Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Sunday, June 26th, 2016 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “Set Free” (Galatians 5)

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Location: Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine: 12500 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

Directions: Exit Sand Canyon from the 405 or 5, head East towards the hills, cross Irvine Blvd., turn right on Saint's Way (this will put you on the campus of Crean Lutheran High School...we worship in the event center/gym)

Divine Service: 930 am

New Member Reception: 11 am

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

You have a new life! Yes, it is true that while we Christians still have the sin nature, it's condemnation and guilt has been removed by Jesus Christ! In addition, you have been born-again; you have a new life and you have a living spirit! This means our lives make a difference. We love, we pray, we move and live as God's people who bring light to the world and salt to the earth. Come and receive the proclamation tomorrow on Galatians 5! You're free to live in Christ!

Such a life is also active in the face of cultural and political assaults against the faith. Don'e buy into this false logic: that just because the political realm addresses an issue, that for the Church to respond to that issue means that the church is "getting political." That's just not true. When the left-hand kingdom encroaches upon the right-hand kingdom, the Church must speak up.

This encroachment is happening with California Senate Bill 1146 (SB1146). Please go to this link: http://www.cui.edu/aboutcui/sb1146  Right now, our Concordia University Irvine (and all religion-based colleges and university's are being severely threatened. Help me speak UP to our elected officials before this Tuesday. Please. This is about religious freedom. If this bill passes the state assembly, it will greatly impact our university in a most serious way.

Brothers and Sisters, this coming week is Vacation Bible School! Please come. Bring children! It is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 12 pm at Crystal Cove State Beach. Directions: we are meeting at the Northern-Most location at Crystal Cove called "Sandy Beach at Treasure Cove". Treasure Cove is accessed from hiking trails that lead down the steep bluff from day-use parking lots inside the Pelican Point entrance. This entrance to the state park is across from Newport Coast Drive on Pacific Coast Highway.

Tomorrow Pastor Herb Giesler turns 99!!!!! He has been in hospice care, but his spirit in the Lord is strong. I plan on bringing my I-Pad tomorrow so that we as a congregation can extend a special "Happy Birthday" to him and to sing Happy Birthday to him. Let us show our love to him! He is a blessing!

Tomorrow is new member Sunday. We are welcoming three new members. Come and celebrate with us!

Tomorrow we receive the Holy Sacrament! Come and receive the forgiveness of sins! Come and receive Jesus!

Finally, please rejoice with me and Traci. Our first grandchild was born last night. Ellie Adela Espinosa was born our son A.J. and Gaby our daughter-in-law! She is beautiful and we are so filled with joy! Yes, I am now a grandpa!

 

In Jesus' Love,

 

Pastor

 

 

 

Sunday, June 19th, 2016 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran of Irvine: “Adopted and the Owners of Everything!” (Gal. 3:23-4:7)

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Location: Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine: 12500 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

Directions: Exit Sand Canyon from the 405 or 5, head East towards the hills, cross Irvine Blvd., turn right on Saint's Way (this will put you on the campus of Crean Lutheran High School...we worship in the event center/gym)

Divine Service: 930 am

Bible Study and Sunday School: 11 am

 

Dear Christian Friends,

How is that we can be completely assured that we are actually children of God? That we are loved and cherished, that we have rights to come to our Heavenly Father to be heard and to receive mercy? It is one thing to consider the gift of faith, but what is the basis for confidence in faith? What is our objective reason to know we may in faith approach the Lord's throne of grace?

The answer is that we are adopted by God. Adoption. We are accustomed to using the word to describe the status of some children, but the truth is that every Christian -- who is truly a Christian -- is adopted by God. By grace in Christ Jesus, you are adopted.

Adoption is the basis for our confidence about our standing before the Lord. Adoption is the guarantee that the kingdom of God is truly ours.

Think about it. How many things in this life are really secure? How many things are sure things? Answer: not much. But when it comes to God's love and mercy for you in Christ, there is something that makes it certain and true: you have been adopted in Christ!

You're invited to the feast tomorrow morning at Saint Paul's at 9:30 am. Come and receive the Lord's life-gifts. His holy absolution given to those who come confessing their sins, His Divine Service filled with His Word to put the life of the Holy Trinity into your hearts, upon your lips and in your ears; come and receive the Word proclaimed in the sermon to hear of our adoption; and then come to receive the very body and blood of our Savior for the forgiveness of sins.

