March 14, 2021 – 4th 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
Irenaeus, the 2nd century Bishop of Lyon, is one of the very early church Fathers that sorted out how we read the bible. The fancy term is hermeneutics, but to use that is to scare you away from reading the Bible. Irenaeus’ method was extremely simple. First, read it. The Scriptures were meant to be read and lived. Second, compare what it is saying to you to what he called “the rule of faith” by which he meant what we know as the creeds. If you are reading the Bible and it is telling you that Jesus is not “true God and true man” read it again because you have erred. Third, what have your bishops said about what you are reading? As one lives the faith, there is the entirety of Scripture which is useful for instruction – a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. But all of Scripture contains things like the Gospels which we know by heart and things like Ezekiel, which the old Rabbis said no one under 30 can read. Make that 40 for today. So, we all carry around a summary or a symbol of the faith – like the creeds or the small catechism. But the faith is not an academic exercise, it is lived in community. And there are people who have been called to preach and teach and shepherd. All of these work together to keep us on the narrow way.
Ephesians 2 is my canon within the canon, my personal symbol of the faith outside of the small catechism. It starts off telling us our natural state. “We were dead in trespasses and sins…following the prince of the power of the air.” Sin and Satan bound us. The result of such binding was “we all once lived in the passions of our flesh.” Into this slavery God came. He came “rich in mercy and because of the great love with which he loved us.” And in Christ God took that pathetic slave and raised us up to the highest point. And what does God get out of this? “in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness.” God says that he is love and that he is good. Christ demonstrates both, and that is just the beginning. That is the broad sweep of bible’s story all of which reflects the story of Jesus.
Paul then turns toward how this Kingdom comes to us and what it requires of us. “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing.” The Kingdom comes by itself. I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me. God’s grace frees me and grants me the faith to grasp what Christ has done. The fact that I am no longer a slave is not due to my ability, but God’s manumission. What then is required of this freed slave? “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” We can sell ourselves back to sin and Satan. They are always acquiring slaves. We can grumble as Israel did after they were freed and chase after the World. It was so much better when we were back in Egypt. Really? That is the just the slow motion way to return to slavery. Or we can accept our calling, the purpose for which we were created. We can walk in holiness. We can do the good works prepared beforehand. We can be free men and women.
The Scriptures teach slaves how to be free. And it isn’t the pastel freedom of American’s today. It is a freedom the color of blood. That’s my canon within the canon.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: March 15th – March 21st
Mon. – Fri. ……….….… 9:00amPreschool
Monday: ………………. 6:30pm Women’s Group
Tuesday: ……………… 9:00am Pastors’ Circuit Mtg
Wednesday: …………… 9:00amConfirmation Class
7:30pm Church Council Mtg
Thursday: ……………… 10:00amBible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
March 28th – Palm Sunday Service at 10am
April 1st – Maundy Thurs. Service w/Communion at 7pm
April 2nd – Good Friday Service at 7:00pm
April 4th – Easter Service at 10am
- Thurs 10am: Ezekiel – Chap 33, Two False Starts of Cheap Grace
- Confirmation: Review for Elders Questions & World Religions (“The East”)
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): March 24th. 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: 5th Commandment. If you are not receiving and want to, drop me your email.
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
EASTER LILY: It’s time to order your Easter Lily to be placed next to the altar on Easter Sunday. Please see sign-up for details.
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