PARISH NEWS & VIEWS - MARCH 2018
Over the last two months, we’ve taken a very brief look at the 10 Commandments. We’ve seen how they can be misread as a list requiring some sort of action on our part. What we often fail to see is that they reveal God’s nature and characteristics to us. In addition to this, it also serves as a reminder that we will never be able to live up to God’s standard perfectly. James 2:10 very clearly states that if we break one of God’s commands, we’re guilty of breaking all of them. This may cause us to be confused or even angry – why did God give us the Law if He knew we’d never be able to keep it? That seems a bit unfair. To put it simply, the Law exists to accuse us of how we’ve fallen short. It reminds us that we need someone who is guiltless and compassionate enough to save us from God’s just punishment. The Law points us to Christ which helps us better understand Matthew 5:17-28 when Jesus says that He has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.
Luther taught that the Law had three main uses, illustrated by a curb, a mirror, and a guide. These metaphors are helpful when we consider the function of each in light of understanding God’s Law.
The Curb – We’ve all driven enough in towns and cities to know what function a curb serves. It gives us the limits of the road. Curbs give us a clear mark for where we can drive. Life is good so long as we stay in bounds; go over the curb and you’re in for a bit of chaos. On this point, Luther writes that the Law is established to help keep order in the world and to help maintain a standard for everyone to live by.
The Mirror – Chances are favorable that you walk past at least one mirror or some kind of reflective surface every day. They help us get ready in the morning and they show us if we have anything stuck between our teeth. Mirrors reflect back things we may not have seen or realized on our own. This was mentioned before when we bring this to view God’s commands – it shows us our imperfections, shortcomings, and flaws. God’s Law shows us that we’re a mess by revealing sin in our lives we may not have admitted or known about otherwise.
The Guide – Think of this third use of the Law like a map. Maps show us how to get from Point A to Point B. They show us obstacles (like trees, lakes, and rivers) and other things that help us along the way (like which way is North, mileage between cities, and where the interstate is). As a guide, God’s Law shows us how life works best. The Christian, knowing their final destination, is able to use God’s Law to help them avoid places and circumstances which may hinder them on their journey.
I’ll continue saying it: I love studying the 10 Commandments. The more you study God’s Law, the purpose for which He gave it, and its usefulness to us as believers, the more you realize that God is not out to “get us.” He has not left us to wallow in our sins or resigned us to an eternity separated from Him. Instead, He gave us the Law so that we may be brought back into fellowship with Him. Many of you have heard that Pastor Brett Boe is a co-host on a podcast called Being Lutheran (podcasts are like downloadable radio programs). In multiple episodes, there is a line they say on more than one occasion which is applicable to us here as we wrap up our study on the 10 Commandments: “The Law always accuses, but in Christ, the Law no longer condemns.” Continue to confess your sin before God and know that Christ has paid the penalty for all your sins by dying on the cross.
Preaching Rotation & Worship Texts
Zion-Sarpsborg (9:00) – Pr.Dan, Ezra 3:7-13
Tordenskjold (10:30 ) – Pr. Dan, Ezra 3:7-13
Kvam (10:30) – Pr. Mark, Ezra 7:11-28
March 11 – Conclusions on Ezra/Nehemiah
Zion-Sarpsborg (9:00) – Pr. Mark
Tordenskjold (10:30 ) - Pr. Mark
Kvam (10:30) - Pr. Dan
Zion-Sarpsborg (9:00) – Pr. Dan
Tordenskjold (10:30 ) - Pr. Dan
Kvam (10:30) – Pr. Mark
Palm Sunday Parish Worship @ Zion-Sarps. 10:30 Guest: Rev.Lyndon Korhonen, President, AFLC
Nov. 8, 1932 – Feb. 19, 2018
Bible Study Opportunities
Women of the parish are invited to Tordenskjold on Tuesdays at 4:30 p .m. for a four week study, “Loving Well” by Beth Moore. The lessons will encourage us to evaluate how we love others as followers of Christ and centers around I John 4:7-19.
Following the study will be a Women’s Choir Rehearsal. If you have any questions, contact Marlene Halvorson at 701-541-2905.
A men’s study continues each Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. at the Quik Stop in Underwood. You are welcome to come and take part in this time of fellowship.
There is also a men’s study each Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Check the Sunday bulletins for the location each week.
Zion-Sarpsborg WMF meets the first Thursday of each month and includes a Bible study; all women are welcome!
Our Wednesday evening Lenten service schedule for March:
5:30 p.m. – Supper at Zion-Sarpsborg
6:15 p.m. – Parish Lenten service at Zion-Sarpsborg
5:30 p.m. – Supper at Tordenskjold
6:15 p.m. – Parish Lenten service at Tordenskjold
5:30 p.m. – Supper at Kvam
6:15 p.m. – Parish Lenten service at Kvam
Rev. Lyndon Korhonen, President of the AFLC will bring the message at our Parish Palm Sunday worship on March 25 at 10:30 a.m. The Sunday Schools will be singing at the service. Following the service will be a fellowship dinner.
Maundy Thursday Communion March 29
1:30 p.m. at Zion-Sarpsborg
7:00 p.m. at Tordenskjold
Good Friday Worship – March 30
Parish Worship at Zion-Sarps., 7 p.m.
Easter – April 1
7:00 a.m. – Sunrise service at Tordenskjold
8:00 a.m. – Easter breakfast at Tordenskjold, served by youth
9:30 a.m. – Easter worship at Kvam
9:30 a.m. – Easter worship at Zion-Sarpsborg
You are encouraged to bring an Easter Lily/plant for the altar of your church on Easter. If you are placing a plant in memory of a loved one, please have that information to the parish office by Wednesday, March 28.
The mission of The Gideons International is to win the lost for Christ through the distribution of Bibles and New Testaments. The Gideons have placed or distributed more than 2 billion Bibles and New Testaments in 200 countries around the world so far. Having God’s Word can lead people to faith in Christ.
On Sunday, March 18, a representative of the Gideons will be at each of our worship services. There will be an “Open Bible Offering” for their ministry. Thank you for sharing for the work of the Gideons!
Kvam 150th Anniversary
Kvam will be celebrating 150 years of ministry on July 15! We are needing pictures from past years that could be included in the anniversary book and commemorative slide show. If you have any to share, please pass them along to Betty Jo Decker, Kollyn Malecha, or the parish office. Be sure to put your name on the photos so they can be returned to you.
We are excited for our Confirmation students that will be confirmed in May. God has been at work in our classes throughout the past two years and we ask that you would pray for and encourage our students in their walk with the Lord. This is a very special time in their lives as they confirm their faith in Jesus Christ and humbly vow to live for Him.
Tordenskjold: May 3, 10:30 a.m.
Kvam: May 13, 9:00 a.m.
Jars For Jesus
Bring your Jars for Jesus to Sunday School on March 18 when we will count your donations! Part of the gifts will be given to the AFLC Youth Ministries and the Sunday Schools will determine where the remaining donations will be given.
The Confirmation Retreat is coming on March 9-11. We will be leaving Dalton by 6:30pm on Friday. The retreat ends at 11:00am on Sunday. Check the FLY Facebook Group for more information and announcements.
We'll be having a Family Game Night at Zion-Sarpsborg on March 18th at 6:45pm. Bring a snack, your favorite game to play, and your friends!
Daylight Savings time begins March 11 – Remember to set your clocks one hour ahead!
Worship times change in April. Kvam worship will be at 9:00 a.m. and Tordenskjold and Zion-Sarpsborg worship will be at 10:30 a.m.