All of these gifts are yours in Christ! Why? Because you are adopted.

 

In Jesus' Love,

 

Pastor Espinosa

 

 

“Adopted and the Owners of Everything!” (Gal. 3:23-4:7)

The 5th Sunday after Pentecost, June 19th, 2016

Pastor Espinosa

 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Adoption often gets a bad rap. When I was growing up for example, my older siblings would sometimes subject me to some psychological jabs. Since I had come along 8 years after my three older siblings, I was sometimes referred to as having been adopted. Today, I’m embarrassed by the fact that this used to bother me. I wish today that I had embraced it back then. You know how it is. How often we think to ourselves, “If I had only known then, what I know now!” Why embrace it? Because God’s Word says to you and me dear Christian that every single one of here today for whom Jesus died and rose; and for us who have been baptized into the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus have been adopted into God’s kingdom, into God’s family, into God’s magnificent and eternal love and mercy for us with the promise that He shall never, ever let us go.

 

This is where the proverbial rubber hits the road in terms of what makes the faith so invaluable. Last week I explained what faith is: 1) it is true; 2) it is trustworthy; and 3) it lives in the reality of the promises given…or simply said, it takes God up on His truth and trustworthiness…it actually lives in His grace, walks in His grace, and expresses its life in His grace. Just think of Peter when He saw Jesus walking on water: 1) He believed that Jesus was really there (that Jesus was true and real); 2) He believed that Jesus was able to call him unto Himself even on the water (Jesus was trustworthy); and 3) Peter actually stepped out and indeed – before he began to sink – Peter was walking on water. This is faith.

 

I bring this up because adoption is the assurance that we are indeed people of faith: it is the guarantee that God has called us, that God has united us to Jesus, that we have received the grace of God and the gift of faith, and it is the assurance that we are living never, ever alone, but always and constantly with the Holy Spirit. Do you have faith? To answer the question, just back up and ask yourself: “Well, am I adopted or not?” The answer is yes, esp. if you understand when and how God adopts you (answer: in Holy Baptism and by the power of the Word of God contained in the water which joined you to Jesus Christ). And if you are adopted, then yes, you have also received the gift of faith!

 

If you know this Christian, then you are called to live in great confidence and -- don’t be shy about it now -- in the power of faith in God. This is a faith that might not be impressive to the world with its confused ideas about faith, but it is a faith led by the Spirit of God that leads you to face anything in life with the assurance that God is with you and that God will bless you no matter what. No, this doesn’t mean that you and I always get what we want or what we think we need. But it does mean that God will keep holding us as His adopted children and He will bless us…He always finds a way. And the reason you know that these are not just pious platitudes, is because the One who guarantees your adoption lived and died and rose for you!

 

Such faith flows from the knowledge that Jesus gave up His life for you and if God loves you that much, then The Father will not allow anything to interfere with the truth of the saving Gospel of His Son Jesus. Faith knows this to be true, because your faith knows that you are adopted/you belong to God. This faith figures that if Jesus could give His life for me, then I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will always be for me and to erase all doubt He assures me of this reality because He came to me in Holy Baptism, and adopted me as His child.

 

And this is what makes our faith so glorious even in this veil of tears in the world and even as we bear crosses. It is true, but it is also extremely relevant. This is what the world needs to know about the Christian faith. It is true – based on what actually corresponds to a real state of affairs in space and time – but it is more than just true, it is exceedingly relevant. The world needs this sense of truth, relevance, importance, and meaning. It is true that this past week the Golden State Warriors were battling the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA championship, but many of you could care less. It may be true, but it isn’t terribly relevant. But when it comes to faith, the truth of the Gospel of Jesus and the life it produces in becoming adopted heirs of God means that our whole lives are impacted: we have clarity about our identity, our purpose, and our destination; and we have gifts poured out from God to live as His adopted people. The faith is true, it is relevant, and it is exciting…and it is on account of our adoption that we begin to see clearly about these things.

 

But it begins by embracing the guarantee that you are indeed a child of God; not called to doubt who you are, but to be absolutely clear about it. You are a child of God, because you are adopted. That means that this word “adopted” can’t be a weird thing, but a glorious status. We should say with pride and joy: “I am adopted!”

