He was handed over to death because of our trespasses and was raised to life because of our justification. (Romans 4:25 - EHV)
There are certain days in your life that you might pin-point as an important date—maybe it was at a turning point in your life, a major event like a graduation, wedding, or birth of your children—perhaps it was something that you didn’t think much about at the time, but when you look back on it, you realize how important it was. There are certainly important dates in the history of our country—July 4, 1776, June 6, 1944 are two important dates—more recently, we might list September 11, 2001. But there are also important dates throughout history—and that list would be substantial. But the most important day ever in the history of the world—well, we aren’t exactly sure the exact date. What we do know is that it took place on a Sunday; and really, the entire week preceding that Sunday were important!
Let’s start on Friday—Good Friday. Paul writes that Jesus, was handed over to death because of our trespasses. Who exactly handed Jesus over to death? It was God, the Father! Yes, the soldiers arrested Jesus, the High Priest condemned him, and Pilate sentenced him to death. But they were merely pawns (guilty pawns, but still pawns), in God’s plan of salvation. Jesus willingly went to the cross. He proved that he had all divine power at his disposal but he chose not to use it so that he could go to the cross. And it was on the cross that he covered over all our sins with his holy, precious, righteous blood. It was on the cross that he took our sins upon himself so that he could suffer through the eternity of hell that our sins deserve. As a result we are considered pure and holy in the eyes of the Lord. It was the Father’s will that Jesus suffer on the cross for it—and so he handed him over to death for our sins. That’s how much the Lord loves us!
And he was raised to life for our justification. That beautiful picture of justification is that of a courtroom. God is the righteous and just judge; and we sinful human beings are on trial. But instead of condemning us as our sins deserve, the Lord declares us not guilty. On account of Christ, he doesn’t count our sins against us or treat us as our sins deserve. Christ’s resurrection, then, is proof that God accepted his payment from our sins. His resurrection is proof that Christ really did accomplish everything for our salvation and that we are saved not because of who we are and what we’ve done, but on who Christ is and all that he has done to save us. His resurrection is proof that we will spend eternity in heaven where we will share in his glory!
What Jesus did starting on Palm Sunday, instituting the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, dying in our place on Friday, and rising from the dead on Easter Sunday—Holy Week—is the most important week in the history of the world! For without it, we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). And so, this makes Holy Week the most important week of your entire year—each and every year, it’s the most important week of the year! We hope and pray, then, that you’ll join us in Christ’s victory—and ours—over sin, death, and the power of the devil!
Pastor Andrew Frey
MLC Holy Week Devotions—My Song is Love Unknown
Click on the link below to access eight devotions for Holy Week. They lead us deeper into the truths of Jesus’ love for us through the poetry, imagery, and music of Lent and Easter hymns. Links embedded in the devotions will allow you to hear the hymns performed for you by MLC entities. The audio for each devotion can be played directly from the same page, or you may choose a text version of the devotion.
Holy Week Worship Schedule:
Join us this Holy week as Christ institutes his Holy Supper for the forgiveness of our sins, died in the cross to remove the guilt of all our sins, and rose from the dead to win for us the ultimate victory! Please note, contrary to the calendar handed out with the April Newsletter, there will be no worship service on Easter Monday. Also, please note, that with the pews being opened up, there will be no need to sign-up for the Easter services.
Maundy Thursday: 10:30am and 6:30pm (With Holy Communion)
Good Friday: 1:30pm and 6:30pm (With Holy Communion)
Easter Sunday: 6:30am, 9:00am and 10:45am (With Holy Communion)
Easter Breakfast will be served from 7:30-8:45am (Please sign-up so we can get an accurate number.)
With the Lord:
The Lord, in his infinite wisdom and love, called home to his eternal glory, our sister in Christ, Sara Holub on Friday, March 26, 2021. Her funeral will be held at the FVL auditorium at noon on Saturday, April 3rd. A viewing will take place from 10:00am to Noon. While we mourn, we also rejoice that Sara is enjoying eternal life with her Savior. "Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on" (Revelation 14:13).
