Online Worship Information

Thanks for visiting us! Until further notice services are suspended and we are now observing worship services online. Our online worship services will begin on Sunday March 22nd at 10:15 AM. We desire you to be blessed and nurtured by the Word of God.

  • Each Sunday at 10:15 AM and Wednesdays 6:30 PM a new service will be posted to our website and our Facebook page.
  • Printable Services will be included. Due to copyright licensing they will be posted on our website prior to the service and can be found with the posted service.
  • The Services can be watched anytime after they are posted for a limited amount of time (a week or two).
  • Printed service packets will be available at the church office starting Friday March 27th. Local delivery can be arranged. The packet will include services all the way through Easter. It’s our desire to be open for Easter, but only time will tell.
  • Offerings are appreciated and can be mailed to Redeemer Lutheran Church 4700 Armour Road Columbus, GA 31904
  • For more information about our response to the Covid-19 please visit this page.

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer

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Online Services and Covid-19 Policy Update

Beloved in Christ,

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has won our peace by His victory over sin, death, and all sorrow, comfort and sustain you at this time. The Church Council met via teleconference yesterday evening and together we have come to the following policies regarding the social distancing necessary because of Covid-19.

  1. Worship Services will continue online: Pastor Estes has posted sermons from this past Sunday and Wednesday. You can find these at two sites:
    1. www.redeemercolumbusga.org
    2. www.facebook.com/tlcor
  2. On Sundays at 10:15 AM and Wednesdays at 6:30 PM services will be posted to our website and Facebook. A printable copy of the service will be available for download on the webpage and Facebook page, however see point 3 for another option.
  3. On Friday March 27th, we will have packets with printed copies of all the services through April 12th (Easter). These will be available for pickup outside the Church Office door or arrangements can be made to have them delivered if necessary.
  4. We want to resume services ASAP, but safely. Our desire is to be open for Easter, but only time will tell. Please be assured that Pastor Estes and the Council are being diligent in evaluating all matters regarding Covid-19.
  5. Offerings can be mailed to 4700 Armour Road Columbus, GA 31904. Your church-family sincerely appreciates your financial support during this unprecedented time.
  6. Until further notice all meetings, and church functions are suspended.
  7. At this time the Church Office is open for its regular hours, however access will be limited.
  8. Until further notice the church facilities are closed to the general public including the AA and NAMI groups.
  9. As stated before Pastor Estes and the Council will be assessing week-by-week to determine when we can return to operation as normal.

Finally, if you need anything please do not hesitate to call the church office, Pastor Estes, or your elder. Many members have communicated they are available to help members with grocery shopping or other needs. We can connect you to them. I encourage all of us to be proactive in checking in on one another and attempting to remain connected via phone calls, texts, and social-media. This is an opportunity to serve one another and our community in Christian hope and love!

In closing, let us remember the great comfort in the Spirit inspired words of St. Paul:

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Estes

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Lent 3 Midweek Greeting and Homily

Click Here for the Litany

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Greetings and Lent 3 Homily

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Eyes On Jesus

Eyes.on.Jesus_logo_webO come, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Gradual for Lent, based on Hebrews 12:2)

When the characters in the Passion narrative look at Jesus, what do they see? In most cases, people misunderstood who He is and what He was doing. In some cases, by faith, people recognized Him aright. Our Lenten series this year, Eyes on Jesus is based on Passion according to St. Mark. We will examine how the various people around Jesus viewed Him—and how we should view Him. We will “fix our eyes” on what Jesus has done to save us from our sins by His holy, precious blood and innocent sufferings and death, and celebrate what God sees on account of His work: our justification for His sake.

On Ash Wednesday, we will see how, in spite of Jesus’ repeated predictions about His upcoming Passion, the disciples with “Misjudging Eyes” fail to recognize that soon He will not be with them, and they cannot see the anonymous woman’s anointing of Jesus as preparation for His burial. But Jesus sees her actions as a beautiful deed that will be proclaimed throughout the world wherever the Gospel is heard.

At our midweek service after the First Sunday of Lent, we will look through Judas’s “Betraying Eyes” and learn why he did this awful deed. Yet the behind-the-scenes-reality is that Jesus was “handed over” (another way of translating the verb for “betray”) by God the Father Himself, so that Jesus could die for the sin of the world.