 

When Traci and I adopted five of our eight children, our lives changed for the good; it taught us to live our faith; to get out of ourselves; and it has humbled us so that we have been led to rely upon the Lord more, not less.

 

In addition, I have seen many added instances of loved poured out. My wife has taught our children that to be adopted is to be additionally loved. Traci has taught that to be adopted is to be chosen and this is testimony to our baptism in Christ: God chose us in Jesus! That is how much you are loved! But how do you know that this is true for you?

 

First, we are assured of being united to Christ through Baptism:

 

Galatians 3:27: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

 

Second, we are therefore given assurance that we are saved since Christ -- Whom we have put on -- came to:

 

Galatians 4:5: “redeem those who were under the law”

 

Third, we now have a new status:

 

Galatians 4:5 again: “so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

 

And finally, this impacts our lives to the extent that we now have the Holy Spirit and a new standing and status with God:

 

Galatians 4:6-7: “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”

 

The original language here is delightful! We are being taught that we are no longer a child confined to a babysitter (the law); that child being a “napios” which is a non-speaking one who is no different than a “doulos” or a slave according to Galatians 4:1. But now that Christ has liberated us by His life, death, and resurrection, and adopted us through baptism, and given the gift of the Holy Spirit to us, we are no longer a “napios”/child with no voice and no rights, but we are now a “[h]yios” or “son” [the point here is not about sex or gender, but about legal standing; “son” = an heir with full rights, and to clarify that God isn’t taking about male and female, He says at Galatians 3:28 that in Christ there is neither male nor female]. Now here’s the thing about the “[h]yios” over “napios”: you now have full rights. You can speak and you will be heard by the Father! You have a voice, because you are an adopted child who is dearly, dearly loved. The Father cares about every prayer you offer up regardless and they are prayers that have His complete attention even as He answers them in accord with what is best for you, even if you don’t see it. In the meantime, all that is the Father’s is now yours. You’re family now!

 

But Traci and I quickly learned that many people struggle to “get” adoption. 18 years ago or so, Traci was in a grocery store and a woman was gazing at our baby. She would look at the baby and then look at Traci; look at Traci and then look at the baby…and this expression of complete and utter bewilderment was all over her face. She just couldn’t make her assumption compute in her mind. “How did this white-skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed gal give birth to this dark-skinned, black-haired, brown-eyed baby?!” The woman just couldn’t help herself and so asked my wife, “What does the father look like!?” There is a natural dissonance that takes place in the minds of many people.

 

But it is one that precisely makes the point about how we struggle with this amazing truth of our adoption. We look at God (and know that He is righteous; He is holy; He is without sin); and then we look at ourselves. We look at God, we look at ourselves. We look at ourselves and we look at God. Then we ask, “How can this be?” And then we doubt.

 

This is our sin. We terribly underestimate the power and the reality of God’s amazing grace; we doubt and question the truth and the power of the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus; we try to convince ourselves that our baptism was just some ceremony that happened a long time ago and we sinfully underestimate exactly what happened when were adopted and therefore we question our very adoption itself.

 

In our sin we treat that which is extremely and indescribably valuable as if it had no value. This very thing happened to the Christian monks at St. Catherine’s monastery on Mt. Sinai in Egypt.

 

The monks were visited in 1844 by a German researcher named Constantin von Tischendorf, who had come to search for ancient manuscripts of the Bible’s Old and New Testaments. He found piles of extremely valuable Bible manuscripts that were sitting in a wastebasket, waiting to be burned! Included in this wastebasket were two of the most ancient and valuable manuscripts of the Bible that survive to this day.

 

The monks of St. Catherine’s had no idea of the immense value of what they possessed (taken from an article within Good News, Issue 32, p. 30). This is what we do with our adoption guarantee: with the saving Gospel of Jesus and with our magnificent baptism. How often do we toss these aside and let them linger by the wastebasket as we tend to what we sinfully think is so much more in life? We dabble with the things that are passing away and will be forgotten at the expense of neglecting the most important and lasting things!

