Message From Pastor Stanton for March 2018

On Friday, March 23, our Young Youth group: Kindergartners—2nd grade from 5–7pm and our 3rd-5th graders from 6:30–8pm—will eat together and “take a walk through Holy Week”. I love how this event will help these kids and their families anticipate the amazing story of Jesus being celebrated on Palm Sunday all the way to dying on Good Friday and rising on Easter Sunday. I hope our Young Youth Director, Beth Miller, is overwhelmed with the great number of families who choose to make this evening a part of their Holy Week celebration. (You could ease her overwhelming feelings by ‘signing up’ ahead of time, but that isn’t necessary, either.)

We celebrate Lent, Holy Week and Easter to remember where our confidence comes from.
Come to worship with us each day during Holy Week and you may find it difficult to remain the same.

First Lutheran does many things well, but during Lent and Holy Week we are at our best. Wednesdays during Lent we sing the beautiful Holden Evening Prayer. And during Holy Week, we worship every evening (and some mid-days) for a service of healing, a service of prayer for the nations, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and more. Our sanctuary is made to look special. The musical offerings sound special. Being in worship each day feels special. Leaders at First make extraordinary efforts to make Holy Week special because of all the weeks of the year, Holy Week is worth our attention. The entire season of Lent creates space for Christians to ponder the good news that “the reign of God is upon us.” In Holy Week, we see what that reign looks like. We see how God responds to sin, death and the power of the devil. We see how God uses God’s Love-Power as he not only confronts the powers of this world. God defeats them.

The membership of First Lutheran care about their families, friends and community. Our membership seek to advocate for the suffering who live both near and far. We have our own struggles and seek to serve others through their challenges. Where do we get the strength to care, advocate and serve? Why would we imperfect people think we have anything to offer such vast problems? What confidence can we have that we aren’t just wasting our precious time and resources? We celebrate Lent, Holy Week and Easter to remember where our confidence comes from. Come to worship with us each day during Holy Week and you may find it difficult to remain the same.