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The Power of the Spirit 05/31/20

Today we recall the Feast of Pentecost, fifty days after our Lord’s resurrection. In God’s wisdom, this is one of the feasts all were required to attend in Jerusalem. In this way God provided for the largest gathering from the farthest reaches where His people lived in order to discover what Pentecost was really all about. Today with the lavish outpouring of God Himself, the Holy Spirit, “the Lord and giver of life,” would proclaim the glory of salvation and eternal life through Jesus, the Son of God. So today we hear the Word of God spoken to us in our own language, that powerful, mighty Word through which the Holy Spirit creates and strengthens the gift of saving faith in us. This faith is like living water flowing through our entire being bringing the refreshment of the forgiveness of all of our sins and a new and godly purpose for the living of our days. The water Jesus gives is the true water of life.

 

Standing Firm 5/24/20

 

Today we find ourselves in a similar situation as the first disciples in Acts 1, left still to wonder at what awaits us between our Lord’s ascension and His promised return. Even though we can’t see Him with our physical eyes we know He is still with us, speaking to and strengthening us with His gift of salvation and eternal life. In Holy Baptism, Absolution, Communion, and the preaching of His Word, He gives us His mercy. In Jesus, our lives have been transformed. We are given power to repent our own sinful passions, and to live by faith as we experience the suffering that marks taking up our cross of faith and following Jesus. As the Day of Pentecost approaches, we believe by the power of the Holy Spirit our unity with Christ and God the Father is true through the grace that is ours in the Risen Christ.  Click here to download the bulletin.

"Dealing With the Difficulties of Discipleship”

What makes our Easter celebration so amazing is that here it is that same Lord Jesus whom we witnessed dying on a bloody cross who now risen from the dead appears and speaks to us. Today He promises to send to us “another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17). By means of the Spirit we are equipped not only to testify and witness to the saving faith but also, should it be God’s will, to suffer for that testimony. We hear the inspired words of Peter speak about suffering “for righteousness’ sake” living in the very resurrection hope of Christ.  Peter wants to convince us that it is precisely in our suffering that Christ meets us and acts for us. For He knows suffering intimately but also possesses the triumph over it. He points us to our Baptism, where Christ’s victory becomes our victory. His resurrection life give us new life, which for now is but the beginning to be stretched out into life eternal. Click Here to Download the bulletin and follow along.

What is God Doing? 5/10/20

Our fifty-day celebration of Easter continues as we gather in the presence of our crucified and risen Savior Jesus Christ, whether in our parking lot or via the internet. Present He is for we see and hear Him touching and speaking to us through His Gospel gifts of Word and Sacrament. We gather not as much to give anything to Him but to receive from Him His gifts of deliverance, salvation, and righteousness. Today, once again He gives you His own righteousness, making of us a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession. Our sin has been taken away, and we are renewed with eternal life by the faith created in us by His Spirit. In this faith our doubts and fears are taken away as we look forward to our heavenly home, the many rooms and mansions, the place prepared for us, as we await His final return.

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The Good Shepherd 5/3/20

“Let us ever walk with Jesus, Follow His example pure.” These poetic words of a favorite hymn, written in the 1600s by Sigismund von Birken, have a special meaning for us each day. Although the author intended that his hymn about following the example of Jesus be sung in the Lenten season, when there is a focus on themes of sacrifice and self-giving, the words fit equally well during the Easter season. But even as joyous and victorious as Easter is, it still has its challenges, including many kinds of suffering. There are no times when we are exempted from taking up our crosses and following the Lord. The Good Shepherd stands ready in every season to lead His flock with loving care!

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"Just Get Over It"

The seven Sundays of Easter celebrate the greatest of all victories—the defeat of sin, death, and the devil by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The theme of victory fills each of the Sundays of Easter and radiates out the joy of the first Easter morning week by week. One Easter hymn writer exhorts: “Let hymns of praise His triumph tell” (LSB 464:3). There is so much to be sung and to be told about the victory of Jesus, our Lord—and we are the ones gifted with the opportunity to do the singing and the telling in our generation.

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