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Welcome to Trinity Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod - Norman, Oklahoma
"In grateful response to God's grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacraments, the mission of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod is vigorously to make known the love of Christ by word and deed within our churches, communities, and the world." -LCMS Mission Statement
Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ!
From the Pastor
This month we are in both the season of Epiphany and Lent.
The Transfiguration of our Lord - The Shining of Jesus in bright Light on the mountain. God's Beloved Son who shines and is transfigured in glory on the high mountain, is also the true Man. We celebrate this on Sunday Feb. 15th with both 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Services of Holy Communion.
The Epiphany theme is found in the amazing hymn "Songs of Thankfulness and Praise" LSB 394. The last verse summarizes our waiting for his last great epiphany when Jesus returns in glory:
Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,
Present in Thy holy Word -
Grace to imitate Thee now
And be pure, as pure art Thou;
That we might become like Thee
At Thy great epiphany
And may praise Thee, ever blest,
God in man made manifest.
Then the 40 Days of Lent begin. Join us on Ash Wednesday Feb. 18th at 7:30 p.m. for a service of Corporate Confession and Absolution, the Imposition of the Ashes, Lenten Liturgy and Service of Holy Communion. Then the First Sunday in Lent will be Feb. 22nd. We will have both 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Services of Holy Communion.
Two of the six Wednesday Lenten Vespers Services are this month (Wed. Feb. 18, 25) with the theme: "In Silent Pain the Eternal Son." The services begin at 7:30 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. there will be a Soup and Salad Supper provided by various members of our church and its boards.
The first verse of LSB 432 sets the tone for the whole season of Lent:
In silent pain the eternal Son, Hangs
derelict and still;
In darkened day His work is done,
Fulfilled, His Father's will.
Uplifted for the world to see, He
hangs in strangest victory,
For in His body on the tree, He
carries all our ill
We will again distribute the Lutheran Hour Ministries Lenten Devotional booklet entitled, "The Light Shines in the Darkness."
During this Epiphany and Lent season, may the Light of Jesus Christ shine brightly into our lives as we reflect His glory into a dark world so others also may "walk in the light of the Lord!"
In our King and our Suffering Servant Jesus,
From the Vicar
"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
John 13:34 - King James Version
Ah, love is in the air. Valentine's Day is right around the corner. The stores are full of pink and red boxes, clothing, candy and yes, rich, dark chocolate, ready for purchase. While some stores have transitioned to green for St. Patrick's Day in March, one cannot deny the presence of the Valentine's Day products. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to hear of engagement announcements during this month from some friends during this winter festival of romantic love.
Jesus words in John 13 as quoted above from the King James Version, complete with the British "ye" language is not dealing with romantic love. The Greek αγαπατε αλληλους means "Love one another." Agape love is the love that our Heavenly Father showed to the world in the sweet passage of John 3:16-17:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."
In the upper room discourse from Maundy Thursday as recorded in John, chapter 13, Jesus calls the Disciples then and we of the Faith today to show that same love towards our neighbors. He gives us the perfect example of this type of self-less love. Jesus Christ came down from his heavenly throne to be the sacrificial lamb for us. The perfect, holy, sinless, eternal Second Person of the Trinity, the Word who was with God and through whom all things were made, became as the creation to save us. God's love is boundless.
St. Paul gives the church at Corinth and the whole Christian Church these great words of what true love is in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13:
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."
Love is patient and kind, it never ends. What a glorious and gracious concept that love is. It is my fervent prayer that as we approach the Lenten season this month with Ash Wednesday, we take stock of what true love is as expressed and demonstrated by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May His love continue to shine forth in your lives and reflect to those all around you.
Peace in Christ,
Vicar John Zimmerman