Calvary Lutheran News
Brothers and Sisters in Christ of Calvary Lutheran Church,
Greetings in the Lord!
As we heard in our Gospel text last Sunday from Matthew 4:1-11), Jesus used the sword of the Word to repel the temptations of Satan in the wilderness. Knowledge and love of God’s Word strengthens our faith too, to sustain us in times of trouble and temptation by the devil.
Martin Luther wrote in his introduction to the Large Catechism, “Catechism study is a most effective help against the devil, the world, the flesh, and all evil thoughts. It helps to be occupied with God’s Word, to speak it, and meditate on it, just as the first Psalm declares people blessed who meditate on God’s Law day and night (Psalm 1:2) Certainly you will not release a stronger incense or other repellant against the devil than to be engaged by God’s commandments and words, and speak, sing, or think them (Colossians 3:16) “ (Luther’s Large Catechism, p. 9, CPH, 2010).
For this reason, Lutherans have always stressed Bible study and education, for children and adults. One of Luther’s greatest contribu-tions to Germany was his translation of the Bible from the Hebrew and Greek originals into German. This sparked a flowering of literacy and education in Germany and helped to rekindle the excitement and hunger of the people of his time for the Word of God and the teachings of Christian doctrine. To help his congregation and others understand the foundational truths of the faith he wrote the Small and Large catechisms. Most of you are familiar with the Small Catechism from your confirmation classes. How many of you have looked at the Large Catechism, written in Luther’s lively and earthy style? We’re looking at it right now in Bible class.
Our Bible class on Sunday morning is going through Martin Luther’s Large Catechism, his expanded look at the Ten Commandments, Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Baptism, and the Lord’ s Supper. We began last fall with the Ten Commandments and we are almost up to command-ments nine and ten, about coveting. The way we structure our class is that one person reads a paragraph from the Large Catechism, and then we as a group discuss what we heard, and I field questions. During discussion time any questions related to the topic are encouraged–about faith, our Lutheran confessions, about why we do things the way we do as Lutherans, what it means to apply the commandments in our lives in the 21st century, etc… We have lively discussions, often bringing up experiences in our own lives that reflect on what we are reading. We have fun and we learn together.
I am pleased that we usually have around 8-10 people in our Bible group. If you have not participated in our classes yet, I encourage you to come join us and see what we are doing. Out class is informal. I do not lecture very much, but guide discussion and answer questions that come up about theology, language, history, and the like. If you think you have learned all you need to know about the faith in confirmation class, you might be surprised. And even if you were the star of your confirmation class, memorizing the Six Chief Parts perfectly, you might be surprised by how much you have forgotten over the years.
There is a beautiful song in Aaron Copland’s opera, The Tender Land, that is sung by the main character Laurie. It is called “Laurie’s Song” (surprise, surprise). You can find several recordings on YouTube. Laurie’s character is a young woman living on a farm in somewhere in the Midwest during the depression, like Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz. She is about to graduate from high school and is wondering what the world is like outside the community where she grew up. She sings a beautiful song expressing her curiosity, looking back and looking for-ward. Looking back at her years of school, she starts the last verse of the song, “Now that all the learning’s done…” Isn’t that how we feel when we have passed some milestone in our education– graduation from high school, trade school, military or business training, college–or being confirmed in our church. It’s as though we have learned enough, we can put down the books and get on with real life.
In that “real life” some of the knowledge of what we learned gets used and some gets put on the shelf, maybe never again to be used. I don’t use my advanced algebra much–well, never–but I do use my history and languages fairly often, and the discipline and habits that I used to learn algebra have helped me throughout my life. So it probably is with you. There are some subjects that you took in school that you don’t use very often anymore, if at all. But all of us have some subjects that interest us, our hobbies, sports, politics, music, movies, etc. Learn-ing more about what interests us is fun and keeps us mentally sharp.
I pray that the Bible and the teachings of the church are subjects that interest you. For there is nothing more important and enduring than the Word of God. Through it, the Holy Spirit creates and sustains faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I hope that if you have not been to Bible class for a while that you would prayerfully consider joining us some Sunday soon to see what we are doing. We meet from 9:15 to 10:15 on Sunday morning before worship. Everybody is welcome. Youth who have completed confirmation will be able to understand our study, and are encouraged to join us. If you have friends or acquaintances that are curious about Lutheranism and the foundations of the Christian faith, bring them along, too. All questions are welcome. Nobody is put on the spot. If you prefer not to read, that’s perfectly fine. Let me know and I won’t call upon you. You may participate in the discussions or just quietly observe, although I hope you will feel eventually feel comfortable par-ticipating in our discussions.
Growing in learning about the grace of God revealed in His written Word, and learning about Christian doctrine found in our Lutheran confessions is one of the most rewarding activities you can participate in at Calvary Lutheran Church. Please come and share our the joy of learning with me and the brothers and sisters that gather together in God’s Word on Sundays at 9:15.
Another good way to grow in knowledge of the Word of God is to have a regular time for devotional reading every day. We have devo-tional booklets in the narthex for the Lenten season available for your use. Please take one and share a time of prayer every day with your fam-ily or by yourselves. It’s an especially good way to start the day in prayer. The “Around the Word” devotions can be read in less ten minutes. It includes the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Luther’s morning/evening prayer, a portion of a Psalm, a daily scripture reading and brief devotion and prayer (a mini Portals of Prayer type devotion), the collect for the week, a place for individual prayer and two verses of a hymn. My family uses this devotion after dinner. Vickie reads a “Jesus story” for Vanessa from the Story Bible. We love the devotions and find them very helpful in keeping in God’s Word as a family. We add the Ten Commandments at the beginning of the devotions.
May God bless your growth in the faith your whole life long. The learning’s not done yet.
