All Are Welcome!
Fellowship time will be changing to 11:30 a.m. after service effective February 2nd.
10:50 Sunday School
11:30 Coffee & Treats
P.O. Box 35,
36055 213th Street
Hillman, MN 56338
Pastor Stephen Olson
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
How To Find Us:
Immanuel Lutheran Church of Hillman is located at the intersection of County Hwy 27 and County Hwy 47. It is one mile west of County 8.
Sunday School is dismissed after Prayer of the Day during church service. All children pre-school through 6th grade are welcome. Pre-registration is not necessary.
For more information.
Please call Immanuel at 320-277-3939 or Lacey at 320-232-5439.
Signs of Life: A Lenten Journey through the Gospel of St. John
The Gospel of John is often represented artistically as a flying eagle. It begins with the words: ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ With these words, the Evangelist’s imagery ‘soars like an eagle’ above the earth as he explores the divine nature of God’s incarnation among us.
During the upcoming Season of Lent that begins on Ash Wednesday (February 26), we will explore the story of Jesus as presented by John the Evangelist. Unlike the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke who characterize Jesus as the ‘suffering servant’ described in the book of Isaiah, John presents Jesus as a person of power who is God incarnate. Instead of speaking so realistically about the humanness of Jesus, John emphasizes his divine nature. John does not include a birth narrative as Matthew and Luke do because of Jesus’ eternal nature. He begins his story of Jesus with the words: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ [John 1:1] Jesus has no beginning because he is coeternal with God and was present at the very creation of all that exists.
The Gospel was also written at a time of great Christological controversy when believers were trying to understand who Jesus truly was. John’s Gospel is a corrective to teachings in the early church that focused only on the humanity of Christ. In the preceding Gospels, the ‘Son of Man’ theology was emphasized to the detriment of a concrete understanding of Jesus’ divinity. John writes to combat this trend. The Fourth Evangelist presents Jesus as a person of power who is in command of his own destiny and even declares the time of his death and the winning of the victory over Satan with the words ‘It is finished!'
The Gospel of John originated in Ephesus which is usually associated with John the Apostle. Although there is no direct proof, the Gospel frequently speaks of the ‘Beloved Disciple' who is equated with John, the son of Zebedee. Tradition suggests that John lived to a great age and dictated [or wrote] the Gospel sometime between 90 – 110 CE which is at least twenty-five years after the other Gospels were written. Rather than following the chronology of Jesus’ life as presented in Matthew, Mark, and Luke [the Synoptic Gospels], John presents a theological interpretation of Jesus’ life. This Gospel also makes the argument that when Jesus is present so is the Kingdom of God. John suggests that Jesus and the Kingdom of God transcend time and that believers live in the ‘eternal present’ of life and salvation.
One of the underlying questions in the Gospel of John is whether or not seeing is believing. John moves us from the beginning to the end of his Gospel by a progression of ‘signs’ which bear witness to Jesus . . . Signs that can only be understood through eyes of faith. Some people see the sign and believe; others see the same sign and dismiss it as having no relevance. There are a series of seven signs in the Gospel of John that point to the divinity of Jesus with the last sign being God resurrecting Jesus as the Lord of Life. The Gospel closes on the octet of Easter with Jesus offering to allow Thomas to see and touch the wounds of his crucifixion. ‘Doubting Thomas’ becomes ‘Faithful Thomas,’ but Jesus reminds the reader that those who believe without seeing are truly blessed.
What does it mean to believe in Jesus? We will explore the signs that John presents to help us answer that question.
In the name of Jesus ☩