<![CDATA[CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH-LAKE MILLS - Newsletters & Blogs]]>Sun, 18 Mar 2018 07:56:05 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Spell Love, J.E.S.U.S.]]>Wed, 14 Feb 2018 07:51:46 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/spell-love-jesusThis is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for others.
<![CDATA[The Way of LOVE]]>Wed, 14 Feb 2018 07:32:55 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/the-way-of-love("I will show you a still more excellent way.
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13


Garage sales. If you have never held one yourself, you are bound to go to one.
Growing up I fondly remember going to flea markets and garage sales, rummaging through the treasures of the so-called trash of others. Even though as the youngest child I got some pretty sweet hand-me-downs, I always enjoyed the prospect of something special to be found.
There were times however; my family actually did some thinning out of their own.  It was usually an event that was tried to have been carried out in secrecy. But inevitably, children see what is going on and intervene, objecting to the choices of designated things to let another enjoy, or depending on how old and disgusting, to the trash bin.
“But I love that toy”!” one of us might cry out.
“You haven’t played with it for years,” replies reasonable parent.
“Well I would have if I wouldn’t have forgotten about it.” On and on it goes.
So many toys. So many things. Most all of them gifts. Christmas. Birthdays.
Most from grandparents. The loudest and most annoying from uncles and brothers…
We engage in the purging of the playthings for at least two reasons.
  1. Just to manage mess.
  2. To teach a detachment from gifted gadgets.
Many things break and wear out and get lost. And even if they remain, we outgrow them in the end. That little plastic triceratops dinosaur figurine from 1993 that captivated us so long ago is just merely an afterthought. The thing that captivated you as an infant will just collect dust.
So it goes with the old happy meal toys, stuffed bears, and old clothing or even that really cool Nintendo video game you just had to have as a teenager…
But in the meantime, I think the greater teaching point can be summarized in this mantra or phrase:
“Toys are tools”
“Toys are tools for playing with people.”
It is not toys themselves that are important. People are important. Toys are just tools that help you play with your brothers and sisters and friends.
When toys are more important than people, then the toys become tyrant.
Division results instead of unity.
Discord instead of friendship.
Selfishness instead of sharing.
Conflict instead of community.
It’s not just kids. But Corinth.
Not just children. But the Church.
Paul is amazed and thankful that God has given so many gifts to the Church in Corinth. Such a fullness of spiritual gifts.
“Not lacking in anything,” he says. Gifts of knowledge of eloquence, of faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, various abilities in languages …on and on.
Paul exclaimed, “Already you have all you want.” “Already, you have become rich!”
On the contrary, Paul and the other apostles remain destitute, suffering.
The church in Corinth is like a child of a millionaire father, who dotes on her, giving her whatever she would ever need or want, much like the characters Veruca Salt and her father from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
The people of Corinth had become bad eggs. They start to boast and brag. The puff themselves up, and push others down. They withhold and they hold over.
Earlier in his letter, Paul addressed them saying, “I can only regard you as infants, because children claim gifts as their own…I fed you with milk and not solid food for you are not ready for it!”
Like children, they claim their gifts for their own:
Happy with their own pile of spiritual gifts and gizmos they say those who have less, “I have no need of you.”
Corinth embodies the bumper sticker that says, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”
Of course, there is nothing in common with them and the church today.
Hardly ever do we hoard the treasures God has given us at the expense of others in the body of Christ. We all play nice.
So what does Paul say to all of this?
“Enough! You have shown me all these gifts, but even more so, all these divisions.”
“Let me show you a more excellent way…”
“There is one gift that you cannot hoard.”
“There is one gift that cannot be abused as the others.”
“It will not break, it will not wear out, but it continually lasts.”
It’s love.
And love never ends.
Love is greater than even faith and hope. And do you know why? It’s because love does not end. It lasts through eternity when our object of faith and hope is seen face to face.
Love is not this common, squishy sentimental thing you hear of at wedding sermons, or during slow dances.
No. More is happening.
Love is what conquers even death itself. You see it at its strongest in the tear-filled face of an elderly woman as she sees her husband lowered down into his casket, knowing that this is not the end.
