Pastor Archive

Pastoral Devotion for April

Posted April 1, 2019 By admin

Deuteronomy 7:12-13

Oh, that we would be obedient to the will of God. Oh, that we could keep his commandments and live a life free of sin. Yet, even as Adam and Eve gave into temptation and ate of the forbidden fruit, so too are we in bondage to original sin. Our sin is the same as theirs. We turn our attention away from God’s commandments, yes, even away from his love, only to chase after fulfillment of our own earthly desires. And to what end? A return to the dust from which we were made.

Yet, God continues to love those whom he has called his own. In great love for our fallen humanity, God gave his only Son so that we might live despite our sinfulness. Through the innocent suffering and death of his only Son Jesus Christ, God pours out mercy and grace upon those who call out to Christ as Lord and Savior. Through baptism, we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection and made inheritors of the kingdom of heaven.

The blessings and wonders spoken of in our text from Deuteronomy would seem well beyond our earthly reach. In fact, they are, for we do not keep God’s commands. But his love is steadfast and sure. Through Christ, the kingdom of God awaits those whom God saves. Blessed are those who call upon the name of the Lord, for his goodness and mercy endure forever.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your mercy and grace. Fill us with your goodness through Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted March 31, 2019 By admin

Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
John 20:4

Recently while looking for some new Bible study material, I stumbled upon a video that made me pause for a while. It is a video of a skit portrayed by two men enacting the first Easter morning. In this skit, Peter and
John are running to the empty tomb. Their faces display the anticipation and perhaps even a bit of fear concerning what they might find. John reaches the tomb first, but he won’t look inside or enter. Peter then
arrives, huffing and puffing, but he enters the tomb without stopping to think. As I replay this video in my mind, this is the point where I had to hit the pause button.

I wondered to myself, if I had been the first disciple to receive the reports from the women, would I be bold enough to charge into Christ’s tomb? Even as I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus was beaten, whipped and crucified, would I have the where with all to enter the tomb where they laid his body? Thinking about that, I finally decided yes, I would. Having walked with Jesus for three years as a disciple, witnessing so many miraculous events, and having come to expect that Jesus is who he says he is; I would have to go into the tomb.

I suppose the question I have for you is much the same. If someone came to you all excited and out of breath telling you they had seen Jesus and he is very much alive, you would run to the tomb to see for yourself? Would this amazing news of Christ’s resurrection stir your emotions so deeply that you would have to personally witness it? I suspect that it would. I suspect that given such extraordinary news, you too would run to the tomb of Jesus, probably because of the same reason Peter and John did, as disciples of Christ, our hope rests entirely in his death and resurrection.

Through Holy Scripture, worship and prayer, we are witnesses to the many amazing miracles of Jesus. Following Jesus throughout his mission and ministry, we too have come to know Jesus as Messiah and Lord, through whom we have forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life. Throughout the past twelve months, since Easter of last year, I pray that in my preaching, you have heard this gospel truth that is for all who believe in Christ.

At the conclusion of the video I mentioned, Peter finally emerges from the tomb to meet John who is still standing outside. As he holds the burial
garments of Christ in his hands, Peter can only look at John with a stare of complete amazement. As the two disciples take in the meaning of what they have witnessed, they both burst into laughter while shedding tears of joy. Jesus is alive! He is risen! It happened just as he said it would!

People of God, I invite you to hear the good news of Jesus’ resurrection once more. I invite you to run to the tomb, charge right in and behold the glory of God in the resurrection of our Lord. It happened just the way Jesus said it would. Come be a part of the Easter story. Share the good news of Christ Jesus. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Alleluia!
Grace and peace,
Pastor David Nuottila

VBS

Posted March 28, 2019 By admin

Are you making Summer plans? All of us need time away from our routine to refresh and recharge! It is the same for our faith life! Doing more than the routine can really ignite our spiritual walk with the Lord, especially with the young Christians.

Plans for Vacation Bible School at St. Jacob’s will soon be underway.
Please do the following in preparation of this year’s event:
1) Pray for the attendees and leaders
2) Prayfully consider serving as part of this year’s VBS team
3) Go ahead and mark your calendars for June 17th—June 20th
4) Watch upcoming worship folders for more detailed information.

Morning Bible Study

Posted March 28, 2019 By admin

Morning Bible Study continues to be held each Tuesday at 9:30 AM in the fellowship Hall. Our topic is The Mission and Ministry of Paul. Bring along your Bible and a willingness to learn more about the most prolific writer of the New Testament. Our last class will be Tuesday of Holy Week, April 16th.

Pastoral Devotion for March

Posted March 1, 2019 By admin

The Father’s Will

Read Matthew 21:23-32
In the parable, Jesus said “A man had two sons.” Both of these sons were given direction to work in their father’s vineyard. One said no, but later went. The other said yes, but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? According to the Pharisees, it was the son who said no, but changed his mind.

Have you ever noticed in this parable, Jesus doesn’t tell them that they are correct? Did the Pharisees get it right? The truth is, both sons at one point fell short of the father’s expectations. Both sons needed a change of heart.