“Sleepy Eyes” is the theme for the second week of Lent. In Gethsemane, Jesus’ inner circle of Peter, James, and John cannot keep their eyes open to watch and pray with Jesus for even an hour, while Jesus comes to see that His Father’s will is that He drink the cup of God’s wrath when He comes to the “hour” of His suffering.

In the third week of Lent, we stare into the “Denying Eyes” of Peter and the other apostles. They could not see how they could ever fall away from Jesus, but after Jesus is betrayed by Judas, ten of them flee, and Peter—when he is spotted by a servant girl and sees that his own neck is on the line—sees fit to deny Jesus, which leads to his own eyes weeping in remorse. We sinners likewise deny our Lord in many ways, but Jesus denied Himself to take up the cross for our salvation.

“Murderous Eyes” is the theme of week 4 in Lent. The chief priests and scribes saw Jesus as an obstacle to be rid of by murdering Him through the Roman judicial system. Yet during the Passover festival, they would unwittingly bring about the Father’s sacrifice of the ultimate Passover Lamb.

In the fifth week of Lent, we look through the “Worldly Eyes” of Pilate, the Jewish leaders, and the Roman soldiers. Pilate can only view matters in a worldly, pragmatic way, wishing to placate the worldly Jewish leaders and crowd, so he consents to handing Jesus over for crucifixion. The soldiers see the opposite of a worldly king, but their ironic hailing of Him as “King of the Jews” proclaims who He really is. The world looks for power and glory; God’s way is suffering and the cross.

On Maundy Thursday, there is “More Than Meets the Eye” to the Lord’s Supper. We will look into the Old Testament background of the Last Supper and rejoice in the mystery that Jesus, in and with, bread and wine, gives us His body and blood in order to deliver to us the benefits of His Passion.

On Good Friday, we look through “God’s Eyes” to see what is happening during the Passion: the once-for-all atonement for the sin of the whole world and the justification of all sinners on Easter.

“Resting Eyes” is the theme for Holy Saturday. Various disciples rested their eyes upon the dead Jesus, cared for His body, and buried it. As Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses rest their eyes upon the sealed tomb and contemplate further anointing of His body the next day, they cannot see that Jesus’ own eyes are merely resting temporarily, and Easter morning will bring a dramatic reversal.

Finally, Easter Sunday gazes upon “Angel Eyes.” The angel in the tomb knows the whole story of Jesus’ resurrection. When he sees the women, he proclaims the Gospel to them, shows them where Jesus’ body had formerly lain, and tells them that they can see Jesus themselves in Galilee. Likewise, the “angels” or messengers of the Church in the apostolic ministry tell God’s people where they can find Jesus and His salvation in the Means of Grace.

With Eyes on Jesus as our theme this Lent, we will continuously focus on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried, and risen for our justification. This is a vision that will never disappoint, for by trusting in Jesus, He promises that we will gaze upon His beautiful face now by faith and forever in heaven!

 

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Sermon: Christmas 2 – Luke 2:40-52

The Second

Sunday After

Christmas

 Luke 2:40-52

We’ve closed a decade and come to another. News magazines and pundits have recapped the year and decade past and made predictions for 2020. Whether there will be any wisdom in their words may be determined or not. Our modern attention spans rarely look back further than a few years anyways.

This morning we look back 2 millennia. It was around 8 AD when the boy Jesus entered the temple. What was on the mind of the world then? What marked the headlines? What were the worldly wise concerned about? The good news in Rome was that General Tiberius had won a battle defeating the Illyrians in Dalmatia. Otherwise there was a lot of scandalous tabloid-like reports regarding Caesar’s household and court. Vispasian Julia, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Augustus, was exiled by her grandfather for having an affair with a senator. The Emperor ordered the baby to be left on a mountainside to die. In that year he also had Julia’s husband Lucius Aemillus Paulus put to death for conspiracy against him. The poet Ovid possibly had knowledge of the plot against the throne and the adultery of his granddaughter so Augustus exiled Ovid to Tomis for his transgression.

It’s during that same time that Luke records that, “The child [Jesus] grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:40) There were no headlines accompanying this happening. Augustus, Ovid, Julia, Lucius, and the rest of the world had no clue there was a Hebrew boy who was more favored than any other. And most anyone before this day who saw the boy Jesus would have looked right past him. He looked like any other child; inconsequential, unimpressive, normal.

