June Newsletter and Archive

Newsletter Image

Monthly Newsletters on our Web Site

The June 2020 Newsletter has been published.  The link is on the main newsletter page, which you will find noted below.

Every month we publish a newsletter for the members and friends of MLLC.  This is typically distributed by email and postal mail.  If you wish to be on the email distribution list, please contact the church office at 979-278-3388 or send a message to pastordjt@industryinet.com

The newsletters are also posted on the mllccarmine web site.  Here is the link to that page:  Click Link

We look forward to seeing you at worship in the coming weeks.

Devotion and Readings for May 30

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Bible Readings and Devotion for May 30, 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 17:1-10

Ephesians 5:22-33

Psalm 74, 77

Joel 1

 

Devotion for May 30, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

The verse right before today’s reading from Ephesians 5 is essential in understanding this passage.  The passage is giving guidance for relationships in Christian homes, yet it applies to all interpersonal connections between followers of Jesus.

That verse I am noting is Ephesians 5:21, which reads, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  This is from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) which is used for the basis of these devotions.  Another translation, the New International Version (NIV) helps clarify this passage.  It reads, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  So, what Paul is stating here is that all of us, no matter our role in a family or the church, are called upon to submit to one another.  We are called to seek the best for others.

The foundation of this teaching is what Jesus has first done for us.  We start by rearranging, yet not changing the meaning, of the passage.  We can say it this way: “Out of reverence for Christ we submit to one another.”  Our reverence or respect for Christ is a response to what he has first done for us.  He is the one who suffered and died for us for the forgiveness of our sin. He is the one who was raised from the dead and now leads us to life with him, both now and forever. He has provided all we need for life, faith and forever.

This message can be summed up in the words of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, when we wrote the simple statement, “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19). This also can be rearranged, without changing meaning, to read as, “Because he first loved us, we love.”  Because of his great action of love for us, we are empowered and inspired to respond with love for God, our neighbors, and one another.

Another place where Paul teaches regarding this matter is in Philippians 2:1-4, which read, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  He continues the passage (Philippians 2:5-11) by inviting us to follow the example of Jesus, the one who humbled himself for the sake of the world.

It is a shift for many of us to submit our lives to God and to put aside our own desires and needs for the sake of others.  The shift to which we are called is founded in the idea of “Agape” love.  This is the self-giving, sacrificial care which benefits another person.  This sort of love is God’s way of loving.  It is not about feelings, but it is about actions.  We live out love because God has lived out love for us.

In the end, this passage means, “We live out self-giving love for one another because we respect Jesus, the one who first lived out self-giving love for us.”  Paul then invites us to see how this can be lived out in marriage and other relationships in our lives.

 

Prayer

Direct us, O Lord God, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and extend to us your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

 

 

Devotion and Readings for May 29

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Photo: Dietrich Bonhoeffer – 1906-1945 – German Martyr

Bible Readings and Devotion for May 29, 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 16:25-33

Ephesians 5:8-21

Psalms 71, 73, 137

Obadiah

 

Devotion for May 29, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

In today’s reading from the Book of Ephesians we have a general statement from the Apostle Paul about how we get to live out God’s will for our lives.  It is not a blueprint for all of life’s details.  Rather, it is a broader vision for what Christian life can be.  Let’s take a look at this God given vision for our lives.

Paul presents this vision as being wise in this life.  He writes, “Be careful how you live, not as unwise people, but as wise.”  According to the dictionary definition, a wise person is one who is: “having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion.”  Wisdom is a gift from God, which comes to us through the Scriptures and experience, and is granted by the Holy Spirit.

In our reading Paul illustrates wise living by laying out a series of contrast points.  Each is to show how a person is to live wisely.  Paul writes: “So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit…”

Following these points, Paul makes note of some specifics which guide our lives as Christians.  This passage calls believers to live differently and more wisely than the world around us.  In this passage, it is clear that the call of Christians is to have a distinctly different and much more positive attitude about life.

All of this is grounded in three significant realities.

The first reality is that Christ has already come into the world and gone to the cross for the forgiveness of our sin.  His death frees us from the power and finality of death.  His rising from the tomb offers us new life which makes us free to live as God’s people.

The second reality is that the Holy Spirit of Jesus is actively present in our lives in the here and now.

The third reality is that Christ Jesus is coming back into our lives and will be fully visible in the world.  Some call this the “Final Appearing” or the “Second Coming”.  We don’t exactly know when this will be, but it is sooner rather than later.  It may be in our lifetimes or after our earthly deaths.  Either way, we live with an expectant hope which knows the days are short.  Therefore, God’s will for us is to make the most of each day, as Paul reminds us when he writes, “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.”

One of my favorite saints is the German Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Pastor Bonhoeffer was a man who knew how to make “the most of the time” as Paul notes.  He was imprisoned and later executed by Hitler’s Gestapo as the close of World War Two. Bonhoeffer is described by a fellow prisoner as one who “spread an atmosphere of happiness and joy over the least incident and (had) profound gratitude for the mere fact that he was alive.”  Bonhoeffer was often called upon to comfort other prisoners in their distress.  When he was being led away to the gallows for his execution on April 9, 1945, he turned to a fellow prisoner and said, “This is the end, but for me it is the beginning of life.”

