Why Lent? The word “Lent” comes from an Old English word meaning “to lengthen” and was originally used to refer to the lengthening days of spring as the light of day grew longer and the darkness of night grew shorter.
“Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor’” (Luke 4:17b-19)
“To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:8-10).
“We have watched our daughter's confidence and spirituality grow this year, and I have no doubts that I owe that, in part, to all the time she's been spending at church with the preteen ministry program. “
Come and be changed as we watch and wait during the first weeks of December. Share the holy Advent days and nights with St. John’s – disciples, neighbors, friends – in worship, in meals, in gatherings. Grace finds us. Come and be found in the celebration of the birth of the Messiah. Worship, pray, sing, and rejoice with St. John’s on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the whole Christmas season.
On this Christ the King weekend, the church pauses for a moment to celebrateJesus’ Kingdom. Each week during worship, we celebrate the victory Christ has over death and the gift of everlasting life, but on this weekend, we have the opportunity to dwell in what exactly Christ’s kingdom is and what it means that Jesus is King.
“She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah” (1 Kings 17:15-16).
Several years ago now, I was walking down the corridor at St. John’s that connects the sanctuary end of the building with the Parish Life Center end of the building. It was a late Tuesday afternoon. About half way down the corridor, I was met by one of our high school youth who was dropping something off at the church.
“[Jesus said to the disciples,] ‘But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all’” (Mark 10:43-44).
Currently a white collar sits in my dresser drawer, waiting for September 2. That is the day I begin nine months of Ministry in Context (MIC) at St. John’s, spending seven hours a week learning about how to be a pastor.
Ask disciples Bill and Carolyn Isham why they so generously give of their time, talents, and treasures to St. John’s and their quick answer is, “Habit!” Probe a little further and you’ll find that their motivation for giving actually goes much deeper.
That is all it took to put a smile on the face of one of God’s children. You might be wondering what exactly can fifty cents do to make someone smile? With that fifty cents, a box of crayons was purchased to be given to a child in our community who was preparing to head back for another year of school.
This past June 26-July 2, 15 youth and 4 adults from St. John’s joined over 30,000 other Lutheran youth from across the country as they participated in the ELCA’s Triennial Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas.