April 19, 2020 – Second Sunday of Easter
- Thurs 10am: Sorry, for lack of direction here. This is what I’m going to do for the time being. Roughly the same as worship, if you wish to be here, up to our normal 3-4, fine. If our bible study gets crowded all of a sudden, I will throw you out! If you want to join on the Zoom line (same as the worship one) I’ll be logging that in. I’ve had a couple weeks with confirmation and LAF, so I think I’m climbing the curve for making that worthwhile.
Year 1: We are meeting on zoom for the time being. 3PM Tuesdays. Lord’s Prayer. We will be working through the worksheet as I share my screen. Please bring your catechism and a bible.
Year 2: Thursdays at 3:30PM on zoom. We have finished out “comparative religion” course. We are going to turn to the final review. Right now, confirmation proper is still scheduled for Pentecost, which is May 31st. I’m hoping that we will be open by then. And I’m working on what to do about the traditional elder board review of confirmands. Watch here.
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Please join us!
Meeting Thurs. April 16th and 30th , on Zoom
Until we are back to regular worship schedule, we are foregoing the Lord’s Supper. If you desire the sacrament in the meantime, private confession and the sacrament are available by talking with pastor.
Worship will continue to be as per the last month. 9AM and 11AM. The bulletin will be posted online. The service will be streamed on zoom. The doors will be open. We’ve had about 10 present, every family in their own pew, with plenty of distance. Any choice is left to Christian Freedom. Neither way is better or worse. One big ask, if you have any prayer requests, please send them to pastor, or use the zoom chat line early to send them in. I’ve got David monitoring Zoom, but to ensure we have good audio means that I’m usually away from the screen.
Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288
BEEF ON WECK … May 23rd … save the date!
In order to accommodate our new normal, we are setting up the Spring Beef on Weck as a DRIVE THRU. This means that people will arrive in their cars, place their order and pay all while remaining in their cars. Their order will be packed up and brought out to them. Our workers will wear masks and social distancing will be applied in all possible situations. If you would like to help please contact Mindy or Ellen.
Devotion & Prayer Thought
An aquaintence asked a great question this week. Did Death come into being as a result of the fall, or was death transformed into an enemy as a result of the fall? That is a very deep question with lots domino effects that go much deeper than a short devotion. We have a default answer, or at least we have one that we would jump to if we remember our catechism, but I’m not so sure the biblical answer is an either/or. This might be one of those times the bible would simply say “yes” which scrambles all our human logic. The way the Apostle Paul talks in Romans 6:23 (“the wages of sin is death”) would be that default, death came into being. And that leads to our default justification. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin by his death. But the Bible also speaks about this in the other way. One of my favorite texts comes from Hebrews 2:14-15.
Because God’s children are human beings– made of flesh and blood– the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
Here the problem is not death itself, but our fear of it. And it is not death, but the one who holds it, Satan, that is the problem. The power Satan, his ability to get us to sin, was through the fear of death. C.S. Lewis ponders some of this in his Space Trilogy. His unfallen Martians die, but death is not an enemy. It is a gateway and those unfallen Martians do not fear it. They trust God. Our problem is we didn’t, and now death is our enemy rightly to be feared. We live, or we lived, as slaves to that fear. Acquiring everything we can to stave off its shaddow. The justification worked by Jesus here is triumph. He broke the power of the devil. He took death away from him and set us free from fear.
The Easter Season has two great themes. The first is simply: Stop Fearing. Christ is risen. You too will rise. You can now live like those unfallen Martians trusting in God’s providence whatever he sends you. He has set you free from the fear that enslaved you, because you live in the love of God’s son Jesus. The second great theme of Easter – faith or trust. There are lots of rumors about what happened on Easter. Depending upon what you believe, will change you freedom. Some have seen – the Apostles, Paul on the road to Damascus, the great mystics and quite a few saints. We think they are blessed, and they are. But the greater blessing, because of the greater faith, rests on those who have not seen, and yet believed. Peter, who saw, puts it this way. “though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy…obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Stop Fearing and believe. Christ has this.
May the Lord in the midst of tribulation bless our souls to believe in HIs victory which he freely gives to us. Satan’s arrows broken lie, the gates of heaven are open. Amen.