January 29, 2024
Super Bowl Pizzas! Order Pizza’s by February 4th to support our youth going to Luther Park Bible Camp this summer. Pick them up on Super Bowl Sunday, February 11th. Form included in this email.
Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 4th, at 10 am.
Lent Begins on Wednesday, February 14th. Worship is at Noon and at 6:30 pm. February 14th is Ash Wednesday and features a Baked Potato Bar served by the Confirmation Youth for the meal at 5:30 pm.
Lent 2024: “Why Follow?” Holden Evening Prayer worship at 6:30 pm, Meal at 5:30 pm every Wednesday night starting on February 21st.
Belonging (February 21): Following Jesus together gives us a sense of belonging and community with one another. Matthew 4:18-22. Meal served by the Youth Gathering Youth.
Purpose (February 28): Following Jesus gives a purpose and direction to our lives in an increasingly complex and confusing world. Galatians 5:13. Meal served by the Men of Trinity Strength (March 6): Following Jesus gives us strength beyond just ourselves. Matthew 11:28 -30. Meal served by Church Council.
Hope: (March 13) Following Jesus gives us hope for the future and an assurance that God’s mercy is for us. Hebrews 11:1. Meal served by the Women of Trinity.
Grace: (March 20) Following Jesus allows us to live in God’s grace each day and to share that grace with others. Ephesians 2:8-9. Meal served by the Youth Gathering Youth.
MUSINGS FROM PASTOR BRAD
I woke up this morning thinking about a couple of my friends. I knew they were hurting, gutted inside. I knew that maybe they didn’t sleep well or if they did, they might have woken up and felt like they had been through a nightmare. I said a little prayer for them, a prayer that they might find comfort, that they might get through the day ok, that they might see the light in the midst of the darkness, some joy in the midst of their sadness. Why were they sad, you ask? Well, their football team, the Detroit Lions, blew a 17 point halftime lead to the San Francisco 49ers and were defeated, keeping them from their first trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history.
Now, I know it seems stupid to think this way about a game, and it probably is. I do the same things for people who have had real losses in life, like the death of a loved one, loss of a job, the ending of a relationship, and the like. But the pain is still real. You who are Packer fans know this. You have experienced a lot of NFC Championship game losses in recent years (though, I admittedly, don’t feel as bad for you because you are so mean to me much of the year. My Lion fan friends are much nicer!). But I also know that pain, of being so close and falling short. It hurts.
But the worse thing is that it can color everything else. The pain of a loss like that takes away from the joy of a great season. They won their first playoff game in three decades! The won a division title! It was a magical season for the Detroit Lions and it is easy to lose sight of that. Frankly, in any loss, no matter how big or small it is, we often look only at the loss, instead of the what we got to experience. Instead of the joy that was present before the loss.
Think about relationships in your life that ended. When they first end, you grieve that ending, you bemoan the pain of the relationship that has ceased, whether it be romantic or a friendship or whatever. But over time, as the pain of the ending fades, you see the good times more than the bad. When I think about my Dad, gone now for 30 years now, I don’t dwell so much on his death but on all the wonderful moments I had with him, all the good memories instead of the terrible ones at the end. I know one of the reasons the Bears loss in the Super Bowl in February 2007 hurt so bad was that it would have brought some joy into awful times since my Mom died in November of 2006. But as time as gone on, I have given thanks for that great season just as I have given thanks for all my memories with my Mom, including the time I spent with her in the hospital talking with her about the Bears that season.
Losses hurt, no matter what form they take. The hurt and they leave scars and they can stay with us for a long, long time. But there are also victories, joyful moments, times of success and hope and fun. The key for us is to not let the losses overwhelm the others. After all, we have a Savior in Jesus Christ who gives us hope every day, who shows us that in him we have the victory every day and that nothing has power over us. Not any loss. Not even death. For that we can say, “Thanks be to God!”