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Wednesday Words - March 4, 2015

“For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18

I have a T-Shirt from my days of being a camp counselor that says simply “Camp Nerd” on the front, and on the sleeve of the shirt it quotes a similar verse to the one above, which says, “If we are out of our minds, it is for the sake of Christ.”

This is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible because even though it was written in the first century, I think it’s message is still relevant to our 21st century experience of Christianity.

How foolish it must have sounded to the ears of first century Roman citizens to worship a God that was weak enough to allow his son to be crucified on a cross. But rather than try to rationalize it, or explain the logic, the apostle Paul embraces the utter foolishness of it all, saying that this foolishness is the power of God. Paul reminds us that “God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”

In today’s age of enlightenment and scientific discovery, many have felt the same way – that the message of our faith seems foolish in light of all the advancements that we have made. And you know what? IT IS! What seemed foolish to the world in the 1st century still seems foolish in the 21st.

But we are reminded that it’s through weakness that we find our faith as Christians. God revealed himself through the weakness of the cross, and it’s through our own vulnerability and weakness that God reveals his strength in us.

So I say, Thanks be to God, for the foolishness of our faith.

Amen

--Pr. Paul

 

 

Wednesday Words - February 25, 2015

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD.  (Ps. 22:27)

In the movie “The Theory of Everything” it is postulated that the universe is ever expanding. We now have telescopes that peer deep into the far regions of space. 

In the movie Jane, the wife of Stephen Hawking, a member of the Church of England, to which the Hawking character replies, “of course,” seeks to have Stephen at least acknowledge that there is a God.

There always seems to be this tension between faith and science. Yet, the Psalmist puts this whole matter in perspective. “All the ends of the earth (universe) shall remember and turn to the LORD.” 

In other words faith does not exclude scientific discovery, and scientific discovery does not exclude faith. Faith is one thing, as Martin Luther put it, “Fear (awe), love and trust in God above everything else.” Science is another thing. It uses our reason and senses to discover the universe. We profess that God created, we do not profess how God created.

So, during this Lenten journey as we reflect on our relationship with God, and more importantly God’s relationship with us, we remember and turn to the LORD, and all the ends of the earth (universe) does, also.  

Pr. Len

Wednesday Words - February 18, 2015

Thought for the Day: Your paths, O LORD, are steadfast love and faithfulness. (Ps. 25:10)

Life’s paths are often fraught with peril. We have clearly seen this recently in France, Denmark, and for 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt. 

We have seen the pathways of some affected by natural and human-made disasters. We have seen the pathways cluttered for others through Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease.

Family crises have blocked our paths to spiritual wellness because of family strife, financial difficulties, and strained relationships.

We clearly need our pathways cleared of the clutter and a way out of many dead ends.

In this Lenten season we are invited to journey with Jesus down the pathway that leads to love and faithfulness.

Jesus’ love for us takes him through a journey that leads him to the cross. His faithfulness and obedience to his Father’s will leads him through death to resurrection.

Jesus journeys with us in our perils, through cluttered and blocked pathways, breaking open our hearts to witness to his love and faithfulness. 

You are welcome in this Lenten season to again travel down the paths of steadfast love and faithfulness as we hear stories from our fellow members regarding how God has been with them in the changes of life and helps us Make Change so that we might reflect Christ in message and actions.

Pr. Len

Wednesday Words – February 11, 2015

Pastor Len Hoffmann

Thought for the Day

Out of Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth in glory (Ps. 50:2)

How great it is to see the sun on these dark, dreary days of winter. How wonderful it is to feel the sun’s warmth when we are otherwise chilled to the bone. How beautiful the reflection of the sun off of the crisp fallen snow bringing extra brightness to the day.

Next Wednesday we begin our Lenten journey, but on this final Sunday in Epiphany we see the radiant splendor of God’s glory shining into our darkness. The true light has come into the world showing the glory of God and the fulfillment of God’s promises through the Son.

The one who was born in Bethlehem, baptized by John in the Jordan, tempted in the desert, and now made known and revealed as God’s beloved to his disciples will head down the mountain and begin the journey to Jerusalem to suffer, die and be raised in glory.

This Epiphany (God revealed) sheds light into our dark and dreary world. Christ warms us with the very love of God and breaks the chilling bonds of sin. God’s love is reflected on our lives to brighten our path and lead us onward wherever that journey may lead us.

We are now empowered to Reflect Christ in Message and Actions.

Pr. Len

Wednesday Words - February 4, 2015

Thought for the Day:

The LORD heals the brokenhearted. (Ps. 147:3)

Broken hearts can be a physical thing: a heart attack, a heart valve problem, clogged arteries, an enlarged heart, or congestive heart failure.

Broken hearts can be emotional: loss of a job, loss of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of a home, loss of physical or mental abilities, or loss of a dream.

Broken hearts can also be spiritual: a sense of abandonment by God, a sense of God not answering our prayers in a timely fashion, estrangement from the community of the church, absence from worship and the sacrament for a length of time, disappointment with a pastoral leader, or a congregational decision.

Our Psalmist reminds us that God heals the brokenhearted.  God uses doctors, surgeons, and cardiologists to heal the physically brokenhearted.

God uses family, friends, colleagues, therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists to heal the emotionally brokenhearted.

God uses God’s word and sacrament, worship, prayer, music, Bible study, communities of faith, pastoral leaders, and individual believers to heal the spiritually brokenhearted.

God sends our Lord, Jesus Christ to heal our broken hearts again and again, and gives us new life, hope, forgiveness and love!

Pr. Len

 

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