Fifteen years ago, an author by the name of David Foster Wallace agreed to speak at a college graduation. Wallace was a secular man, wary of any kind of organized religion. And yet in this speech he surprised a lot of people. He said that in the trenches of everyday life, there really is no such thing as atheism because everyone worships something. It’s just a question of what. Then he gave some warnings. He said that if you worship money, you will never have enough. If you worship beauty and good looks, you will always feel ugly. Furthermore, as you grow older and beauty fades, you will die a million deaths before you actually die. If you worship power, he said, you will always feel weak. And if you worship intellect, then you will always feel stupid, and you will always feel afraid you’re going to be found out.
In addition, Wallace included this chilling caution. Be careful what you worship. Because nearly everything that one can worship will, in the end, eat you alive.
And so let’s put the question out on the table. Who—or what—do you worship?
More often than we care to admit, you and I have slipped into putting our best time, our best energy, our best passion into something or someone other than our relationship with God and his will for our lives. As a result, we have often skewed our priorities and hurt other people. For this, we deserve God’s abandonment.
But God has not abandoned us. Instead, Jesus came. In our place, he always put his heavenly Father first. At the cross, he washed away the sin of our every misguided priority. Through faith in Jesus, all is now forgiven. All is well between us and our God. This reality empowers us to follow the One who matters most.
David Foster Wallace warned that nearly everything one can worship will eat you alive in the end. But not the one, true God who is worthy of your worship. He will not eat you alive. Through Jesus He will keep you alive…eternally.
Lord, I love you with all my heart. May all that I say and do this day demonstrate my love for you. Amen.
Ruth Whippman is an accomplished writer, journalist, and documentary filmmaker. She is also someone who has devoted time and thought to the concept of contentment in our twenty-first century. What she’s written makes for a good read. For instance, did you know that in the United States alone, people spend $10 billion per year on books, programs, and techniques that promise to deliver contentment?
This financial pursuit has become so pronounced that marketers have designated a new category for it. They call it Spiritual Spending. “The idea,” writes Whippman, “is that if you just put in enough emotional elbow grease, slog out enough hours of positive thinking, mindful coloring, gratitude-journal keeping, and self-help book reading, you will ultimately be rewarded.”
But then she delivered the bad news. Spiritual Spending has not delivered as promised. Studies reveal that, if anything, people are more anxious and disappointed than ever. And while she does not claim to have all the answers, Whippman does suggest where the problem lies. Increasingly, she says, people are “looking inward into their own souls, rather than outward…” In addition, she notes that “many recent happiness trends, from self-help books to meditation, are designed to be carried out completely alone.”
All of this echoes a foundational Christian truth: I will not find the answer by looking inward because the answer is not in me.
The answer is in a relationship with the one who created us. An early Christian by the name of Augustine once prayed, “Lord, you made me for yourself. Our hearts are restless until we find our rest in you.” God could see how restless and lost our own sinfulness had made us. And so he sent his Son. On our behalf, Jesus sought and found perfect contentment in his relationship with his heavenly Father. Then, in love, he carried our failures to the cross. There he endured the abandonment we deserved. Through faith in him, we not only have full forgiveness, we have him. He is with us each and every day, no matter where our lives take us. Knowing that he has taken care of our greatest need, we can be sure that he will take care of our every need. And we can be content.
Lord, I know that you are with me this day. No matter what it brings, may this make me content. Amen.
He was an army captain, flew a helicopter, and was offered a teaching position at West Point. But he loved songwriting. So, he left the army and moved to Nashville. He showed people his songs, but no one seemed interested. Meanwhile, he worked as a janitor at a recording studio. One night at the studio he opened a letter from his mother. It was a bombshell. She was disowning him. She was ashamed of him, she said. She told him not to come home anymore because his presence would humiliate her in front of her friends.
News of this reached a singer who was recording in the studio that day. Years earlier, the singer had had a similar experience. In his childhood, his older brother had died. One night, in a drunken stupor, his father had told him, “I wish you had died in that accident instead of your brother.” The singer and the janitor were different people. But they had things in common and it created a bond between them. The singer, Johnny Cash, went on to sing songs written by the janitor whose name was Kris Kristofferson. Thanks to Johnny Cash he went on to become one of the greatest songwriters in country music history. And it all started with a common bond.
