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. 

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Friday, April 16, 2021 - Scripture: John 20:19; Song: “O Sons and Daughters of the King"
 
One of the parts of the Easter account that we can relate to, I believe, is what happened with the disciple Thomas who for some reason wasn’t in the upper room on Easter when Jesus appeared to the rest of the disciples.  I think the reason we relate to Thomas is that most if not all of us at times have doubts.  Whether it’s doubts about Jesus being alive again like Thomas did, or doubts about God being with us during the tough times when they don’t seem to be getting better, or doubts about Jesus forgiving us because Satan has convinced that what we’ve done is too bad for God to forgive us, we all have doubts.  Our hymn for Today, “O Sons and Daughters of the King” retells the Easter visit of Jesus to the disciples and then his return when Thomas was there.  The obvious reason Thomas doubted was because he didn’t have Jesus’ words to the disciples from John 20:19 when he stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  Those words are repeated in the third verse of the hymn.  In the fifth verse then, is Jesus’ encounter with Thomas.  Jesus had Jesus touch the wounds in his hands and then in his side.  And he told Thomas, “Stop doubting and believe.”  When you and I doubt, let’s go to Scripture and hear again the words of Jesus, “Peace be with you.”  We won’t get the kind of peace we need anywhere else.  As Jesus himself said, the peace I give you, the world cannot give.  The peace of Jesus be with you as you struggle with Covid-19 and anything else that life gives you, and when you doubt, remember that Jesus is risen and he told Thomas, “Stop doubting and believe.”  Sounds easy doesn’t it?  Because of our sinful nature it’s not, but that’ why God sent Jesus to the cross so that all our sins including doubt are forgiven.  Have a great day in Jesus and be encouraged as you listen to the hymn.
 
O Sons and Daughters of the King LSB 470
 
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - Scripture: John 19:25-27;  Song: “My Redeemer Lives"
 
On Easter, I chose the hymn “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” for my first song devotion of the season.  Today, I am choosing another song with the word Redeemer in the title.  It’s more contemporary than the first one, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful.  The song is “My Redeemer Lives’ by Nicole C. Mullen.  And the Scripture verse is the same one I used before, the words of Job himself from chapter 19, verse 25 to 27: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes- I, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!”  I am writing this before my eye surgery, which by now, will have taken place a week ago, and I’m sure much has changed since then.  But things were not great when I wrote this, Covid-19 wise, and people were still struggling in a lot of other ways, dealing with several mass shootings, serious illnesses and more.  I was doing well, a bit concerned about my surgery and that caused some angst.  So, the words of the second verse of the hymn were written for me as well as for all of you: “The very God that spins things in orbit, Runs to the weary the worn and the weak.  And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken, They conquer death to give me victory.”  We are among the weary, worn, and weak, just as Job was.  Yet Job was able to say and know that when his skin was destroyed because of the promise of the Messiah, he would see God.  Because our Redeemer lives, he will strengthen us while we deal with life’s problems today and with Job, we can say “My Redeemer lives” and look forward to life forever with him as well.  Don’t let life get you down, know that with our own eyes, even me with my bad eyes, we will see Jesus.
 
Monday, April 12, 2021 - Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:17-20;  Song: “This Joyful Eastertide"
 
We are about to begin the third week of the seven weeks of Easter in the church.  And still plenty of Easter hymns and Easter Contemporary songs to choose from.  Easter is more than thus one day as I’ve said before and today’s hymn shows that.  It’s “This Joyful Eastertide.” Notice the title is not “This Joyful Easter day.”  The song shows us that the results of Christ’s resurrection on Easter go on forever for Christ followers, those who trust in his life, death, and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins and the promise of life eternal.  Verse 2 of the hymn says it all: “Had Christ who once was slain, not broke his three-day prison, our faith had been in vain, but now has Christ arisen.”   The writer of the hymn takes his thoughts from Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians, chapter 15, which is known as the resurrection chapter.  Paul writes in verses 17 to 20: And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins…. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to pitied.  But Christ has indeed been raised form the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  The beauty of many of our hymns is that the words come right from Scripture like this one.  No matter how much we struggle in life, we share in Christ’s resurrection victory.  That’s why we can deal with covid-19 and the economy and family issues and more.  Listen to the hymn and know the peace that comes from sharing in Christ’s resurrection.
 
 
Friday, April 9, 2021 - Scripture: John 1:29;  Song: “At the Lamb's High Feast We Sing"
It’s Friday again and almost a week since Easter.  I believe it’s time for another of the great hymns of Easter to encourage us as we come to the end of another week.  Today’s hymn is “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing.”  If you listen to the words, there is much of Holy week involved in the words: Jesus’ blood from His riven side and more.  It reminds us that we needed to go through all that with Jesus to get to the high feast day of Easter.  If Jesus hadn’t suffered and died, there would be no Easter.  If Jesus hadn’t suffered and died and rose again, there is no way we could get through another Friday.  The Lamb at the feast that the hymn talks about is the same lamb who John the Baptist recognized at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, three years before he died for us, as John told the people (and us), “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  And Jesus did that by taking our sins and the sins of the whole world to the cross.  God then raised Him from the dead, as proof that what he had done was enough, that the punishment he endured, satisfied God's need for justice for our sins.  Now each Sunday, including Easter, we celebrate at the Lamb’s high feast.  And as the hymn points out, the center of that celebration is Christ’s supper where he offers us his body and blood, for the forgiveness of our sins, and to assure us we are his.  So sing along with the hymn, come to church often to celebrate the Lamb’s high feast, and know that doing that, it will make getting through another Friday that much easier.
 
 
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - Scripture: Matthew 10:29-31; Song: “Sparrows"
It’s Wednesday, April 7th and while you read this, I will finally be having my second eye surgery, with a cornea transplant and cataract surgery on my right eye.  In some ways, I probably won’t worry as much because I already had the same surgery on my other eye and God blessed the doctors with skills and talents that have me seeing better than I have since I was a child.  I know there is no pain and what to expect so it should help.  But… I know we are all sinful and that things don’t always go as planned, so there is still some fear involved.  When that happens, it is helpful for me, and hopefully for you as well, to go to Scripture, to the words of the one who is never wrong.  In Matthew 10, Jesus himself is talking about worry and to be concerned about other humans, especially the head of the house. He says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.”  Encouraged by these words of Jesus, I know that I’m not alone, that Jesus is with me.  He cares for me  even then he does the Sparrows.  I will be listening to the words of our song for today on my way to the surgery center in Jackson.  It is called “Sparrows.” It is based on the words of Jesus that serves as our Scripture reading.  Gray sings, “You may feel alone, but you are not your own,” a reminder that is comforting.  Gray sings, “He wants to Carry it” with a picture of Christ’s cross in the background.  If Jesus cared enough for me to die for me, he won’t leave me alone on a day like today.  So, as you listen to this comforting song, pray for me again, that I rest in the peace that knowing Jesus gives to all of us who love him and are called according to his purpose.
 

Previous Devotions

March Devotions.pdf
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February Devotions
February 21.pdf
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January Devotions.pdf
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