Daily Devotions with Pastor 04/08/2020

Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.” (Mark 14:1-2)

Evil never rests. It has been working overtime for far longer than any of us can remember. On the other hand, Jesus is silent on this Wednesday of Holy Week.

After a jam-packed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Jesus is silent on Wednesday. Unlike Tuesday, where Jesus filled chapters of teaching on what was about to happen both short term and long, not a single word is recorded about Wednesday.

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Daily Devotions with Pastor 04/07/2020

Good morning, everyone. It is now Tuesday of Holy Week.  Our scripture is from Luke 20:1-4: “One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?” He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

As Jesus arrives back in Jerusalem on Holy Tuesday, the overturned tables are now upright, and most of the scattered animals have been recaptured and are back on sale. The religious leaders are ready and waiting for his return.

They immediately come after Jesus with a fiery question and a thinly veiled accusation, “By what authority are you doing these things?” Jesus meets their question with a question of his own. He is not being evasive. It is perfectly obvious what authority Jesus is claiming. He has said over and over he is here doing the work his Father sent him to do, but he knows they don’t believe him. So, he frames his response within the ministry of John the Baptist. Was it from heaven or a simply another human endeavor?

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Daily Devotions with Pastor 04/06/2020

Good morning, everyone. It is now the Monday of Holy Week.  I thought I would spend some time looking at the various events of this week as they unfolded in the life of Jesus.  Most theologians believe that it was on Holy Monday when Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple.  Jesus said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” (Mark 11:17)

“‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 7:9-11)

Beware of the den of robbers. There are plenty of dangerous places lining dark streets, vacant lots and yes, even religious landscapes. As you read Jeremiah’s words, aimed at the religious leaders, he recognized all their activity was covering up hearts which were far from God. The prophet was clear that outward appearances didn’t nullify the corruption going on within them. They indeed needed cleansing.

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Daily Devotions with Pastor 04/03/2020

Good morning everyone.  I pray you had a peaceful night’s rest.  Today, I thought we would do something a little bit different.  I thought I would remind you of Dr. Martin Luther’s morning and evening prayer.  Martin Luther wrote these two short prayers for individuals and families to use in the morning after waking and in the evening before going to sleep. These lovely prayers, taken from Dr. Luther's Small Catechism, can help you begin and end each day with the Lord.  I love and cherish them both and I think the more you say these prayers you will too.

LUTHER'S MORNING PRAYER

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

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Daily Devotions with Pastor 04/02/2020

Good morning, everyone.  The text for our devotion today is from Matthew 22:8-10.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the    people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve added a new word to our vocabulary – “social distancing.” In a time of virus prevention, we are told to remove ourselves from close proximity to others and enter a period of “self-isolation.” There are obvious reasons for this definition, but Jesus spoke of social distancing that involved far more than physical disease and sickness.

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