All Are Welcome!
On Wednesday, June 24 and Wednesday July I at 5:30 pm we will celebrate the Lord's Supper in Bethel Lutheran's parking lot. People are welcome to stand by their cars or bring lawn chairs. The elements [bread and wine] will be available in specially purchased packets for our use. It will be a very short service with a confession/a lesson/ and a very brief homily about the sacrament. We will conclude with a final blessing.
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.
‘SEASONS OF THE CHURCH YEAR
Advent (Blue) The Church Year begins with the season of Advent which is marked by the four Sundays that precede the Nativity of our Lord on Christmas morning. Advent is a season of expectation and preparation; we wait for the Lord's coming and we make ourselves ready. We mark the passing of the season with an Advent wreath. With the coming of each week, a candle is lit.
Christmas (White) The celebration of our Lord's birth was traditionally called the "Christ Mass" or simply "Christmas" as it comes to us. On this day, we rejoice in the incarnation (or enfleshment) of God himself as a human being. For Christians, this marks the beginning of the New Age — the Age of salvation. At the birth of Jesus, the death - knell was sounded for sin's power over us. In Jesus, the Lord became "Emmanuel" which means "God with us." His presence includes the whole locus of human experience...joy and sorrow, fear and hope, as well as life and death. And herein lies the miracle of the incarnation, death is not the end. God expands the locus of experience to include life after death. What begins in a stable in Bethlehem, is finished on a lonely cross outside of Jerusalem.
Epiphany (White) The Season of Epiphany begins on January 6th with the coming of the Magi from the east. It marks the Twelfth Day of Christmas. Epiphany takes its name from the Greek word epiphaneia which means ‛the revealing.' The Church celebrates the Season of Epiphany as it explores the many ways Jesus is revealed to the world . . . beginning with the Magi who come to Bethlehem, continuing through his baptism at the River Jordan, his teaching to the crowds, his miracles among the people, and ending with his Transfiguration on the mountain before his final trip to Jerusalem. Jesus is made known to the Magi, who are the spiritual parents of all sinners drawn by God to the salvation made possible in Jesus Christ. Epiphany is a reminder to the Church that God seeks to redeem all people, be they Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever, sinner or saint.
Lent/Holy Week (Purple) The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues for forty days (excluding Sundays which are regarded as feast days celebrating the resurrection of Jesus). It has been the practice of the Church from very early in its history to use the time before Easter as a time to reflect on one's sinfulness in preparation for the celebration of Jesus' resurrection. For it is only in the resurrection of Jesus that the power of sin is broken. As early as the fourth century, the forty day period before Easter was used as a period of instruction for catchumenates (those wishing to be baptized), many of whom fasted for this entire period. It was customary to baptize them on Easter morning as the sun's first rays broke the darkness of night. Symbolically, Jesus the Son also breaks the darkness of sin that is found in a person's life.
The word ‘Lent’ comes from the Old English word for spring, a time of rebirth after the death brought by winter. Similarly, Lent is a time for Christians to reflect upon Baptism and its basis in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Lent is a time of repentance, renewal, and growth. A second theme also emerges from the Lenten Gospels. Lent brings into conjunction the cross and discipleship. Following crucified Savior requires that one know well the costs of discipleship; taking up one's cross and following Jesus to Jerusalem.
Palm Sunday is the beginning of the last week of our Lord’s life before his death and resurrection. Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Maundy Thursday is the night Jesus institutes the Holy Supper and gives his disciples a new command to love and serve one another as he has loved and served them. As Maundy Thursday turns into Good Friday, Jesus is tried by the Sanhedrin and sent for the Roman procurator for sentencing. Good Friday is the day of Jesus’ death.
Eastertide (White) The Festival of Our Lord's Resurrection is the most important of all celebrations in the church year because it marks Jesus' victory over the sin, death, and the devil. Although sinless, he was crucified as a sinner. It appeared that Satan had won the final battle. But paradoxically, this apparent defeat was God's greatest victory. By resurrecting Jesus, Almighty God proved once and for all that human beings were created for life, not death; reconciliation, not judgment.
Our celebration of Jesus' resurrection is marked liturgically by the joyous shouts of ‘Alleluia!’ as we praise God for the final victory now won. On Easter morning, we begin our worship without the usual order of confession and absolution and move right into a joyful refurbishing of the altar stripped of its paraments on Good Friday. The somber black of mourning and penitence is replaced by the purity of white — denoting the resurrected Jesus' radiant countenance.
Pentecost (Green) After seven weeks, the white of Easter is changed to the red of Pentecost. The red reminds us of the ‘tongues as of fire’ mentioned in Acts as the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples. The Church was born in the fire of the Holy Spirit. The Sunday following Pentecost is called ‘Holy Trinity’. Here the white commemorates purity and holiness of God. But then, on the following Sundays the color is changed to green and remains so for the rest of the year. All the Sundays after Pentecost, with the exception of Reformation and All Saints, are marked by the liturgical color of green.
Green is the color of growth and of life. For this reason it graces our altars for nearly one-half of the liturgical year. It is also known as the ‘Season of Growth’ as believers grow in faith and service to their Lord. The corporate dimension of Pentecost calls believers to spread the Gospel to those in the world who have not encountered Jesus. Believers are called to live lives in service of others. There is also an individual dimension. The Holy Spirit seeks to transform believers into ‘little Christs’ (using Paul's words) as they take of his ministry. Without the Holy Spirit, this radical transformation is not possible. It is the prayer of the Church that believers continue to grow in lives of faith and service and be lights shining in the darkness.
A personal note: I hope you are all getting my weekly meditations and personal reflections you receive electronically or in the mail. They are much pastoral in nature than this series of newsletter articles. I am thankful for our office workers who faithfully post my weekly devotions on Facebook and on our web pages. They also send distribution of these meditations via email or ‘snail mail’ to those for whom we have the proper information. If you are not getting them or know of someone who is not, please contact your respective church office.