The Baptism of Our Lord During the Epiphany season we want to get to know Jesus. This Sunday we get to know him by baptism, both his and ours. Take note! Jesus’ glory is evident only to a chosen few; the glory of our life with Christ is by faith, not by sight. 2021 - Epiphany 1--1-10
The Lord Calls Us to Serve In the Word we hear the call of God. That call has the hidden power of God in it to give what he commands. He commands: Believe! and the Word creates faith. He says, Follow me! and the Word creates the desire and the ability to follow him. This power of Jesus reveals his glory as our Epiphany Lord. 2021 - Epiphany 2--1-17
The Lord's Call Changes Hearts and Lives As the Epiphany season moves forward we come to know Jesus as the One whose word is powerful. His Word makes changes in the hearts and lives of those who hear it, and calls them to be followers of Christ and fishers of men. 2021 - Epiphany 3--1-24
The Authority of Jesus' Words and Works Jesus shows his glory by his triumph over the devil. In his own day he sometimes did that openly for many to see. He still does it just as effectively but in a less public, less obvious way. Just as his victory made manifest his glory then, so it does now. Just as then, so now, everything is accomplished through his Word. 2021 - Epiphany 4--1-31
Jesus Heals the Hopeless Jesus has power over all things—that includes maladies of the body. When he one of his believers is taken by illness, he can heal them. He can drive away those who are oppressed by demons. In the midst of any situation that seems hopeless, Jesus gives us a reason to look to the future trusting him. 2021 - Epiphany 5--2-7
Transfiguration Sunday For more than 500 years, the Church has celebrated the Sunday known as the Festival of the Transfiguration. The word “transfiguration” simply means “a change in appearance.” It refers to the account in the Gospel lesson for today when Jesus shined forth in all his heavenly glory. Jesus gave his disciples a glimpse of his glory, because the cross was coming. Jesus left that mountain and headed to Jerusalem where he would suffer, die, and rise again for all mankind. Transfiguration Sunday signals the end of the season of Epiphany. When we next meet, it will be the season of Lent, a time of reflection on our Savior’s suffering. So on this day, we say our last Alleluias until the Day of Resurrection. 2021 -Transfiguration--2-14
Today is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, the church’s 40-day journey of repentance and renewal in preparation for Holy Week and Easter. The readings for Ash Wednesday issue a strong call for repentance and Lenten preparation. Our worship services this evening will be at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. The service will include Holy Communion and the Imposition of Ashes. Placing ashes on the foreheads of worshippers is an ancient custom. Many churches in modern Lutheran churches have worshippers place ashes on a Lenten banner that remains displayed throughout the Lenten season. Saint Peter Lutheran will make use of this custom tonight. This becomes a very fitting visual reminder that our sins are to be laid on Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. We invite you to join in with God's people to confess your sins and be strengthened in our Savior's love and forgiveness. Ash Wednesday 2021
The Season of Lent The word Lent comes from an Old English word for spring (“lengthen,” spring is when the days grow longer). For the last 1700 years, the Church has set aside the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter as a time of special preparation. While it is a time of repentance and renewal, our 40 days of Lent are lived in the certain hope of the resurrection. Overcoming Temptations The call to sinners in Lent is a serious call to struggle. We don’t struggle with outward ceremonies and customs, but with the serious effort to live in daily repentance. To do anything less is to welcome the devil’s temptations and despise God’s tests. Today we learn of and learn from Jesus who fights the devil’s temptations with God’s Word. 2021 - Lent 1--2-21
Hands of Hypocrisy (Caiaphas) When we consider Jesus and the people around him in his Passion, we can’t help but think of the actions brought about by people’s hands. That leads us to thing about how we sinners have had the same sinful hands of those involved in his Passion. Tonight we look at the hands of Caiaphas—a man who was nothing like what he pretended to be. 2021 - Midweek Lent 2--2-24
In Christ Salvation and Suffering Go Hand in Hand This Sunday we see God’s seriousness in Lent. The love of God is inseparably connected to the cross, both Jesus’ cross and our crosses. That cross might come in the form of persecution, pain, or our struggle against self-righteousness or despair. Regardless the form of the cross, the saying remains true for all Christians: No cross, no crown! 2021 - Lent 2--2-28
Hands of Betrayal (Judas) When we consider Jesus and the people around him in his Passion, we can’t help but think of the actions brought about by people’s hands. That leads us to thing about how we sinners have had the same sinful hands of those involved in his Passion. Tonight we look at the hands of Judas—a man whose love for money led him to be disloyal to his Lord. 2021 - Midweek Lent 3--3--3
God’s Grace Points Us to Heaven Our gracious God loves us despite our sinfulness. Through the work of Jesus, eternity has become ours. Why? It isn’t because of us or anything we would do, but because of God’s grace. God’s grace is the source and reason behind each of the blessings in our life, including the greatest gift—heaven. 2021 - Lent 3--3-7