Bonhoeffer spent his life seeking to understand what it means to live with Christ.  His faith led him into the risky intrigue of the underground movement against the Nazi government.  In writing about the Christian community during the evil days of Hitler’s dictatorship, Bonhoeffer wrote, “We thank God for giving us brethren who live by his call, by his forgiveness, and his promise.  We do not complain in what God does not give us; we rather thank God for what he does give us daily.”

Another story:  I heard years ago the account of a man named Bob.  Few people ever encountered him when there wasn’t some aspect of God’s grace flowing through him.  That is why, when Bob was diagnosed with cancer, so many people were touched.  Bob struggled against the disease for a long time, continuing to be active and keeping a positive attitude.

But Bob’s final acts of grace were the most touching.  Knowing that so many people were afraid to call a dying person to say, “Goodbye,” Bob took the initiative.  As his life slipped away and it became clear that there were only a few short weeks left, Bob began the process of “Goodbyes” from his bed at home.  He would call old friends, tell them how much he had appreciated their friendship, encouraged them as they continued on their life’s journey, and say a final farewell.  Every moment of these calls was a moment to “make the most of the time.”  For all involved, God’s grace won out in Bob’s life, even in his death.

We may not know every detail of each day of the days and weeks to come.  Most of life will be pretty normal as we strive to live out God’s general will for our lives.  For the rest of life as for Jesus’ followers we get to have it founded in God’s loving goodness and grace. Here is what we do know about God’s will:

  1. It is pretty clear:

live wisely

give thanks to God

live in community with others

As we live in community with fellow believers

*strive to do what is right and honoring to the Lord

*strive to be a blessing to our neighbors in life

  1. We are called to live in hope for the final salvation of God’s people, and hope for the promise of Jesus to be made visible to us again.

In all these, we are invited to make the most of the time we have, not matter what life brings us.

Prayer

Eternal God, amid all the turmoil and changes of the world your love is steadfast and your strength never fails. In this time of danger and trouble, be to us a sure guardian and rock of defense. Guide the leaders of our nation with your wisdom, comfort those in distress, and grant us courage and hope to face the future; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Easter 7 & Ascension – Sunday, May 24

Ascension Art

 

Readings, Devotion, Prayers and Announcements for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, Ascension Sunday, May 24, 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 readings.

 

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.

YouTube Video Link

Here is the link for the YouTube video of this day’s service.

May 24, 2020

The Ascension of our Lord Sunday

 

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11

A reading from Acts.

Before he is lifted into heaven, Jesus promises that the missionary work of the disciples will spread out from Jerusalem to all the world. His words provide an outline of the book of Acts.

[Luke writes:] 1In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm: Psalm 47

1Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with a joyful sound.
2For the Lord Most High is to be feared:
a great king over all the earth,
3who subdues the peoples under us,
and the nations under our feet;
4who chooses our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom God loves. 
5God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of the ram’s horn.
6Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our king, sing praises. 
7For God is king of all the earth;
sing praises with a song.
8God reigns over the nations;
God is enthroned on high.
9The nobles of the peoples have gathered as the people of the God of Abraham.
The rulers of the earth belong to God, who is highly exalted. 

 

 

Second Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23

A reading from Ephesians.

The risen and exalted Christ reigns over the entire universe. The author of Ephesians prays that we are given the wisdom to know the power of the risen Christ and the empowering hope that the knowledge of this inheritance provides.

15I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel: Luke 24:44-53

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

On the day of his ascension, Jesus leaves his disciples with a commission, a blessing, and a promise of the Holy Spirit.

44[Jesus said to the eleven and those with them,] “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

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

 

Devotion

“God’s Goal – Our Goal”

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

Mass media have changed our world.  The big transition started with the printing press over 500 years ago.  Books and pamphlets were everywhere.  Transportation improvements over the centuries made these spread faster and further.  Communications improvements in the 1800’s such as the telegraph and telephone spread information even further.

In the late 1920’s movies started having sound with them.  At the same time broadcast radio was taking off and stations were started across the country.  A couple decades later television became a national reality.  This put even more information and entertainment into our homes.  In the past few decades the internet has grown to where most people have access to news, information and entertainment in homes, offices and public places.  The past decade or so has put the internet into Smartphones, so now many have this available pretty much wherever and whenever.

While not exactly a parallel effect, the Ascension of Jesus kicked off a radical and positive change for life and faith.  The Ascension took place on the 40th day since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  That 40th day this year was this past Thursday.  Since we normally gather on the weekend, we celebrate this event today.  We heard two accounts of this in the books of Luke and Acts.  In Acts we have this description of the Ascension:  Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as (the Apostles) were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.”  We see that Jesus gives them a job to do, promises them the Holy Spirit, and then ascends out of their sight.

Along with others I have wondered why Jesus chose to ascend like this.  He was alive beyond death, never to die again, and was with his people.  He could still be here with us, leading the church in perfection and love.  The purpose of the Ascension of Jesus has to do with how he is with us in different ways now that he is ascended.   It is similar the changes in the way we receive information and entertainment which I noted earlier.

Think about this:  Jesus is God with us, yet he is also just one person.  He entered human life and died on the cross to meet us in our sin and death.  On the cross he brought about the forgiveness of our sin.  Through his rising he leads us to life with him, both now and forever.  This is all central to our faith and life with God.

Jesus could have stayed around like he did in those 40 days after his rising from the dead.  He could have easily kept on teaching and ministering to people.  He could have been an inspiring preacher and could have drawn crowds for the past 2000 years.  But he didn’t.  And that is actually a very good thing.  Had he done that the church would likely have stayed a very small group on Jewish followers in the Holy Land.  I believe he knew this, and he had a greater plan for the Good News and for his followers.  Because he did it the way he did, the Church is now a worldwide movement of close to 3 Billion people.