And you see love at its strongest in Christ as He makes his way up a hill and is raised up on a cross.
And do you know what? This eternal, inexhaustible gift of love is already here with you.
Baptized into Christ, love is embodied into His body, the Church.
And though we’ve been given many other gifts, its love that binds them all together.
Love makes toys tools.
Love makes things tools.
And love makes gifts of the Spirit, instruments to care about another.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up those childish ways.”
In many ways, as we await our Lord’s return, we are still children. But even a child can love.
As another apostle wrote so well, “Little children, love one another.”
If you still want to know what love is and how love is supposed to feel look no further than Christ.
God is love.
Therefore, let’s think of it this way:
Jesus is patient and kind.
Jesus does not envy or boast.
Jesus is not arrogant or rude.
Jesus does not insist on His own way.
Jesus is not irritable or resentful.
Jesus does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but Jesus rejoices with the truth.
Jesus bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Jesus never ends.

(Submitted with thanks to Rev Erik Herrmann)

<![CDATA[Why I'm Glad My Church Needs Money]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:17:59 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/im-gladyAt the start of this New Year, I’d like to share a few words that hopefully will keep Christ Lutheran’s mission and purpose in mind. Christmas no doubt may have left some of us wondering why we spent so much money, or sad that we didn’t have much. January’s tax season looms ahead. But when churches have a good reason, I’m glad we will always need money and the support of members like you.  Here at Christ, we will never ask for more than what you offer to make our church function, but we do ask that you continue to make your presence with us felt.
Glad Tidings this New Year,
Pastor Aaron Boerst
I’m Glad My Church Needs Money!
By: Don Linscott
“I wish we didn’t talk so much about money,” is a comment I have often heard while working with churches to raise funds for their important purposes.  I understand the sentiment but hold an opposing viewpoint.  In fact, I hope my church always needs money.  Here is why:
My son, Lance, was born before it became acceptable for the father to be present in the delivery room.  (A fact for which I have always been grateful!)  I waited in the hallway just outside the delivery room.  At precisely 4:13 p.m., I heard the unmistakable cry of a newborn baby, Lance’s first sound.  The nurse emerged with a smile and said, “You have a baby boy.”  Only a new father can know the wonder of those words!
The wonderful glow of fatherhood was soon dimmed, however, when I was asked to visit the business office of the hospital.  They wanted me to pay for Lance!  In fact, it seemed to me that my child might be held hostage until the hospital bill was settled.
I wrote the check paying all the expenses in full, freed my family, and we made our escape. That check turned out to be only the first of hundreds, maybe thousands, I would write on Lance’s behalf.  Children are expensive.  There was formula and food to buy.  Doctor visits and vaccinations assaulted my banking account.  Diapers and toys took their toll.  And clothes were a constant drain.  Just when he would get a good wardrobe, he would grow a smidgen and we would have to start all over.
As Lance’s age and size increased so did the expenses.  Soon it was baseball gloves, Nike shoes and uniforms.  Then he needed glasses for his eyes and braces for his teeth.  And then, disaster struck.   Lance became a teenager!  Now it was cars, electronic gadgets, and cool clothes.
Then came college.  Lance had always, and only, wanted to be an architect.  To me it seemed he would be in school until he was forty‑two years old.  Expenses soared!  Tuition, books, and drawing tools led the long list of essential expenditures.
But, of course, just like loving fathers everywhere, I was happy to be able to help him and I did all I could to support his growth and his dreams.  I never thought of these expenses as “sacrifice.”  I was his Daddy and was prepared to give everything possible toward his life and dreams.
And then, one day, Lance died.
On a bright, beautiful, and horrible Halloween Day, twenty-one-year-old Lance was buried in his church’s little country cemetery.  That afternoon I walked away from his grave and since that day, I have never spent another nickel on Lance.
That is how I learned it. Death is cheap.  Death can be sustained without expense.  It is living that is costly.  It is growth that is expensive.  Our dreams, visions, and hopes require resources.  Death doesn’t!  And that is why I am glad my church needs money.  A living, growing, thriving church will always require the continual, consistent, and conscientious financial support of its members.  And that’s the church I want to belong to.