As you go about your day look at those around you. There’s the girl at your convenience store. There’s the mechanic you’ve trusted for years. There’s the aid at the nursing home. There’s the neighbor who always waves but whose name you don’t know. All different people. But you share a bond with them. All of you know the brokenness of sin. All of you need a Savior. All of you need the forgiveness Jesus has purchased for you. And so pray for an opportunity to get just a little better acquainted. When God gives you a moment with one of these souls, take it. As you get to know that person better, look for an opportunity to tell them about the Savior you share. Because, as St. Paul wrote, God wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
My Savior, everyone around me needs you as badly as I do. Give me the courage and conviction to tell them about you. Amen.
The Apostle Paul was a proclaimer of the Good News of Jesus in the first century A.D. During his ministry, one of the emperors of the Roman Empire was a man by the name of Nero. Nero embodied everything decadent about the Roman Empire at that time. He was self-indulgent, violent, and cruel. He arranged for his own mother to be stabbed to death. He had his wife murdered when he wanted to marry someone else. So awful was his regime that, when Nero died by suicide, a contemporary historian reported that citizens “ran through the streets . . . as though they were freed slaves.”
Then there was the great burning of Rome. When the city caught fire, many blamed their emperor. To divert attention, Nero chose to blame Christians. Under Nero’s orders, Christians were captured, tortured, executed. Some were hung up and set on fire to provide light for one of Nero’s evening parties.
This was the government under which the Apostle Paul lived. And it was under these circumstances that the Holy Spirit moved Paul to urge us to pray “for kings and all those in authority.”
And so here we are, in our own setting, in the twenty-first century. It is easy to complain about government leaders, to be cynical about government leaders, to rage against government leaders. It does not always occur to us to pray for them.
But stop for a moment and consider what we possess as Christians. Because of the forgiveness Jesus won for us, we possess the high privilege of entering the courts of the almighty God himself. We can come into his presence and talk to him in prayer. And when we speak to him about our government leaders, he will listen. What a privileged and powerful position to be in! May we not waste the opportunity to ask the King of the universe to bless the leaders of our land.
Lord, I pray for my government leaders. Give them wisdom. Guide their actions for the good of our society and for the furthering of your kingdom. Amen.
There is a fascinating new documentary series entitled The Mind, Explained. Each episode explores what researchers have learned about some specific function in the human brain. The subject of the first episode is memory.
Researchers have discovered that the capacity of the human brain to commit things to memory is breathtaking. For instance, one woman featured on the show is able to memorize a random series of 500 numbers in just 10 minutes and then repeat the numbers in their proper sequence without making a mistake.
However, researchers have also found that there are many aspects of human memory that are far from reliable. Another woman recalls what she remembers from September 11, 2001. While the main arc of what she remembers is accurate enough, there are various details in her recall that are not.
All of which brings us to our Lord. Our God’s capacity to remember is perfect. It is all-encompassing. It is eternal. All by itself, this is a chilling thought. It tells me that if my plan is to stand before a perfectly good and just God one day and presume that, somehow, my failures will be small enough to have been forgotten by him, then I am the one with a faulty memory. I have forgotten that my God knows all and remembers all that I do.
But that’s why God chose to send his Son. He saw our desperate need for rescue. Jesus remembered his heavenly Father’s will and lived a life of perfect faithfulness on our behalf. He also carried our every sinful failure to the cross. There he washed them away in his blood. Now, through faith in what Jesus has done in our place, God declares that he will remember our sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34).
And here’s one more beautiful thing. Even on those days when you don’t fully remember how much God loves us in Jesus, he does.
Lord, thank you that because of what Jesus has done for me, you remember my sins no more. Amen.
Welcome! Thank you for joining us for worship this morning. In our
service we gather before our almighty God to offer him our worship and praise.
We also gather to strengthen ourselves
through the study of God’s holy and powerful Word.
Restroomsare located in the link way (through
the Information Room and down the stairs) at
St. John’s and lower level at Emmanuel.
