Worship for Palm Sunday and Holy Week
On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem one last time. The joy and triumph of that day gives way to the solemnity, blessing, and uncertainty of Maundy Thursday, and then the apparent utter defeat of Good Friday.
Before we follow the arc of Holy Week, we take time with our Palm Sunday observation to consider this day from Jesus' perspective. We then want to let his attitude, shape ours. May this service be blessing for you. Lord willing, you will find the services for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday here later in the week.
Palm Sunday Worship
Palm Sunday Message from President Schroeder Live On-line
On Palm Sunday evening at 6pm there will be a live message from our synod president, Rev. Mark Schroeder. You can watch it at that time by clicking here.
Also be aware that there will be a synod-wide Easter service on Easter Sunday evening at 6pm. More information and a link to that service will be posted later in the week.
Daily Devotion - Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Each day we post a devotion to help set our hearts on Jesus.
With all this confinement, there are some people who are rediscovering their kitchen as a place to actually cook and bake. The good thing is you don't have to be a top chef in order to learn basic things and make good food. Among the basic things you learn in the kitchen (I think?) is what you need to thicken a soup or sauce (flour, cornstarch, etc.) and that certain things congeal - which you may or may not want, depending on what you're making.
Outside the kitchen, it shouldn't surprise us to find out that the Hebrew word in our verse today that we translate "folly," has the meaning in its verb form "to thicken or congeal," and then also, "to become stupid." We might think of someone - even ourselves - as "thick-headed" sometimes, another word for foolish.
We might be able to hide our thick-headedness, our foolish, "congealed" thoughts and plans and even some actions from the people around us, but we can't hide them from God. Are there times that we're more concerned with how others may respond to our sin than how God responds? Yet he's the one who counts the most! He's the one of whom, when it comes to our sin, we should truly be afraid. Remember that right after the fall into sin, the first reaction of Adam and Eve was to hide from God. Let's not confuse the grace of God with apathy. God pays attention to sin. God hates sin. His anger burns against sinners. We read this truth in the Bible. It has not changed.
Yet God is a God of grace. He is righteous and just and, at the same time, he is gracious and forgiving. This apparent contradiction is resolved in Jesus. On the cross, our sin was rightly punished. There God's love overflows to us.
We must always take sin seriously, which also means we must be concerned with our own sin before we are concerned about the sin of others. But we never forget the grace of God. By understanding that our sin will always be a great offense to God, we better understand how great his love is through Jesus.
We also learn some things from the context of this verse. King David, the author of this psalm, knew he had enemies who hated him for no good reason. He also knew that he couldn't separate the "unfair" attacks of his enemies from his own foolish sin. There was a connection. He prayed that, through all of this, he would not be a stumbling block to others in their relationship with God. That shows the love of God working in him, that he had such great love for God and neighbor that it led him to such a prayer.
God help us always to confess our sins to him. May we always be considerate about the things we say and do because we know that others hear and see and we do not want to be a hindrance to their relationship with God. May we always find and receive the forgiveness that is ours in Jesus, and may that love of God drive us to do our best for God and our neighbor.
Online Giving; Help If You Need It
We should have online giving available shortly. If you are a part of our church family and have offering envelopes, they are designed so you can mail them in. You might just want to add some adhesive. We appreciate the fact that these are challenging times. We also know that most of you know that our ministry carries on with its work, so your support is still needed. Thank you for keeping our ministry and each other in your prayers. We will continue to do our best to inform you and support you in whatever ways we can.
If you have a need of some kind - any kind - and you think that we can help, please call. We're here for each other. 608-464-3212.