So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, knew that they were naked (Genesis 3:6-7).
In anticipation of those who would doubt the saving grace of Holy Communion, Martin Luther asked and answered the following question in his Small Catechism. Question: "How can bodily eating and drinking impart such great things as forgiveness, life and salvation?" Answer: "It's not just eating and drinking that impart these things, but it's God's Words written here: "Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins." These words along with the bodily eating and drinking are the main thing in the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: “forgiveness of sins.” You see what Dr. Luther is saying? Holy Communion actuallygives forgiveness, life and salvation. It's because Holy Communion gives us Jesus.
Holy Communion includes (1) body under bread, and blood under wine; (2) eating and drinking with the mouth, and (3) belief. However, against the Lutherans most every Protestant Church teaches that the Lord’s Supper is not actually Jesus’ body and blood. Instead they teach that the bread and wine are just symbols of Jesus’ body and blood. They teach that Jesus tells us to celebrate Communion only as a reminder that he already gave his body and blood for us on the cross. They say that when Jesus tells us to eat his flesh and drink his blood, he means a “spiritual” eating by faith, not an actual “bodily” eating by the mouth. And they say when you eat, you only need to believe that Jesus died for your sins, not that his body and blood are given in the Sacrament.
Jesus says plainly, “This IS my body...This IS my blood.” However, most of Protestant Christianity thinks it’s primitive to teach that Jesus made his body available in a dry wafer, and his blood present with concord grape wine. They find it vulgar to think Jesus would make us eat and drink HIM with our mouth and lips. And they consider it foolish that any bodily eating on earth could make a real difference in heaven. And I must admit, they’re arguments are very attractive to our modern sensibilities. The problem with their arguments, though, is that it is not biblically based. In fact, the God of the bible is oftentimes primitive, quite vulgar, and undoubtedly foolish to men; and if you don’t think so, go read Leviticus sometime. And in First Corinthians, St. Paul writes, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the foolishness of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).
Protestant Christianity is so “spiritual” it can’t believe that eating on earth can make a real difference in heaven. But that's just wrong. Eating on earth can make a difference in heaven, because eating on earth is what made all the difference in Eden. If you look at the Genesis account (above), it was only after Adam and Eve actually ATE the fruit that their eyes were opened, and they were cursed with death and cast from paradise. What, then, do such “spiritualists” make of this Scripture? Was the knowledge of good and evil really present in the fruit of the tree, or was the fruit just a symbol of forbidden knowledge that it didn’t actually impart? When Moses wrote Genesis, did he mean to say that when our first parents ate the fruit, it was just some sort of airy-fairy “spiritual” eating?
Warning!!! Careful!!! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!!!...Can you see where such “spiritual” thinking leads. This thinking calls the plain words of scripture foolish, and so we domesticate them with a “spiritual” interpretation. Pretty soon, we will be taking all of scripture “spiritually”, which simply means we will emasculate it of all of its literal content. This thinking, if applied to the rest of the bible, is destructive to God’s Word. Spiritualists can say: “Jonah wasn’t literally swallowed by big fish; rather a “spiritual” big fish swallowed Jonah through unbelief; Daniel wasn’t bodily thrown in a lion’s den; he was thrown in the “spiritual” lion’s den of being amidst God’s enemies; Moses didn’t actually part the Red Sea, he parted the “spiritual” barrier of doubt and fear by lifting the rod of faith.” You see?...it’s a slippery slope...and it began with the serpent, who was very spiritual when he said to Eve, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’ If we allow for this "spiritual" approach to God’s Word, Christianity will end up with a bunch of people who are “spiritual, but not religious”...that is, who have spiritual faith, but not actual faith. Some might say we’re already there...
In anticipation of those who would doubt the actual damning power of the fruit of the tree, let’s ask and answer the following question after the style of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Question: "How could bodily eating of fruit impart such terrible things as sin, death, and damnation?" Answer: "It's not just eating, but it's God's Command written here "If you eat of it, you will surely die." These words along with the bodily eating are the main thing in the Fall. Whoever doesn’t believe this Command has exactly what it says: “certain death.” In Genesis we have an account of the Fall of mankind into sin, death and damnation through bodily eating. This is not a spiritual Fall...it actually happened as it is written. But the good news is that this “Eating unto Death” was reversed in the work of the Christ. Therefore, I’ve pieced together a biblical account of the “Eating unto Life”—that is, the restoration of mankind by the New Covenant of forgiveness, life, and salvation through bodily eating in Holy Communion. Have your bible ready or you might not get it!!!...
