Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Tomorrow Sunday April 20th, 2014 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: Easter Sunday “You Have Been Raised With Christ” (Colossians 3:1-4)

We worship in the gym at Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine. The high school is located at 12500 Sand Canyon Ave, Irvine. Worship is at 9:30 am.


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Praise the Lord! Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! Praise the Lord! This is our celebration tomorrow morning dear Christians. What most people refer to as “Easter,” a word that reminds us of the rising of the sun, but for us Christians it is a word that reminds of the rising of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ! This is the pivotal event of the Christian faith and it is the single most important Sunday of the entire year.
Please invite friends and family to church tomorrow. The message is entitled, “You Have Been Raised With Christ” (Colossians 3:1-4). This year we are going to delve into the relevance of Christ’s resurrection as impacting our lives. Because Christ is risen and because we are baptized into Christ, we experience a spiritual resurrection as we anticipate our own physical resurrection. But what of this spiritual resurrection? What does it look like? What does it feel like? How do we live in it?
In the meantime, we abide in this day, Holy Saturday, the last day — the 40th day — of Lent. An important part of Christian tradition is to offer services also on this day. As we are still growing and developing as a congregation we are not offering a service on this day as of yet. However, here is the collect (thematic prayer) for this day:
“O God, creator of heaven and earth, grant that as the crucified body of Your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with Him the coming of the third day, and rise with Him to newness of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”
For Tomorrow:
7:15: Early Set-Up For Any Brave Soul Who Wants To Help
9:00: High school youth group comes to practice with choir
11:00: Easter Breakfast sponsored by our high school youth group
11:15: Easter Egg Hunt (children up through 6th grade may participate)
May the Lord richly bless our worship tomorrow morning to His glory and to our great benefit as we live out our lives in the Risen One, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Here is an excerpt from tomorrow’s sermon:

In the meantime we have to learn to recognize that this indestructible life with all hope and all blessing through ANY struggle or hardship is something that we see not with our physical eyes but through faith. Verses 2-3: 3Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 4For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”


First be clear that to set your mind on things above is very specific: set your mind on Christ. Some people get all weird with this passage so that they start talking about “heavenly things” to the extent that before you know it, they become other-worldly and detached from living here are on earth. That’s wrong. God loves His creation and He wants you here for a reason and everything created by God is good (1st Tim. 4:4). But as you live here, serving your family, doing your work, encouraging others, sharing your faith, living in love, do these in such a way that you live in Christ…knowing that in Him who conquered death, everything you do has eternal weight and glory. Oh I know, so often we feel as though we are wasting our time; we are constantly tempted to cry out: “what’s the use,” but don’t give in Christian, because the greater reality is Christ who has conquered everything that could possibly mess up your real life. Your real life is secure!


So keep your heart, mind, and soul – all of you – on Christ who is risen! But as you do, just remember that your real life is hidden and this is where we typically struggle.


“Luther describes the contrast between the high dignity of Christians and the lowly form of their life on earth in these words: ‘We are even now the children of God, and through faith and Baptism have been put into possession of eternal salvation….But who among men recognizes the children of God? Who will call those men children of God that are thrown into prison and are so tortured and tormented in every conceivable way that they appear to be the children of the devil, condemned and accursed souls? For that reason St. Paul says that the glory of the children of God is now hidden, but shall be manifested in them later (Col. 3:3-4). So long as God’s children are here upon earth, they are not clothed with [the clothing of God], but wear the devil’s [clothing]….The right order is reversed: those who are God’s children are called children of the devil, and those who are the children of the devil are called God’s children.” (Pieper, Francis, Christain Dogmatics, Volume III, 68-69, quoting Luther, St. L. XII:729f.)


You know Luther he was quite vivid and powerful in his writing, but he was just saying that sometimes even though we have the resurrection life of Jesus Christ, it doesn’t always seem that way. There are times when it feels like we wear the clothes of the weak one, the suffering one, not the victorious one, but the defeated one. Sometimes as Luther said, “the right order is reversed.”


But whenever you feel this way, simply go back to this one habit of faith: “seek the things that are above…set your [mind] on things that are above.” Return to Christ who went through His humility, His passion, and His crucifixion to save you, but then remember the rest of the story…He rose! In imitation of Jesus, you are now a little Christ, you too go through your versions of weakness, of humiliation, of struggle, of suffering…but remember your life dear Christian, your real life: Jesus who has conquered even death has shared His resurrection life with you!

In Your Service and To His Glory,
Pastor Espinosa
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