How often have you heard God’s Word and said “No, I will not go” but later went? How many other times have you said, “Yes, I will go” but failed to do so? In each case we fall short of God’s glory and need a change of heart. Thankfully, through Christ we are afforded God’s mercy and grace. All we need to do is ask and God will provide the will and means necessary to do that which he calls us to do. For the will of the Father is that we believe in his Son. Today, as in all days, God calls you to work in his vineyard. How will you respond?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, strengthen me in faith, that when you call, I may do your will. Amen.

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted March 1, 2019 By admin

Before you read this page, first go pick up your Bible. Then go to the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of water. Now set the glass filled with water beside your Bible on the table nearest you and begin reading.

A book I enjoy reading is written by Max Lucado titled Come Thirsty. Within its pages, one can hear God calling us, inviting us to come to him as a father calls his dear children. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about God’s love for his people. As we begin our annual Lenten pilgrimage toward Easter, it is appropriate that we ponder how we approach our Father in heaven. It is a time to earnestly study God’s Word and to pray for heightened awareness of God’s presence each day. It is a time to look deep inside our lives in order that we may see ourselves for who we are as sinners, yet also to see ourselves for whose we are, God’s beloved children redeemed by the blood of Christ. Lent is a time when Christians around the world take time to reflect upon God’s mercy and grace. It’s also a time when we are to consider our lives as disciples, loving God with all our heart and loving our neighbor as God loves us. Such is the journey of Lent.

As God’s people, during Lent we are metaphorically traveling the Jerusalem road toward the cross of Good Friday. The cross is where the powers of sin and evil meet the powers of God’s righteousness and mercy. The events of the cross are the focal point of Lent. They bring the powerful message of God’s salvation through the sacrifice of his Son. Yet, weighed down by the burdens of earthly life, we tend to focus more on worldly things and fail to realize the full impact of what Jesus has done to redeem God’s people. Pulled in several directions at a time, life becomes a blur and before we
know it, we have lost touch with our Lord and Savior. In order that you may fully realize God’s awesome power and love in your life, I invite you to “come thirsty.” Come thirsty to worship and join the hearts and voices of your church family, singing praises to God for all he has done and continues to do. Come thirsty to hear the message of God’s deliverance from death to life for all who believe. I invite you to come thirsty for God’s love, to hear his gospel proclaimed and to realize the love he has especially for you. Come thirsty also to our mid-week Lenten services. Enjoy the fellowship we share and hear the message of Jesus’ victory upon the cross. Come thirsty to learn how you too are
called as a disciple of Jesus Christ, empowered and equipped for ministry and sent into the world for the sake of those who are neediest among us.

Finally, I invite you to ponder the Bible and the glass of water set before you. As you open the pages of Holy Scripture, you will be reminded that, in Baptism, God made water to be a sign of his unfailing love and his promise to save his people. Through water and the Word, God washes us clean from the stain of sin and makes us his own.

Commit to worshiping with us during Lent and come thirsty for God’s love. Be refreshed through the water and the Word as we journey toward the cross of Good Friday. It’s there where sin and brokenness meet the powers of God’s love and righteousness, and his goodness and mercy endure forever.

Grace and peace,
Pastor David Nuottila

First Communion

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

Pastor David will be offering First Communion instruction for children whose parents believe their child is ready to begin receiving the Sacrament. One parent or guardian shall attend classes with their child. Classes will be held during the Sunday school period from Sunday, March 24th through Sunday, April 7th. Those participating will celebrate their first Holy Communion on Palm Sunday, April 14th. If you have questions concerning the readiness of your child, or other questions regarding Holy Communion, please contact Pastor David.

Sunday Sermon Series And Mid Week Lenten Services

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

Pastor David will preach a sermon series during Lent titled “The Two Roads”. Following lessons from our lectionary, the series will be based on the poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Less Taken”.
Our Mid-week services during Lent will be a presentation of dramatic readings from Sola Publishing: Pilate’s Investigation: Who Is This Jesus? Join us each Wednesday during Lent for an evening meal at 6:15 PM Our Lenten services will follow at 7:00 PM.
Lenten Meals will be held each Wednesday, March 13th until April 10th.
Lenten meals will be provided by the following groups: March 13th—Lutheran Women,
March 20th—Lutheran Men, March 27th—Youth, April 3rd—Church Council, and April 10th—Brandon and Marie.

Morning Bible Study

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

Morning Bible Study will resume on Tuesday, March 5th at 9:30 a.m. in the fellowship Hall. Our topic will be the Mission and Ministry of Paul. Bring along your Bible and a willingness to learn more about the most prolific writer of the New Testament. Bible study will meet weekly each Tuesday morning through the Tuesday of Holy Week, April 16th.

ST JACOB’S YOUTH NEWS

Posted February 4, 2019 By admin

Get set for some fun! In February St. Jacob’s Youth will head to the mountains of North Carolina to go snow tubing. Sign up information is in the Narthex and also available by email. Please contact Pastor David or the church office to save your place.