|April 5, 2020 PALM SUNDAY
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As the world begins another week of coping with COVID-19, it’s not just another week in the life of the Church. Today, Holy Week began with our observance Palm Sunday. As Pastor Sheafer proclaimed in his Palm Sunday sermon, Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem was not about an earthly king taking power, but rather an eternal King who defeats sin, death, and the grave and makes sinners like us members of His Kingdom forever.
This message is more important than ever. As our earthly lives are filled with uncertainty and the world around us seems to be unraveling, today, we are reminded that Jesus came to overcome the world and provide for us an inheritance that will never perish, spoil, or fade (1 Peter 1:4). Holy Week underscores this eternal perspective Christ came to bring, and as we move through the coming days, the Lord will be teaching all of us.
Holy Week at Home
- We will observe Holy Week with special worship opportunities on Maundy Thursday, April 9, and on Good Friday, April 10. Both of these services will be available by noon.
- All of our worship services are currently being broadcast through Vimeo. Our Vimeo page also allows you to view hymns, instrumental music, and other resources through the “Emmanuel Hymn Project.” In addition to the link above, the easiest way to access our Vimeo page is to go the home page of this website and click on the blue Vimeo icon in the upper right hand corner of the page.
- The most recent worship services will also be posted to our Facebook page and to this website on the Sermons page.
- A printed copy of our most recent sermon is also available under the heading “Worship at Home” page of this website.
- For families with children at home, we have also provided a companion piece for Sunday worship entitled, “Building Faith in the Family: A Resource for Worship in the Home.” You can find each week's “Building Faith in the Family” resource on this website under the heading “Worship and Learning at Home” on the Education page.
- CELEBRATE EASTER VIGIL WITH YOUR FAMILY. The church’s most ancient Easter observance took place in the dark of Holy Saturday. You can join Christians throughout the ages in a family service that welcomes Christ’s Resurrection and dispels darkness with Easter light. Use the suggestions in this week’s “Building Faith in the Family” to prepare for and celebrate a wonderful Easter Vigil.
- This week, I’d also like to direct you to the website of Grace Lutheran Church in Lafayette, where my youngest brother Daniel serves as Pastor. Pastor Eggold has provided some wonderful activities for families with small children, as well some excellent devotional helps to guide you through Holy Week. You can find these activities here. (Thanks to Pastor Eggold and our brothers and sisters at Grace Lutheran Church in Lafayette for sharing these helpful resources.)
- If you know an Emmanuel member who is not yet signed-up for our Mail Chimp email service, please direct them to the link located in the box at the bottom of this site's home page titled, “New Resources.”
- Regular communication with our church family will also take place through our website and Facebook page.
- If you have a specific need, you can still call the church office at 423-1369. Simply follow the prompts and leave your message for the appropriate staff member.
- If you need emergency assistance, please contact Pastor Eggold, Pastor Sheafer, or Lana Hille.
New Prayer Requests
- Pray for Gary Curtis’s stepbrother Frank who is dealing with a terminal cancer diagnosis.
- Pray for Elliot Atlas River Lawrence who received the sacrament of Holy Baptism this week.
- Pray for the Lord to provide Marcille Burtch with peace and comfort as she recovers from a serious fall.
Stewardship and Finances
One of my new jobs during this furlough is to collect our mail from the post office. It has been humbling and heartening to see the overwhelming number of offering envelops in each new batch of mail. Thank for continuing your faithful stewardship.
Through Baptism, the Holy Spirit has called us to faith in Christ and joined us to His body, the Church. God has called us to encourage one another with the message of forgiveness, life, and salvation. More than ever, we need to take this call to heart and seek new, creative ways to share the words of assurance we have in Jesus.
Today, I woke up to suffocating sense of melancholy, but before it had a chance to settle in, I opened an email from an Emmanuel friend and read the following: “in some ways it seems that Christ’s Church has been silenced with empty buildings throughout our country…and yet I know that Christ clearly will use this strange set of circumstances for His glory…I cannot help but wonder about God’s plan and I pray that, as His children, our anxieties and concern for self-comfort will not get in the way of our seeing the many powerful ways He is working in this moment. I pray for continued protection from the obvious attacks from the devil to distract and discourage you, Thomas.”
Wow. God certainly provides. And so often, He does this through His people. Think of someone in your life or from our congregation who could use some encouragement. Know that as you reach out in love, Christ has gone before you and is already at work to accomplish His saving purpose. God bless you during this Holy Week.
Together in Christ,