Sermon Theme: Here I Stand
We stand in the footsteps of Martin Luther 500 years later. We stand boldly, proclaiming the One who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. We stand boldly, renouncing the devil and all his works and all his ways. We stand, by the grace of God, steadfast and ready to suffer all rather than fall away. We do not stand on Luther, but we will gladly stand with him, firm on the testimony of the Holy Scriptures to confess the saving Gospel of Christ, our Good Shepherd, who died and rose, in whose name is forgiveness of sins for all people. Here we stand; we can do no other. God help us.
1 John 3:1-7
The Gospel of the Day
Heavenly Father, by the resurrection of Your Son You adopt all who believe in Him. Receive us as Your newborn children and nourish our faith by the pure spiritual milk of Your Word, that we may dwell in Your presence forever. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
In Person Service and also available Live Stream via Facebook or YouTube.
Last year at this time a dark cloud of a new virus hung over the world. No one, not even the experts were able to predict how long it would remain. We were told it was spread very easily and was resulting in many deaths. We were encouraged to avoid human contact as reports came in of overcrowded ICU units and shortages of staff. We asked, “How long O Lord?” At times it seemed as if the sun would never shine again as the number of deaths climbed daily. The virus touched close to home reminding us that it is no respecter of persons.
Last Easter was very subdued as POP joined the crowd of churches that scrambled to find ways to offer services virtually and offer spiritual care without physical contact. We can only imagine what it would have been like without today’s communication tools. While some have used the tools to separate and divide; many have used the tools to unite and offer hope.
Now the sun is beginning to shine through the cloud. We give thanks to God for vaccines, those who developed them and the many who served in extraordinary ways. Yet we exercise caution, for it appears that the cloud is not totally dispersed. As, we are able, to return to in person worship, we will still provide live streaming of our services and drive thru communion. It is evident in the greetings, singing, and visiting that the in person services have been well received. It is evident that we missed one another, after all we are a community.
I like to look for positives when dark clouds descend upon us. One positive is a renewed appreciation for one another. This pandemic has revealed the importance of health care workers, of grocery store workers, of those who deliver our packages, of those who wait on us, etc. Perhaps now it will be the new normal to say, “Thank you for your service.”
Easter is a reminder that the “Son” does break through the dark clouds that come to us. The despair of the followers of Jesus was replaced with the sight of the risen Lord. By faith we imagine what they must have felt like, perhaps even giddy. By faith, our despair over things like the pandemic and even the threat of the grave is brightened with the presence and promises of the risen Lord. And the sun shines even brighter as we can be together in worship, to serve, to encourage and just enjoy the company of one another.
Together we proclaim the living Christ and live in peace.
Please see the attached for ideas, maybe your family could participate with “Family Friday”.