Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Tomorrow Sunday May 24th, 2015 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: The Day of Pentecost


Divine Service: 9:30 am

Bible Study for adults, high school, and Sunday School for junior youth and little children starts at 11:00 am

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)


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The red color of Pentecost represents the outpouring of the Holy Spirit given to Christ's Church and the tongues of fire which rested upon those first disciples gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 2). This gift of the Holy Spirit is given to all Christians who are baptized into Jesus. The gift is yours.
In our Gospel tomorrow from John 15:26 we hear that the Holy Spirit is "the Helper" and "the Spirit of truth." Furthermore, we learn about His mission and work: "he will bear witness about me."
There is a lot packed in this verse, and it is so important to our Christian lives. We have received forgiveness, salvation, and new life, but remaining and growing in these are vital concerns. How will we remain in this faith? How will we grow in it? We need the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we are lost.
He is the only way Christ is kept before our eyes of faith. Thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit!
Let us gather to be fed with the Word and also the Holy Sacrament. Let us gather to be blessed!
A note about one of our members: Dr. Eleanor Pettus has moved to Atlanta, GA to begin a new position. We were greatly blessed to be in fellowship with Eleanor. She was and is an example of Christ's salt and light. She is a woman of faith who has always conducted herself as a holy one of Christ, bold and deliberate about walking with God in all purity of conduct and life. She served our congregation on the altar guild and one year worked hard for us to enjoy what turned out to be an outstanding children's Christmas program. Of course, she was regular in Divine Service and lived out the ministry of mutual encouragement. We will miss her and we pray that the Lord will richly bless her next stage of service in the Kingdom!
Here is an excerpt from tomorrow's sermon:

“He Will Testify About Me”

(John 15:26)

Pastor Espinosa


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. So what exactly is “Pentecost”? This is not an incidental thing. For our lives of faith and for truly knowing God, it is a big, big deal! We need to know about Pentecost and the great gift that was given!

“Pentecost means ‘fiftieth day’ and refers to the Hebrew...Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16), [and the] day of First Fruits (Numbers 28:26)....” [Lueker, ed., Concordia Bible Dictionary, 108] “It was named Pentecost because it fell on the fiftieth day after the offering of the barley sheaf [a bundle of cut stalks of grain presented] during the Passover celebration. [That first offering of Passover led to the Pentecost] offering of firstfruits [50 days later].” [Tenney, ed., The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopdia of the Bible, vol 4, 692]. First fruits are signs that what was originally presented has led to great blessing! If you have a good planting, then you will have a good harvest!

In very simple terms: Passover brought forth God’s richest blessings (the necessary grain) and 50 days later, Pentecost was the proof that these richest blessings led to an ongoing blessing or harvest (symbolized for example by loaves of bread brought forward during Pentecost). First the grain, then the bread...there was a pouring out of more blessings from the first blessing.

This is beautiful imagery: just as you must first have grain to make bread, you must first have a Savior to know salvation. Jesus is the Passover Lamb of God. He was the great offering – giving His very body and blood – to save us from sin and death. And 50 days later there is a great harvest! Just as grain leads to bread to eat; Jesus’ death and resurrection lead to a real life to live. But for that life to happen, a harvest must occur; a pouring out of the blessings that follow the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And sure enough! 50 days after His death and resurrection, Jesus poured out His first-fruits gift; His resultant real-life blessing for you and for me: Pentecost shows the result of what Jesus “planted” when He won for us the forgiveness of sins through the great harvest of the Holy Spirit. What has come from Jesus’ great saving work? The blessing of the Holy Spirit. He is the grain turned to bread. He is the One who fills us so that we may know Jesus, the Bread of Life.

There is no Christian life, no faith, no peace, no salvation, and nothing good apart from the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to be alive in our spirit like our bodies need air to breath. Without the Holy Spirit, we are spiritually dead, but with the Holy Spirit, we live...Christ’s harvest of eternal life is within us. That’s how important the Holy Spirit is.

With the concept of harvest comes a very basic and vital realization: we get to live. Harvest means life is given. Without a harvest, we starve. Without a harvest, we die. With a harvest, we live. The Holy Spirit is our Christian harvest. With Him, we live. With Him, we do not die.

But we continue to learn about our Christian lives and the Holy Spirit through the Old Testament. Never let anyone ever tell you that the Old Testament isn’t important. In so many ways, we just can’t understand the New Testament without it. The Old Testament is the foundation of the Gospel itself.

In all of these blessings from God at Passover and Pentecost, the Lord led His people to be in worship. They were active in the worship; they were active in the receiving (if nothing else). They were offering themselves to God, even as God was coming to them to bless them. They were gathered to receive the blessing; they were gathered to receive the harvest. Nothing has changed.

This is why we worship. This is why we come to Church: to receive the blessing of Jesus...and to know the harvest of the Holy Spirit. Jesus who has won your salvation gives you His first-fruit gifts: in Holy Baptism you receive the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit feeds and nourishes your faith as you hear the sermon; and the Holy Spirit leads you to receive the body and blood of Christ in a good and proper way as you come forward for Holy Communion. The Holy Spirit is the harvest of God who “calls, gathers, and enlightens” the Christian Church on earth. Again, we can’t have faith without Him!

But our offerings of worship don’t just take place here. They continue as we go out into the world and live in it 24/7...and guess who is guiding and sustaining you Christian? The Holy Spirit! And as He does, you are experiencing what it means to have a new life, but this is where as your pastor I am especially eager to describe the new life harvest the Holy Spirit is giving to you.

