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 - Friday, January 15, 2021
I remember a picture of myself from Easter when I was about 8 years old. Boy, did I look good! I had on a blue sport coat with a crest of some kind on the breast pocket. I had a maroon, velour, clip-on bowtie. To top it all off (or bottom it all off?) I wore tan pants with a green and red plaid pattern. Yes, plaid pants! 1975 was a beautiful year for fashion!
Of course, it wasn’t too many years later that I wouldn’t be caught dead in plaid pants unless I was trying to be funny. I still don’t wear plaid pants...but I do wear plaid shorts. Go figure.
When Jesus wondered why people worried about clothes, I don’t think he was thinking of fashion. Not that an application of these verses couldn’t also be made to that point, but I’m pretty sure he was talking about having enough clothes--or having good enough clothes to endure another year of wear and tear.
Most of us don’t have such fears, although there may be some reading this who are old enough to remember when that was a great concern for many. Or maybe you heard stories from your parents or grandparents. I know that my parents' wardrobe when they were children was far smaller than mine was at the same age (plaid pants not withstanding). But these words of Jesus also address worry in general.
God reveals himself to us as, among other things, our Creator and Provider. We know, as the psalmist says, that “'The eyes of all look eagerly to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.’ He opens his hand, and he satisfies the desire of every living thing” (Psalm 145:15,16). Every good thing that we need and possess is from God (James 1:17), whether we believe it or not. However, without knowledge of God and trust in God, not just as our provider but as our Savior, we can never have confidence that we will receive each day our daily bread, that is, our daily needs. If we would, it would be a false confidence.
The reason Jesus’ encouragement not to worry has such a great impact on us—or ought to—is because of the source. This is Jesus talking. When he saw people who were hungry or homeless or hurting or helpless, he didn’t merely seek to relieve their temporal troubles. (By the way, this, unfortunately, is the focus of many in the Christian community: “Never mind what we should believe about Jesus as our Savior. Just love like Jesus did in helping the poor and needy. That’s enough. In fact, that’s everything.”) No, Jesus did so much more. Yes, he helped them because he loved and cared for them, but he helped them far beyond “our momentary, light troubles” (2 Corinthians 4:17). He fought Satan, sin, and death head-on! He battled and won! It wasn’t even close! With a knockout punch that puts the world’s strongest man, the world’s mightiest army, and the world’s most powerful weapons to shame, he claimed victory for you and me and this world. How can we look at Jesus and think that we have any reason to worry?
Yet worry comes. We know it shouldn’t, but it does. So we listen to Jesus. We keep listening to him. We listen to him condemn our worry as foolish and sinful. We listen to him graciously call us to repentance. We listen to him lovingly proclaim that we are forgiven—freely, fully, and unconditionally. Again, Jesus’ words have great impact because of who he is. He is your Savior. He is also the Word made flesh. “Through him everything was made” (John 1:3a). As the Word Incarnate who created this world with the Father, his Word has almighty power to drive your worry away.
So don’t worry—even if you don’t have really cool plaid pants. God will take care of you. You’re his child. He loves you to death…and to life in him.