By the mercies of the Lord we are not consumed, for his compassions do not fail.
23 They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 - EHV)
Are you a morning person? I will admit that I am not. I always jokingly say, “that someday there will be a cure for those perky morning people!” When does your alarm burst your pleasant sleep? What’s your morning ritual? What are all the little things you “check off” before you leave the house for the day? While some of us may enjoy the mornings and others of us aren’t in full swing until a few hours later, there is one thing that all of God’s people enjoy.
What Jeremiah writes for us today reminds us of something far greater than how much sleep or what kind of sleep we got. He wants us to all wake up and realize that every day we wake up is another day to witness firsthand God’s mercy and compassion. You might not notice it, but before your alarm stirs you to action, God has already been busy. God tells you that his love and compassion greet you every morning. In fact he says, “They are new every morning.” Everyday is a new opportunity to see God’s forgiving love and faithfulness.
Why do you and I need God’s mercy and compassion every morning? It is pretty simple. God tells us that we are sinners. As we remember our conduct over the last 24 hours, there are so many times we have done, said or thought things that God hates. Not only do we commit sins, but God also tells us that we have a sinful nature that hates what God loves and loves what God hates. Because of what we do and who we are by nature, we deserve to be “consumed” and punished by God in the fires of hell.
But God promises to treat us differently than we deserve. Jeremiah says, “By the mercies of the Lord we are not consumed, for his compassions do not fail. . . Great is your faithfulness.” In mercy, compassion and faithfulness, God decided to treat his Son differently than he deserved, too. In our place and for all of our sins, Jesus was punished. He suffered in our place on the cross and died. In love, God let his Son, Jesus, be consumed because of our sins.
Now, God greets you each day with his mercy and compassion. For the sake of Jesus, God forgives your sins. Isn’t it a great comfort to wake up each morning and know we are still forgiven children of God? Yes, we will produce new sins every day and yes, God gives you his love and compassion every day – new every morning.
And whether or not your physical rest brings you into the new day feeling refreshed, God faithfully greets you each morning with his love and compassion found in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. May God’s great love and unfailing compassion refresh you every morning and propel you through each day.
Pastor Mark Gartner
Tuesday Janaury 19 at 7:00 pm, we had our Annual Congregational Voter's Meeting where we saw again God's many blessings from this past year and as we made some ministry plans to do his work in the coming year. If you want the minutes and notes, they are on the back counter at Church. If you would like to watch the meeting you may access the meeting at this Youtube link.
Bible Information Class (BIC):
Pastor Frey is beginning a new BIC class on both Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings. If you are interested in joining St. John or if you are already members of St. John but would like to grow in your knowledge of God's Word, please contact Pastor Frey to join in this class.
New Bible Classes:
Pastor Gartner started a new Bible Study on Sunday November 29 at 9:15 am entitled: “Catholicism Today — A Study of What the Catholic Church Teaches and How It Measures Up to God’s Word.” Join us as we look at some of the key teachings of the Catholic Church in light of God’s Word, and we will also look at ways on how we can share the truths of God’s Word with those in the Catholic Church who may struggling in their faith.
Pastor Frey is leading a Bible Study on Mondays and Tuesdays called, "Counterfeit Christianity." The devil is called the Father of Lies (John 8:44); he uses his web of lies to lead Christians away from God Word and thus away from the one true faith. This study, based on the book, Broken: 7 “Christian” Rules that Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible by Jonathan Fisk, will examine these lies of the devil and their antidotes from Holy Scripture.
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.
Worship During the Covid Virus:
Worship Sign-up and Cleaning After Each Service
In order to encourage and practice social distancing, we are trying to limit each Worship service to around 75 people and becasue of the Governor's mandate we are strongly encouraging everyone to wear a mask (but we are not making it a requirement to attend). We are offering 8:00 and 10:30 services on Sunday as well as 6:30 pm on Monday. We are also asking everyone to sign up each week for whatever Worship Service you plan on attending. Please note, that we are in need of volunteers to help sanitize the sanctuary between services. When you sign-up you’ll have an opportunity to mark whether or not you are willing to help out—it only takes about 10 minutes, so we pray that you will!
You can find the link to sign-up on the front page of our website at: www.stjohn-appleton.org.
To find a more detailed look at our Worship procedures during this Covid virus, you may click on this link which takes you to the information that is found on our Website's front page.
We rejoice that we have been able to return to the Lord’s house to worship together, but at the same time we want to do so in a safe manner. The 8:00 am service is the most attended service, which perhaps will make some of you feel uncomfortable. First off, if you feel uncomfortable in this more attended service. we encourage you to attend either the 10:30 am or the Monday evening service which offer plenty of room in order for you to socially distance.
In addition, our Council has decided to remove the ropes for the first few pews of the lectern side of the sanctuary. If you have already had Covid or you are not wanting to wear a mask, we would ask that you consider sitting in these front pews in order to free up space for others. People deciding to sit in these “unrestricted” pews should use their own good judgment on social distancing. We hope that, with enough worshipers sitting in this section, it will leave enough space in the rest of the sanctuary for everyone else to socially distance. If you have any questions, please speak to one of the Pastors or a Council members.
As we go forward, we will continue to live-stream our services and posting 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.ou can find a bulletin for each Worship Service so you can follow along here: https://stjohncenter-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/pastor_frey_stjohnappleton_org/EqetvOMWflhLsfsLRcDkxSgBL2cnYkpiuk8Klh7d-r_XQg?e=07dSma.