What is this new life like? Some would have you believe that if you have this new life, this harvest life of the Holy Spirit that you become some sort of super Christian; full of astounding and spectacular spiritual gifts; and living in such a way as to avoid the common struggles of the rest of humanity...perhaps having better health, a better attitude, and knowing all kinds of extraordinary benefits. This is how the world sees the harvest of true spirituality. And our flesh sees it this way as well. If you were really filled with the first-fruit harvest of the Holy Spirit, then you would be a much better Christian. You wouldn’t struggle so much with doubts, fears and temptations. Life would be easier. This is, however, not the true faith, but a form of triumphalism, utopian imagination, our “theology of glory” image of the Christian faith. When we convince ourselves of these images, then we don’t attain this life, we are tempted not to believe at all. These are gross misunderstandings of what it is like to know the harvest ministry of the Holy Spirit.

So what is this harvest ministry? It is put forth very simply in the first verse of our Gospel in John 15:26: “[Jesus said:] When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.”

[come to worship tomorrow and hear the rest of this sermon!]
I hope to see you tomorrow morning in God's house.
In Jesus' Love,
Pastor Espinosa

Tomorrow Sunday May 17th 2015 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “Ascended…and Closer Than Ever Before” (Luke 24:44-53)


Divine Service: 9:30 am

Bible Study for adults, high school, and Sunday School for junior youth and little children starts at 11:00 am

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)


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This past Thursday, May 14th, was the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, the 40th day after the Lord's resurrection from the grave. Tomorrow, Sunday, May 17th, we will observe this feast and celebrate it.
It might seem like this is a formality: the Christian Church is supposed to mark the special days of Jesus. This is a very religious thing to do, etc (though I'm not sure how this makes a difference in my life today)!
This thought-line misses the significance. The ascension of our Lord assures you of God's presence in your life. He is not far away even though reason wants to say, "Well if Jesus was taken up into heaven, he's far away." No. The result of the ascension is the direct opposite of this idea. Christ entering into heaven in glory means that He lives for us with no restraints. He has entered the position of glorious reign while He remains more than interested in helping you, in saving you, and in guiding you. The ascension means that we have assurance that God -- in Christ -- really is with us!
*** Tomorrow is also a day of a special offering. We will do something that we do not do very often: after the regular offering, there will be a secondary special offering to raise funds for military BibleSticks (with the digitized New Testament) for our U.S. troops. For every $100.00 we raise, we will sponsor four (4) troops. A squadron represents 12 troops; a platoon has 40 troops. Let us ask the Lord to lead us to see how we might give God's Word to the men and women who defend our nation.
*** Please keep in prayer: today, Saturday, May 16th, is the funeral of Ray Hulett's brother Ryan. Please keep Ray's family in prayer and pray that the Gospel would be powerfully proclaimed.
Also please keep Chris Panichi's mother, Janet Panichi, in prayer. She had surgery for an aneurysm this past Tuesday. She is still recovering in ICU.
In addition, please keep Don Cittel in prayer as he has now been in hospice for about two weeks.
*** We all carry many burdens and tomorrow the Lord will give us His body and blood. He will give us the greatest resource in the world by doing so. Of course, I understand why so many have no thirst or urgency for this gift. To them, it is only bread and wine. It is nothing but a remembrance and to remember is something one can do anytime. But to others who know the truth: Jesus keeps His word. He says it is His body; it is His blood. These pour out continually our life-line; they give forgiveness; and this relieves the soul of the terrible loads we bear. Come to the feast; come and receive your Savior in what gives healing and strength. I rejoice to offer it to you!
Here is an excerpt from tomorrow's sermon:

Ascended...and Closer Than Ever Before

(Luke 24:44-53)

Pastor Espinosa

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Ascended Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen! Alleluia! Christ is ascended! He is ascended indeed! Alleluia! Yes, it is good and right to say “alleluia” on this great feast of the Ascension which we observe today (though it officially landed on the 40th day of Easter, this past Thursday). And even though this day of the Ascension of Christ is so important in the Word of God and in the life of the Holy Church, it is a day that many are confused about. What is this ascension all about?


Well, what it is clearly not about is any inference or idea that the Lord Jesus is now further away from us; that He was taken far, far away to observe us from His heavenly throne that is totally detached from us His people. No way! Much to the contrary, the ascension of our Lord – when He ascended on high in glory – is a day that has established that our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ is now closer to us than ever before!


I would like to point out some important Scriptures from the book of Acts which were events that occurred after the ascension. So Christ indeed ascended into heaven, but notice how He continued to interact with His people still on earth:


The first example is the stoning/the martyrdom of St. Stephen. He had proclaimed the Word of the Lord and convicted those he was preaching to. Those who heard him were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him (Acts 7:54) and were on the verge of stoning him, but note what is recorded at Acts 7:55:


“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”


Stephen had proclaimed the Word of Truth, he was full of the Holy Spirit and He saw the Lord Jesus right before he died! Jesus was there. Jesus was with him!


Consider also Acts 9:3-5. In this Scripture St. Paul in his pre-converted state was known as “Saul;” he was actively persecuting the Church. He was on his way to arrest Christians on the road to Damascus, but this is what the Word of God records:


“...and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are persecuting me?’ 5And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.’”


Jesus – the King of Kings who ascended into heaven – was right there speaking to Saul who was in the process of being converted into the mighty St. Paul. It was Jesus Himself conducting this great work for Paul’s re-birth!


Finally, consider Acts 23:11. St. Paul was before the Jewish council and witnessing to Ananias the high priest and the other chief priests. The meeting got violent and so soldiers were commanded to take Paul away into barracks (Acts 23:10). Then, the Scriptures record this in Acts 23:11 which reveals when the Lord Jesus came to Paul again:


“The following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.’”   


