I start with some sad news. Joe Lambert, who suffered a stroke a little over a month ago, went into cardiac arrest yesterday and died. The good news is that he is with his risen Savior in paradise. There are no immediate plans for a funeral, but that may change in the coming weeks. The Lord has also called to his eternal home Dorothy Becker. The Beckers were early members of King of Kings and still have some congregational ties.
Now, to some better news: the Lord was gracious and we had an outstanding picnic last week. This week, we are pleased to receive into the Church Kayden and Karter Davignon through Holy Baptism and Julie White through Adult Confirmation.
After the service, we will have a special voters meeting. It is special for three reasons: 1) we set our budget for the next fiscal year; 2) we elect half of our church Council; and 3) we will be calling our next pastor and pre-k teacher. Since Pastor Blumer (our Circuit Pastor) will conduct the call proceedings, we will have to wait until around 12:15 to address that part of the meeting. Because of the importance of this meeting, we hope that everyone will be able to stay. Your input is very important.
Next Sunday, April 29, will be our last Sunday Funday. It will be a special water day. It is a great opportunity to invite parents with kids who might be interested in our school. Lunch will be provided.
In two weeks, May 6, we will have our youth confirmation service. The following 8th graders are prepared to be confirmed: Isaac Schumann, Faith Shimick, Madeira Wilde and Darcy Zobel. A cake and punch reception will take place in the FLC after the service.
Finally, on a personal note, if you are able to secure any boxes which could be used for moving, I’d appreciate it, especially paper boxes. You can bring them to Pastor’s office.
Now, here’s today’s devotion:
Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:5
In his book entitled, The Case for Christianity, author Colin Chapman recounts the true story of what took place one day in the African nation of Uganda. It was 1973. The nation was reeling under the brutal dictatorship of Idi Amin. A Christian pastor there received word that three men were about to be put to death. The authorities ordered the local townspeople to gather at a stadium to witness the execution. Three thousand came and waited in silence and dread.
Into the stadium drove a truck. The truck stopped. Then, from the back, guards unloaded the three men. They wore handcuffs and their ankles had chains. The firing squad stood nearby.
The pastor had permission to speak to the three men before they died. And so out he walked into the center of that stadium. As he did, he asked himself, “How do you give the gospel to doomed men who are probably seething with rage?”
But this is what happened next. As the pastor approached, the three men turned to look at him. To his great surprise, their faces were beaming with joy. Bubbling with excitement, they told the pastor how each of them had come to faith in Christ after their arrests. One of them said, “Heaven is now open, and there is nothing between me and my God. Please tell my wife and children that I am going to be with Jesus.” He then asked the pastor to tell his family to trust in Jesus as their Savior too.
The three smiling men waved to the crowd, and the crowd waved back. Their words of Christian witness so moved the members of the firing squad that they clearly became rattled. Nevertheless the execution had to proceed. And so there they stood, three victorious men—three victorious men who now knew what life was all about; three victorious men who now knew they were at peace with God; three victorious men who now knew they had overcome the world.
The shots rang out, and home to heaven they went. But their proclamation of the gospel went on to touch the lives of others. As will ours.
Lord Jesus, you died for my every sin and you have risen from death. Through faith in you, heaven is mine and all is well. Thank you for this victory. Thank you. Amen.