Devotion and Readings April 8

jesus-anointed-at-bethany

Bible Readings and Devotion for April 8, 2020

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

Matthew 26:1-16

Luke 20:9-19

Psalm 90

Psalm 91

Habakkuk 1

Devotion for April 8, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

Here in the midst of Holy Week (Palm Sunday through the Resurrection of our Lord/Easter) we are remembering various things that happened that week. Later this week we will focus on the Three Holy Days, the Holy Triduum, of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil of Easter/Paschal Vigil.

Today we read from Matthew 26 about the small reaffirmation of Jesus’ Passion Prediction, and we also hear the account of the Anointing at Bethany.  Each of these events points to the central action of Jesus for the world, for us.  These point to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sin.

First, verse 2, Jesus notes, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”  This statement is a small version of the three major statements our Lord makes earlier in the book.  These statements, known as “Passion Predictions” are in these three passages:

Matthew 16:21

Matthew 17:22-23

Matthew 20:17-20

The term “passion” in this context means, “to suffer.” The term comes to modern English from Latin (“pati,” meaning “to suffer”), into late Latin, into Old French, and into Middle English.  So, the “pati” becomes for us, “passion”.  These are predictions of his suffering for us. It is important to note that in each of these three main Passion Predictions, Jesus notes his suffering, death, and very importantly, his rising from the dead. His followers didn’t like this idea that he would die.  They missed that he would also be raised from the dead.

The other scene we have from Matthew 26 is the Anointing at Bethany.  The woman uses a costly ointment to show her loving respect for Jesus.  Jesus notes the following about what she is doing, “By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial.”  The action points to what is about to happen to Jesus.  He is going to die for us on the cross.  Just as with the Passion Predictions, Jesus knows what his future holds for him. Our Lord is all about fulfilling his purpose for walking the earth.  Everything he has done is leading up to this.

The scriptures all lead up to Jesus.  The ministry of Jesus leads up to the cross of Jesus.  The resurrection of Jesus is even more significant because it follows Jesus’ death on the cross. As we remember Jesus in the Holy Communion we look back to the death of Jesus on the cross.  Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”  In our lives and in the church we point to Jesus’ death on the cross as we use the symbol of the Cross for our Christian faith.  Our lives are founded in the cross, and our lives have meaning because of the crucifixion of Jesus.

 

A note of interest: This passage also includes one of my favorite statements in scripture.  Jesus so appreciates this caring action by this woman that he tells his listeners to remember this incident.  He says, “Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”  They did remember this, and it has been told to the world for the past 2000 years.  This same thing will be told for the foreseeable future.  It was a bit like a lecture when the teacher notes, “Write this down,” and then gives the listeners what to write.

 

Prayer

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: our life begins and ends in you.  Help us to see the central placed which the death of Jesus holds in our lives.  Guide us to live to the praise of your glory which is shown in the crucifixion.  We pray this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

 

Devotion and Readings April 7

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Bible Readings and Devotion for April 7, 2020

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

Matthew 25:1-13

John 12:42-50

Psalm 89

Lamentations 5

 

 

 

Devotion for April 7, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

Sadly, I have observed of a wide variety of approaches to telling and teaching God’s Word.  Most are kind and reasonable and uplifting.  A few I have encountered have seemed to delight in seeing other people suffer under judgment.  A very few have event laughed in delight that they understand that a certain person or group of persons, other than themselves, are all “going to hell.”

I do not see anything in God’s Word that delights in the death of sinners.  And yes, I have read all of the Bible more than once.  With all things of Biblical interpretation, we need to see what Jesus and the Apostles teach about this.  In today’s reading from John chapter 12 we have Jesus speaking in Holy Week.  This is right before the scene of the Last Supper and the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus.  Our Lord notes the following as part of this speech, verse 47: “I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” He does not affirm disregard of God’s Word.  Rather, he announces that he has come to bring forgive and to bring life to sinful humanity.  Even when we disregard his Word, the Lord still seeks to bring us back to connection with him.

The idea that Jesus came to bring life and forgiveness and love to sinners is shown over and over in God’s Word.  Here are some examples of Jesus’ message on this from John’s Gospel, the same one from which our reading came from for today.

 

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”  John 3:16-17

 

In speaking to the woman caught in adultery, ““Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”  John 8:11b

 

When the Apostle and Evangelist John tells the purpose of his Gospel Book he notes, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.”  John 20:30-31

 

In the writings of St. Paul we read the following from 1 Timothy 2:3-4: “This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

 

In today’s reading from Lamentations chapter 5 we have the following:  Lamentations 5:21-22  “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old—unless you have utterly rejected us, and are angry with us beyond measure.”  This is a pondering request for mercy from God.

The entire book of Lamentations is a sad poem of regret for the destruction of Jerusalem.  The prophet Jeremiah is pleading with the LORD asking that those who have sinned and lost so much might be restored to fellowship with the LORD.  In a powerful way, this closing statement points to the mercy and loving action of Jesus Christ as noted earlier in today’s devotion.  It is a statement about God’s overarching will that we humans be restored to our connection with our creator.  There is no delight by God in the condemnation of sinners.  With God’s Holy Spirit in our lives, may we also delight whenever even one sinner is restored to the Lord.

Prayer

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: we thank you for your mercy for each one of us.  Stir us to love our neighbors who do not yet understand what you have done for humanity.  Enliven our faith, and help us to rejoice in the life you bring. We pray this in Jesus’ holy name.  Amen.

 

Devotion and Readings April 6

Jerusalem Temple model

Photo of model of Jerusalem Temple in the time of Jesus: By Berthold Werner – Own work, Public Domain

Bible Readings and Devotion for April 6, 2020

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

Matthew 21:18-22

John 12:37-41

Psalm 86

Psalm 87

Psalm 88

Lamentations 4

 

Devotion for April 6, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

In today’s reading from Psalm 87 we hear about the delight of the Lord for Zion.  This is Jerusalem.  In this, the psalmist is also delighting personally in the Holy City.  Jerusalem was the hub, the centerpiece, the prime location, for life, government, identity, and faith for the people of Israel, and eventually the Jews.  During the time of the Kings of Israel and Judah the Temple was in the city.  When it was rebuilt after the exile in Babylon (500s BC), and up to the time of Jesus (~AD 30), there was a temple in the city.  It was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.

The Temple was the main place of worship for the Israelites and Jews.  It was the place where the LORD dwelt among the people.  It was the place where the appointed sacrifices for the people were made.  The priests of the Temple helped the people make connection with the LORD their God. The priests, Levites, and the people observed the Law in their actions at the Temple.  The people delighted in their life with God at the Temple.

