Sermon April 30, 2017: “The Abiding Guest.”

April 30, 2017                                                                        Text:  Luke 24:13-35

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

What kind of a guest are you?  If you stay a day or two or more with family or friends are you the kind of guest they want to invite back?  Or are you like me who needs my space and after about 24-36 hours I just want to be home?  There is an expression that says, “After three days, company is like an old, dirty shirt.”  Houseguests can easily wear out their welcome.  Nice to have company but also nice when they leave.

The disciples entertained an unusual guest in today’s Gospel, one whose presence may not wear out as quickly as an old, dirty shirt.

“THE ABIDING GUEST”

In the beginning of our text the disciples mistake Jesus for a guest and visitor to Jerusalem.  “Their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” (v. 16)  They even treat him as an ignorant guest.  “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”  Even in the day of no cable news or instant messaging to not know what happened in Jerusalem would be like not knowing about 9/11 or the explosion of the space shuttle.  Some news is universal and a guy rising from the dead after crucifixion would certainly cause a Fox News Alert.

Jesus is getting a little irritating to these men.  He pulled their chain with, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” (v. 17)  “They stood still, looking sad.” (v. 17)  They had placed their whole hope in this “Jesus of Nazareth” as “the one to redeem Israel” (v. 21), but now that hope seemed dashed to pieces.

We all know about displaced aggression.  We get mad about something and take it out on a person that had nothing to do with what made us angry.  Jesus’ question didn’t warrant the strong reaction it received, but it had hit a sore spot, and it showed in their reaction.

Jesus was truly a guest of the disciples, but not as they perceived him.  He was hardly ignorant.  Although they do not know it yet, he is the very one who endured these things that have them so glum.  He knew the purpose of these things.  He was about to take them through a Bible study that would have their empty hearts bursting with hope.  Nor is He ignorant of the promise of God standing behind these things:  “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (v. 27)  And the risen Christ is hardly ignorant of the things that weigh us down, the idols that have failed us, the behaviors we are ashamed of and the irritants that we can be to others.

Jesus was only briefly irritating.  He hit a sore spot but it gave him opportunity to dress and heal it, as they would come to realize:  “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (v. 32)  Our sore spots burst open with his Law but it gives the Savior opportunity to heal it with the Gospel.

Christ is the guest from heaven.  “He acted as if he were going farther.” (v. 28)  With his redemptive work complete, he would be returning to the right hand of the Father.

Jesus is our abiding guest.  ”They urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is no far spent.’ So he went in to stay with them.” (v. 29)  They yearned for him to stay and it took no arm-twisting for him to abide with them.  Christ yearns for fellowship with those whom he in love has redeemed.

He abides with us, filling the Scriptures with himself.  “All the promises of God find their Yes in him.” (2 Cor. 1:20)  Without him, Scripture is a lifeless book of standards we can never attain.  Filled with him, the Scriptures contain eternal life.

He abides with us, making himself known to us “in the breaking of the bread” (v. 35), giving us his body and blood, the forgiveness of sins, fellowship with the Father, and a foretaste of the feast to come.  A host of hymns echo this theme of faith’s yearning for fellowship with our abiding guest, including our closing hymn.

Earthly house guests can quickly wear out their welcome, believe me I know, “when is that guy going to leave!”  But not this abiding guest.  Though heaven was his home, the risen Lord abides with us as our earthly guest through his Living Word and Holy Supper.

He fills our empty hearts with himself, and we are glad to make him our abiding guest.

Amen.

 

Bulletin Announcements

April 30, 2017

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  1 Peter 1:18-19:  “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”  We have been ransomed – bought back from the slavery into which we were born. We do not belong to ourselves, or to the devil, or to the world: we belong to Jesus. Therefore, we live our lives not in accordance with our own wisdom, but in line with God’s Word.

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m.  In conjunction with the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we are studying about that time period with “The Word Endures: Lessons From the Lives of Powerful Politicians”.

OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL meets at 9:15 a.m. in the Choir Room which is located on the 2nd level (the west side).

PASTOR’S SCHEDULE:  Pastor will be attending the District Pastor’s Conference in Champaign, tomorrow, May 1st.