So when the man (1 Timothy 2:13) saw that the cross of Christ (Galatians 3:13) was not good for food (John 6:52-53), and that it was doubtful to the eyes (John 20:25-29), and that it was a stumbling block to make one foolish (1 Corinthians 1:21-23), he took of its flesh and ate, and he also gave some to his wife who was with him (Genesis 2:24), and she ate. Then the eyes of both were closed (2 Corinthians 5:7) and they knew they were no longer naked (Galatians 3:27 & Isaiah 61:10).
Those who doubt the actual forgiveness imparted in Holy Communion are robbing themselves of God’s grace. Therefore, these things are written so that you may believe that the curse of the Fall is undone in youevery time you eat the fruit of the new tree, the flesh of the cross, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. "For if because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).
Pastor Nathan Fuehrer
ANNOUNCING VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL 2013
We Need Your Help! Come help make our VBS a success again this summer and help children “Shout it from the Mountaintops that Jesus Christ is Lord!” We are now looking for people to help out with Vacation Bible School 2013. Everyone’s talent is needed and put to good use. No experience is necessary, training manuals and help are provided. Vacation Bible School will run July 15-19 (Mon-Fri) from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. We need approximately the following numbers of volunteers: 2-3 Preschool Leaders, 6 Preschool Helpers, 4-5 Group Leaders, 3-4 Group helpers, 3-4 Craft Helpers, 2 Music Volunteers, 2 Story Tellers, 1-2 Bible Challenge Volunteers, 2-3 games/recreation volunteers, 3-4 snack volunteers, 3-4 volunteers for registration tables, and at least 1 Sound system volunteer.
If you could help out in any of these position please cut the following out of the newsletter and drop off at the church office or in Debbie Lemke’s or Katherine Canfield’s mail box. Debbie Lemke is the Volunteer Coordinator for VBS once again this year. THANK YOU Very Much Debbie! Call Debbie for information 403-328-8342.
Please join the Board of Outreach for a pie/cake auction on May 12th after the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Proceeds going to Puerto Penasco mission trip. Any left over funds received for the Puerto Penasco mission will go into the Cross-Cultural Missions, mission account.
3RD ANNUAL LADIES SALAD SUPPER
The 3rd Annual Ladies Salad Supper will be on June 4th. Tickets for the supper will go on sale May 19th.
PUERTO PENASCO MISSION TRIP: VACATION WITH PURPOSE
Hola Amigos! I am writing to you again from my winter home in Puerto Penasco. Looking out on the beautiful Sea of Cortez from my comfortable condo, it's hard to imagine that extreme poverty could exist here. But it does. In the barrios of this town live Mexican families who struggle without decent shelter. Some have no water or power, lack of food and clothing, no work to support their families. Can you imagine living under these conditions?
Immanuel members can change this scenario. Our mission trip in the fall of this year will dramatically improve conditions for a family (or 2 or 3?) in need. Our goal will be to build a decent house and supply basics including a bathroom which most of these homes do not have.
Thank you for supporting the recent garage sale at Immanuel from which nearly $1,000 was added to the Mission Trip budget. I believe our total now is just shy of $3,000. I hope to prepare a detailed budget for you in the near future where you can see hard costs and just how far your funds can go.
From this end, I continue to meet with Mission Jim to discuss plans for our group. He has direct contact with several families and soon he will select one (or two) that will be receiving the home we build. He will assist us with arranging for materials, tools, transportation, etc.
From your end, I ask you to continue to pray for this mission project. Please consider contributing towards the budget. If you would like to participate in person, please let me know. In early May, we will have a meeting where I can share more details and you can ask questions. Hasta Pronto - See you soon!
COMPASSION CANADA: Ian Aman, a former member of our congregation and now member the Christian band "To Die For" is coming to Immanuel to lead the music at our 11 a.m. service on May 5th. Ian is coming on behalf of Compassion Canada, a Christian Missions organization. He will give a short presentation after service and will set up a table in the Foyer for those supporting the mission project.
ORGAN RECITAL: Our wonderful Casavant pipe organ was recently tuned, and the pipe loft has been modified to make better use of the acoustics in our sanctuary. Our organ is now working to its full potential! Peter van Waardhuizen of Pearce Piano Service tuned our organ and asked to hold an Organ Recital at Immanuel on Thursday May 2nd at 7:30pm. There is no charge, but any free-will contributions will go towards the mission "Gospel in Asia." You can read about the mission at www.gfa.ca.