Jesus did at least four things to execute his plan to spread the Gospel.  The four things would bring the ministry and teachings of Jesus to the ends of the earth.  Jesus would go away from us in one way, but then he would be with us all the time in other ways.  Here are the 4 things he did:

  1. He taught the disciples about the way of God. This became the New Testament. We continue to read and teach from this today.
  2. He gave them the Sacraments. We have the power and presence of Jesus Christ through Baptism and the Holy Communion.  These words and elements bring the Good News and the forgiveness of our sin by God. Our congregations are drawn together and unified by these Sacraments.
  3. He organized and commissioned pastoral leaders – the Apostles. They would train more pastoral leaders who would bring Word of God and the forgiveness of sin to people.  Instead of just one pastoral leader – Jesus – there are literally millions of pastors, priests and ministers around the world.  Each pastor has the call to offer us the Word of God and the forgiveness of sin. Each is called to help us know and serve God and neighbor.
  4. He promised his Holy Spirit. The giving of the Holy Spirit is promised many times, including in John 14:25-26: Jesus said, “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”  With the Holy Spirit of Jesus in the world our Lord is not bound to just one location.  Jesus can be in every church for worship, fellowship time and Bible Study.  He can be with each of us in prayer. He can be with us as we serve our neighbors in need.  He can be with those who need to understand the Gospel.  He can be with those who are facing difficulty of any form, or who are suffering for the Gospel.

Here is something else to consider:  Some churches have set off fireworks on the evening of Ascension.  I think it is a great image.  A limited image, but it is a start.  A firework goes up into the sky, seemingly out of our sight.  That is like Jesus going up out of our sight.  Then, suddenly, there is a fiery explosion.  That is like the day of Pentecost, which took place 10 days after the Ascension.  The Holy Spirit makes a grand, fiery and powerful arrival.  The presence of Jesus in Spirit is brought to the church, and the Spirit is then shared with all who would believe.  The fire of a firework lasts, at most, a few seconds.  The fire and influence of the Holy Spirit continues to this very day.

This burst of life for the Church stirs and empowers us to live out God’s goal for us.  Here I bring in the Catechism of the Church of England.  In the section on the Church it makes note of the mission of the Church.  Here is part of what we read there:

 

  1. Why is the Church described as apostolic?
  2. The Church is apostolic, because it continues in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles and is sent to carry out Christ’s mission to all people.
  3. What is the mission of the Church?
  4. The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.
  5. How does the Church pursue its mission?
  6. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace, and love.
  7. Through whom does the Church carry out its mission?
  8. The church carries out its mission through the ministry of all its members.

The Ascension of Jesus sets in motion God’s grand plan.  This is to bring the Good News of Jesus to others.  God’s goal is that fulfilling this plan becomes our goal.  With God’s provision we can be part of this great mission in the world.

On this Ascension Day celebration, we give thanks that Jesus did leave us.  He left so that he could give the world even more.  He gave us his teachings, the Sacraments, the Ministry of pastors and forgiveness, and the Holy Spirit.  Through these he makes it possible for the message and ministry of Christ to be brought to people all over the world.

 

Prayer

Amazing and Mighty Lord, we praise you as the God of all creation.  As we celebrate the Ascension of your Son, Jesus Christ, help us to understand the great things you have in store for us.  By your Holy Spirit enliven our faith and help us to be steadfast in you.  We pray this in the most Holy Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

*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.

Loving God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we pray for the spread of the Holy Gospel to people of every language, tribe, and nation.  Help all pastors, deacons, teachers, missionaries, and the whole people of God, to speak to others of the Word of salvation and new life in Christ.  Stir your Holy Spirit in the lives of those who hear the message of the Gospel so they, too, will have new life in Christ Jesus.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray for all faithful Christians in this congregation and throughout the world.  Grant us the grace of the Holy Spirit, both to fight against the snares and lures of our ancient enemies, and to carry out good works through congregations and communities.  Help us joyfully to continue our partnership with the AMEN Food Pantry. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who will be graduating from high school, college or university.  Grant them an assurance of faith as they enter a new season of their lives.  Draw them to a renewed connection with your church as they move toward new endeavors of life.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are in mourning, [especially the family and friends of …], that our gracious heavenly Father would comfort them in their sorrow with the hope given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior. By your compassion dry their tears and help their sorrow be turned to joy.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are sick, suffering from COVID19 illness, undergoing surgery, or suffering any other affliction, especially those we name aloud or in quiet prayer…  We pray that you, our great and heavenly Physician, would grant them healing, strength and renewed hope.  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

 

LORD’S PRAYER 

 
Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #27061.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

WALDECK PRAYER LIST:  Linda Brown, London Gaskins, Phillip Procell, Brian Shaffer, Sandra Gest, Barbara Spence, April Weyand, Fritz Schoenst, Alicia McQuaig, Diana Garik Poentisch, Sally Beettner, Carrie Oltmann, Robin Hardin, Beverly Drescher.

Sympathy – Peggy Rodgers, Waldeck Community Member.

