February, 2019 Worship Schedule:

Milt Warkentien, Music Ministry Coordinator and Lightshine Youth Choir Director

Feb. 3: Traditional with communion

Chancel Choir at both services.

Feb. 10: Traditional

8:30 Chancel Choir     10:45 Sunday School Choir

Feb. 17: Traditional with communion

Bells of Peace at both services.

Feb. 24: Youth & Band-led Service  

Lightshine at both services. 

February still finds us in the season of Epiphany and asking “Why Jesus?”. February is also the month that has Valentine’s Day in it. I don’t think “Why Jesus?” can be answered correctly without saying “Because Jesus is Love”. In John 13: 34 Jesus gives a new commandment ” You must love each other as I have loved you.” In Matthew, Mark and Luke Jesus talks about the most important commandments, “To love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind” and secondly “To Love your neighbors as yourself”. I personally think there is a hidden commandment in there, too, and that’s “We must love ourselves”. If we don’t love ourselves it is hard to love our neighbors as ourselves. “Loving God”, “Loving our Neighbor”, and “Loving Ourselves” seems hard enough, but then John has Jesus saying “We must love each other as I have loved you”. How in the world can we possibly love as much as Jesus loves us?

What do we do with all the talk of love in these verses when “LOVE” has so many different meanings in today’s society? There is love between marital partners. There is love in dating relationships. There is teenage love. There is love between family members. There is love between friends, etc…. Why can saying you love someone be such a bad thing? Isn’t love about caring about a person, forgiving a person and not just a word of intimacy? What are we suppose to do to “Love each other as I have loved you”?

For me, “LOVE” is about how we treat people in different types of relationships. “LOVE” is about showing we care about a person, whether that be a hug, fist bump, wave, or a smile etc. “LOVE” is about being a good listener. “LOVE” is about going out of your way to help a person in need. “LOVE” is about treating others with respect and equality. “LOVE” is about leading your life as Christ-like as possible.

Remember when WWJD was popular on bracelets, and anything a person thought they could sell? Well the new commandment basically says the same thing as “What Would Jesus Do”. How we live our lives is a response to the “LOVE” commandments. Why Jesus? Because Jesus is… Why me? Because I’m suppose love others as Jesus loves me. It’s been a month since I last reflected on this and it still haunts me a bit. I drive by people holding signs for help all the time. I worry about being scammed by someone. Would Jesus have done that, I don’t think so. I don’t act aloud on many issues that bother me. Would Jesus have done that, I don’t think so. I swear from time to time. Would Jesus have done that, I don’t think so. The list goes on and on. I feel I live a pretty “LOVE” filled life, but at the same time I know a fall way short of loving the way Jesus loves me. My hope for all of us is that we increase the amount of love we give to the world. Just think of the incredible world we’d live in if we all loved each other as Jesus loves us. Our hymnal gives us many incredible texts about living with love. Check out many of the texts in the “Justice, Peace” section of our hymnal (ELW 705- 729). One of my favorites in this section is Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service:

1) Lord, Whose love in humble service bore the weight of human need, who upon the cross, forsaken, worked your mercy’s perfect deed: we, your servants, bring the worship not of voice alone, but heart; consecrating to your purpose ev’ry gift which you impart.

2) Still your children wander homeless; still the hungry cry for bread; still the captives long for freedom; still in grief we mourn our dead. As you, Lord, in deep compassion healed the sick and freed the soul, by your Spirit send your power to our world to make it whole.

3) As we worship, grant us vision, till your love’s revealing light in it’s height and depth and greatness dawns upon our quickened sight, making known the needs and burdens your compassion bids us bear, stirring us to ardent service, your abundant life to share.

4) Called by worship to your service, forth in your dear name we go, to the child, the youth, the aged, LOVE in living deeds to show; hope and health, goodwill and comfort, counsel aid and peace we give, that your servants, Lord in freedom may your mercy know and live.

Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service, ELW #712, Text by Albert F. Bayly

“To the child, the youth, the aged, LOVE in living deeds to show” Love to all! Oh what a world we could live in if we could all “Love as Jesus loves us.” -Milty