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Archive: Alleluia - March Pastor's Message

Alleluia, song of triumph, sound of joy that cannot die;
Alleluia is the anthem ever dear to choirs on high;
Saints adorned in robes of glory join the great angelic cry.

Alleluia we are singing, voicing hymns in pure accord,
With Christ’s holy Church united, justified, redeemed, restored,
And with all his faithful people raise our songs to praise the Lord.

Alleluia cannot always be our song while here below;
Alleluia our transgressions make us for a while forgo.
For the solemn time is coming when our tears for sin must flow.

May our hymns be filled with longing—hear us, Holy Trinity—
As we look to your blest Easter, here, and then eternally,
When we shall once more be singing alleluia joyfully!

These words are from the hymn “Alleluia, Song of Triumph.” You may have sung this before or perhaps not. It is one that is sung right before Lent in a part of the service where we say farewell to “Alleluia.” Beginning on Ash Wednesday we begin our solemn journey through the season of Lent to the feet of our Savior on the cross. While we continue to rejoice in our salvation and forgiveness through Lent as we did throughout the year, our rejoicing is muted as we examine how our salvation came to be. It has been a tradition for Christians for centuries to leave out the most jubilant songs during Lent. This is not because God does not deserve our praise but to reflect on the seriousness of sin. Alleluia means “praise the Lord” and we still praise him but in reflection and repentance.

What we see in Lent leading to Good Friday is that God does not forget our sins, there still needs to be a price paid. The phrase “Nothing in life is free” rings true here. Our salvation was not free it came at a price, the punishment for sin still needed to be paid. We see that payment on Good Friday where Jesus paid the price for our sins. There our debt was paid for on our behalf. There we see what our sins earned. We were bought at a price and that was Jesus' life. So through the season of Lent, we not only reflect on our sins and repentance but also focus on the love our Savior has for us. We see how he paid our debt for us.

That is why on Easter we sing “Alleluia” over and over again. There at Easter, we see our forgiveness won! We see our debt paid with the stamp of approval that our debt has been paid in full by Christ rising from the dead! Have you ever finished paying off a debt to someone? Maybe it was a friend, the bank, or a credit card. Did you feel lighter after it was paid? That is what Christ's resurrection is for us. That weight is lifted and we cannot help but sing “Alleluia” over and over again!

As we go through this Lent season there are many opportunities to come to worship, ask for God’s forgiveness and receive it, and to reflect on the love that God has for us. We invite everyone to come to our midweek services at 3:30 and 7:00 pm on Wednesdays. Maundy Thursday services will be at 3:30pm and 7:00 pm on April 1st and two identical Good Friday services on April 2nd at noon and 6:00 pm. On Easter, we will have two identical services one at 7:45 and 9:30 am.

Please come, invite your friends and your neighbors! Let us join together to see the love God has for us as we travel the road through Lent to our Savior’s glorious resurrection on Easter!

Pastor Nick Quinnett 

Archive: Hands of the Passion - February Pastor's Message

In Luke chapter 18, verses 9 through 14, we find the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. When thinking of the tax collector, have you ever thought about what his hands were doing? The Bible says in verse 13, “the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even lift his eyes up to heaven, but was beating his chest and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” Why was he beating his chest? This man’s heart had been struck severely with God’s law, so much so that he was going through intense grief, guilt, shame and agony due to his sin. Jesus said this sinner went home forgiven and justified by God and that comes only through Christ. 

As we lead up to Christ’s “humble hands”, “nail-pierced hands” and “life-giving hands”, we will look at other “Hands of the Passion” during Lent which begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17th. Be sure to worship, not only on the weekends, but also on Wednesdays during Lent so that our hearts also always remain in the right place, repentant and having faith in Christ.

As God’s children, we are Managers of all the blessings He has graciously given to us. One blessing is His word and Sacrament at worship. Another blessing is our time. We are coming closer when all of us, who are able, need to get back to in person worship. As Christ’s love compels us, we want to give our time to assembling together at worship, growing richly in faith in Jesus through God’s Word and also encouraging each other in our faith in Christ. Come on back to worship.

Pastor Tim Mueller

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