But this evidence from the book of Acts is just the icing on the cake and it might be argued that the “cake” itself is our Gospel this morning from Luke 24! Our Lord demonstrates that He is always with us as we glean from verses 44-52 in Luke chapter 24:


  1. By virtue of the Holy Scriptures “written about [Him].” To have the Word of Christ is to have Christ. Our Lord comes to us through His Word!
  2. By virtue of His power to open our minds to understand the Scriptures. He is working on you to this day to increase your understanding of His healing and liberating Word!
  3. By virtue of the power of the Gospel itself which proclaims that He had to suffer and then be raised from the dead to convert people to God through what is conveyed by this Gospel: namely the forgiveness of sins.
  4. By virtue of the powerful ongoing ministry of Christ’s Church with and through which our Lord is always working repentance in the lives of people through His proclamation in His office of the ministry. That is the Gospel works in us to turn us from sin and towards God. Christians are serious about leaving sin behind...this is a sign of Christ’s presence!
  5. By virtue of His sending His disciples out to be His witnesses who according to the Word are “clothed with power from on high.”
  6. By virtue of His lifting up His hands to bless. He did so for the original disciples and He does so to this day through His office of the ministry.
  7. By virtue of being here with us as we worship Him to this day...worshipping Him with joy even in the face of our many trials because we know He has not left us alone.


But finally and most importantly is the ascension itself. It means as the Scriptures teach in our epistle from Ephesians that Christ “fills all in all.” One example of this is the fact that the Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Christ and where the Holy Spirit is, Christ is. If the Holy Spirit fills you, then Christ is with you. You who are know who you received: you received the Holy Spirit; and that means you also received Christ! This is for all intents and purposes beyond our capacity to grasp and yet is true. The Almighty God who is uncontainable – and this is a deep mystery – has at the same time chosen to be with you and to be in you (John 14:20).


So Christ has ascended and it means quite simply dear Christian that He has never been closer to you than He is now. You are never alone. Jesus is with you. His ascension guarantees it. He who is ascended can do anything, and He has chosen to guarantee and to promise that He is with you always! And after this sermon is done, He will demonstrate this promise again in the intimacy of the Holy Sacrament in and through which He gives you His very body and blood. These are no mere signs; they are the guarantees that the ascended Lord has given us ways to know God is with us!

[and to hear the rest of the sermon which emphasizes and applies the Gospel]
In Jesus' Love,
Pastor Espinosa

Tomorrow May 10th 2015 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “Abide in My Love” (John 15)


Divine Service: 9:30 am

Bible Study for adults, high school, and Sunday School for junior youth and little children starts at 11:00 am

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)


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Tomorrow we are in John 15:9-17 and the Lord elaborates from last week: we are to abide in Him...and tomorrow He proclaims "Abide in my love." His gift of love -- the best love in life -- is His way of keeping us in His is our faith in Christ that knows how much we are loved. This love leads us and directs us. It is the way to live!
Come and receive the Lord's love through Word and Sacrament!
We will also distribute a special gift to our moms!
Here is an excerpt from tomorrow's sermon:
Abide in My Love
John 15:9-17
Pastor Espinosa

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Alleluia! Christ is risen! [Response: He is risen indeed! Alleluia!] In Jesus’ Name. Amen. Last week we studied and received into our hearts the magnificent Gospel from the first part of John 15: Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. In that Gospel He commanded: “Abide in me.” The Lord is looking out for you dear Christian in revealing to you how to remain in life, not death; in the peace of God that He has won for you, not alienation and separation from the God of peace. And while we had a clue last week in terms of the signs that we do indeed abide – remain with and in – Jesus Christ namely, 1) His words remain in us (His life-giving teaching, most especially that you are cleansed and continue to be cleaned or pruned); and 2) The fruit, more fruit (15:2), and much fruit (15:5, the good works that God has prepared in advance for you to do), there is more to be said. We certainly praise God for these great signs and assurances...these are indeed great consolations that you abide in Christ the Life of the World. These are signs that the peace of God is in your life. We need such signs along the way, because life is very hard.

This past week I was in the hospital with one of our members who was anxious about her upcoming surgery so I shared with her Isaiah 26:3: “You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Going into the surgery, I compared our anxiety to the winds and waves that buffeted the disciples on the boat when they saw Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22f.), but when Peter had his mind and eyes stayed on Christ nothing else mattered. His fear from the wind and waves was canceled out and indeed for a short time, even Peter walked on water. The great encouragement though continues: even when in our sin we take our mind and eyes off of Christ and permit ourselves to be driven by the restless wind and waves of the world again (when the devil seeks to sift us like wheat), and we begin to sink, what did the Lord do? He rescued Peter and pulled him back up. So keep your mind and heart on Christ and if you begin to sink, know that the One who died and rose for you will lift you back up and then keep your mind and heart upon Him again (and this cycle of grace continues).

But our Lord Jesus loves us so much that He elaborates on this cycle of grace. He does not want you to be ambiguous or unclear about how you remain united with and connected to Him. We need to know this dear Christians. How easy it is for us to feel that God is far away and to feel as though we have no idea as to how to abide in Christ, to remain in His life for us.

He has won for you His peace. His blood covers your sins. God the Father now sees you as a forgiven and holy one in His Son: you have peace with God! We want desperately, however, to remain in this peace. We want desperately to remain in Christ our Savior.
This makes sense because our sin makes us insecure. It raises the worst doubts in us and tries to convince us that we are unable to go on. That is our sin is daily trying to pull us away from abiding in Christ and needless to say this is the goal of the evil one. So Christ your Savior pulls you close to Himself and says with the most compassionate love and mercy, “Abide in me.” But then our sin, the world, and the devil grab our attention and tries to yank us out of the Savior’s arms. This “tug of war” is the normal Christian life, so needless to say we need additional resources, more ammo in this battle, more encouragement, and great clarity about how we are going to in fact abide in our Savior so that we never leave Him; so that we are never pulled away from Him! This is what our Gospel today is for.

So Jesus continues His teaching for your great security and what he is doing is giving you a fortress of security. Going into John 15 the Lord had already assured you of peace. How is it that the Lord would even approach me, a terrible sinner? It is because He has brought peace through His blood. His blood covers your sins. Now you have peace. So in John 14:27 the Lord says:

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

This is the impetus behind knowing that the Lord gladly holds you with your warts and all; with your doubts and all of your struggles. In-spite of these and by covering these with His blood, you have peace with God, but He knows that you should have even more assurance in your abiding in Him. So in what follows from today’s Gospel in John 15:9-17...