Hands of Misguided Zeal (Peter) When we consider Jesus and the people around him in his Passion, we can’t help but think of the actions brought about by people’s hands. That leads us to thing about how we sinners have had the same sinful hands of those involved in his Passion. Tonight we look at the hands of Peter—a man who loved his Lord, but tried to serve him without insight into God’s will. 2021 - Midweek Lent 4--3-10
Faith Looks to Jesus Traditionally this Sunday was called Laetare or “Rejoice” Sunday. We rejoice in the middle of Lent that God has so fully and so perfectly taken to heart our only real need as sinners, and satisfied it in Christ. 2021 - Lent 4--3-14
Hands of Repentance (Tax Collector) When we consider Jesus and the people around him in his Passion, we can’t help but think of the actions brought about by people’s hands. That leads us to thing about how we sinners have had the same sinful hands of those involved in his Passion. Tonight we look at the hands of the tax collector—a man who shows us exactly the kind of hands of humility we want to have. 2021 - Midweek Lent 5--3-17
The New Covenant was Established Our High Priest This morning’s theme appropriately focuses our attention on the Savior as he continues his journey to the cross. It is by his perfect life and his sacrifice on the cross that he became our High Priest and put into effect the new covenant that God promised to his people. 2021 - Lent 5--3-21
Hands of Self-Preservation (Pilate) Some hands in the passion story are cleaner than others. Pilate’s were clean on the outside, as he tried to wash himself of his responsibility. But, it is not for nothing we confess, “He was crucified under Pontius Pilate.” 2021 - Midweek Lent 6--3-24
Palm Sunday On Palm Sunday, Jesus processed into Jerusalem as a humble king, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah to the word. Jesus was greeted by enormous crowd who believed who he was. They cried out, “Hosanna! Save us!” Jesus had come to do just that. We begin Holy Week looking forward to the culmination of Christ’s salvific work and join our voices to the hosannas. Greet your humble king and worship him with full hearts of faith. 2021 - Palm Sunday--3-28
TRIDUUM The Three Holy Days (Triduum) are celebrated by the Church on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. The Triduum is really one service, with three parts. At conclusion of each part, the congregation leaves and reassembles the for the next part of the Service of the Three Holy Days. SERVICE NOTES FOR MAUNDY THURSDAY Just as Ash Wednesday begins Lent, so Maundy Thursday marks the end of Lent proper and the beginning of the Three Holy Days of Christendom (the Triduum). The theme of the celebration is the Lord’s new command (mandatus, Latin, became maundy in Old English) to his disciples of all time to love each other as he has loved them. The institution of the Lord’s Supper sets forth the depth of Jesus’ love and gives power to the church to live out his command. As with Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday occupies a unique place in the church calendar. It is a festival in which reconciliation is solemnly expressed. This happens while God’s people transition from preparation to the actual celebration our Lord’s passion and resurrection. 2021 - MaunThurs--4-1
Isaiah 53 We read responsively Isaiah’s telling of the passion of the Christ. the congregation will read what is in bold type. P: Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? C: 2He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. P: 3He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. C: Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. P: Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows. C: Yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. P: 5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. C: The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. P: 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way… C: ...And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. P: 7He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;. C: He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. P: 8By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? C: For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. P: 9He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death… C: ...though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. P: 10Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering... C: ...he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. P: 11After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied. C: By his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. P: 12Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. C: For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Good Friday Afternoon - 2021
Service of Darkness Officium Tenebrae On Good Friday the Church remembers the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. This remembrance is solemn, but not depressing or melancholy. Christians worship on Good Friday to adore the Son of God who offered his life as the Lamb of God. The Service of Darkness (Latin: Officium Tenebrae) began in the medieval church and was added to the worship patterns of Holy Week. The Service of Darkness should not be thought of as a “funeral” for Jesus, but as an austere service of meditation, prayer, adoration, and confession. In lessons and music, we reverently recall the Savior’s last hours on the cross. We confess the sins that caused his suffering and ponder the miracle of divine love that brought about our redemption and forgiveness of sins. Symbolism in the Service The progressive darkness recalls the darkness that covered the earth from noon until 3:00 on Good Friday. The progressive extinguishing of candles recalls the ebbing of the Savior’s life. Note well that the Pascal candle is lit and returns to the chancel on Sunday: this Savior will live again! Tenebrae - April 2, 2021
