April 24th, 2021

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Note from Pastor Lou: Truly #51 -- Opposition to the Gospel

Opposition to the Gospel                                                                                                                                                                                     4.22.2021  

       

When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for
truly I say to you, you will not have bone through all the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 10:23

          This statement of Jesus is found within the narrative when Jesus is sending his disciples on their first preaching assignment in Israel.  The disciples are to take no money, no change of clothes, no extra sandals, but are only to rely on the generosity and hospitality of the people they minister to.  If a village does not welcome them, they are to move on to the next one.  The Lord's promise is they will not run out of towns before "the Son of Man" returns.

           There are several conclusions which may be drawn from a statement like this one.  There will always be opposition to the message of the Gospel.  I once had a Pastor who grew up in an atheistic home.  As a young man, despite his upbringing, this pastor was chosen by God to be a follower and he eventually heard the call to ordained ministry.  In his new-found zeal for the Christian faith, this pastor determined that he must convert his mother to the faith.  With every fiber of his being, he set out to win, cajole, harass, bargain, pursue, and argue with his mother about the beauty and joy of Christian faith.  All to no avail.  The harder he worked, the more she resisted.  The pastor eventually realized he was only getting a sore head by "beating his head against that wall" and moved on to ministering to people who the Lord was sending to him.  He continued to love and respect his mother, but without the pressure to convert her.  In time, as he ministered faithfully to those he was called to serve, his mother came to recognize what was really going on.  She was eventually baptized and confessed Christ before she died.  First lesson:  as stated in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and place for everything.  Perhaps someone else is meant to minister in a different way in a difficult situation one finds themselves in. 

           In saying this, Jesus is also making clear that the lives of his disciples are precious to him and the Father.  The disciples are not to seek persecution, encourage opposition, or even remain where they are opposed.  It is permissible to flee.  If martyrdom comes -- and it will for all but one of the apostles -- faithfulness in that situation will be honored, but we are free to flee if possible.  Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.  Either way, Jesus tells the disciples that the Father holds them to be more precious than the sparrows which the Father does not allow to fall to the ground, (v. 31).

           At the end of his instruction here,  Jesus once again states what really matters:  "Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father, " (vs. 32). There is always a home for the one who acknowledges the Lord.

      Remember Whose you are,

               Pastor Lou

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Readings, Announcements for April 25, 2021

Greetings from Living Word Lutheran Church
Sunday Service each week at 9:00 AM, 2609 West Broadway,  and on Facebook LIVE



Fourth Sunday
of Easter


April 25, 2021
First Reading: Acts 4:1-12
Psalm:  Psalm 23
Second Reading: 1 John 3:16-24
Gospel Lesson:  John 10:11-18
               
THIS WEEK at a GLANCE: 
Sunday April 25
Service of the Word --   9:00 AM,  in person and on Facebook Live;
      followed by Service of the Sacrament with the Lord's Supper
      (not on FB Live broadcast)
Tuesday April 27 First Communion Class:  5:00, in the fellowship hall
Confirmation Class: 6:00 PM, in the fellowship hall
Wednesday April 28 Bible Study -- Hebrews -- 7:00 - 8:30 PM, in the fellowship hall

> Keeping these in our Prayers:
   For the healing of our country and all citizens during these times of unease, disease, and unrest;
   For those those who are fighting or recovering from infection by the COVID virus; healthcare workers;
  Kaitlin, (Dawn V. granddaughter), thyroid cancer has returned; treatments under discussion;
   Carlos & Danelle (Putnam, missionary); Carlos, continued recovery for Carlos after a major heart attack;
   Evie E., resting at home;  Gordon E. at Brookdale-Hearthstone;
   Joe M, eye issues;

   Hank B. (local author), moved to rehab (Idaho); until his lungs fully recover from covid;
   Judy R,  (Charlene's daughter), neck & spinal disk issues; Jennifer, (Charlene's daughter), eye pressure issues;
   Jake, (Charlene's grandson), heart rhythm issues have returned, repeat surgery or even transplant may be needed;
   Those who may be struggling with depression or loneliness during this extended isolation;

> Friends and Family battling Cancer:  
   Elijah T, age 5, (nephew of Malea), recently diagnosed with leukemia; chemotherapy has begun;
   Wayne R., (friend of the Bensons, businessman & former ML mayor);
   Jackie L. (wife of Stan's friend Mark --Basin Propane), needing a miracle after stage 4 liver cancer diagnosis;
   Emma, (14 yr old daughter of Norm's friend Bob Tatum);
   Angie, (Judene's sister), stage 4 lung cancer continues various treatments & new medical trials;
   Carol G., (friend of Ila and Charlene), multiple myeloma; Emily, (friend of Kelli), brain cancer, frontal lobe;
   Aliyah  (Ila's 3-yr old niece) and Bill, (brother of John Schafer), both withy glioblastoma brain cancer.   

> Those who mourn the loss of loved ones;
      especially the Robillards, LeMasters, Hesses, Blazers, Tuckers, Neustels, & Ellestads;
Friends and family members who struggle with addictions of various kinds,
Active military & law enforcement, & fire fighters & their families: for safety and peace in the line of duty:
    esp (military)  Jonathan P,  Olaf M,  Brady E,   Jordan M,  Luke S,  Logan H,
       and (law enforcement)  Justin E, Scott N, Jeff W, David H;  Riley C.
Expectant mothers (and fathers!) -- and for those who would like to be;
    especially Sara & Chris F.; Sarah & David H;  Jessica & Fred A.; Lars & Alyssa O; Chris & Jen H.; Kyle & Heather R;  Kari & Kevin K.
Engaged couples preparing for marriage, especially Darby & Talen; Gaige & Danielle; Josh & Amanda;
> Thanks, Blessings, and Praises
   --  that Ma
ry C. has completed this life (92 yrs) and joined the Church Triumphant;
   --  Happy Birthday this week to Jessica N. (4/22);
> Continued prayers for:
     Brenna;  Danelle & Carlos;  Julie Reyn-lds (Laurie O. sister, breast cancer) --  Joe M., Danette, Kyle E.,  Loren, Josh -- Rev. Steve My-rs (in Spokane) -- the people of Ethiopia and farmers of South Africa.

Spring schedule and Attendance
-- Now that we are into the Easter season, the Wednesday evening Bible study has resumed (7-8:30 PM); confirmation classes continue and the First Communion class begins this week for three students.  Sunday morning attendance is improving as more and more of us reach that "two weeks after being fully vaccinated" status.
   Going forward, each of you will need to assess the risk/reward of returning to in-person worship, considering your own vaccination status and personal risk situations. We look forward to the day we can move the chairs closer together so we can "fill the place up!"  He is Risen -- He is risen indeed!


Got Graduates? So that I don't miss any -- if you are or have a student that will graduate from High School or college in 2021, please clue me in ... we like to give a mention to recognize them, and share what they plan to do next.   HS grads are eligible for a scholarship from Living Word if they will be attending 'full time' college or trade school in their next phase of education.  Contact Debbie for application forms (or just reply to this email) -- not too soon to plan for 2021.
Agnus Day.........................."Agnus Day appears with the permission of  www. agnusday. org"
   

Attendance -- last Sunday, April 18, 2021:  46