1. Your peace is complemented with...
2. Love which is further complemented with...
3. Joy

Not just any love or joy mind you, but with a very specific love and a very specific joy. This is what our Gospel is about. And be clear, these give answer to, “Exactly how do I know that I abide in Christ?” Again we already know that this is partially answered through His words that abide in you and through the fruit, more fruit, and much fruit, but we need more and so He gives you more. He wants you to be confident in your faith Christian!

I hope you take this the right way. The sinful skeptic wants to criticize what has been said thus far, “What’s the matter, does God have trouble getting it right?” Don’t go there. There are actually good reasons as to why the Lord goes this extra step for us. Our good works – while being a sign of our abiding in Christ – can never be the basis for our abiding in Christ. We compromise our confidence regarding our good works, because how often we do other works that seem to cancel the good that we do? On top of that even our good works are grossly tainted with sin and in the end, in themselves, are as unclean rags. (Is 64:6) Furthermore, the words of our Lord are certainly efficacious and produce faith...we are to rejoice that His words abide in us, but how often we look away from His words and listen to other words...the words of our flesh which lure us not to live for God, but self; the words of the world which lure us to deeply desire things that will turn to dust; and the words of the devil which lure us to seek the things of pride and our sin we permit words of death to cover the words of life.

These impact our peace. These make us restless. And when that happens, we doubt.

This is why our Lord takes the next step.

1. Not just His peace, but
2. His love, and not just His love, but
3. His joy

Why are these so important? Because dear Christian these put you in the life of Christ itself. The love and joy of the Lord will not permit us to be bystanders to the faith. The love and joy of the Lord will not permit us to treat the faith as this theoretical thing to be thought about and merely analyzed on a comfortable rocker on our front porch as we sip tea or lemonade. The peace of God and the actual presence of our Savior through His Word and Sacrament compel us to live. To be people of action who know the Lord’s action in and through us...our faith must be active; it can’t help but be and when this happens the Lord takes away time from the skeptic; takes away the doubt from the casual observer, but because the casual observer is transformed into an active doer. His or her peace is extended through love and joy.

In Christ,

Tomorrow Sunday May 3rd, 2015 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “Abide in Me, and I in You” (John 15:1-8)


Divine Service: 9:30 am

Bible Study for adults, high school, and Sunday School for junior youth and little children starts at 11:00 am

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)


Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

John 15 is truly a great Scripture. Our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ identifies Himself as the true vine and that we -- the people of God -- are His branches. It is hard to think of a better description of what it means to be a Christian. In a world in which we are bombarded with that which takes from you, extracts, exhausts, weighs down, weakens, etc., we are led to the One who lifts up, adds to, invigorates, restores, heals, revives...He is our Vine, the true Vine, the genuine Vine. This is our theme tomorrow; this is His Word for you!
Also come to receive the Lord directly in the bountiful and powerful gift of the Holy Sacrament. Through this means of grace we "bear much fruit." (John 15)
Let me switch gears and share a very important announcement with you:
Today (Saturday, May 2nd) our organist Karissa Lystrup graduates from Concordia University Irvine and not too long ago she was offered a truly fantastic full-time position to serve a very large LC-MS congregation (St. John's) in Bakersfield, CA. This is a golden opportunity for her and she has decided to take the position.
Karissa has been a fantastic servant of God in our midst. And the timing of it all...when we needed to have a strong start (in a re-start congregation/like a mission church) and when we needed a strong musician, the Lord sent Karissa to us. For almost four years she has been that perfect musician for us. She was instrumental (no pun intended) in helping us build a strong foundation for the church. I can't think of anyone who could have done a better job!
Karissa will continue to serve us throughout this month and the month of June. Her first day in Bakersfield is July 1st. The leadership will of course begin the process for a new organist.
In the meantime, please reach out to Karissa sharing the love and support of Christ and thanking her for her heart-felt service to us. She will be missed!
Here is a little excerpt from tomorrow's sermon:
Abide in Me, and I in You
(John 15:1-8)
Pastor EspinosaGrace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen. Alleluia! He is risen! [He is risen indeed! Alleluia!]. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! How often dear Christians – and how easily – do we feel completely drained? Most assuredly our cares and concerns weigh us down and our actual deficiencies due to our true weaknesses and limitations make us feel wholly inadequate. It is like we are always running out of power.

Our contemporary technology reminds us of this. My laptop has a battery, but it only lasts for about an hour and -- you know the routine -- before you know it, you’ve got to plug it in because it is about to die. How often do we do this with our phones? Just the other day there I was repeating that all-too familiar scenario: there is an important call coming in, but my phone was about to die. In that particular instance, my phone charger wasn’t in my car. The whole episode raised the stress-level and produced a fair share of anxiety. The I-Pad needs to be plugged in, the coffee maker needs to be filled with water, the car needs gas...even “the Engergizer Bunny” (if you remember those commercials) doesn’t really go on forever...the “going, going, and going” eventually stops going!
Our Lord Jesus teaches us as much, but in application to infinitely more important realities. He says bluntly – and with the greatest love for you – that “apart from [Him], you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) We need to hear this and we need to believe it. It isn’t easy for us to do. In-spite of all the examples of limitations all around us, we behave as if this really isn’t true of ourselves (even though there is so much evidence to the contrary). But why do we act this way as if to live in a state of denial (even though we know that our limitations are as real as real can be)? Our sin of course makes us behave as though we are totally self-sufficient. It is our sin that drives us to live as if we do not need the one and only power source, even the Lord.
Jesus here in John 15 is using this rich imagery of the vine, but we should understand that when the disciples heard the imagery, they most likely already knew that Jesus was using the imagery in a new and different way. You see the Jews had heard about the vine before, but in the Old Testament it was in reference to the people of Israel. Israel herself – the apple of His eye – was God’s vine.
Israel, however, in Psalm 80:9-19 was a vine that stopped flourishing. They too experienced their sinful limitation – their rebellion against God got them “unplugged” from the Lord and they lost their power -- and in this Psalm there is begging to God to restore His people; to re-energize them again.
The Lord had and has compassion. He saw Israel’s true state and He sees ours and He knows that we do not have what it takes to be our own vines, our own sources of life and power. So in the greatest love and mercy He came to the Jews; in the greatest love and mercy He comes to you:
1[Jesus said:] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
I hope to see you in God's house tomorrow morning!
In Jesus' Love,

