On this Memorial Day we consider the word “sacrifice.” The word sacrifice as it is used today means to give up something of value for the sake of someone or something else. But its real meaning is deeper than that. Sacrifice has to do with death. Death is what made something a sacrifce. On Memorial Day we remember those who have given their lives to secure and maintain the freedoms and liberty that we enjoy today. As important as those sacrifices are, there is another, greater sacrifice that has secured and even greater freedom for all people of all time. That is the sacrifice that Jesus made when He gave up His life for sinners on the cross. Paul writes: “Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2). We deserved death because of our sin against God, but Jesus took our place and died so that we might live. This sacrifice of Jesus is the most important thing in this life! As you celebrate Memorial Day today, consider also the sacrifice that Christ made to set you free from slavery to sin and death, and thank God for the salvation He has won for us through the sacrifice of Jesus!
As we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus today, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers review and discuss the modern Ascension Day hymn, “Up Through Endless Ranks of Angels” (Hymn 737 in “Worship Supplement 2000”). The author of this hymn was a 20th Century Lutheran Hymn writer who is probably best known for writing “Go My Children with My Blessing” (Hymn 800 in “Worship Supplement 2000”). This hymn depicts the ascension of Jesus after completing the work of salvation for sinners and highlights beautifully the nature of Christ as true Man and as our acceptable sacrifice before God. It also brings out the Holy Spirit’s work of Sanctification in our lives today as we await the return of our ascended Savior and look forward to the day when we will be with our Triune God for eternity.
In our Word of the Week, Pastor Mark Tiefel defines the word Ascension. On Thursday of this week the church celebrates Ascension Day, when after 40 day of appearing to His disciples after His resurrection, Jesus ascended back into heaven. The events of His ascension are recorded in Acts as well as Luke and Mark. It is also confessed in our Creeds when we say that Jesus has “ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” Because Jesus has ascended into heaven, we have the confidence before the Father, because He serves as our Intercessor and Mediatior. Just as He ascended into heaven, so He will come again to judge the world and so we proclaim His word so that others may hear, believe and be prepared for that Day!
Today, Pastors Mark Tiefel and Nathanael Mayhew delve into the difficult New Testament letter of James. Who is the James the wrote this letter? What is the relationship between works and faith, and how can we reconcile what James write about works with what Paul writes about faith? How does this letter apply to our lives today and our calling as Christians? How are we to respond to sin in the our fellow believers and in the world around us? These are just a few of the questions that they will consider as they dig into this valuable letter. We hope that you will join us!
In our Word of the Week, Pastor Mark Tiefel takes a Biblical look at the topic of Motherhood. Through the Old and New Testaments, God gives us a beautiful picture of what He has designed motherhood to be. While our world continues to rebel against and even reject God’s plan for motherhood, God’s promise of blessing remains in the calling of mothers. He has designed the family in a very specific way, with fathers and mothers working together to bring up a new generation who will know and Him and the salvation He has accomplished in Jesus.
In our Word of the Week, Pastor Rob Sauers defines the word “hallow.” The word hallow is a synonym of the word saint. We see it in the word “Halloween” which is a shortened form of “All Hallows’ Eve” or “All Saint’s Eve.” We are probably most familiar with the word “hallow” when we’re praying the Lord’s Prayer. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word means to “set apart,” “devote,” “consecrate,” “make holy.” So the word is often used of people or things in connection with the worship of God (See Exodus 29:21 and Exodus 40:9). Everything that was used in the worship of God in the Old Testament was to be hallowed, sanctified, set apart – and this was meant, in part, to drive home the fact that God alone is holy.
When Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, he begins by saying, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9). So how do we hallow God’s name? First of all, we hallow God’s name when we preach and teach what God’s Word says in all of it’s truth and purity. Secondly, we hallow God’s name by living a godly life. And so we pray that God would grant that we would hallow His name in all we say and do.
In this CPR episode, Pastors Neal Radichel and Mark Teifel discuss the topic of Christian stewardship. Stewardship is how we make use of the gifts and abilities that God gives to each one of us. God wants us to be good stewards or “caretakers” of all that He has given. These things are not ours, but the Lord’s, and He has entrusted them to us for a time to be used to and for His glory. They will discuss stewarship in many areas of our lives and in using our time, talents and treasures.