Translating God's Word for a new generation


In modern politics, it is not uncommon for aspiring individuals to latch onto promising candidates and then to jockey with one another for power and influence. Some candidates even encourage such behavior, hoping to learn who will survive as the “greatest.” In our Gospel lesson this week, Jesus’ disciples ask, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” While the boldness of such a question may seem surprising, what is even more shocking is Jesus’ response. Jesus warns that those who do not become like little children will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and that the greatest in Heaven are those who become as humble as little children. Rather than giving an answer that encourages jockeying for power and influence by exalting ourselves, Jesus shifts the focus to our understanding of who we are, who God is, what He has done and what He will do for those He calls His Own. It is a shift that not only highlights our dependence and neediness, but also God’s great grace and love!

Labor Day weekend provides one more extended opportunity to rest from our labors. This weekend, our enjoyment of family and friends is enhanced by the opportunity to worship Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and be encouraged by His labor of love for the whole world. Seeing that labor of love, we in turn love others--family and friends with whom we gather this weekend, and every other one, besides!

This weekend in worship, Pastor Seidler shares an insightful message about the expected outcome of our Christian faith. Drawing on the Apostle Paul's call to the Roman Christians, we will learn what it means to be "living sacrifices" and the five kinds of sacrifice specifically called for by God from us. In all this talk about our personal sacrifices, we will rest safely, deeply, in the greatest sacrifice the world will ever know--that of Jesus, who traded His life for ours, so that we can be called sons and daughters of God!

These are crazy days in the world. North Korea. Charlottesville. Russia. Funerals. Cancers that scare us all to death. Kids going back to school or, worse(?), going away to school. This might be a good week to get some insight and encouragement at Concordia. Worship times at 8:30 and 10:00am Sunday, 5:00pm Saturday night. A little BE STILL time with our great Savior Jesus would do everybody some good!

With “big box” stores stacked high with big boxes, with popular sentiment that promotes “go BIG or go home,” there is not much room for “little.” This week, Pastor Meggers invites us to BE STILL a “little.” Faith like a mustard seed is little, but it is enough. Two fish are a little, but they were enough to feed thousands. Whether your faith is a “lot,” or seems but a “little,” hear Jesus invite you in Matthew 14, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage. I am here!” He is here and faith in Him is enough!

A master chef knows exactly the right ingredients for a perfect dish. Through his sermon, Pastor Scott Seidler leads us in a deeper look at the way Jesus fed thousands, while simultaneously providing his closest followers with an even more delicious meal of grace, challenge and gratitude! Join the Concordia family this weekend in a family table hosted by God Himself.

Christians confront matters of right and wrong every day. Some of that is personal ... “Should I do this or that?” Sometimes matters of right and wrong circle around us. Alternative lifestyles, life-beginning and life-ending decisions are big topics in our cultural conversation these days. This weekend, Pastor Seidler reinforces the middle ground God calls forth--the middle ground of wise and foolish. Like the color commentator to the play-by-play announcer on a football broadcast, wisdom adds color commentary to conversations about right and wrong.

When it comes to vacation, where do you find your rest? Are you a “planner” or do you boast a “come what may” attitude? Do you like to know each day’s schedule or do you simply want to start driving and see what happens? Our rest as Christians has its source and meaning in this cry to God, “Abba, Father.” This week, Pastor Meggers leads us to the Good News about this cry and the Spirit of God who assures us that we are children of God. In our Father we find rest in the mission!

Celebrating abilities is a hallmark, even a measuring stick of Summer. And, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game—showcasing the best of the best—is a prime example. In contrast, our Mission-cation text this week from Paul’s eighth chapter of the letter to the Romans could be called a “Declaration of Inabilities.” Jesus’ ability to keep the Law replaces our inability to do so! Pastor Meggers will shepherd us in the many opportunities for mission-cation living that are enabled in us by Christ who lives in us.

“Whatcha been doin’?”  Most of the time we can answer intelligently. Fact is, there’s more going on in us and by us that we are clueless about. This weekend, Pastor Seidler spends time challenging us to get a grip on what’s going on in our lives. If you feel like you’ve got everything under control, this weekend is an opportunity to take that life-management skill to a whole new level!