June 6, 2014 marked the 70th anniversary of D-day. Many television programs focused on the "honor flights" for WWII veterans. They are some-times referred to as the generation that "saved the world."
You would think that after all the blood-shed in previous armed conflicts peace would reign throughout the world. Think again! Russian President, Putin, threatens Ukraine. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the violence in Tianan-men Square, Beijing, China. There is tension between North and South Korea.
The Apostle Paul was familiar with tension. He also knew the solution. Initially there was tension between God and people and between Jew and Gentile. Jesus Christ is the solution to both. Via his suffering, death, and resurrection God has reconciled us to himself (Romans 5:11). Because of Jesus' work, God has declared himself to be at peace with us. Jesus is also the key to peace between people. St. Paul said, "For he himself (Jesus) is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility..." (Ephesians 2:14).
There will be wars and rumors of wars until Jesus returns (Matthew 24:6). We have the privilege of enjoying spiritual peace and serving as Christ's ambassadors by pro-claiming his peace (II Corinthians 5:20, 21).
I wasn't much of an athlete when I was younger. Mostly it was because I just didn't like to practice. I wanted to get right to the games. The one sport that I played and was actually decent at was soccer. No I still didn't like practicing. It just seemed so boring: ball handling skills, endurance training, blocking and "interception" drills. But of course the more we practiced the more I saw the reason for going back to the fundamentals of the game. I got faster, better, and was able to help out the team. Fundamentals aren't bad because they are what everything else is built off of.
What does practice have to do with anything? Well during Lent we do something very similar. Traditionally Lent is a season of us going back to the fundamentals of our faith. For the six weeks of Lent we are called to look to our baptism and remember what that means to us: that we have been saved; washed and purified through the waters of baptism and made into followers of Christ. And along with that goes the obvious reaction: "Repent!" As Christians we are called to look at the sins in our lives and turn away from those temptations. Yes this is something that we should do every day as Christians, but it's a great idea to have the 40 days of Lent too specifically focus on the beginning of faith. We remember about our redemption won for us by Jesus' suffering and death. Let's use the time given to us this Lent to return and train on the fundamentals of our faith. "...we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." (Titus 2:13-14)
J.A.M. stands for Jesus in the Afternoon for Me. J.A.M. is a Wednesday after-school program for children in grades 1-5. All are welcome to attend especially those who do not have a church home or Sunday school.
Children gather in St. Paul's fellowship hall after arriving from their school (they can get shuttled by bus from their school to St. Paul’s--Ask your child’s bus driver for details). The sessions begin with a snack, free time (games), a Bible lesson (beginning around 3:50), singing and craft. Children are to be picked up at 5:00 p.m. You can register your child when you bring them or by clicking the link below to our online registration form.
J.A.M. is FREE and a fun way for your child to learn valuable lessons for life and bring them closer to God.
For more information click on the link below to the J.A.M. handbook or call St. Paul's church and school office 783-2552 extension 0.