3rd Sunday of Lent
- Ezekiel 33:7-20
- 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
- Luke 13:1-9
This is a convenient place for members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Fredericksburg to check for updates and information to keep up to date with what is happening within our local church, our Iowa District East and the Synod at large. Pastor Ronnie Koch will from time include his sermons or other Bible lessons on this site.
3rd Sunday of Lent
THE SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR
Where is this Written? The holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul write:
Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said : “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”
In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying , “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament, in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
February 24, 2010
Lent Midweek Service
Grace, Mercy and Peace are yours from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Listen to how the Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament begins:
The Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying,  "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock.
 "If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord.  He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. (Leviticus 1:1-4)
This is our text.
Now jump ahead 1600 years later, to the night when our Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed.
It was the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.  So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it." (Luke 22:7-8).
Holy Communion is necessary to Christianity. It is not an optional thing like, say, making the sign of the cross, lighting candles a certain way. It is not just a custom or a tradition like having coffee and cookies after the service.
Holy Communion is necessary.
Without Holy Communion, we wouldn’t fully understand what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross and rose again.
Without that meal that the disciples had with Jesus the night before He was executed on the cross., people would not have understood the significance of his death.
People could see that His death on the cross was a noble death. Many realized it was the death of an innocent man. Many would be impressed to see someone remain faithful to what He believed in right to the point of death. But they would not see that this death was for them.
Jesus said, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” In the meal Jesus explained what His death would mean. “This is my body, which is given for you. . . this cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Holy Communion shows that Jesus death was an atonement. Just as the Passover Lambs were being sacrificed, so the Jesus the Son of God was sacrificed. He offered up His own body and blood to make atonement for the sins of the world.
Atonement is an important word from the Bible that helps us to understand what Jesus has done for us.
When I define big words, I like to find smaller words, one syllable words if possible, that can be used to explain the big words. So the word I’d like you to keep in mind as a synonym and definition of atonement is fix.
In Leviticus the Lord told Moses how people could bring livestock as offerings to be sacrificed for atonement for a fix.
Jesus gave up Himself to death, for our fix.
The word fix is a good word here because it implies that there is a problem. Fix, you hear that short word and you know that something was broken, and now it’s no longer broken. You had a problem, and now the problem has gone away.
You know the old saying,”if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Well something was broken with the world. There was a big problem. Jesus fixed it.
In Leviticus the word atonement is used for three different ways in which the Lord fixes things for His people.
1. Acceptance -- For the person who is or who feels at a distance from God or at odds with God, the Lord provides atonement and acceptance.
2. Forgiveness – When someone sins, the Lord provides the means to make atonement, to fix the problem, to forgive the sins.
3. Purification – When someone is unclean, the Lord provides atonement, and cleans them.
First, Acceptance. We Christians, get used to the fact that we are on God’s good side. We sometimes take it for granted. We shouldn’t. Remember that God is holy. He remains completely separate from sin and sinners. He created human beings to be holy like him. When you sin, you make yourself unacceptable before God. Don’t be so bold as to think you can just march right up to the throne of God just by being who you are.
In the opening lines of Leviticus, God describes how a person should bring an offering of a lamb or a bull, a male without blemish, to the front of the tent of meeting, the tabernacle. The priest would meet him and his animal there and then they would sacrifice his animal, “that he may be accepted before the Lord.”
Jesus did that. He was the one without blemish or stain, offered to God, so you would be acceptable. Do you ever feel out of touch with God? Does your shame make you wish God wouldn’t get too close to you and see all your flaws, see what really goes on in your imagination and in your heart. Does your guilt make you think that if God had to choose, there would be others he’d accept first?
Jesus is your Atonement. Jesus is your fix. Because of Jesus and only because of your savior Jesus, God accepts you.
Second, forgiveness. In Leviticus chapter 4, you can read how the Lord gave specific instructions on what to do if somebody sins, or if the whole community sinned, or if the elders or the priests brought shame on the whole community by sinning.
I have heard people say that Leviticus is difficult or a boring book to read. But if you read to find the definition of atonement, you’ll find in the bloody sacrifices of Leviticus, the story of Jesus your atonement who fixes your problem of sin.
If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to fix our sins, to make atonement, to forgive.
Third, purification. In Leviticus 14 there is some discussion of leprosy. It was a big deal back then. The Children of Israel are wandering through the wilderness living in tents. Infectious diseases needed to be controlled in the camp. There were strict rules for a person who came down with a skin disease. They would have to stay outside the camp, out of the community and outside of the means of grace.
But when the leper was healed, the Lord provided instructions of what to do, what animal to sacrifice and how in order to make atonement and purification.
We too live in an impure world, with impure bodies. We drag the sinful nature along with us until we die. We suffer from that impurity. We have sick thoughts. We have sick and frail and diseased bodies.
Jesus fixes that. He atones for you. He heals you.
Let us pray:
Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming world, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Lord, I believe, were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For all a full atonement made.
Jesus Rescues Us from Death and Brings Us into Heaven
The prophet Jeremiah faithfully preached “all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people” (Jer. 26:8). He called the people to repentance, lest the Lord's judgment come upon them. The violence that Jeremiah suffered for this preaching foreshadowed the cross and Passion of Christ Jesus, who suffered the judgment of God for the redemption of all people. For Jesus “comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:35) in order to lay down His life for the sins of the world. Earthly Jerusalem was blind to His gracious visitation, and so put Him to death like the prophets before Him. Yet, His sacrifice upon the cross was the cornerstone of the new Jerusalem, His Church. He visits us today in mercy with His preaching of forgiveness, to gather us to Himself within that holy city, “as a hen gathers her brood under her wings” (Luke 13:34). For “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).
(From the LCMS website)
SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
Divine Service—Page 184
THE SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR
What is the Sacrament of the Altar? It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.
Bible Passage: We were therefore 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)
Scrip orders are due by 4 pm on Monday, March 1. Your cards will be here in about a week.
Pick up your Casey’s Pizza card ASAP…we will be returning unsold cards on March 1.
The annual benefit dinner will be held THIS Sunday, Feb. 28 from 11-1. Come for a ham and scalloped potato dinner and silent auction and bake sale. Come out and socialize and support Fun in the Son.
FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT
Jesus Christ Is Our Champion against the Devil
Jesus Christ, our Champion against the devil, endures and overcomes “every temptation” (Luke 4:13) on our behalf. He worships the Lord His God, and serves Him only by trusting the Word of His Father: “You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). Jesus' victory is now ours through His gracious Word, which is not far away but near us—in our mouth and in our heart, in the proclamation of repentance and faith. For “with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Rom. 10:10). Our confession of Christ includes the prayer of faith, which is not disappointed; “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). The Lord is not oblivious to “our affliction, our toil, and our oppression” (Deut. 26:7), but has mercy upon us. He has brought us out of bondage through the “signs and wonders” of Holy Baptism, “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” (Deut. 26:8), and now He leads us by His Spirit even in the wilderness.
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
What benefits does Baptism give? It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.
Which are these words and promises of God? Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned”. Mark 16:16
Liturgy will be page 203
Scripture Readings (coming soon)
Due to a reduction in scholarships, 2 sponsors are needed for preschoolers for February through May. $30 is needed for each student each month. If you are interested in helping educate the youngest members of our community, see Janiece!
The 6th Sunday after the Epiphany
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
What is Baptism? Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s Word.
Which is that word of God? Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” [Matt. 28:19]