“Indeed, it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) EHV
In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy was told that to get to the Emerald City she must follow the Yellow Brick Road. This road was very important to her. It was the only path to the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. Although it might have sounded easy to follow the big yellow brick road, it wasn’t exactly the easiest road. There were all kinds of obstacles: a wicked witch, flying monkeys, scary forests, and fields of poppies. Did any of these obstacles deter her or cause her to try another path? No! She followed this one path, because she knew that to leave this path meant never reaching Oz. And if she never reached Oz, she would never get home.
As we look at our spiritual journey, we are faced with a similar situation. God’s Word shows us there is only one path to heaven and it is not a "yellow brick road.". God's road is simple, but at times it may not be the easiest road. God's road says that we are saved by the grace of God found in Jesus Christ. Paul describes our path to heaven this way, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) The path to heaven is the "good news" of God's Gospel that we are forgiven only because Jesus lived a perfect life and died a perfect death in our place.
As we said earlier, the problem is that this simple path to heaven that God has given to all people is not always the easiest path. When we sin, there is no amount of “good works” that we can do to cause our sin to go away or to make ourselves right with God. The path to heaven, just like Dorothy’s walk on the yellow brick road, is littered with obstacles. There are false teachers and their false teachings which deny Jesus and the work of Jesus on the cross. We have our own sinful nature that leads us to try things that we hope will get us right with God like our human reason telling us that there must be something we can do or need to do, to name a few.
But we must stay on the one true path. Have you been straying from God’s path? Have you fallen asleep in the “poppy fields” of your own good works – thinking you must do something to earn heaven or earn God’s favor? Paul says that salvation “is the gift of God – not by works.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) If you have strayed from believing that we are saved by God’s grace alone through faith, then Jesus’ death means nothing! Adding your own good works to God’s plan rejects God’s love and empties the cross of its power. It means you are on the wrong path to heaven!
But there’s hope, as always, in the forgiveness found in the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, who was crucified for us! Because of the work of Jesus, we can stop asking, “What must I do?” By faith we know that Jesus did all the work, and we have to do absolutely nothing. This is the truth! This is the only path to eternal life. Let us always remember that Jesus is to be the center of our life, our constant comfort, joy, and hope! He is the only path to our home in heaven.
-- Pastor Gartner
Summer Worship Schedule
Please note that starting Sunday May 26 our worship services will be at 8:00 and 10:00 am. Our Monday service time will remain at 6:30 pm.
NOTE: This weekend is Memorial Day. We will not have a worship service on Monday May 27 -- Instead we will have a worship service on Thursday May 23 at 6:30 pm.
Summer Sunday Bible Study
New this Summer we will be offering a family type Bible Study on all non-Communion Sundays beginning Sunday June 9th. The study is entitled, “The ABC’s of Worship — Lutheran Customs and Practices.” It is our prayer that through this study God will lead us to grow in our appreciation of the Gospel as it is reflected in the way we worship. This class is intended for members of all ages so everyone can join us. There is a booklet that accompanies this study which you may purchase to guide you in your study. (A sample copy is on the back counter to look at — Please don’t take this copy!) Please sign up on the back counter if you would like one of these booklets. The cost will be around $3.00.
Bible Information Class
Jesus says to each of us “Go and make disciples of all nations”. Here again is an opportunity to invite a friend, neighbor or co-worker or family member to hear the Good News of forgiveness and life through Jesus Christ. This class is for everyone but especially for those who are not members but would like to know what we teach. Go and invite! Come yourself!
We plan to have our next Bible Information Class (BIC—or Adult Instruction Class) begin mid-June. If you or someone you know are interested, please speak to Pastor Gartner.
Updates From April Voter’s Meeting
1. Our pipe organ is in need of repairs. We currently have a quote for $20,000 and are currently exploring all our options. 2. The council is suggesting a number of changes to our current by-laws, including removing and adding certain council positions. A copy of the by-laws with the proposed changes (highlighted in red) is available in the back of Church. If you have comments, questions or input for either of these items, please talk to one of the pastors or the council members.
The entire Bible of the Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) translation of the Bible which is a translation produced by the Wartburg Project, a group of WELS and ELS pastors and professors., is now complete and will be published this summer. You now have an opportunity to preorder this Bible at a discounted bulk-rate price (around $17.00). There is no need to pay right away. once we receive the Bibles 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 pamphlets on the back for more information on this new translation. The deadline to sign up will be May 31. For more information, please talk to Pastor Frey or Pastor Gartner.