 

REMEMBER IN PRAYER: Susan Ray (recent knee replacement surgery); Brad & Patti (Hart) Eilers (both quarantined with COVID-19); Megan Hart Burch (daughter of Patti & Brad, cancer and chemotherapy); Ruby Renck (recent surgery); Angie Colpetzer (recent surgery); Carol Mertz Leitzel, Janet Schnell Beckworth (both friends of Praise Team leader Jolene Wickel, health concerns and in hospitals);  Ricky Eckert (brother of Ronnie Eckert, health concerns); Kalisa Pomykal (Paula Barrick’s sister, medical concerns); Kenny Lorenz (former member Robert Hinze’s relative, serious burns and numerous health concerns); Nancy Pietsch (former RT-C teacher, health concerns); Johnny Dunham (health concerns); Joyce Kelley (friend, health concerns); Jack Walsh (friend of Wade Eilers, chemotherapy); Robert Vaughn (at Texas Neurology, thankful for extended stay for rehab); Edna Mae Krivacka (friend of Ed Eargle and Carol Carmean, back home, health concerns)

 

Sympathy to the families of Bill Clarke (friend of Daryl & Susan Ray); Sylvia Braun Hughey (Floyd Braun’s sister); Carrie Bozarth (friend of Sedalia Ullrich); Ruth Hueske (friend from Brenham); Nelson Neutzler (friend from Burton); Verlene Citzler (aunt of Leonita Sanders)

 

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

MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE The Carmine EDC along with Quade-Werchan American Legion Post 338 will sponsor a drive-in or drive-up, stay in your vehicle Memorial Day Service of Remembrance at the Carmine Muehlbrad-Albers City Park tomorrow, Monday, May 25, beginning at 9:30 a.m.  Due to social distancing, those attending will be asked to remain in their vehicles or be appropriately distanced within the park grounds.   There will not be any type of formal service and refreshments will not be served.

At 9:30 a.m., the flag will be lowered with taps played by Jennifer Mohr.  Names of deceased veterans will be read, followed by Taps played again.  All leave the park, and the flag will be raised by post members back to full staff at noon.

 

MEMORIAL DAY is being observed tomorrow.  Today we remember the deceased veterans of our congregation with a list of their names; and are thankful for their service to our country.

 

WORSHIP SERVICES will begin June 6 & 7.  Limitations will be listed in the June newsletter and possibly in next Sunday’s bulletin.

 

A.M.E.N. May is the month that we collect for the food pantry in La Grange.  You may either send or bring by your monetary donations.  You may also bring non-perishable food items to the church.  The box is in the narthex.

 

HERITAGE COMMITTEE of the Carmine Chamber of Commerce will not meet on June 4 as planned.  Next meeting will be Wed., Sept., 2 at 10 a.m.  The topic will be “Educational Memories” from the old school.  Questions and discussions are welcome.  Please invite others interested in the history of the are to join the session.

 

RECYCLING TRAILER is now back at the Carmine Hall on Thursdays from noon until 4 p.m.  They are in Ledbetter the same day from 8:30 – 11 a.m. behind the Ledbetter Hall.

 

OUTREACH/CARE COMMITTEE A person is needed to serve on the Church Council for the Outreach/Care Committee position.  You would only need to attend meetings and serve as a liaison, as someone has volunteered to serve as the chairman.  Please consider serving in this role.

 

WELCA BANQUET set for June 3 has been postponed.

 

OFFERING ENVELOPES may be mailed to the church at PO Box 362, Carmine, TX 78932.  You may also give online.  Check the http://mlllccarmine/online-giving/ website for more information.  Thanks to all who have continued to make contributions.

 

LUTHERAN MISSION APPEAL envelopes 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.  http://mlllccarmine/online-giving/   When you go to this page, click on the link for the giving site.  On that page you will see a line for disaster relief – Lutheran Disaster Response   That is where you can indicate your gift amount through the online giving.

 

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL at MLLC has been postponed to August 2-6, 2020 from 5:30 – 7:45 p.m., with the theme Rocky Railway.  See the codes in the May newsletter to register your child and to volunteer.

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

 

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL Bethlehem Lutheran in Round Top is postponing VBS indefinitely.  It may still be cancelled, but they are waiting to see how things go this summer.  There are registration forms in the narthex and church office.  For more information contact Stacy Eilers at 979-639-1897.

Announcing Resumption of In-Person Worship

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In Person Services Will Resume June 6-7

Here is the communication which will also be in the June Newsletter.  We are working to resume our gatherings in a reverent and helpful manner.

Our Situation in June 2020

In observing the situation, the church council has decided to phase in the “in-person” worship and activities.

 

Here is the Plan for the June:

*We will gather for worship at our usual times:  Saturday at 6 p.m.; Sunday at 10 a.m.

*There is no pressure to attend the in-person services.  This is a time of transition.

*We ask that the Saturday service be reserved, as much as possible, for our senior, adult worship attendees.  A companion or family member can attend with the senior as is helpful.  This will help us with the 50 person maximum as noted below.

*We ask that the Sunday service be reserved, as much as possible, for the younger than senior individuals and families. This will help us with the 50 person maximum as noted below.

*In consideration of state guidance, the limit in our sanctuary for worship services will be 50, plus worship leaders.  We will have overflow into the Parlor, with audio available.  Every other row will be blocked off.  Different individuals/couples/households/families are asked to sit away from each other throughout the sanctuary.

*The services will be simpler than usual, much like what has been offered in the Facebook Live services.  No communion yet, as this greatly increases the physical contact and proximity between individuals.  Yes, we know this is difficult, as the Sacrament is so central to our life with Christ.