All of these things change when Jesus does his greatest work for us on the cross.  When Jesus suffers and dies for us, he replaces the three things of the Temple.  He also gives us a new perspective on the Old Testament Law.  Let’s look at these four points:

1) Jesus becomes the once and for all sacrifice. Hebrews 10:1-13

2) Jesus lives his role as the Great High Priest. Hebrews 4:14-16

3) Jesus becomes the Temple, the place where God and humanity meet.

We read in John 1:51, which reads, “51 And (Jesus) said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.””  This passage is about the connection between the Temple and the “stairway to heaven” as noted in Genesis 28:10-12 where we read, “10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”  There was a tradition noting that the stone Jacob used as a pillow eventually became part of the foundation of the Temple in Jerusalem.  The place where the “angels of God were ascending and descending” was now the Temple.  When Jesus says that he, the Son of Man, is where we see the “angels of God ascending and descending,” he is saying that he is the new Temple.  Jesus replaces the Temple.  Jesus becomes the place where, and person in whom, God and humanity interact.

 

4) The work of Jesus Christ also deals with the Old Testament Law.

The Old Testament Law, in itself, had been a temporary measure until the gift of faith in Jesus could be brought to the world.  St. Paul writes about this in Galatians 3:24-26; “24 Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”  The “disciplinarian” as noted in this passage is a sort of nanny or guardian escort for a child.  It is as if the Law were a not quite as good as the parent itself.  The gift of faith in Jesus is what God wanted for his people all along.  It was at the fullness of time that Jesus Christ, God the Son, was sent into the world for us.  We now have him, and we deal with the law through our relationship with Jesus.  We focus on what he has done, what he teaches, and his commandments:  love God, love neighbor, love one another, tell others about Jesus.

 

With all this we get to delight in the new Zion. For those who have faith in Jesus, Zion in our relationship with God in Christ.  Zion is where we worship God in “Spirit and in truth,” as Jesus teaches us in John 4:23-24, which reads, “(Jesus said, “23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.””

Here we are reminded that, by God’s abundant mercy and grace, we get to connect with God through our relationship with Jesus Christ.  This is brought to us and expressed through many means.  Our relationship with Jesus is received and lived out through:  God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, contemplation of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, Holy Baptism, Holy Communion, prayer, devotion and learning, our worship gatherings, service to others, fellowship with Christians, etc.  Each of these connects us to Jesus.  Jesus is our connection with God.  Therefore, we delight in Jesus Christ – the one who was crucified and died for us, and who was raised from the dead – for Jesus is our Zion, our place where God meets us.

Prayer

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: we give you thanks for seeking us out and giving us a connection with you in Jesus.  Help us during this Holy Week to contemplate the beautiful truth that Jesus has died for us for the forgiveness of our sin. We pray this in Jesus’ holy name.  Amen.

 

Palm Sunday April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday 2015 Lined Up 3

Palm Sunday Bulletin and Devotion

 

Readings, Devotion, Prayers and Announcements for Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

As we are not able to meet due as usual to health and safety concerns, yet we are still finding ways to share and celebrate our faith together.

Below are the readings, prayers, and various announcements for this Sunday and this week.  The Sunday devotion is at the end of the page.

 

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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For both of our congregations, Waldeck and MLLC, please remember that our expenses continue even when we are unable to meet as usual.  Please make a point to give your offerings as you would on a typical week.  Here are some ideas of what to do:

For Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ledbetter:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church; 6915 Waldeck Church Lane; Ledbetter, TX 78946

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

For MLLC in Carmine:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – MLLC, P O BOX 362, Carmine, TX 78932-0362

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

– give offerings through the church web site:  mllccarmine.com/online-giving  This page has a link to our secure giving page.  Offerings can be made by bank draft, debit card, or credit card through this special web site.

 

PROCESSIONAL Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11

P:  The holy gospel according to St. Matthew, the 21st chapter.  Glory to you, O Lord.

Fulfilling the prophecy from Zechariah, Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem, humble and riding on a donkey.  The people announce him as the king, but his kingdom will be a different one than most expected.

And now the reading.

1When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5“Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a

A reading from Isaiah.

The servant of the Lord expresses absolute confidence in his final vindication, despite the fact that he has been struck and spit upon. This characteristic of the servant played an important role in the early church’s understanding of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

4The Lord God has given me
the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain
the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.
5The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backward.
6I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
from insult and spitting.

7The Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
Let them confront me.
9aIt is the Lord God who helps me;
who will declare me guilty?

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm: Psalm 31:9-16

9Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I | am in trouble;
my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat | and my belly.
10For my life is wasted with grief, and my | years with sighing;
my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones | are consumed.
11I am the scorn of all my enemies, a disgrace to my neighbors, a dismay to | my acquaintances;
when they see me in the street | they avoid me.
12Like the dead I am forgotten, | out of mind;
I am as useless as a | broken pot. R
13For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is | all around;
they put their heads together against me; they plot to | take my life.
14But as for me, I have trusted in | you, O Lord.
I have said, “You | are my God.
15My times are | in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who | persecute me.
16Let your face shine up- | on your servant;
save me in your | steadfast love.” R

 

Second Reading: Philippians 2:5-11

A reading from Philippians.

Paul uses an early Christian hymn to help us comprehend Jesus’ obedient selflessness on the cross and how God has made Christ lord over all reality. The perspective of the cross becomes the way we rightly understand God, Christ, our own lives, and fellowship within the community of Christ.

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

9Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel: Matthew 27:11-54

The holy gospel according to Matthew.  Glory to you, O Lord.

 In fulfillment of scripture and obedience to God’s will, Jesus goes to the cross so that a new covenant in his blood may bring forgiveness of sins. Even the soldiers who crucify him recognize him to be the Son of God.

11Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” 12But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. 13Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” 14But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

15Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. 16At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. 17So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. 19While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” 20Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. 21The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” 23Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”

24So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

32As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; 36then they sat down there and kept watch over him. 37Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
38Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’ ” 44The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

45From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

The gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ.

 

*Prayers of Intercession

A:  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

A brief silence.

Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we praise you for you are the one true God.  During this Holy Week help us to be drawn into your holy presence.  We ask that you stir in each of us a renewed passion for worshiping you with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.  Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

We give thanks for the faithful service of all county officials.  We pray that those who serve will work for the common good.  Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

We pray for all who suffer in mind, body or spirit, and for those facing difficult decisions, especially… and also those whom we now name aloud or in quiet prayer…

Bring comfort and healing, strength and hope, and faithful discernment to all for whom we pray.  Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Other petitions may be added here.