 

But thanks be to God that this is not what the Lord has done or is doing with you. Since He has covered you with Christ in Holy Baptism (Galatians 3:27), you have received a totally new status in God’s sight. God, in His miracle of Baptism, has adopted you and immediately covers you with Christ’s perfect righteousness and holiness. God has declared you redeemed (purchased from the realm of sin and death) and has declared you justified (declared righteous). He no longer sees your sin. Others may see it. You see it, but God does not! Why not? Because Christ covered you with His blood; God baptized you into His Son; and because you are now adopted.

 

You are God’s very own, welcomed into His family, belonging to the household of faith, with full rights, filled with the Holy Spirit…with a voice that cries out, “Abba! Father!” And the Lord hears you and answers you, because He now counts you as family, welcomed to His table where you are served and strengthened by the body and blood of Jesus which does more than galvanize your adoption, but don’t be surprised by this, because you’re family now! What is the Lord’s is yours, even to the extent of giving you His very body and blood guaranteeing the sanctity of His words to you: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).” You all these gifts, because He has adopted you and now -- as Galatians 4:1 says -- you are the owner of everything: that which belongs to the Father like eternal life and eternal love now belongs to His adopted child, you. Thank God that we are adopted!

Sunday June 12th, 2016 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “You No Longer Live, And Now You’re Really Alive!” (Galatians 2:20 & Galatians 3:13)

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Location: Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine: 12500 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

Directions: Exit Sand Canyon from the 405 or 5, head East towards the hills, cross Irvine Blvd., turn right on Saint's Way (this will put you on the campus of Crean Lutheran High School...we worship in the event center/gym)

Divine Service: 930 am

Bible Study and Sunday School: 11 am

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"Faith" is a word that people use all of the time, but what is it?! Immediately, we can correct the notion that it is something that anyone produces within themselves, because true faith -- saving faith in Christ -- is the gift of God (Eph. 2). But once we have have this gift, what ensues? How is it known? Faith produces other things like acceptance. Accepting for example that what Scriptures reveal about our Savior is true, but is that it? I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that there is more! Tomorrow we will rely on God's Word from our epistle in Galatians to see the full-orbed revelation about faith.

Tomorrow we also receive the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. In this holy gift we receive the very body and blood of Jesus to strengthen our faith and to comfort all of us who are weary and heavy-laden.

The Lord bless you as you prepare for the Divine Service which awaits us in the morning.

In Your Service and To Christ's Glory,

Pastor Espinosa

 

 

 

 

Sunday, June 5th at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “Not Man’s Gospel” (Galatians 1:11-24)

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Location: Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine: 12500 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

Directions: Exit Sand Canyon from the 405 or 5, head East towards the hills, cross Irvine Blvd., turn right on Saint's Way (this will put you on the campus of Crean Lutheran High School...we worship in the event center/gym)

Divine Service: 930 am

Bible Study and Sunday School: 11 am

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The true proclamation of the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation which also delivers from sin, death, and the power of the devil is "The Gospel," the Good News of Jesus Christ for you and for me. But this Gospel is not man's gospel, it is nothing from man or generated by man, it is rather God's Gospel. The true Gospel is therefore "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes." (Romans 1:16) This Gospel -- God's Gospel -- is that which changes lives. Paul who once persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it, was utterly transformed into God's powerful apostle to the Gentiles by God's Gospel!

This Gospel -- God's Gospel -- is also your Gospel. It is "good news" which is transformative for all who receive it through the faith which God's Gospel creates. It binds us to Jesus by the Holy Spirit Who works through it; it assures us of God's grace for us; it gives us hope in the face of all adversity; and it empowers us to live for God so that our lives reflect the One who has conquered sin and death.

This is the Gospel you will receive tomorrow in Divine Service, through the Word proclaimed and through the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Let us come into God's house prepared to be blessed and let us praise Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds.

