Greetings to the Sisters and Brothers of the body of Christ at Calvary Lutheran Church, Wellington, and friends!
We are beginning the long season of the church year called the Time of the Church, where the liturgical color is green, except on feast days like Reformation Day. It is a time when the readings from scripture in our services deal with the ministry of Christ. This last year I have been preaching primarily from the epistle texts. Starting in July, you will hear more sermons based on the Old Testament texts. The Old Testament texts in our lectionary have been carefully chosen to tie into the Gospel theme of the day. They show how all scripture points to Jesus. Jesus said to the Pharisees and Scribes who were confronting Him, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is they that bear witness about me.” (St. John 5:39, ESV)
The Scriptures that Jesus was referring to were what Christians call the Old Testament. In the Old Testament we see God’s children holding onto the promise of the Messiah to come, the Redeemer, who would rescue them from their slavery to sin, and bless all the nations of the world. You and I have seen those promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who lived, died, rose, and ascended into heaven for us. But we also cling to promises, like the faithful people of the Old Testament did, promises to be completely fulfilled when the Lord returns on the last day to raise our bodies to join our souls to eternal life in the new heavens and new earth. So we can learn from our ancestors in the faith, how they clung to the promise, despite all appearances to the contrary, looking to the day when their Savior would appear. We can learn from their mistakes and from their falling away, too; from their chastisements; and from the forgiveness they received when they returned to their faith in God and of His Christ to come. I know that you will enriched by hearing the Word that bears witness about the Christ from the books of the Old Testament.
“And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (St. Matthew 26:27, ESV)
At the institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion, Jesus blessed the cup that contained His blood, in, with, and under the wine, and He gave it to the little band of apostles gathered together that night, that they might drink from it. From that day on, the Church has celebrated the Lord’s Supper by speaking Jesus’ words over bread and cup, and giving the consecrated elements to the faithful for the forgiveness of their sins and the strengthening of their faith. The chalice from which the wine is given to communicants has served to remind Christians throughout the ages of the very first communion, and point to the oneness of the Church.
I mention this because we have received a gift of a chalice from an anonymous donor. Beginning on June 5th or the 19th, those communing will now have the option to receive the Lord’s blood either from the individual cup, or from the chalice. This is the practice of most Lutheran churches in our synod since the individual cup was introduced around 1960. For a brief history of the use of individual cups I recommend this article from the website for Peace Lutheran Church, Alma, Michigan. http://www.peacealma.org/on_individual_cups.
The distribution of elements at the altar rail will be very similar to the practice of the Lutheran churches where I have served or participated as officiant, vicar, seminarian, or elder. The pastor distributes the bread first, then the individual cups and chalice are offered either by an elder or the pastor. You may indicate your preference by cupping your hands when the individual cup tray or chalice is presented to you.
I hope you will welcome this beautiful addition of the chalice to our altar, and to our sacramental worship, even if you choose not to use it.
“This cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we bread, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16, ESV).
Blessings in Christ,
New cell number: 316-730-7549
Vacation Bible School will be June 18th from 9am-2pm. There will be a meeting for VBS preparation after service June 5th in the Parish Hall for all who would like to participate as teachers, assistants, snack preparers, game leaders, etc. Registration is open for all ages. Please email the child’s name and age to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us while we explore Bible stories, do fun activities, sing songs, make crafts, play games, and eat snacks.
We are doing our semi-annual prayer list update. If you wish for a friend or family member’s name to remain on the list, please let Pastor or Deanna know before July 1st. Thank you.
Bible Class will begin watching a movie, “The Gospel of John” for our summer studies. We will watch two chapters every week and have a discussion afterwards.
Please remember the homebound
Elmer Naasz: 102 W. Botkin
Frances Meyers: 8300 N.W. Barry Road, Kansas City, MO 64153
Otto & Norma Fischer: 750 N. Missouri St. Apt 119 Ulysses, KS 67880-1870