NurseryIn the lower level of both churches,
the service is available to watch on TV and children have space for their
needs. At St. John’s exiting church, it is located down the stairs to the left,
to the link way, and down the stairs again to the left. At Emmanuel exiting
church, it is located down the hallway to the right.
Our Need for Christian Community
The Lost Are Now Found
You Are Free to Be Yourself
You Are Perfectly Safe Here
You Have an Everlasting Family
You are Part of Christ’s Glorious Kingdom
Worship SeriesRead through Scripture and count the times it refers to
believers as “brothers and sisters.” You will reach the triple digits quickly.
The Holy Spirit is deliberate with his choice of words. If he frequently refers
to the Church in those terms, there can be only one explanation. He wants us to
think of each other as family. We understand the important roles a mother and
father play. We know the joys (and challenges) of having siblings. Do we grasp
that it is just as important that we have a spiritual family? Scripture teaches
that what unites us to our spiritual family is infinitely more powerful than
any biological bond. Moreover, you can lose a blood relative. They can be taken
away from you by death. But you will enjoy the companionship of your spiritual family
for all eternity. In this worship series, we will look at how our Father knits
us together in love and unity into a spiritual family. We will see the benefits
of being part of this family. In the Church, Christ has given us a better home.
Our Theme for Today“Army of One” was the shortest-lived
recruiting slogan in US military history. It was meant to stress the strength
of the individual. The Army dropped the slogan relatively quickly because they
realized it was contrary to the reality that, in the army, you are completely
reliant upon your team. In a stressful situation, the individual can be
overwhelmed. He or she needs others. God knows this. The first time God looked
at Creation and noticed something was off, the issue was that an individual (Adam)
was isolated. “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Humans
are hardwired by God to need fellowship, not just with him, but with one
another. So, God is determined to bring believers into a loving, nurturing
Perhaps you have been a part of this Christian family for a long
time. Perhaps you once belonged to a church, but for whatever reason drifted
away. Perhaps you have never belonged to a church. Whatever may be the case for
you, mayGod bless you as you
listen to his Word today. May he help us all to realize that this Christiancommunity—this spiritual
home—is something we badly need. Welcome home!
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SERVICE OF WORD &
This service offers the congregation a form of worship that
focuses on the proclamation of God’s Word and the celebration of Holy
CHOIR SINGS —
Day By Day
HYMN 365 Love
Diving, All Love Excelling
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION
has called us to live as family. Yet, our love for God and for each other is
not what it should be. Our priorities and choices are often flawed. But the
power of God’s love enables us to live a new life. Let us confess our sins to
God and ask for his forgiveness.
C: Almighty God,
merciful Father, I confess to you that I have not loved you with all my heart.
In what I have done and left undone, I have pursued my ways instead of your
ways. I have not loved my brothers and sisters as myself. For this I deserve
your punishment both now and in eternity. I am truly sorry for my sins. I
repent of them.
beg for your mercy, O Lord.
M: Forgive us for the
sake of Jesus Christ who suffered and died for us.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
M: God has been merciful to us and has sent his Son to die
for all. For his sake, God forgives our sins and empowers us to be his people.
Therefore, as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you
all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
M: Our Lord Jesus Christ has forgiven us and reconciled us
to God and has promised us the power to forgive and love each other. In the
peace of forgiveness, let us praise the Lord.
a brief introduction, all sing:
GOD ON HIGH BE GLORY Gloria
OF THE DAY
Lord Jesus Christ,
the family of believers with your never-failing mercy.
us together with the bond of your love.
us avoid whatever is wicked and harmful,
guide us in the way that leads to our salvation;
you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and
✠The Word ✠
LESSON Ecclesiastes 4:7-12
Scripture says that people are not
wired to be rugged individuals. God created us to need
one another. Two are better than one.
Even better is having Christ as the third strand
within a relationship. He provides the
love and grace that keeps that bond strong.
Again I saw something meaningless
under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There
was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of
enjoyment?” This too is meaningless—a miserable business!
