March 7, 2021 – 3rd Sunday in Lent
WORSHIP & Bible Study
Worship is at 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.
This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here
Zoom Info: Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles
Bible Study after service or 11:15ish. I’ll keep the zoom line on.
Devotion & Prayer Thought
One of the things that is often toughest about the pastoral job right now is communicating to folks who just live in different eras. When you are talking to what I think of as my parent’s generation, the experience of church in the United States was something completely different. It was larger and prosperous. It was a respected necessary institution. And it shared a great many things in common. These were the days of ecumenical fervor, the protestant establishment, the Judeo-Christian tradition. Of course if you scratched even an inch deep you would hit the Reformation differences, but those were things for the egg-heads and hard-guys to worry about. And it is not like that era formation is gone. That era still exists. When I go to district functions, at which I at almost 50 years old am still in the younger portion, the general tone of many is “stop emphasizing divisive things, let’s just all get along. If we do that, everything will be ok.”
When you talk to anyone in my generation or younger, the experience is almost the opposite. We never knew a time when the church that was built for Christmas Eve 1964 was full on a regular basis. The council questions have never been what do we spend the money on, but given the level of funding we have or can imagine, what can we continue. Our catechism classes were very likely always a watered down moralistic therapeutic endeavor. And assuming that “everyone has a church” or even that there are shared Judeo-Christian values is a mistake. The default is at best an unknowing stare when you talk spiritual things. The “nones” in Gen-Z, my kids generation, are 40%, the largest block of people. Teaching your kids the catechism is a radical act.
Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians are something that I think that older era knew mentally, but experientially? Not so much. “The Word of the Cross is folly.” Yes, the cross, in its deep meaning has always been folly, but there was a long time when everyone confessed it in some form. Today, it isn’t even thrown in urine by pseudo-artists to shock the bourgeoisie. It is just foolishness. Yet the cross remains “the power of God to us who are being saved.” For one group the wise men of the age were literally Christians. Reinhold Niebuhr, in the year of peak church 1964, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom as a Public Theologian. The greatest moral cause of the age was fronted by a preacher, Martin Luther King. The most admired man was often another, Billy Graham. Today, unless one is deep in a Christian sub-culture, a gen Z person might not be able to name a Christian that the world even grudgingly thinks of as wise. “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Yet Paul’s message remains this is what we preach. “It pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe…for we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” And we do this because this is the calling. We were not called to be thought of as wise, or powerful, or noble, although all those things might be nice things. We were called to be lights. “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise.” Our boasting is not in what we can do, but in what God has done. That cross has saved me. That cross is the source of my life. And that life in not just here and now but is the resurrection life. The wisdom of the world passes like fashion, but the Cross stands across the wrecks of time. Do we pass the cross unheeding, breathing no repentant vow? May our eyes be ever turning to behold your cross anew.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: March 8th – March 14th
Mon. – Fri. ……….….… 9:00amPreschool
Wednesday: …………… 9:00amConfirmation Class
Thursday: ……………… 10:00amBible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
- Thurs 10am: Ezekiel – The Second Half, A New Vision for Israel
- Confirmation: Review for Elders Questions & World Religions (“The East”)
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): March 10th. See you on the Zoom line.
- Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary and on the zoom line.
- Catechism Moment: 4th Commandment. If you are not receiving and want to, drop me your emaill
UPCOMING EVENTS (please contact Ellen or Mindy if you would like to lend a hand with any of these projects)
- Month of March … RHAFT Lenten Challenge continues
- April 22nd (Thursday) … Brownie baking and Beef cooking for Beef on Weck
- April 23rd (Friday) … Potato salad & Cole Slaw Prep day for Beef on Weck
- April 24th (Saturday) … Spring Drive-Thru BEEF ON WECK Fundraiser Dinner
- June 24th (Thursday) … collecting begins for our Rummage Sale
- June 28th (Monday) … sorting and pricing begins for our Rummage Sale
- July 10th (Saturday) … RUMMAGE SALE
- July … week after the 10th … delivery to SAVERS
WOMEN’S GROUP: is meeting on ZOOM at 6:30pm on Monday, March 15th
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME CHANGE – Next week (3/14) do not forget to set your clocks forward 1 hour before you go to bed.
A LENTEN CHALLENGE: The season of Lent is almost upon us and is traditionally a penitential time of prayer, repentance of sins, and self-denial. It was also traditionally a period of alms-giving – an act of charity in sharing with those less fortunate. We have a special challenge of giving to our local food pantry, RHAFT, for the six weeks of Lent. For each Sunday of Lent we have chosen a particular category of items needed by RHAFT as the focus of our donations. We hope you will join us in this challenge to help RHAFT fill its pantry shelves