Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! These sentiments are not merely a kind of seasonal good wishes. They are the Church’s ancient victory cry announcing the beginning of the end of the old reign of sin, death, and Satan. Christ has won the ultimate victory.
What remains is a series of skirmishes in which the old loser wants to try to take as many as he can straight to hell with him. Look around you at a world in which terrorists blow themselves up in God’s name, in which pornography and addictions wreck countless lives, in which the greedy prey upon the weak and vulnerable, in which entertainment of various kinds masks an indifference to meaningful living, and in which millions of children are destroyed before they can live, and, yes, you will see the old loser is, literally, having a hell of a good time in this world.
Martin Luther aptly described Christians as simultaneously saints and sinners. The antidote to sin, death, and Satan is the death and resurrection of God’s beloved Son Jesus. To access the forgiveness of sins, we sinners and saints need to be faithful in our use of the Word and sacraments. Through the external Word of God, the Word that comes from outside ourselves, we can be brought from death to life again and again as the old sinner is drowned in the waters of Holy Baptism daily.
This active struggle between good and evil is not some kind of word game. It is a way of life that is something entirely other than the kind of cultural Christianity that plagues every congregation. The marks of discipleship are clear: praying daily, worshiping weekly, studying God’s Word, serving as Christ served, developing spiritual friendships, and giving generously. Dying daily to sin looks like intentionally growing in these habits! In such a way, God the Holy Spirit can continue the Lord Jesus’ holy war in each heart, mind, and life.
Like any congregation and every person, St. Matthew’s is a work in progress. We are not technophobes, but, like the Church across time, we don’t organize our worship life around electronic media. Rooted in the Church’s historic faith and worship, we think it’s a good thing to focus not on ourselves but on the God who comes to us in Word and Sacrament. So break out of your electronic cocoon this week and actually connect with real people and, more importantly, with the real down-to-earth God who speaks to and interrupts our busy and anxious lives in Word and Sacrament. If you’re in the area, please know you’re invited to worship with us.
Thanks for stopping by!
Peace and joy,
Pastor Sam Zumwalt, STS
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Calendar at a Glance for 1 Week
Youth Groups (excluding May thru August)
Wednesday at 6:00 pm (Middle School) and Sunday from 6:00 to 7:30 pm (High School) .
Wednesday Music Practice Schedule:
5:00 Little Luther Choir (PK4-1st grade) 5:25pm Luther Choir (grades 2-5)
6:00-6:45pm Handbell Choir (older youth and adults)
7:00-8:30pm Adult Choir