Devotions-Pastor May

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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

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Quarantine Devotions Part XII

Luke 24:36-49

                 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.

Quarantine Devotions Part XI

 Luke 24:13-35

                 “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.

Quarantine Devotions Part X

Here is Pastor May’s latest devotion for you all.

Luke 24:1-12


                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.

Quarantine Devotions Part IX

Here is the latest devotion from Pastor May:

 John 21:15-25

 I remember the school spelling bee, when I was in grade school.  I had won the class bee, and had therefore earned the right to represent the fifth grade in the gymnasium.  I made it through the first round.  My second word came, and I was given my word:  announce.  I left off one of the first ‘n’s…  I was so confident.  I was so certain I would at least make it to the round with the hard words.  And I was disappointed.  It wasn’t just about my classmates (though that was part of it); I was just so surprised myself.

 Have you ever failed.  And not just any failure.  Have you ever failed at something you were supposed to be good at?  I’m talking about a shocking failure.

 As we read this passage, we remember Simon Peter’s last conversation in the presence of Jesus.  Somewhere in the vicinity of his Teacher (for we are told that Jesus turned and looked right at him), Simon Peter rejected Jesus.  “I don’t know the man.”  This happened not once, but three specific times.  Three times he fails… and all within earshot of Jesus.

 And in this reading we have the Savior.  He just announced his presence by another miracle: granting a boatload of fish to the fishermen.  Three times he asks Peter a question.  Three!  And three times Peter gets to affirm, with absolute confidence, that he loves Jesus so much!

 God did not send Jesus to make a church out of those who would follow him perfectly.  Those aren’t the kinds of people He has to work with!  But those are the kinds of people He cleans up, picks up, strengthens, and encourages for His work.

 God gets our minds off us, and whatever we might be going through, and onto His Son.  When we really fail… when we really blow it, God has one important reminder for us.  Jesus.  And when we remember Jesus, we remember all of the living, suffering, dying, rising, and ascending that he did.  He accomplished our salvation.  God is the Author of our faith; He’s the one who creates it in our hearts.  He’s the one who perfects it in us.  You never fall so far that you’re out of his reach.

 Dear Jesus, in the face of all that this world throws my way, may I always remember you as the source of my life and strength.  May I exult in all you have done… and find ways to tell your story to others.  Amen.

Quarantine Devotions Part VIII

Pastor’s Devotion…


John 21:1-14


This isn’t the first time the disciples caught a lot of fish.  This isn’t even the first miraculous time.  Luke 5 describes the first time this happened to these fishermen.  Several men, none of whom knew Jesus very well (if at all) had been out fishing (unsuccessfully) all night.  As they pull in, they get close enough to see a gathering of townspeople.  They surround a teacher to the point that he can’t actually speak to them all.  Using the natural acoustics of the lake, he slips into a boat, and asks one of the fishermen to take him out.  When he’s done teaching, he tells them to go out farther and let the nets down.  The exhausted fishermen eventually agree (they’re in the boat anyway) and the nets fill with so many fish that they call their partners over to help.


Peter is so stunned that he falls to bottom of the boat.  This was significant enough that Peter could offer no explanation.  Something truly important was happening.  And it caused Peter to come face to face with the fact that he was unworthy… he was undeserving… he was a sinner.  And all the teacher has to say is, “Come with me Peter… and I will make you a fisher of men.”


And here he returns.  Near the end of his time with them.  After their adventures and trials.  A man on the short.  A boatload of fish.  And maybe John’s head snaps up with a smirk…  in recognition.  I know who it is.  And Peter dives in.  The one on shore is the one who creates our faith.  He’s the one who re-creates our faith.  He’s the one who knows us.  These men were fishermen… and he got their attention.  He knew what they needed and he provided it.  And, more than anything else, we all needed salvation.  We all needed life.  And he gave it to us.


Maybe he gets our attention in new and wild ways.  Maybe he uses the ways he has previously used before.  Maybe he cracks a stone heart in a dramatic, lightning-bolt way.  Maybe he prompts our hands to pick up a Bible or devotion booklet for the first time (or the first time in a longtime).  Maybe his Spirit gets us really thinking about what we use to so regularly have available (week-in and week-out) at his Supper.  And he stirs our hearts and minds to remember, I know who he is…


Dear Savior, may I never forget  you, even as you have never forgotten me.  May I always remember, with wonder, all you continue to provide… continue to give to me… every day.  Amen.


Quarantine Devotions Part VII

Pastor May’s Devotion for you…

 Matthew 26:57-68

                 Jesus stands before a crowd of men… men determined to condemn him.  Previous passages have made it clear that they have been seeking the death of Jesus for some time.  Here, verse 59 says it plainly.  And verse 60 shows the lengths to which some of them would go to see it done.  In John 11, Caiaphas made it clear that Jesus should die, before things got out of hand and Rome cracked down on the Jews.  He said it would be better that one man die for the people.

                 In this passage, the logic of these men is clear… even if it is a bit circular.  In their minds, only three things matter:  a. We know God doesn’t have a son.  b. This man claims to be God’s Son.  c. Therefore, he’s a liar (because God doesn’t have a son.).  When Jesus finally tells them who he is (and even adds what that’s going to look like someday!), they tear their robes in anger.  And the high priest says, “Why do we even need to hear any more?”  He came face to face with the Messiah of God… and rejected him.

                 And the rejections continue to this day.  “People don’t rise from the dead.  The Bible and Christians claim Jesus rose from the dead.  Therefore, they are liars (because people don’t rise from the dead).”  We as sinful human beings have gotten quite skilled at justifying and rationalizing what we want to believe deep down.

 So we might try to debate (Someone could argue that just because we haven’t seen a man rise from the dead, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.).  But it proves unconvincing.  Because Sin is so much more than just the “things we do wrong;” it’s a condition… a state we find ourselves in.   And it gets into our emotions, our DNA, our minds and bodies.  Even our logic has been tainted by the stain of sin.  And we all find ourselves in the exact same boat.

 The truth is this: only Jesus’ power can overcome such rejection.  While we turn our backs on Him, he spins us back around.  While we leave, he chases.  And when we run toward death… he dies in our place.  So that we will live with him forever.

 Lord Jesus, that you for your cracking my heart of stone.  Keep me safe in your promises, and use me to bring your hope to all of those hearts of stone around me.  Amen.