St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church & School
150 YEARS OF GOD'S GRACE
The first of three worship services celebrating the 150th anniversary of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Wonewoc will take place the weekend of January 31st. Pastor Michael Jensen, who serves at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Watertown, WI, and is the president of the Western Wisconsin District of the WELS, which is the district we are a part of, will be preaching for us from John 1:16,17. Those are the verses from which we get our theme for this year: "Grace upon Grace." Pastor Jensen will preach at all three services that weekend, the good Lord willing (1 on Thursday, 2 on Sunday).
After the late service on Sunday, January 31st, we will also have our annual Chili, Chicken Soup, and Pie luncheon put on by our Ladies Aid. If you don't want to dine in the church basement, there will be "to-go" containers available.
We know that COVID is still a concern, but we hope that many will feel comfortable enough, as we continue to employ safe practices, to join us for this celebration. It will be more subdued in some ways than we would expect and than what we plan for with our other two celebrations this year, but it will be a wonderful celebration nonetheless as we praise and thank God for 150 Years of Grace upon Grace. If you have questions, please contact us.
It is in the Word that we hear the call of God that has in it the secret power of God to give what he commands. He commands: Believe! and the Word creates faith. He says, Follow me! and the Word creates the desire and the ability to follow him. That he should consider it glorious to call sinners, is that not an amazing thing? That he should attach such power to his Word that we answer the call, is that not a wonder that lasts an eternity for each of us? God bless your worship!
Daily Devotion - Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Today is Inauguration Day. Just like four years ago, there are a lot of people who are hopeful looking ahead at the next four years. And, just like four years ago, there are a lot of people who are anywhere from terribly concerned to despairing.
As Christians, we certainly care who is in the White House, as well as every other part of government. We care because it’s important that whoever is elected is serving the people of our nation and not merely special interest groups or themselves. It’s important because they influence—sometimes more than they should—the direction in which our country goes, including morally. I’ve heard people say that you can’t legislate morality. They say this even though there are many laws that are based on morality. And now we have laws that defend and promote immorality. So we care because our future depends on it.
Joshua knew, and we do too, that the true ruler of all things is the Lord. Israel’s future depended not on what humans were in charge but whom they followed as their God. So also, our personal future does not depend on who our elected officials are. Yes, it will have an impact on our lives according to the Lord’s will but what matters is whom we are ultimately following.
The fact is—and it is fact—that our country has been heading in the wrong direction for a while. It’s not a matter of blaming one political party or the other, one president or another. While they will have to answer for what they’ve done or failed to do, as we all will, the problems started long ago. Few imagined that a little change of God’s Word here or a little giving in to the world’s objections to it there would get us to where we are today. But now, many cheer that fewer and fewer people take the Bible as truth and believe the God of the Bible to be Lord and Savior. Truth has become relative. People talk in riddles to cover the fact that they live in a world of lies and selfishness and death.
Joshua took a stand. He didn’t force the Israelites to follow God. He couldn’t. All he could do is let it be known that the other “god” options were worthless. They had failed. They couldn’t stand up to the power of the Lord Almighty—because they weren’t real! So also, none of the ideologies, none of the protest groups, none of the tech companies, none of the self-righteous hypocrites, no nation and no false church can stand up to the power of our Savior-God. If people want to follow such things instead of the Lord, we can’t stop them. We can only tell them how useless and dangerous it is, and we need to tell them.
As for us and our households, let’s serve the Lord.