St. Johns News

The Perfect Servant – April 18, 2019

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.”
John 13:3-4

The Perfect Servant


Daily Devotion – April 18, 2019

Devotion based on John 13:3-4

See series: Devotions

“If I was all-powerful, what would I do?” Have you asked yourself that question? Just try to imagine the possibilities.

Well, Jesus was all-powerful. And, on Thursday night of Holy Week, what did he do with that power? He used it to wash his disciples’ feet. Washing feet was the job for the most menial servant. It was an unpleasant job. In Jesus’ day, people walked on roads which were dusty or muddy. And, remember that animals also traveled on those roads, leaving behind their, well, you know. So foot-washing was a nasty job!

Jesus was willing to do that nasty job. Even though he is all-powerful, he chose to set aside his power and his rights so he could serve.

As Jesus’ followers, he calls on us to have the same servant-like attitude. He calls on us to put the needs of others before our own—the needs of our spouse, our children, our parents, our friends, our co-workers.

And when we fail, Jesus tells us to look to him for forgiveness. After all, he promises to give his followers credit for his perfectly loving life. And, in exchange, he took our perfectly sinful lives to the cross. So now, in God’s eyes, we are perfectly loving servants.

Let’s live that way. May Jesus’ willingness to serve us perfectly move us to serve others just as willingly and selflessly.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank You for serving me! Fill my heart with gratitude and open my eyes to opportunities to serve others this day, even as you served me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Holy Wednesday – April 17, 2019

NO BIBLE READING FOR TODAY

Holy Wednesday


Daily Devotion – April 17, 2019

Devotion based on Holy Wednesday

See series: Devotions

Did you notice something missing? Yes—there is no Bible reading for today’s devotion. Why?

Well, because we are walking through Holy Week, considering some of the things Jesus said and did on each of the days. What do we know about Wednesday? Nothing.

Yes, God chose to record absolutely nothing that happened on Holy Wednesday. Not a word.

“BUT…BUT!” we sputter, “this is the most important week of all time! Surely there were interesting things said or done on that day!”

Probably. But God knew that we didn’t need to know any of it. And so, he didn’t tell us.

This reminds us of an important truth: While the Bible gives us all that we need to know to get to heaven, it doesn’t tell us all that we would like to know. There are many things that God chose not to tell us: when the angels were created, when the Last Day will be, exactly what heaven will be like . . . and what happened on Wednesday of Holy Week.

Hopefully, knowing that God hasn’t told us all we’d like to know will lead us to treasure, even more, the things which God has told us! If God put it into the Bible, it means He thought it was really important for us. If it’s in the Bible, it’s a treasure from God.

One of my favorite professors used this illustration: “When you read the Bible, imagine that at the top of the page it says, Dear ____ (fill in your name). Then comes the message of the page, and at the bottom it’s signed, ‘Love, God.’ And of course it’s signed in red—the blood of Jesus. For on each page of the Bible God is speaking directly to you, telling you about how much he loves you, pointing you somehow, some way to Jesus and the salvation which he won for you.”

So, yes, we know nothing of what happened on Wednesday of Holy Week. That’s okay. In fact, we pray that it leads us to treasure all the more the wonderful things God has told us!

Prayer:
O Savior, lead me to treasure all that you have told me in your Word, that I might cling to you all of my life. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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God is in Control – April 16, 2019

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”
Matthew 26:1-5

God is in Control


Daily Devotion – April 16, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 26:1-5

See series: Devotions

Are you a controller? It seems that most people like to be in control of the situations around them, or at least think they are in control.

On Tuesday of Holy Week the chief priests and elders of the people thought they were in control. They schemed to arrest Jesus and kill him. They would wait until after the Passover festival. But, eventually, they were sure, they would get rid of him.

But who was really in control? It wasn’t the chief priests and elders. It was Jesus! Even as the chief priests and elders made their plans to arrest and kill Jesus after the Passover, Jesus was telling his disciples that it would happen during the Passover. Who was in charge? Jesus was!