Don Linscott, for over twenty-five years I have been helping churches raise funds for causes they care about.  It has been his privilege to work with some of the finest churches in America, small and large.  He has met exceptional people and witnessed remarkable stories of transformation and generosity.

<![CDATA[New Building for Christ?]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:13:30 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/new-building-for-christAs has been announced previously, the Church Council did create a Building Committee to explore building options.  This has been a long time coming, beginning even before Pastor Reaman left. 
You will recall that while Pastor Reaman was serving us, we looked at the former church on Church Street. At that time the cost of repairs was prohibitive.
Then while Pastor Wenk was serving us as an interim, we had drawings done of remodeling our current building.  The remodeling price tag was hefty and we still wouldn’t have solved our parking problem.
Then just recently, once again the building on Church Street became available and we again considered it.  Even though the last owners had invested considerable funds in the building, it still was a money pit.  The Church Council even evaluated demolishing the building and rebuilding on that site, but taking a two-story and flattening it out to a one story left the footprint again too small for parking requirements.
So, we were back at the drawing board.  Our current building still has major issues facing it even with the new siding.  The flat roof and the peaked roof are both going to need replacing, the stairs continue to create an obstacle, the sanctuary isn’t large enough to accommodate weddings or funerals, there isn’t a narthex for fellowship before and after services and the price tag to address these issues keeps growing and growing. 
Therefore, the Council decided it was time to explore other options thus the creation of a Building Committee.  Their assigned task is to explore options and the feasibility of those options.
Currently members of the Building Committee are meeting with various landowners and inquiring about the possibility of donating land (for the tax benefits) to our church.  The Committee realizes that we must have land donated in order to proceed further on the building option.
Secondly, members of the Committee are exploring the financial aspects.  Our current property is valued at $250,000, this has been reported at Voters Meetings and is still accurate.  In speaking with Pastor Thiele of Lutheran Church Extension Fund, our current monthly loan payment would cover principle of $100,000.  We currently owe about $15,000 on our LCEF loan.  So there appears to be financial resources that we have available to us.
So, if it is in God’s Plan to bring this all together, the Building Committee wanted to ask your input on some basic questions.  We would all welcome and appreciate your prayers.
In Christ’s care,
Anna Maenner, Christ Lutheran Building Committee
<![CDATA[Journeys of Faith]]>Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:05:27 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/journeys-of-faithDear members and friends of Christ,
It is easy to have warm, happy, memories of Christmas. We reminisce of favorite memories, most often from our childhood. I have many great stories about Christmas, which I’d love to share, as I’m sure most of you do as well. One Christmas a few years ago for me was particularly special, even though it was simpler than most. But what I remember most about this one Christmas was me simply being thankful that I could drive home to be home for Christmas.
It is 508 miles from Concordia Seminary in St Louis, Missouri (where I prepared 4 years to be a pastor) to my parents’ home in Cecil, Wisconsin. During the two-week thanksgiving/deer hunting season break I had at home, my car decided to go off-roading. As I was driving home from Gillett (my high school town), I had my favorite country song playing a little too loud, and I was driving a little too fast, and it was the first snowfall of the year. The perfect ingredients for me to skid down a fifteen foot ditch into a recently chopped cornfield (about ten feet away from a telephone pole).
First snowfall.  I know how to drive in snow better than that. I’d been living in the city too long.
Thankfully, I was able to drive out, with my care “relatively” unscathed. (Thanks God). Turns out, I dented my fender, ripped up some of the undercarriage, dented a tire rim, ruined my bearings, and bent a steering arm. Mom let me drive her car back to St. Louis. For Christmas, my car got a make-over. (Thanks mom and dad).
It is 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph struggled to make that journey over mountainous terrain especially because Mary was “great with Child.” In a mystery that we can never fully explain or comprehend, God was making the journey from heaven to earth; God was making the journey with them in Mary’s womb. “And so it was that while they were there, the days were completed for Mary to deliver. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2: 6-7).
