These words which we confess each week in our creed are powerful words because they tell the end of a story that we began to tell in Advent. Jesus, the Christ, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of Mary, lived and taught among us, was crucified for us, and rose again on the third day victorious over death, Satan, and Hell. Following his resurrection, he revealed himself to his apostles for forty days, until such time as he was taken into heaven on a cloud right before their eyes (Acts 1).
The number forty has great significance in scripture. Here are just a few references. The rain during the flood lasted for forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:4) and Noah then waited forty days after the top of the mountains were seen to release the raven (Genesis 8:5-7). Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights before his temptation by Satan (Matthew 4:2).
Our offertory during the Easter season has encouraged us to hear that “Christ victorious, rising glorious, life is giving. He was dead but now is living.” This week, however, we sing in our offertory:
“See, the Lord ascends in triumph; conquering King in royal state, Riding on the clouds, his chariot, To His heavenly palace gate.
- Published: 01 June 2019 01 June 2019
- Last Updated: 01 June 2019 01 June 2019
"O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods." (Psalm 96:1-4)
The Easter Season brings the following question to the front of our minds: “How will I now live for the Christ who died, rose and now lives for me?” This is not always an easy question to answer and sometimes it can be hard to tell if our lives are making a difference. It may feel like the problems of this world are too much to overcome: dis- ease, natural disasters, poverty, war, prejudice, addictions, broken families, and a whole host of other things. Our individual lives and collective ministries can sometimes seem small in the face of such incredible brokenness.
- Published: 25 May 2019 25 May 2019
- Last Updated: 27 May 2019 27 May 2019
The Apostle Paul said, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.” -Philippians 1:3-7a
Indeed I have cause for a lot of rejoicing:
Praise and Thanksgiving for our Good Physician who grants all healing and renewal.
Praise and Thanksgiving for wonderful surgeons, doctors and nurses.
Praise and Thanksgiving for life-giving and pain reducing medicine.
Praise and Thanksgiving for a wonderful wife who nursed me back to health.
Praise and Thanksgiving for Pastor Michael Kumm and Janet who tirelessly served this congregation in my stead during my medical leave.
And finally, Praise and Thanksgiving for all of you. Cheryl and I were blessed with kind words, beautiful cards and wonderful meals during my convalescence. So, yes, “it is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.”
- Published: 21 May 2019 21 May 2019
- Last Updated: 20 June 2019 20 June 2019
He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!
We pray that you also will come to believe in Jesus and what He did for you, and that you will share our joy. Because He died and rose for you.
“These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in His name” (John 20:31)
- Published: 19 May 2019 19 May 2019
- Last Updated: 19 May 2019 19 May 2019
The LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces supports almost 200 chaplains, who represent the church on active duty, the reserves, the National Guard, and Civil Air Patrol. Chaplains meet the needs of military personnel and their families.
The LCMS cares deeply for those who currently serve, for those who have donned the cloth of our nation in uniform, and for those who served our nation and live in our communities.
- Published: 19 May 2019 19 May 2019
- Last Updated: 19 May 2019 19 May 2019
As Lamb of God Preschool closes out another school year, we want to take the time to thank all of you for your support of our preschool. We greatly appreciate your prayers, financial gifts, and volunteering.
As we head into the quieter summer months, we do still have programs going on. We will have summer camp June 3-7, and we will be starting a new Nature Club on Thursday mornings. Please continue to pray for the preschool and our outreach ministry to families around us, and please continue to financially support us as we head into our “lean” months without tuition. We could not continue to do what we do without your generous support.
You are appreciated! Thank you!
Lamb of God Preschool
- Published: 11 May 2019 11 May 2019
- Last Updated: 11 May 2019 11 May 2019
This article written by Pastor RJ Runewald was originally posted on his blog.
Motherhood. Being a mom is perhaps one of the most difficult, thankless, overlooked, and exhausting callings that God has created. And it is also one of the most important callings that there is. When I walk in the door after a busy day of work, I am able to leave my work behind and my kids are excited to play and have fun with daddy. My wife on the other hand, when she has a difficult day at home as a mom, she’s still got to be a mom. And while daddy walks in the door for fun times, mommy just spent hours trying to get a meal ready, discipline a two-year-old, and straighten up the house. Have I mentioned that being a mom is difficult?
- Published: 10 May 2019 10 May 2019
- Last Updated: 10 May 2019 10 May 2019
Jesus appears to Peter
One of the most touching moments in the Bible occurs when Jesus appears to Peter after He rose from the dead. Why? Because here was a man who needed to see Jesus alive if he was not to spend the rest of his life haunted by the memory of his threefold denial of the Savior. Can you imagine his excitement as his Lord appeared to him? To Peter, we can be sure, this was the most important appearance of the risen Christ. But that was Peter. What about you?
Jesus appears to Thomas
Another dramatic moment was again just after Easter when Jesus appeared to Thomas. It was Thomas who had said “seeing was believing.” So the Lord let him see him alive and insisted that the unbelieving one place his finger into his hands (which had been wounded for his transgressions while on the cross) and quit being faithless. But that was Thomas. What about you?
Hollywood could really do justice to the moment when Jesus chose to return from heaven to appear to Saul on that Damascus Road. Saul, with great hate in his heart toward those who followed “the Way”, was stricken blind by the appearance of the risen Christ. This experience changed Saul to Paul, a persecutor to an apostle, and gave to Christendom one of its greatest heroes. He describes it this way: “And last of all he appeared to me also.”
- Published: 04 May 2019 04 May 2019
- Last Updated: 04 May 2019 04 May 2019
“Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” Pacific Hills resounded with these words of proclamation this past Sunday as our hymns, led once again by our newly renovated organ emerged from our lips and filled the space. The alleluias have returned, and so has the organ. Thanks to a very generous gift, and thanks to the skills of the team of workers at Bedient Pipe Organ Company of Lincolnand Integrated Organ Technology of Atlanta, the Schantz organ is good as new, restored for the next generation of saints who call Pacific Hills their home.
- Published: 28 April 2019 28 April 2019
- Last Updated: 29 April 2019 29 April 2019
Some time ago one of God’s servants was lying in a hospital bed awaiting surgery. He told his sons that in his meditations and prayers he was invariably brought, as he put it, “to the prayer above all prayers: ‘Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.’”
This was the prayer that was in his heart and on his lips as he went to surgery. It was his petition as he passed through the “valley of the shad- ow” and drew near to receiving his “crown of glory”.
During this season of Lent, we think about our Lord’s bitter suffering and death, traveling along The Via Dolorosa, “The Way of Sorrows,” to Calvary’s cross. Our one real aim in rehearsing this sacred story is for us and others to recognize our sin and be led to pray: “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.”
The prayer comes to us from the lips of the tax collector in Jesus’ parable, The Pharisee and the Tax Collector in the Temple. The Pharisee, in his prayers, chronicled all that he was doing for God – and went away
still only full of himself. The Tax Collector humbly prayed for mercy and forgiveness – and went away justified, enjoying the Lord’s presence within him.
As Lent focuses our attention even more sharply on the cross, we recognize that it stands as an awful condemnation of prideful human sin. It speaks to us of death, the consequence of humanity’s willful separation from God. On the cross we see the suffering that was required of the Son of God as God’s atoning sacrifice for our sin. We know Jesus’ cry from the cross; “My God, why have You forsaken me?” should have come from our own lips. And so we are led to pray humbly, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.”
- Published: 25 April 2019 25 April 2019
- Last Updated: 25 April 2019 25 April 2019