First off, this weekend’s Order of Service is available for download here:.
Dear Member or Friend of St. Paul’s,
This weekend is the third Sunday of Easter. After appearing to the women on Easter morning, Jesus makes an afternoon appearance to two disciples (followers) of Jesus. These men are very sad as they return to their village of Emmaus. Their teacher has been crucified and their world has collapsed around them. Soon, Jesus, comes alongside them on their journey home. He prevents them from recognizing them right away so that He would have the chance to teach them how God’s Word spoke of a suffering and dying servant Messiah. The hearts of these disciples began to burn in them as they heard the unfolding of God’s plan in the Word that Jesus presented. Finally, in one of the disciple’s homes, Jesus was recognized in the blessing and breaking of bread.
What saddens you? Is it sitting on the sidelines while your place of work struggles to stay afloat? Are you fearful for your own health or the health of a loved one with some underlying condition that makes that person especially vulnerable to the virus? Maybe you are one of those beginning to get bored with the lock-down? Or, are you fearful that we are losing more of our guaranteed freedoms in exchange for greater government control? Reactions today vary greatly. But the thread of sadness seems common to all of them. Here we are like those Emmaus disciples. We have more questions and pain than answers. And yet, our Savior Jesus still comes alongside us in our day. He comes to us in His holy Word and promises to answer part of the why question, by reminding us of the fall into sin. This world is tainted and corrupt and once in a while produces scary things like a virus. No one is being punished. Bad is simply a part of this fallen world.
But then God’s law, that shows us the fall and our need for help, prepares us for the Gospel and God’s answer for our need. The Emmaus disciples were sad because Jesus had died. They didn’t yet understand what we thankfully know. That Jesus came to die in order to pay for all sin. He died to purchase forgiveness and rose from the dead to provide a glorious future for us and for this world that still groans under the weight of sin. God’s Old Testament promises all pointed to Jesus as the One who came to save us. Here is a portion of one of those promises from Isaiah 53. (By the way, I am pretty sure that this is one of the teachings Jesus shared with those disciples to open their eyes of faith!) Isaiah promised: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that BROUGHT US PEACE, and with His stripes WE ARE HEALED!”
The greatest peace and healing we need is not from anything physical or financial. We needed healing for our souls in the peace Jesus makes possible between us and our God. As you wend your way through your life’s journey, remember that Jesus has promised “to be with you always, even to the end of the age.” Read and hear often His word of instruction and like those Emmaus disciples, rejoice in knowing that Jesus lives—He lives for you.
With Easter behind us, we are back to our regular “Covid” worship schedule. Small group service times are Saturdays at 5:30PM; and Sundays at 8:15, 9:30, and 10:45AM.
The link to Sign-up for church is here:
Live services are streamed from the church Facebook page.
Past Services remain on that page for viewing at any time.
If you download the service and print it, or open it in another window on your computer, you can participate while viewing the service either live or later.
The peace and life of the Risen Savior, Jesus be with you!
Pastor K. Pastor Matt