Tomorrow Sunday, April 19th, 2015 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “Having Sin vs. Committing Sin” (1st John 3:1-7)


Divine Service: 9:30 am

Bible Study for adults, high school, and Sunday School for junior youth and little children starts at 11:00 am

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)


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A really weird circumstance has occurred in modern Christianity regarding sin (or perhaps this self-same problem has just always been there since the beginning): we know that the Scriptures teach that we have sin and we experience our own personal sin every day, but with this we begin to take on this idea of, "Oh well, I'm just a sinner...what else does one expect?" "A leopard can't change its just go with the flow." If nothing else we can remind ourselves that we sin "in weakness." What comes out of such thinking is laxity towards sin. We just start to accept it, but then we accept it so much that we just give in to the flesh, but this is not the Christian life.
Let's be sure to have a right view about the situation and tomorrow we will do so through a sermon entitled, "Having Sin vs. Committing Sin" (1st John 3:1-7) It's important in that we want to live in our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ who did not rise from the dead for sin to be our master, but so that through His glorious victory, we would be "under new management" if you will.
Also, tomorrow we have Bible Study and Sunday School at 11:00 am for:
1. Adults: starting a new study tomorrow morning on World Religions with Dr. Russell Dawn.
2. High Schoolers: Ghosts and the Paranormal part 2.
3. Jr. High: with Dr. Mary Hobus.
4. Little Ones: with Traci Espinosa.
Today was a great outing to the 8th Annual Catechism Convocation of the People which was sponsored this year by Grace Lutheran Church, San Diego. I had the honor of being one of two keynote speakers on the Resurrected Savior in connection to the six chief parts of the Small Catechism. The other talk was given by Rev. Dr. John Bombaro. The recordings for these will soon be made available to you.
I hope to see you in God's house tomorrow morning. It is the most important Sunday of our lives...the one we will have "today"!!! Today...let us be served with the Word and Sacrament of our Glorious, let us receive forgiveness and eternal life!
Here is an excerpt from tomorrow's sermon:
Having Sin vs. Committing Sin
(1st John 3:1-7)
Pastor Espinosa
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Alleluia! Christ is risen! And this dear Christians has put us into a whole new relationship with God and in a whole new relationship with sin. To be in the risen Christ – as your baptism assures you that you absolutely are – means among other things that sin is no longer your master (Romans 6). You have died to sin. Christ died with your sin upon Him...your sin was buried with Him. It is covered and as far as God is concerned, it is gone (which explains why God doesn’t remember it, Is 43:25: “It is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake and remember your sins no more.”). And since you are joined to Christ who St. John says in our epistle is righteous, practicing sin is out, practicing righteousness is in.
Didymus the Blind explains: “Just as the person who dwells in virtue and true doctrine does not sin and is not ignorant, so the one who remains in Christ, who is his righteousness and sanctification, does not sin. For how can someone act unrighteously when he is in the company of righteousness, and how can he be content to place corruption alongside holiness?” (Ancient Christian Commentary, New Testament XI, 197)
Does this make you uneasy? I hope so. It’s supposed to. Not as a ploy or a manipulation, but as maintaining what the Holy Spirit is always doing for our own good: generating the terrors of conscience in us so that we would hunger and thirst for God’s grace in Christ over and over again! We cannot rationalize our situation. We are in Christ. Christ is risen! Sin has been defeated. What it produces, namely death, has been defeated. These cannot mark those who are in Christ. Thus, St. John is plain at 1st John 3:6: “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” That’s pretty clear.
John is not denying that the sinful nature clings to us. He does not reject the truth of our original sin; nor does he suggest we are not to confess our sin. How could he when he is the one who also wrote, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves...” and obviously then leads us to confess our sin. (1st John 1:8-9). So again, John is neither denying nor contradicting any of these things.
At the same time, John is defending, teaching, and proclaiming your new identity. He started by saying that God calls you children of God, and then says point blank: “and so we are.” God calls and things come into existence. His Word creates. He spoke over the universe: “let there be light” and there was light; He speaks over you: you are a child of God and behold, that is what you are! In and through Jesus, God has called you His child. Hear it again, that is what you are.
So St. John is saying that since this is what you are, this is what this life looks doesn’t sin. He is grapping our attention and slapping us from falling asleep in Satan’s deception and lies. Dr. Schuchard gives an uncompromising commentary and tells the truth: “John has indicated [instead] that sin is no small matter. Sin is deadly. So the apostle gives no permission in weakness or otherwise to sin, ever. Sin is ever present, corrupting every thought, word, and deed (see 1:8, 10). John extols not to some kind of born-again perfectionism. Neither does he here or elsewhere (see further 3:9) contradict himself. Rather, he exhorts in consistent terms to a concerted pattern, to a tenor, to a way of life that is ever lived in active opposition to sins’ pervasive influence and power, that sin would never be either an indifferent matter or a ‘settled habit.’ In no way does the sinner acquiesce, give up, give in, tolerate, condone, or otherwise ignore sin. In no way does the sinner suggest that the reign of sin is ‘just the way God made me.’” (Bruce G. Schuchard, Concordia Commentary, 1-3 John, 328-329)
In Jesus' Love,
Pastor Espinosa

Tomorrow Sunday April 12th, 2015 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “What Now?” (1st John 1:5-2:2)


Divine Service: 9:30 am

Bible Study for adults, high school, and Sunday School for junior youth and little children starts at 11:00 am