We shouldn’t let that disturb us. We should in fact find comfort in it. Christmas has revealed to us that indeed this child, born of Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit is Immanuel, “God with us.” He is God in the flesh, however he spent much of his life living like we do. He grew up with other children, his sisters and brothers, and the others in the village. He had parental expectations, learning the trade of his father, and helping his mother with the daily chores. He even observed holidays like the rest of us as we hear this morning. He went with his parents for the annual trip to Jerusalem. Almost 13 it was the custom that any man over the age of 12 would go to Jerusalem to observe the Passover. Imagine that, 12 years old, and he was considered on the cusp of adulthood. Adolescence as we define it did not exist in Jesus’ day.

Why should all of this comfort you though? It means you have a God who understands you better than you could ever hope or dream. He’s not distant from everyday life. He’s familiar with the fatigue after a long day of work. He knows what it is like to learn and to play and perhaps what it was like to put up with the neighborhood bully. He knows what it’s like to be lost in the obscurity of humanity, just one child among many others. He understands what it’s like to be you, day to day, in your vocations with daily demands, living a normal life.

He lived that way for 12 years before the world ever got a glimpse of what made him exceptional. Before that and about 18 years following it, his life was pretty mundane. Average is the best way to explain it and that’s likely why we don’t have any more information about those years of Christ’s life.

What we learn today is exceptional though! Before this in all of the gospel accounts the Word made flesh has not spoken a single word. Of course, he spoke before age 12, but none of them are recorded. We put a lot of emphasis on first words. We love to hear what a little child may have said: “mama”, “dada”, “baba”, it doesn’t matter, we just love to hear that a child is finding their voice. We certainly don’t place a lot of weight on those first words though, but in Jesus’ case his first recorded words hold a gravity that carry the weight of the entire world.

“Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” In those short phrases Jesus revealed to his parents and those listening who he is and his purpose. Mary and Joseph should have understood, but their weariness and frustration about searching out the boy got the better of them. Had they forgotten his miraculous conception announced by the angels and that indeed Jesus would be called the Son of God? Of course, they remembered, but they still did not understand exactly what that would mean. Already, Mary was learning what Simeon meant that her soul would be pierced as a result of this child. She’s learning that her child doesn’t belong to her alone, that though a faithful child, his fidelity to God will always take precedence and he in fact belongs not just to her and Joseph, but the entire world. Indeed, he was beginning to show them he is the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

And this child, the Son of God the Father says, He must be in his Father’s house. This is a difficult spot for translators. That’s one way of reading it, but you can also read it as “I must be about my Father’s things” or “I must be about my Father’s business.” Either way, he’s saying He’s about God’s will and God’s action in the world. So, Mary finds her child Jesus three days after the Passover teaching the learned and wise in his Father’s house.

Little did they know that this young man sitting before them was preparing them for one great Passover, one that would be sealed with a New Covenant in his blood. Jesus came to be the final Passover, the fulfilment of all the promises of God of which everything before was a foretaste and foreshadow. Jesus’ mission is to be the Paschal Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. After that final Passover he would be lost in death to his mother by dying on a cross only to be found again after 3 days later risen from the dead. You see, you can’t really understand Jesus’ first words until He has died for your sins and risen to bring life and immortality to lighten the entire world.

Then and only then, do those words, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” ring with the gravity they deserve. For those words carry the weight of the wisdom of the prophets of old and they bear the responsibility for the entire human race. People like Emperor Augustus and soothsayers like Ovid will come and go just as the news that causes us so much anxiety and the people who we think are so important today are forgotten tomorrow. However, the words of the One we hear this morning is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is true wisdom. He is the true favored one of God.

And you dear Saints have found his favor. Not because your life is anymore exceptional than any other and certainly not because you are perfect or without sin. Rather, you are favored by grace and therefore you have wisdom that transcends the millennia, you have the wisdom from above, Jesus Christ. He was born for you, speaks for you, died for you, and lives for you. And now he comes into your ordinary lives and does extraordinary things. He covers you with the love and favor of His Father. He’s about his Father’s business, giving you the heavenly things of forgiveness, life, and salvation in the Word, the water of Baptism, in the bread and wine of the Holy Communion of his body and blood. 2020 and the decade ahead may hold many things for you, but not a thing can compare to what you already have this day. So with Paul we may bless the Father for what he has done. “Blessed be the God and Father of Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even has he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Eph. 1:3). In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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Memory Work Sacrament of the Altar Question 4

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