Online Worship: The Third Sunday of Easter

Thank you for join us for worship. Our service is available in two liturgies this week, Divine Service Setting 3 and Matins. You will find both services and links to bulletins below.

Matins Bulletin: Easter Three Matins 2020

Divine Service Bulletin: Easter Three 2020

Matins Service Video

Divine Service Video

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Online Worship: The 2nd Sunday of Easter

Thanks for joining us for our online worship. If you would like to download a copy of the bulletin for this service you may do so here: Easter Two 2020

Full Service

Just Sermon

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Bulletin for the Second Sunday of Easter

Thomas and JesusWe hope you join us for online worship Sunday at 10:15 AM. If you desire to print out a bulletin for the Second Sunday of Easter prior to our worship service you may download it here: Easter Two 2020

 

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Easter Wednesday Devotion

Invocation

In the name of the Father, the + Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen

Psalm 61; antiphon: vv. 6–7

6Prolong the life of the king;

may his years endure to all generations!

7May he be enthroned forever before God;

appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

1Hear my cry, O God,

listen to my prayer;

2from the end of the earth I call to you

when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock

that is higher than I,

3for you have been my refuge,

a strong tower against the enemy.

4Let me dwell in your tent forever!

Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!

5For you, O God, have heard my vows;

you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6Prolong the life of the king;

may his years endure to all generations!

7May he be enthroned forever before God;

appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

8So will I ever sing praises to your name,

as I perform my vows day after day.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,

And to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning,

Is now and ever shall be.

6Prolong the life of the king;

may his years endure to all generations!

7May he be enthroned forever before God;

appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

 

Collect of the Day

P: Almighty God, by the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, You destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light. Grant that we who have been raised with Him may abide in His presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen

Colossians 3:1–7

1If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.

Meditation

Our theme today is seeking. In this moment of devotion in the Word of God what are you seeking?

There were people found in the act of seeking on the first Easter. In Luke’s Gospel when the women came to the tomb Easter morning to anoint the body of their Lord the angels asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24 :5). Then after the other women had departed John’s gospel recounts that Mary Magdalene remained by the tomb weeping when her Lord asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” (John 20:15). In our lesson today Paul encourages the church in Colossae to “to seek the things that are above, where Christ is…” (Colossians 1:1).

The seeking women on Easter first had their minds sent on things below, on earthly things. They were looking for a way to mourn the dreadful loss of their rabbi and friend. So, they brought the appropriate oil and spices to prepare Jesus’ body for proper burial as was customary for the Jews. They were too late. Jesus had told them as much before He died. You might remember He had already been anointed for burial in Bethany before He was crucified. A woman came into the house and broke an alabaster jar and poured out an ointment on the Lord worth 300 day’s wages. Jesus said she had done a beautiful thing. He was now prepared for burial because there wouldn’t be enough time for any others to anoint Him, He would have already been raised from the dead.

The women had death on their mind when they came to the tomb. They didn’t expect to find the living among the dead. And isn’t it the same when we set our minds so frequently on things below? We worry about what we are going to eat, what we are going to wear, and how we’re going to make it day-to-day. We are living in anxious times with the outbreak of Covid-19 and there is much fear about death and dying. And of course, there is always our constant need for repentance. Paul lists some sins which we know from the Scriptures only lead to death: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 1:6). Ironically, it’s often when we’re afraid that we turn to our idols in an attempt to escape fear or try to convince ourselves that we have some semblance of control over the things on earth that scare us.

Easter breaks into the things here below and sets our eyes to seeking a much higher and comforting thing above – the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The women were told by the angels, “He is not here. He is risen.” (Matther 28:6), and to go to Galilee to see Him. The Lord Jesus greeted Mary Magdalene by name and she saw He had not been taken from her, but rather He lives just as He promised. And likewise Jesus appeared to all His disciples to cast away all their fears that they may not be concerned about the things below and rather they would seek Him and announce the powerful news that Jesus has triumphed over sin, death, and the devil.

Dead and raised by our Baptism into Christ our lives are now hidden with Him in the heavenly places. We have an inheritance like no other St. Paul explains. “When Christ your life appears, then you will also appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 1:4). Just as the women at the tomb sought Jesus only to be joyously and happily surprised to find the risen and living Christ, so now we can seek the Lord and find Him. We seek Him and He gives us forgiveness of sins and a peace and assurance that we need not fear the things here on earth that can seem so overwhelming. He has overwhelmed them all by swallowing up death and overcoming our woes by the power of His resurrection. With our eyes fixed on the things above, that is with eyes fixed on Jesus, we are strengthened to live each day to the glory of His name. We are prepared to meet Him when He returns and in the meantime seek to glorify Him by proclaiming the Easter Gospel as we love one another and our neighbors as Christ so loves us. 

Prayers

Lord’s Prayer

Additional Petitions

Collect for Midday

Heavenly Father, send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts to direct and rule us according to Your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

 

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Online Worship: Easter Sunday 4-12-20

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Thanks for joining us for Easter worship. If you would like to download the bulletin for this service you may find it here: Easter Sunday – 2020

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“I am with you…” Online Resources

One of Jesus’ promises to His church before His ascension was, “Behold, I am always with you, even unto the end of the age.” (Mat. 28:20). He is with us where He has promised to be–in His Word. Our Lord assures us, “Behold, heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away.” (Mat. 24:35). Indeed, Peter confessed to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!” (John 6:68).

We keep hearing people say that we are living in an unprecedented time and that is true, no one in this generation has ever had to socially distance themselves in the fashion we are today. However, we also live in unprecedented time for our faith. The Word that draws us towards Christ is more available than anytime before. It’s a good bet that the Gospel was preached via video and livestream at record levels for the Internet this past Sunday. We can give thanks to God for the technologies we have and how we can draw close to Jesus and hear His words which never fail to comfort us and strengthen our hope in difficult times.

I encourage you to take a moment to look at some of the resources available to you. You may find that this time has afforded you an opportunity to start a new discipline of hearing the words of eternal life more frequently from some of these sources.

In Christ,

Pastor Estes

KFUO

KFUO is the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s radio station. Broadcasting in Saint Louis it is available over the Internet at www.kfuo.org. KFUO offers music, talk programs, Bible Studies, devotions, and worship. You can stream the live audio or listen to previously recorded programming on their website.

Lutheran Public Radio

LPR offers sacred music for the world. You don’t have to miss your favorite Lenten or Easter hymns as LPR follows the Church Year.

Issues Etc.

Lutheran Public Radio also produce Lutheran Talk Radio more commonly known as Issues Etc. Host Todd Wilken and his guests discuss a myriad of topics from Bible Studies, sermons, and current events. They also broadcast chapel services from Concordia Seminary Fort Wayne each morning. You can listen live, on-demand, or to there continuous stream of show content.

The Small Catechism

Reading and praying the Small Catechism is an important and helpful devotional practice. Concordia Publishing House has made the text of the Small Catechism available online and in iOS and Android apps.

Around the Word Devotions

We print these devotions and have them available in our bulletins every Sunday, however you can also download them. These devotions are perfect for individual and family use. Reading an Around the Word devotion in about 15-20 minutes is a great way to start or end your day.

Online Services and Messages at Redeemer

Each Sunday at 10:15 AM and Wednesdays at 6:30 PM we will post our worship services at our website and on our Facebook page.

Worship Anew

Formerly known as “Worship for Shut-ins”, Worship Anew offers Lutheran worship services each Sunday.

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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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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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Memory Work: Sacrament of the Altar Question 3

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