A difficult journey and a gift of love! Christmas is and always will be (for those who know) the celebration of our Heavenly Father’s gift to this lost world, of His very own Son, Jesus the Christ. “For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). It is Jesus the sinless Son of God who became “a man of sorrows and was acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). “He, Himself bore in His own body, our sins on that tree (the cross).” And yet that tree of terrifying death has become a tree of everlasting life to all those who pray, “Ah dearest Jesus holy child, make thee a bed soft, undefiled, within my heart that it may be, a quiet chamber kept for Thee.”
This really is the most amazing journey and the greatest gift of love ever given!
This Advent and Christmas season, we make that journey once again. The journey that lifts up our souls as our Savior comes down to us. Read the Christmas account in Luke, chapter two. While you’re at it, read the account in Matthew’s gospel. Notice all the historical detail that is given. This is no long, long ago, far, far away fairy tale. This is the most blessed reality. God came from heaven to save sinners! Jesus came into our world for us. Jesus came into our world, for you! So read the account.
Attend our Sunday Advent services, “Beautiful Savior, King of Creation” as we discover why the gift of Jesus is so much more important than we know. Attend our Wednesday Advent services, “God With Us”: An Old Testament Advent, which show how the prophecies Isaiah had of Jesus’ birth are still relevant today. This year, make the Christmas journey once more, and as you do, experience the wonderful love of God all over again! Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Wishing each of you a most blessed, safe, and Joyful Christmas, in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Pastor Aaron Boerst
<![CDATA[Biblical Misconceptions About Christmas]]>Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:03:47 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/biblical-misconceptions-about-christmasThe typical story we hear repeated is: “It’s about 2000 years ago, the evening of December 25. Mary rides into Bethlehem on a donkey, urgently needing to deliver her baby. Although it is an emergency, all the innkeepers turn them away. So they deliver baby Jesus in a stable. Then angels sing to the shepherds. Afterwards, they all join three kings with camels in worshipping the quiet, newborn.”
Was Jesus born in a stable? Or a barn? Or a cave? The Bible does not mention any of these three places in connection with Christ’s birth, only a manger. Scripture simply reports that they laid Jesus in a manger, (a feeding trough) because there was no room for him in the guest room. For “Inn,” the Greek word used in Scripture is kataluma, and can mean guest chamber, lodging place or inn. The only other time this word is used in the New Testament, it meant a large, furnished, upper room within a private house. We know this to be the room of the Last Supper. It is translated guest chamber, not inn (Mark 14: 14-15). According to Biblical archaeologists, Jesus was probably born in the house of relatives, but outside (under) the normal living and guest quarters. In Jesus’ day, animal sheds were typically attached to houses. In Palestine, a manger was not normally found in a separate stable; rather, it was in the main living room of a peasant house, where animals are brought in at night.
What about the angels? Sorry, no beautiful winged women. In a verse of the Christmas carol, “It Came upon a Midnight Clear,” we read that the angels song from “the cloven skies” with “peaceful wings unfurled.” Or in the carol “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” they are summoned to “Wing your flight o’er all the world.” The Bible speaks of angelic beings such as cherubim and seraphim as having wings (see Isaiah 6). However, what most people do not remember is that the specific use of the word “angel” (messenger) in scripture indicates that they do not have wings. Angels in the Bible never appear as cute, chubby infants. When angels do appear, they always appear in the form of full-grown men…and always strike fear into those who they visit! The archangel Michael had special charge of Israel as a nation. The angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and Mary.
Did baby Jesus cry? As the familiar line from “Away in a Manger” states, “The little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.” This picture presents a Jesus who apparently never cried as an infant—and perhaps never soiled his diapers or made a mess with his food. We must be careful about overemphasizing Jesus deity and underemphasizing his humanity. This is the heresy of “Docetism.” (The word Docetism is derived from the Greek dokeo, meaning, “appear; seem.” The docetic Christ seemed human but really was not.) As true God, Jesus cannot sin, but as true man, he has the capability to suffer, experience pain, and perhaps even get sick or cry. Being God, however, he may not have succumbed to though he those ailments, even could.
