Ministry Notes April 2019
April is a busy month!
We have Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, first
communion, a baptism, and this year, we will have communion every Sunday in April… We will have the regular communion on the first
and second Sundays of the month, communion on Easter, and communion at the
contemporary service, and then communion again for the first and second Sundays
In other words, we will have communion six Sundays in
a row. This was discussed at the worship
and music committee and it’s just how it works out for this year.
In the small catechism, Luther describes how we
receive God’s forgiveness through partaking in the sacrament. And as Luther points out, we are commanded to
“Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of
me.” When Luther is asked how often we
should partake in communion, he says we should be running to the altar every
day to receive God’s forgiveness.
Because where there is forgiveness, there is life.
I grew up in a tradition that practiced communion a
couple times a year. It was different… I remember it as a sacred time, but also with
some peril. As I remember it, if it was received
with an impure heart or in the wrong way, it was an act of condemnation.
Of course, we believe differently. We acknowledge we are in bondage to sin, and
as we receive communion, we receive forgiveness. In the small catechism Luther says, “…the
essential thing in the sacrament, and whoever believes in these very words, has
what they declare and state, namely, “forgiveness of sin.”” It’s common
practice now for many Lutheran churches to have communion every week.
So, it will feel a little unusual for us, but it’s
just how it works out with the calendar, and we will certainly receive God’s
forgiveness and experience His grace.
Kris and I traveled to Clarksdale Mississippi last
month on a little bit of a music pilgrimage.
I visited the grave sites of BB King (Riley B King) and Robert
It was a moving experience for me to go through the BB
King museum in Indianola, Mississippi. In
many ways his life paralleled the civil rights movement. Though BB King was not a big civil rights
advocate, his music transcended racial barriers and even he was surprised by
how his music was received.
I think it goes to show how authenticity is recognized
and shared. People can have completely
different experiences and opinions about a great many things, but when we speak
from the heart, when we are completely transparent, people respond with compassion. Humanity might not agree on all things, but
we do find common ground in the human soul for pain and suffering.
I remember a theologian once saying that the only way
to transformation is through prayer, and another way is through suffering. There is something about suffering that
changes us. This year as we go through
passion week, we will experience the death and resurrection of Jesus. Suffering and transformation; death and
resurrection… There’s a pattern here that moves our souls.
I pray you have a wonderful April, full of
Deacon Todd Portinga
Church Phone: 651-388-3464
Pastors Email: email@example.com