Pastor’s February Message:
What’s the Big Deal?
We live in a culture these days in which generalization of thought seems to be the order of the day. I would characterize this as a grand tendency these days to become lazy in our thinking. Many people today do not think things through in a reasonable and conducive to truth manner. But you have to know that herein lies the problem. Quoting a governor who lived about 2000 years ago, I pose this basic and, I hope, thought-provoking to you question: “What is truth?” The answer an individual speaks to this question in our culture shows us why we seem to be sloshing through the mud when it comes to understanding each other across our generational lines when it comes to the “Truth”. We truly seem to be talking past each other across the generational boundaries when it comes to even basic truth. I have frequently heard people from my generation say, “I just can’t understand this new generation.” And much of this has to do with my generation’s and maybe your generation’s understanding of basic moral truths. Boys were boys and girls were girls, and anything outside of this basic truth was considered an abnormality of human nature, and this according to God’s standard given in creation. Even back in my day, many eons ago, I understood that any deviation from this basic understanding of human nature was a result of sin. Yes, sin is a human reality that must be understood and accepted as a reality of our daily human existence as we answer this question that defines real Truth.
Sin needs to be taught and defined for those seeking true Truth, Godly Truth, in our day. There is a human “truth” that has always been separated from God’s perfect Truth in every age. In our age that has become very obvious. If there is no sin in us as humans then “truth” will always be relative and individualized. Scripture defines sin as “lawlessness”. And this is not based on the fickle and ever-changing laws of man. The lawlessness that defines sin in every age is based on the perfect and never-changing Law of God, His Ten Commandments and the Law as it is defined in His holy Word. We find this basic teaching of Truth for every age in the Apostle John’s first epistle:
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
You know that He (Jesus) appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one
who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or
known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is
righteous as He is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the
devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to
destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s
seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By
this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever
does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love (agape)
his brother. (1 John 3:4-10)
You are well aware in your own life that even as a Christian sin rears its ugly and ravenous for your soul head in your life. That each of us would never lose sight of this as we live in this world is our prayer. Christ’s and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling is evidenced when we sin and know we have sinned against God and our fellow brother or sister. It is the Holy Spirit who opens the eyes of our heart to this and leads us to forgiveness-seeking repentance. Where sin, the breaking of God’s perfect Law according to Scripture, is not recognized or acknowledged there is no “seed” of God living in such a one. This we do not want for our own lives or for our neighbor’s life. We need to know what sin is. We need to teach and warn our neighbor concerning sin.
The commentary of these verses from First John found in The Lutheran Study Bible are very helpful:
False teachers and false believers had excuses and rationalizations for not showing
true Christian love for the whole family of God. But Jesus taught, “You will recognize
them by their fruits” (cf Mt. 7:15-23). We are often tempted to rationalize and excuse
our sin. But no one born of God wants to give in to sinning. Those who give themselves
over to sin will not be exonerated by the excuses they put forward. Through daily
repentance and the practice of righteousness, we show ourselves to be true children of
God and will not be ashamed when our Lord Jesus appears on the Last Day. Then we
will be like Him and see Him as He is in all His glory. Heavenly Father, forgive my sinful
excuses so I may remain in Christ through Your Word and love everyone as He has
loved me. Amen.
Sonshine Preschool Chili Feed…Will be held on Sunday, January 30, 2022. Serving 11:00 to 1:00.
FEBRUARY HYMNS OF THE MONTH
LSB 960 “Isaiah, Mighty Seer, in Days of Old”
This month our hymn is an ancient hymn of Martin Luther, written in 1526.
“Isaiah, Mighty Seer, in Days of Old” is a paraphrase of Isaiah 6:1-4, the Old Testament scripture for February 6, the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany. In Luther’s day the hymn was sung as the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) during the German Mass.
Luther wanted the liturgy and hymns to teach God’s Word. That is why even today in our congregation our hymns are carefully chosen to align with the day’s scripture and be meaningful to the singer. In this hymn the phrase “Holy is God, the Lord of Sabbath” is placed in the context of the vision of Isaiah as we read in Isaiah 6.