Two are better than one, because
they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one
can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm
alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A
cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
PSALM OF THE DAYPsalm
133 How Very Good and Pleasant
together we lift our voices to the Lord.
together we shout our praise to his name.
water and his Word the Spirit makes us family.
and new life are ours to share with everyone.
servants of the Lord, now in his house lift up your hands and praise
Lord who made the heavens and the earth.
SECOND LESSON Hebrews 2:9-18 (today’s
Jesus became our brother so that by
his suffering, death and resurrection he might
unite us to himself and knit us together
into a spiritual family
But we do see Jesus, who was made
lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and
honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might
taste death for everyone.
bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom
and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their
salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people
holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is
not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your
name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” And
again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the
children God has given me.”
the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so
that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of
death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in
slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps,
but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like
them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a
merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he
might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself
suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
VERSE OF THE DAY
I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
assembly I will sing your praises. Alleluia!
GOSPEL Matthew 11:25-30
Jesus wants us in his family so that
he might give us rest and peace.
that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and
earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and
revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were
pleased to do.
things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son
except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom
the Son chooses to reveal him.
to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take
my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden
is the Gospel of our Lord.
be to you, O Christ!
Please be seated
HYMN OF THE DAY — 532 God Is Here! As We His People
Hebrews 2:9-18 “The Author of
Is your suffering brother
Is your conquering high priest
CONFESSION OF FAITH Apostles’
I believe in God, the Father
almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only
Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He
descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended
into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From
there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life
The ushers now gather the “Thank-Offering.” Members of this congregation show their
thanks to God for all he has done for them by returning a portion of their
income to the Lord. Through these free
will offerings, this congregation and its ministries are maintained. Guests need not feel obligated to contribute.
sign our Friendship Registers and greet one another.
The Offering Prayer, Prayer for the Need for Christian
Community and Intercessory Prayers are spoken by pastor. Please see
announcements for those on our Intercessory Prayers list.
M: We pray in Jesus’ name and as he
C: Our Father in heaven,
be your name,
will be done on earth as in heaven.
us today our daily bread.
us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
us not into temptation,
deliver us from evil.
the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.
at Emmanuel, Wednesday at St. John’s continue with…
CLOSING HYMN Oh, How
Good It Isbulletin pages 12, 13
*Sunday at St. John’s, continue with…
M: The Lord be with you.
also with you.
M: Lift up your hearts.
lift them up to the Lord.
M: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
is right to give him thanks and praise.
M: Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
In love he has blessed us with every
He sends his Holy Spirit to testify that
we are his children
and to strength us when we are weak.
Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ.
To him who sits on the throne and to the
be praise and thanks and honor and glory
for ever and ever.
HOLY, HOLY, HOLYSanctus
WORDS OF INSTITUTION
M: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was
betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to
his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body, which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and
gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; this is my blood of the
new covenant, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this,
whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
The peace of the Lord be with you always.
O CHRIST, LAMB OF GODAgnus
DISTRIBUTION HYMNS — 492 Son of
God, Eternal Savior
309 Draw Near and Take the Body of
M: We give you thanks, O Lord, for the foretaste
of the heavenly banquet that you have given us to eat and to drink in this
sacrament. Through this gift you have fed our faith, nourished our hope, and
strengthened our love. By your Spirit help us to live as your holy people until
that day when you will receive us as your guests at the wedding supper of the
Lamb, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
and sisters, go in peace.
in harmony with one another.
the Lord with gladness.
The Lord bless
you and keep you.
The Lord make his
face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look on you with favor and give
CLOSING HYMN Oh, How Good It Is
Cantors will introduce with verse 1,
congregation can join at any time.
Activities for the week of October 13 –
WELCOME HOME SUNDAY
St. John’s Sunday School
SJ Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
St. John’s Worship with communion
St. John’s breakfast in lower level
Choir at St. John’s
Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
Joint Pastor’s Conference – Elkhart
Men’s Bible Study at St. John’s
Joint Pastor’s Conference – Elkhart
St. John’s School Chapel
St. John’s School/Little Lambs Early
St. John’s Worship
Bible Information Class at St.
St. John’s School Confirmation
St. John’s lower level (6 of 13 weeks)
Council meeting at St. John’s
Dolan/Kempf Wedding Rehearsal at St.