Spring Voter's Meeting scheduled for May 5th after the 11 a.m. service.
SEEKING A CONGREGATIONAL TREASURER: Immanuel Lutheran Church is seeking someone who would be willing to be our Congregational Treasurer. Our need is great. If you are interested, you may contact Dori Modney, PPC Chairman; or else Pastor Nathan.
Our Immanuel Lutheran Church Library has added a “New Releases” section to it’s shelves. Pastor Nathan will, from time to time, be adding new books to it. Of special note is an excellent book that recently came out entitled “BROKEN: 7 CHRISTIAN RULES THAT EVERY CHRISTIAN OUGHT TO BREAK AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE” by Pastor Jonathan Fisk. Check it out!
Mark Your Calendars the next Pastoral Care Visitor Training is scheduled for June 21 & 22 .Do you enjoy exploring with others what their faith means to them? Do you like listening to their “stories,” the journey of their lives? Can you walk with them as they figure out their spiritual place within the universe and within who they are? Would you like to become more aware of what you can do, what “tools” you can use? You may want to just visit with others within your congregation and/or to also touch the people in a care residence. The Good Samaritan Society is offering training in the how-to’s of visiting with older people. The Next training is Friday June 21, 6-9 p.m., and Saturday, June 22, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran church. Cost is $70 which includes workshop material and Lunch on Saturday. Interested or need more information contact Katherine Canfield 403-756-2149 and she will pass on registration information forms etc to you as soon as they become available.
Our Moms & Tots group is growing and I am excited by that. Please keep us in your prayers that this may be a fulfilling ministry to Moms and connect young families within our church as well as an outreach ministry to those outside our church community. With the growing numbers it would be very nice to have a few more volunteers for our childcare. Please prayerfully consider if you could volunteer about two hours on a Thursday morning once or twice a month.
Moms & Tots Group. Will run the second & fourth Thursday morning of each month May 9 & May 23, 2013 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. A Moms & Tots group is a group of mothers of preschoolers [a mother of a child from conception through kindergarten]. This group is an opportunity to build community by providing an open, caring and accepting atmosphere where women can come together to share this important season of life. A place for mentoring where mature women listen, encourage and offer information and perspectives gained through experience. A place for practical instruction, teaching focuses on areas of common interest, offering inspiration and information that is relevant to the life of a mother. Interested? Bring a Friend. Please place your name & phone number on the signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the fellowship hall. You must register or call Katherine as we need numbers to budget and for child care. If you need more information please call Katherine Canfield Parish Coordinator 403-327-4336 or 403-756-2149.
The Youth going to the National Youth Gathering in Winnipeg would like to thank the congregation for their participation and support of their cookie dough fundraiser. At the time of this newsletter printing cookie dough sales were not yet complete but we will let you know how we did. Cookie dough orders will be taken until Wed. May 1st and the orders are due to arrive around May 23, 2013. Please make cheques payable to Immanuel Lutheran church or have exact change. Cookie Dough is available as 2.7 kg Tubs or Pre-portioned box for $15.00. There are a variety of flavors available. You may place an order after church on April 28th or contact any of the following youth to place orders: Rachel & Julia Anton 403-320-8883. Nicole Anton 403-381-1147, Robin Sekura 403-223-3104, Katie Fruson 403-327-7237, Kendra Turnbull 403-381-6185 THANK YOU once again. Faith Life financial will match funds raised to a maximum of $500.00.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
Eight mothers in the Bible played key roles in the coming of Jesus Christ. None of them was perfect, yet each showed strong faith in God. God, in turn, rewarded them for their confidence in him.
These mothers lived in an age when women were often treated as second class citizens, yet God appreciated their true worth, just as he does today. Motherhood is one of life's highest callings. Learn how these eight mothers in the Bible put their hope in the God of the Impossible, and how he proved that such hope is always well-placed. We will be discussing these women/mothers of the Bible in our moms & tots group. Consider joining us.
Eve - Mother of All the Living - Eve was the first woman and the first mother. Without a single role model or mentor, she paved the maternal way to become "Mother of All the Living." She and her mate Adam lived in Paradise, but they spoiled it by listening to Satan instead of God. Eve suffered terrible grief when her son Cain murdered his brother Abel, yet despite these tragedies, Eve went on to fulfill her part in God's plan of populating the Earth.
