Ash Wednesday (February 17th) 6:00 p.m.
Holy Thursday (April 1st) 6:00 p.m.
Good Friday (April 2nd) 6:00 p.m.
The church will be open all day for prayer and meditation on Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday.
Sunday church services have been cancelled until further notice. You can hear a service every Sunday on The Lutheran Hour by tuning into 970 AM radio at 7:30 a.m. or 104.9 FM radio at 7:00 p.m. The Lutheran Hour’s services are also available on their website: https://www.lhm.org/
Second Sunday in Lent – February 28, 2021
Prayer of the Day – O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life. Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
First Reading – Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Psalm – Psalm 22:23-31
Second Reading – Romans 4:13-25
Gospel – Mark 8:31-38
Sermon – In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The text for this Second Sunday in Lent is taken from Mark 8:31-38 (vs. 34) “…If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
The expression “Get a Life” is used referring to people who have so much time on their hands and not much to do. They may have few or no relationships and they use organizations to fill in the void. Some have families. Many people make the church their life, which is fine to an extent. They become so obsessed with the mechanics of the running of a parish or the politics that their entire life and daily living revolves around their obsession. One time someone said to me “he should get a life” referring to a man on the church council. There are people who have families, jobs, and hobbies and they help out in the church but they also have their own lives to live. People also become obsessed with clubs or other organizations of which they belong. They want all the rules to go “their way.” The club becomes an obsession.
It would be better for a Christian to get a little bit more obsessed with taking up their cross and following Jesus. We should be a disciple for Christ in our daily life and in our own personal way. Sharing one’s faith with another human being is rarely done. Stand up for your Christian faith in a world which drifts more and more away from the Faith. Faith is replaced with many “causes” in society. Some are legitimate causes but they do not replace the faith in Christ crucified and risen. Work righteousness is not faith. Many today become very religious with “Black Lives Matter” or “Defunding the Police” or “Pro-Life” which are causes in our present society. It’s too bad people don’t get as excited with their Christian faith as they do with various societal causes. Some who are obsessed with their own personal causes have their own family members telling them to “get a life.” Or maybe “get a job.” People who are happy with their work, their family, and make good use of their free time aren’t obsessed with one cause in life.
There’s a common expression in the Hispanic cultures: Vaya con Dios. Go with God. Another which is more popular is God go with you. Many times I will have prayers for those who travel or are going to the hospital asking that God go with them. Both expressions offer good ideas, but the first takes on an important meaning. When we pray that God go with us we often pray that he bless, agree with, ratify all the plans we have made. After WE PLAN OUT EVERYTHING, we ask God to go with us. “God go with us” on our vacation is an example.
I like the “Vaya con Dios” GO WITH GOD.” God, wherever you are going, I want to go, too. I want to be within your will. Show me the way, I will follow. In other words instead of being the eternal planners that we are, let God guide our lives. Instead of living an egocentric life, we will choose to live a Christo-centric life. Here are a few examples of taking up our cross and doing it Christ’s way concerning the well-being of others. 1. You offer to go two miles instead of one. 2. You lend someone a coat, not just a T-shirt. 3. You keep your mouth shut when you’re itching to defend yourself. 4. You say kind things instead of hurtful things. 5. You serve others before serving yourself. 6. You learn to share. 7. You take the small portion instead of grabbing for the large one. 8. You rejoice in the good fortune of others. This is all self-denial.
Lent is a time of self-denial. They call the coin folders we use “Lenten Self Denial Folders.” I can remember them back when I was a child. We put a coin in every day as a form of self-denial. It’s a good practice.
Take up your cross and follow me. As this becomes our practice, something astonishing will happen. You may not recognize it in yourself, but others will notice that you are becoming more like Christ. And this is the goal: To be formed in the image of Christ. To be little Christs. He suffered much but rose on the third day. Jesus did this all for our forgiveness. And so we take up our little crosses in our daily life and become Christ-like examples. God grant us this faith. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.