Our Christian Home

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Grace Lutheran Church
Mission Statement

To ANSWER the CALL of our Savior.
To CONNECT with people in their everyday lives.
To ADVANCE the Gospel through God’s Word and fellowship.
To LEND ourselves in service, so that we may become instruments.
that LEAD others to salvation.

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WEEKLY DEVOTION OCTOBER 4

Tuesday, OCTOBER 4, 2022

Pastor Bruce Kischnick, Grace Lutheran Church, New Albany, IN

“My Aching Back”

READING: Luke 11:41-46 – “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogue and greetings in the marketplace. Woe to you because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it.” One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift a finger to help them.”

I hurt my back two weeks ago in my sleep! We were in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the wedding of my niece Michelle. My back was fine when we went to bed on Friday night, and when I awoke Saturday morning, my lower back was all out of whack. I think I may have inadvertently slept on my stomach for a time. That always causes me trouble. At any rate, I have had a sore back ever since. I keep thinking it’ll get back to normal but so far it has persisted. I doesn’t keep me from being productive, but it surely affects everything I do. If you’ve ever experienced a back issue, you know just what I mean.

In our text for today Jesus accused the Pharisees and the experts in the law of giving serious back aches to the Jewish people they purport to serve. He doesn’t use those words exactly, but he says that these religious leaders “load people down with burdens they can hardly carry.” He’s referring to all the laws and regulations they had dreamt up through the years that their hyper-religiosity required of the common, ordinary Jew.

You see, these men were consumed with the need to “keep the law” because they believed it was by their perfection, or their pursuit of perfection, that they made themselves acceptable to God. That meant that as they studied the various laws of the Torah they felt the need to flesh these out with the formula for keeping these laws fully. For instance the laws governing the Sabbath Day: they felt the need to delineate the meaning of “work”. So they devised a definition that got so complicated that the Pharisees felt the right to criticize Jesus and his disciples when they plucked heads of wheat as they walked through a field on the Sabbath. As the disciples shucked the kernels from the chaff and ate the grain, the Pharisees accused them of “harvesting on the Sabbath”. There was a regulation that required people to pull their fabric from a dye vat before the Sabbath started otherwise the household was “working” on the Sabbath. They even criticized Jesus for healing people on the Sabbath even though such a gift of grace glorified God in a special way.

And it wasn’t just the regulations regarding the keeping of the Sabbath that burdened the people. The Pharisees and teachers of the law had parsed the laws of Torah in hundreds of different ways: in family relations, in sacrificial requirements, in alms-giving, in child rearing, in commerce and trade. They were so zealous for the law that they made the Torah burdensome and oppressive. What God had given to Israel as a treasure and a gift they had turned into something that was worrisome, self-defeating, and joyless. Serving God became something complicated and forced.

There are plenty of Christian teachers and denominations that do the same thing today. They espouse a law-oriented view of the faith that emphasizes your good works and the need to “make yourself right with God.” While the law has it’s uses, it was never seen by God as the means by which his people would gain salvation. That was not possible for sinful mankind to achieve. Always Israel was called to repentance and to faith. It was faith that saved Abraham, faith that brought forgiveness to David when he fell, faith that kept Daniel from the lions’ teeth, and faith that was required of the people of Jesus’ day. When the Pharisees and teachers of the law continued to pile requirements and regulations on the backs of the common folks, they were sending those people down the wrong path. And, in our day, the same is true of those who emphasize the law over the Gospel.

A law oriented approach leads to one of two outcomes: either a sense of self-righteousness that sees no real need to repent or for a savior, or a sense of despair that fears God and distrusts his mercy. On either path love for God and a longing for Jesus are not possible. That’s what Jesus is upbraiding the Pharisees and law experts about in our lesson. They have this attitude of self-righteousness epitomized by the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable who thanked God he was not like all the other people around him, especially the tax collector. Then there were all those who found the Pharisees’ requirements as beyond them and felt utterly unworthy of God’s love. Worse they could only think of God as their tormentor and judge. Either way most of them found themselves far from God.

Therefore, we rejoice that Jesus has taken from us the penalty and sting of the law by keeping the law perfectly and then offering himself as the perfect sacrifice for us. And having found salvation in him we rightly ask, “Then how shall I live?” The law then becomes our guide for living thankful lives in service to God because he loves us, and we love him. The burdens are lifted. The backs are eased. And the pain of condemnation taken away. Now if only this old back of mine would stop pestering me! Oh well, one thing at a time. Amen.

PRAYER:

ANNOUNCEMENT(S):

1) GOLDEN SAINTS HALLOWEEN PARTY: On Thursday, October 27, at about noon, the Caring Team is going to throw a Halloween Party for anyone past 50 or so. The food, beverages, and table service will be provided. There will be strange brews and devilish dishes to enjoy. There’ll be some games, some prizes, and some table favors, too. Sign up outside the office or call Karen. Join us for wonderful food, good fellowship, and some ghoulish fun. By the way, please wear some kind of costume or at the very least a mask. We can all be kids at heart that day!

Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/GePSoM_n5eI

PRINTABLE PDF: WDOct4.PDF

pastork@glcna.com — (502) 797-7407

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WEEKLY DEVOTION OCTOBER 3

Monday, OCTOBER 3, 2022

Pastor Matthew Woods from Grace Lutheran Church in New Albany, Indiana

“The Right Conditions”

Last week’s hurricane, Hurricane Ian as we all know hit Florida’s East Coast. We will remember that many were predicting storm surges of over twelve feet. Even if your house has been battled hardened with hurricane strength shutters, a better roof, shatter proof windows, etc. none of those things can do anything from a storm surge. That’s because water is being pushed onto the land by the 150 plus mph winds. The surge that everyone talks about causes major flooding and even the best prepared homes have no way to avoid getting flooded. And we saw the pictures of major flooding and people being rescued from the flood waters.

Something else happened during this hurricane that happened with Hurricane Irma just five years back in 2017. That something is reverse storm surge. Turns out that a big storm may not only surge water into land but also push water away from land too. Hurricane Ian turned counter clock-wise over Tampa Bay meaning the winds were blowing outward. The storm came during low tide and lowered the water in the bays and inlets. Some say 5 feet while others say as much as twelve.

I saw a picture of the bay that the convention center sits on where I was at the Synodical Convention a few years ago. People were out walking where water should be. Other pictures were of Hillsborough Bay also show people meandering about where the water should have been. But hours of hard winds pushed the water out into the Gulf in a reverse surge.

For Christians this should be of interest to you and familiar to you. In Exodus 14 we will remember how the Lord helped the Israelites escape the Egyptians by crossing the Red Sea. Consider vs. 21-22.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

We know from recent experience that large amounts of water can be pushed back by powerful sustained wind. Vs 21-22 tell us of a strong “East wind”. The Lord made the east wind blow all night much like Ian which blew for a whole day. And let’s not forget that the Lord was very specific about where to take the Israelites. Vs 2 tells us, “Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 ‘Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.’”

This does two things. First, it sets up Pharaoh who will believe the Israelites are vulnerable. He will pursue and eventually the Lord will use the incident to wipe out his army. Second, the land itself most likely lends itself to how the Lord would save the Israelites. We don’t know exactly where this was but the Lord knows what He is doing. And He knows the land better than any. In the hands of our Creator the Lord uses something of creation itself to push back the water, one element against another to accomplish His goals. In the Lord’s hands, exactly the right conditions are made possible to deliver His people from Egypt to the wilderness, from death to life. Makes me think of Galatians 4:4 which tells us that Jesus came in the fullness of time; meaning that the Lord knows how to create the perfect conditions in order to save His people.

What about the walls of water? Two things here too. First, the walls could have been far apart, miles perhaps. Such walls would build up as the water is pushed back just like a surge is bunched up and causes flooding. Secondly, the wall of water becomes the weapon in which Egypt’s army would be destroyed. For those who were walking out in the inlets of Tampa Bay many warnings were put out. The warnings suggest that the water could surge back in as a surge of water. It seems the water would not just ease back in but surge in by nearly 4.5 feet. Therefore, the wall of water that closed over the Egyptians could have been a surge. Water that had been pent-up all-night builds and builds and then released rushed back in literally crushing Pharoah’s army. It wouldn’t have to be that deep either. We’ve seen what a twelve-foot surge can do to homes and marinas. Houses are pushed off their foundations and marinas are wiped out. It’s such a picture of Baptism. The people of God pass through the water from one side to the other. The enemy is drown and God’s people emerge on the other side set to enter the Promised Land.

It’s interesting to watch storms like Ian. People were walking in the Bays where water should have been. They shouldn’t be able to do that. But given all the right conditions they could. The cross is so much like this. Jesus used death to destroy death. The conditions of history, the local politics of Rome and the Religious Leaders, of culture, and even the land of Jerusalem were exactly right to deliver God’s people from sin. Jesus used a wooded cross, on a hill of rock, and died in human flesh.

The right conditions are often questioned by many for one reason or another. We may question the wisdom of storms like Ian or why Jesus would allow our lives to be impacted by storms, or illness, or trouble. People today still question how the Israelites crossed the Red Sea in the manner in which they did. Those Israelites themselves that crossed certainly questioned it in Exodus 14:4ff.
But then the Lord answers us in the same way He answers the Israelites. 13“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” The Lord sets the conditions in which His people are saved and His enemies are destroyed.

