To the Saints at First Lutheran,
As All Saints Sunday approaches (Nov. 1) and we prepare for in person worship, our tradition is to remember and pray for those who have received the gift of eternal life since All Saints Day 2019. If you have a family member or friend that you would like us to include on November 1 please send their name(s) along with birth and death dates to the church office. You may do so by telephone or email. The deadline for inclusion is October 27
Reflection for a Celebration of the Reformation:
Two principles mark the Christian way to read the Bible: First, loving God and neighbor is all the law. And second, the crucified Jesus Christ is Lord. But here is the deep truth, a truth we rightly repeat to our shame: “We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves.” What shall we do? Where do we turn? In the crucified and risen Jesus Christ we meet the very Lord who is holy, and here is his holiness: even more than Paul who was his follower, this Jesus shares with us his very own self, doing so in the word and, when we can come to it, in the supper. Forgiven by this gospel of God, we are made free in the Spirit to turn in love to our neighbor again. Such is the heart of any commemoration of the Reformation.
Upcoming Commemorations on the Church Year Calendar
James of Jerusalem, martyr, died around 62
Friday, October 23, 2020
One of three early-church leaders named James, this man is identified in the New Testament and by a historian of the time as a brother of Jesus. Scholars are uncertain whether this means a blood brother. He was a leader of the church in Jerusalem.
Philipp Nicolai, died 1608; Johann Heermann, died 1647; Paul Gerhardt, died 1676; hymnwriters
Monday, October 26, 2020
These great hymnwriters all worked in seventeenth-century Germany in times of war and plague. Nicolai, a pastor, lost 1,300 parishioners to plague, 170 in one week. He wrote “O Morning Star, how fair and bright” and “Wake, awake, for night is flying.” Heermann’s hymns, including “Ah, holy Jesus,” often express the emotions of faith. Gerhardt, perhaps the greatest Lutheran hymnwriter, was a pastor in Berlin.
Simon and Jude, Apostles
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
We know little about these apostles. Simon is listed as “the zealot” or Cananean in New Testament lists. Jude, also called Thaddeus, asked Jesus at the last supper why he had revealed himself to the disciples but not to the world.
Saturday, October 31, 2020
By the end of the seventeenth century, many Lutheran churches celebrated a festival commemorating Martin Luther’s posting of the Ninety-five Theses, a summary of abuses in the church of his time. At the heart of the reform movement was the gospel, the good news that it is by grace through faith that we are justified and set free.
If Pastor Brian or I can do anything to help you please contact us directly by phone or email.
You Are Needed
Even when we resume our in person worship service our podcast will continue and you are needed! Yes, you! The voices of First Lutheran! We want members to read some of the lessons and/or lead the Lord’s Prayer in our podcast services, so that we are reminded of our oneness in Christ by hearing voices. Here’s how it works: Kristen Hansen will send you the reading. You can record it at home on a phone, on your computer, in a Zoom session we can schedule together. Or you can come in on a Thursday morning to the church and we’ll do a recording that way. It can be a video, or just audio. Kristen will tell you how to get the file to her and will incorporate it into our recorded service. ALL ARE WELCOME! For details and questions, email Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tapping into God’s Strength
God has promised to supply the strength and resources we need to accomplish his work. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he writes, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at alltimes, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). We can accomplish God’s purposes for our lives because the Lord’s grace abounds in us. We can also rely on the presence of the Lord to work in and through us. Paul writes, “To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:29). We need to step out in faith knowing that God is in us and with us.
Prayer: Good and gracious heavenly Father, it is only through your grace that I live this life and will live forever with you. I thank you for your generosity toward me. Please grant me faith to place my trust upon you and to depend upon your strength. Help me live a life worthy of your love and grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Blessings on your stewardship journey!
Readings for Next Week
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Please contact the office or come by if you would like a copy of “CHRIST IN OUR HOME’ devotional for October, November, December 2020. Small and large booklets available.