*Regarding Offerings:  there will be an offering plate on the table at the back of the sanctuary.  You may place your offerings there, or you may continue to send these by mail or through the church’s giving web site.

*Group meetings and class meetings will phase in at various times in the summer.

*The church office staff will only be on site as needed, but generally Monday-Friday.  Call before coming by, just to make sure.  The office answering machine will be checked regularly. For emergencies please contact Pastor David Tinker on his cell phone: 713-461-8007

*No printed bulletins or congregational singing yet.  These both increase the potential of the spread of infection.

 *Our partner congregation, Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church, will also resume in-person worship services on June 7.  Their service time is 8:00 a.m. each Sunday.

Devotional and Worship

Daily devotions will continue on the church web site:  mllccarmine.com The link for these is being emailed to the newsletter list, and the links are provided on the church Facebook page.

To begin receiving these notifications, send a message requesting that your address be added.  mluther@industryinet.com

We will to offer a Sunday devotion through our Facebook page on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.  It will be viewable later as desired.  You do not need a Facebook account to view the service. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/mllccarmine/ to view the church page.  Links to the YouTube version will be on the church web page.

We will continue to send a bulletin and Sunday devotion to our older members (~75+), nursing home residents and shut-in individuals.  This will be by email (if used by the person) or by postal delivery.  The same bulletin will be available on the web site each week.

Devotion and Readings for May 28

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Bible Readings and Devotion for May 28, 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 16:16-24

Ephesians 4:25 – 5:7

Psalms 66, 70, and 72

Ezekiel 48

 

Devotion for May 28, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

In John 1:43-51  we read about the encounter between Philip and Nathanael.  Philip has just recently met Jesus, and he wants to share this good encounter with others.  Here is a portion of the account of his discussion with Nathanael from John 1:45-46:

“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.””

Nathanael had his doubts, even after hearing what Philip told him.  The response of Philip was an invitation to come and see for himself the great things of Jesus.

In today’s reading from Psalm 66 we have another invitation to, “Come and see.”  Here is what we read in Psalm 66:5:  “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.”

The psalm writer gives a mini summary of God’s work to that point.  We read this in the few verses following: “He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There we rejoiced in him, who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations—let the rebellious not exalt themselves.”

Of course, there is much more that our Lord had already done up to that point in Old Testament history.  As the Old Testament points us to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, we then look to the New Testament books.  The Gospel books, Acts, and the various letters all give us a chance to, “come and see,” the great works of God.  You are encouraged to take time each day to read from God’s Word.  The more you read, the more you will be able to, “Come and see,” all that God has done.

One tool we use each week at worship to, “come and see,” is the Creed.  We most often use either the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed.  These ancient church documents help us to review the work of God on a weekly, and even daily, basis.  It is fully appropriate to read or recite one of the creeds in your daily devotions.

Here is the Nicene Creed as used from Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW), which is the green hymnal and worship book used at Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church:

*Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

 

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate from the virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

He has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen

 

Prayer

Gracious and holy God, give us diligence to seek you, wisdom to perceive you, and patience to wait for you. Grant us, O God, a mind to meditate on you; eyes to behold you; ears to listen for your word; a heart to love you; and a life to proclaim you; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

 

Devotion and Readings for May 20

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Bible Readings and Devotion for May 20, 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 14:1-11

Ephesians 2:1-10

Psalms 46, 47, 48 

Ezekiel 40

 

Devotion for May 20, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

Everything seems to change all the time.  The thing which seems to have changed the most in my life is where I have lived.  I have lived in six states:  Colorado, Texas, California, Ohio, Florida and Indiana.  I have lived in 12 cities or towns.  In those 12 cities I have had 20 addresses which I can remember, not including temporary stays at hotels for a few weeks here and there while waiting for a house to become available.

In the midst of all these changes and challenges, there is one thing which has remained the same.  It is that God has always loved and cared for me.  He sought me out by his Holy Spirit, and called me to the Gospel.  God stirred my parents to make sure I was baptized and raised to know our Lord.  No matter what else happened in my life, God has been there, carrying me through it all from the very first until now, and on into eternity.

Psalm 46, verses 1-3 reminds us of the truth of God which I have experienced and lived, and which God offers to all who would believe in Jesus Christ.  The Psalmist writes, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”

To better understand this psalm, let us look to two contexts for this psalm.  We look first to the Old Testament Context.  The Old Testament Context of Psalm 46 is that of the people of Israel, around 1000 to 750 BC.  This is the time of the Kings and of Jerusalem being the center of religious and political life for the people.  The Israelites struggled against three enemies:  foreign powers, the power of the sea, and their struggle with the temptation to worship false idols.  Each of these brought chaos, division and loss to the people.

To care for them, God gave them this psalm as a source of encouragement in the midst of their fears and enemies.  His love and care, and the people’s worship and thanksgiving, were central to his presence in that place.  The Lord’s love for his people would not falter or sway.

Another context of this psalm is our life now.  The strong and sure love of God is brought to us in the saving work of Jesus Christ.  We are reminded that Jesus, God the Son, had given himself for the world for the forgiveness of our sin.  Through his being raised from the dead, Jesus leads us beyond death to a new life founded on his goodness and love.  That love of God is offered to us in our context today.  We also face our own struggles.  Life has its ups and downs.  Into this we are reminded of a truth which is greater than our present struggles.  We have a hope which is more powerful than all the changes and challenges of our time.  We have the truth which was already there for us 3000 years ago.  We have what the psalmist tells us: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”

This also reminds us of a wonderfully assuring passage in Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 8, where the author states: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  We know that despite all the changes and challenges of life that our Lord Jesus Christ will always love us and be with us.  He has been there all along, and will be with us now and forever.