NEXT SUNDAY, May 7th, Pastor and family will be worshipping at Hope Lutheran Church in Shawnee, Kansas, which is the congregation Pastor served before coming to Good Shepherd.  A Godchild of Pastor and Toni is being confirmed.  Reverend Joshua Theilen from Camp CILCA will be here to conduct worship and Bible Class.  He will share the work of Camp CILCA in Bible Class.  In conjunction with his visit, we will have a door offering after each service for the work of Camp CILCA.

CHURCH DIRECTORY:  There are updated copies of the Church Directory on the table in the narthex.  Please help yourself.

EASTER LILIES:  If you purchased an Easter Lily you may take it home with you today.

CHURCH PICTORIAL DIRECTORY:  “That rouge goes so well with your dress.”  “What a spectacular tie, it really brings out your eye color.”  The Church Pictorial Directory is Tuesday, May 23rd from 2-9:00 p.m. and Wednesday, May 24th, 2-9:00 p.m.  You can get your appointment online at: www.goodshepherdblm.org and follow the Lifetouch Directory link.  You may also sign-up here at church on Sunday mornings on the table in the narthex.  Please note: the computer sign-up will be disabled on Sunday mornings so we don’t cross-pollinate and schedule your pretty faces at the same time.

SEMINARIAN JACOB HERCAMP has received his call into the ministry at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Grange, MO.

FELLOWSHIP HOSTS:  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign-up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “The Abundant Life of Grace” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from John 10:1-10.  Don’t leave God’s grace behind!  We are still sheep who need the Good Shepherd.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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Sermon 4-23-2017: ‘The Most Despised Word in Every Language.”

April 23, 2017 Text: John 20:19-23

Dear Friends in Christ,

“Do you ever peche?” “Is peccato part of your life?” “Do you struggle with gunah?” “What did Jesus do with your dembi?” “When I dosa it really drags me down.” I have just shared with you the most despised word in every language. I did it in French, Italian, Turkish, Somali and Indonesian. Got a guess?
How about few more hints? Everybody says it: “We all make mistakes.” Everybody also says this: “Nobody’s perfect,” including a certain insurance commercial. But try to get Americans to say we constantly do this and you may have an argument. The word is – SIN! We all seem to know we are not perfect but nobody wants to admit that our imperfection – sin deserves God’s eternal punishment. Try that out at the next family dinner if you have relatives who believe that those who give it their best make it to heaven.
It’s still Sunday and it has been quite the day for our brothers and sisters who were alive on that first resurrection. We have a confrontation ready to take place between “poor miserable sinners who deserve God’s punishment” with the joy of Christ’s Resurrection. How can Easter overcome . . .
“THE MOST DESPISED WORD IN EVERY LANGUAGE?”
The boys. The gang. The merry men of misfits are together again. But what has brought them to one another? Fear. In a matter of moments they had abandoned their Savior. One denied him over and over. One hangs himself in shame. Finally, they are all hiding. Doors locked. It’s the way of the flesh, isn’t it?
Last Easter evening on TMC they had the 1953 movie, “The Robe” starring Richard Burton. He played a Roman soldier at the crucifixion that won the robe of Jesus. He eventually comes to believe in Jesus as Savior, the one whom he helped crucify. When I watched it reminded me that life didn’t just stop when this big event in history occurred. It’s like on Dec. 7, 1941 or 9-11, life still continued, people still went about their business.
The disciples were in the fraidy cat business, the boogeyman under the bed danced in their heads. Do you think they realized at that moment that they were “poor, miserable sinners?” It has a way of catching up with us, doesn’t it? We don’t like to admit our sin or the fact that we deserve nothing from God but His anger. But what it does to our heart is to make us “poor” and “miserable.”
“Intervention needed behind door #1 please!” “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’…the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” You know that feeling, don’t you? You see the headlights of your son or daughter’s car coming down the lane or into your driveway. The doctor comes in the room and declares all your tests came back clean. The job or finances come into your life right when you need them.
That’s the Lord’s doing, my friend. He is stepping into your locked door with his peace and presence. You have felt that, haven’t you?
But more than just his presence in your life, Jesus comes to where you are in your guilt and worry over sin. He removes the fear. Guilt taken away. Worry vanishes. The most despised word in every language is forgiven. The resurrected Christ stands before us. He loves and heals through giving Himself in Word and Sacrament.
What does Easter have to do with the most despised word in every language? Everything. As Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Cor. 15:14) And then this: “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15:17) You are still in your sins. The very resurrection of Christ is the on-going assurance that God declares us free from sin, though we are still sinful.
What we see unfolding today must not become lost on us. Jesus doesn’t enter this locked room and begin a therapy session, “Gather round and state your name.” He doesn’t institute a new command that the church must seek a new vision for its mission.
No! Christ enters. Absolves. And directs them to be about His business. “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” He was sent to pay for our sin and overcome the grave for us. We are sent to proclaim that truth to a sinful, dying world. People may very well tire of hearing about their sin but sadly they never tire of sinning. It is purely raw, human arrogance and self-righteousness that dreams of a substitute for the eternal Gospel entrusted to the church.
Sinners need a Savior. And that’s what we are given in Christ. That is the Gospel we are to proclaim. The most despised word in every language – sin – finally and thankfully directs us to the best news that can be shared: Forgiveness and eternal life through our resurrected Christ!
Amen.