We entrust to you all who have entered the Church Triumphant, especially…  Help us to care for those who are bereaved.  Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

We pray that the Holy Spirit would draw all people to you.  We especially pray for the family and friends of this congregation who have drifted from the church.  Help them to feel welcome in this community of faith.  Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

P:  Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen 

 

 

 

Announcements and Prayer Request list for Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ledbetter

Health and Well-being Prayer List:  Phillip Procell, Brian Shaffer, Sandra Gest, James Smith, Barbara Spence, April Weyand, Fritz Schoenst, Alicia McQuaig, Diana Garik Poentisch, Sally Beettner, Carrie Oltmann, Robin Hardin, Beverly Drescher

HOLY WEEK schedule:

We will be offering a streaming video for each of the three Holy Week Services.   The Time of each it to be determined.  We will post the times on this web site and Facebook.

Maundy Thursday – April 9

Good Friday – April 10

The Great Vigil of Easter – April 11

We will also offer an Easter Sunday service on streaming video at 10:00 a.m. on April 12

 

 

 

Announcements and Prayer Request list for Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine

REMEMBER IN PRAYER: Ruby Ivey (Nikki Pohl’s mother, health concerns); Ricky Eckert (brother of Ronnie Eckert, health concerns); Jeannie Johnson (grandmother of Matthew & Nick Colpetzer, Joshua Aranzolo, and Emily Ortiz, chronic pain); J. C. Pohl (health concerns); Kalisa Pomykal (Paula Barrick’s sister, medical concerns); Jacquelyn Mercado (JoLynn Schoenbeg’s daughter, severe broken wrist); Kenny Lorenz (former member Robert Hinze’s relative, serious burns); Nancy Pietsch (former RT-C teacher, health concerns); Johnny Dunham (health concerns); LaVerne Krumrey (friend from Brenham, cancer); Joyce Kelley (friend, health concerns); Jack Walsh (friend of Wade Eilers, recurring melanoma); Bill Clarke (friend of Daryl & Susan Ray, stage 4 cancer); Robert Vaughn (at Texas Neurology, thankful for extended stay for rehab); Carrie Bozarth (friend of Sedalia Ullrich, cancer); Edna Mae Krivacka (friend of Ed and Carol, back home, health concerns)

 

Sympathy to the families of Elisabeth McDaniel (mother of R.W. Crawford, friend of Alvis Mueller); Eugene Muehlbrad; The Rev. August M. Hannemann (former MLLC pastor); Genie Fuhrman (Ruby Renck’s niece); Edna Krause (mother of former organist Susan Michael); Charles Rudy Weigelt (brother-in-law of Kay Schmidt, JoLynn Schoenberg, and Darrel & Vickie Neutzler); Ricky Ebner (friend from Ledbetter)

 

The Ongoing Prayer Concerns may be found in the monthly newsletter.

 

 

THIS WEEK at MLLC

Today              5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)

Tuesday          5:30 pm-Yoga class

April 12           5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)

HOLY WEEK schedule:

We will be offering a streaming video for each of the three Holy Week Services.   The Time of each it to be determined.  We will post the times on this web site and Facebook.

Maundy Thursday – April 9

Good Friday – April 10

The Great Vigil of Easter – April 11

We will also offer an Easter Sunday service on streaming video at 10:00 a.m. on April 12

 

MESSAGE FROM PASTOR TINKER

Based on discussions with our church council and the church council of our partner church, we will be continuing the suspension of any in person worship services and activities.  We will begin internet streaming a Sunday devotional/service at 10:00 a.m. each Sunday. All of this is done out of love for one another and for our neighbors.  There are more and more reports of people and churches pushing the borders of the health guidelines, and then people getting sick or spreading COVID19 illness to others.  Our biggest concern is for those in the 60+ generation of the congregation, for those are the most vulnerable to the intense and deadly symptoms of this virus.

We will make it through this difficult time.  The next few weeks will be especially important as we work together in our community and nation. Let’s work together to love God, to love neighbor, to love one another, and to push back against the spread of this illness.

 

 

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SHIPMENT has been postponed until November.  It will not be taken on April 13.  Packing on April 8 has also been postponed.

 

DATE CHANGE FOR CONFIRMATION The new date is Sunday, May 17.  This has been changed since the MS150 Bike Ride was to come through Carmine on May 3, but has now been cancelled.

 

2020 FLOWER CHART:  Three dates are open on the flower chart.  They are September 20 and November 1 & 22.

 

SPECIAL LENTEN ENVELOPES this year are designated for Lutheran Disaster Response of the ELCA.  You may send contributions in the mail, or bring it by the office, with the check made out to MLLC and in the memo line, put Lutheran Disaster Response.  You may also go to the website to donate.

mlllccarmine/online-giving/

disaster relief-lutherandisasterresponse

 

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL will be at MLLC June 14-18, 2020 with the theme Rocky Railway.  See the codes on p. 2 of the March newsletter to register your child and volunteer.  There is a possibility that we will shift this to a later date in the summer due to the COVID19 health concerns.  We will announce this as soon as possible.

Registration is also available at the church web site:  https://mllccarmine.com/vacation-bible-school-2020/

 

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL at Bethlehem Lutheran in Round Top will be June 1-4 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. with the theme “Anchored.”  There are registration forms in the narthex and church office.

 

CHURCH COUNCIL MEMBER A person is needed to serve as chairperson of the Outreach/Care Committee.  Please consider serving in this role.

Devotion

David J. Tinker

Martin Luther Lutheran Church – Carmine

Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

“A Different Victory”

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We most often see this at the time of war.  We see soldiers line up and march in parades.  Military bands and Color Guards lead these parades.  It is a wonderful and inspiring scene, and we are drawn to the excitement of the moment.

In today’s Gospel from Matthew chapter 21 we see a military parade of sorts.  In this account we see Jesus on the donkey, and we read the following:  “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!””

This is clearly a fulfillment of a prophecy from Zechariah chapter 9, verse 9, which references the king riding on a donkey.  Another aspect of this is more surprising to us.  The palm branch parade is from the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha is that collection of Jewish writings, written in Greek, which come from the 200 or so years before the birth of Jesus.  There are two events noted in two different books of the Apocrypha which help us understand what is going on in this scene.  In one passage, 1 Maccabees 13:51-52 we read that the Jews had defeated the Greek Empire which was occupying Jerusalem.  For the years to come they celebrated their victory with an annual Palm Branch parade.  Some time later, in 2 Maccabees 10, we read of the rededication of the Temple at Jerusalem.  At that time, they instituted another parade with Palm Branches.  In each of these examples from the 100’s BC we see that many of the Jews were regularly celebrating these past victories over oppressors.  Jump ahead about 200 years.  With the Roman Occupation of the Holy Land, many Jews were looking forward to the overthrow of the Romans.  With Jesus entering the city as a Messiah King and being hailed with Palm Branches, many likely thought he was coming to defeat the power of Rome.