We are reminded in 1 Peter 5:7 that Jesus is there for us in the midst of all the challenges of life.  Peter tells us, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”  We can cast all of our struggles and changes on him, and he will carry our burden.  We can cast all our broken and troubled lives on him, because he gave himself for us on the cross.  Because he has given all for us, because we can cast all of our changes and challenges on him, we can live with sure and certain hope.

To close I share with you the sure and certain vision for the future.  We read in Revelation chapter 21 the following:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them 4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.””

 

Prayer

Eternal God, amid all the turmoil and changes of the world your love is steadfast and your strength never fails. In this time of danger and trouble, be to us a sure guardian and rock of defense. Guide the leaders of our nation with your wisdom, comfort those in distress, and grant us courage and hope to face the future; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Devotion and Readings for May 19

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Bible Readings and Devotion for May 19, 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 13:31-38

Ephesians 1:15-23

Psalms 45 and 49

Ezekiel 39

 

Devotion for May 19, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

Our reading from John, chapter 13, highlights the New Commandment of Jesus.  This is following the dramatic account earlier in chapter 13 of how Jesus serves his disciples at the Last Supper.  Specifically, we read of him giving himself in humble service as he washes his disciples’ feet.  His act of service to them becomes a model of Christian service.  After Jesus washes their feet he says, “For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”  Our calling is to serve each other by washing one another’s feet, and any other kind of humble service for the benefit of one another.

Jesus lifts up a simple plan of action for his followers:  serve one another as Jesus has served them.  The day after giving this example of service for others, Jesus gave the ultimate act of service:  he gave himself in death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin.  For our sake he defeated the final power of death by being raised to life beyond death.  Who is being served by this?  Jesus is serving the people of the world whom he dearly loves.  Jesus is serving you and me.

The death and resurrection of Jesus brings us forgiveness and life.  His goodness for us leads us to live for God and others in a new and powerful way.  The foundation of this is in the work of God for us in Jesus Christ.  In Romans chapter 6, verses 3 and 4 we read the following: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”  We can see here that, as we are united with Christ in Baptism, and as we are stirred to faith by the Holy Spirit, we grow into living his new and most excellent way.  God’s new way always involves service to God, our neighbors and our fellow believers.

We serve one another because God first loved us.  (1 John 4:19). Our mutual service ends up also being part of our witness to what God has done for us and the human race.  The song, “They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love,” expresses this point well.  See the video link below for this song.

 

Prayer

Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Devotion and Readings for May 18

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Bible Readings and Devotion for May 18, 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 9:24-41  

Ephesians 1:1-14

Psalms 42, 43, 44

Ezekiel 38

 

 

Devotion for May 18, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

Monday, May 18, is the 40th anniversary of my Confirmation.  On May 18, 1980 I affirmed by Baptism in the presence of God’s people and of our loving God, the Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  When I affirmed my baptism, I was connecting with my faith, and giving glory to our God.  I was honoring the Lord who had founded my faith in what God has first done for me in Jesus Christ.  I was committing love God and loving my neighbor.  When I was baptized on September 18, 1966, I was united to Jesus in the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is worthy of praise, just because he is God.  On top of that, we give praise to God for all he has done for us in the work of Jesus Christ.  We praise and thank him for Jesus’ death on the cross for our sin.  We praise and thank him for his glorious rising from the dead.  We praise and thank him for the forgiveness of our sin.  We praise the Holy Spirit for leading us to God’s most excellent way, both now and forever.

The Apostle Paul gives a powerful expression of this in the opening part of his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 1, verses 3 through 14.  I like to call it “An Ode to the Holy Trinity”.  It has three distinct sections praising or giving “Doxa” to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Each section ends with a similar note of praise to that person of the Trinity.  Let’s read this now:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

FATHER:  to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

 

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.

SON:  … for the praise of his glory.

 

13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.”

HOLY SPIRIT:  to the praise of his glory.”

 

We are blessed to have a way of proclaiming a Doxology.  This Doxology is to the praise of the God revealed to us as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Thankfully we know who God is, and what he has done for us in Jesus Christ.

When we realize the greatness of our God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we are guided to two main responses.  One is to praise God, and the other is to serve and build up others.  As we go through our days, no matter what we say or do, it is an opportunity to rejoice in our God and to love our neighbors.

 

 

Prayer

God of heaven and earth, before the foundation of the universe and the beginning of time you are the Triune God: Author of creation, eternal Word of salvation, life-giving Spirit of wisdom. Guide us to all truth by your Spirit, that we may proclaim all that Christ has revealed and rejoice in the glory he shares with us. Glory and praise to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Easter 6 – Sunday May 17

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The Ascension of Jesus, by Gustav Doré.

Readings, Devotion, Prayers and Announcements for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 17, 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 readings.

 

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.

YouTube Video Link

Here is the link for the YouTube video of this day’s service.

 

May 17, 2020

Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

First Reading: Acts 17:22-31

A reading from Acts.

