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4-11-2021 Weekly article

Come, Spend Time with Me

During the last year, life has been turned upside down. Many of us were ordered into isolation as the virus spiked all over the country. I had time at home that I don’t normally have. And here was God saying, “Come, spend time with Me.”

I looked up Bible verses on diseases, crises, encouragement, and hope. A verse that spoke to me loudly was, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you (Jeremiah 29:11–12). Many of us are very familiar with verse 11, but verse 12 is key. God has plans for us, but we also need to call upon Him; pray and He will answer.

As Lutheran Women in Mission, we share God’s Word through LWML Bible studies and devotions, especially in isolation.


4-4-2021 Weekly Article

Jesus Lives! The Victory’s Won!

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Victory! That is what today is all about! Sin and death are defeated. Jesus has won the victory and has promised that His victory is ours. Sin cannot beat us down, for Christ has borne it away. The grave cannot hold us because it could not hold Jesus. Life eternal is ours because Jesus lives.

This is especially good news this year since many of us could not celebrate Easter with our church family last year. Today, Christ’s victory seems even more joyful as full-throated “alleluias” will be spoken, Easter lilies carry the smell of the resurrection, and we will partake of the Lamb’s high feast. It is a celebration of Christ’s victory, and it is a celebration of the resurrected life He gives us.

Rejoice, dear saints of God, for victory is ours in Christ. And with the Church, let the world hear it this year: “Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”


4-2-2021 Good Friday article

Good for Us

and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5c).

It is a day that we have come to call “good” even though it does not seem there is much good about it. The Christ, the Lamb of God, dies on the cross, and it is all our fault. Our sin — yours and mine — put Him there to suffer, bleed, and die.

But without this cross, without these wounds, and without this death, there would be no hope for us. Christ bears our sin upon Himself, but in the wounds made in His hands, feet, and side, we are healed eternally.

That is why today is called “Good” Friday. The innocent Lamb of God is slain for us. By His wounds we find healing for body and soul and, washed in His blood, we are heirs of eternal life. Today is a good day for us, and it is also good for our Lord. In love, He has healed us and secured our place in His kingdom forever.


4/1/2021 Maundy Thursday article

No Greater Love

There is no greater love than one lay down his life for his friend. We hear about this from time to time. A soldier giving his life to save that of his fellow soldiers. We are amazed at that taking place. We will often wonder, “Would I do that if I was in that situation?”

That great love is shown to us on this day, Maundy Thursday. This is the day that begins the final 24 hours of Jesus’ earthly life prior to His resurrection. It was on this night that He gathered with His disciples in the upper room, where He washed their feet, instituted the blessed Sacrament, and told them what was going to take place later that night. We recall all those events.

The one event that gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect upon what Jesus is doing happens week after week in our churches. Every time the Words of Institution are spoken over the elements of bread and wine, we hear of no greater love. We believe that as we receive the bread and wine in the Sacrament, we also receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This Sacrament reminds us of His life, death and resurrection. We have the opportunity to receive the life-giving body and blood of Jesus, to receive the forgiveness of sins, to be strengthened in faith and assured of life eternal. All of this comes from the heart of love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No greater love than what we see in this Sacrament. We will move from the Table to the Garden to the Trial and then to Calvary. We will shudder when we hear of His death. Even as we do, we will see that there is no greater love than what we receive right there at the altar. The Lord loved us so much, that He gave Himself for us. In the Sacrament, He continues to show us that love as He gives us that life-giving body and blood.

Take eat … take drink … for this is given for you. His love is given to you.


3-28-2021 Weekly Article

A Week of Ups and Downs

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him (Philippians 2:8–9a).

Holy Week moves quickly through numerous ups and downs. From the cheers of Palm Sunday’s “Hosanna!” to the jeers of Good Friday’s “Crucify him!” to the news of Jesus’ resurrection, it is enough to make one’s head spin.

Our lives are like that, as one minute we are up, then down, and back up again. Walking with Christ in Holy Week reminds us that He meets us where we are to make our ups more joyful, and our downs more hopeful. Up or down, we can live confidently because Christ gives us forgiveness, grace, victory over the grave, and unending life.

As we move through Holy Week, may the ups and downs of the events of Christ’s life bring hope to your own knowing that, in the end, our Lord shall bring us into the joy of the resurrected life.


3/21/2021 Weekly article

It's Spring!

It’s spring! The vernal equinox on March 20th marks the time when we have days and nights in equal proportions — exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.

When spring arrived in Northwest Missouri where I grew up, it was marked with sprouts of early flowers — crocuses, hyacinths, and daffodils. As the flowers broke through the winter-hardened soil, they brought new life to what had seemed so dead and lifeless just days before.

In the northern climate where I currently live, ground-breaking plants are nowhere near ready to pop up their colorful heads. We still have many feet of snow waiting to be melted by the warm sunshine. It will be another month before we will enjoy seeing spring flowers.

Nancy Kohrs’ devotion, “New Growth — Again” (on the LWML website), brings the message that “new growth” in God’s kingdom is all His doing. What a wonderful reminder of the many blessings God has given — especially new life in Christ as our Lord and Savior.


3/14/2021 Weekly article


As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51 NIV).

We have been anxiously awaiting many things in the past year — vaccinations to be administered, schools to open, jobs to resume, and hugs to be given. We wonder what the future holds.

Can you imagine what the waiting must have been like for Jesus as the time was drawing near for Him to suffer and die? He knew exactly what was ahead for Him, and yet He resolutely set out for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51b). Nothing would deter Him from the mission that was His from the time the world began. Jesus knew He would suffer in terrible ways — but His love for us would not allow for anything less than taking the punishment for our sins upon Himself, so that we would be redeemed and have eternal life with Him in heaven.

Our world desperately needs to know about the love that Jesus has for us. In using the LWML Toolkit Kits, we have real ways to bless our neighbors’ physical needs, as well as sharing God’s message of love through Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Mary Smith


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