Little did they know that Jesus came to defeat a much greater power.  Jesus Christ came to defeat the final and horrendous power of sin, the devil, death, and evil.  These oppress all people in all places, not just the Jews.  We are reminded in John’s Gospel that God dearly loves all the people of the world and that he came to save us all.  Jesus came to bring forgiveness of sin.  He came to die the death which each person faces, so that, by faith, we would know life beyond that death.  Out of his great power and love Jesus offered a different victory.  His victory was that he was raised to life, never to die again.  His rising to life defeated the final enemy, death itself, and he leads us to follow in his way. With Jesus’ resurrection, the finality of death is ended.  Jesus has defeated the greatest oppressor.

We continue to look to Jesus to save us.  We even commemorate that original Palm Sunday Parade in worship.  Each week as we have the Holy Communion we sing or say this line, which is from the original Palm Sunday accounts: “Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.”  When we say or sing “Hosanna” we are praying that God will save us.

Each and every time we say or sing that we are joining in the eternal parade of people who know that Jesus is the one who has saved us and will save us.  As we receive the bread and the wine of the Holy Communion we are saying in our faith, “Hosanna, Lord Jesus save us”.  St. Paul notes this in First Corinthians, chapter 11, verse 26, when he writes, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”  The death of Jesus is for the forgiveness of our sin. It is for the saving of our life for eternity with the Lord.  When we receive the Lord’s Supper we are expressing our faith in what God has done and is doing for us.  The communion meal reminds us of the different victory which Jesus accomplishes for us.  It points to his death on the cross and his rising from the dead.  As we have faith in Christ and his rising from the dead it changes how we approach life.

On this Palm Sunday, we celebrate a different victory.  We can say with sure and certain hope that, by faith, we have been saved from the final power of sin, death, evil and the devil.  As we shout Hosanna, we know this is true for us always.

Let us pray – Great and Loving God, you have given yourself for our sake and you call us to follow you.  Guide us into all truth, and lead us into the new life we get to have in Jesus Christ our Lord.  We pray this in his most holy name.  Amen

 

Devotion and Readings April 4

'The_Raising_of_Lazarus',_tempera_and_gold_on_panel_by_Duccio_di_Buoninsegna,_1310–11,_Kimbell_Art_Museum

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for April 4, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

John 11:1 – 12:11

Psalm 81

Psalm 83

Lamentations 2

 

Devotion for April 4, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

Football is a surprising game. It may, at first, seem like a bunch of players smashing into each other, along with some who throw or kick the ball around.  In reality, a very technical, precise and well-planned game.  The players and coaches work together to create a plan of various plays and movements.  The work out scenarios of what to do in various circumstances in various games.

One of the things which is quite common is to study to understand the opposing teams.  The team will watch videos of how the opposition plays in certain circumstances.  This makes it possible to prepare specific plays and defensive actions which will effectively counter the plays of the opposition.  In essence, they know what they are getting themselves into in the next game.

In our reading today from John 11 and 12, we are shown that our Lord Jesus knows what he is getting himself into.  As he heads toward Jerusalem, and eventually his death on the cross, he does a few things which point this out to us.

1) He brings Lazarus back to life – and points us toward his own rising from the dead.

2) He teaches us that that we can join him in this rising from our own deaths.  Thus, he knows there will be people who follow him throughout time.

3) He teaches that the anointing by Mary, the sister or Martha and Lazarus, is done to prepare his body for burial, but he is not yet dead.

Jesus makes these announcements that he knows what is going to happen to him. He faces great opposition, and he deals with it at every turn.  Even when he is arrested and put on trial, he is still living out God’s will for the situation.  He may be in custody of the powerful Roman Empire, but Jesus is in this situation willingly, and for the sake of the world.  In this we learn more about Jesus and what he has done for us.  All of this is leading to the cross, and from that cross and Jesus’ rising from the dead, we are granted life with the Lord.

As you prepare for the celebrations of Holy Week, always remember that it leads us to the cross.  Then what we do leads us from the cross to life everlasting.

 

Prayer

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  we give thanks that Jesus went to the cross willingly for our sake.  Help us to have faith in what he has done for us. We pray this in Jesus’ holy name.  Amen.

Devotion and Readings April 3

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Bible Readings and Devotion for April 3, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

Matthew 23:23-39

1 Corinthians 9:19-27

Psalms 78:41-73, 80

Lamentations 1

 

Devotion for April 3, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

I ran cross country in high school.  We often had well over 100 runners in a race of three miles. I was not a star runner, nor did I ever win a race.  Typically, I ended up somewhere in the broad middle of the pack of runners.  Only one person would win, and only 10 would be given a numbered place among the many who ran.  Even so, I did my best in the race, and I always finished my run.  Some would quit if they saw that they would not even be in the top half of runners.  I always felt that if I were to start the race, then I would do my best and finish it.  (Never did I experience an injury, for that would have altered my plan.)

In the reading from 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, Paul writes, “24 Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. 25 Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.”

In life we are living our faith for the long haul.  What we do in response to Jesus is not just for the moment nor the hour nor the day nor the week.  What we do as followers of Jesus is both one day at a time and for a lifelong reality.

The COVID19 pandemic colors everything we do in life right now. For the benefit of all we have made all sorts of changes.  We rarely, if ever, leave our homes.  Worship and learning are happening in very different ways than we have done any time in our lives.  People are practicing “social distancing,” and sometimes not even looking each other in the eye.

These changes are not forever, but these are going to last longer than any of us would like them to last.  That is where Paul’s encouragement in our reading comes into play.  As our faith is a long-term reality, so is our perspective on the current pandemic crisis.  There will be an end to this at some point.  Life will be both different and the same.  We don’t know all that will be in either category.

In our faith lives we look forward to a time when we will safely gather for worship, Word, and Sacrament.  We long for our times of fellowship and learning.  We joyfully anticipate our opportunities for serving our neighbors face to face.  These are faithful expressions of our faith in Jesus Christ.

Throughout the days, weeks, months, and years ahead as we deal with these changes, there is always something, rather, someone, who never changes.  By faith and God’s Word we know that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Yesterday, before there was ever the COVID19 disease in our lives, Jesus was there to guide us, to forgive us our sins, to comfort us, to encourage us, and to give us hope.  Today, as we huddle in our homes, avoid others, wash our hands over and over, and practice social distancing, Jesus is here to guide us, to forgive us our sins, to comfort us, to encourage us, and to give us hope.  As we move into the future, some of which is very unclear, rest assured that Jesus will be there to guide us, to forgive us our sins, to comfort us, to encourage us, and to give us hope.

