ANNOUNCEMENTS

Wed. Feb. 21                 7 pm  Lenten Service  (in fellowship hall, snacks after)    Sheltering Wings – The Wings of a Dove

Next Sun. Feb 25          10 am   Sunday School;    11 am   Worship

Lutheran Church friends,    Thank you for the variety of food you shared with our family.   We appreciate your care.           Haskel Hitt and Powers family

The proceeds from the Ash Wednesday Pancake supper were $344.  Thank you to all who gave or participated in any way.

UPCOMING EVENTS

7 pm LENTEN SERVICES   (in fellowship hall, snacks after)   SHELTERING WINGS

Wed. Feb. 28     Winged Creatures

Wed. Mar. 7      Eagles’ Wings

Wed. Mar. 14     Cherubim and Seraphim

Wed. Mar. 21     Sheltering Wings

Sun. Mar. 25                 PALM SUNDAY

4 pm     Service at Twin Oaks

6 pm     Community Palm Sunday Service  here (bring snacks)

Thurs. Mar. 29   7 pm     Maundy Thursday Communion Service (in sanctuary)

Fri. Mar. 30       7 pm     Good Friday Service (in sanctuary)

Sun. April 1       10 am   Easter egg hunt & brunch

11 am   Worship with communion

   (You may bring flowers for the cross, a breakfast item, or filled plastic eggs)

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WAITING ON

(Mark 1 9-15)       Pastor Carol Weist

When Jesus was in the wilderness forty days after being baptized by John, the angels waited on him.

Jesus did not need to be baptized.  He had nothing to repent of.  He was baptized for our sins just as he died for our sins. He did not stay dead.  He rose again to life that we might have new life, cleansed from sin and free to share his glory. We cannot live that gift without repentance.  If we say we have no sin we are saying that we do not need the gift of new life and salvation. There are those who persist in denying their sinfulness, that they have any part in anything that is wrong with themselves or this world.  That is a tragic loss, because they are denying themselves of the joy of salvation.  Yet Jesus keeps seeking them.

There may be wilderness times in our lives.  However, even though Jesus’ ministry on this earth lasted only three years, that ministry was still much longer than forty days.

There may be wilderness times in our lives when the angels wait on us.  Angels waited on Sarah’s maid Hagar when she fled.  Angels waited on Sarah’s grandson Jacob, when he fled, although in that case there was some wrestling.  Angels waited on Elijah when he fled Queen Jezebel.

Angels are not the only ones who can wait on those in the wilderness.  We can wait on those in wilderness times as well, perhaps in person, perhaps in other ways.   We can always pray.  Prayer reaches everywhere. Continue reading

SWING LOW

(2 Kings 2:1-14)      Pastor Carol Weist

Elijah and Elisha, because their names are so similar – it is hard to keep straight which one you are speaking about   Elijah with a “J” comes before Elisha with an “S” “H”.   So Elijah comes before Elisha in our alphabet.   Both were prophets and mighty men of God during corrupt times.

Elijah stood up to the prophets of Baal, a false god, on Mount Carmel.  He won. God won. Then Elijah fled to avoid the wrath of the king and queen, King Ahab and Queen Jezebel who was backing the prophets of Baal.  After Elijah’s victory, as he flees for his safety, he despairs in the wilderness until an angel of the Lord comes with food  and tells him to get up and eat and keep going. (1 Kings 18-19)

An angel of the Lord swung low from heaven, gave Elijah food to renew his physical strength and renewed his confidence and courage as well.  Perhaps you have never had an angel from heaven swing low from heaven to nourish and encourage you,  no doubt another person has nourished and encouraged you.

Parents nourish and encourage children. Christian parents encourage their children in the faith. That is their calling. Even when a child does not have nourishing and encouraging parents, there are people who can nourish and encourage. Even children can know to encourage other children. Continue reading

HEALED TO SERVE

(Mark 1:29-39)          Pastor Carol Weist

Healed to serve.  Simon’s mother-in-law was lifted up and healed by Jesus.  Her response was to serve.   Her response was to serve the guests at her house.  She was not able to serve them while she was in bed with a fever.  Hers was a quick recuperation.   Her strength and stamina returned quickly enough for her to serve her guests.

Think about the healings in your life.   Many things take a simple bandaid
which does not restrict what we can do much at all.  A simple bandaid that you can put on yourself,  or one child can put on another child does not do the healing.   It protects the wound so our bodies can do the healing.   Not every wound heals with just the protection of a bandaid,  but countless wounds do.