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)


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As one having the privilege to serve you as pastor, I am deeply thankful for our congregation. Over the last two amazing Sundays, we averaged over 180 people per Sunday and the Lord truly blessed us for Confirmation Sunday and Easter Sunday.
Yet -- and at the same time -- I am mindful that as wonderful as God's gifts are in the past, the most important Sunday is the one tomorrow morning. This day is the day of salvation; this day is the day to serve God's people -- all of you -- with the precious and powerful Word and Sacrament of Jesus!
Tomorrow the sermon is entitled, "Now What?" We received the Word of Christ on Easter Sunday and heard of the ministry of our Living Lord Jesus to us, but now what? How should we then live? This is what the sermon is about!
Also, tomorrow is an important day for me as it marks my 4-year anniversary since my installation here at Saint Paul's on April 9th, 2011. Thank you for my call to serve! I rejoice in all of you as we celebrate our redemption and fellowship in Christ! I am blessed to serve Saint Paul's!
In addition, tomorrow is another opportunity for Bible Study for adults, high school, and Sunday School children at 11:00 am:
Pastor Mueller is presenting the following adult study:
Worship: The Big Picture. The Divine Service has been used for most of the Church’s history. We follow it in worship every week, using several different musical settings. Our Sunday Morning Bible class, taught by Pastor Mueller, will look at why we use this service and how the pieces fit together to prepare us, aid us in receiving God’s gifts, and help us to respond in faith and gratitude. Bring your bulletin and Bible as we look deeper into the Divine Service.
I am presenting the following high school study:
Ghosts and the Paranormal. Hollywood inundates us with the concept of ghosts, hauntings, and possessions. This is scary stuff! What does God's Word say about these things and how are we to understand these phenomenon? Most importantly in regards to what might be real, how are we protected? Our high school students and adult supporters of the high school youth group are invited to attend. We meet in the conference room.
Sunday School. Dr. Mary Hobus meets with our junior youth and Mrs. Traci Espinosa meets with the little ones.
Here is an excerpt from tomorrow morning's sermon:

“Now What?”

(1st John 1:5-2:2)

Pastor Espinosa


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Alleluia! Christ is risen! [response: He is risen indeed! Alleluia!]. And He is risen indeed, what?


The risen, living Lord Jesus preaches to us, intercedes for us, and works all things for the good of all of you, His children [summary of last week’s conclusion], but while all of these things are true, these descriptors are about His ongoing work. The risen Lord continues to be quite active, but are you confined only to sheer reception? Is that the summary of the Christian life? Is the “what now?” (the way the resurrection of our Lord Jesus impacts our lives today?): “just kick back and relax?” In our first reading from Acts, the answer is an emphatic: “no way, no how!” The fellowship of the first century Christian Church was not only expressed through a common confession of faith, but through a conscientious service to their fellow Christians so that “there was not a needy person among them.” (Acts 4:34) Faith confessed and faith transformed into mercy go hand-in-hand. In the Gospel from John 20, the risen Lord Jesus gives His apostles His peace and the Holy Spirit, but these gifts were not given for the apostles to stare at themselves to say, “what a good boy am I,” but they were given so that the apostles would go forth to actively convey these same gifts to everyone else who would receive them! This was a joyful ministry, but it was also an arduous one. It was hard work. It was God’s work, but it was work. The risen Lord Jesus produces lives that work, faith that works. Thus the Lutheran Confessions teach that good works are necessary; not necessary for salvation, but necessary because faith produces the fruits of faith.


Of course we need to take care in our teaching here, because every aspect of our active lives in Christ – in our state of grace – is produced and caused by God’s gift of grace. The point here is that the end result in what we experience is not living as a bump on the log. Christ is living. He gives us a new life. This new life is overflowing. You can’t miss it. It shows Jesus!


Francis A. Schaeffer was acutely concerned about the question, “how should we then live?” In his book entitled with this very question, “How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture,” he warned us about the challenges set before us: “the hallmark of the present generation of humanistic thinking” is the acceptance of what Schaeffer referred to as “the dichotomy”. What did he mean by this? He meant that our culture has separated meaning and values from reason. We are making major decisions about how to live – how we want to live – based purely on our base desires without the support of sound reason. Schaeffer wrote prophetically back in the 70’s and we have seen the truth of his words in the 21st century.


Dr. Robert George, author, and professor, Princeton University, warns us about the current cultural onslaughts against marriage: marriage is becoming a legal convention to support an emotional union which may or may not be open to children and from the liberal perspective is as right as any other. This is as George puts it “secular orthodoxy.” (Dr. Robert George, presentation: “In Defense of Life and Liberty: Natural Law and Reason,” LCMS Life Conference, January 23rd, 2015) Marriage, however, is more than simply an emotional bond. The Word of God teaches that “the two will become one flesh.” This isn’t just a metaphor, but corresponds to what is. Marriage constitutes a biological union at every level of human existence. Reproduction is a single act, but it isn’t – naturally – performed individually. Male and female become one organically, but the current wave in our culture is to make marriage a matter of personal preference. George warns that secularism wants to totally privatize religion and make secularism itself into the predominant established religion. The break-down in society corresponds to the break-down of marriage...and the break-down of marriage will have a profound effect on our religious freedom.


This summer the Supreme Court will issue another ruling on same-sex marriage and it pertains to states’ rights. And the lure from the culture is represented by what actor Brad Pitt has said, “It is each American’s constitutional right to marry the person they love, no matter what state they inhabit. No state should decide who can marry and who cannot.” (LC-MS Reporter April 2015). The Word of God has a different perspective: “[Jesus] answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’” (Matthew 19:4-6) Rev. Richard Eyer said eloquently as quoted by our LCMS Reporter: “Marriage cannot be whatever a society wants it to be. We as Christians bear witness to the truth, and the dark ages of sin will not change it.”


