Church Service – September 20
September 20, 2020 AD
Dear Partners in the Gospel of First Lutheran Church and School, Helena, Montana:
As new cases of coronavirus set new records, and smoke and ash from forest fires in the west burn our eyes and clog our throats and lungs, and political ads clutter our televisions and radios and front yards, and ??? God’s Word of promise in Christ is as solid as the Rock that God is, and our faith and hope in God stands firm! Through it all – He has never let us down, or left us, or forsaken us, and He never will! How’s that for great good news in our Savior Jesus!
The live worship service from a week ago Sunday should soon be on our website www.firstlutheranhelena.org. If you cannot make it out to our church, I hope you will listen in and hear more of the promises our God has to share and worship with your fellow-believers in the Sanctuary at Broadway and California and wherever others may be worshiping at home!
This Sunday in our “live services” in the Sanctuary (8 and 11 a.m.) we will begin a new series of Epistle lessons to the Philippians. Joy! is the theme of this great book of the New Testament and is our theme as partners in the Gospel, joyfully sharing the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ!
We will complete our Bible study “Joyful Expectation” (which I emailed to you last week) this Sunday in our on-site study. Next Sunday we will begin a new study on Paul’s “Epistle of Joy” to the Philippians or consider a topical study “Called to Vote” examining the privilege and responsibility we each have as Christians citizens of this great nation to voice our beliefs and to vote. Those attending class on Sunday will choose our study for the upcoming weeks.
Our search continues for a new, gifted and talented Administrative Assistant in our church office. The position is open to church members and is posted and being advertised outside the church. Please keep our opening in the office toward the top of your prayer list!
Our Youth Confirmation Ministry will begin again this Wednesday with some students attending in person and some, by the miracles of technology, from home. Please keep our every teacher, student, and their families in your prayers during this amazing faith-challenging and faith-growing time of life.
Thanks to you who have given your tithes and offerings and special offerings we are able to serve in so many ways to many people (members and nonmembers) in these interesting and challenging times. If you know of individuals in your family and beyond needing help, please let us know. By God’s mercy and grace we will be able to find ways to help for their good, and to God’s glory!
Actions Speak LOUDLY!
Read Isaiah 43:1-11 and Psalm 139
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2
When my youngest child is scared by a thunder storm or a bad dream, I sometimes feel helpless. Her body shakes, the tears roll, and I cannot chase away the bad thoughts or quiet the booming sky. But often she just curls up next to her mom or me, and soon she is better. She didn’t need for us to make the storm go away; she only needed to be near us.
We never outgrow that need. Floods threaten, fires burn, and we need someone to be with us, someone to get wet with us, to feel the scorching heat of the flames. We need someone more powerful, someone who can shield us, defend us, and lift us up.
That someone has a name: Immanuel, “God with us.” Our Lord is not an absent, faraway God. He is God made flesh, the Son of Mary. He was born like we are, He lived like we do, and He died like we will.
We have no assurance from Scripture that there will be no fires or floods in our path. There will be bad dreams and thunderstorms. But we have Immanuel, God who lived and died and rose and who promises to be with us always, even to the end of the age.
We are His baptized children, whom He never forsakes. He grabs hold of us and never lets go. He is with us. He will be with us. We are baptized, and He is our Immanuel.
Let us pray: Thank You, Jesus, for being our Immanuel. Amen.
God be with you and yours,
with all the gifts of His love, and mercy, and grace
in Jesus our Lord!
If you are looking for a church home, we encourage you to consider First Luther! We love to share the Good News of our Savior and the help that God’s Word gives to our everyday lives! Our congregation consists of people like you from every part of our nation. People seeking a sense of belonging and an opportunity for worship, growth and fellowship. May you find grace and blessing in the time we spend together. We would love to tell you more about our congregation.
First Lutheran School provides a Christian education that nurtures the spiritual, intellectual, and personal growth of each child. The school provides another means for First Lutheran Church to bring the Word and love of God in Christ Jesus to more families.
Special thanks to those in the Armed Forces! We welcome our military and others far from home. We pray for you.