In Athens, Paul faces the challenge of proclaiming the gospel to Greeks who know nothing of either Jewish or Christian tradition. He proclaims that the “unknown god” whom they worship is the true Lord of heaven and earth who will judge the world with justice through Jesus, whom God has raised from the dead.

22Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm: Psalm 66:8-20

8Bless our God, you peoples;
let the sound of praise be heard.
9Our God has kept us among the living
and has not allowed our feet to slip. 
10For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us just as silver is tried.
11You brought us into the net;
you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.
12You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water,
but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.
13I will enter your house with burnt offerings
and will pay you my vows—
14those that I promised with my lips
and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble.
15I will offer you burnt offerings of fatlings with the smoke of rams;
I will give you oxen and goats. 
16Come and listen, all you who believe,
and I will tell you what God has done for me.
17I called out to God with my mouth,
and praised the Lord with my tongue.
18If I had cherished evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have heard me;
19but in truth God has heard me
and has attended to the sound of my prayer.
20Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer,
nor withheld unfailing love from me. 

 

Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22

A reading from 1 Peter.

The author of 1 Peter encourages Christians to remain faithful even in the face of defamation and persecution. In baptism we are made clean to act in accordance with what is right.

13Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel: John 14:15-21

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

In final words to his disciples on the night of his arrest, Jesus encourages obedience to his commandments and speaks of the Spirit, who will be with them forever.

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

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

 

Devotion

Pastor David J. Tinker

“But Wait, There’s More”

 

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

Have you ever watched one of those Infomercials?  An infomercial is one of those half hour commercials for some product or line of products.  Some of the items offered for sale are quite fascinating, while others are obviously junk.  There is a certain pattern which I have noticed in these Infomercials. The main product is being talked about by the announcer.  He or she shows us all the wonderful things which the widget can do. It can cut a tin can and a tomato.  It can clean any surface.  It can entertain you for hours.  The announcer gets us transfixed on the item and gives us a price:  just 5 easy payments of $19.95.  Then comes the fun part.  The announcer will say something such as, “But wait!  There’s more!”  Then the announcer will go on to tell us about the thing-a-ma-jig which comes with the widget.  It can do all sorts of other things too.  After getting us excited about the widget and the thing-a-ma-jig, the announcer says again, “But wait!  There’s more!”  If we call in the next 20 minutes, we can, for that same low price, also add on a what-cha-ma-call-it.

It seems as though we can get everything for that same low price.  The announcer promises us everything we want, even if we don’t really need it at all.

In our Gospel Reading for today we have a promise of Jesus for his Apostles, for the Church, and for us today.  This is much greater and wonderful than anything ever offered on an infomercial.  Even great than that is the truth that God offers us this good gift freely out of his love for us.  He promises that he will grant his Holy Spirit to us.  We read in verses 16 and 17, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

This promise is given to assure the followers of Jesus that they will be granted a strong and ongoing connection with God beyond the moment.  The Holy Spirit was and is already present to draw people to the Good News of Jesus.  The calling of the Apostles was an expression of the Holy Spirit’s work.  Our calling to follow Jesus is a present-day expression of the Holy Spirit’s work.

There is something deeper which Jesus is promising.  Yes, the calling of God for our lives is a powerful and deep thing.  In a sense, Jesus is announcing a greater expression of the Holy Spirit.  This giving of the Holy Spirit is about our growing relationship with God.  It is about the assurance of the presence of Jesus in our lives, even after he has ascended out of our sight.

The promise of Jesus is a both/and announcement.  He is promising something which counters that old adage:  “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”  That adage means that it is not possible to have both of two seemingly counter realities.  It you have your cake on the plate, you can’t also have that same piece in your stomach.  Either you have it on the plate, or you have eaten it.

In a beautiful way, Jesus is saying that, in his case, you can sort of have both.  You can have the benefits of his ascension out of our sight, and you can have his presence in your life.

The benefit of the Ascension is that the ministry of Jesus is not limited to where he, an individual, can be.  The Holy Spirit is given so that the ministry of Jesus is spread throughout the world.  Jesus talks about this in John, chapter 4, as worshiping the Father in Spirit and Truth.

This is also how he will be with us.  This giving of the Holy Spirit, this stirring of the Holy Spirit in the world, bring Jesus to us.  This is the, “But wait, there’s more,” aspect.  We get the Holy Spirit, and in many and various ways, we get Jesus as well.

Here are some of the main ways we get Jesus in our lives today.

Holy Communion – Jesus is in, with and under the bread and wine.  We understand that he is truly present in these elements and the Word of God.  Our weekly gatherings for Word and Sacrament are, in part, a rehearsal for this eternity with God.  We call is a foretaste of the feast to come.  In eternity we will no longer be concerned about what takes so much of our time now.  Instead we will delight in being in the presence of Almighty God.  We will be worshipping God in his fullness, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We are also connected to the eternal and holy worship of the Lord.  We are spiritually lifted into the throne room of God.  We pray, “Lift up your hearts, we lift them to the Lord.”  In this, we are praying about being in that most holy place, and we are connected with that in the here and now.

Holy Baptism – By the Word and the Water, we are united with Jesus in his suffering, death and resurrection.

The Word of God – the message of the Word connects us with Jesus.  It presents Jesus to us.  It is Jesus in a sense.

The Holy Spirit – builds our faith and draws us closer to Jesus.

Service to others – As we serve others, we are serving Jesus.  We are closer to Jesus when we serve those who are most vulnerable in the world, the hungry, the thirsty, those lacking clothing and warmth, those who are sick, those in prison, those who are lonely and separated from others.