+ The Resurrection of Our Lord + Easter Dawn Vigil About the Procession of the Paschal Candle The Church begins its celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord early on Easter morning, for the Scriptures reveal that the rising of the Son took place before the rising of the sun! The paschal candle, a symbol of him who is the light of the world, is lighted before the service on Easter dawn and carried amid the assembly as a visual reminder that Christ has destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light. The paschal candle remains lighted during worship throughout the Easter season and is lighted again at every baptism, for we are “buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4). Easter Sunrise 2021
Christ Is Risen! Alleluia! Believers gather on Easter to hear the joyous news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. His resurrection assures us of our own resurrection and calls us to fix our eyes on him who is our life. With the first witnesses of the resurrected Lord we hear him say to us: Do not be afraid! 2021 - Easter Sunday--4-4
Believe in the Risen Lord Even the disciples struggled with the meaning of the resurrection, and they saw Jesus in the flesh, felt his hands, touched his side. Yet, we are called to the same faith they held. We may not see Jesus visibly, yet we do with the eyes of faith, by which we hold to the precious reassurances of his resurrection. 2021 - Easter 2--4-11
Jesus Lives! So We Live with Purpose Today’s Scripture lessons highlight the fact that God’s plan of salvation is complete and Christ’s resurrection makes it certain. The Church hears the summons of her risen Lord and boldly witnesses this truth to a desperate, dying world of sinners. 2021 - Easter 3--4-18
Good Shepherd Sunday Jesus is our Good Shepherd. We are his sheep. Our Good Shepherd loves us so much that he gave his life for us. He knows us all by name. He protects us from our enemies. He gives us courage and strength. He continually brings more sheep into his fold. He promises heaven to all who believe in him. How great is the love that God has lavished upon us! 2021 - Easter 4--4-25
Confirmation Sunday “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 This Sunday is Confirmation Sunday. On this Sunday we will hear Jesus tell us what the rite of confirmation is all about—staying connected to Him. Our risen Savior is the only place where we find spiritual vitality and life. Like a healthy, strong grapevine Jesus is our only source of strength and life. This Sunday, May 2, eight youth from our congregation will confess Jesus as their only hope for salvation and solemnly promise to stay connected to Christ’s church. The rite of confirmation will take place at the 10:30 a.m. service. In the interest of having sufficient seating for the 10:30 a.m. service we are asking members that do not have family connection to our confirmands to consider attending the 8:00 a.m. service this Sunday. We ask our members to use the online sign-up to assist with planning (link below). The following is a list of the 2021 confirmation class and their confirmation verses: Cesar Cruz – James 1:22 Macord Lindstrom – Isaiah 12:2 Santiago Vega – Joshua 1:8 Paige Winkelmann – Romans 15:13 Evan Hinker – Isaiah 41:10 Eli Stoll – Revelation 21:6 Caleb Westphal – Joshua 1:9 Samara Yushta – Joshua 1:9 2021 - Confirmation - Large Print
Remain Strong in the Lord's Love As the Christian Church prepares for her Lord to depart and ascend into heaven, she asks, “Now what should we do?” Our risen Lord responds: “Continue to bear fruit.” The fruit that he speaks of is the continued love that reflects his love for all. On this Mother’s Day we pray that this message will bless their ongoing efforts to shower love on their families. 2021 - Easter 6--5-9
THEME: The Festival of the Reformation The Festival of the Lutheran Reformation of the Church emphasizes the true Church's unfailing reliance on the Word of God and unflinching testimony to it in the face of persecution. Jesus promised to pour out his Spirit on the Church that we might be God's mouthpiece even before kings. Today the Church prays that the Lord give us strength to be faithful and the peace of knowing our lives are safe in his hands. CLICK HERE to see the bulletin for The Festival of Reformation
THEME: A Giving and Patient God Wants Fruits of Faith Whose responsibility is it to care for the Lord's vineyard, the Church? The task is for all of us who love the Lord and produce abundant fruits of faith in His service. Conversely, there are those who reject their Savior and live for self. In the case of such individuals, invariable the judgment of God is not far behind. CLICK HERE to see the bulletin for Pentecost 20
Guest Speaker Today This morning our worship features a guest speaker who will deliver a different approach to worship than we might normally see. Pastor Patrick Feldhus of Jesus Cares Ministries will not only preach, but will lead us through a simplified worship service that could be used for people with disabilities. By doing this he will illustrate the need for and manner in which Jesus Cares equips congregations to serve people with special needs. In coming months, our outreach committee will continue to work with Pastor Feldhus to make further use of JCM in our efforts to spread the gospel in Saint Peter.
