All Saints’ Sunday

This Sunday,  November 4, 2012, we remember those who have passed away since All Saints’ Day 2011.  They are Jennie Ives, Ralph Blegen, Marion Johnson, Tanner Thielen, Delores, Gardner, Jewell Nelson, Torry Hallstrom, Jeanne Seline, Joan Fluegge, Adina Fagerstrom,  Eileen Discher, Julia Marie Anderson, and Robert Youngquist.

IF ONLY……..

How many times have you said this statement in your life?  How many times do we look back on a tragedy or a decision we have made and said to ourselves, “If only I would have made a different decision, if only I wouldn’t have gone in that direction, if only this would not have happened my life would be great.”

It appears that at times we are so distraught with the present that we hang on to the past, turning back so much that it hurts, trying to change what we cannot even in the least bit.  Martha and Mary are in the same position (John Chapter 11 is an amazing story). These two strong followers of Jesus tell Jesus whom they love, “If only you would have been here my brother would not have died.”

Jesus is still working in all the chaos in the loss of the sister’s brother Lazarus.  “Your brother will rise!  I am the resurrection and the life.  Those who believe, even though they die will have eternal life. Do you believe this?”  What would you say if you were Martha?  She said, “Yes Lord I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, and the one coming into the world.”

WOW!  Even in heartache, sorrow, mourning and certainly worry about the future, Jesus says I have got control of all of these problems that life has thrown your way.  For Lazarus it is eternal life and resurrection of his death.  For Mary and Martha, Jews that gathered, probably leaders of the synagogues, for the mourners, and even the disciples and everyone within earshot, new life.

Jesus said to them and to us, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Hear the great news!  You are free right now and unbound from whatever holds you captive!

See you on Sunday!

Unbound Because of Jesus Christ,

Pastor Brenda

Ever felt damned?

Ever felt so rotten you couldn’t stand yourself?  Ever believed that you had no hope for salvation?  Strong questions but questions that many of us have had or entertained.  Martin Luther not only had these questions but regularly wrestled with them and found no relief.  No relief until he found Jesus speaking to him through the Bible.  In Romans 3, Luther found that all he had been told and believed was incorrect.

Salvation was above his ability to attain.  But it was also something given by Jesus to him, as a gift. 

 What about you?  Have you given up trying to save yourself?  Have you found yourself at a loss for salvation?  Have you heard Jesus say, “I give you my righteousness, my forgiveness as a gift.  You don’t deserve it, but it’s given to you anyway!  Just believe it enough to try it out and put on this coat of acceptance and forgiveness!”  Come this Sunday and hear Martin Luther speak of his journey through despair to feeling like he had entered the gates of paradise.