Paradise Regained (3/27/2015)

March 27, 2015 in Church News

On this day in 1667, John Milton published his epic poemParadise Lost. You might want to take a few minutes out of your busy day to read a few lines of this masterpiece (you can find all twelve books at this link). It may seem a bit tedious at times. After all, Milton uses over 10,000 lines of poetry to tell the story found in one chapter of the Bible (Genesis 3). But his words certainly do soar. When describing the Lord casting Satan out of heaven, he writes: “Him the Almighty Power / Hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky, / With hideous ruin and combustion, down / To bottomless perdition, there to dwell / In adamantine chains and penal fire, / Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms.”  Maybe it’s just me, but that is some good stuff!

Whatever your feelings on 17th century poetry are, the subject matter of Paradise Lost is certainly appropriate for us to meditate on today. As we approach Holy Week and the annual celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection, it is good to remember what it is all about. Christ came to earth to destroy the Devil’s work. He came to undo what Satan and mankind did in the fall into sin. He came to make good on the Lord’s promise directly after the fall that there would be One who would come and crush the serpent’s head.

This is not something you or I could ever do. Rather than defeat the devil and claim victory, too often we find ourselves buying into his lies just our original parents did in the Garden of Eden. No, we needed a Savior to regain Paradise for us. As we once again walk the path that leads to Jerusalem, to Calvary, and finally to the empty tomb, let’s take the time truly to praise God and thank him for doing all that was necessary to secure our salvation. We can do this in the various special worship services that are planned for the upcoming week. We can also do this as we pray, praise and give thanks in our everyday walk with Christ that extends beyond just one week out of the year.

In Christ,
 Pastor Steve
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 Sunday Preview

March 29th, 2015
Palm Sunday
Theme:
“From the Lips of Children You Have Ordained Praise”
Readings:
Zechariah 9:9-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 21:7-17
Hymn of the Day:
All Glory Laud and Honor (# 131)

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We will be holding our annual Easter for Kids tomorrow morning (March 28th) from 9:30a – 11:30a. This event is intended for children in preK – 5th Grade. Children will hear the Easter story, sing songs, make crafts and participate in an egg hunt. Register online at www.crossofglorylutheran.com/efk. Come and join the fun (also invite a friend or two…)!

SPECIAL PALM SUNDAY WORSHIP AND

MISS TIFFANY FAREWELL

Our Palm Sunday worship will be extra special this year. We will have music from the children of our Sunday School as well as the children of our Learning Center. The service will give us an opportunity to thank God for the blessings he has bestowed on the ministry of our Learning Center these past 15 years as it now draws to a close. Following worship, we will have a jambalaya lunch as we wish farewell to Miss Tiffany and pray for God’s blessings on her future ministry as a Kindergarten teacher in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


Maundy Thursday (April 2nd) – 6:30 p.m.

We gather to commemorate the night on which Jesus was betrayed–the night he instituted the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Following the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the service concludes with a solemn stripping of the altar.

Good Friday (April 3rd) – 7 p.m.

In our Good Friday Tenebrae Service, candles are extinguished one by one as we hear the Savior’s words from the cross. The service ends in complete darkness and a loud sound (strepitus) reminds us of the closing of the tomb.

Easter Vigil (April 4th) – 8 p.m.

We will again be holding our Easter Vigil service on Saturday night.

In the early church, the Saturday of Holy Week was called the “Great Sabbath.” It was a day of meditation, fasting, and reflection in preparation for Easter. The Easter Vigil has been celebrated regularly since the days of Constantine the Great (300 A.D.)

This ancient service begins around a new fire kindled outside and continues with a candlelit processional into the darkened church. We remember our Baptism, our Savior God, and his death. The second half of the service bursts forth in Easter joy as we begin the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord. Easter Holy Communion is served.
Easter Festival Service (April 5th) – 10:30 a.m.
(Potluck Easter Breakfast beginning at 9:00 a.m.)
This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Our 10:30 service on Easter Sunday is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection victory. We sing the great Easter hymns of the church with a variety of musical accompaniment. We hear the Easter message of hope and joy. Christ is risen, indeed!