 

In Jesus' Love,

 

Pastor Espinosa

Sunday, May 29th, 2016 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “But Say The Word” (Luke 7:1-10)

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Location: Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine: 12500 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

Directions: Exit Sand Canyon from the 405 or 5, head East towards the hills, cross Irvine Blvd., turn right on Saint's Way (this will put you on the campus of Crean Lutheran High School...we worship in the event center/gym)

Divine Service: 930 am

Bible Study and Sunday School: 11 am

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

St. Luke demonstrates the universality of the Gospel by presenting this staggering account of the Roman centurion who requested Jesus' help for his dying servant. In this Gospel in Luke 7 we see that God marveled over him. God marveled over a sinner and dust! The evidence as to why God would marvel comes out in the words of the servant, "But say the word, and let my servant be healed." (vs 7) Through the Word that the centurion had already received -- by the Holy Spirit Who worked through it -- the centurion had become a man of faith. And faith is that which is created from, and then constantly relies upon, the Word of Christ. The centurion knew that when the Word is spoken by the Word made flesh (Jesus), then good things happen. The love and mercy of God, for example, is poured out. Sinners receive the healing of the forgiveness of sins, and those who were once dead, come to life. Healing is the great result of the Word. Whether the Word is spoken and a seemingly miraculous physical healing takes place, or the Word is spoken and a Christian leaves this earth with the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, it all happens on account of the Word. The Word sustains us, it brings rain and sun upon the righteous and the unrighteous, the Word provides doctors and counselors, the Word gives eternal life...the Word is spoken and we are blessed, even if -- and sometimes esp. if -- "all" that happens is for us to be sustained through the storms of life so that we continue to hold to Jesus who continues to hold to us!

Come tomorrow morning to receive this Word spoken to you!

Tomorrow will enjoy some other very special blessings: tomorrow is the Sunday marking the 25th anniversary of the holy ordination of our pastor, Rev. Dr. Steven P. Mueller. There is a special rite of thanks and blessing that will be bestowed on Pastor Mueller. Join us in prayer and thanksgiving for this.

Also, we have a current church son, Joshua DeYoung, who is preparing to become an ordained pastor in the LC-MS himself. He has just been assigned to serve as the new vicar at Faith Lutheran Church, Green Bay, Wisconsin. He and his wife Kaitlyn and their baby son, Samuel, will be with us in Divine Service tomorrow morning! Vicar DeYoung will be our lector and present the readings during the Divine Service.

In addition, we are extremely blessed to have our own Rev. Dr. David Loy begin a four-week Bible Study on "Jesus and Paul as Old Testament Interpreters." This will be our 11 am Bible Study offering. Tomorrow, I will meet with the pre-confirmation and confirmation-aged youth in the conference room in the adjacent building.

 

May we continue to gather as God's faithful people, receiving the Word and Sacrament of Jesus, so that our faith would remain burning in our hearts and so that we may be employed by God to do His bidding: to help others come to know the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to say as the centurion once did, "But say the word, and let [Your] servant be healed!"

 

In Jesus' Love,

 

Pastor Espinosa

 

 

 

Sunday May 22nd 2016 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “Lord to Lord” (Acts 2:34-36)

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Location: Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine: 12500 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

Directions: Exit Sand Canyon from the 405 or 5, head East towards the hills, cross Irvine Blvd., turn right on Saint's Way (this will put you on the campus of Crean Lutheran High School...we worship in the event center/gym)

Divine Service: 930 am

Bible Study and Sunday School: 11 am

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Oftentimes the split second a Christian says, "The Holy Trinity," eyes start to glaze over and people can think, "doctrine, dogma...whatever." This is the response of the sinful mind; the response of those who cannot discern the things of the Spirit. These things -- sacred teachings from God's Holy Word -- seem so foolish and "religious." We know they aren't foolish and drab, but are they relevant?

After answering the typical questions like, "Is 'Trinity' even in the Bible?" or "Why is this so nonsensical and illogical?" we can finally start to talk about what is REALLY important: The Holy Trinity is about actually knowing God. To know its significance is to know our loving and gracious God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is to know HOW His love reaches us; it is to know HOW we are saved from sin and death; and it is to know HOW He is still with us today.

Tomorrow is "Holy Trinity Sunday." Come, let us gather to be blessed through the reception of Christ's Word and Sacraments!

Also tomorrow we install our newest staff member who is excited about serving all of God's people at Saint Paul's: Mrs. Beth Vecera (wife to Chris). Beth is our new Administrative Coordinator who will be keeping regular office hours for us Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 3 pm.

In addition, Rev. Dr. Scott Ashmon will teach part 2 of his presentation on Luther's "On Christian Liberty."

Once again, Divine Service with the Holy Sacrament and the proclamation of Christ's Word is at 9:30 am and Sunday School/Bible Study is at 11:00 am.

 

Pastor Mueller and I hope to see you in God's house tomorrow morning!

 

In Your Service and To Christ's Glory,

 

Pastor Espinosa

Sunday May 15th 2016 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: Pentecost! The Gift of the Holy Spirit!

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Location: Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine: 12500 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

Directions: Exit Sand Canyon from the 405 or 5, head East towards the hills, cross Irvine Blvd., turn right on Saint's Way (this will put you on the campus of Crean Lutheran High School...we worship in the event center/gym)

Divine Service: 930 am

Bible Study and Sunday School: 11 am

 

Dear Christians,

One Christian writer referred to the Holy Spirit as "the half-known God"! He is not the power of God, the "presence" of God, the emanation of God, etc. The Holy Spirit IS God, the third person of The Holy Trinity, our Great God. Without God the Holy Spirit we have no faith, no life, no salvation, no church. Without the Holy Spirit we would never know our Savior Jesus! Thank the Holy Spirit! Praise the Holy Spirit! Bid Him to come daily to fill you! You may since you are baptized and have already been gifted with Him! You received Him when you were baptized! God is with you!
Acts 2 is fascinating. This is the basis for the sermon. It speaks of the "last days," what are these? It speaks of visions, dreams, tongues...what are these? It speaks of the moon turning to blood, blood, fire, vapor...what is all of this referring to? God's holy Law and life-giving Gospel will be proclaimed and we will also teach about these things! Come and be equipped!
We also celebrate the holy baptism of Micah Maher. Congratulations to Maher family! We rejoice with them. Micah is receiving the seal of salvation, the gift of the Holy Spirit!
We also receive the Holy Sacrament. The very body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We receive this glorious medicine for forgiveness, life, and salvation!
Also, Dr. Scott Ashmon will teach a study after Divine Service on Luther's "On Christian Liberty"...you won't want to miss this! We are being blessed with an outstanding teacher on a very important topic!
I hope to see you in God's house!
In Jesus' Love,

Pastor

Sunday May 8th, 2016 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church: “Real and Lasting Unity Found in Jesus” (John 17:20-26)

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Dear Christians,

Doesn't watching the news nowadays just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside while witnessing so many examples of disunity?! Tomorrow the Scriptures reveal and give us the opportunity to proclaim our UNITY. This is a sermon I'm excited to proclaim! We need to hear it in a time and in a culture that goes the other way.
Tomorrow we also administer the Holy Sacrament for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation!
ALSO: we have a special gift for all of our mothers since it is Mother's Day!
Let us celebrate our lives in Christ and once again receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit working through the Word and Sacrament to strengthen our faith and to keep us in Jesus!
In Jesus' Love,
Pastor Espinosa
p.s. Tomorrow's adult bible study is a single study I will present on "The Unity Of The Old and New Testaments" and then on May 15th and May 22nd, Rev. Dr. Scott Ashmon will present Luther's "On Christian Liberty."

Sunday, May 1st, 2016 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today is the Sixth Sunday after Easter which is to say that the Easter season continues: the time of resurrection, the time of new life, and the time of hope which is certain and true. But have you noticed that while we continue in our hope in the risen Christ that our common experience in this life fights against hope? We confess life, but the world throws death at us! We confess hope, but the world stirs up fear and sorrow!
Our Gospel tomorrow is John 16:23-33. In this Scripture our Lord is recorded as saying at verse 33: "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
The answer to the world's counter to our faith is to counter back -- yes, we are indeed in a good fight -- with the Word of Christ. His powerful and enduring Word says that we may take heart that we are in Christ who has overcome the world. This is why we abide in the Word; this is why we faithfully receive the Holy Sacrament; and this is why we remain steadfast in prayer.
"Take heart," Jesus says, "[for] I have overcome the world."
Pastor Mueller and I hope to see you in God's house tomorrow morning.
In Jesus' Love,
Pastor Espinosa

Holy Week Special Services

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Maundy Thursday, 3/24: "The Last Supper: A Place of Forgiveness"
Good Friday, 3/25: "Golgatha: A Place of Simple Love"

Easter Divine Service is March 27th at 9:30 AM. Please join us for an Easter Breakfast and Egg Hunt right after service at approximately 11 AM.