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Pastor’s Message

From latest newsletter: September & October 2017

 

Revealing The Grace Of God

By

Pastor Hill

 

Jesus reveals the grace of God to Nicodemus. Nicodemus comes to Jesus wanting to know what he must do to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus’ answer surprises him. Nicodemus is thinking physically. Jesus answers using spiritual language. How does Jesus’ use of spiritual language reveal the grace of God to Nicodemus?

According to Nicodemus, what must he, himself, do to enter the kingdom of God? Nicodemus obeys God’s many laws. As an observant Jew, Nicodemus obeys God’s many laws because that’s what God wants. God says as much in the Old Testament. God’s many laws tend to be physical in nature. Thus, for Nicodemus, entering the kingdom of God tends to be the result of physical action or inaction. According to Nicodemus, obeying God’s many laws, (1) doing what God commands him to do and (2) not doing what God forbids him to do, makes it possible to enter the kingdom of God.

According to Jesus, what must Nicodemus do to enter the kingdom of God? Jesus says that Nicodemus must be “born again” (verse 3) “of water and the Spirit” (verse 5). Jesus’ words tend to be spiritual. Nicodemus, thinking physically, does not understand the spiritual implications of Jesus’ words. What does Jesus mean? Nicodemus does not give birth to himself. Someone else does. His mother gives birth to him physically. The Spirit gives birth to him spiritually. In either case, Nicodemus does nothing for himself, except be born. Jesus says to Nicodemus: “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (verse 6). According to Jesus, being “born again…of water and the Spirit” makes it possible for Nicodemus to enter the kingdom of God.

What is the grace of God and what does it do for Nicodemus? The grace of God allows Nicodemus to enter the kingdom of God, even though he doesn’t do anything to deserve it. The grace of God forgives Nicodemus when he doesn’t obey God’s many laws perfectly, even though he doesn’t do anything to deserve it. Jesus says to Nicodemus: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (verse 16). Jesus reveals the grace of God to Nicodemus, even though he doesn’t understand it.


Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven — the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. – John 3:1-17

Prayer List

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Our Savior, Redeemer & St. Paul’s Lutheran Churches,

Brayden Christianson,

Derald Connell,

Eric Hewitt,

Marcy Ketelsen,

Delmer & Rose Leapaldt,

Jan Martin,

Keith Peters,

Julie Seil,

Ron Smith,

Jim Somsen,

those affected by recent hurricanes

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7


After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. – John 17:1-11


“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” – John 17:20-26

Announcements

What is closed communion?

“Whereas, the principle of ‘closed communion’ requires that only those who are in altar fellowship celebrate and partake of the Lord’s Supper with each other;

Whereas, the celebration and reception of Holy Communion not only implies but is a confession of the unity of faith, therefore be it

Resolved, that pastors and congregations of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, except in situations of emergency and in special cases of pastoral care, commune individuals of only those Lutheran Synods which are now in fellowship with us.”

– Resolution 2-19 of the 47th regular convention of the LC-MS, 1967


Please support your church

· Thank you for (1) attending and (2) giving ·

· Please encourage others to do the same ·


Mail

· Don’t forget to check your mailbox at church! ·


Don’t forget the following

● Wimbledon ●

Food Pantry

● Kensal ●

Roofing Fund


it is IMPERATIVE

• Please tell other members about this church •

 • Please tell them how important this church is to you •

• Please ask them to support it •

Your efforts are appreciated!


Upcoming Voter’s Meetings

Every (1) January, (2) April, (3) July and (4) October


Alternating Fifth Sunday for 2017

Wimbledon / Woodworth: April 30, October 29

Kensal / Pettibone: January 29, July 30, December 31


Alternating Fifth Sunday for 2018

Wimbledon / Woodworth: July 29, December 30

Kensal / Pettibone: April 29, September 30


 

Important Dates for 2017

(service times and locations are subject to change)

Thanksgiving Eve

Wimbledon – 7:00 pm (Wednesday, November 22)

Thanksgiving Day

Pettibone – 8:30 am (Thursday, November 23)

Mid-Week Advent 1

Kensal – 7:00 pm (Wednesday, December 6)

Mid-Week Advent 2

Wimbledon – 7:00 pm (Wednesday, December 13)

Mid-Week Advent 3 / SUNDAY SCHOOL PROGRAM

Kensal – 6:00 pm (Wednesday, December 20)

Potluck following @ 7:00 pm

Christmas Eve (Sunday)

Wimbledon – 11:00 am

Kensal – 3:00 pm

Pettibone – 7:00 pm

Christmas Day (Monday)

Woodworth – 8:30 am


Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people — the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world — just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:1-14