Blessings in the Lord, Pastor Wingfield
The Newsletter of Calvary Lutheran Church Wellington, KS
Our website is now activated and you can sign up your team or as an individual participant if you can’t join us on April 11th at Meadow Lanes in Wellington, KS.
It is that time of year again and I wanted to let you know the bowl is coming up. Please consider having a bowling team, bowling on a team or pledging to me as a bowler. Thanks and hope to see you at the Bowl for Kids’ Sake.
Providing children facing adver-sity with strong and enduring, pro-fessionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Start something today by volunteering or donating at www.kansasbigs.org.
Lutheran Hour Schedule
“The Power of God’s Enduring Forgiveness and Grace”
“No Regrets? Follow Jesus!”
KSOK 1280 AM 8:00 AM
KSOK 95.9 FM 10:30 AM
KFTI 1070 AM 8:35 AM
“The True Author of Your Life Story”
Bowl For Kids’ Sake 2015
March 4th: 7p.m
March 11th: 12 p.m.
March 18th: 7 p.m.
March 25th: 12 p.m.
Holy Week Services
Palm Sunday: 10:30 a.m.
Holy (Maundy) Thursday: 7p.m
Good Friday: 7p.m.
The Resurrection of Our Lord, Easter Sunrise 7:00a.m.
The Resurrection of Our Lord, Easter Day 10:30a.m.
There will be an Easter Brunch between sunrise service and the regular 10:30 service. Sign-up sheets are in the Parish Hall for casseroles, muffins, and fruit.
Why does giving seem so difficult? In reality, it isn’t. But we make it difficult. We make it difficult because
we’re afraid. We’re afraid that it isn’t worth the investment. We’re afraid that what we give to the church might be wasted, or that we could use it for something better, something more enjoyable, something more real, more tangible, more immediate, even more important, something more important than God and His gifts.
The point is this: We struggle with giving because we don’t believe as we should. We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. And so we fail to give because we don’t love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind. We fail to give because we don’t fear Him more than we fear other things. We fail to give because we don’t trust Him more than we trust the things we can more immediately see, taste, and touch. We don’t trust that He will give us everything (EVERYTHING!) we need to support this body and life. For if we did fear, love, and trust in God above all things, we would see and know that all the other things that vie for our time, our talents, and our treasures pale in comparison to the joy of the real, tangible, immediate love God has showered upon us in the proclamation of the forgiveness of sins on account of His Son’s death, resurrection, and ascension.
The only proper response to this is repentance: to confess our sin, our stinginess, our lack of fear, love, and faith in God’s promises, and to trust in Him to help us bring our desire to do better to fruition. For God is not holding out on us. He never has. He never will. For if He has given you His only Son, how will He not also give you all things? He will. It is His promise. And these promises are sure and certain.
The reality is that God doesn’t need our giving. He doesn’t need our time, our talents, our treasures. He is God. We are not. He can do all things without our help. And even what we do give, even the good and right-eous things we do accomplish, these are but filthy rags, as the prophet Isaiah tells us (Isaiah 64:6). Our gifts to God and to the Church are like a child’s gift of dandelions to his mother. They are weeds, which most of us spend an entire summer trying to rid our yards of them. And yet despite the fact that they are weeds, mothers always receive them with a smile and with joy. They will even put them in vases and display them on tables and countertops. They will recount to friends and other family members how their child gave them “flowers,” just to say I love you and I’m thankful for all you do.
Our Lord, too, receives with joy and a smile the gifts we give in thanksgiving and praise of what He has done. Even though these gifts are but weeds, filthy rags, and despite the fact that He doesn’t need them to accom-plish what He wills, He receives them and puts it to use for our and our neighbors good. That is the real joy of giving. He doesn’t need us. Yet He makes use of us, He employs us in His service despite it. He makes all that we do—our giving, our work, our service to our family and friends and neighbors—holy. And He blesses it for their and our good and to the glory of His name.
So is giving so hard? Nah, it’s like giving dandelions to our mothers. And when dinner is ready, when the food is on the table, she’ll gladly have a vase full of them right in the middle. The Lord has prepared a table for you. Dinner is ready. The table is set. His Body and Blood is given to strengthen and nourish you. And right there, where Christ is with us, are the dandelions we gave. He has put them to use for our good, for our for-giveness, for our life in Him.
Please Remember the Homebound:
Jerry Adkins :924 S. Washington
Elmer Naasz:: 102 W. Botkin
Lois Frank: 1128 North “B”
Frances Meyers:: 8300 N.W. Barry Road, Kansas City, MO 64153
March Sunday School Schedule:
“As God’s family in Christ, Calvary Lutheran Church is committed to sharing God’s Word, Christ’s love, and our faith.
Easter Lily Sign-up
The Altar Guild would like to extend an opportunity for the Congregation to help beautify the Altar and Santua4ry on Easter Sunday. All contributions will be placed in a “Flower Fund” which will help purchase Easter lilies for the church. Deadline is March 29th.
“Because your salvation is not dependent on you, but has all been done by Jesus and credited to you as righteousness, you will never never ever land on the wrong side of God’s justice..”
-Rev. Jonathan Fisk from Broken
We’re on the Web!
Daylight Savings time begins March 8th. Don’t’ forget to set your clocks ahead an hour.
Keep warm and safe in these cold winter days. Remember to check our web site, calvary-wellington.org, to see if we are cancelling any services. You can also check KWCH ch. 12, KSCW ch. 33(Cox Channel 5) or Sunflower Broadcasting’s KDCU ch. 31 (Cox ch. 15)
There will be an LWML meeting at church Wednesday, March 4th after the evening Lenten Service. It should start around 7:30p.m. All women of the congregation are invited and encouraged to attend