Bulletin Announcements

April 23, 2017

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  1 Peter 1:3-4:  “He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”  We have an inheritance waiting for us – a treasure gathered where moth and rust do not destroy.  That should change our perspective on the treasures of this earth.  They are fleeting, they come and go.  But we can use the treasures of this earth for the work of the Kingdom that will not fade away.

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m.  In conjunction with the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we are studying about that time period with “The Word Endures: Lessons From the Lives of Powerful Politicians”.

OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL meets at 9:15 a.m. in the Choir Room which is located on the 2nd level (the west side).

TODAY is the deadline for items to be submitted for the MAY NEWSLETTER.  Mandy Kluender is our Editor for the church newsletter and any announcements you want to be published in the Newsletter should be submitted to her at mgkluender@hotmail.com or you may call her at (309) 838-9868.

NEXT SUNDAY, April 30th, is the 5th Sunday of the month so Holy Communion will be celebrated in both worship services.

EASTER LILIES:  If you purchased an Easter Lily you may take it home with you today.

THE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE DINNER AND TALK TIME is this Friday, April 28th, at 6:00 p.m.  We will be serving the meal at Wittenberg Lutheran Center.  We still need volunteers to sign-up to bring food.  The sign-up is on the table in the narthex.  If you cannot be there that evening but can still prepare a food item, please speak with Pastor or a member of the Evangelism/Stewardship group and we can make arrangements with you.

CHURCH PICTORIAL DIRECTORY:  “That rouge goes so well with your dress.”  “What a spectacular tie, it really brings out your eye color.”  The Church Pictorial Directory is Tuesday, May 23rd from 2-9:00 p.m. and Wednesday, May 24th, 2-9:00 p.m.  You can get your appointment online at: www.goodshepherdblm.org and follow the Lifetouch Directory link.  You may also sign-up here at church on Sunday mornings on the table in the narthex.  Please note: the computer sign-up will be disabled on Sunday mornings so we don’t cross-pollinate and schedule your pretty faces at the same time.

FELLOWSHIP HOSTS:  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign-up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Unadulterated Fact” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Acts 2:22-25.  The early believers knew two things to be true: Jesus performed miraculous works and He rose from the dead.  Reverend Dr. Ken Klaus is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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Easter Sermon, 4-16-2017: “Why Do You Look for the Living Among the Dead?”

April 16, 2017 – Easter                                                         Text:  Luke 24:4-8

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

Two summers ago we vacationed in North Carolina.  We rented an SUV and they gave us a larger one than we had requested with all the bells and whistles, including a touch screen GPS.  Now you need to understand I am a Rand McNally Atlas guy.  It’s simple and it doesn’t talk back to you.  On this trip we would occasionally use this new-fangled gizmo, but not well.  It would have an image of our vehicle driving through the grass or right off an exit ramp.  If we had followed this computer’s direction, we might not be here today.  We would be among the dead and not the living.

This morning, in God’s Word, we see a group of women looking for Jesus in a cemetery and an angel asking this ironic question . . .

