PASTOR SAJBAN’S MAY MESSAGE
A Christian’s Life is founded on and nourished regularly by God’s Holy Word
Can you trust what God’s Word says? We, as Missouri Synod Lutherans, call the Holy Bible God’s Word. We believe all of it from Genesis to Revelation was inspired directly by the Holy Spirit, meaning that God the Holy Spirit gave the writers the actual words to write, but that He used their individual style of writing as He graciously, and in unchanging, heavenly wisdom inspired them. We also believe and teach that the Holy Bible is in fact holy, that is, infallible, which means that it is without any errors. Also the Holy Scriptures are the only source and norm of a Christians’ faith, meaning that God Himself defines who a Christian is in His Word, the Bible, and that the Christian can know God’s teachings for salvation and life through what the Bible teaches. We teach loudly and clearly that you can trust everything that the Bible teaches. So, the second question I ask this month is, “How well do you know what it teaches?”
We live in a world and in a rapidly changing culture right now that is urging you to question what Holy Scripture teaches. This unbelieving culture wants you to see the Bible as old and outdated. They will try to convince you that “humans wrote it hundreds and even thousands of years ago and what they wrote and taught no longer fits our ‘enlightened – meaning, we are a lot smarter than them,” culture. We can certainly understand this attitude toward God’s Word by people outside the Church. But the scary thing about our culture today is that much of the unbelief concerning God’s Word of Truth and purity is not found on the outside of the Church, but is being prompted by those who see themselves as Christians and part of the Church. Unfortunately it is people who call themselves Christian teachers and preachers inside the church who do the most damage by denying that the Holy Bible in its entirety is God’s Word. In our day this is most apparent. Some teach and believe that the Holy Bible must be strained through human reason and wisdom of the day to be truly understood. But if you read Scripture in its majority it says what it means openly and clearly. Present day detractors of this clear teaching and understanding of Scripture, many of whom are in the church, have to do all kind of philosophical and grammatical calisthenics to cause Scripture to mean what they want it to mean according to the standards of this world and not according to the clear and simple, holy standards of God. Let me reiterate: God’s Holy Word says what it means, and means clearly what it says. True Christian faith must take hold of this.
I just heard as I was writing this article that the magazine GQ recently wrote these things about the Holy Bible: “It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious (making excessive or pompous use of statements of moral principles), foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.” GQ placed the Bible on a list of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” “The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it,” novelist Jesse Ball writes in the magazine. “Those who have read it (the Bible) know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced.” And what makes novelist Ball an expert on Scripture that we should listen to him? And this just came out in the news on the day I began writing this article: “Google ads will no longer accept anything related to the cph.org (our own denomination’s publishing house) domain. They stated the reason is because of the faith we express on our website,” Kintz wrote. “[A CPH associate] was told, as an example, that things like our bible (sic) challenge on our [Vacation Bible School] webpage would clearly need to come down before they could consider us for ads.”
The attack against the truth of the Bible has always been present in every age and in ours we find that this continues with great regularity. We should expect this as coming from foes outside the Church, but certainly not from those who count themselves as part of the Church. This is why you need to read and learn and continually study God’s Word. The arguments of the outside world as well as those that reach us from the inside are truly tantalizing to our own sinful, human nature. We need to continually guard ourselves from feeding this un-Godly nature.
So what are so many people up in arms about concerning God’s Word, Holy Scripture? Its timeless Truth does not fit into the ever-changing, fickle truth of humans according to both human wisdom and reason and more so according to human emotions. The Bible confronts us sinners with our sin. It shows us the need we have to recognize our sin according to the perfect Law of God. It takes away from us sinners the freedom to live life on my own personal terms apart from the perfect Law of God. God’s Word in the Holy Bible shows us that those things we often identify as freedom are in reality a prison that separates us in our relationship to God and to one another. In a greater way it shows us God’s Saving Truth found only in His Son Jesus, the Savior of all sinners. A true Christian must believe God’s Word, all of it, as true. Are you reading the Bible? Now is a good time to start.
Next month I will share some other arguments that are used both outside and within some churches as to why you can’t trust Scripture as it is written. I want you to be able to guard yourself from these arguments that try to drain the Scriptures of their God-given Truth and purity. You have to know the enemy to guard yourself from him.
NEWS THROUGH OUT THE CHURCH
On Sunday, May 6 four young men will be declaring for themselves before their families, their family of faith, and most especially before the God of their creation and salvation their faith and confession. It is a faith and confession they share with those of their family of faith here and with all Christians throughout the world. This is a serious endeavor for these young men as they stand before God making their promises. As a family we will continue to encourage them to grow in their faith through continued worship attendance, study of God’s Word, integration into the family life of God’s people here. May our Lord who has begun this good work in them bring it to completion in the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ!
