November 7, 2021 – All Saints (Observed)
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Nov 8th – Nov 14th
Monday……………….. Johannes von Staupitz
6:00pm Men’s Group
Tuesday………………. Martin Chemnitz
Wednesday………….. 5:30pm Confirmation
Thursday: ……………… Martin of Tours
10:00am Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
It might not be hyperbole to say that Johannes von Staupitz was the man who taught Luther the gospel. If we talked of “patron saints” von Staupitz would be the patron saint of mentors. He took in, encouraged, sponsored and built-up Luther’s early church life, made him his own replacement on the faculty of Wittenberg, and eventually gave him the grace of releasing Luther from his vows to the Augustinian Order. You don’t get The Reformation with Johannes. Likewise, the Reformation, at least the Lutheran part of it, may have completely disintegrated without Martin Chemnitz. Chemnitz was both a deft administrator and great theologian. He was what would have been the Bishop of Brunswick establishing what became a model “Church Order Book.” He also was the key contributor to The Formula of Concord which settled many internal issues of the Reformation, while his Response to the Council of Trent remains the fundamental critique of the emerging Counter-Reformation. You can trace the faith handed down through the saints. So what about Martin of Tours? November 11th is Veteran’s Day. This Martin was a Pagan Roman Legionnaire who became a Soldier for Christ. There are many stories that attached to Martin most displaying the virtue of courage. He chopped down the sacred pine of Gaul standing in its way as it fell and missed him convincing the Gauls of the power of Christ, and he argued with the Emperor not to execute people for heresy. Hans and Margaret Luther brought their 1 day old son to be baptized on the 11th, and so he became Martin.
LEADERSHIP ENCOURAGEMENT – by John Bayer
I hate to break the news to you but our baptism is only the beginning my friends! God, who loves us with his perfect redemptive love, desires that we grow and mature in our service to him. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the believers at the church at Colossae said, “…we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10) In his letter the Apostle Paul told the Colossae Christians he was praying that they would grow up.
So how do we Christians grow up? Think disciple. That is,
● Be faithful to the Divine Service and don’t allow the pressures of this present world to be a distraction.
● Read and learn. Review the Smaller Catechism. Find a partner to learn with.
● Develop a healthy prayer life.
● Get involved in church life.
● Share what you know and do with others.
We at St. Mark should live up to that same exhortation Paul gave those early Christians. This is especially true for those whose responsibility it is to be examples to the rest of the congregation. If we truly desire to please him we should desire to learn, grow and bear fruit for God. Don’t be content just being a pew warmer.
PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION
I got eyeglasses in 3rd grade. And my eyes were already bad enough at that time the doctor wondered how I had been functioning. So when in Sunday School the death of Moses was the lesson (Deuteronomy 34) one verse stuck out at me. “Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. (Deut 34:7).” I’ve always envied Moses. That memory came back this year because I had to give in to progressive lenses. A couple years ago I was borderline, but that border was long crossed. And I hate them. The doctor said “you’ll get used to them in two weeks to a month.” I still feel months later that they just aren’t right. The old ones did nothing for reading, but everything else was clear. These? Nothing is ever “undimmed”.
But that might be a good metaphor for how we see final things in this world. John writes there are some things that we see, and others that we don’t. “We are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared.” There things we know, our adoption in Jesus. There are things we don’t know, what we will be. Instead, we see in the approaching distance. “We know that when he appears we shall be like him.” Do we know what that is? We have outlines, moving figures, but not really. Even the disciples who saw the risen Lord were never quite sure what they were seeing. The Magdalene saw the gardener, until he spoke. Those on the Emmaus road saw a stranger, until he broke bread. The twelve didn’t know what until he showed his hands and his side. “When he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” We see what Jesus is in the Word, what he spoke. We see Jesus is the sacraments, the breaking of bread and the command to baptize all nations. Through these we are being conformed to Christ. “We shall be like him.” But is our eyesight undimmed; is our knowledge perfect? Probably not. We are probably more like 3rd grade me, or progressive lenses me, than we are like Moses. Which is why we live by faith and not by sight. Which is why right now we live in hope. We see enough, but the perfection that the Father is working for his children is both now and net yet. Now it is seen in Christ and Word and Sacrament; net yet has it appeared in fullness as He is. May we lean on what is only seen clearly by faith.
- Thurs 10am: We are going to be reading the last letter of John starting this week. Come Join!
- Confirmation: Work on memorizing the commandments and read the 6th commandment questions.
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): November 18th
- Sunday Morning: The burial of Jesus and the conclusion of the Gospel of Mark . Come Join!
- Catechism Moment: I’m going to call this a bit of a hibernation. It will comeback, but it was the last thing added, so the first thing to go when new tasks are given.
Monday @ 6 PM, here. I’m thinking some pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw and some pumpkin pie.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Collection week is November 15th – 22nd. (A week from Monday through the following Monday.) If you might consider helping this year. Jobs: Greeting, Counting, Packing, Carrying. A sign-up sheet is up. Even an hour would help.
Monday – Friday (15th – 19th): 4pm – 7 pm; Saturday 20th: 9am – Noon; Sunday 21st: Noon – 3 PM; Monday 22nd: 7am – 10am