Did three kings riding camels come to Jesus’ birth? Scripture does not say that any kings or camels visited young Jesus. In the Gospel according to Matthew, it does report wise men “magi” came, but it does not say how many.  None of the Early Church Fathers suggested the magi were kings. Since the word “magi” used is Scripture is plural, there were apparently at least two, and there could have been several more. The Bible simply mentions three costly gifts they presented—gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but this does not necessarily indicate the number of magi. There is an Armenian tradition, identifying the "Magi of Bethlehem" as Balthasar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India. However, there no proof of what country the magi came from, except that they came from the East (The traditional origin of these three figures is based on where these gifts are found in abundance). Also, the wise men clearly did not arrive to see Jesus until sometime after Christ’s presentation in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2: 22-39). At this time, Scripture calls Jesus a “child,” not an “infant.” It is possible that little Jesus was walking and talking by then. While traditional nativity scenes depict three "kings" visiting the infant Jesus on the night of his birth, in a manger accompanied by the shepherds and angels, the Biblical account simply presents an unnumbered party of unnamed "wise men" visiting much later after his birth, with Jesus described not as a babe but a child, and residing in a house, not a stable, with only "his mother" present. Based on the calculations of King Herod and the magi (Matthew 2:16), Jesus could have been two years old or under. The visit of the Magi is commemorated in most Christian churches by the observance of Epiphany, 6 January.
Was Jesus born on December 25 or in December at all? Although it is not impossible, it seems highly unlikely. The Bible does not specify a date or month. One problem with December is that it would be unusual for shepherds to be “abiding in the field” (Luke 2:8) at this cold time of year when fields were unproductive. The normal practice was to keep the flocks in the fields from Spring to Autumn. Also, winter would likely be an especially difficult time for pregnant Mary to travel the long distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem (70 miles). A more probable time would be late September, the time of the annual Feast of Tabernacles, when such travel was commonly accepted. Thus, it is rather commonly believed that Jesus’ birth was around the last of September. The conception of Christ, and the angelic visitation to Mary, however, may have taken place in late December of the previous year. Our Christmas celebration may well be recognized as an honored observation of the incarnation of the “Word made flesh” (John 1:14). (The word “Christmas” means “Christ Mass,” a special celebration of the Lords Supper—called a Mass in the Roman Catholic Church).
Why do Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25, if that is not when he was born? The date was chosen by the Roman Catholic Church. Because Rome dominated most of the Christian world for centuries, the date became tradition throughout most of Christendom. The original significance of December 25 is that it was a well-known pagan festival day celebrating the annual return of the sun. December 21 is the winter solstice (shortest day of the year), and December 25 is the first day that ancients could clearly note that the days of sunlight were definitely getting longer. Since no one knows the day of Christ’s birth, the Roman Catholic Church felt free to choose this date and wished to replace the pagan festival with a Christian holy day (holiday).
Despite human misconceptions, the facts about Jesus are more marvelous than words can express. He was indeed born of a virgin (prophesied by Isaiah 7:14), in the city of Bethlehem (exactly as prophesied by Micah 5: 2-5). Jesus was conceived in Mary, not by man, but by the Holy Spirit of God (Luke 1:35). As the apostle John reveals, Jesus existed before the Creation of the world (John 1). He is part of the Holy Trinity we know of as God (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) (Philippians 2:6-11). The Son of God came into human form for a purpose—to die as a willing (and only true) sacrifice in payment for the sins of humanity…for your sins—to win victory over death, and the power of evil…to win victory for you!
Pastor Aaron Boerst
<![CDATA[Eight Gifts That Don't Cost A Cent]]>Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:02:41 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/eight-gifts-that-dont-cost-a-centThe Gift of Listening: But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.
The Gift of Affection: Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
The Gift of Laughter: Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”
The Gift of a Written Note: It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
The Gift of a Compliment: A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.
The Gift of a Favor: Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.
The Gift of Solitude: There are times when we want nothing more than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
The Gift of Cheerful Disposition: The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really, it’s not that hard to say “Hello” or “Thank You.”