These four young men are: Ian Martinsen, Ethan Rabbe, Zachary Rabbe, & Braden Yonker
Resources for your needs from Faith in Action Committee…
Your Faith in Action Committee is here to help you and others in the different needs that you may have. One of the resources that we are continually updating and adding to is our Community Resource Book. We have had a copy in the church office almost from the start of the committee. In this book you can find contact information for everything from Alzheimer resources and helps to Veterans’ Services in Cottonwood County. There is a lot of helpful resources from other local agencies as well. To make this information more available to the members of the congregation for personal needs or to find this help for others we are developing a resource center in the lower narthex on the book stand close to the card case and the revolving tract rack. We will be putting a duplicate resource book on this case for you to access as needed. We also would like input from the congregation for other resources we do not yet have listed in our resource guide. If you have been helped by a local agency for any need and would like to make that information available to others bring it into the church office and we will add this to the resource guide. Have a need for housing or medical concerns, mental heath issues, aid to help with paying utilities, hospice information, and many other services, please check our guide.
Remember, if you have needs that we can meet here with our volunteers, like cleaning up around the yard, transportation needs, or other services that volunteers here are willing to do, call Helenn Raverty at 507-831-3732. Your Faith in Action Committee and volunteers from your family in the church are here to help!
LYF/KFC News and Events…
So what is going on at church for our young people in KFC (Kids for Christ – Grades 6-8) and LYF (Lutheran Youth Fellowship – Grades 9-12)? Right now we are looking to plan a lock-in for some Friday evening in May, now looking at Friday into Saturday May 18-19 in which we will do a little more work to complete the project we have begun in our Youth Room on the third floor of the educational wing. We greatly thank Heidi Bergendahl and Kim and Monte Rabbe for taking some time to complete the main painting of the walls and some of the trim. We thank the kids and adults from Mountain Lake Christian who spent a couple of mornings prepping the walls with primer and putting a primer and finish coat on the ceiling of the room. They did this in conjunction with an annual Mission Week that they conduct at the school, doing local projects for the good of the community.
The Youth Room Project will continue with the painting of some furniture that will go into the room. We are looking to put a small refrigerator with a small upper freezer in the room. We already have a microwave that will be set on what we are calling our refreshment bar. We are looking to add a Keurig coffee/hot drink machine here too. We would like to install a ceiling mounted projector and a ceiling mounted retractable screen in the room for showing teaching videos, movies, and for playing video games. We are planning to build a study bar with stools in the room and have already received some good used matching furniture to add to the room. There will be some baseboard and window trim added with a darkening shade and curtains added to the one window in the room. We would like to build a comfortable and useable room that the kids will want to visit regularly.
This room will also be used one Sunday morning per month to start a study group taught by Pastor Sajban for all the parents with children in our congregation. It is important that moms and dads be prepared well in God’s Word so that they feel that they can prepare their children well to live as vibrant Christians in this world. Keep your eyes open for more details for this class which will begin in September.
Finally, here are some dates for upcoming Youth Trips. Our trip to Trego, Wisconsin is already booked and will be Sunday, July 15 through Wednesday, July 18 at Heartwood Conference Center. Parents are invited to come as counselors to this beautiful camp in the woods of Wisconsin. We hope a bunch of kids both returning and new from our area churches will join us for this Annual Youth Retreat. We also have the opportunity to attend a Higher Things 4 day retreat at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. This retreat runs from July 3-6, and registrations and fees are due May 1. With the Trego trip it might be a financial stretch for our group to attend both retreats, but if you are interested with this Higher Things conference let me know immediately. Finally, keep in mind that in 2019 the National Youth Gathering will be held right here in Minnesota in Minneapolis. We have to begin raising funds for this almost immediately, so any help from all our kids and parents is appreciated. This Gathering is scheduled for July 11-15, 2019 in Minneapolis.
Meals on Wheels
July is just around the corner and it will be our turn to deliver Meals on Wheels to the home bound.
Please give of your time and sign up for a week to deliver meals. There is a sign up sheet in the upper narthex.
Faith in Action Committee
Parish Nurse Program. Need or want your blood pressure taken, maybe review your medications or talk about your medical conditions? If interested, it will be the 2nd Sunday from 10:15 to 10:45 am in the Sonshine Preschool room. We will also have an occasional article in the lamplight so check it out.
Sonshine Preschool Graduation
Graduation for Kindergarten ready kids will be May 21st at 6:30 pm
We will have 8 children graduating this year:
Maddux Anderson, Alizabeth Baloun, Hannah DeVries, Nadya Guerrero, Manuel Perez Jimenez, Megan Marsh, Zeke Mathiowetz, & Luke Thompson
Sonshine Preschool is accepting registrations for the 2018-19 school year.
We welcome God’s precious preschoolers ages 3-4 two half days per week and ages 4-5 tree half days per week.
Classes Start: Wednesday September 5th
For registration materials and /or information stop by the church office at 1157 Third Avenue, Windom or call 507-831-3522