Pastor’s March Message:
Return to the LORD!
“Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster.” Joel 2:13
This is the theme of the daily Lenten devotions we have available for our families and individuals in the congregation this year. When I read this it reminds me of the prodigal son of Jesus’ teaching parable. Jesus meant for you and me to put ourselves in the prodigal’s sandals, to see ourselves as the prodigal or maybe as the father’s older, seemingly more reliable and faithful son. Yep, there are two sons to consider in this parable. Which one describes you best? Maybe you don’t think you fit either or maybe you are a mixture of the two. Have you ever considered what the word “prodigal” means? Such actually refers to the wanton wasting of the inheritance that the younger son received. He received this inheritance as a gift from his father, even though he thought his father owed it to him. And then you remember the rest of the story about how he misuses and mismanages this inheritance. The word prodigal actually means “wanton wasting”. In the dictionary in reference to the prodigal son it actually refers to him as a “repentant waster”.
What have I wasted of the Lord’s gifts to me in my life? As I think of this it brings a flood of regrets upon me. As a son, a father, a husband, a child of God how have I wasted the time and gifts the Lord has graciously given to me? Rather than comparing my goodness with other sinners I am forced to consider my wasted life in comparison with what the Lord expects of me as His redeemed child. Who will rescue me from this body of sin, regrets, and death? As I look through God’s Word I am brought to the same place as the Apostle Paul who says of himself, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”(Romans 7:24a) You may know the answer that Paul gives, but think a little right now of the wanton wastefulness that may have been a part of your life and that you have to fight each and every day. Our Lord does not especially want us to be prodigals, but He knows that the sins that go along with such are a temptation that each of us will face, and in many ways daily as we try to be His faithful children. We are looking at our own eye logs now not the tiny splinters in our neighbor’s eye.
As a son did I do all I could to honor and respect my parents, even as I moved out of the house and started a life apart from their daily presence? Did I love them with an unconditional love that saw their needs as they got older and cared for them as their son? As a husband have I always been willing to give up my life for my bride? Have I been patient and caring, tender-hearted toward my wife even at times when my own selfish and self-serving, sinful nature dominates my words and actions toward my wife? Have I neglected my children’s spiritual lives as a father, convincing myself that as I take care of their physical needs that such is enough? I have chosen to face my regrets not with more inaction and indecision but primarily through true repentance as the wretched man that I am.
Repentance not only gets us to see and face up to our sins of the things I have done and failed to do in showing love toward God and my neighbor which includes my family, it leads us to the One who the prophet Joel describes above, the God who is gracious and merciful and that grace and mercy cannot be found in anyone or anything else in this world. God’s living grace is found in His living Son Jesus. He is the Forgiver, my sin-bearer, who takes my regrettable sins away from me. God’s lovingkindness is most patient with this sinner as Joel describes, “slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.” Remember what Paul said about this in seeing his own sinful wretchedness? “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24b)” Without Jesus I have no place to go with my regrets. In Jesus the sins that lead to regrets in my life are washed away. I am given a new slate, a cleansed life.
Paul writes of this more in his second letter to the Corinthians as he teaches this truth: “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret.” (2 Cor. 7:10) Good, godly grief not only sees the debilitating problem of sin, but opens one’s eyes to the solution for sin in Jesus the Savior. And it is in Him that I can find the wisdom and strength to amend my sin-filled life. Will I rid my life of regrets? I don’t think this is ever possible for one who is a daily sinner. But in Christ my Life and my Light I can find the power to change and amend my life in thanksgiving and praise toward Him. Daily life through faith in Jesus holds no regrets. Join your family of faith on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. as we learn from the prophet Zechariah!
Lent: Zechariah: Your Kingdom Come!