Because Jesus is always there, we are given strength and encouragement to stay the course of our calling to be his followers. We know what Jesus has done for us through his suffering at human hands, his death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead.  We know that our Lord is with us through this journey of life, every step of the race.  We know that, by God’s abundant grace, we will be with Jesus face to face forever.  Together, may we all continue our race to the end, relying on God’s goodness, and doing our best to love God, love our neighbors, love one another, and to tell the world of his merciful goodness.

Here is a video of a song by one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Leslie Phillips.  It is called “You’re the Same”.  Click this link to watch a video which plays this song.

 

 

Prayer

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  you lead the way in the race set before us.  Guide us through the trials and struggles of this time, and give us hope for our life together in the months to come.  We pray this in Jesus’ holy name.  Amen.

 

Devotion and Readings April 1

Jonah_and_the_Whale_-_Google_Art_Project

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for April 1, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

Matthew 24:36-51

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Psalm 75

Psalm 76

Psalm 79

Psalm 82

Jonah 3

 

Devotion for April 1, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

The Book of Jonah is a very special book in my faith life and my study of God’s Holy Word.  See my notes on this in yesterday’s devotion.  Today we read chapter 3 of this little book in the Old Testament.  It is one the 12 books of the Minor Prophets, or the Book of the Twelve.  These are simply shorter, prophetic books.  This is in contrast to the Major Prophets, which are a few longer books by prophets.  These include the large books Isaiah and Jeremiah.  The message of all of these books, both Minor and Major, are important, for these are messages from God himself.

Chapter 3 of Jonah is about God giving people a second chance.  It starts at about the mid-point of the book. The first half is about Jonah’s disobedience and God’s action to stop him with the storm and the giant fish.  The second half shows how Jonah is given a second chance to obey the Lord’s calling.  It begins with the statement, “1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2 “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.””  This was the second calling of Jonah by God, and this time the prophet headed in the right direction.  In a very real sense, God reaches out to Jonah.  The prophet then responds with repentance. He stops doing the wrong, and gets back on track with the Lord.

The prophet who was given a second chance is sent to the great city of Nineveh to preach.  As with all prophetic messages in God’s Word, the Lord’s goal is to bring people back into relationship with the Lord.  It is to give people a second, 100th, 1 millionth, etc. chance.  We are reminded in Ezekiel 18:23 the following: “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that they should turn from their ways and live?”  God’s goal in sending Jonah was not to destroy the city and its people.  Rather, it was to get their attention and to urge them to return to the Lord.  It was to give them a second chance with the Lord.

When given this chance, the people of Nineveh repent in mass numbers.  The king and all the people return to the Lord.  They show their repentance by putting on sackcloth and ashes.  This was a typical symbol of repentance, similar to the ashes on Ash Wednesday.  The Lord responds to this repentance as we see in John 3:10:  “10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.”

Our loving God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is one who offers second chances to each of us.  Any confrontation of sin in our lives is there to bring us back to God.  In the Lutheran Theological Tradition, we have the three uses of the Law of God.  The three uses of the Law are:

  1. Curb – Through fear of punishment, the Law keeps the sinful nature of both Christians and non-Christians under check. This does not stop sin, since the sin is already committed when the heart desires to do what is wrong, yet it does stop the open outbreak of sin that will do even further damage.
  2. Mirror – The Law serves as a perfect reflection of what God created the human heart and life to be. It shows anyone who compares his/her life to God’s requirement for perfection that he/she is sinful.  It drives us toward the Good News, the Gospel, of Jesus Christ.  This is where we are urged to be reconciled to the Lord through what Jesus has done for us in his death and resurrection.
  3. Guide – This use of the law that applies only to Christians. The law becomes the believer’s helper. Empowered by the gospel truth of forgiveness and righteousness in Christ, the believer’s new self eagerly desires to live to please the Lord.

All the work and teachings of God in Holy Scripture are there to help us connected with God and, ultimately, to follow in the way of Jesus Christ our Lord. We know that we are not always following his ways, for we are sinners.  More importantly, we know that we are loved by God and are invited to receive what he has done for us in Jesus. The Holy Spirit reminds us that when we have not done things in God’s way, we are given a chance to return to God and his way.  He did it for Jonah.  He does it for us.  He offers it to all in the world who will receive his love, forgiveness, and abundant life, both now and forever.

 

Prayer

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  we give you thanks for you are the God who gives us second chances.  May your Holy Spirit lead us back to a relationship with you.  Turn us from our sin to live for you alone. We pray this in Jesus’ Holy Name.  Amen.

Devotion and Readings March 31

Jonah_and_the_Whale_-_Google_Art_Project

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for March 31, 2020

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

Matthew 24:15-35

1 Corinthians 7:25-40 

Psalm 74

Psalm 77

Jonah 2

 

Devotion for March 31, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

We are in our second day of reading through Jonah, along with our other Bible readings.  As I was praying through and pondering what to share in today’s devotion I looked back on my life of faith.  One of the events of my faith growth was my attendance at the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Missions conference Urbana 87.  I was an active participant in the ministry of InterVarsity while a student at college.  The Urbana Missions Conference has been a triennial event to encourage missionary service among young Christians from around North America.  It is now held in other locations. This was held just after Christmas in 1987 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Along with dozens of other students from Texas we rode a bus up to the Illinois for this special event.

At that conference the theme was centered in the teachings of the book of Jonah and the call to mission in and to cities.  A major teaching which was shared at the event was by a Christian leader and Bible teacher from Sri Lanka named Ajith Fernando.

This link includes an audio file of his teaching at Urbana 87.

The teaching from Jonah caught my spirit in a powerful way that week.  Ever since then I have invested more into understanding this short book of God’s.  Another resource in my understanding of Jonah has been the writings of Pastor Eugene H. Peterson, especially his book on pastoral ministry, “Under the Unpredictable Plant:  An Exploration in Vocational Holiness”.

Looking at chapter two of Jonah today we see that it is unique.  It takes place as Jonah is in the belly of the giant fish.  During that time Jonah is moved to pray to the Lord.  The prayer of Jonah is reported in this section of the book.  In looking through this prayer you will notice that it is essentially quoting the Psalms.  This is not an accident.  As a prophet of the Lord Jonah was familiar with God’s Holy Word.  In that Holy Word is the prayer book of the Israelites – The Psalms.  This is how they learned to pray.  They prayed the psalms, and that wording gave them words, ideas, phrases, etc. to use in their ongoing connection with the Lord.

