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Showing posts from April, 2011

What will your legacy be?

When the Lord calls you home to heaven, what impact will you leave behind? A part of your legacy is shaped through your will and your beneficiary designations. Did you know your government provides you with some tax-advantaged ways to remember the Lord’s work—advantages that can increase your charitable gift by up to 50 percent? Leaving a gift for ministry can leave a gospel legacy that will enable others to hear God’s promises of love and forgiveness—a legacy with eternal implications. For more information on ways of sharing a gospel legacy, please contact WELS Ministry of Christian Giving to speak with the Christian giving counselor assigned to your area. Call 800-827-5482. He will be happy to serve you in a free, confidential, and gospel-based way.

Freedom Isn’t Free Salvation is free—a gift to us from our Father in heaven. Paul makes that point so clearly in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—n…

Road to Emmaus

The Road to Emmaus

It's a story that's captivated the imagination of many generations.

Mourning the death of Jesus, two first-century travelers were joined by a mysterious stranger. Over the next few hours, the stranger revealed mysteries hidden in the ancient Scriptures. Soon the purpose of Jesus' life became clear . . . and the travelers' sadness turned to great joy.

“The Road to Emmaus” is a new movie resource starring Bruce Marchiano of the Visual Bible: "Matthew" and "Acts." Epiphany has ordered 100 of the DVDs. Our goal is to Watch It/Share It. Pick up your free copy of the movie at church, watch the 30 minute movie and go through the Questions for Reflection. Then give the movie to someone you know, someone who needs to hear the good news about Jesus.

Your special someone can then keep the movie as a gift, share it with someone else or return it to you so that you may share it with another friend. This way we continue to share the good news…

God Came Back!

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Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'" 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they …

People of the Passion: The Centurion

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Mark 15:39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"

The day had begun as had a hundred others – dreadfully. It was bad enough to be away from beautiful Italy and be stuck in this backwater country of Judea, but it was hell to spend hot afternoons on a rocky hill supervising the death of pickpockets and rabble rousers.

The centurion was a man of discipline and self-restraint, hardened and unemotional. But all around him he witnessed a wild, unrestrained mob-mentality, with the religious leaders whipping the crowd into an emotional, religious frenzy.

Half the crowd taunted. The other half cried. The priests bossed. It was a thankless job usually, but today it was unsettling and dangerous with all the Jews filling the city for their Passover. And now they were riled up. The centurion was ready for the day to be over before it began.

All the attention was centered around the Jew…

The Great Vigil of Easter

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The Concept of a Vigil
A vigil is an evening service of Scripture readings and prayers in which believers vigilantly and eagerly wait and watch for the celebration of the Savior’s deliverance. Old Testament believers waited through the night of the Passover for God to deliver them from the Egyptians. The midnight worship reported in Acts 20:7-12 is another example of late-night waiting and watching. One might say that our Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve services are vigils of sorts. Coming together for a vigil helps believers practice waiting patiently for God to reveal his will in his own good time.

The History of the Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil is the most well known and historic of the Church’s vigils. In fact, in its general structure, it is one of the most ancient rites of the Christian Church. Early records indicate that it may have been celebrated in Jerusalem already by the second century, and it soon spread to the rest of the church.

From its beginnings, the Easter Vigil wa…

People of the Passion: The Apostles, the Servant Leaders

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Luke 22:19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him." 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. 24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

John 13:2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, …

Holy Week Timeline

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Click on this link for a much larger image of the events of Holy Week. Holy Week Timeline Pretty cool.

The Easter Vigil is a reversal

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If you have not yet attended Epiphany’s Easter Vigil … please read on. If you have attended the Vigil and it has become one of your favorite worship experiences … please read on.

A vigil is an evening service of Scripture readings and prayers in which believers vigilantly and eagerly wait and watch for the celebration of the Savior’s deliverance. Old Testament believers waited through the night of the Passover for God to deliver them from the Egyptians. The midnight worship reported in Acts 20:7-12 is another example of late-night waiting and watching. One might say that Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve services are vigils of sorts. Coming together for a vigil helps believers practice waiting patiently for God to reveal his will in his own good time.

The Easter Vigil is the most well known, historic and ancient rites of the Christian Church. Early records indicate that it may have been celebrated in Jerusalem already by the second century, and it soon spread to the rest of the church…

Mistaken Identity

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Matthew 21:1-11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away." 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'" 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is h…

BECAUSE HIS TOMB IS EMPTY … OUR HOPE IS NOT

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The earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan earlier this year has cost hundreds of lives, thousands are missing, homes and businesses are completely destroyed, and now there is serious danger from the damaged nuclear reactors.

The Japan earthquake caused untold destruction. But another earthquake 2,000 years ago announced resurrection and new life. St. Matthew reports: “There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it…. The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen.’”


The earthquake in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago announced something amazing to the world: Jesus Christ is alive! And through Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, death is defeated, hell is closed and the gates of heaven are opened.

In short, because His tomb is empty, our hope is not. We have a Savior who lives to guide us, to s…

Youth Lock-in

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Youth Lock-in at the First Evan Center on the corner of 8th St and Grand Ave from Friday, April 15, 9:00 pm – Saturday, April 16, 9:00 am.

All youth from 6th – 12th grade are invited.

There will be:
Music provided by a professional DJ
Speedball, Soccer, Basketball & Dodgeball
Great Bible studies
Snacks, movies & board games
Breakfast in the morning

Things to Bring:
Bible, notebook & pen
Sleeping bag & pillow
Shorts & tennis shoes
Board games & cards
$3 per person for snacks & breakfast


Promises Made ... Promises Kept

Broken promises can shatter hearts and homes. We promise to be a better parent or a better friend. What often happens? "Promises made" don't always mean "promises kept."

What if someone kept all His promises? That someone is Jesus. And He does it for you! He even died on the cross to pay for all our broken promises and rose from the dead to keep every one of His. Jesus rose from the dead, just as He said. Because H…

People of the Passion: Caiaphas, the Schemer

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John 11:47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. "What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." 49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.


We count many villains among the people of the passion, but who counts as the worst villain of all? Was it Judas, the opportunist and t…

Lutheran Satire Episode 3

Lutheran Satire: Ash Wednesday

Hope at the cemetery

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John 11:17-27,38-45 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." 23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the wo…

People of the Passion: Nicodemus, the Silent Believer

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John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."


John 7:50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 "Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?"


John 19:39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.



In thinking about people of the passion, I wonder sometimes whether Nicodemus might have felt any remorse that he did not do more to prevent Jesus’ suffering and death. Did he ask himself later if he could have done something differently to help Jesus?

You remember Nicodemus, don’t you? Some people call him the night disciple, because the fir…