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17th and so does our emphasis on the book of Zechariah. The prophet’s chief concern is God’s kingdom. Throughout all fourteen chapters, Zechariah joyfully announces that God’s kingdom is coming through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus. The book of Zechariah abounds with stunning portraits of our Savior. Jesus serves as the prophet’s Interpreting Messenger throughout the first six chapters. Zechariah calls Jesus a “Sprout” (3:8; 6:12), “Servant” (3:8) and “Stone” (3:9). It is in his last six chapters, though, that the prophet describes Jesus in much more compelling ways. Jesus is righteous and humble (9:9). His blood of the covenant sets prisoners free (9:11). He is the church’s Cornerstone, Tent Peg and Battle Bow (10:4). Then, in a dramatic twist of fate, Christ is detested (11:8), sold for thirty pieces of silver (11:12), struck so his sheep scatter (13:7) and finally pierced and killed (12:10). In the end, however, God’s kingdom comes—finally and permanently, in pristine beauty (14:9, 16, 17).
Ash Wednesday “First Things First” (Zechariah 1:1–6)
Lent 1 “It’s Tool Time!” (Zechariah 1:18–21)
Lent 2 “Silencing Satan” (Zechariah 3:1–10)
Lent 3 “Who Will Take the Garbage Out?” (Zechariah 5:5–11)
Lent 4 “First Secure Your Own Oxygen Mask” (Zechariah 8:20–23)
Lent 5 “The Redeemer’s Refinery” (Zechariah 13:1–2)
Palm Sunday “Expectations Meet Reality” (Zechariah 9:9–10)
Maundy Thursday “Covenant Blood” (Zechariah 9:11–12)
Good Friday “God is Dead!” (Zechariah 12:10–14)
Easter “All Things New!” (Zechariah 14:8–11)
Sunday Morning Bible Class will look at the exciting history and theology connected with the book of Zechariah.
This Lent, rejoice, for God’s kingdom comes to you—through Jesus our Lord!
Lent and Easter Worship Services
Wednesday Lenten Services: February 24 thru March 24th at 6:30 pm
Palm Sunday: March 28th 9:00 am
Maundy Thursday : April 1st at 6:30 pm
Good Friday: April 2nd Tenebrae Service at 6:30 pm
Easter Vigil: April 3rd at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Jackson 5:00 pm
Easter Sunday: Worship Service at 9:00 am
What About Worship? (Continued)
“I was glad when they said unto me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.” Psalm 122:1
“The LORD is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silent before Him. Habakkuk 2:20
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it,” Proverbs 22:6
Remember: The place we come to worship is called the sanctuary. This is a place of refuge, a place to be refreshed spiritually and receive all that our Heavenly Father has for us. This is the place we need to enter quietly and reverently as it is the house of God. Our worship should begin as soon as we enter the sanctuary with our focus being on God. The time spent before the service is our private worship – praying, reading the scriptures for the day and becoming familiar with the hymns.
The pre-service organ music starts at 8:50 and is designed to assist you in drawing you from the world into God’s presence. Arriving at church so you have time to quiet your hearts and mind will be a blessing for you and your fellow worshipers.
A reminder: Six pews in the back are set aside for families with young children. While the families do not have to sit there, please leave them for these families.
May our LORD bless us during this Lenten time and eagerly await our celebration of His Resurrection on Easter.
Faith in Action Committee
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, 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
Prayer Chain… We are looking for men or women who would like to join the daytime or evening prayer chain groups. If you are interesting in joining please contact the church office or speak with Pastor Sajban or Joyce Oltmans if interested.
The LWML of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior
Invite all women of the congregation to join us in our annual
Prayer Service and Brunch, on Saturday, March 20, 2021
The Service will begin at 9:30 a.m.
followed by coffee & brunch at approximately 10:30 a.m.
We look forward to having many of you join us for this service.
Sonshine Preschool… Is accepting registrations for the 2021-22 school year.
We welcome God’s precious preschoolers ages 3-4 two half days per week and ages 4-5 three half days per week.
For registration materials and /or information stop by the church office at 1157 Third Avenue, Windom or call 507-831-3522
¨ 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@example.com 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.