In some study a few years ago I put together this short chart of likely verses which influenced the prayer of Jonah.  Each of these are from the Psalms.  You are invited to take some time to look through each of these in comparison to Jonah’s prayer.

Jonah’s Prayer and the Psalms

Vs 2     Psalm 3:4        120:1               118:5

Vs 3     Psalm 86:6-7   Psalm 42:7

Vs 4     Psalm 31:22

Vs 5     Psalm 69:1

Vs 6     Psalm 40:1-2

Vs 7     Psalm 5:7

Vs 8     Psalm 31:6

Vs 9     Psalm 50:14

 

Our opportunity in faith is to use the psalms as part of our school of prayer.  Of course, the Lord’s Prayer and the New Testament letters are great for this as well.  In our daily readings we are using right now we always have at least one psalm.  Our Sunday readings in worship always include a psalm or a psalm like prayer from the rest of scripture. Many of the prophetic words which point to Jesus are from the Psalms. The Psalms are always relevant because these teach us how to pray and guide us toward a closer connection with God.  Jonah learned from the Psalms, and so can we.

Prayer

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  you are merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Guide us by your Holy Word and teach us to pray in your way.  We pray this in Jesus’ Holy Name.  Amen.

Devotion and Readings March 30

Jonah_and_the_Whale_-_Google_Art_Project

Jonah and the Whale (1621) by Pieter Lastman

Bible Readings and Devotion for March 30, 2020

You are encouraged to read these passages from this page or from your personal Bible. After the readings is a devotion based on one or more of the readings.

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or an online Bible – click passage listing for link to online:

Matthew 24:1-14

1 Corinthians 7:17-24  

Psalms 71

Psalm 73

Jonah 1

Devotion for March 30, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

Many of us have a favorite book, movie, song, story, etc.  As people of faith we often have a favorite Bible verse, chapter or entire book of the Bible.  My favorite Bible verse is Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  My favorite Bible chapter is Philippians 2, which shared the poetic description of the willing humiliation and glorious exaltation of Jesus, along with encouragements to serve others.

 

My favorite entire book of the Bible is Jonah.  I often reference it during various sermons over the years.  In today’s readings we include chapter 1 of this short, yet dramatic and prophetic book of the Old Testament.  We will be reading all four chapters this week in our common readings.

 

In today’s reading we hear about the call of Jonah to go to Nineveh, the main city of the Assyrians.  Remember, the Assyrians were great enemies of the Israelites.  They were the big, bad empire in that part of the world around 800-700 BC.  Jonah’s response to this calling to go to Nineveh is to skip town in the opposite direction. He buys a ticket to ride a boat heading to Tarshish, which is likely Spain.  In the book it tells us that he was fleeing the presence of the Lord.  It wasn’t to get away from Nineveh.  It was to get away from God.

 

Jonah made the mistake of thinking that God was limited to the Temple in Jerusalem or to the Holy Land.  Even in what he tells the sailors gives away the truth of God.  He says, “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”  The Lord is the God who created all that is.  The Lord is rule of all that he has made.  The Lord is present wherever and whenever he chooses in that creation.  So, when Jonah catches the boat west, he is just moving to another location of God’s presence in the world.  For the benefit of humanity, the Lord is always present in this world to be with us.

 

In our life today we are quite separated from one another.  The “social distancing” and keeping close to home does not keep God out of our lives.  Thanks be to God that he is with each of us in our homes, our workplaces, inside, outside, wherever we are.  Our relationship with God is not over because we can’t meet with one another as usual.  We can connect with God anywhere in creation.  Jesus teaches about this in John 4:21-23, “21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain (Mount Gerizim) nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.”  Our life with God is not limited to being in the Holy Land. We connect with God as we relate with Jesus through prayer, devotion, Word and Sacrament, the Holy Spirit, our fellowship, our service to others, etc. anywhere in the world.

 

Our relationships with one another are altered, but not suspended during this time.  There will be a time in the weeks to come when we can meet safely as we usually do.  Our gatherings are core to our way of life as followers of Jesus.  In Hebrews 10:24-25 we are taught, “24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  When the suspension ends, we have the joyful calling to gather together as the people of God.  I am looking forward to more fully sharing our life together as we do when we get to gather as the body of Christ in worship, fellowship and service.

 

Prayer

Lord, the God of Heaven, you are the One God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Remind us in many and various ways that you are our God and that you are with us in this life.  Help us to remain steadfast in you and in our connection with one another.  We pray this in Jesus’ Holy Name.  Amen

 

 

 

 

In cased you missed the March 29 readings, here they are:

Matthew 21:33-46

1 Corinthians 7:10-16

Psalms 66

Psalm 70

Psalm 72

Nahum 3

 

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5th Sunday in Lent – March 29

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The Raising of Lazarus, by Duccio, 1310–11

Readings, Devotion, Prayers and Announcements for Sunday, March 29, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

As we are not able to meet due to health and safety concerns, we are still finding ways to share and celebrate our faith together.

Below are the readings, prayers, and various announcements for this Sunday and this week.  The Sunday devotion is at the end of the page.

 

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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For both of our congregations, Waldeck and MLLC, please remember that our expenses continue even when we are unable to meet as usual.  Please make a point to give your offerings as you would on a typical week.  Here are some ideas of what to do:

For Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ledbetter:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church; 6915 Waldeck Church Lane; Ledbetter, TX 78946

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

For MLLC in Carmine:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – MLLC, P O BOX 362, Carmine, TX 78932-0362

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

– give offerings through the church web site:  mllccarmine.com/online-giving  This page has a link to our secure giving page.  Offerings can be made by bank draft, debit card, or credit card through this special web site.

 

The 5th Sunday in Lent

March 29, 2020

 

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14

A reading from Ezekiel.

Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is a promise that Israel as a nation, though dead in exile, will live again in their land through God’s life-giving spirit. Three times Israel is assured that through this vision they will know that “I am the Lord.”

1The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm: Psalm 130

1Out | of the depths
I cry to | you, O Lord;
2O Lord, | hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my | supplication.
3If you were to keep watch | over sins,
O Lord, | who could stand?
4Yet with you | is forgiveness,
in order that you | may be feared. R
5I wait for you, O Lord; | my soul waits;
in your word | is my hope.
6My soul waits for the Lord more than those who keep watch | for the morning,
more than those who keep watch | for the morning.
7O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is | steadfast love;
with the Lord there is plen- | teous redemption.
8For the Lord shall | redeem Israel
from | all their sins. R

 

Second Reading: Romans 8:6-11

A reading from Romans.

