St. Paul's Weekly Update
Better Than a Tanning Bed
I don't know about you, but the cold months of winter have started to change me--and not in a good way. I've been inside so much, without any sun, that my normally pasty white skin is reaching a blinding glow.
Sometimes when people need more sun, or want healthier looking skin, they fly to Florida. Those who can't sometimes resort to a tanning bed. Like sitting in the sunlight for a while, the tanning bed "changes you into the likeness" of a tanner person.
The long winter of this sinful world can change us--and not for the better. We can spend so much time experiencing "the love of many growing cold" (Matthew 24:12) that we ourselves lose the glow of God's love.
So this Sunday we'll hop in a sort of spiritual tanning bed! At the close of Epiphany, we join several of the disciples on the mountain of Transfiguration, and bask in the blinding (not pasty, but glorious!) light of Christ. Basking in the glorious light and love of Christ who set aside his glory to die for us changes us in a very good way. It prepares us to suffer as Christ suffered, and it prepares us to one day be changed into the glorious likeness of Christ in heaven. As we pray in the prayer of the day for this weekend:
"Lord God, before the suffering and death of your one and only Son, you revealed his glory on the holy mountain. Grant that we who bear his cross on earth may behold by faith the light of his heavenly glory and so be changed into his likeness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen."
Worship & Bible Class
-- Sunday Worship is at 8:00am and 10:30 (mask-optional), with Bible Class and Sunday School in-between.
-- Monday night worship (mask-required) is at 6:30pm.
-- The livestream of Sunday 8:00am can be found here (Sunday Bible study livestream can be found there as well). See worship preparation below to get the hymns and readings ready (or find bulletin here)
-- Private communion always available by appointment. Don't let anything separate you from God's means of grace! Call the office or call/email Pastor Naumann (412-0232); Pastor Buelow (412-0458)
-- Wednesday Bible studies have their final week this week before Lent. Civil Government continues in the morning, and Jeremiah will continue in the 7pm class (find Jeremiah class materials by clicking here). Join Wednesdays at 10am or 7pm in the same way--through the Zoom app, meeting ID: 813 9931 8006, passcode: 011081, or click: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81399318006?pwd=ZW5JR3BDL3d1RzNTZzNTZDlreEVrZz09
--Lent begins next week with Ash Wednesday, which also kicks off our midweek Lenten rotation on the series: "The Hands of the Passion."
God bless you as you serve Him!
** Picture above: "The Transfiguration of Christ by Carl H. Bloch 1834-1890
Worship Preview for Sunday & Other Devotional Material
Worship helps from https://wels.net/serving-you/devotions/worship-helps/
Last Sunday After Epiphany:
Jesus Reveals His Future Glory
Scripture only records one time when Jesus showed his divine glory. That was on a hilltop in northern Israel. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John got a firsthand (and terrifying) look at Jesus’ perfect glory. Why did Jesus do this? He did it, among many reasons, to give his disciples a glimpse at what the future holds for all believers. They were about to enter a difficult time as disciples. They would see their Messiah crucified. But future glory would follow, by God’s grace.
First Lesson – 2 Kings 2:1-12a
Why was Elisha upset?
He realized that his master, Elijah, was going to be taken away from him.
What request did Elisha have for Elijah?
Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. He knew he would need spiritual strength when Elijah was gone. In those days the oldest Jewish son would inherit a double portion of the estate, so Elisha seems to be asking to be Elijah’s heir/successor.
How was Elijah taken away into heaven?
A chariot and horses of fire separated Elijah and Elisha, then Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind.
Second Lesson – 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (Sermon Text)
Why don’t all people trust in Jesus’ blood?
All people do not trust in Jesus’ blood because the devil, “the god of this age,” has blinded the minds of unbelievers. Result: They cannot see the light of the good news.
In short, who is Jesus, this man who appears in such glory on the Mount of Transfiguration?
Jesus is the image of God. When we see Jesus, we see exactly what God the Father is like.
If you trust in Jesus―unlike many―why is that? (See 4:6.)
The God who did the miracle of making light at the beginning, just by saying, “Let there be light,” did a similar miracle in you. He made light where there was only darkness. He gave you light to know the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Gospel – Mark 9:2-9
Who met Jesus and his disciples when they climbed this high mountain?
Jesus and his three disciples met Moses and Elijah, who were generally considered by the Jews to be the two greatest prophets in the Old Testament.
Why did Peter make the suggestion he did in verse 5?
Peter wanted to build shelters on the mountain for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah in order to keep the glory of God all to themselves. Mark the evangelist suggests that Peter was speaking foolishly. Jesus needed to head for Jerusalem, where he would suffer death on a cross to secure eternal glory for his followers. (See 9:9.)
Hymns: 586, 97, 460, 569
Psalm: 148 (All creation praises our glorious God and Savior)
Order of Service: CW15
Other Devotional Materials:
WELS Daily Devotions: https://wels.net/dev-daily/
Family devotions: https://wels.net/family-devotion/
Lent Devotional Books from Northwestern Publishing House:
-- "Up to Jerusalem" by John Braun
Take a walk with your Savior during Lent and Easter. Follow him to Calvary as he earns your salvation. Up to Jerusalem is a book of 55 inspirational devotions that tie together the four gospels and lead you through Jesus' journey to his suffering, death, and final triumph in Jerusalem. Ten minutes a day is all it takes. Travel with Jesus from Ash Wednesday through Easter—or whenever the season is right for you—and meditate on His love!
-- Triumph at the Cross: Lenten Devotions for Repentance and Renewal by Harold Senkbeil
Review and Share the Basics: Lent
Check out this infographic from NPH on common questions about lent (at this link you can view a larger version where you can actually read the answers!): https://online.nph.net/media/images/landing/Lent_Infographic.png#.XlWTXqMFTJk.link?utm_source=general-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=0221-lenten-infographic