Dolan/Kempf Wedding at St. John’s
Theme for Next Sunday October
20 , 2019“Welcome
Home – The Lost Are Now Found”
John’s Sunday School
John’s Adult Bible Study
John’s Voter meeting
Nick Haarsch installation – Peace Green Lake
INTERCESSORY PRAYERS – For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: Ron
Blada, Liola Crown & son Terry, Agnes Dassow, Reinold Eckelberg, Harold
Fandrey, Lilah Farrell, Xzander Jahr, Chris Krause (Gordy and Linda’s son),
Shirley Krueger, Robert Lederer (Jackie and Jeanne Buchholz’ father), Delvin
Mittelsteadt, Mark and Peggy Russell (Elsa’s son and daughter in-law), Katie
Segrist (Pastor Gary & Orlene Johnson’s daughter), Doris Smith, Jennifer
Strauss, Shirley Wilkens – (added this week: Lilah Farrell)
– For the family of Russell
Gray, brother of St. John’s members Pam Hunter & Annette St. Onge, called
home on 10/6
– For Bernice Wegner who
celebrated her 70th birthday yesterday, 10/12
– For the family of our St.
John’s member, Karl Whitrock, called home on 10/6
– For our communicants at St. John’s
TODAY, OCTOBER 13THTHE BLESSING OF “HOME”
There’s something about home. Home is
where you relax after a long day of work. Home is where you can let your hair
down, because you know the people there will love you, even with your quirks
and flaws. Home is where you feel most safe, in a world which is anything but.
Jesus intended for his church to be more than a school where we learn about
God’s Word. He intended it to be more than a cathedral where we praise our
Creator. Jesus intended for church to be a home, a place where we gather with
Christian family and enjoy all the blessings of home. Today, we are celebrating
Welcome Home Sunday. We will talk
about the importance of having the support of a Christian community.
JOHN’S BREAKFAST Today,following our “Welcome Home” 10:00a.m. service at St. John’s,
Stacie Starke will be hosting breakfast in the lower level. What’s on the menu: Biscuits, biscuits
and more biscuits! Biscuits with sausage gravy, biscuits, sausage patty and
cheese, biscuits with jam/jelly, cheezy tater tots with eggs and breakfast
casseroles. See you there! Free will donations will be accepted. All donations
will be going towards St. John’s parking lot.
NEW MEMBER FELLOWSHIP On
Sunday October 27th, following the 8:00am service. Please take some time
to meet our newest members and enjoy donuts, juice and coffee.
BIRTHDAY In memory of Bernice Wegner’s
70th birthday, yesterday October 12, $70.00 was given for St. John’s
door fund. Thank you for your gift and birthday blessings to you!
MEETING The next Voters meeting will
be next Sunday, October 20th, following our 10:00am St. John’s service.
PEAK AT THE GOSPEL Men’s Bible Study will
continue this week Tuesday- 6:30pm – in St. John’s church basement.
FOR MARQUETTE COUNTY CARE & SHARE FOOD BANK St. John’s members are invited to share in the Sunday
School’s October service project: collecting 1) non-perishable food
items/paper products (Please be kind and watch expiration
dates!) and 2) new & gently used winter accessories: hats/caps/gloves/mittens/scarves/neckgaiters/etc.
Collection containers in the linkway. Deadline: End of October
FOR PRISON MINISTRY–YOU CAN HELP! Writing
messages on card fronts for the WELS Prison Ministry is something everyone can
do–men, women, teens, even grade school kids with parents or teachers
supervising. Pick up a packet or two of cards in the St. John’s linkway
and spend some time writing Bible verses or short inspirational messages
related to the type of card (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or Praying
for/Thinking of You cards). Instructions are included with each packet of
cards. Return the completed cards to the collection box by Thanksgiving Day,
November 28. Any questions, contact Linda Wachholz 608-369-2635.
SUNDAY BIBLE STUDY At, St. John’s, we begin to gather by 9am and are ready to go by
9:15am. “They” were watching Jesus. We need to be watching him too!
THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE GOSPEL IN THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH Adult Bible Study meets Monday at 7:30pm & Wednesday at 10am in
the St. John’s conference room.
