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The Pain

What pain there must have been. I just can’t imagine. Can you? Hanging there on the cross, the pain must have been unbearable. Nails driven into the hands and the feet. Wearing a crown of thorns on the head. He hangs there, in pain. We just can’t imagine what it must have been like.

While that is true, that is not the pain that I am talking about. Can you imagine the pain of being separated from the heavenly Father? Jesus faced that as He hung on the cross. The pains of the cross were nothing compared to the pain of bearing the fullness of law on our behalf. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Forsaken, not because He hung on the cross. Forsaken because He was facing what each one of us deserved. He was paying a price that you and I cannot pay. In doing so, He faced the greatest pain of all, forsaken by the Father on the cross.

That is what makes today such a Good Friday. I am often asked why it is called Good Friday when Jesus died on this day. Because of what Jesus did on the cross on that Friday long ago, through faith in Him alone, you and I no longer need to fear being separated from our heavenly Father. We receive the gift of eternal life in heaven instead of eternal damnation in hell. That all comes because of that which Jesus did on that day. Is not this a good thing? It truly is a Good Friday. On this day, the Son of God paid our ransom price.

In a hymn we sing:

“Here I might stay and sing,
No story so divine!
Never was love, dear King,
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my friend,
In whose sweet praise
I all my days
Could gladly spend.” (My Song is Love Unknown, text, public domain)

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The Greatest Love

Maundy Thursday, the last full day of Jesus’ life before His crucifixion. He spent it with His disciples, eating the Passover and teaching them one last time before His death. Jesus said “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another” (John 13:34a). Then Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  I am sure that the disciples had no clue what Jesus was talking about at that moment. They were struggling to figure out the washing of their feet and the words to Judas. Even with all of Jesus’ words of that which was about to take place, they had no clue as to the depth of what Jesus was saying.

Jesus goes on to show them the depth of His love. In John 19:30b we read, ... he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Jesus doesn’t just say He loves us. He shows His love in the greatest way possible. You can see it as you look to the cross. There on the cross, you see His love. He gives up His sinless, perfect life for you and me, sinners that we are. He takes our place under the Law and pays the full price for our sins. That is the depth of His love.

The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus meant until after the resurrection. So often, we do not understand the depth of His love for us until that moment when we are in such need because of that which is going on in our lives. At that moment, we look to the cross, see our Lord’s suffering and death. It is then that we say, “There is His love for me.” Thank You Lord for Your love shown in Your death on the cross. 

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Road Trip Time

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15 NIV).null

In a few days the calendar will turn to April — a month when LWML district conventions begin. This year there will be 75th anniversary celebrations in many districts. At these family reunions great memories will be shared, milestones highlighted, and stories retold. So,  get ready, take some sisters and brothers in Christ with you and rejoice in what God has done, is doing and will do through the work of the LWML.

nullJust as faithful women earlier served the Lord with gladness, today Lutheran Women in Mission continue to support the work the Lord has prepared for them with their hearts, hands, feet, voices, and treasure. Seventy-five years ago those treasures were pennies, nickels and dimes that supported mission work around the world.

In tribute to the rich legacy of the LWML, you might encourage those in your society and district to make donations to the 75th Anniversary Thank Offering. It would be amazing to see how much could be gathered if everyone in every district donated 75 cents, $7.50 or more?  Donate at www.lwml.org/donate-endowment-fund, or mail to the LWML Office, 3558 S. Jefferson Ave., St Louis MO 63118. Please note the donation as LWML 75th Anniversary Thank Offering.

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Staying in Touch with LWML

Staying in Touch with LWML—Lutheran Women in Mission!

It’s easier than you think.

Keeping up on current LWML news is easy. LWML eNews comes twice a month with the most recent happenings. You can see your offerings at work enabling missions and missionaries to spread the Gospel message. Connecting on social media will allow you to see more of what is going on as will subscribing to the President’s Blog. You could download the free LWML App and get your news as you wait in a restaurant or in the car line to pick up your kids.

I highly recommend that while you are here on the homepage, you go to the “About” tab and open “Email Sign Up.” There you can sign up to receive several (your choice) emailed items from LWML. Of course, the emailed daily Mustard Seed devotions are a favorite — short and easy to forward or share. You can also sign up for eNews which will be especially fun during the 2018 year of LWML District Conventions as we report on the varied conventions being held across the U.S. There are also topics such as 2-Minute Tuesdays, Leadership Tips, the ShopLWML Specials, and of course the LWML General News Mailing List. Try some of them! It’s easy to discontinue any that you don’t find useful.

If you can’t attend LWML events, you can still feel a valued member of the sisterhood through use of these ways to keep informed. You can forward emails or copy and print news for the women in your LWML group.

You can be the person in your congregation who takes the lead in staying in touch with LWML.

that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine (Romans 1:12).

Patti Ross

God’s Precious Children

The spirit himself bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

nullAs I travel by air around the United States, I proudly display my purple LWML luggage tags on my suitcases. These luggage tags help me easily identify my luggage. It is my prayer that someone will offer a comment about the tags be it color or logo so that I can segue from the tags to share about the LWML and ultimately about God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. My luggage tags identify my luggage as belonging to me. But who do we belong to and whose are we? Through holy Baptism, we are marked with the sign of the cross on our forehead and are identified as redeemed children of God. Titus 3:7 states, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having hope of eternal life.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:27). As Lutheran Women in Mission, we are God’s precious children and sisters in Christ. To read more about who we are as an organization, click www.lwml.org/who-we-are.

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Let the Children Come

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God (Mark 10:13–14).

What will the LWML look like in ten years and beyond? How can we engage and retain our young women? One way is to grow together as a multigenerational LWML. There is that old saying, “the family that prays together, stays together.”

Shared experiences with your children like prayer, worshipping together, and attending LWML events together create opportunities for learning and living as a servant leader.

Consider planning family friendly LWML events that would allow your children to attend with you. Include youth leaders to assist you with your event planning and activities.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

Many young women are active in their LWML groups, and many more have expressed an interest to participate more. Consider making the LWML a family affair.  Let your daughters come with you as you serve Christ in the LWML. Click here to visit the Young Women page on our website. Your sons are welcome too. We need a strong partnership with our pastors, and your son could be your next zone pastoral counselor.

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Remembering and Celebrating Jesus — Everyday!

Monday, February 19, is celebrated in honor and memory of all United States presidents, specifically George Washington, the first USA President. It is good to honor and remember these leaders of our country.

As Christians, we honor and remember our Lord (our Leader) and Savior, Jesus Christ. The LWML is founded on His promises of forgiveness, mercy, and love. Each Lutheran Woman in Mission honors our Triune God by ministering to the people of the world to His glory and in His name. And even as we are blessed to remember our Lord, He remembers us! Take a moment to read this short devotion and find comfort in His Word. We love because He first loved us.

If you are not yet involved in LWML I encourage you to find a local group near you and join their Bible studies, their mission service projects, and find joy in contributing to mites (mission dollars) to reach the lost with Jesus’ love. Find basic information on LWML here, and find out how to get involved here.

Lutheran Women in Mission celebrate Jesus — everyday!

In His service, filled with His joy,

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