Remain in the Love of God

Being with God and remaining with God in this life happens through the love of God. Not everything that seems to represent the Spirit of God really does so. John reminds us to test the spirits. The Spirit of God brings us into the love of God and equips us to share this love with others. The false spirits work to pull us away from God, and they also work to pull us away from loving those whom God loves. We love because God first loved us. The false spirits of this age work to pull us away from God’s love. This weekend we will discuss how we test the spirits of this age. We are called to look carefully at whether or not a person’s behavior and words show that his spirit is inspired by God. Those who are deceived are themselves deceived. It is inevitable we will face the challenge of false spirits. John points us to steadfastness of faith as of prime importance. Remain in the love of God, and do not let the lies and deceits of this age pull you away from God.

Feast of St. Mark Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, School, Childcare in Birmingham, Michigan 48009 Preacher: Rev. Dr. Evan Gaertner Text: Mark 16:20 The disciples, after the resurrection of Jesus, went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them. This weekend we celebrate the Feast of St. Mark. He is the author of the second Gospel in the New Testament. He was a companion of St. Peter and St. Paul. He was cousin to Barnabas, and Mark began the first missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas. Mark did not finish it, and his failure to complete the trip was without Paul’s blessing. Barnabas desired to give Mark a second chance, but Paul refused. This disagreement led to the departure of Barnabas, who Paul replaced with Silas. 2 Timothy 4:11 informs us that Paul and Mark reconciled. Mark spent considerable time with Peter, and Mark’s gospel is considered an accurate account of Peter’s teaching and preaching. Mark shows us that the good news of Jesus Christ reveals the weak are made strong by Jesus. Today, the church continues to trust in the good news message of Jesus Christ to be our triumphant song. Trust that the reign and rule of God has appeared in Christ Jesus, even while it appears hidden in the midst of our humility and lowliness. Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, School, Childcare in Birmingham, Michigan 48009 Preacher: Rev. Steve Woodfin Text: Luke 24:36-49 Amazement, doubt, and joy...the disciples felt all of these when Jesus appeared to them. And probably much more, too. Really, this is our own experience. Out of faith, we see God working, and are amazed. Not what you wanted to happen: doubt, even disbelief. Perhaps an answered prayer brings joy. Eventually, we will all feel these emotions as our lives unfold in ways we desire, and ways we do not. Reliance on God is not perfect in this life. Reliance also means we will doubt. And we embrace this truth, that doubt is not the opposite of faith, but rather, a necessary ingredient. Until Christ comes again, that is. Let us together thank the Lord He meets us where we are with acceptance and love. Together, we receive grace upon grace, as Jesus comes to us, seeking us out, calming our fears, and strengthening our faith.

God is Light

Easter Sunday was glorious! The flowers were beautiful and the choir and the instruments were spectacular. But now we return to another "regular" Sunday. Or do we? God's light and His love for us are new every day. They do not dim. We walk in the light of His love all the days of our lives, but sometimes we doubt, just like Thomas. We need to touch and feel Jesus in order to believe, but Jesus and the light of His love continue to illuminate the empty grave today, just as they did on Easter morning. Walk each day in the light of His love for you, for no day is "regular" when it is illuminated by God's Light!

Discovering Hope Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, School, Childcare in Birmingham, Michigan 48009 Mark 16:1-8 Preacher: Rev. Dr. Evan Gaertner All of creation cries out for help, groaning to God for help. In our flesh and blood we are never good enough. Jesus poured out His love upon all of our sorrows. His mercy washes away all our shame. Death is all around us, but empty is the grave. When we go to the grave, so often we still expect the stone closed. God knows our need and has well provided for us. The stone has been rolled away. His love brings us out of death into life. Come and see there is hope. Jesus is risen from the dead. Alleluia. Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, School, Childcare in Birmingham, Michigan 48009 Daniel 3 Preacher: Rev. Dr. Evan Gaertner The book of Daniel tells us about three men who were placed in a fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar. The three were preserved from harm, and the king saw a fourth man walking in the flames. The king was astonished. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire, the king announced, “There is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” At the Festival of the Resurrection we give thanks to Almighty God because He preserves us in this fiery world of sin. Jesus walks with us and brings us with Him into eternal life. Rejoice and be glad. Your savior walks with you in the furnace and preserves you.

Father, Forgive Them

Return to Truth

Return to the truth that is Jesus Christ

Return to the Table

Be Gracious To Me O Lord Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, School, Childcare in Birmingham, Michigan 48009 Preacher: The Rev. Dr. Evan Gaertner Text: Psalm 31:9-10 This Palm Sunday we witness the crowds shout with joy, “Hosanna!” We don’t linger long on the joys of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. Often we are not able to linger in moments of hope and joy. The weariness of life brings us frequently to the suffering, shames, and sorrows of sin. Psalm 31 gives voice to our exhaustion of again and again suffering. On Palm Sunday we make the move from the parade toward the cross. The suffering of Jesus not only reveals the relentless suffering of sin in this world, but it also contains the revelation of our Christ. Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one who reveals God’s love and hope for the world.

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