<![CDATA[Significant Thanksgiving Dates]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 01:51:28 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/significant-thanksgiving-datesFirst Recognized Thanksgiving Celebration for the Pilgrim colonists in America:
November 1621
Why did the Pilgrims come to the colonies in America?
 To flee religious persecution, find a new home where they could freely practice their faith; gain prosperity and land ownership in the New World.
How many colonists were on the first ship, The Mayflower?
102 passengers
What groups of people attended the celebration?
53 Plymouth colonists, 90 Wampanoag Indians; Chief Massasoit
What did they eat in their Thanksgiving feast?
Swans, geese, duck, shellfish, lobster, pumpkin, deer, corn.
When was the first national day of Thanksgiving held in the United States?
In 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
When did Thanksgiving become an annually recognized national holiday?
1863, at the height of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that all Americans ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year.
What was the driving force behind the selection of the current date for Thanksgiving?
 In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. But when met with opposition in 1941, the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.
<![CDATA[All Saints]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 01:49:32 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/all-saintsThe origin of the festival of All Saints celebrated in the West dates to 609 or 610, when Pope Boniface IV of the Roman Catholic Church consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to all martyrs. The feast associated has been celebrated in Rome ever since.
The festival was retained after the Reformation in the calendar of the Lutheran Church and now assumes a role of general commemoration of the dead and of loved ones. In many Lutheran churches, because All Saints Day follows Halloween, (All Hallows Eve; All Saints Eve), it is moved to the first Sunday of November to be recognized. Protestants generally regard all true Christian believers as saints on earth, as we are simultaneously saint/sinner. Simul iustus et peccator:  It’s a Latin phrase that means, “at the same time sinner and saint.”  This description of the Christian life can be used to wiggle out of lots of those “why” questions.  Why did that church treasurer abscond with the money?  Saints can be sinners. Why did the Sunday School teacher curse out the six year olds?  Saints can be sinners. Why did we see our pastor at the pub last Friday with a third beer?  (Yes, they do count.) Saints can be sinners.
Yes, we are simultaneously saint/sinner each day we live in God’s grace despite our sin, but observe All Saints Day to remember and give thanks for all Christians both past and present who have been eternally sainted with Christ. We remember all saints November 1.
<![CDATA[Thanks]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 01:47:50 GMThttp://christlutheranlakemills.org/newsletters--blogs/thanksThe month of November brings with it many exciting things, including a year’s end harvest for farmers, deer hunting season, and most notably, the national holiday of Thanksgiving. Even though the holiday’s roots surrounded the religious freedom of the Pilgrims of our nation, Thanksgiving today is not associated with a specific religious observance. However, you and I know we have many things (good and bad) for which we can thank God.
Although not a holiday directly associated with the Church, we can faithfully observe the goodness that Thanksgiving first represented and give thanks to God, who has provided all that we have out of his divine goodness and mercy. In fact, one of the words for Holy Communion is the “Eucharist,” which means “thanksgiving.” It is in the Eucharist that we hear these words: Hoc est corpus meum:  “This is my body.”  You may be surprised that this Latin phrase, used in the ancient Roman Catholic church, is the origin of the phrase “Hocus Pocus”—which is what peasants heard when they couldn’t understand Latin, and which is what peasants thought was magically happening when bread and wine were consecrated.
As we see trees lose their leaves and plants go into dormancy, take some time to see all that you have gained in this past year, and what you will gain this year ahead (and no, I’m not talking about gaining weight!). Give thanks that Christ has entered into our decaying world and is our source of daily renewal. It is this renewal - which we enjoy in baptism -  that we can all look forward to when Christ returns not only in spirit, but body, to restore our world and restore our bodies to eternal life. Therefore, in this month of November, we can join those who have faithfully departed this world to be with Christ, those saints whom we remember on “All Saints Day” (Nov. 1). We can join them in our plea, “Come, Lord Jesus.” It is this plea that we will hear echoing in our lives and in the season of Advent.
Thankful for you,
Pastor Aaron Boerst
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1: 3-6