Sarah - Wife of Abraham - Sarah was one of the most important women in the Bible. She was the wife of Abraham, which made her the mother of the nation of Israel. Yet Sarah was barren. She conceived through a miracle in spite of her old age. Sarah was a good wife, a loyal helper and builder with Abraham. Her faith serves as a shining example for every person who has to wait on God to act.
Rebekah - Wife of Isaac - Rebekah, like her mother-in-law Sarah, was barren. When her husband Isaac prayed for her, God opened Rebekah's womb and she conceived and gave birth to twin sons, Esau and Jacob. During an age when women were typically submissive, Rebekah was quite assertive. At times Rebekah took matters into her own hands. Sometimes that worked out, but it also resulted in disastrous consequences.
Jochebed - Mother of Moses Jochebed, the mother of Moses, is one of the underappreciated mothers in the Bible, yet she also showed tremendous faith in God. To avoid the mass slaughter of Hebrew boys, she set her baby adrift in the Nile River, hoping someone would find him and raise him. God so worked that her baby was found by Pharaoh's daughter. Jochebed even became her own son's nurse. God used Moses mightily, to free the Hebrew people from their 400 year bondage of slavery and take them to the promised land. Although little is written about Jochebed in the Bible, her story speaks powerfully to mothers of today.
Hannah - Mother of Samuel the Prophet - Hannah's story is one of the most touching in the entire Bible. Like several other mothers in the Bible, she knew what it meant to suffer long years of barrenness. In Hannah's case she was cruelly taunted by her husband's other wife. But Hannah never gave up on God. Finally her heartfelt prayers were answered. She gave birth to a son, Samuel, then did something entirely selfless to honor her promise to God. God favored Hannah with five more children, bringing great blessing to her life.
Bathsheba - Wife of David - Bathsheba was the object of King David's lust. David even arranged to have her husband Uriah the Hittite killed to get him out of the way. God was so displeased with David's actions that he struck dead the baby from that union. In spite of heartbreaking circumstances, Bathsheba remained loyal to David. Their next son, Solomon, was loved by God and grew up to become Israel's greatest king. From David's line would come Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. And Bathsheba would have the distinguished honor of being one of only five women listed in Messiah's ancestry.
Elizabeth - Mother of John the Baptist - Barren in her old age, Elizabeth was another of the miracle mothers in the Bible. She conceived and gave birth to a son. She and her husband named him John, as an angel had instructed. Like Hannah before her, she dedicated her son to God, and like Hannah's son, he also became a great prophet, John the Baptist. Elizabeth's joy was complete when her relative Mary visited her, pregnant with the future Savior of the World.
Mary - Mother of Jesus Mary was the most honored mother in the Bible, the human mother of Jesus, who saved the world from its sins. Although she was only a young, humble peasant, Mary accepted God's will for her life. She suffered enormous shame and pain, yet never doubted her Son for a moment. Mary stands as highly favored by God, a shining example of obedience and submission to the Father's will.
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Happy Mother’s Day!
Immanuel Lutheran Church
March 31, 2013
A-BC District Mission Donations for Month........................................................................................................ $528.50
A-BC District Mission Donations to Date .............................................................................................................. 618.50
CLWR Mission Donations for Month ................................................................................................................... 285.00
CLWR Mission Donations to Date ....................................................................................................................... 525.00
Servus Credit Union Cheq. Acc.t Balance..................................................................................................... $23,473.40
Actual Disbursements....................................................................................................................................... 89,885.09
MOTHER’S DAY HUMOR
Three sons left home, went out on their own and prospered. Getting back together, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother.
The first said, "I built a big house for our mother."
The second said," I sent her a Mercedes with a driver."
The third smiled and said, "I've got you, both beat. You know how Mom enjoys the Bible, and you know she can't see very well. I sent her a brown parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took 20 monks in a monastery 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000.00 a year for 10 years, but it was worth it. Mom just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it."
Soon thereafter, Mom sent out her letters of thanks: "Milton," she wrote the first son, "The house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house."
"Marvin," she wrote to another, "I am too old to travel. I stay home all the time, so I never use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude!"
"Dearest Melvin," she wrote to her third son, "You were the only son to have the good sense to know what your mother likes. That chicken was delicious."
20 Rocky Mountain Blvd West Lethbridge AB T1K 8E1 (403) 327-4336 email@example.com
Office hours and worship schedule
Office hours: 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM, Monday - Friday
Sunday Worship: 9:00 AM - Traditional Service 11:00 AM - Contemporary Service 11:15 AM - Sunday School (following the Object Lesson)