“WHY DO YOU LOOK FOR THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD?”

These women were not confused.  They went to the last place anyone had seen Jesus, the tomb.  When we hear the angel’s question, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” the natural answer is “Where else would he be?”

These women had gotten up in love early that Sunday morning because they didn’t want to leave the body of Jesus in the tomb without proper burial preparations.  There were no funeral directors back then.  When they get there nothing is as they imagined.  There is no large stone to move, no Roman guards present, burial clothes on the ground and no body.  That is when two men in shining robes – two angels – appeared and said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!”

Do the words sound like a rebuke?  The angel thought the women should have known better than to come to the tomb looking for a dead Jesus.  Jesus had told his followers many times over and over that he was going to die and rise again.  They failed to grasp what he was saying.

Isn’t that you and I as well?  We’ve been wrong so many times in our lives, especially about spiritual things, that we can understand why the women didn’t grasp the promise.  After all, who comes back from the dead?  At this time in history, life was cheap.  Almost half of all children died before adulthood.  Sure they knew of Lazarus and others that Jesus had raised, but who would raise Jesus?  The point of those miracles was that Jesus had power over life and death.  They should have trusted the promise, but they didn’t.

Jesus says, “I will be with you always.”  Do we take that to heart in our day-to-day struggles?  Jesus says, “I will never give you more than you can handle.”  Do we ever question his promise?  Jesus tells us not to fear death.  Do we live in anticipation of this reality?  Do we look for the living among the dead?

What difference does it make if you look for a name on a mailbox or a tombstone?  Well, you will probably find names in both places, but you can only visit a friend in one of those places.  That is the point of the angels statement, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”  Someone might ask, “What difference does it make?”

It makes all the difference.  When our faith is weak and foolish, we look for Jesus in all the wrong places.  Where do we find the Savior?  We find him in the gospel.  We find him in the Word that is taught and preached.  We find him in our baptism, sins washed away.  We find him in Communion, where we receive the actual body and blood of the Lord.

In our sermons for Lent/Easter the theme has been “Ironies of the Passion.”  Things turning out differently than we would expect.  One of the great ironies of my lifetime is the life of Norma McCorvey.  She was Jane Roe of the famous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.  Do you know that her baby was never aborted?  That baby lived.  In the 1990’s Norma worked in an abortion clinic in Dallas.  In that same building was a pro-life clinic helping young women.  Norma met a young lady there who invited her to church and Norma became a Christian.  She fought the rest of her life to overturn the decision that involved her.

Madalyn Murray O’Hair was a famous atheist who fought to get prayer out of schools and founded the American Atheists organization.  Do you know that one her sons is a Christian?  The world would call these two situations – ironic.  I would call it the power of God as He works through His means.

That ultimate power is on display today – the tomb is empty!  He is not here.  He has risen just as he said he would.  No atlas or GPS will find his grave because it doesn’t exist.  Jesus is living and that means all our sins are wiped out and forgotten.  Jesus is living and that promises that we will live with him forever.  Jesus is living and we will see our loved ones who died in the faith again.

“Christ has triumphed, He is living!”  Then they remembered his words.  Blessed Easter!

Amen.

Bulletin Announcements

April 16, 2017

HE IS RISEN!  HE IS RISEN INDEED!

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:   John 20:16:  Jesus said to her, “Mary.”  Jesus is not only risen from the dead and the Victor over sin: He even calls us by name.  He still calls us His friends and brothers and means to bring us through death to join Him in His resurrection.  Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m.  In conjunction with the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we are studying about that time period with “The Word Endures: Lessons From the Lives of Powerful Politicians”.

OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL meets at 9:15 a.m. in the Choir Room which is located on the 2nd level (the west side).

NEXT SUNDAY is the deadline for items to be submitted for the MAY NEWSLETTER.  Mandy Kluender is our Editor for the church newsletter and any announcements you want to be published in the Newsletter should be submitted to her at mgkluender@hotmail.com or you may call her at (309) 838-9868.