And so he remains in charge today. True, we often question his control and even fight against his control. But, thankfully, God’s control doesn’t depend on how well we follow him. God remains in control whether we willingly bow to his control or fight tooth and nail against it.

Knowing that Jesus was in control of the Holy Week events makes them all the more beautiful, because it reminds us that he was doing all this willingly, because he loved us! Thank God that Jesus was in control then, and that he is still in control today.

Prayer:
O Savior, forgive me for questioning your control. Assure me that you are ruling all things for the good of all of your people, including me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Withered Fig Tree – April 15, 2019

In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
Mark 11:20-21

A Withered Fig Tree


Daily Devotion – April 15, 2019

Devotion based on Mark 11:20-21

See series: Devotions

During this Holy Week, we are going to “walk” with Jesus in our daily devotions. Each day we will consider something Jesus said or did on that day of Holy Week. So, today’s event took place on Monday. The day before, Jesus had been hungry, and he looked for figs on a particular fig tree. Finding none, Jesus had said, “May you never bear fruit again.” Only one day later, the fig tree was withered!

Jesus was using the fig tree to illustrate an important, and sobering, reality. Those who refuse to live for the Lord, who fail to produce spiritual fruit, will eventually fall under his judgment.

How do we avoid falling under that judgment? Jesus’ response to Peter helps us. He told Peter to, “Have faith in God.” In other words, this event was meant to cement and encourage trust in the hearts of the disciples. How?

They heard Jesus speak. Then, they saw that his words came true.

And so it will always be! When Jesus speaks, you can be sure that it will happen. When he says, “God so loved the world,” you can be sure it’s true. When he says that baptism saves, you can be sure it’s true! When he says that he’s preparing a place for you in heaven, you can be sure it’s true! When he says that he is with you always, you can be sure it’s true.

“But, I can’t (always) see it! I can’t always tell it’s happening!” True, we can’t always see that Jesus is keeping his Word. But, when we remember how the fig tree on the road to Jerusalem withered, just as Jesus said, we can be sure everything else will happen just as he said.

Prayer:
O Savior, open my ears to hear your Words. Then convince my heart that Your promises are true! Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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BULLETIN- Palm Sunday- April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday 2019

April 14, 2019

St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church

Montello, WI

St. John’s  Ev. Lutheran Church 313 East Montello St. Montello, WI 53949 Emmanuel  Ev. Lutheran Church W1568 Evergreen Lane Montello, WI 53949    

XW E L C O M E    T O    O U R    C H U R C H X We extend a warm welcome to everyone today, especially our visitors.  In the bulletin you’ll find an outline of today’s service, a calendar of events and other bits of information.  In the red hymn book you’ll find the songs we sing and the order of service that we follow. If you would like a large print hymnal or bulletin please ask one of our ushers and they will gladly assist you.  Restrooms and nursery area are located the parish hall at Emmanuel and in the lower level and link-way at St. John’s.  It’s nice to have you visit today. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more, as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Welcome to God’s house!  May God bless our worship together.  
  Guest Pastor John Dolan  
608.297.2866 www.stjohnsmontello.org Like us on Facebook
G O D ’ S     W O R D    F O R     T O D A Y Jesus Is Our King and Lord of All – Palm Sunday gets its name from the palm branches that people spread to make a path of victory for Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. There he would gain a victory they did not expect. The victory over sin and death, won for us by his own suffering and death. On Palm Sunday, the crowd hailed Jesus as king. Yet Jesus cried on his way down the Mount of Olives on the donkey, because Jerusalem did not recognize God’s coming to them. Bottom line: Jesus is more than the crowds knew. He is Lord of all. He is King of the world. He wore a crown of thorns for us and for all people. Praise his name forever!

 

Behold Your King!

OPENING HYMN  131 stanzas 1 – 3                                                    All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Please Stand

CALL TO WORSHIP

P:  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God!

C:  Hosanna in the highest.

P:  Lift up your head, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

C:  That the King of glory may come in!

P:  Who is the King of glory?

C:  The Lord of hosts is the King of glory!

INVOCATION

P:      In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.

C:     Amen

CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION

P:       As we follow Jesus down the road, through the gate and into the holy city of Jerusalem, we are reminded that it is our sin that has put him on this path.

C:       Most merciful God, you sent your one and only Son Jesus to pay the price for our sin.  Instead of glorifying him, we glorify ourselves through our selfishness and the idols we create and worship.  Instead of walking with Jesus, we walk away from him.  We are sinful in thought, word, and deed.  By our evil action and inaction, we lock the door to the future.  But by his life, death, and resurrection Jesus opens it again for us.  Forgive us, Lord.  Renew us and restore us that we would live to your glory, love you, and serve our neighbor.

P:       The very purpose of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem was to make his way to the sorrow, pain, and suffering of the cross.  By his perfect life and death your sins have been forgiven and you have been redeemed.  Jesus flings wide open the door to eternal life for you.  Therefore, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C:     Amen

PRAYER OF THE DAY

P:       We praise you, O God, for the great acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son, Jesus Christ.  As he was acclaimed by those who scattered their garments and branches of palm in his path, so may we always hail him as our King and follow him with perfect confidence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.

C:     Amen

Be Seated

CHOIR ANTHEM                No Tramp of Soldiers’ Marching Feet (CWS 716)

XT H E   W O R D X

FIRST LESSON                                                                                                                              Zechariah 9:9-10

9Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

PSALM OF THE DAY  24                                                                                                                          page 73

We will sing the refrain and read the verse in unison.

Refrain

The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it,*

the world, and all who live in it;

for he founded it upon the seas*

and established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?*

Who may stand in his holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,*

he will receive blessing from God his Savior.

Refrain

Lift up your heads, O you gates;

be lifted up, you ancient doors,*

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?*

The LORD strong and mighty,

the LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;

lift them up, you ancient doors,*

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory?*

The LORD Almighty—he is the King of glory.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son*

and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning,*

is now, and will be forever. Amen.

SECOND LESSON                                                                                                                      Philippians 2:5-11

5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.

VERSE OF THE DAY

P:    The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  1 John 12:23

Please Stand

THE PALM SUNDAY GOSPEL                                                                                                            Matthew 21:1-11

1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
    gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Be Seated

HYMN OF THE DAY 133                                                                             Ride On, Ride On in Majesty

SERMON ON THE PALM SUNDAY GOSPEL                                                                        Matthew 21:1-11

Three Words of Truth:  “Save Us Now!”

HYMN RESPONSE 322                                                                       On What Has Now Been Sown

OFFERING & WELS CONNECTION DVD

During offering, please greet one another and sign the worship register in each pew.

XP R A Y E R S X

Please Stand

PRAYER

P:       O God, our heavenly Father, we come before you with thanksgiving and joy.  In your great mercy, you sent your one and only Son—a King—to share our humanity and to unveil the mystery of your saving will from all eternity. 

O Lord Jesus Christ, Lamb of God, in you shines the light of life, yet you became obedient to death, even death on a cross.  Lead us to see the depth of your love and the fullness of your forgiveness.

O Holy Spirit, giver of life, grant to your Church strength of purpose in your holy service, put the song of salvation on our lips, and clothe us with the garments of praise that with joy we may declare: “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

C:      Amen

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Be Seated

XS E R V I C E    O F    T H E    S A C R A M E N T X

The Order for Holy Communion, pages 21 – 25 in front part of the hymnal

At St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church we practice closed Communion. If you are a guest at worship today and interested in receiving the Lord’s Supper, please speak with the pastor prior to the service.

DISTRIBUTION HYMN 311                                                      Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness

BLESSING

P:       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 you peace.

C:     Amen

Be Seated

CLOSING HYMN 323                                                                                      Almighty Father, Bless the Word

XAnnouncements X

Activities for the week of  April 14-April 20
Sun.   PALM SUNDAY
Mon. 6:30 P.M. Choir at St. John’s
  7:30 P.M. Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
Tues.    
Wed. 8:00 A.M. St. John’s School Chapel
  10:00 A.M. Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
  3:45 P.M. Public School Teen Confirmation Class at St. John’s
    NO ST. JOHN’S WORSHIP
Thurs.   MAUNDY THURSDAY
  8:00 A.M. St. John’s School Teen Confirmation
  6:00 P.M. Griefshare (11th of 13 weeks) in St. John’s lower level
  7:00 P.M. Emmanuel Worship with communion
Fri.   GOOD FRIDAY
1:00 P.M. St. John’s Worship with communion
    NO ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL/LITTLE LAMBS
Sat.      
Theme for Next Sunday April 21, 2019 Easter Sunday: “Joy in the Risen Lord!”
6:00 A.M. Sunrise St. John’s Worship
8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
9:00 A.M. Emmanuel Easter Breakfast in the parish hall
10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship
  NO SUNDAY SCHOOL
  NO BIBLE INFORMATION CLASS
  NO ADULT BIBLE STUDY

MEMORIALS From friends and family of Frieda Otto:  Emmanuel has received $575.00 designated for the new Hymnal Project, and $10.00 for the New Roof Project. Thank you!

PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL of your fellow worshipers preparing their hearts for worship. If you are visiting with others, please keep your voices down.  Thank you!

EMMANUEL EASTER BREAKFAST April 21 following the 8:00 AM Easter service, everyone is invited  (members, friends and guests) for pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausages, ham and fruit.  A Freewill Offering will be taken for Emmanuel’s Education Fund.  The breakfast is supported by a Thrivent Action Team Project.  Join us for food and fellowship in the Parish Hall. 

USHER AND GREETER SCHEDULE If you are signed up to be a St. John’s usher and/or greeter, please pick up your April-May hard copy in St. John’s Information Room. Schedules will be available for pick up every 2 months.

NEW ACTS BIBLE STUDY After completing our Study of Matthew recently, our Monday 7:30pm & Wednesday 10am Adult Bible Class members & I began our study of the book of Acts making use of the Acts DVD–“the only dramatization using the actual scriptures…word for word from the New International Version.”  Join us in the SJ conference room!  

NEW MEMBERSHIP CLASS begins in 2 weeks, Sunday 4/28 11:15am at St. John’s. Join us in the link-way conference room for an hour or so after the 10am SJ worship service.

EASTER FOR KIDS COORDINATOR I am looking for someone who would be willing to take the lead in the future. If you would be interested, please call me 608-369-2635. Thank you! –Linda Wachholz

CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS member):  “You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him/her.”

“Exercise daily!  Run from the devil.  Walk with the Lord.”

EASTER FOR KIDS Many thanks to the children who attended yesterday’s E4K.  And thanks to all those adults that made it happen.  “Let the little children come to me.” (Mark 10:14)

JOINT WORSHIP COMMITTEE UPDATE

Worship the Lord – the Purpose of Worship

   If you ask members about the reason why we worship, the various answers include “praising God, giving thanks, and singing and praying together.” It is true that all these things happen during worship, but are they really the purpose of worship?

   As Lutherans, we know that we “cannot by our own thinking or choosing believe in Jesus Christ or come to him.” Faith, forgiveness, and the sacraments are all received.  Worship is primarily God serving his people with Word and Sacrament. Simply put, God gives, we receive. Christian worship enables people to receive the riches of Christ.

   What does Christian worship look like? Well, that depends!  In churches it includes hymns and liturgies, lessons and creeds. In school it can include Bible-based action songs and murals on the walls. Understanding worship’s purpose will help us understand our various worship practices.

   “But I want to feel closer to God. I need emotion.” It’s true, we often feel emotion when we worship. (O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder…” CW 256:1) These human emotions, however, are not the purpose of worship. Rather, they spring from the heart of worship: the Gospel.

    It is hard to find the right balance of church doctrine and expressive worship.  In our defense of solid doctrine, it is easy to forget that God created us with human emotions. If we want more expressive worship, it becomes easy to downplay the importance of correct teaching.

    If worship is my primary opportunity to receive the riches of Christ and to proclaim the Gospel to my neighbor, then, in Christian love, I need to put aside my personal preferences and focus on my neighbor’s interests above my own.

   Satan knows that if he can confuse the purpose of worship, he will get us to take our focus off of Christ and to place it on our emotion or our reaction to Christ. Instead of a purpose-driven church, or a mission- minded church, let us strive to be a Christ-centered church! Everything else flows from there.

   We gather in worship for a very specific purpose; to receive the riches of Christ! To God be the glory!

(Excerpts from “Worship the Lord” No. 36,”Worship is Really Purpose-Driven” by Aaron Christie)

Attendance Emmanuel St. John’s
4-7                                 4-10 83                                      55 108                                       54
St. John’s Altar Committee April 2019 Diane Eisermann & Delores Cotte

St. John’s Greeter Schedule

April 14 Susan Brown & Kathy North
April 21 Kay Maass & LuAnn Zieman
April 28 Ciara Neuhauser & Jennie Utke
May 5 Phyllis Farrell & Pat Henning
May 12 Jim & Diane Eisermann
May 19 Wayne & Marilyn Riemer
May 26 Aaron Kendall & Christopher Smith
Usher Schedule

 

April 14                              E (with communion) SJ Don Stelter, Warren Buchholz, Brian Ninnemann Don Smith; Chief, Mark Emond, Kevin Kaul, Scott Ritz, Ken Borzick
April 18        Maundy Thurs. 7:00pm   E   Darrell Buchholz, Don Stelter, Gary Wegner
April 19             Good Friday             1:00pm (with comm.) SJ   Kenon Smith; Chief, Ben Emond, Thomas Wojtalewicz, James Henke, Paul Van Treeck
April 21                   Easter     E Sunrise 6:00am   SJ   10:00am  SJ                                               Brian Ninnemann, Bob Ferber, Paul Dahlke Cal Kapp; Chief, Martin Schmanke, Lee Ollendorf, Aaron Kendall, Chuck Boetcher James Wachholz; Chief, Jim Eisermann, Corey Kaul, Jerre Duerr, Robin Smith
April 28                              E (with communion) SJ Darrell Buchholz, Jim Stuempges, Joe Heller Jack Yates; Chief, Del Henke, Joe Zauner, Gordon Krause, Richard Freitag
May 5    (with communion) E   SJ DuWayne Sommerfeld, Noah Buchholz, Gary Wegner, Darrell Buchholz (comm. assist.) Don Smith; Chief, Gerhardt Voigt, Mitch Simon, Karl Whitrock, Matt Borzick
May 12                                 E  (with communion) SJ Wayne Stelter, Bruce Stelter, Brian Ninnemann Kenon Smith; Chief, Glen Bubolz, Al Rosenthal, Christopher Smith, Calvin Wojtalewicz
May 19                                 E SJ Lucas Stelter, Paul Wuerch, Paul Dahlke Cal Kapp; Chief, Zeb Zuehls, Mark Emond, Kevin Kaul, Scott Ritz
May 26                                 E  (with communion) SJ Don Stelter, Glenn Buchholz, Joe Heller James Wachholz; Chief, Ken Borzick, Ben Emond, Thomas Wojtalewicz, James Henke

Holy Week Worship

4/14 Palm Sunday 8am/10am at Emm/SJ

4/17 NO Wednesday 6:30pm Service

4/18 Maundy Thursday 7pm at Emm with communion

4/19 Good Friday 1pm at SJ with communion

4/21 Easter 6am/10am at SJ & 8am at Emm

●●● Welcome To Our Visitors! Please Sign Our Guest Register Find & Like us on Facebook Visit our website link:  www.stjohnsmontello.org Pastor Peter Zietlow: (608) 408-7830 E-mail: zietlowPL6@hotmail.com Little Lambs Director & Teacher Sara Borck: (858) 731-7919 K & 1st Grade Teacher Cassie Doering: (920) 723-8986 2nd-4th Grade Teacher Karin Stellick: (920) 342-3689 Lead & 5th-8th Grade Teacher Rachel Naumann: (847) 913-2135 Church & School Secretary Ciara Neuhauser: (608) 297-2866 Altar Ladies Elaine Kelm: (920) 344-0025 & Carolyn Rosenthal: 589-5036 Church & School Mail: 313 E Montello St, Montello, WI 53949  Church & School E-mail: scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org ●●●

Expectations versus Reality – April 14, 2019

As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Luke 19:36-38

Expectations versus Reality


Daily Devotion – April 14, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 19:36-38

See series: Devotions

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the crowds were expecting a king. They lined the streets hoping to see a mighty monarch. They waved palm branches and put their cloaks on the road seeking to honor an approaching regent. They shouted their praises and proclaimed their loyalty wanting to welcome a royal benefactor. But what the people expected and what they eventually saw were two different things. Jesus had not come to conquer. He had come to be crucified.

The people in Jerusalem were disappointed because Jesus wasn’t the king they were expecting. Too often I experience the same feeling. The Bible clearly teaches who Jesus is and what he came to accomplish. Still, I am tempted to make Jesus conform to my expectations. I want him to fulfill my whims and desires. I want him to bend and conform to my will.

Thankfully, that is not who Jesus is nor what he came to do. He came to fight for me when I was powerless against sin. He came to release me when I was bound and imprisoned by sin. He came to die so that I might live. Thank you, Jesus, for being far more than I could have ever expected.

Prayer:
O precious Jesus, as you entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, you established your rule and power. Give me the strength of faith to see you as you are. Free me from my faulty expectations. Fill me with the confidence to acknowledge you as my Lord and Savior, my Redeemer and King. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Changed Hearts – April 13, 2019

The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
Luke 20:19

Changed Hearts


Daily Devotion – April 13, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 20:19

See series: Devotions

It is strange and sad that the very people who should have rejoiced the most in Jesus’ coming were the ones who became his bitterest enemies. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day sought to silence him. The hardness of their hearts became even more apparent after Jesus used a parable to uncover their unfaithfulness to God. The only thing which prevented them from arresting Jesus was the crowd of people who listened attentively.

Sadly, like those religious leaders, we do not always want to listen to what Jesus has to say. We don’t always appreciate the guilt of our sin being uncovered. There is a part of us that bristles with anger at his accusations. We want to silence Jesus’ criticism and correction.

While we don’t always like the truth, we need to hear it. We need to understand we are sinners and recognize that, without Jesus, we would be under God’s just judgment. Only when we recognize these things are, we ready to hear the good news of his forgiveness.

And when we do, this precious message of God’s undeserved love in Jesus breaks through the hardness of our hearts and brings us to trust in him. This precious message of God’s undeserved love in Jesus leads us to rejoice in his will and follow it in our lives. What a wonderful change of heart!

Prayer:
O gracious Lord, I thank you for breaking through the hardness of my heart and bringing me to the joy of knowing you and your Son. Continue to keep my heart as your dwelling place until I join you in heaven. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Reach for the Finish Line – April 12, 2019

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Reach for the Finish Line


Daily Devotion – April 12, 2019

Devotion based on Philippians 3:13-14

See series: Devotions

I loved to watch the Summer Olympics when I was growing up. The track and field events were of special interest. I couldn’t wait to see how far Carl Lewis would leap in the long jump and how fast the sprinters would finish the 100-meter dash. It was especially exciting when it was a close race and the sprinters would stretch forward as far as they could, trying to be the first to cross the line.

That’s the picture I have in my mind when I read these verses from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Like a good sprinter, Paul lived his life of faith eagerly stretching for the finish line. He couldn’t wait to finish the race and find eternal life with Jesus.

Do you live your faith with the same kind of eagerness and effort? If you are like me, the answer is: not always. This world has a way of weighing us down. The pressures, worries, and anxieties of this world slow our pace. Temptations trip us up and lead us off track. Our life of faith can be exhausting, especially when we take our eyes off of Jesus.

God’s Word encourages us to focus on the prize—to keep our eyes on the wonderful heaven that Jesus has prepared for us. He promises to give his followers an eternity of perfect peace and rest—a place with no pain, sorrow, or fear, a place full of joy, glory, and praise, a place where we will never grow weary or weighed down. It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

When life gets you down, keep your eyes on Jesus and reach for the finish line.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, life in this sinful world can be so exhausting. Help me to keep my eyes on the heavenly goal. Fill me with your love that I may always stretch for the finish line. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Forget What is Behind – April 11, 2019

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Forget What is Behind


Daily Devotion – April 11, 2019

Devotion based on Philippians 3:13-14

See series: Devotions

I loved going to summer camp when I was a kid. We had so much fun outdoors playing all kinds of games and sports. One summer, we spent much of our time playing football. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The problem was that there were several trees between the cabins where we were playing. During one particular game I ran out for a pass and was looking back at the quarterback. I didn’t turn around quickly enough and I ran smack into a tree. It is not a good idea to look backwards when you are running.

The same holds true in our lives of faith. If we are going to live our lives for Jesus, we can’t be looking back. This can only cause us to lose direction and get us into trouble. However, that is easier said than done. It is so easy for us to look back either in pride or regret. At times we look back in pride and admire all the wonderful things we have done. At other times we look back and despair over how terrible our sins are, and we are filled with guilt and regret. Either way, we are prevented from focusing on the goal.

Rather than look behind, God’s Word encourages us to keep our eyes ahead and focus on our Savior, Jesus. He lived, died, and rose again to take all our sins away and to give us the free gift of eternal life in heaven. Our past accomplishments cannot save us, and our past sins have been washed away in the blood of Jesus. So, forget what is behind and focus on the heavenly goal that Jesus has won for you!

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for winning heaven for me. Help me to forget what is behind and to look forward to what is ahead. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Quality Relationships – April 10, 2019

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10

Quality Relationships


Daily Devotion – April 10, 2019

Devotion based on Philippians 3:10

See series: Devotions

This digital age we live in has certainly impacted our lives both in positive and negative ways. Nearly every day, it seems, a new article is published about either the benefits or evils of social media and the internet. For example, due to the use of social media, people have fewer good friends than they used to. Instead, they have more people in their lives that might qualify as “acquaintances.” They may know more people but their relationships with people are not as deep as they once were.

Have you noticed a similar trend in your spiritual life? Perhaps we are so busy that our connection to Jesus is not as strong as it once was. We so easily allow other areas of our lives to crowd out our time with Jesus. Or maybe we have convinced ourselves that we only need a casual connection to Jesus. In other words, he’s good to have around in a tight spot, but we don’t need him overly involved in our lives. This is a dangerous approach to take.

St. Paul’s words in Philippians 3:10 encourage us to be more than just acquainted with Jesus. Did you notice Paul’s desire to learn more about and grow closer to Christ? He says: “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10). Paul had a desire to continue growing in his faith. He knew that Jesus is the only way to heaven and because he wanted heaven so much, Paul strove to learn more and more about him. Paul’s goal was eternal life.

As you and I get to know Jesus better in his Word, he will help us reach that goal as well.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, so many things in life threaten to get in the way of my relationship to you. Through your Word, help me to know you more and more each day. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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