At the end of 1 Corinthians 15 Paul wraps up His argument about the resurrection in the same way. “Brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves full to the work of the Lord because you know that your Labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Our enemies are overcome by the same thing that saves us. The cross overcomes this world and all of its tribulation while at the same time delivers us from our sin. Death itself is used to destroy our last enemy, which is death. The Lord has fought for us and won. The Lord fights for us now. And so, He invites us to be still and to trust the Lord with all of our heart. I pray that we can take note of what the Lord has done and learn to do trust in Jesus even as the winds of this world’s trouble blow all around us.

Pastor Matthew Woods

John 3:30

https://www.fox13news.com/weather/hurricane-ian-drains-water-across-tampa-bay-area

https://www.tampabay.com/hurricane/2022/09/29/water-returns-tampa-bay-after-ian-driven-reverse-storm-surge/

PRINTABLE PDF: WDOct3.PDF

Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/8gLu5QLRtFw

matt.woods@glcna.com — (502) 523-9327

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Grace on Wednesdays

3-year-olds thru Adults
Supper: 5:30-6:00 pm. — Classes: 6:00-7:30 pm

Enjoy 90 minutes of mid-week doses of God’s Love and Grace through Bible stories, singing, arts & crafts, games, and snacks!
Schedule for October below:
Oct. 5 & 12 FALL BREAK – NO CLASSES
Oct. 19 — Supper 5:30-6:00 & Classes 6:00-7:30
Oct. 26 — Supper 5:30-6:00 & Classes 6:00-7:30

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LifeLight Adult Bible Class


An adult Bible class for both men and women started at church in the Boardroom on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-7:30 pm. We will be studying the book of Romans. Please feel free to come join us.

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WORSHIP SCHEDULE

Saturday, October 8 — *5:00 pm
Sunday, October 9 — 8:00 & *10:30 am
*Communion

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LifeLight Adult Bible Class


An adult Bible class for both men and women started at church in the Boardroom on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-7:30 pm. We will be studying the book of Romans. Please feel free to come join us.

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CHILDREN’S MINISTRY NOTES


Grace Notes started as a children’s version of the confirmation level Sermon Notes. It has grown to two full pages front and back with Bible verses according to the weekly church readings, pictures illustrating stories or verses, a prayer box, and puzzles. Grace Notes are part of the Grace Packs (single use church bags) available on Sundays.

Grace Notes are an awesome way to build on the online service as an opportunity for devotion and discussion.

Grace Online – Children’s Bible Lessons!

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE CHILDRENS MINISTRY PAGE!

Children’s Ministry Contact Information
Email: sabrina.haug@glcna.com
Phone/Text: 502-386-6371
Facebook: Grace Lutheran Children’s Ministry
Web: www.glcna.org – click Children’s Ministry in right-side Index

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For more information (Your Bulletin) check out
NEWS & TIDBITS at the top right box

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For more Devotions check out RECENT DEVOTIONS
at the top right box

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CHECK OUT BAPTISM – OBITS

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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast. — Ephesians 2:8-9
 

Welcome to the Grace Lutheran Church and School web site. There is a variety of information here regarding our congregation and our beliefs. Lutherans are Bible-believing, sacramental Christians who trace their roots back to Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. There have been Lutherans since 1517, particularly in Germany and Scandanavia. Lutherans in America followed large immigrations from Europe in the 1840’s and 1850’s.

The congregation at Grace was founded in 1927 in a small room over a pool hall on State Street in New Albany. The congregation moved to Tenth and Oak, then to Charlestown Road, before building its current facilities on Klerner Lane in 1974. The congregation now numbers just over 1100 souls. We worship at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Sundays and at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday evenings. The pastors are Rev. Bruce Kischnick and Rev. Matt Woods.

 

Grace Lutheran Church
Mission Statement

To ANSWER the CALL of our Savior.
To CONNECT with people in their everyday lives.
To ADVANCE the Gospel through God’s Word and fellowship.
To LEND ourselves in service, so that we may become instruments.
that LEAD others to salvation.

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Rev. Bruce Kischnick, Senior Pastor

pastork@glcna.com — (502) 797-7407
 

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Rev. Matt Woods, Associate Pastor

Matt.Woods@glcna.com — (502) 523-9327

 
 

Rose Ebling, Part-time Interim Youth Director

rebling@glcna.com — (502) 442-1474

 
 
 

Sabrina Haug, Children Ministry

Sabrina.Haug@glcna.com 
 
 

Helen Bohannon, Music Director

Helen.Bohannon@glcna.com

 
 

Georgianne Weathers, School Administrator (812) 941-1912

E-Mail: Georgianne.Weathers@glcna.com
preschool@glcna.com
www.gracelutheran.school

 
 

Karen.Meredith, Church Secretary

Karen.Meredith@glcna.com