April 3rd, 2022 – 5th Sunday in Lent
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: April 4th – April 10th
Monday……………….. 6:00 PM LAF
Tuesday……………….. 7:00PM Elders Meeting
Wednesday……………. Lucas Cranach and Albrecht Durer, Artists
Thursday………………. 10:00 AM Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. Palm Sunday/Beginning of Holy Week
11:15AM Bible Study
The saints the calendar points at this week were artists. Both Cranach and Durer were artists working during the reformation. If you google their names, up will come several images that you are familiar with. Cranach was a portraitist mostly. Durer was a painter but is probably more famous for his woodcuts which adorned many of Luther’s Works in his lifetime and have continued to show up in books like the Lutheran Confessions ever since. But the point of the saints as those confessions hold is that “we might follow the example of their faith and good works according to our calling (Augsburg Confession 21).” Every vocation or calling is an opportunity to serve both God and our neighbor. Those vocations are usually the means whereby God gives us and our neighbors our daily bread. The vocation of artist is an odd one. If you are famous, there probably isn’t one more esteemed. Yet parents hearing “I want to be an artist” from their children probably often council otherwise. Yet is there a way more people have received their daily bread than by an artists work? Or what parts of the artists calling might we follow in ours?
PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION
Philippians 3:8-11, our Epistle lesson, which is presented as a paragraph in our English, is one sentence in the Greek, which is a language that preferred complex compound sentences, like this one. The bad news is that you can loose track of what the writer is talking about. The good news is that if you are willing to follow the entire argument is laid out. In this case the Apostle Paul’s prime argument is “I count everything as loss.” That is a radical statement. How many of us would count everything as loss? We are Americans and even in the midst of loss we usually attempt to spin it as a win. But the Apostle is clear, it is all worthless. Why?
First because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. Anything that is temporal as everything in this world is, is inferior to the eternal. Knowing the eternal is of surpassing worth. So what does it mean to know Christ? To know Christ is to be in Christ. Being in Christ is Paul’s shorthand for a lot of things but here he defines it specifically. To be in Christ is to have His righteousness. And how does this righteousness come to us? It comes not by works of the law, but by faith. Paul doesn’t say that we might not have a temporal righteousness. We are constantly making temporal righteousness judgments. We call it status. But worldly status is nothing compared to eternal righteousness that comes only by faith.
But why would I want this righteousness? If it is given by grace could it not be taken away in spite? We all know that one minute we can be in favor and the next minute we are out of favor. Could not God work this way? The short answer is no, God does not work this way. He doesn’t work this way because it is tied to his honor. He has promised his grace through faith in His Son. To flake out on that would be eternal shame and division in the Godhead. That should be horrifying itself. But the way the Apostle tells it is that he counts everything as loss that he “might know the power of his resurrection…that by any means possible I may attain to the resurrection of the dead.” Christ is risen which changes everything. Someone who shares our flesh has been given the eternal. And the promise is that this life we have been given temporally in Christ we will be given it eternally. What we today hold on loan, then we will be given as ours. That in Christ likely includes a “sharing of his sufferings, and becoming like him in his death.” The loss of all things is going to happen. It might happen earlier from following Christ. It might happen later. But everything temporal is going to be lost anyway. Paul’s argument ends up being pure logic. What has changed is that in Christ we are offered something eternal. Before Christ, sure, rack up as much temporal stuff as possible. It is better than the alternative. But in Christ we might know the resurrection.
I count all things as loss, because Christ is risen, and I too will rise. May the power of the resurrection so capture our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Easter Lilies will be ordered from Chase’s Greenhouse. The cost is $9 each. Money can be placed in the Blankenbush mailbox. There is a sign up sheet on the board in the hallway.
- Thurs 10am: “The Necessary Bible Stories to Know Our Own Story” – Jacob, Leah and Rachel
- Confirmation: Lord’s Prayer – Second Petition
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): April 18th, 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: In your inbox, look for the email. (Lord’s Prayer – 3rd Petition)
RUMMAGE SALE – April 23.
The preschool will start collecting stuff for the rummage sale Friday, April 15th. You can drop anything, except TV’s or Computers, any time that week.