The familiar words of Ecclesiastes 3 remind us that “to everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. A time for …” and a lot of different, in fact opposite things follow, but today I am adding one: A Time for Encouragement. In chapter 10, the writer of Hebrews thought that encouragement was important. “23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
The large stained-glass window on the south side of the Grace sanctuary is an appropriate parable for a Christian. The scene depicts Jesus, seated in the living room of a house, instructing the young lady (Mary) with preaching and teaching. In the background, we glimpse the dining room of the house, with the other sister (Martha) setting the table to serve the guests.
No doubt, some of you will remember the Bible story that the window portrays.
We have just celebrated our annual Confirmation service, also called the Affirmation of Baptism service. In our tradition, we baptize people of any age, which is consistent with our belief that Salvation is a gift which we cannot earn but can only receive. Some of the ways we bring this gift to life in us are through receiving Holy Baptism, by Affirming that Baptism when we are old enough to make our own decisions (the most recent research suggests that our brains are not fully functional until around the age of 26,
The southwest window of the Grace Lutheran Church sanctuary is one of the more dramatic scenes portrayed on the stained-glass windows of our church. The scene depicts a rugged rocky cliff. The scragly shrub, clinging to the side of the precipice, gives the feeling of steep mountainsides and deep narrow passes. Caught on the side of the sheer fall, halfway down the mountain, is the crumpled and caught body of the lost sheep.
Isaiah 40: 29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose.
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want,