NEW LIFE IN CHRIST Bible Information Class (leads to membership) is at 7:30pm in the St.
John’s conference room (alternate times may also be scheduled).
13-week session of Griefshare has begun. Sessions are held at 6:00p.m. in the
lower level of St. John’s. Join us for week #7, October 17. If you have any
questions or concerns, please call Mark Emond (608) 697-1600.
is ACH? Automated Clearing House is an electronic payments network use by
individuals, businesses, financial institutions and government organizations.
Interested in having your church offering automatically deposited? Stop by the
office or Information Room and fill out your application today.
“Meditations” WELS daily devotional booklets are available in the
church entry (many thanks to our generous members for donating!)
ONE-LINERS (from a WELS pastor): “God loves everyone, but
probably prefers ‘fruits of the spirit’ over religious nuts!”
St. John’s is looking for an individual(s) who would want to run the
Scholastic Book Fair. This has been a big success for our school and students
in the past and we would love to continue this. Call the office if you or someone
you know is interested!
JOIN US for THE FALL LWMS RALLY AT ZION-COLUMBUS – ALL ARE INVITED! MEN
& CHILDREN, TOO! ”The Light of the Gospel Continues Shining in the Desert” is the theme for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS) Fall
Rally on Saturday, October 19. Pastor Dennis & Nancy Meier share from the
125th Anniversary of
our Synod’s oldest mission field–Apacheland. 9:00 Registration begins with
displays, Send One Sister silent auction, & an LWMS treasure hunt! 10:30
Apache-flavored Bible Study! 11:15 Business meeting; 11:45 Luncheon; 1:00
Devotion & Speaker. Carpool Signup in the Information Room or call your
LWMS reporter Helen Stelter (297-7116) or Linda Wachholz (608-369-2635).
Babysitting will be available! FALL
SERVICE PROJECT for Peridot Our Savior Lutheran: 1) 4 items ONLY: crayons,
markers, pencils, & glue sticks. 2) monetary donations to help Peridot
purchase Scholastic books. Collection containers at each church. Your help is
appreciated! Collecting through today Sunday, October 13.
Circuit FALL RALLY
of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society
Saturday, October 19, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
at Zion-Columbus (Co-hosts St. John-Doylestown)
Speakers: Pastor Dennis & Nancy Meier
“The Light of the Gospel Continues Shining in the
of Apacheland Mission History)
Carpooling Signup in the Information Room at St.
John’s Altar Committee
Emm (comm) Darrell
Buchholz, Bob Ferber, Joe Heller,
In the days of Amos the prophet, the LORD God of Israel showed Amos a basket of ripe fruit. The LORD told him that just as the fruit was ripe, the time was ripe for his judgment on the people of Israel. Time was up.
The LORD‘s words should have disturbed every listener in Israel. He swore to never forget the evil they had done. His patience had run out. The end had come. Assyria would soon sweep them away.
Most of the people who listened to Amos’ message did not take him seriously. They despised him as a foreigner from the southern kingdom of Judah who had come to meddle in the affairs of the northern kingdom of Israel.
Within a generation, God carried out his threat. The kingdom of Israel collapsed.
The same God speaks to the world today through his ancient prophet whose words remain true for this generation. He speaks against the sinful excess and blatant idolatry in our lives. How can the Almighty forget the evil we have done?
Yet he makes a promise that repentant sinners love to hear. The God who says, “I will never forget anything they have done” has also declared, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). Through Jesus Christ, he has kept this promise. Although your God would have every right to remember your sins, he has chosen instead to put your sins on his Son who took them to the cross. For his Son’s sake, he remembers your sins no more.
Righteous God, forgive me, renew me, bless me, and keep me steadfast in your gracious love through Jesus Christ. Amen.
One of the classic tales in all of literature is Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo. The story is set in France in the early 1800s. The main character, Jean Valjean, has just gotten out of prison, and no one wants to help him in any way. Finally, he finds refuge with an elderly bishop, who happily gives him shelter and food. But Valjean’s old habits get the better of him, and during the night he fills a bag with the bishop’s silver and runs away.
The next morning, three policemen pound on the bishop’s door. They’ve caught Valjean with the bishop’s silver. They now have cause to lock him up for life. But the bishop responds in a surprising way. “So here you are!” he cries to Valjean. “I’m delighted to see you. Had you forgotten I gave you the candlesticks as well?”
The policemen are speechless. And so is Valjean. The officers have no choice but to release him and walk away. This single act of mercy spares him from a lifetime in prison. And it also changes his life.
Les Misérables, of course, is only a story. But God’s mercy for you and me in Jesus Christ is not. The apostle Paul openly confessed that, apart from Christ, he had been “a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man.” Then God’s mercy stepped in. By the power of the gospel, the Holy Spirit created within Paul the miracle of faith in Jesus as his Savior. That act of mercy spared Paul from an eternity of darkness. And it changed his whole outlook on life.
You and I can see ourselves in Jean Valjean. And we can see ourselves in Paul. Alone, we are lost. But God’s mercy has intervened. And God’s mercy is here because of what his Son has already done on our behalf to wash us clean.
The mercy of God. The pure, simple, sweet mercy of God in Jesus. Rather than make us speechless, may it make us sing his praise!
Heavenly Father, your mercy has rescued us from a life of darkness and despair. You have done this through faith in your Son. Thank you! Amen.
Our congregation will soon be observing a Welcome Home Sunday. We hope to have all of our members come together for a festive day of worship and encouragement in God’s Word. We also hope that those who might have strayed from God’s church will come back and experience God’s love and forgiveness with us, as well as the blessing of a Christian community.
As a way of preparing for Welcome Home Sunday, we recently studied Jesus’ parables in Luke, chapter 15. A keen observation that one of our members made was the importance of one.
In Jesus’ stories, one sheep out of ninety-nine was lost; one coin out of ten went missing; one son left home to disown his family and squander his wealth. But that one was worth going after. That one was worth searching for. That one was worth waiting for with eager anticipation.
Jesus tells us, “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
This means that when God leads you from unbelief to faith, from sin to repentance, from straying to returning, God and his angels rejoice over you! Your soul—as small and unimportant as it may feel at times in this big world—matters to God! Nothing brings God greater joy than to forgive your sins and welcome you home!
The importance of one also makes a difference as we think about others. In love, we want sinners to turn to the Lord in humble faith and receive his forgiveness. So we pray for them. We reach out to them. We invite them. How discouraging it can be when it seems like our work is wasted. Hours of care and prayer may show little or no outward results.
But God works in hearts through his Word. And, there is rejoicing over everyone who turns back to the Lord. So, do not lose heart. We who have been loved and found can boldly love and seek others and then rejoice over each one who comes home to their Savior.
Jesus, you rejoice over me. Give me your heart to rejoice over all who repent. Amen.
[Jesus told them this parable] “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10
Keys, cell phones, toys, computer files. We all lose things from time to time. How carefully we look for them may indicate how valuable they are to us. When I was eight or nine years old, my parents had recently bought me a new baseball glove. One day I couldn’t find it. I didn’t know where it was. My dad was not happy with me, mostly because I didn’t seem to care that I had lost my new glove and wasn’t too concerned about finding it. My attitude seemed to show that I didn’t value my lost glove.
A popular Christian hymn says, “I once was lost but now am found.” When Jesus told the story about a lost coin, he was comparing us to that lost coin. The disobedient hearts we inherited from our parents lead us to wander away from God. The Bible describes us as spiritually lost. Jesus could have just written us off. It was our fault, not his, that we were lost. But Jesus loved us more than that.
He went out of his way to find us. He came down from heaven “to seek and to save the lost.” He found us in our sin and saved us by taking our place under God’s judgment. And when our hearts lead us to keep running away from God and into sin, Jesus keeps seeking us.
In his Word, Jesus shows us how our sins offend God. Then, he shows us the forgiving love that brought him to earth to save us. With that two-fold message, he picks us up from the dust and draws us to himself, where he wants us to stay forever. And with his angels, he rejoices that we have been found and freed from sin and death. How much he loves us!
How much you love me, Lord, to seek me and find me whenever I’m lost. Thank you! Amen.