St. Paul's Weekly Update
An antidote to Bible boredom
This week's "better late than never" email comes in the lead up to a Sunday that has a very clear message. The story of the "Prodigal Son" is a well-known and well-loved story that communicates the Father's grace. We appreciate portions of the Bible that are very clear and give such clear comfort.
But how should you think about portions of the Bible that are very difficult to understand? What about those passages you read and say, "Huh?!"
Saint Augustine (AD354-430) once wrote this, "It is a wonderful and beneficial thing that the Holy Spirit organized the holy Scripture so as to satisfy hunger by means of plainer passages and remove boredom by means of its obscurer ones."
In Saint Augustine's opinion, the simple passages satisfy the hungry soul, and the more complicated ones satisfy our natural "boredom" by giving us something to wrestle with and put us on a rewarding journey of discovery. So next time you come across a "Huh!?" passage in the Bible, thank the Holy Spirit that he gives you the clear passages, and thank him that he has also shown you once again how much you have yet to learn from him.
Saginaw Valley Lutheran Choral Concert
THIS SUNDAY! @ Bethany Lutheran Church, 3pm
Midweek Worship @ 3:30 & 6:30
Sunday Worship @ 8 (Livestream) & 10:30am
Bible Class and Sunday School @ 9:15 at the School
This Sunday: 2nd Peter
Wednesday Bible Classes on hold during Lent
Thursday Bible Information Class @ 6pm
Holy Week Services
Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday:
Normal service times on Sunday, April 10th
Maundy (Holy) Thursday: 3:30 & 6:30pm
Good Friday: 1:30 traditional & 8pm Service of Darkness
Easter: Sunrise 7am & Festival with Communion 10:30am
Think of family and friends to invite!
WELS International Youth Rally
This summer's International Youth Rally is in Knoxville, TN, under the theme: "Here and Now."
Royal people. Momentous Purpose. We are here and now “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
Esther’s life was riveting. God’s love for her was amazing. God’s work through her was powerful. Esther was a royal woman who served a momentous purpose. We serve a momentous purpose too! Like Esther, our lives are riveting because of God’s amazing love and God’s powerful work. We are his royal people prepared, placed, and serving Here and Now for such a time as this.
For information about the rally, go to https://wels.net/serving-you/christian-life/discipleship/youth-rally/. To sign up, please contact or email Allen or Ginny Ash (alginash at yahoo.com), who are planning on going and willing to chaperone. Our deadline to sign up will be April 20th so we can get the early bird discount.
This year's Easter Breakfast free-will offering will help defray the costs of registration and travel for participants. There are also funds available for financial aid for those interested but concerned about cost. Contact either of the pastors if you're interested.
The men of St. Paul's are once again planning to make breakfast burritos the day before Easter to serve between services on Easter Sunday. Any men who are interested are invited to meet at 8am on April 16th in the kitchen at school to prepare burritos!
-For the Rosebrock family as they mourn Al Rosebrock
Bring prayers of thanksgiving and intercession to God!
Last week we sang "Afflicted Saint to Christ Draw Near," and had a recording. This week, we have a special recording from our very own St. Paul's School Chorus. If you're able to view it on Google Drive, here is a link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZogUkQg6kRMUJXy4nPDVrVMOPJf1WDJf/view?usp=sharing
Lent 4 -- Worship Notes
4th Sunday in Lent
Theme this Sunday: God's Amazing Grace
This week's lessons show us the sincerity of our Savior’s love. God keeps waiting to show his children mercy. God is ready, even anxious to forgive us. He pleads that we come to him and be saved. Such constant and free forgiveness doesn’t make sense to human logic. But God’s ways are greater than our ways. If his grace were not so great, it could not cover all of our sins. We rejoice in God’s amazing grace which always gives forgiveness for all sins.
First Reading: Isaiah 12:1-6
Who alone can save us from God’s anger?
“The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation” (v 2). It is the LORD himself who saves us from his own fierce anger over our sins. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This is God’s grace that he has turned away from us his anger (which we deserve because of our sins) and shows us, instead, his love (which we have not deserved) by sending his own Son to provide salvation for us through his suffering and death on the cross.
What does God’s saving grace do for us?
God’s saving grace drives away all our fears (v 2) and fills us with an eternal joy in Christ (v 3).
What does God’s saving grace lead us to do?
God’s saving grace leads us to express our joy in heartfelt worship. “Give thanks to the LORD…. Sing to the LORD…. Shout aloud and sing for joy” (vv 4,5,6). It also leads us to share the Good News of salvation in Jesus with others—our family, our friends, our neighbors, and people all around the world—so that they too may know the glorious things that our God has done for us!
Second Reading: Romans 8:1-10
What is the result of there being "no condemnation" for us in Christ Jesus?
We are set free from the burden of trying to earn righteousness before God, something we could never do.
What does it mean to live in step with the spirit?
We freely live for God instead of for our sinful desires.
Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-3, 12-32
What do we learn about God’s grace from the wasteful younger son?
From the younger son in the story, we learn, amazingly, that our sins do not nullify God’s grace. “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20). God gladly receives and forgives every penitent sinner, no matter how many or how terrible our sins.
What do we learn about God’s grace from the “faithful” son?
From the older son in the story, we learn that we cannot earn God’s grace by our steady service. God gives us grace freely in Christ. God’s grace is always ours through faith. (See Luke 15:31.) Therefore, we should not be offended when God gives his grace freely also to another, no matter how notorious a sinner we might consider them to be.
Hymns: 409; 576; 523; 654:1-2,6-7
Order of Service Note: If you'd like to find recordings of the organ accompaniment for the Gloria, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei, you can find them here: https://welscongregationalservices.net/hymnal-introduction-resources/#toggle-id-4
Notes from: https://wels.net/worship-help/