Christians sometimes wish for things, but we know something better than wishing.
Advent is a season of hope. Although the watching and waiting builds into our hearts anticipation, hope itself is more about expectation. Hope is as clear-eyed in its observation as it is wide-eyed in its anticipation. Hope doesn't so much beg for answers as it brings affirmation of a God who is coming, has come, still comes, and will come again. Hope isn't potential or possible. According to the following words of Psalm 130 hope is real. And we all need that.
"Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy." The depths of despair cannot mute hope's desperate cry to the Lord for his mercy. Neither a mile of neglect nor a mountain of fear can turn the Lord away from being attentive. He hears. He notices. You are not alone. Salvation comes, in the form of the Lord himself. Advent allows you to expect that your merciful God doesn't want to be distant from you, no matter what you've done, but wants to come. Come near. Come close. Come in person, in Christ, God with us, Immanuel, available, attainable, reachable.
"If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared." We can hide our sins from our friends and deny our sins in public like some politicians. We can even convince ourselves that what we've done (or not done), what we're doing (or not doing) isn't all that bad. But God knows everything, watches everything, and grieves when we sin. If God were to track our sinful moments and mistakes on a ledger, an Excel spreadsheet, or a database and present them as evidence against us, we wouldn't stand a chance. Except, the Bible doesn't present our God as an accountant, but a loving Father. The basis for his relationship with sinners isn't math but mercy. Love decides not to keep score, but pardons you from punishment already paid by the Lamb of God
"I can't wait for Christmas! I can't wait for Christmas!" MaryBeth reminded her parents, ripping open the boxes of Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving weekend as if it would make December 25 come a few weeks early. Usually when we say we can't wait for something, it means we must wait but don't want to. The waiting of Advent, like much of our other waiting, is a noble suffering that is good for us. It can teach patience. It demands perseverance. It prompts hope in what we can't control but can enjoy-the saving work of God.
Christmas, they say, is a season when wishes come true. Ha, we only wish that were true. We could make a long list of wishes unfulfilled. Christians sometimes wish for things, and that's okay, but we know something better than wishing. We know hope.
When you wish, you wish for something, not sure if it might happen. When you hope, you hope in something you already know is true.
"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:24).
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken" (Psalm 62:5,6).
"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength" (Isaiah 40:31).
"Hope does not disappoint us" (Romans 5:5).
PRAYER: "You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long" (Psalm 25:5). Amen.
Grace Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, WI
Video Services & Bible Studies
Earlier Videos are on this page
Luke 19 Bible Study
Isaiah 5 Devotion
Political Part 1 Bible Study
Matthew 21:33-43 Devotion
Worship Sunday October 25th
Philippians 4 Devotion
Political Part 2 Bible Study
Matthew 22:1-14 Devotion
Worship Sunday November 1st
Galatians 5 Devotion
Hostile Environment Bible Study
Matthew 10 Devotion
Worship Sunday November 8th
Romans 13 Devotion
Hostile Environment Part 2 Study
Ecclesiastes 3 Devotion
Worship Sunday November 15th
Matthew 25 Devotion
Hostile Environment Part 3 Study
Isaiah 52 Devotion
Worship Sunday November 22nd
Ezekiel 34 Devotion
Thanksgiving Worship November 25th
1 Corinthians 15 Devotion
Worship Sunday November 29th
We will continue our current practices of worship, Bible Study, and Lord's Supper distribution as is for the
Worship: Anyone who is not feeling well, is in a higher risk
category, or just is not ready to gather in groups, please stay home and worship with us on Facebook and YouTube.
Please RSVP if you're attending in person, so we can plan accordingly. Remember that we are strongly encouraging masks be worn on the way in and on the way out of worship; once you are seated, you are welcome to remove your mask if you choose. Please continue to social distance with those not in your family as you are seated in your rows. Limit close up conversations in the narthex. We have been doing well and want to stay on that path.
Special Communion for those not able to attend in person.
We want to provide every opportunity for our congregation family to receive God's word and sacrament. Online worship is not ideal, and is not intended to be a replacement for gathering as a church family for worship. Word and Sacrament is vital to our spiritual health.
We do realize that circumstances right now are not safe for everyone to return to in person worship. But we do want to provide a way to receive the Sacrament. Therefore we are scheduling a series of private communion services for those not attending in person. This is similar to the schedule we planned last spring when we were online only. Here is the link with the schedule.
Your elder should be contacting you in the next few days to assist you in scheduling a time. If coming to church for this does not work for you, I am very willing to come to your homes, if you are comfortable with that. God's peace to you in Jesus.
STUDIES IN GOD'S WORD
God continues to give us opportunities to join in studying his word.
