St. Paul's Weekly Update
The Humility of Lent
On Ash Wednesday, we often focus on the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The Pharisee is proud and tries to justify himself in the eyes of others and the eyes of God. "I thank God that I am not like other people!" The Tax Collector is humble and desperately acknowledges that he could never justify himself before God. He says, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."
During Lent, we humble ourselves to say the same thing, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner." But that doesn't make Lent about our humility and repentance. In fact, if that is what Lent becomes about, then it isn't humble at all! "God, I thank you that I am so humble and repentant!"
No. The humility of Lent moves quickly from confession of sin to confession of Christ. From "me, the sinner" to the "Lord, who shows mercy." As our verse of the day for Ash Wednesday says: Return (Repent!) to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love (Joel 2:13). Humble repentance is all about what John the Baptist once said, "He (Jesus) must increase, I must decrease."
Through private confession to God in prayer or to a pastor, through examining your life in the light of God's Word, through personal devotions and public worship, this Lent fix your eyes on Jesus whose forgiving grace always increases in the lives of humbled sinners.
Prayer of the Day for Ash Wednesday:
Almighty and merciful God, you never despise what you have made and always forgive those who turn to you. Create in us such new and contrite hearts that we may truly repent of our sins and obtain your full and gracious pardon; through your Son, 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.
-- Ash Wednesday Worship 3:30 & 6:30 (both mask-optional), 6:30 livestreamed.
-- The livestream of Sunday 8:00am and the Midweek 6:30pm services 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 on hold until after Lent.
-- Prayer request: Keep in your prayers our teacher Mr. Jordan Siegler, who is deliberating a call to teach grades 4-5 and help with music and coaching at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Aurora, IL.
God bless you as you serve Him!
Worship Preview for Sunday
Worship helps from https://wels.net/serving-you/devotions/worship-helps/
First Sunday in Lent:
Jesus Defeats the Devil
In Lent, we see Jesus go to the cross to suffer and die for us. Today’s lessons show that when God tests us, and the devil tempts us (every day!), Jesus is our holiness before God. He is also our strength and our example. Jesus says we do not live on bread alone. We live on God’s promises. They come to us in holy baptism, in Holy Communion, and straight from the Bible—the book in which every word is from the mouth of God.
First Lesson – Genesis 22:1-18
Abraham believed God would somehow quickly raise Isaac from the dead. (See Hebrews 11:19.) How did Abraham show this to his servants?
See the end of verse 5. Abraham assured his servants that after he and Isaac worshiped atop Mt. Moriah, they would both come back down the mountain.
Who is the Angel of the Lord?
The Angel of the Lord is God the Son himself. The proof is in verses 12 and 16, where the Angel of the Lord speaks of himself as God. 1 Corinthians 10:4 says that the Angel of the Lord was Christ. This does not mean Jesus is a created angel; “angel” in both Hebrew and Greek means “messenger,” essentially. Even before he became man, the Son of God was the Father’s messenger to us.
By what two unchangeable things, which he said to Abraham, did God encourage us to trust in Jesus?
God both made a promise to Abraham and swore by himself. What could be surer? (See Hebrews 6:18.)
Second Lesson – Romans 8:31-39 (Sermon Text)
What do we have to endure, for God’s sake? (See 8:36.)
We get killed all day long, so to speak. We suffer great grief and pain. Paul says this by quoting from Psalm 44:22.
Do we conquer in Christ now, forever, or both? (See 8:37.)
We conquer both now and forever. In all our troubles, we are more than conquerors, not just after all our troubles.
Where is God’s love? (See 8:39.)
God’s love is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Since Jesus lives forever, God’s love for us will never end.
Gospel – Mark 1:12-15
Who sent Jesus into the desert to be tempted?
God the Holy Spirit drove Jesus (in overly-literal Greek “threw him out” into the desert). We can take comfort that the devil never tempts us unless God allows it.
Wild animals in stadiums threatened some of Mark’s first readers. What comfort did Jesus’ temptation give them?
When Jesus was tempted in the desert, he too was with the wild animals. He overcame all temptations by the same Word that steadied the hearts of martyrs whom Roman officials fed to lions. No matter how God allows us to be tempted, he will always make a way out for us. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13.)
Hymns: 371, 200 (714, 419)
Psalm: 3 (a psalm of reliance on the Lord's deliverance)
Order of Service: CW26
Simple Devotion Plan for Lent & Other Devotional Material
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Read (starting next Monday):
Week of Lent 1 (February 22-27)
M: James 4:1-10
Tu: James 1:13-18
W: Hebrews 4:14-16
Th: Hebrews 12:1-7
F: Matthew 16:21-28
S: Matthew 12:38-42
Week of Lent 2 (March 1-6)
M: John 7:14-18
Tu: Acts 5:17-19
W: 1 Samuel 3:1-18
Th: Jeremiah 20:7-13
F: Hebrews 5:4-10
S: Matthew 21:33-46
Week of Lent 3 (March 8-13)
M: 1 Peter 1:13-21
Tu: Mark 6:7-13
W: Luke 22:24-30
Th: Luke 4:38-44
F: 1 Corinthians 4:9-16
S: Isaiah 49:1-6
Week of Lent 4 (March 15-20)
M: John 6:22-29
Tu: 1 Kings 19:1-8
W: Mark 12:28-34
Th: John 6:47-59
F: John 12:20-26
S: John 8:21-30
Week of Lent 5 (March 22-27)
M: Hebrews 7:23-27
Tu: John 7:1-13
W: John 13:31-35
Th: Hebrews 10:1-10
F: John 11:47-55
S: Exodus 32:30-34
Week of Lent 6 (March 29-31, then Holy Week)
M: 1 Peter 2:21-24
Tu: 1 Timothy 6:12-14
W: Jeremiah 15:15-21
Lord’s Prayer and possibly other prayers:
Monday: Missions; Tuesday: Congregations & Schools; Wednesday: Families; Thursday: Country & Work; Friday: The Suffering & Those Who Care for Them; Saturday: For Jesus to Bring us Quickly to the Joys of Heaven
The Lord bless us and keep us, the Lord make his face shine on us and be gracious to us, the Lord look on us with favor and give us peace. Amen.
Other Devotional Materials:
Occasional Videos on our Facebook page lining up with the devotional plan above.
WELS Daily Devotions: https://wels.net/dev-daily/
Family devotions: https://wels.net/family-devotion/
Jesus' Passion: 40 days of Bible readings with one of our Seminary professors can be found at forwardinchrist.net or on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/109950283839877/132177868707885/