What a simple thing to thank the Lord for that our bodies have so many ways of healing themselves.  God created our bodies to do marvelous things.   It is good to thank the Lord for that.  Our response to those big and small healings can be thanking and serving the Lord.

Cells in our bodies wear out every day.  If the good Lord had not designed a way
for those cells to replenish themselves we would be like paper towels that get used up and thrown away.  People are not throw aways.  A paper towel cannot nourish and replenish itself.  Our bodies are designed to replenish themselves. Our bodies do eventually wear out for this life, but we have that wonderful promise of a marvelously better life in heaven. Continue reading

REAL AUTHORITY

(Mark 1:21-28)    Pastor Carol Weist

Jesus has real authority over unclean spirits.  You may or may not encounter such a situation in your lifetime. Should that happen, remember Jesus gave authority to his disciples to rebuke unclean spirits in his name.

When we are believers in Christ, we are Jesus’ disciples.  Matthew 10:1 tells us  “Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.”  We know from experience that the authority we are given to cure disease does not result in instant healing in every case when we pray for healing.  Healing comes in many ways, and more often it takes time.
Full healing may not happen until after death and a believer reaches heaven.  Nevertheless, we have the authority,  we have authorization from Jesus to pray for healing  and for there to be people who work as doctors and nurses  and other ways in the medical professions including researching for cures  and building hospitals and clinics and research facilities.

Jesus did more healings and deeds of power in some places than others.  When Jesus came and taught at the synagogue in Nazareth,  the town where he was raised, he was rejected.   Therefore as it says in Mark 6:5  Jesus “could do no deed of power there [in Nazareth],  except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.”  Jesus did not force healing miracles on those who rejected him.

That rejection and unbelief did not stop his mission from continuing.  He keeps training his disciples  for the time he will no longer be with them in person.  A couple verses later starting at Mark 6:7 we hear what Matthew has also told us that Jesus “called the twelve and began to send them out two by two,  and gave them authority over unclean spirits….So they went out  and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” (Mark 6:7,12-13)

Not everything the disciples did succeeded.  Continue reading

LICENSE TO FISH

(Mark 1:14-20)     Pastor Carol Weist

To go fishing these days you need a fishing license with various rules and restrictions. Jesus gives us a different type of license to fish.  License implies freedom and permission.

The Lord came to Jonah not once, but twice, giving him license in the form of a specific command to proclaim the word of the Lord in Ninevah.  The first time Jonah disobeyed and went the opposite direction.  He ended up in the belly of a big fish praying to the Lord.  He was delivered from his disobedience, but the Lord did not let him off the hook.

The second time the Lord told Jonah to go to Ninevah Jonah went.  The people of Ninevah heard Jonah’s message from the Lord and repented.  Jonah had resisted fishing for people in the name of the Lord,  but once he gave up his resistance and followed through on the Lord’s command,  many people caught on and repented.  They turned from their evil ways.  Jonah’s message was short, but not particularly sweet:  Repent or you will be destroyed.

People were ready to listen. That is not always the case.   Continue reading

TEMPLE LIVING

(1 Corinthians 6:11-20)             Pastor Carol Weist

1 Corinthians 6 speaks of temple living.

1 Peter 2 also speaks of temple living:  1Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice,  and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander.  Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—  if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.  Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals  yet chosen and precious in God’s sight,  and like living stones, let yourselves be built  into a spiritual house,  to be a holy priesthood,  to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Temple living does not mean living in a temple that once was in Jerusalem.  That temple has been gone for centuries. A different type of temple has replaced that, a temple that each of us is a part of as living stones.

At times we resist being built into a spiritual house.  At times we resist temple living.  At times we resist being a holy priesthood.   We are not the types of priests  who offered prayers and sacrifices at the altar in Jerusalem.  We are not the types of priesthood who only offer prayers and offerings in church.   The tasks of our daily lives can also be spiritual sacrifices when we believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

Our daily tasks are not only chores, part of a never-ending to do list.   They are also opportunities to touch other people and the rest of creation in Jesus’ name.  The humblest task can be done with Jesus’ love.  The person next to you doing the same task may not be a Christian, but you can do that same task given you in Jesus’ love.

That can be a sacrifice, but even though we are not worthy and our sacrifices are not worthy, Jesus Christ makes us worthy and makes what we do worthy. Continue reading