St. Paul's Weekly Update
This is Serious
Your doctor finds something that shouldn't be there. Further tests are done. Scans are analyzed. The diagnosis: This is serious. Life-threatening.
God's law finds something that shouldn't be there. Further examination is done. Heart and actions are analyzed. The diagnosis: This is serious. Eternity-threatening.
It's not fun to get a serious diagnosis from a doctor. But it is necessary. Without a diagnosis, we'll never know that we need the cure!
It's not fun to get a serious diagnosis from God's law either. God's law, summarized in one word love, shows us that God demands that we love him perfectly and love our neighbor as ourselves. God's law gives a serious diagnosis: in heart and action, with what we have done and left undone, we have an eternity-threatening condition of sin. We need this diagnosis, because we need to know how seriously we need a cure--the cure that God provides.
As serious as God is about his law, he is equally serious about saving us. So Jesus came in our place to perfectly love--to perfectly obey God's law in heart and action, in what he did and left undone. Then, in perfect love, he took our sin on himself and suffered the death which our sinfulness causes in our place on the cross.
This is serious--and joyful at the same time! Jesus has provided the cure for the diagnosis of the law. And through faith in him, we are not only cured of our eternity-threatening condition; our hearts are healed to love God's demands and to love to do as God demands.
Prayer for Sunday:
Lord God, you are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love. Fill us with the peace of your forgiveness so that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
-- Midweek Lent Worship is at 3:30 & 6:30 (both mask-optional), 6:30 livestreamed. This week we welcome Pastor Michael Nitz of Bethany, Saginaw, as our guest preacher under the theme: Hands of the Passion--Hands of Hypocrisy (Caiaphas).
-- 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)
-- Keep in your prayers:
Mrs. Janna Needham, who is holding the call to serve as part-time 2nd grade teacher here at St. Paul's;
Mr. Sam Korth, who received a call to serve as 5th grade homeroom teacher (departmentalized upgrades), music coordinator, and adult choir director at St. Stephen’s in Beaver Dam, WI.
God bless you as you serve Him!
Worship Preview for Sunday
Worship helps from https://wels.net/serving-you/devotions/worship-helps/
Third Sunday in Lent:
Jesus Rescues us From God's Law
For centuries Christians have spent Lent meditating on Jesus’ suffering and death, which atoned for our guilt. Lent is the “serious season” of the church year in which we put extra emphasis on recognizing and confessing our own sins. Congregations with special mid-week services usually keep a somber, reflective tone. The Sundays in Lent, however, serve as “mini Easters;” their readings and hymns bring comfort to the believers who are reflecting on their sins and Jesus’ passion. The third Sunday in Lent reminds us of God’s perfect law and his demand that we fear and love him. Thankfully, Jesus has fulfilled God’s law in our place.
First Lesson – Exodus 20:1-17 (sermon text & the focus of our the service)
Why does God remind the Israelites that he brought them out of Egypt before giving the Ten Commandments?
The holy God who demands we keep his commandments wants love and trust from his children. His law cannot instill that love and trust. Only his gospel can. By reminding the Israelites of how he rescued them from Egypt, he is putting in the forefront of their minds his love and mercy. That rescue from Egypt reminds us that the same holy God sent Jesus to rescue us from our sin.
Since God already put his commandments on our hearts, why did he etch them on stone (and in the Bible) for us?
Our own sin and the sin around us combine to darken and callous our hearts, so we need God’s law written down―in detail―for us so we know exactly what his will is.
Second Lesson – Romans 8:1-10
Were you born neutral toward God and his commands? Or even favorable toward them? (See 8:7.)
No. We were all born hostile to God. We did not submit to God’s law. We could not.
How much does God blame you in his courtroom now? (See 8:1.)
You are completely innocent in God’s courtroom because of Jesus’ blood. There is no condemnation for all who are in Christ Jesus. None.
Gospel – John 2:13-22
Why do you think the Jewish leaders allowed the buying and selling of animals in the temple courts?
The Jewish leaders let people buy and sell in the temple courts, presumably, because those who sold animals and changed money made a profit. Nothing should disturb God’s people from hearing God’s Word, though, or coming to God in prayer and praise in thanks for God’s mercies.
How do you know that Jesus was not sinning by angrily overturning the tables and driving out the money changers?
Jesus was not sinning because what was at stake was the glory and honor of God. His temple was to be a place for worship. But isn’t anger always sin? No. God the Father “expresses his wrath every day,” but never sins (Psalm 7:11). Jesus never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). He could not.
Why are Jesus’ words in verse 19 significant?
In John 2:19 our Savior predicted his own resurrection from the dead. When he fulfilled his promise, he proved he truly is God and keeps his Word. That truth gives us sinners hope and comfort. Only God can save us; Jesus is God. He has rescued us! (See Romans 4:25.)
Hymns: 735, 285, 531
Communion Hymns: 310 & "In Hopelessness and Near Despair," hymn from CWS set to a different tune in the new hymnal. PDF link here if you'd like to see it.
Order of Service: Special Printed Bulletin, Communion from Divine Service 2 in the Supplement
Simple Devotion Plan for Lent & Other Devotional Material
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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/