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT:  The April Good Shepherd Lutheran Friday Night Movie is “WOODLAWN”, the true story.  It will be shown this coming Friday, April 21st at 6:30 p.m.  “Woodlawn” is a powerful faith-based film.  In 1973, a spiritual awakening captured the heart of nearly every player on the Woodlawn High School football team.  Their dedication to love and unity, in a newly desegregated school filled with racism and hate, leads to the largest high school football game ever played in the torn city of Birmingham, Alabama, and the rise of superstar Tony Nathan.  Join us for a great movie and a good meal in the warmth of the church basement.  There is plenty of room and plenty of food.

FELLOWSHIP HOSTS:  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign-up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

“WALK FOR LIFE”:  Pastor and family will be walking once again in the Crisis Pregnancy Center’s, “Walk For Life”.  It will be held this coming Saturday, April 22nd at Christ Church in Normal from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  If you would like to walk or pledge a donation to Pastor, please speak with him.  Thank you.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  The International House Dinner and Talk Time is Friday, April 28th at 6:00 p.m.  There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the narthex.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  Please get these dates on your calendar: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2-9:00 p.m. and Wednesday, May 24th, 2-9:00 p.m.  This is when we will be doing our Picture Directory through Lifetouch.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “A Living Hope For a ‘Dead As Doornails’ World” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from 1 Peter 1:3-9.  No matter how hard the world tries to shake our joy and faith, we have an inheritance in Christ that can never be taken away.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

Have a Blessed and Joyous Easter!

Bulletin Announcements

April 9, 2017

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Matthew 21:3:  If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”  Did Jesus really need the donkey?  If the man had refused to give the donkey would the work of salvation have been derailed?  Of course not.  But what an honor for the man who owned this donkey and foal!  Likewise with us – the Lord needs none of us, but what an honor for God to choose to use our generosity in the work of His Church.

TODAY is the second Sunday and we have our monthly door Offering for Seminarian Jacob Hercamp.

HOLY WEEK WORSHIP IS:  Maundy Thursday Worship with Holy Communion at 7:00 p.m.  Good Friday Tre Ore (Brief Service Of the Word) at noon.  Good Friday Tenebrae (Service of Darkness) with Holy Communion at 7:00 p.m.  Easter Worship with Holy Communion at 7:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. with Sunday School and Adult Bible Class at 9:15 a.m.  Easter Breakfast is served after the early worship service.

LWML:  Easter is next Sunday, April 16th and we will decorate the church basement following the Good Friday noon service this coming Friday April 14th.  See you there!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  The April Good Shepherd Lutheran Friday Night Movie is “WOODLAWN”, the true story.  It will be shown Friday, April 21st at 6:30 p.m.  “Woodlawn” is a powerful faith-based film.  In 1973, a spiritual awakening captured the heart of nearly every player on the Woodlawn High School football team.  Their dedication to love and unity, in a newly desegregated school filled with racism and hate, leads to the largest high school football game ever played in the torn city of Birmingham, Alabama, and the rise of superstar Tony Nathan.  Join us for a great movie and a good meal in the warmth of the church basement.  There is plenty of room and plenty of food.

“WALK FOR LIFE”:  Pastor and family will be walking once again in the Crisis Pregnancy Center’s, “Walk For Life”.  It will be held Saturday, April 22nd at Christ Church in Normal from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  If you would like to walk or pledge a donation to Pastor, please speak with him.  Thank you.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  The International House Dinner and Talk Time is Friday, April 28th at 6:00 p.m.  There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the narthex.

FUNDRAISER FOR WITTENBERG LUTHERAN CENTER:  Eat Wings and raise Funds for Wittenberg at “Buffalo Wild Wings”, 603 S. Main St. in Normal on Wednesday, April 12th from 5-9:00 p.m.  Tickets for the Fundraiser are available in the church office.  You must present the ticket to your server and Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 15% of your total bill to Wittenberg.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  Please get these dates on your calendar: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2-9:00 p.m. and Wednesday, May 24th, 2-9:00 p.m.  This is when we will be doing our Picture Directory through Lifetouch.

FREE TICKETS:  Help yourself to free tickets, available on the table in the narthex, for ISU Baseball against the University of Illinois this coming Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Empty Tomb Hope!” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Matthew 28:1-10.  The assurance of Christ’s resurrection turns wonder into reality and gives us an eternal hope.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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