(920) 733-1307 church.office@stjohn-appleton.org Worship Services: Sundays - 8:00, 10:30 am  Mondays - 6:30 pm

“For the wages of sin is death, but the undeserved gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23)

Pastor Frey reminded us very well in today’s Good Friday sermon that Jesus won the battle over sin, death and the power of the devil by his death on the cross. Why did Jesus come?

“When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days it will be the Passover, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:1-2 —EHV)

Today is what is often called, “Silent Wednesday.” Scripture has much to say about the events of Holy Week—in fact, almost half of John’s Gospel (12-20) take place during Holy Week. We know Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Solomon, the author of these two short verses, commands us to do three things. I would like you to evaluate how well you have been doing at following these specific commands. We will use letter grades like the ones we used in school with: A - superior; B – very good; C – average; D – below average; or F – failing:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8.)

Who likes change? Most of us don’t like change at all and even those who don’t mind change would say that the last two weeks have been a little too much change. Stores are closing. Restaurants are closed or serving only take out.

“I saw one like a son of man coming. He came to the Ancient of Days, and he was brought before him. 14 To him was given dominion, honor, and a kingdom. All peoples, nations, and languages will worship him. His dominion is an eternal dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)

Looking at the week that just passed and things that have happened over the last few days, you might have asked the question, “Who is ruling?” While I am not that old, I have to admit that I have never witnessed anything like this past week in my whole life. The confusion, the fear, the panic, the uncertainty, the threats of being laid off of work, the crashing of the stock markets -- all of which makes everything feel so chaotic and unsure. Really, who is ruling?

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will endure, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 15:16– EHV)

Lord, ’tis not that I did choose you; That, I know, could never be,

For this heart would still refuse you Had your grace not chosen me.

“Lord, ‘Tis Not that I Did Choose You” —CW 380 (Stanza 1, Verses 1-2)

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