The Church one block east of Main on 15th

Sunday Morning Worship Service

Sundays at 9:30 am, traditional Lutheran style. We sing hymns and chorales, follow the ancient liturgy, confess the creed, and the pastor will preach on specific Bible passages according to the church calendar. On the first and third Sunday of the month we celebrate the real presence of Christ with Holy Communion.

The Easter Season

Everything is about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus dies on Good Friday to pay for all sin – every sin is forgiven. Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday gives proof that we can trust what he says and gives us power to live because we too will someday rise again!

With this hope and joy, each Sunday after Easter is a mini-festival which will highlight a gift that we receive as the people of Jesus’ resurrection. There were fourty days of Lent and now there are fourty days of Easter!

First Sunday after Easter (April 8, 2018) is QUASIMODOGENITI.  This means, “like newborn babies,” the first phrase of 1 Peter 2:2-3 in the Latin Bible. Here Peter writes, “like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Today we celebrate and digest pure spiritual food, given in Word and Sacrament, because we have been born-again like little babies into God’s family. As a side note, the main character in the novel (and film) The Hunchback of Notre Dame is an orphan named "Quasimodo."  He was given this name because he was found on the Sunday by this same name.

Second Sunday after Easter (April 15, 2018) is Misericordias Domini which means, “the mercy-heart of the Lord” It is from Psalm 33:5, “Misericordia Domini plena est terra … The land is filled with the mercy of the Lord.” This small snippet of a psalm frames the themes of the day which highlight that with the resurrection, everything in creation has received mercy from the heart of the Lord. We will be resurrected and made perfect, so will our world. Alleluia!

Third Sunday after Easter (April 22, 2018) is Jubilate which means “rejoice! … be joyful ... shout for joy.” The Luther Bible uses the term "jauchzet."  Jubilate comes from Psalm 66, “"Jubilate Deo omnis terra – Shout with joy to God, all the earth”). This small psalm verse sets the tone for the day calling us to rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus and the freedom from sin and death which he has won for us.

Fourth Sunday after Easter (April 29, 2018) is Cantate, today’s name means “sing!” Related words are “canticle, chant, and cantata.” Today’s theme verse is Psalm 98:1, “Cantate Domino canticum novum – Sing to the Lord a new song!” Traditionally, today we sing praises to God and celebrate the gift of music and all the arts.

Fifth Sunday after Easter (May 6, 2018) is Rogate, which means “ask” or “pray!” Theme verses invite us to talk with God, intercede for others, petition him with our heart’s desire ... and he promises to listen! The main verses are John 16:24, Luke 11:9-10, Psalm 66:20, and Matthew 6:7-13 / Luke 1:2-4 on the Lord’s Prayer. This day is traditionally one of prayer (conversation with God), intercession for missions, and a time to bless those planting crops.

Sixth Sunday after Easter (May 13, 2018) is Exaudiand this name means “hear!” or “listen!” from Psalm 27:7: “Exaudi, Domine, vocem meam, qua clamavi ad te – Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!” Exaudi Sunday mirrors the events and tensions of the last few days. Jesus has ascended (the festival this past Thursday) and said that the disciples will someday follow him. At this they are overjoyed. As encouragement to disciples in every age, the readings echo Jesus’ words that he is interceding for them, the Holy Spirit will come, and that Pentecost is close at hand!

Pentecost Sunday (May 20, 2018). The word “Pentecost” is derived from the Greek word for “fifty.” The Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2, occurred 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection and 10 days after His ascension. The day celebrates the sending of the Holy Spirit to the disciples following Jesus’ ascension. On the 50th day after the Sabbath of Passover week, the Jews celebrated a festival of thanksgiving for the harvest.

 It was known by a number of different names: Feast of Weeks (Ex. 34:22; Deut. 16:10), Feast of Harvest (Ex. 23:16), Day of First fruits (Num. 28:26)

 The “Feast of Weeks” was the second-most important festival for the Jews. (The most important was Passover.) This explains why so many people from all over the Roman empire were in Jerusalem on the day when the Holy Spirit was sent (see Acts 2:8-11).

 The Day of Pentecost is seen as the culmination of the Easter season. In many calendars, the day is listed as “Whitsunday.” This comes from the phrase “White Sunday,” and refers to practice of the newly baptized appearing in their white, baptismal garments on that day. The colour of the day is red, symbolizing the tongues of fire that appeared on the apostles. In the early church, Jesus’ ascension and the sending of the Spirit were celebrated together. By the seventh century, Pentecost had become such an important festival that the whole week following was set aside to observe it. By the 12th century this was limited to only three days. In most European countries the Monday after Pentecost is still observed as a holiday. 

Holy Trinity Sunday (May 27, 2018) is the Festival Sunday when we confess our faith with the beautiful words of teh Athanasian Creed. When we confess the Athanasian Creed, we also see that God is never alone. God Himself is a community, a relationship. He is One but also Three and always One in Three and Three in One. This love of God passes to us who have been created in His own image, who were also created in a community with Him and given a community with one another. We, too, are created to express our love not by ourselves, not by looking in a mirror, but in community with spouse and children, friends and neighbours.

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is more than an academic principle, more than just a set of facts to be memorized and recited. It is more than something strange and odd and hard to understand. God is the foundation and source of life and being and creation. And God is relationship—one God, three persons, each relating to and loving one another . . . and loving us. 

Even when the Son of God became a man, He reflects and teaches this inner life of God—this community of God, the relationship He has with the Father—and relates it to us. He says that He is One with the Father, that we may be One with Him (John 17:22). He says the Word He speaks is not His own but was given by His Father (John 14:10). Jesus’ ministry was centred on glorifying His Father in allowing Himself to do what the Father sent Him for. But it is double-sided: All that Jesus said and did was for us and our salvation. 

Jesus does the Father’s will and speaks the Father’s Word completely and faithfully and obediently and lovingly. And what He speaks is life-giving and eternal. What the Father has, the Son gives, and it is eternal life. You could even say He gives Himself. He is life and love, and He gives Himself to those who hear, to those He calls, to those who listen to His Word.