On March 25, Pastor Frey received a divine call to serve the Lord at Nebraska Lutheran High School in Waco, NE. as Campus Pastor and Dean of Students. Please keep the Freys in your prayers at this time as Pastor decides where he can best use his gifts and talents in service to the Lord in his kingdom. Pastor Frey plans on spending some time during Bible Class on the 11th going through some basics of the call process as well as giving information on the call to Nebraska Lutheran. He welcomes your feedback at any time.
Church Seating and Social Distancing:
With things moving slowly in the right direction with Covid-19, more people have been returning to worship each Sunday. Because of the pews being roped off for social distancing, this has caused some issues with finding enough seating for everyone. After considering all these things, the Church Council has decided that it will be removing the ropes from the pews on Sunday March 28.
While we may be taking down the ropes, this doesn't mean that common sense is to be thrown aside. We are asking everyone to use their Christian love and judgment as they consider not only their own levels of comfort with social distancing, but also their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Please be respectful of each other as you worship, especially as you look to respect each other’s comfort levels with social distancing.
Remember that our 10:30am and especially our Monday evening services aren't full and one can socially distance if so desired. If you have any questions, please talk to one of the Pastors or to one of the Church Council members.
Because of the Governor's mandate, we are still encouraging everyone to wear a mask (but we are not making it a requirement to attend).
Easter Postcard Invitations:
We once again mailed postcard invitations to the communities and neighborhoods around church inviting them to join us for worship this Easter Season. We have many of these postcards left which we encourage you to take and distribute to people you may know as you invite them to hear the message of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. They are on the back counter in Church. Please take as many as you need.
Worship Service Through Your Phone:
If you have no Internet and would like to still listen each week to our Worship Services, you can dial 1-920-212-3625 each week and you will be able to listen to our Sunday morning Worship Service. Each week the service will become available to listen to each Sunday after 10:30am and you can listen to these services at any time during the week. If you have any questions, please call Church.
Hymnals and Bibles:
We have returned the Hymnals and Bibles to the pews to be used by those who desire. We will still be printing everything in the bulletin, but we know that there are still some people who would like to use the Hymnal and the Bible. NOTE: We will not be cleaning the Hymnals and Bibles after each service. You may use them at your own discretion.
We will no longer be asking members to sign up for worship services. You may come to whatever worship service works best for you. Thank you to those who have taken the time to sign up each week.
A few years ago St. John set up a fund to support our members who are attending Martin Luther College (MLC). This coming school year, we will have one of our members attending MLC to study to be a teacher in our WELS Schools . If you would like to contribute to this fund, please mark your special offering to the "MLC Fund" by May 1st.
Pastor Frey started a new Bible Study on Sunday March 7th at 9:15 am on the New Testament book of Colossians. Join us as we look at this important letter which highlights the person of Christ and his work of salvation.
Pastor Gartner started a new Bible Study on Mondays and Tuesdays starting Monday March 8th at 8:00 am and Tuesday night March 9th at 5:30 pm. The title of this Bible Class will be, "Luther’s Small Catechism – A Study of The Apostles’ Creed, Baptism and Holy Communion." Martin Luther wrote the Small Catechism to help assist Christians in their learning the basic truths of God’s Word. Please join us in this Bible Class as we seek to strengthen our faith as we use Luther’s Small Catechism to refresh our knowledge about The Apostles’ Creed, Baptism and Holy Communion.
If you would like to receive a recording of these Bible Classes, please contact one of the Pastors and we will send you the link for these recordings.
If you are not comfortable sending your child to in person Sunday School, we have weekly recorded videos of each weeks Bible Lesson and the Lesson sheets that we can send to you so that your child can still learn the valuable truths of God's Word. Please contact us if you would be interested in these materials.
We will continue to live-stream our services and post our worship folders online. We will be recording our Sunday 8:00 am service which means you can watch anytime after 8:00 am on Sunday morning. If you need any help accessing these resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can find our worship services at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCsQs-LDzlHE1NTjOaVaQ2A.
You can find a bulletin for each Worship Service so you can follow along here: https://stjohncenter-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/pastor_frey_stjohn-appleton_org/EqetvOMWflhLsfsLRcDkxSgBL2cnYkpiuk8Klh7d-r_XQg?e=07dSma.