Welcome

Welcome

Visit our Sunday worship services at 8 or 10:30 am. Sunday school and adult Bible class at 9:15. We are "Making Christ Known" by faith, worship and witness to get the message of Jesus Christ to all people.

May 2017

“In your presence there is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11

 

Dear Redeemer Family:
We are now in the Season of Easter, and should be filled with Easter joy, especially after the forty long days of Lent. But in the world there is much that isn’t joyful. The nightly news is filled with a lot of less than joyful events. Should we be concerned about them? Yes, of course. Are they to be our ultimate concerns. No. They are just signs that the world carries on with its business as usual. We are to be concerned, and as Christians to reach out to help those in need as best that we can be it famine or flood, war or pestilence. We are commanded to reach out in love to help those in need. More than that, we are to spread that Easter joy with us as we go.

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in a letter to his former students dated November 29, 1942, after listing some of their former classmates who had been killed recently during World War II, writes about his and their feelings in the midst of such tragedy, ””With everlasting joy upon their heads…” (Isaiah 35:10). We do not grudge it them; indeed, should we say that sometimes we envy them in the stillness? Since ancient times, acidia – sorrowfulness of the heart, “resignation” – has been one of the deadly sins. “Serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2) summons us to the Scriptures. This is what our life has been given to us for; what it has been preserved for up till now. Joy belongs, not only to those who have been called home, but also to the living, and no one shall take it from us. We are one with them in this joy, but never in sorrow. How shall we be able to help those who have become joyless and fearful unless we ourselves are supported by courage and joy? I don’t mean by this something fabricated, compelled, but something given, free.

 

Joy dwells with God; it descends from God and seizes spirit, soul and body, and where this joy has grasped us it grows greater, carries us away, opens closed doors. There is a joy which knows nothing of sorrow, need, and anxiety of the heart; it has no duration, and it can only drug one for the moment. The joy of God has been through the poverty of the crib and the distress of the cross; therefore it is insuperable, irrefutable. It does not deny the distress where it is, but finds God in the midst of it, indeed precisely there; it does not contest the most grievous sin, but finds forgiveness in just this way; it looks death in the face, yet finds life in death itself. We are concerned with this joy which has overcome. It alone is worth believing; it alone helps and heals.”

 

We are to share that same joy, the Easter joy, wherever we go. The glory of the resurrected Christ and His work, that joy is what we share. This is what we are to be about. “We are concerned with this joy which has overcome. It alone is worth believing; it alone helps and heals.” Let us share that witness to all who are in need or injured. Let us be our Lord’s agents of aid and healing to those in suffering; joyless and fearful, in whatever forms we find them.

 

In Christ, Pastor Rose

April 2017

“Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him. This is my message for you.” Matthew 28:5-7

 

Dear Redeemer Family:

Behold the message of Easter Morning. Indeed, it is the message of all messages. It is what the angels tell the women as the go to the tomb early on that morning.

 

There is no doubt that there was a reason to be afraid. The Roman guards were literally frozen in place, like in a catatonic state. Jesus’ body was gone. And the angel is just sitting there calmly, as if awaiting the women’s arrival. The women were undoubtedly terrified. But those words, “Do not be afraid,” always preface a message of great importance. And this message is the one of greatest importance.

 

The Gospel of Matthew places the death and resurrection of Jesus in the context of the Roman Empire of death resisting God’s empire of life enacted in Jesus. In the resurrection story, Pilate and the religious leaders send guards to make sure the tomb is secure. When the heavenly messenger appears and rolls back the stone to announce the good news, the guards shake with fear and are like dead men. This turnaround shows the ironic character of the good news. The guards are now dead men. Jesus is alive. The empire of death is dead. The empire of God’s life-giving power rules.

 

This is the message of Christianity par excellence. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Not even Death could hold Our Lord. With Christ’s resurrection everything is now changed. He has broken for all the curse under which humanity has lived since the time of Adam. The powers of sin, death and evil; even the power of the God’s Own Law, are now all broken by this upheaving event. By Christ’s rising, the old world is turned upside down. And we are changed.

 

This is now the state in which we live. We are to live for life. We are freed from the power of the Law. We are to resist the forces of evil. We no longer see death as the end, but now a gate through which we will pass to eternal life. Everything has now changed. And the part which we all too often neglect to notice is the depth to which we are changed. We have been raised with Christ. We are no longer sinful and unclean in God’s sight. But, through our baptism and faith in Christ, we have even been made to be children of God, co-heirs with Christ!

 

This is the joyful message of Easter Morning. Proclaim it always in your lives, and shout it from the mountain tops, and the valley depths of your lives.

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Pastor Rose