Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, so that we may give thanks to your holy name and praise you confidently. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from eternity to eternity, and all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord. (Psalm 106:47-48 EHV)
I urge you to read all of Psalm 106, at the end of which are the verses above (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm++106&version=EHV). This is a psalm recounting God’s mercy and grace on the people of Israel despite their sins. Starting with their time in Egypt and ending with their incomplete conquest of the land of Canaan, David lists the sins of the people. He mentions six main sins (and a number of others) while they were in Egypt and the Wilderness; and continues with a list of their wicked and detestable practices as a result of failing to kill or drive out all the Canaanites when they entered the Promised Land.
Why go through this list? Because we aren’t innocent either, as David writes in verse six, We have sinned along with our fathers. We have become guilty. We have acted wickedly. Yes, we shake our heads in disgust at the Israelites and their wickedness, but when we do so, we shake our heads in disgust at ourselves; because, let’s not kid ourselves, we’re not any better. The church today is made of sinners, just as the Israelite community. Think of how many times the Lord showed them his grace, and yet the people ignored his will or paid any attention to his promises. It’s the same way today in the church. Although the Lord has shown compassion on us again and again, and although he still shines the light of truth in our sin-darkened hearts, we often ignore his will or fail to pay attention to his gracious gospel promises. Yes, even in the church unrighteousness often prevails, the love of many has grown cold, and indifference to God’s Word often rules.
And so the Church cries out in verse 47, Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, so that we may give thanks to your holy name and praise you confidently. Of course, we know how the Lord does just that! Through the work of the Son, promised to the children of Jacob, we have been saved. By his perfect life, suffering and death, and his resurrection, the forgiveness of sins, Christ’s perfect life, and eternal salvation is ours! People from all around the world, from all different nations, will be gathered together in heaven to sing the praises of Jesus Christ, our one and only Savior.
This is sure hope and confidence that we have—even though we are sinners who deserve punishment, we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus. And so you will notice what David wrote right after he prayed to be saved: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from eternity to eternity, and all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord. It’s the same way he opened this psalm as well, Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. This last line shows up often in the Psalms, and we know it well as the customary after-meal prayer. But in this context, what a rich meaning it has! Yes, we—the church, are wretched sinners, just like the Israelites. But just like the Israelites, the Lord has mercy and compassion on all of us. Yes, give thanks the Lord, for his mercy endures forever.
— Pastor Frey
Summer Worship Schedule
Please note that this summer, our worship services will be at 8:00 and 10:00 am. Our Monday service time will remain at 6:30 pm.
Summer Sunday Bible Study
New this Summer we are 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. If you ordered one of the Booklets, they are available for pickup.
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 late-June. If you or someone you know are interested, please speak to Pastor Gartner.
VBS Helpers Wanted
Our Vacation Bible School is scheduled for July 29-August 2nd. Right now we are looking for volunteers to help share God’s Word with his children. Please sign-up on the sheet in the narthex if you are willing and able. In future weeks we will have a snack-donation list as well as online registration. Keep your eyes open for more information and make sure to invite a friend!