FROM THE PASTORS DESK
Please read the devotion and click on the link at the bottom to access the song, where you will be redirected from this website so you can listen and watch a video of the song's performance.
I have prepared songs for the coming days. If there is a hymn that speaks to you, I would welcome suggestions.
March 27, 2020: Devotion (Psalm 136:1) and Song "Give Thanks"
When things are going well, it is easy to be thankful. However, when things go poorly like they are right now, we often get down and depressed and maybe even start to blame God. We want to ask, “Why would we want to give thanks now?” The Psalmist gives us the reason why we should give thanks, no matter our circumstances. In Psalm 136:1 the Psalmist writes, “Give thanks to the Lord; for he is good. His love endures forever.” This virus thing doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love us, he will never stop doing that. As the Psalmist says, “His love endures forever. He loved us before we were born, enough to promise to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 that he would send a Savior whose heel would be bruised by Satan, but that Savior would crush Satan’s head. He loved us when he sent Jesus to the cross, to do just that, “to crush Satan’s head.” And he loves us now, enough to promise that Jesus is with us always, even at the time like this. Sure some folks have died during this virus thing and will continue to die, but Jesus died for all of them, just like He died for you and me. And sure we might die from this too but it’s not that likely and even if we do, because Jesus died for us, heaven waits. When you get down and depressed, and at a time like this it’s easy to do. Remember the words of the Psalmist, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his love endures forever. Take some time to listen to today’s song, “Give Thanks,” and meditate on the words. See if that doesn’t help you to overcome that depression and fear. After all, that’s what Jesus came to do for us, to die for us that our sins might be forgiven and all the reasons for depression and fear might be gone.
Click to listen "Give Thanks"
March 25, 2020: Devotion (Matthew 19) and Song “My Song is Love Unknown"
It’s tempting in these times to think that the government and those working in the restaurants and so on owe us something. They should always have enough toilet paper and bread and milk on hand for us and they should deliver to us for free when we can’t go into their restaurants and so on. We reflect too often the ways of those in authority who think that we should follow their orders not because it is good for us but because they say so. Many are resisting and not believing the words of the authorities but Jesus told us as his followers that’s not our way. Listen to his words from Matthew 19: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Listen to the authorities not because they are over you but because God ordained government to help us. Look for ways you can serve those around you instead of expecting others to serve you. Listen to the words of today’s song, “My Song Is Love Unknown” and contemplate all that Jesus has done for you. May it allow you to endure what’s going on in a more relaxed way and motivate you to look for ways to serve instead of being served.
March 24, 2020: Devotion (Numbers 6:23) and Song “Shine Jesus Shine"
At the end of each Worship service, we hear our Pastor share with us the words of Numbers 6:23, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
Did you trust those words each week as you heard them or just take them for granted as another thing your Pastor said during the service? For a little while at least we are aren’t able to come to church and hear those words. But that doesn’t make them any less true or trustworthy. God is shining his love upon you even in these trying times. God is gracious to you and he is giving you peace. Take some time to think about how you can give others some peace. Have you checked with our more experienced members or your neighbors to see if you can go to the grocery store for them when you go? Have you spent any time on the phone checking with those who are isolated and alone and in so doing share God’s peace with them? Think about ways you can shine Jesus’ love in new and novel ways during the crisis as you listen to the words of today’s song: "Shine, Jesus Shine"
March 23, 2020: Devotion (Psalm 46:10-11) and Song “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”
Martin Luther wrote this hymn, based on the words of Psalm 46. Take the time in your devotions to read the entire Psalm but
the first two verses and verses 10 and 11 are really applicable to all that is going on in our world and community right now.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the depth of the sea…. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress.
If we stay home, which is actually quite good advice right now, it is possible that we might feel isolated and lonely, especially if we live alone. Their verses tell us that we aren’t alone, that the Lord Almighty is with us. This crisis can get us a chance to be still and know who God is, that he is in control, that he will use our medical professionals to guide us and direct us. Pray for blessings for all who fight his virus as you listen to this beautiful and encouraging hymn by Dr. Luther: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God."
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