Blessings to you all!
Blessings to you all!
Greetings Trinity! My apologies again. Here we go.
My apologies to everyone for the lateness of this Study! Blessings in Christ this week.
Greetings, People of Trinity Lutheran Church!
We're going to try something a little different going forward, while keeping us in the Word.
This is sort of a week-long Bible Study. Each day has a reading or two, and a couple of questions to think about. You might go through it yourself (as another daily taste of God's Word, in addition to Portals of Prayer and Lutheran Hour Devotions, etc.). You might also group-call each other, Zoom each other, shout to each other at the park, email one another or otherwise creatively discuss things together!
Also, if you want, there's nothing stopping you from doing them all at once!
Hang in there for (hopefully) just a little bit longer! Cling to our glorious, loving, risen Savior! He is with you ALWAYS! And remember that His death and resurrection covers THIS time as well!
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Jeremy May
This world can present a great deal of fear. What will happen if I get sick? What will happen if I lose my job? What will happen now that I am sick? How are we going to make it, now that I have lost my job? How am I going to get everything done? What is traffic going to be like today? What sort of danger is this storm going to bring? Will my loved ones be okay? Daily life fills our minds with questions and doubts. And we wonder where we might get the answers.
Psychics, horoscopes, books on dreams. There are many of the ways that the world tries to pull at us. It first tries to make us afraid, and then offers a solution to our fear. The world plays on our insecurities. And then offers to make us secure. But these are not the only ways. The business page, the weather forecast, the news headlines financial experts all offer something very similar… if we allow it to replace our trust in our loving Father, in our Savior. When we starve the God-given faith in our hearts… when we listen to so many other voices… then we find ourselves no longer listening to the voice of the Spirit.
Our only security comes in the promises of our Savior. And he is no magician. He is not a fortune-teller. He is not some really powerful psychic. He is God. And he is a real life, flesh and blood human being. He’s so real, that even after his resurrection, he ate with his disciples. They touched him. And they touched him for a very important reason: to prove that he was alive.
He taught them not to fear the mumbo-jumbo of this world. “You want something real, here I am.” You want real hope… not just a series of rituals and motions that might or might not help? Jesus is the answer. And he comes to us today still. Pick up that Bible, open to a Psalm or a Gospel… our Savior is saying. “You want something real, here I am.”
Dear Jesus, calm the fears of our hearts, and give us good courage. Keep us secure in the knowledge of the destination You have in store: paradise with all of God’s people… a resurrection with our Savior. Amen.
“Have you been living under a rock?” That’s how we might say it today. These two disciples of Jesus simply can’t believe what this traveler is asking them. “What do you mean, ‘What are you talking about?’ Where have you been?” So they give him the whole story… right up to, and including that day, the events of Easter morning.
And I love Jesus’ response: “That sounds about right. Haven’t you two been paying attention in Sabbath School?” And then Jesus, walking right beside them, tells them everything that was written in the Bible about… himself! What’s so intriguing is what Jesus does not do. He doesn’t remove the disguise. He doesn’t wave his hands over his face and reveal his true identity. He doesn’t say, “Surprise! It’s me!” He leads them, step by step, through all of God’s promises.
Because he is the fulfillment of those promises. It’s so easy to look at the world… at one’s situation and get caught up in it, as if that’s all there is! But God’s Word tells us something else. Yes, there’s brokenness, but there’s healing – a Healer! Yes, there’s sin, but there’s a fixing – a Savior! The temptation of the world is to believe that Jesus (if he even existed at all) was just another person, going through what we went through… just as these two disciples first mistook him for just another traveler.
And, to be fair, his earthly life had plenty of that. But then he showed himself to be so much more! He’d been revealing throughout history, going all the way back to Creation that He’s so much more. You are saved because God is a God who saves His people! And the long-awaited, long-promised Savior came. God promised a Rescuer… and He rescued. God promised a Deliverer…. And He delivered!
Jesus is not just another guy… just another traveler (and a seemingly ill-informed one at that!). He is not just another person. He is the person. And he directs all of us, just like he pointed these two disciples, by God’s Word. It is there that we still find who he is. It is there that we keep finding God’s promises. This Word and these promises are for us, and for all who will believe… for all of those people that God brings into our lives for no other reason than to say, “Have you been living under a rock?! Let me tell you the greatest news you will ever hear!”
Lord, thank You for saving me. And thank You for Your faith-creating, faith-sustaining Word. May I find strength in it myself, and share it with all who come my way. Amen.
Here is Pastor May’s latest devotion for you all.
The women arrived early that morning. The sun was not very high in the sky… probably just poking through the trees. They came to prepare the body of a loved one for a proper burial. If you’ve ever had a funeral of a close loved one, you know the same thoughts. The body had been closed up, lying in wait… somewhere… until everyone would arrive. The tasks of the day are not going to be pleasant. But, this particular morning, they find the body gone. And everything is more than a little off… the big stone… the guards. What was happening? On that kind of day, even with the fact that he told them what was going to happen, it is easy to understand their confusion. The man was dead.
We also can find it hard enough to continue to believe. Even if we’ve believed for quite a while. The memory fades, the enthusiasm wanes, the realities of everyday life take over, and the truth about Jesus seems less important. This is particularly the case when we find ourselves alone… or perhaps surrounded by people who don’t believe or understand (as the women did that Easter morning). The death and depression and melancholy of this world can pull the life right out of us.
And then we continue to look for the living among the dead. We are tempted, perhaps strongly, head into improper entertainment, dangerous substances, and unhealthy situations… anything that will take our mind off of things. We find ourselves hoping to find life there… hoping get things back to the way they were. But we do not find Jesus in those places. And he is the only one who can give us life.
But then, once again, he finds us. In the face of those who believed it was impossible to rise from the dead… he simply did it. In the face of the great divide, the uncrossable chasm between God and us… he simply crossed it. He forgives us, gives us new life, and leads us in that life by his Spirit. And he still comes to us in the Word where he promises we will find him.
Our hope is in the name of the Lord, Who made Heaven and Earth… in the Savior who pursued us to the ends of the earth… so that we will be joined with our God forever.
O gracious God, thank You for all that You have done to save me. Thank You for all that You do to keep me in faith. May my heart and mind remain in You… until the moment of the Savior’s return. Amen.