In our Fellowship – We get to be part of the presence of Jesus for others.  We get to be part of the way the Lord builds up life and love and fellowship among the community of Christians.

In all these good things we are reminded that there is always so much more to what we may first see or sense or know about our relationship with God.  The various things offered for sale in Infomercials are certainly nothing compared with the beautiful, glorious, loving and beneficial things which the Lord provides for us in Jesus.  Day by day we get to receive God’s offer to reconnect with him.  In this we gain a great understanding of the many and various ways that our Lord Jesus is with us. As we go through our life with the Spirit presence and guidance, we are reminded again, “But wait, there’s more.”

Let us pray – Good and generous Lord, you provide all we need for faith and life.  Help each of us to receive graciously your blessings and to respond with joyful service.  This we pray in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

 

*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, you are the source of our faith and the one whom we worship.  We pray that you will receive our prayers and thanksgivings.  Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We lift before you all who struggle with grief.  Grant us a faithful measure of compassion for those who face difficult losses.  (We especially lift in prayer the family and friends of… ) Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Other petitions may be added here.

We pray for all who suffer and struggle with any ailment or distress.  We lift before you all those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…  Bring comfort and healing to all for whom we pray.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We give you thanks for the ministry of music in this congregation. Grant continued joy in service to the Tone Chimes Choir as they proclaim your glory among us.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Your Church around the world continues to witness to your goodness and mercy.  We remember in prayer the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic.  Strengthen them in their witness during these difficult days in their homeland.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We give thanks for your provision of rain for all who need it.  We pray that you will continue to provide the water needed for all of creation.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

You lead us to faithfulness in witness and service. We give you thanks for 118 years of ministry through the people of Martin Luther Lutheran Church.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Guide us in lives of faith and service.  Stir us to greater generosity as we use and give your provision for your glory, and for the benefit of those in need. Help us to care for those who are struggling and suffering due to the current health crisis. 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

LORD’S PRAYER 

 

Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #27061.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Waldeck Prayer List:  Linda Brown, London Gaskins, Phillip Procell, Brian Shaffer, Sandra Gest, Barbara Spence, April Weyand, Fritz Schoenst, Alicia McQuaig, Diana Garik Poentisch, Sally Beettner, Carrie Oltmann, Robin Hardin, Beverly Drescher.  

MLLC Prayer List: Brad & Patti (Hart) Eilers (Brad recently hospitalized, Patti ill); Megan Hart Burch (daughter of Patti & Brad, cancer and chemotherapy); Ruby Renck (recent surgery); Angie Colpetzer (recent surgery); Carol Mertz Leitzel, Janet Schnell Beckworth (both friends of Praise Team leader Jolene Wickel, health concerns and in hospitals);  Ricky Eckert (brother of Ronnie Eckert, health concerns); Kalisa Pomykal (Paula Barrick’s sister, medical concerns); Kenny Lorenz (former member Robert Hinze’s relative, serious burns and numerous health concerns); Nancy Pietsch (former RT-C teacher, health concerns); Johnny Dunham (health concerns); Joyce Kelley (friend, health concerns); Jack Walsh (friend of Wade Eilers, chemotherapy); Robert Vaughn (at Texas Neurology, thankful for extended stay for rehab); Edna Mae Krivacka (friend of Ed Eargle and Carol Carmean, back home, health concerns)

Sympathy to the families of Bill Clarke (friend of Daryl & Susan Ray); Sylvia Braun Hughey (Floyd Braun’s sister); Carrie Bozarth (friend of Sedalia Ullrich); Ruth Hueske (friend from Brenham); Nelson Neutzler (friend from Burton); Verlene Citzler (aunt of Leonita Sanders)

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

 

A.M.E.N. May is the month that we collect for the food pantry in La Grange.  You may either send or bring by your monetary donations.  You may also bring non-perishable food items to the church.  The box is in the narthex.

 

RECYCLING TRAILER is now back at the Carmine Hall on Thursdays from noon until 4 p.m.  They are in Ledbetter the same day from 8:30 – 11 a.m. behind the Ledbetter Hall.

 

OUTREACH/CARE COMMITTEE A person is needed to serve on the Church Council for the Outreach/Care Committee position.  You would only need to attend meetings and serve as a liaison, as someone has volunteered to serve as the chairman.  Please consider serving in this role.

WORSHIP SERVICES are suspended until further notice.

WELCA BANQUET set for June 3 has been postponed.

OFFERING ENVELOPES may be mailed to the church at PO Box 362, Carmine, TX 78932.  You may also give online.  Check the http://mlllccarmine/online-giving/ website for more information.  Thanks to all who have continued to make contributions.

CONFIRMATION will be postponed and a new date set when services resume.

LUTHERAN MISSION APPEAL envelopes 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.  http://mlllccarmine/online-giving/   When you go to this page, click on the link for the giving site.  On that page you will see a line for disaster relief – Lutheran Disaster Response   That is where you can indicate your gift amount through the online giving.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL at MLLC has been postponed to August 2-6, 2020 from 5:30 – 7:45 p.m., with the theme Rocky Railway.  See the codes in the May newsletter to register your child and to 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 is postponing VBS indefinitely.  It may still be cancelled, but they are waiting to see how things go this summer.  There are registration forms in the narthex and church office.  For more information contact Stacy Eilers at 979-639-1897.