March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb is a saying meaning the weather is harsh at the beginning of the month, becoming gentler by the end of the month. It remains to be seen if that saying will come true this year. In the meantime, we will will turn that phrase around for our March newsletter. We will consider the one who came in like a lamb and now rules like a lion. Let’s retrace the steps of the humble, sacrificial Lamb who emerged victorious as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah”(Revelation 5:5).
It all began in the Garden of Eden when the Lord promised our first parents a Savior to rescue them from the curse of sin. I’m sure they didn’t imagine that the one who would crush the serpent’s head would be a lamb! They trusted God’s promise to send a Savior. Eve named her next child Seth thinking he might already be the fulfillment of that promise. Sadly, she didn’t live to see the promise fulfilled, but she and Adam did continue to teach their children about the one true God and his love for them.
Centuries later, a dramatic event would imprint in the minds of the Israelites that the blood of a lamb would save them. When a headstrong Pharaoh refused to listen to Moses and release the children of Israel from slavery, God sent the angel of death as the final plague that changed the ruler’s mind. God’s people were instructed kill the best lamb from their flocks and spread its blood on their doorposts so that the angel would pass over their homes and spare them. From then on, the festival of Passover was celebrated to thank God and to remember that Salvation would come from the blood of a Lamb.
Fast forward to the New Testament and watch John the Baptist preaching and baptizing by the Jordan River. One day he saw Jesus approaching and declared: Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29) John’s followers knew exactly what he meant. This was the Lamb promised so long ago. The Lamb who would be the ultimate Sacrifice. The Lamb “who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.” (Revelation 1:5)
We are blessed to know that God’s promise has been kept. We know that the Lamb has taken away our sins. During the 40 days of Lent, we take time to consider God’s great love for us. In his love for us, he allowed Jesus to be our substitute. We know that when Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” he suffered the torture of hell in our place. He died the death that we deserved. St. John witnessed the sacrifice of the Father’s one and only Son. He summed up the Savior’s love for us in these words: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) May this reminder of God’s great love for us underscore our Lenten devotions. May it strengthen our faith and our love for the Lamb!
Lord, in loving contemplation
Fix our hearts and eyes on you
Till we taste your full salvation
And your unveiled glory view.
Volunteer opportunity in the Czech Republic
Are you interested in being a part of a truly unique cross cultural experience that will allow you to share God’s Word with the children of Plzen? St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Plzen in the Czech Republic is seeking volunteers to help coordinate an Easter week program for youth from April 8-18. Further details here.
McCattys featured in Forward in Christ
Members of the London Group, Lawrence and Caroline McCatty, are featured in the March issue of FIC in a Confessions of Faith article. Here is a link to the issue if you would like to read more.
Easter Retreat in Heidelberg
After nearly two years without a retreat due to the pandemic, we are planning an Easter retreat this year, April 14-17 in Heidelberg. All the information for the retreat is here.
Get to know Pastor Rob and Rachel Weiss
Pastor and Mrs. Hartwig will be on furlough in the States during July and August. Pastor Rob Weiss and his wife, Sharon, will fill in for the Hartwigs to cover the worship services in Germany and Switzerland. They are excited about the opportunity to serve in this way.
Pastor Weiss was born and raised in Wisconsin. Upon graduation from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2004, he was assigned to King of Kings Lutheran Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. From 2009 to 2011 he studied at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock as a German major. In September of 2014 he accepted a call to serve at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Collins, Wisconsin.
When not working or studying, Pastor Weiss loves to be active in the outdoors, participating and competing in endurance sports, especially cycling and cross-country skiing. After skiing in the
American Birkebeiner, he hopes to compete in ski marathons in Europe and Scandinavia, especially the König Ludwig Lauf in Bavaria. An avid birdwatcher, he regularly takes part in
citizen science projects connected to ornithology. Pastor Weiss has a great affinity for Germany and the German language and keeps in regular contact with his relatives in Bavaria, spending as much time there as possible. He is happiest when he is with his wife, Rachel, going on long hikes, attending museum and cultural events, supporting her as she competes at fencing tournaments, and traveling the world together.
Rachel grew up in a large family in a small town in Wisconsin. After getting a degree in English
at Wisconsin Lutheran College she developed an interest in cooking, decided to go to grad
school for nutrition, and now works in a hospital as a Registered Dietitian. In her free time she
enjoys fencing in tournaments, spending time with family and friends, reading, hiking (even in
Wisconsin winters, if she has enough layers and Hot Hands), and getting more stamps in her
passport. Travel highlights include hiking the Swiss Alps, putting her high school German skills
to use in Germany, and blackwater rafting in the glowworm caves of New Zealand…but just
spending time with her husband, no matter where they are, is also pretty great, too.
They are both looking forward to the opportunity to meet and serve the WELS members
currently living in Europe and pray that, by God’s grace, they will be a blessing to their brothers
and sisters in Christ.
Our Offerings in February
€160.00, £115.00, and CHF400.00 were received in basket offerings. €2,733.47 were received as direct deposits.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7,8
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