Schaeffer went on to teach that once we become aware of the danger against the faith and against the Church, “as Christians we are not only to know the right world view, the world view that tells us the truth of what is, but consciously to act upon that world view so as to influence society in all its parts and facets across the whole spectrum of life, as much as we can to the extent of our individual and collective ability.” He also warns us. We have to be realistic. If we would live out our faith, it will come at a cost. Again, prophetically, he warned that if we do nothing, then we or our children [and all who profess Christ] will eventually be construed as the enemy of society and the state. (How Should We Then Live, 256)


It’s time to get busy – not through our own strength – but by the grace and power of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. And this is why our epistle from 1st John is so invaluable. At 1st John 1:5, St. John writes, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” God is light. Kretzmann: “Light is purity, holiness; He is the Source of all true knowledge, wisdom, happiness, and holiness...As light is the symbol of purity, goodness and perfection, so, on the other hand, darkness symbolizes ignorance, sinfulness, misery, corruption.” (Buls quotes Kretzmann, Exegetical Notes Epistle Texts, Series B, Festival Season Sundays) Bruce adds the insight that light is not only a metaphor for life, but brings out the further aspect of spiritual illumination (F.F. Bruce, The Epistles of John. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1970. 41.)


This is to say that Christ – Risen from death who has all power and all authority – raises you Christian not only for your complete forgiveness, but also for a new life! And this life refuses to remain in darkness. This life walks in the truth of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope to see you in God's house tomorrow morning!
In Jesus' Love,
Pastor Espinosa

Tomorrow Sunday April 5th, 2014 The High Feast of the Resurrection of The Lord: “The Sign of Power”


Divine Service: 9:30 am

There is no Bible Study or Sunday School tomorrow due to our Easter Breakfast and Easter Egg Hunt!

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)


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We've been counting through the days of Lent -- living in repentance and faith -- and preparing for Easter. Tomorrow, Easter will be here!
As you know, we've been journeying through the series: "The Sign of the Cross." Tomorrow morning is the last installment: "The Sign of Power." But why continue to speak of the cross of Christ on the day we celebrate His resurrection? The two -- Christ's crucifixion and resurrection -- are more connected than we realize. Tomorrow, we demonstrate that the resurrection is also a sign of the power of our Lord's powerful crucifixion which achieved our salvation and commenced the obliteration of death.
In the morning we will receive the life-giving Word proclaimed and we will receive the restoring and forgiving body and blood of our Savior.
After the service we will enjoy a congregational Easter breakfast and we will offer the children our annual Easter Egg hunt. Please have your children bring Easter baskets!
We are so blessed to gather as the family of God, but the gifts of Jesus are not just for us. He calls us to share them with everyone for the Lord has won salvation for all people, so please invite family and friends. We would love to serve them and include them in tomorrow's special service.
I hope to see you in God's house tomorrow morning!
Here is an excerpt from tomorrow's sermon:

“The Sign of Power”

(Last Installment of the Series “The Sign of the Cross”)

The Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ

April 5th, 2015

Pastor Espinosa


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Alleluia! Christ is Risen! [Reply:] He is risen indeed! Alleluia! We began this series on “the Sign of the Cross” with an important commentary on the distinction between “just” crosses and crucifixes. There’s most definitely a difference. Crosses can mean all kinds of things, and while the crucifix might be misunderstood, it is hard to get around from what they exactly represent: Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary. It happened. This is the stuff of real history. When our Lord was dying on His cross from 9 am to 3 pm on the first Good Friday, something very interesting happened at 12 pm -- high noon -- the Scriptures record “there was darkness over all the land” (Matthew 27:45) and then at 3 pm when our Savior breathed His last, the Scriptures say that there was an earthquake: “the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” (Matthew 27:51) And this is where if Matthew was in on a fabrication, a mythological tale, then this is where he surely blew it...why did he have to go and include all of this other drama, things that people could check into...unless of course what he was recording actually happened. Yes, perhaps this is all about what is real, including Jesus’ really living with us today, right here, right now! As for the darkness and the earthquake. Ancient scholar Julius Africanus (writing around AD 221) referred to Thallus who wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. In a history Thallus wrote around AD 52 (about 20 years after Jesus died on the cross), Thallus also dealt with a cosmic report that occurred during his lifetime in the land of Jesus’ crucifixion:


On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness, and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea, and other districts were thrown down. (Gary Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for The Life of Christ (Joplin, Missouri: College Press Publishing Company, 1996), 197.)


How ‘bout that? Isn’t that a coincidence? No its not. Thallus is describing what the Scriptures also recorded. It happened.


But why all of this connected to the crucifixion? Last Sunday among the wonderful 14 confessions of faith of our confirmands, Joshua Bradford compared the power of the Word of God contained in the water of holy baptism to be greater than the force of gravity, greater than a 8.0 magnitude earthquake, and greater than the power of electricity.  Joshua reminded us that the power of the Word of God in holy baptism is the power that created the heavens and the earth! This is the power of the Word of Christ which unites people to Jesus when they are baptized and when this happens they are flooded not merely by water, but flooded by the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. You the baptized have been flooded with eternal life, because you’re now clothed with the Living Lord Jesus! Yes, the Word is put it mildly.


These things point to the cross of Jesus therefore as a sign of power. Remember who Jesus was; remember who Jesus is. He is the Word and the Word of God is powerful. He was the One who created the heavens and the was the Word that went forth to create...Jesus was creating all things!


And Jesus – the power of God unto salvation – entered into death. We spoke of it night before last. When Jesus entered death on the cross of Calvary, it was as if a super virus had injected itself into the universal virus called death. A super power beyond all description entered death; death which supposedly had the power to quell all power. Not this time.


