March 13th, 2022 – 2nd Sunday in Lent
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: March 14th – March 20th
Monday………………… 6:00PM Men’s Group
Tuesday .……………….. 7:00PM Joint Council & Elders
Wednesday……………. 2:30 PM Confirmation
Thursday………………. St. Patrick, Missionary
10:00 AM Bible Study
Saturday……………….. St. Joseph, Guardian of Jesus
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
The St. Patrick that most of us know is the one of Green Beer and an excuse to drink it. And I’m not knocking an excuse to drink a good beer. But, Patrick deserves more than that, because his actual story is as deeply Christian as you can get. Patrick was the son of a British Christian family in the late Roman Empire. Like the Arthurian legends Roman Christian Britain was opposed by the Celtic Irish Pagan. Patrick was enslaved by a raiding party and for 6 years sent to herd pigs in Ireland. He eventually escaped, returned home and found his way into the priesthood. Patrick then set about returning the island of his captivity to set its residents free from their slavery to idolatry. One of the strongest prayers of the church that we occasionally pray together I’ve always thought was, “bring all transgressors and those blinded and bound in the devil’s kingdom to know Jesus Christ…that the number of Christian might be increased.” It is a literal praying for our enemies. Bring these people who are probably against us to faith where I must accept them as my brother. Patrick didn’t just pray that, he lived it. The people who enslaved him, he determined to set free, and did. The saints are staggering.
PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION
The Introit (Entrance) Psalm this week comes mostly from Psalm 74. In our worship service it cuts off at an interesting and troubling place. In the midst of the start of our worship the last line is “the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.” The second week of Lent moves a little deeper into the season’s themes. If the first week was about temptation and testing, the second week is about confronting the crisis of the Gospel. The sanctuary has been destroyed. The specific example that the psalm is contemplating would be the destruction of Solomon’s Temple and David’s City Jerusalem. But the larger sanctuary would be all of creation. God made it all “very good.” And the enemy destroyed that goodness in sin. The greatest thing he destroyed was us. All of us were born blinded and bound in the Devil’s Kingdom. I’d encourage taking the bible out and reading the entirety of Psalm 74. It is a lament both for what we – the natural foes of God – do to this sanctuary. It is also a cry for remembrance. God, remember who you are. Remember the people you have claimed and made promises to, and remember your might from of old that fixed the boundaries of the earth.
The Gospel is God’s response. God gave us the incarnate Sanctuary of his Son Jesus. Yes, we tried to destroy that one too, but the Father would not let it. In his might he recalled Jesus from the grave. Likewise He will recall everyone. There will be a new Heavens and a New Earth. A New Jerusalem with Christ as its Temple, a temple made with living stones built on Christ. And already today God has erected a new sanctuary. One enters this sanctuary through baptism which frees us from Satan’s bondage. In this sanctuary we hear of God’s gifts for us and how he does remember us. “The downtrodden do not turn back in shame, the poor and needy praise his name (Psalm 74:21)” because in this sanctuary they are given victory over that old enemy who will not prevail against it.
And yet that Gospel is a crisis. Because you do not earn it. It is given by grace; it is received by faith. We sinners who have destroyed every other sanctuary are completely dependent upon the steadfast love of God remembering not our sins but his promises. Promises like what even the prophet of doom Jeremiah says, “Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will relent of the disaster that he has promised. (Jeremiah 26:13).” God surely does this, but have we received it. Do we find ourselves in our baptism? Do we like St. Patrick’s great hymn, “bind ourselves today to the strong name of the Trinity (LSB 604).” Or are we destroying our own sanctuary that God has swept clean? It is a crisis because we must walk a road. We walk “according to the example we have in the apostles and saints (Philippians 3:17)”. Or we walk as “enemies of the cross of Christ (3:18).” Choose your path wisely, only one has a sanctuary built by God.
POTLUCK/ELDER’s MISSION PRESENTATION
Join us for the Potluck immediately after service
BEEF on WECK
Spring Beef on Weck is going to be on Saturday, April 2nd. There will be a couple of workdays prior. Please put it on your calendar, consider helping, and picking up a meal.
- Thurs 10am: “The Necessary Bible Stories to Know Our Own Story” – The Birth and Sacrifice of Isaac
- Confirmation: Creed, Article 3, Part 3
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): March 21st, 6PM, Zoom
- Sunday Morning: Going to continue with the Psalms for a Season. Come Join Us in the prayer book of the Bible.
- Catechism Moment: The Lord’s Prayer starts this week. Look in your inbox
RHAFT CHALLENGE FOR LENT
During the season of Lent, which starts Wednesday, we have taken upon ourselves that RHAFT challenge for giving to our local food pantry. You will find an insert in your bulletin which lists some suggestions for items to give during each of the six weeks of Lent. (Of course, any donations are welcomed at any time, but this method helps us give a variety of items to RHAFT.) There are many who are “in need” in our community, and this is an opportunity for us to help them. We THANK YOU for your past generosity in giving, and we pray that you will accept our challenge to help once again!