Our Tuesday class meets at church
As we gather each Sunday as a church family, our goal is always to give honor and glory to our Lord and Savior. When we re-started in person worship in May, we limited the time and exposure with no Sunday morning Sunday School or Bible Study, and worship that limited singing.
As we continue to gather we are cautiously beginning to expand some of our regular ministry activities.
Here are the guidelines for our return to Sunday morning Bible Study:
1. We will meet in the sanctuary for a half hour Bible Study. Our start time will be 9:45 AM and we will conclude by 10:15 AM - we will continue using the Very Important Chapter Bible Study series.
2. This will be a family Bible Study. You are welcome to bring your children with you. Children's Sunday School remains virtual lessons.
3. Everyone will follow the same guidelines as we do for worship - enter and exit with masks. You may remove your masks once you are in your seat. Social distance guidelines will continue - every other row, two seats between families.
4. All who attend Bible Study will sit in the same seats for worship - no exceptions.
5. Limit your interaction in between Bible Study and worship - masks and social distancing please!
The number of COVID cases statewide and nationwide continues to be a concern. A number of our churches and schools have had to scale back to online only worship and instruction as a result of outbreaks. We do not want to be one of them.
Tuesday mornings at 9:00 AM
- we are beginning a study of the gospel of Luke.
Our Wednesday Bible Study will resume after Christmas.
It meets Wednesday at 6:00 PM via Zoom
The recorded Bible Study is also
available on our YouTube and Facebook pages, in case you are
unable to join us live.
We pray that God continues to bless your study of his word.
DRIVE BY CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS
We will not have our regular Christmas for Kids this year.
But we will have a 'drive by' Christmas for Kids on Saturday
December 19. We will be putting together kits for families with crafts and lessons for Christmas. If you would like to help with
preparation and/or distribution the day of, please contact Pearl Brooks.
Sermons are Live on Facebook
Sermons each Sunday are on facebook, share with a friend!
Here is the Lamb of God youtube channel page.
We will continue our online worship services exclusively
for the next several weeks until we have another update.
RSVP if you plan to attend the Lord's Supper.
Your RSVP helps us to plan better.
That request applies each week for service also please.
We want to ensure your safety as you come into God's house.
Private communion at church is available for any of our LOG family.
Please text or email me for a time for your family, if you wish.
Pastor Duane Schmeichel
CHILD SIZE MASKS
If you would like a mask to fit your child, please contact
Maggie Peebles. She will custom make them.
Foster Closet for Christmas Gifts
We have the opportunity to help the Foster Closet
again this year. They are collecting toys and gift cards for
the children in the Foster program.
The coordinator has put out a wish list from Amazon.
Here is the link. https://a.co/eCxWTZV
This will help with ideas of what to buy.
This year we only have a short window to get the toys in.
They have to be delivered by November 30th.
The last day to drop off at church is November 29th
Look for the box in the narthex
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
Moved by God’s love in Christ, we offer him our first and best gifts,
purely out of thanks to him.
During this time of online worship, please return your gifts to the
Lord in one of the following ways:
1. Drop off your offering at church during our normal office
2. Mail your offering to the church address.
3. Set up your bank bill pay to send your offering.
4. Use our new online giving option. Click here and follow the
You can search online anytime to see what is in our library collection!
Here's the link or you can click on the Church Library link from
this LOG Website. About to buy that book from amazon.com or make a trip to the public library? Wait...check our church library first!
We might have it! We now have 186 titles plus 21 DVD's in our collection.
If you have a special birthday or anniversary coming up and you would like to donate a book to the church library in honor
of a special event or person, please see Gwen Smith at church or
you can e-mail me at email@example.com
or call me at 256-506-1024.
To God be the Glory!
Free Items for College Students--
While you sign up for classes and possibly attend orientation on
campus, also think about signing up for your course material in spiritual education.
The perk: no homework, tests, or papers!
Sign up to get both Forward in Christ magazine and Meditations,
a book of daily devotions, mailed to you free.
When you sign up, you will also be able to get other free,
helpful information from WELS Campus Ministry.
Bible Reading on the Go!
Would you like a free app for your iphone or ipad for bible reading?
The Bible Gateway Bible App offers many wonderful ways to
experience Bible reading and Bible study, including:
More than 90 different Bible translations, including NIV. Easy-to-use
and reliable Bible search, both online and offline. Daily Bible verse
in the translation of your choice Daily Bible reading plans Bible audio in a number of different translations and styles.
Here is the link to get it at itunes
Lamb of God Coming Events
LAMB OF GOD LUTHERAN CHURCH
Tuesday 12/1 Bible Study 9 AM
Wednesday 12/2 Advent Service 7 PM
Confirmation Class 4 PM
Sunday 12/6 Worship 10:30 AM @LOG and on Facebook LIVE
PASTOR DUANE SCHMEICHEL
11716 COUNTY LINE RD
Madison, AL 256-929-2482