“He is risen ... He is risen INDEED!” Those are the words we speak on this Easter Sunday morning. This is the victory won for us by Christ!
But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened (Luke 24:12).
So what’s next? How do we hold on to this victory won for us by Christ 24/7, 365 days a year? By staying in God’s Word and by receiving the assurance of forgiveness in the Lord’s Supper. But the devil’s going to give you all kinds of “good reasons” to not hold on so tight to that victory, like: “Sunday is your only day to sleep in!” Or, “the kids have sports on Sundays! Missing one Sunday doesn’t hurt!” And what about this one, “you can start going to Church and Bible Study more when your schedule lightens up ... !” The devil is the one telling you those things, because the truth is that we are not going to be able to hold on to that victory without the strength that comes from God’s Word and Sacraments! Celebrate everyday, “He is risen ... He is risen INDEED!”
Posted on March 27, 2016 10:18 AM
“We are the Champions!” That’s a common theme throughout history, isn’t it? The fleeting nature of victory. Just ask Napoleon. Ask Hitler. Ask the Great British Empire. Even those individuals that maintain their grasp on power, money, and prestige their whole life soon find that they can’t take it with them. Death is imminent. You can’t avoid it. The glory of this world is fleeting. But there is a victory that lasts, a victory that nobody can take away ... a victory that doesn’t end at death. It’s the victory that we will see once again tomorrow morning. Easter morning! Through the efforts of our risen Lord Jesus, sin and death have been conquered.
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:56-57).
Therefore, my sisters and brothers of the LWML, thank God with your every thought, word, and action. Tomorrow, on Easter Sunday, hold on to Christ your risen Lord in Word and Sacrament, because in Him, “We are The Champions!” Amen.
Posted on March 26, 2016 8:46 AM
We often think of good in terms of a productive activity or a joyous event. We would comment, “I had a good day at work.” Or we would reflect, “That was a good birthday party; everyone had a lot of fun.” We enjoy good times with our friends and are encouraged when things go well.
On the Friday in which Jesus was crucified, suffered, and died, the Christian Church seeks to engage people with the word good, as in Good Friday. What's good about putting anyone to death, especially by the Roman means of crucifixion? The good in Good Friday refers to what this death means for us. The Apostle Paul concluded: For our sake [God] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians5:21).
On Good Friday our sins are paid in full. Nothing could be better for us. That is why we worship “Jesus Christ Above All.”
Posted on March 25, 2016 8:36 AM
Are you able to absorb all that Jesus taught this special night we call Maundy Thursday? We call this Thursday, “Maundy” because that comes from a Latin word which means command, and Jesus gave some very special commands that night, like “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34a) and “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19b). Jesus not only gave us those commands but He put them into practice Himself.
So very often people in charge don’t do a very good job of that. The boss likes to dictate your hours and coffee breaks and what you can and cannot do on company time, but he never follows his own rules. After all, he’s the boss! All too often, parents send the message to their kids: “Do as I say and not as I do.”
However, Jesus is in charge of everything! He’s the master! He not only tells us what to do, He does it Himself first. So, on this Maundy Thursday let your actions follow the actions of Jesus through your time, talent, and the giving of your mites for mission!
Posted on March 24, 2016 1:57 PM
Miss Leading Has Spring in Her Step
Spring brings new life and new beginnings. The earth itself comes back from winter’s dormancy in the season we call spring. Yay! This year, the first day of spring is also Palm Sunday. What an appropriate beginning to Holy Week, celebrating our new life in Christ’s resurrection from the dead! In His death and rising, we are assured of our own eternal life after death. On Palm Sunday we sing the ancient song “Hosanna in the Highest!” as we welcome new life to the earth and salvation for our souls.
Also, making her LWML debut this spring is Miss Leading! She has been introduced on the LWML website and through social media. Maybe you’ve met her already. A purple (to the core) LWML leader who may speak your language as she relates to leadership challenges and snafus. She’s all about engaging, encouraging, equipping and enjoying leaders in the LWML (and future leaders too.)
Ms L, as we endearingly call her, will be featured in each quarterly Follow the Leader (http://www.lwml.org/developing-leaders) newsletter. She’ll also pop up in other media so be on the lookout for her. She’s new this spring, fresh and ready to serve the Lord with gladness!
Posted on March 14, 2016 9:45 AM
Lutheran Women in Mission, what does this mean?
Lutheran Women in Mission, what does this mean? Sounds like a good Lutheran catechetical question to me. The answers are as diverse as the women in the LWML.
Our mission reaches far beyond all the busy tasks of being in an organization. Individually and collectively we offer ourselves to do the work of the Lord in our homes, congregations, communities, and worldwide. Our mite offerings help to supply the needs to mission grant recipients who then share the Gospel with others. Participation in many ministries is not only financial. It involves our prayerful support of their efforts to bring Christ to people worldwide. We are part of the team.
The LWML Mission Grants committee has provided on the website at lwml.org/mission-grants stories, devotions, prayers, bulletin information, and Facebook postings for the current 19 mission grants. We encourage you to use them as a way of getting to know your fellow teammates in the mission field. Connect directly with the recipients by going to their websites for more specific information about their ministry and possible ways to personally engage in their outreach.
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:11-12).
Posted on March 07, 2016 9:12 AM
It’s a Race!
I am not a runner. That’s why I can relate to the cartoon that reads “I don’t run. And if you do see me running, you’d better run too, because something is probably chasing me.” That is so true!
And yet, here I am, running a race. Hebrews 12:1 says in part “… and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us …”
So, it’s pretty obvious that I am going to need the right equipment and lots of encouragement! One great resource is the Mustard Seed set written by DCE Amanda Stacy, The Race of Faith. She compares a runner's activities with living the Christian faith. Even non-runners (like me!) find meaningful applications for life in Christ. Will you join me in this race?
You can sign up to receive daily Mustard Seed devotions via email. Click here.
Posted on February 29, 2016 9:18 AM