Let him who thinks he stands be careful that he does not fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12 EHV)
When little children are just beginning to stand or walk, they truly enjoy their new-found freedom. After months of being held by mom and dad they are finally “on their own.” With huge smiles on their faces they pull themselves up by a chair/couch/table leg; or start to talk or trot with the cutest of giggles, finally able to roam free—wherever they want. Of course Mom or Dad is usually near-by with a close watch on everything—especially when they first start out standing/walking by themselves. Because you know what is eventually going to happen: the child’s legs may be getting stronger, but they are not strong enough yet, and eventually the legs are going to give out and the child falls—or the child’s coordination is not yet up to par and they trip and fall over their own feet. It really is only a matter of time before it happens—the child will fall on the ground, unless someone is holding their hand, keeping them from falling.
We, in a way, are like young children. We are proud, we are independent, we often think that we don’t need any help from anyone—we can do it ourselves. Even when it comes to our spiritual battles. We think that we can stand up to the devil’s temptations on our own, we think that we can lead ourselves through our own personal journey, we think that we can stand strong in the faith without being fed and nourished through the gospel on a regular basis. It seems, absurd doesn’t it? Yet, again and again, year after year, we see precious souls fall away. No one who becomes a Christian thinks that they are going to fall away from the one true faith at one point in their lives, no confirmand makes his vows with the plans on never returning to that house of worship. But sadly it happens far too often. On multiple occasions, when talking with inactive members about attending worship, I have heard, “Don’t worry about me pastor, I’ll be okay, my faith is strong…”
The verse above (taken from this past week’s second lesson) comes in the context of the Israelites and their sins. These were God’s chosen children, they heard God’s voice, they were led by him by a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire, they were fed by him for 40 years in the wilderness. And yet, time and time again, we see examples of their sin and rebellion. If they, who saw and heard God again and again, could fall from the faith, you can too. Let them serve as examples to warn you!
So how do we guard ourselves that we do not fall? Like a little child learning to stand or walk—we can’t do it on our own, by ourselves we stumble and fall. As little kids need a parent to help, we need our heavenly father to hold us up and to keep our souls safe from eternal harm. He does this by his gospel. By his Word and Sacraments, which he gives to us as a gift of our grace, he not only offers us the forgiveness of all our sins, but he strengthens our faith to keep us safe in him! May you continually return to the fountain of his grace—the gospel that he may lift you up and keep you safe for eternity.
Our Midweek Lent Services have begun. The services are at 10:30 am and 6:30 pm. This year our theme for our midweek services will be "Three Words of Truth." Each service will focus on an important three-word phrase from Jesus' passion and resurrection. Next Wednesday the theme will be: "What is truth?" Please join us for these special worship services. A Supper will be served each Wednesday from 5:30-6:15 and please take note that the Confirmation Classes will be starting at 5:00 pm and be over by 7:30 pm. We hope and pray that each child’s parents will be able to attend our midweek Lenten services with them.
On Sunday mornings, Pastor Frey is leading a study on the first 11 chapters of Genesis—an important and interesting portion of Scripture. Join us this week as we look at chapter 6—God telling Noah to build an ark.
Pastor Gartner has begun his new study, entitled, "What Must I Do To Be Saved -- A Study of God's Gospel and the Words The Holy Spirit Uses To Proclaim It." We will be looking at the many beautiful words that God uses in the Bible to describe God's plan to save us. Please plan on joining us for these studies.
Easter for Kids
Easter for kids, a one-day VBS focusing on Christ’s resurrection (similar to God’s Greatest Gift, held in December about Christ’s birth) will be held Saturday, April 13 from 9:00-11:00 am. It is open to all children prek-6th grade. Please sign up in the back of church, by calling the church office, or online via our website/facebook page. There is also a sign-up sheet in the back of church for helpers and other volunteers.
Since November 2017 for the lessons during our worship services we have been using the Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) translation of the Bible. This is a translation produced by the Wartburg Project, a group of WELS and ELS pastors and professors. The entire Bible is now complete and will be published this summer. You now have an opportunity to preorder this Bible at a discounted bulk-rate price (the exact price will depend on how many Bibles are sign-up for). There is no need to pay right away; once we know the exact price per Bible we will inform those who have signed-up and how to pay for their order.
There is a sign-up sheet on the back counter if you wish to order a new EHV. There are also 100 pamphlets on the back for more information on this new translation. Although we highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this Bible, you should also be aware that the Wartburg Project plans on publishing a study Bible in the next couple of years. For more information, please talk to Pastor Frey or Pastor Gartner.
To learn more about the EHV, click here: https://online.nph.net/ehv?utm_source=pastor-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=spring-resources-0319
To view an electronic version of the informational pamphlet, click here: https://online.nph.net/media/documents/EHV-Handout.pdf?utm_source=general-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ehv-preorder-0219
To view a sample of the translation, click here: https://online.nph.net/media/SampleFiles/PDF/0105000.pdf?utm_source=pastor-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=spring-resources-0319