THEME: Rejoice at the Lord's Feast! Today God's salvation is compared to a rich feast of the finest food. God's banquet has been fully prepared through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. Since all is prepared our God extends his invitation to all people. While many reject the invitation, we find delight and joy in the banquet. CLICK HERE to see the bulletin for Pentecost 21
THEME: Your Lord Loves Showing Mercy - Jonah 4:5-11
THEME: Sing to the LORD a New Song! In 1990, a new staff minister of music and his wife arrived at Saint Peter Lutheran to direct and provide for music befitting our majestic God. Now 30 years later, our congregation says a tearful farewell to Jim and Deb Bakken. Through their extensive body of work our congregation has brought forth musical excellence in the praise of our gracious Lord and extensively developed Christian education. As the Bakkens depart, we remind ourselves how deserving our Lord is to receive our very best in worship.
THEME: In Worship Christians Confess Their Faith Christians confess their faith in the world, even in the face of persecution and evil. It is important to have clear confessions that state what we believe about God, as we do in the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, and in the Te Deum. These words speak against the world’s unbelief and solidify our hearts in the true faith. May we boldly confess the faith as countless others who have gone before us.
THEME: In Worship Christ Speaks Through Called Workers God calls people, sinful people, to represent him in Christian ministry. God calls his servants to proclaim the work and words of Jesus Christ, rather than themselves. Whether as pastors, teachers, missionaries, or staff ministers, they publicly proclaim the gospel in Word and Sacrament. It is good for Christians to pray for called servants and ask God to bless their services in his name.
THEME: In Worship Sinners Find Mercy Jesus Christ calls sinners to follow and worship him. He calls them, not because they are worthy, but in spite of their unworthiness. The gospel message is for sinners. It’s for this very reason that we begin our worship services with a confession and absolution. We confess our sins to God, and we are confident in the gospel message proclaimed to us that forgives our sins and calls us to worship Christ.
THEME: The Holy Ministry Stand on Rock-Solid Truth On this first Sunday of the return to public worship we will talk about foundations. Over the past 3 months we have faced a torrent of adversity and social challenges. What has kept us secure during these times? How have we been able to cope? How can we be confident of our future? Our lives are built on the rock-solid foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word. The teachings of the inspired Word of God are our secure foundation. 2020_Pentecost_2_6_14
THEME: The Holy Ministry Proclaims the Triune God and CONFIRMATION We have eight confirmands this year! They have worked hard for three years in preparation. They have completed their examinations with Pastor Heise. Now, they are ready to be confirmed in the Christian faith and participate in our congregation as adult members. This Sunday, they will receive the Lord’s Supper for the first time. Please remember them in your prayers and greet them when you see them in worship. May our Triune God continue to bless them as they continue to grow in their faith.We have eight confirmands this year! They have worked hard for three years in preparation. They have completed their examinations with Pastor Heise. Now, they are ready to be confirmed in the Christian faith and participate in our congregation as adult members. This Sunday, they will receive the Lord’s Supper for the first time. Please remember them in your prayers and greet them when you see them in worship. May our Triune God continue to bless them as they continue to grow in their faith. 2020_Trinity_Sunday_and_Confirmation_6_7
THEME: I Will Pout Out My Spirit on All People As everyone watches this week’s chaos in Minneapolis with shock and horror, we wonder if anything has the power to restore order and good will. Tomorrow is the Festival of Pentecost and its message about the Holy Spirit is so needed. God the Holy Spirit is almighty and he alone has the power to reach sinful, rebellious hearts and turn them into calm, thankful hearts. The Holy Spirit has been poured out on us abundantly and we have been empowered to share the life-giving message of redemption in Jesus Christ.