The sign of the cross of Jesus includes the sign of power and of victory over death. And this is why it is appropriate to speak of the sign of the cross on Easter Sunday. Sometimes we Christians can get confused. It was on the cross that Jesus won our salvation. What could be more important than that? But it is the resurrection that we call the “pivotal event” of the Christian faith. St. Paul proclaims its crucial importance in 1st Cor 15...if Christ is not raised, then we are to be pitied more than all people; if Christ is not raised, then we are still in our sins. So what could be more important than this? So what are we do? The crucifixion seems indispensable, but so does the resurrection! But they are not in competition, they are inextricably linked. They are forged. Because the Lord of Life; the God of Light entered into the darkness of death, there was only result that could occur: death had to give way. Death could not conquer Him, but He conquered death. Result and the sign of power? The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!


But let me remind you that of the most powerful signs, there are signs. Of the sign of the crucifixion, there was darkness...a sign that the very Son of God while on the cross knew separation from His Father who turned away from the Son to accept His taking your curse and sin. And while we are glad that our curse and sin in the eyes of God are gone, at the time, it was a terrible and horrific time...the Father turned from His Son and treated Him as we deserved to be treated. This terrible separation of the Father and the Son was reflected in the agony of the cross and in the darkness. The sign of His death was the earthquake. Something unimaginable had occurred: God enfleshed died...the natural order He created had to react...and His power that invaded death had instantaneous results: death was already disrupted! The creation had to respond. These were the signs of the sign.

In Jesus' Love,
Pastor Espinosa

Tonight Friday April 3rd 2015, Good Friday: “The Sign of Finality” (John 19:30) at Good Shepherd Chapel at Concordia University Irvine


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Look at a crucifix, the symbol of our Lord on the cross of Calvary. What was happening as He hung there? What was He accomplishing? The answers to those questions reveal why this day is called "good." It is indeed a good Friday, a very good Friday.
Please come to this holy service tonight at 7 pm. I would encourage you to invite a friend and they will hear why all of this happened and how it addresses our most basic threat and fear called death. This is the proclamation of what is truly good and why we are truly blessed.
I hope to see you in God's house tonight at Concordia University Irvine, Good Shepherd Chapel, once again at 7 pm!
In Your Service and To God's Glory,
Pastor Espinosa
Directions to CUI:
Concordia University Irvine

1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA

in the Good Shepherd Chapel

Service Time: 7:00 pm!

Directions to Concordia University:

Coming on the 405 from the North (driving South-bound):

  1. Take University Drive, Exit 4, toward Jeffrey Road
  2. Turn right onto University Drive
  3. Turn left onto Ridgeline Drive
  4. Turn right onto Concordia
  5. Good Shepherd Chapel is about 1000 yards to your right as you drive through campus on the main road. Look for the fountain and then the chapel with a white cross on a tower in front of the chapel building.

Coming on the 405 from the South (driving North-bound):

1. Take University Dr./Jeffrey Rd. exit, Exit

2. Turn left onto University Drive

3. Turn left onto Ridgeline Drive

4. Turn right onto Concordia

5. Good Shepherd Chapel is about 1000 yards to your right as you drive through campus on the main road. Look for the fountain and then the                    chapel with a white cross on a tower in front of the chapel building.

Tonight Thursday April 2nd, 2015 Maundy Thursday Service at 7 pm at Good Shepherd Chapel Concordia University (also 5:30 pm choir practice)


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are at the Good Shepherd Chapel at Concordia University Irvine tonight at 7:00 pm.

Concordia University is located at 1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA...if you're driving north on the 405 get off on Jeffrey/University, turn left onto University, then turn left onto Ridgeline Drive, then turn right onto through the campus for about 1000 yards on the main road. The chapel will be on your right. Look for the fountain and also the white cross on a tower in front of the chapel.

We are in the most holy week of the Church Year and tonight is the service that commemorates our Lord's last night with His disciples before He was betrayed and then crucified. On this holy night He gave His Holy Supper to His Church and commanded, "Do this in remembrance of me...". In giving us this gift we are always connected to His saving work on the cross of Calvary...through Holy Communion we receive His body and blood given and shed for the forgiveness of sins.
It is a very special service tonight and Pastor Mueller and I look forward to sharing it with you. Please invite a friend to the beautiful chapel.
Right about 7:00 pm the sun starts to go is a beautiful place to be and then to receive the Word and Sacrament of Christ...I genuinely cannot think of a better place to be!
Also, we could use your voice! If you can help out with the choir, please come at 5:30 pm. My daughter Katherine and I plan on being in the choir this year. We would love to have you join us as well.
In Jesus' Love,

Tomorrow Sunday March 29th, 2015 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: Confirmation!


Divine Service: 9:30 am

There is no Bible Study or Sunday School tomorrow due to our Confirmation reception!

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)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Tomorrow is one of the most important days at Saint Paul's since our first official restart Sunday on April 10th, 2011. We will witness the confirmation of 14 young confirmands! What an amazing gift from God we will get to witness! The Lord promised, "Whoever confesses me before men, I will confess before my Father in heaven." (Matthew 10:32) They will confess before YOU and we will have the opportunity to be inspired in hearing the faith that we all confess and which prepares us to properly receive the Holy Supper.
This promises to be a very holy, sacred, and joyous occasion.
Your support of our confirmands is very much appreciated. Please pray for them as they prepare to make their good confession:
1. Henry Kim
2. Caroline Kim
3. Shane Perry
4. Joshua Levering
5. Katherine Espinosa
6. Bryan Espinosa
7. Michael Panichi
8. Catherine Loy
9. Doug Cavanaugh
10. Sean Cavanaugh
11. Joshua Bradford
12. Faith Ackley
13. Bethany Dawn
14. Lily Binoya
Also: We need help for our Holy Week and Easter CHOIR!!!! Please help us...all ages may participate!

Our first rehearsal is this coming Thursday evening at 5:30 before the 7 pm Maundy Thursday service at the Good Shepherd Chapel at Concordia University.
That's Thursday, April 2nd at 5:30 pm in the Good Shepherd Chapel...we would love to include YOUR voice.
Please contact our organist/choir director Karissa Lystrup if you have any questions:
In Jesus' Love,