Food for the Weary Way

“And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.’ And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Arise and eat.’” (1 Kings 19:4b-5)

Elijah had good reason to prefer death to life. Hated, hunted, and doubtful, he figured that he was the last prophet of God in Israel. He felt as you and I may sometimes feel: alone, dispirited, and failed.

Yet then God granted him sleep, as God grants to all His beloved (Psalm 127:2), and the good angel came with good words: “Arise and eat.” God cared for His own, as a shepherd cares for His sheep. He comforted Elijah not only with physical nourishment but also with His own, merciful and divine fellowship.

Here is the God who greets you in Jesus Christ. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “Take, eat. Take, drink.” With such tender words He nourishes and raises us up, too. Though we may feel sorry for ourselves, He has a journey for us to walk. Though we may mark ourselves for dead, He marks us for life. Come to Him; rest in His arms; eat and drink His Supper; then rise, and be on your way.

LET US PRAY: Lord, feed me. I’m hungry, and I’m not smart enough to know what food is best. Nourish me with Your bread of life, and send me on the way of life. Amen

Pastor Steven K. Gjerde

Listen to the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost Worship Service

The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

August 12, 2018 + 9:00 and 11:00 A.M.

Welcome to the Lord’s Day. Who is at the heart of the proclamation of the Kingdom? The One who is the Bread of Life. The One who through His death and resurrection gives eternal life to those who believe who He is as God and what He has done. What a hope! What a promise! That Bread of Life is given to you in Jesus’ words of life, in His water of mercy, and in His Body and Blood through which He unites Himself to you, all given to you through His Body, the Church. As the word is proclaimed, that Bread shared, lives are changed, the Kingdom grows, and a new creation comes into being.

Listen to the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost Worship Service

The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost August 5, 2018 + 9:00 and 11:00 A.M.

Welcome to the Lord’s Day. Our Lord Jesus did amazing works. What works does He expect of His followers? As a King with a kingdom, He certainly has a vision for how the citizens of His kingdom will live. In today’s Bible readings, we hear about that vision, and discover that it is joyful, freeing, and more a delight than a labor.

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Listen to the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost Worship Service

The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost July 22, 2018 + 9:00 and 11:00 A.M.

Welcome to the Lord’s Day. First comes preaching, then comes supper: so it always goes in the Kingdom of God. Jesus sent preaches to share the Gospel, and when they returned, He gave both them and their listeners a miraculous meal of bread and fish. Today, Jesus has sent you a preacher, and after you hear him, Jesus will give you a miraculous meal of His own body and blood. Are you not stunned? Doesn’t it knock you over with joy? Jesus isn’t dead, you see; He lives, and His kingdom lives with Him.

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Dancing for the Right Reason

“And [King Herod] vowed to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.’” (Mark 6:23)

Half a kingdom: that’s all that Herod was willing to offer. And even for that half-kingdom, his wife’s daughter had to please him with a dance. Do you see how different your Lord is?

Your Lord doesn’t give you a half-kingdom but a whole kingdom, and for this great gift he doesn’t even require a song and dance. Your Lord gives you His kingdom for His own sake.

The resurrection of the body, the hope everlasting, the daily joy, the forgiveness and mercy, the favor of the Father, the fellowship of the Church, the life to live, the death that is but a sleep, the new creation that comes with Jesus—all these things are yours, not because you pleased your king, but because your King died for you.

Now there’s a reason to dance!

LET US PRAY: Almighty Lord and King, Your gifts so far exceed all that I can imagine that I tend to forget them, or at least, to forget their magnitude. Help me to remember the great mercy that You have shown me, and to be awed by it, that I may ever praise and delight in You; for Jesus’ sake. Amen

Pastor Steven K. Gjerde