For Paul, Christian spirituality entails living in the reality of the Holy Spirit. The driving force behind our actions and values is not our sinful desire for self-satisfaction but the very Spirit by which God raised Jesus from the dead and will also raise us from the dead.

6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel: John 11:1-45

The holy gospel according to John.   Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus is moved to sorrow when his friend Lazarus falls ill and dies. Then, in a dramatic scene, he calls his friend out of the tomb and restores him to life.

1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

28When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

The gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ.

 

*Prayers of Intercession

A:  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

A brief silence.

Merciful God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise you, for you are Lord of heaven and earth.  Receive our prayers and worship.   Lord, in your mercy,             Hear our prayer.

During this season of Lent help us to give of ourselves to you through self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love.  Renew our faith during these forty days.   Lord, in your mercy,                  Hear our prayer.

Other petitions may be added here.

We pray for all who struggle in body, mind or spirit.  By your Spirit grant healing, strength and hope to all for whom we pray.  We lift in prayer…  and also those whom we now name aloud or in quiet prayer…  Lord, in your mercy,                     Hear our prayer.

Guide and protect all who serve the community in medicine and emergency services.  Help us to work together as neighbors for the health, safety, and well-being of all in our community.  Keep us steadfast in our care for the most vulnerable in this world. Lord, in your mercy,                     Hear our prayer.

You are the source of all mercy and consolation.  We lift in prayer all who grieve for deceased friends and loved ones (and we especially pray for the family and friends of…).  Lord, in your mercy,               Hear our prayer.

P:  Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen 

 

 

Announcements and Prayer Request list for Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ledbetter

Health and Well-being Prayer List:  Phillip Procell, Brian Shaffer, Sandra Gest, James Smith, Barbara Spence, April Weyand, Fritz Schoenst, Alicia McQuaig, Diana Garik Poentisch, Sally Beettner, Carrie Oltmann, Robin Hardin, Beverly Drescher

HOLY WEEK schedule:

– All these services are subject to change in the event that we must continue the suspension of services.  The Church Council will decide this in the next few days.

Palm Sunday weekend – April 4-5

6:00 p.m. on Saturday             Worship at Martin Luther in Carmine

8:00 a.m. on Sunday               Worship at Waldeck

10:00 a.m. on Sunday             Worship at Martin Luther in Carmine

 

Maundy Thursday – April 9

5:45 pm Worship at Waldeck

7:30 p.m. at Martin Luther in Carmine

Good Friday – April 10

7:00 pm Worship at Martin Luther in Carmine

Saturday Easter Vigil with Holy Communion – April 11

7:00 p.m. at Martin Luther in Carmine

Easter Sunday – April 12

6:45 a.m. – Sunrise at Carmine Cemetery

8:00 a.m. – Worship at Waldeck

9:00 a.m. – Easter Brunch at Waldeck, followed by an egg hunt

Easter Reception in Parlor in Carmine – 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Festival Worship with Holy Communion in Carmine – 10:00 a.m.

Egg hunt in Carmine –11:30 a.m.

 

Announcements and Prayer Request list for Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine

REMEMBER IN PRAYER: Angelica Colpetzer (upcoming surgery); Ruby Ivey (Nikki Pohl’s mother, health concerns); Ricky Eckert (brother of Ronnie Eckert, health concerns); Jeannie Johnson (grandmother of Matthew & Nick Colpetzer, Joshua Aranzolo, and Emily Ortiz, chronic pain); Eugene Muehlbrad (health concerns); J. C. Pohl (health concerns); Carol Carmean (thyroid surgery last Monday); Kalisa Pomykal (Paula Barrick’s sister, medical concerns); Jacquelyn Mercado (JoLynn Schoenbeg’s daughter, severe broken wrist); Elisabeth McDaniel (mother of R.W. Crawford, friend of Alvis Mueller, cancer); Kenny Lorenz (former member Robert Hinze’s relative, serious burns); Nancy Pietsch (former RT-C teacher, health concerns); Johnny Dunham (health concerns); LaVerne Krumrey (friend from Brenham, cancer); Joyce Kelley (friend, health concerns); Jack Walsh (friend of Wade Eilers, recurring melanoma); Bill Clarke (friend of Daryl & Susan Ray, stage 4 cancer); Robert Vaughn (at Texas Neurology, thankful for extended stay for rehab); Carrie Bozarth (friend of Sedalia Ullrich, cancer); Edna Mae Krivacka (friend of Ed and Carol, back home, health concerns)

 

Sympathy to the families of Eugene Muehlbrad; The Rev. August M. Hannemann (former MLLC pastor); Genie Fuhrman (Ruby Renck’s niece); Edna Krause (mother of former organist Susan Michael); Charles Rudy Weigelt (brother-in-law of Kay Schmidt, JoLynn Schoenberg, and Darrel & Vickie Neutzler); Ricky Ebner (friend from Ledbetter)

 

The Ongoing Prayer Concerns may be found in the monthly newsletter.

 

THIS WEEK at MLLC

Today              5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)

Tuesday          5:30 pm-Yoga class

March 29         5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)

THOSE SERVING WEDNESDAY

 

NEXT SATURDAY ASSISTING MINISTER

 

THOSE SERVING NEXT SUNDAY

 

CHURCH COUNCIL will meet this Tuesday, March 31 to see what the recommendation is from the CDC and Gulf Coast Synod Office, and then make a decision on future church services.

 

APRIL NEWSLETTER printing will be postponed until April 1, and then mailed after that.  This is to have up-to-date information on schedules.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SHIPMENT has been postponed until November.  It will not be taken on April 13.  Packing will still be on April 8 at 2 p.m., so those who would like to come may do so.  If you have any respiratory symptoms, or just wish to stay at home, please do so.

 

DATE CHANGE FOR CONFIRMATION The new date is Sunday, May 17.  This has been changed due to the MS150 Bike Ride which will come through Carmine on May 3.

2020 FLOWER CHART:  Three dates are open on the flower chart.  They are September 20 and November 1 & 22.

LENTEN MEALS are cancelled.

LENTEN SERVICES are cancelled.

SPECIAL LENTEN ENVELOPES this year are designated for Lutheran Disaster Response of the ELCA.  These envelopes are in the pews marked “Lenten Offering.”  The envelopes for Lent that you receive in the mail go to the general fund.  The other envelopes in the pews will go to the general fund or where noted.

