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Monday, February 1, 2010

Hearing Words of Life from the Cross

There is much to our faith that is seemingly counterintuitive: Jesus is 100% God and 100% man, we worship one God who is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the last shall be first and the first shall be last, etc. This Lent we will be focusing on one of the foundational aspects of our faith that itself can seem counterintuitive, namely, that true life can be found in the death of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Wednesday evenings in Lent at 7:15 we will be going through a series called "Words of Life from the Cross." Life from a cross? That is odd. After all, a cross is a instrument of torturous death. And yet, as our God and Savior hung upon that cross, He did so in order to give us eternal life. How remarkable! As we begin this 40 day journey of Lent, I want to share the words from the introduction to this new series that I found to be interesting:
The approach in this Lenten series is based on two revelations of God in the following texts:

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander (Matthew 15:18-19)

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3)

We often speak of sinful nature as the "rebel" or our "death within." The sinful nature's orientation is manifested in what are called the seven capital sins of pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth. These are called "capital" because all sins, be they sins of commission or omission, flow out from these seven sins of the heart.

Pride's work in the sinful nature is to insulate the sinner from the reality of his condition, his responsibility to God and his neighbor. Pride does this by casting illusions about our reality, just as Satan did to Adam and Eve. Sinful pride works to keep each of us firm in the belief that we are God-or that we are at least like God.

The seven last words of Christ, spoken on the cross, are seven words of reality spoken by the Son of God, who passively suffers our fallen reality. In this Lenten season, I would have you consider some of the illusions that our sinful price has cast for all of us, and how the words of Christ crucified embrace and overcome our illusions with the reality of His presence, His passion, His death, and His resurrection.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, who has embraced you reality and given us His through Baptism, humble us and keep us before the saving reality of His Word, His cross, and His resurrection. AMEN" (Mark W.Love, Words of Life from the Cross: Daily Devotional. Concordia Publishing House: St. Louis. Page 3.)

This Lent as we hear of the reality Jesus has given to us from the cross, please join us at 7:15 on Wednesday evenings to hear pastors from around the area come and preach the Good News spoken to us by Jesus from the cross!

Pastor Bob

What's Happening in the Hispanic Ministry?

News briefs from Centro Cristiano Hispano, a ministry of the Pacific Southwest District, Lutheran Chruch-Missouri Synod

Centro Cristiano Hispano Bible Institute, which has been training key lay leaders for Hispanic Ministry since 1986, continues to offer classes to prepare all types of church leaders in the Hispanic churches.

In January, tutor Marcelino Velasco will teach a class on Law and Gospel. In February, classes will begin again for students in Book 4 and 6 of the SEAN series.

The Mixteco Ministry sponsored a basketball tournament on January 1, 2010 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Oxnard. They hosted and organized 14 basketball teams and Pastor Dennis Bradshaw and Deacon Javier Velasco ministered to their spiritual needs through an opening Bible Study and prayers.

The members of Centro Cristiano Moorpark are beginning the new year with English classes, Saturday worship time and community outreaches. Music classes for guitar and keyboard will also begin soon and music students will participate in the Saturday worship time.

The members of Centro Cristiano Oxnard collected sweaters and warm clothing in December and delivered them to Lutheran Border Concerns Ministry. They also collected gifts for needy children through the "Operation Christmas Child" program.

Centro Cristiano Santa Paula elected a new board of directors for 2010. Please pray for President Rodrigo Loera and the board as they seek the Lord's will for their ministry in 2010.

Pastor Marcelino Velasco will be graduating from St. Louis Seminary in March 2010. Praise the Lord for raising up another Pastor for the ministry! Look for your invitation to his ordination and installation in May of this year. Thank you for all the support you have shared with him and his family during these years of study.

How can you be a part of what the Lord is doing?

We are in great need of financial support for 2010. Our grants have been greatly reduced and we are cutting back our budget in all areas. Please consider a one-time or monthly gift to enable us to increase our ministries. Thank you.

For more information about these ministries or to send financial support, please contact
Pastor Dennis Bradshaw
Centro Cristiano Hispano
1200 Maria Way
Oxnard, CA 93030
Phone: (805) 660-3377

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