 


Let us pray:

Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.


[1] City settles lawsuit with family of woman killed by street sign at bus stop in 2013. Cited in Sermon by Pastor Giese.

[2] Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph, Alan Palmer, Phoenix Giant (1997) page 158.

[3] Luke 13:1–5, “There were some present at that very time who told [Jesus] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And He answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’” St. Peter was with Jesus when Jesus taught this in Luke 13.

[4] Nearly 21K jobs lost in Saskatchewan in March due to Covid-19: Statistics Canada reported by Global News.

[5] Luke 22:41–42, “And [Jesus] withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.’”

[6] Luke 23:46, “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this He breathed His last.”

[7] John 10:1–10

[8] Revelation 22:12–13, Jesus says “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing My recompense with Me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

[9] Psalm 23

Pastor John Raddatz

Current Weeks Message

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020

Good Friday, April 10, 2020

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday, March 22, 2020