EASTER EGG HUNT Monetary and candy donations would be appreciated for the egg hunt following worship on April 12.  Please bring them to the church by Palm Sunday, April 5.  They will be filled that day.  Goody bags will be provided for the treats, but children may bring their Easter baskets if they wish.  (This may be subject to change.)

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL will be at MLLC June 14-18, 2020 with the theme Rocky Railway.  See the codes on p. 2 of the March newsletter to register your child and volunteer.

Registration is also available at the church web site:  https://mllccarmine.com/vacation-bible-school-2020/

 

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL at Bethlehem Lutheran in Round Top will be June 1-4 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. with the theme “Anchored.”  There are registration forms in the narthex and church office.

CHURCH COUNCIL MEMBER A person is needed to serve as chairperson of the Outreach/Care Committee.  Please consider serving in this role.

THRIVENT CHOICE DOLLARS This Tuesday, March 31 is the deadline for members to call Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to direct your 2019 Choice Dollars.  Call 1-800-847-4836 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Time and say “Thrivent Choice.”  Have your member ID ready.  Martin Luther Lutheran Church is a choice.

You may also go online to direct the Choice Dollars.  If you do not give them your choice, they will designate your money where they think best.  If you need help, contact Nancy Eilers.  Thanks to those who have directed their Choice Dollars to MLLC.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES  Are on hold until further notice.  Contact Pastor Tinker to sign up.

 

EASTER LILIES may be ordered through the church office.  The Nesting Company is offering 6” potted lilies with gold pot covers for $14.50.  Make the check payable to MLLC.  Deadline is April 5.   Let the office know and if it is in memory or honor of someone.  A form is in the March newsletter.

EASTER EGG HUNT sponsored by the Carmine Lions Club and (EDC) will not be held on Saturday, April 11 at the Carmine City Park.

HOLY WEEK schedule: The Church Council will meet on Tuesday to determine our plans for ending or continuing the suspension of services due to the COVID19 health crisis.

Palm Sunday-10:00 a.m. Worship with Palm Processional and

Blessing of Quilts for Lutheran World Relief

Maundy Thursday-7:30 pm Worship with First Holy Communion

Good Friday – 7:00 pm Worship

Saturday Easter Vigil with Holy Communion – 7:00 p.m.

Easter Sunday-6:45 a.m. – Sunrise at Carmine Cemetery

Sunday School – 9:00 a.m.

Easter Reception in Parlor – 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Festival Worship with Holy Communion-10:00 a.m.

Egg hunt-11:30 a.m.

 

(Subject to change.)

 

Devotion

By Pastor David J. Tinker

Martin Luther Lutheran Church – Carmine

Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

29 March 2020   Lent 5/Cycle A RCL

Ezekiel 37:1-14           Psalm 130       Romans 8:6-11           John 11:1-45

“God Knows Who You Are”

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ash Wednesday was about a month ago.  It is the beginning of our Lent Journey each year.  A significant part of that service each year is the imposition of Ashes.  This is when each person at worship that day is marked on his or her forehead with a cross of ashes.  The pastor says, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

These ashes symbolize two realities for us.  One is that ashes are a sign of repentance and sorrow for one’s sin.  The second symbolic message of the Ashes is that we are mortal.

If you think about what is happening it can be overwhelming.  Think back on any Ash Wednesday.  People of all ages are lined up and are reminded of their mortality.  The words said that day are reminding everybody of the undeniable truth about each person:  someday, each will die.

In the midst of this we are also reminded of a greater truth.  We remember that Jesus, being fully human, died as well.  Even more so, he died to save.  Jesus died to bring life.

Today we have a reading about death and life again.  The friends of Jesus, Mary and Martha, are concerned for their brother’s health.  Lazarus is ill, and is likely to die.  They know Jesus has the power to heal, so they send for him. Their message:  “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”  Upon hearing this, Jesus comments to his associates, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”  Jesus does nothing for two days.  Why?  Because he knows the ends of this story.  He knows about life and death.  He knows that life will prevail.  Jesus takes decisive action to lead us toward eternal life with him.

When Jesus does finally arrive he receives the message:  “Lazarus is dead.”  Jesus goes to his friends and he mourns with them.  Then Jesus and Mary talk about the Resurrection of the Dead.

Her response was that of life.  She said, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”  She pointed to the mission of Jesus by saying who he was.  He is the Son of the Living God who has come into the world so that we might have life with God, even though we face earthly death.

Now the life Jesus brings is much more than what happens to Lazarus.  He died, then Jesus revives him.  Lazarus was brought back to life, but he will also die again.  When it comes to what will soon happen to Jesus, it is different.  Jesus will die, just as we all do, but his resurrection is to eternal life.  He doesn’t face death again.  The resurrection we are promised by Jesus is one which is beyond both death and earthly life.  It is to a new and forever life with God.

As people who are followers of Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life, we are called to have a different perspective on life.  Life is both a now and a future reality.  For those who are baptized and have faith in Jesus, they have a life perspective.  Life is a wonderful reality on both sides of the grave.

Remember, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  By Baptized we are joined to Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection.  By baptism, Jesus meets us in the one thing we all have in common – death – and leads us to life with him beyond death.  Death is the lowest part of life, but for those who belong to Jesus, death doesn’t stop our destiny.

Knowing this changes everything.  Knowing this gives us a new perspective.  This is an “Eternal Life” perspective.  We see that life is not just an effort to keep from dying.  Nor are we here to bide our time until we die.  Rather, when we understand that Jesus died so that we can have life, we are transformed into truly living people.  When and where those with an Eternal Life perspective gather it is a place of life.  When we gather as the Church, we are people in a place of life, wherever that may be.

In this place of life we get to treat others in a new way.  In this place of life we look to what God has to say about a person rather than what the broken world has to say.  God’s abundant grace and love are all about brining life and helping us have that life abundantly.  The broken and sinful world leads us to death.

In this life we can be people who are in the place of life or the place of death.  The invitation of Jesus in today’s Gospel Reading is that we be in that place of life.  This world can keep on reminding us of all that we have done wrong.  Sin and death and evil always enjoy more company.  In the place of death we are told again and again of all that we have done wrong.

Ash Wednesday reminds us of our mortality, but it doesn’t leave us there.  Ash Wednesday is always, always, pointing us toward the saving work of Jesus Christ.  That work of Jesus Christ is always about bringing us to that place of life with the Lord.  As we prepare for Holy Week let us look forward through the suffering and death of Jesus for our sin, and also onto the life he leads us toward in his rising from the dead.  With that, let us always remember that God knows who we are.

Let us pray – Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and our neighbors. Call forth our prayers and acts of kindness, and strengthen us to face our mortality with confidence in the mercy of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen