Translating God's Word for a new generation
Take the crown of thorns from his head. Remove the nails from His hands and feet. Erase the welts, gashes and deep, deep bruises. Subtract several days and hear the jubilant crowd shouting, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Greet the King who comes to be beaten down. Welcome this God of flesh and blood. He is beaten down for you. He gives His flesh and blood to you.
“Oh Lord, how shall I meet you?”
For I am one who beats you.
I am one who needs you,
beaten down for me
Like Grandma's meatloaf or Mom's apple pie, some stories from Scripture are just good home cooking. The story of the Prodigal Son bursts beyond the Christian church and is known around the globe as a story of redemption and restoration. This weekend, we return to Scripture's dinner table to feast on this lesson of grace--a lesson sure to leave us satisfied for a long time. Pastor Seidler is looking forward to preaching this "Oldie but Goodie."
In a world of security cameras and alarm systems, there are millions of ways to keep your property secure from intruders who would seek to cause trouble. Lest we think that we are protected only by human inventions, this Sunday in worship we are reminded of what the Lord God said to Ezekiel: “Son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 33:7). The entire house of God, which has been watched over by the prophets of old, is now under the authority and care of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. In grace, He has appointed the church to proclaim the Good News to the ends of the earth. Jesus, your ultimate watchman, guards and protects you from the threats of the evil thief who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Place yourself under the watchful eye and merciful care of this watchman today! Watch Him, hear Him, and receive Him as He serves you in His Father’s house.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, countless people saw Him. But not everyone came to see Him by faith for who He truly is: the blessed One who comes and saves them in the name of the Lord. People today often “see” Jesus from a safe distance, but they refuse to see Him for the Savior He truly is, and they reject the work He has done to make the world right with God. Today we seek to be different than the majority around us. We long to see Jesus up close and personal, receiving Him in faith and acknowledging with heart and voice the redeeming work of His death and resurrection. Seeing Him now through His Word and Supper, and believing in Him by grace, we look forward to the day when we shall see Him face to face in the glories of heaven, singing forever with all of God’s gathered children: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Lent is an intensified season of the church year where we journey with Jesus to the cross and empty tomb of Holy Week. The Gospel today flashes us back to those first very determined steps of the journey. He battles with Satan in the wilderness and wins. He battles all the way through the cross to emerge victorious from the tomb. Jesus upsets the applecart. Pastor Meggers shares the joys of this upset with these words from Romans as our theme this weekend, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The church calendar keeps us honest. While the last several weeks have been spent considering how to apply God’s Word in various areas of life, this weekend we return to the simple faith that Jesus is the core center of our history. This is a weekend filled with grace and the reassurance that God has not forgotten us, but takes us with Him wherever He goes, and goes with us wherever we journey. Pastor Seidler shares with us the message, “Jesus for Life’s Mountains and Plains.”
The lesson of “loving one’s enemies” is a familiar one in the Christian faith. Jesus certainly loved those who opposed him--all the way to the cross. This weekend, Pastor Seidler helps us address the antagonists and enemies in our lives--with faith, with love, and with hope. We’ll learn what makes for a real enemy as opposed to a mere antagonist, and how to deal with both. Pastor’s message, “Living in a World of Antagonists and Enemies,” provides light for the darkness and despair we so easily experience at the hands of other people.
Everyone has personality, and Jesus was no exception. Jesus spoke with authority. He exuded mercy. He took notice of people. He gave no evidence of fear. People were attracted to Him. But his sterling personality served a higher purpose. This weekend, Pastor Seidler confronts the personalities of our Concordia family (including his own!) with the call of God in our lives--a call to speak clearly a message that has power in itself. Luke 6:17-26 has a lot to say for those willing to move out of its way and let the Gospel lead.
Bob the Builder, of children’s cartoon fame, spent every episode building what at the beginning seemed impossible. As Christians, we are constantly tempted to believe that parts of our lives are irredeemable--unable to be fixed or restored by God’s grace. This weekend, Pastor Seidler destroys this thinking as together we watch Jesus call the first followers--and they wither before him. No worries, though--Jesus is Jesus for a reason in every season of our lives.
Christians believe in the reality of evil. As fantastic as it may sound to our 21st-century ears, the Bible makes it clear that evil exists and that it exists to overcome God’s goodness. This weekend, Pastor Seidler takes a deep dive into biblical teaching on demons, devils and all things wicked, based on Luke 4:31-44. We take up this topic because Scripture makes it clear that our struggle in life is “not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness of this dark world.” Buckle up--this is going to be a doozy.