Isaiah, mighty seer, in days of old
The Lord of all in Spirit did behold
High on a lofty throne, in splendor bright,
With flowing train that filled the Temple quite.
Above the throne were stately seraphim,
Six wings had they, these messengers of Him.
With twain they veiled their faces, as was meet,
With twain in reverent awe they hid their feet,
And with the other twain aloft they soared,
One to the other called and praised the Lord:
Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth!
Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth!
Behold, His glory filleth all the earth!
The beams and lintels trembled at the cry,
And clouds of smoke enwrapped the throne on high.
Another hymn that we frequently sing is based on the final verse of the day’s reading. In Isaiah 6:8 we read “Whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” The hymn is LSB 826 “Hark, the voice of Jesus Crying.” This is found in the mission and witness section of our hymnal.
LSB # 826 Hark, the Voice of Jesus Crying
1 Hark, the voice of Jesus crying,
“Who will go and work today?
Fields are white and harvests waiting
Who will bear the sheaves away?”
Loud and long the Master calleth;
Rich reward He offers thee.
Who will answer, gladly saying,
“Here am I, send me, send me”?
2 If you cannot speak like angels,
If you cannot preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
You can say He died for all.
If you cannot rouse the wicked
With the judgment’s dread alarms,
You can lead the little children
To the Savior’s waiting arms.
3 If you cannot be a watchman,
Standing high on Zion’s wall,
Pointing out the path to heaven,
Off’ring life and peace to all,
With your prayers and with your bounties
You can do what God commands;
You can be like faithful Aaron,
Holding up the prophet’s hands.
Cottonwood County Sharing Center Food Shelf at this time, has several specific needs:
1) A need for volunteers! Volunteering as little as once a month would be appreciated! Volunteers wear masks, social distance, and hand sanitizers are available.
2) Personal care items, etc. At this time, no regular housewares are able to be accepted. The personal care items include: toothpaste, body wash (smaller sizes), razors or disposable razors for men or women, deodorant, small laundry items (detergent), dryer sheets, kleenex, Fall/winter clothing, blankets, towels, and sheets / pillowcases.
3) As most food is mostly donated by Second Harvest to the food shelf, the only food needed right now is refried beans and pinto beans (canned).
4) And monetary donations are always welcome!
Thanks so much everyone for your contributions! If you have questions about a donation not listed, you may call #507-822-7210.
The cart in the lower narthex entrance will now also be used for donations to the Sharing Center. Items may be placed in the cart or dropped off at the Sharing Center during normal business hours ONLY, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm., 1156 4th Avenue, Windom.
Monetary donation checks make payable to Faith in Action and given to Ruby Wilson, our Committee Treasurer. Also, if you need help around your home, call Larry or Jim.
Thank you for your continued support!
Faith in Action Committee
We will be collecting the Hy-Vee receipts from now on instead of the labels. We would like to have the member highlight the Hy-Vee products on the receipt and tally up the number of items on the receipt and write that number on the bottom of the receipt. The label container that was located by the Sonshine room will be relocated to the lower narthex.
¨ Line your baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cutting.
When you are supplying bars for an event, line your pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil first before adding the ingredients. This way when you or the kitchen help cut your bars you/they can take the bars out of the pan and cut them on a cutting board.
¨ This will also save cut marks in your baking pan.
¨ Be sure the parchment paper or foil goes over the side of the pan so you/they have some paper to grab on too.
If you have a helpful hint, email it to Diane at [email protected] and we will add it to the next newsletter
* Wipe off counters
* Wipe off tables
* Push chair up to table
* Take extra food home
* If you put something in the refrigerator or freezer put your name on it and date it
* Take dirty towels home and bring them back clean
* Remember this is God’s House
SAVE the Box Tops for Education…
The Immanuel Lutheran School uses them. Please give them to either Kayla Peters or Cheryl Peters.