Welcome to Living Savior Lutheran Church
Living Savior church is now having regular worship services at 9:00a.m. every Sunday. We will be practicing social distancing. Masks are required. Communion will be given at the end of the service. After communion, you will leave through the back door, so please take all your belongings with. Offering plates will not be passed, but will be located at the entrance and at the exit. For those of you who are not comfortable with this arrangement, we also are offering a parking lot service at the same time. tune in to 105.7.
Scriptures & Message for Sunday, November 22nd, 2020
First Reading – Ezekiel 34:11-16
“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.
Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
Gospel – Matthew 25:31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
The Sheep and the Goats Is There Room for One More?
Is there room in your life for “one more” for the least, the lost, the lonely, the leper, the “other”?
When a national day of thanksgiving was established on the fourth Thursday in November, it was not because the fourth Thursday in November was a particularly thankful day. It was intentionally chosen to remind us to say “thanks” for the bounties God has heaped upon our lives.
For Christians, every Sunday is a Thanksgiving feast day. Every Sunday at worship, we give thanks for the greatest event ever to hit planet Earth, the greatest “opening” in human history the open tomb, testifying to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every Sunday is Thanksgiving Sunday. Every Sunday dinner is Thanksgiving dinner.
It used to be that “Sunday dinner” was a really big deal. Sunday was the one day the family planned to spend together first at church, then at home, then with relatives. With a full house and expectant stomachs, Sunday dinner was a meal guaranteed to offer the combination of old favorites and once-a-week specialties. Every family had its own Sunday dinner traditions: fried chicken, pot roast, plates of pasta, etc. Sunday dinner was usually the time when you could count on your ethnicity showing up on a plate.
Along with the Sunday dinner, there has also been in some families another standard at this Thanksgiving feast an empty chair. that empty chair stood ready to be filled or to be gazed on as a reminder that no matter how many were already present, there was always room for one more. Even if there wasn’t physically an “empty chair,” there was an extra plate and extra portions in case an unexpected visitor showed up.
Yet, as families have moved geographically farther and farther apart, it has become increasingly difficult for everyone to “gather at Grandma’s” on the big Turkey Day. As families have moved emotionally farther and farther apart through divorce, remarriages and different lifestyles, Covid 19 it seems like a better choice to maintain a safe distance from one another.
No matter how Thanksgiving is celebrated, no matter how many are hosted at the holiday feast, the tradition of the empty, expectant chair commends itself for our consideration if not physically, then at least spiritually.
Fortunately, our national Thanksgiving Day is somewhat less commercialized than other annually commemorated celebrations. Thanksgiving is the starting gun for the first frenetic round of holiday shopping.
As we giddily “hit the malls,” it seems that overindulgence in turkey isn’t the only consuming binge marked by Thanksgiving. Isn’t this weekend the biggest shopping weekend, with the biggest sales, in your community?
This Thanksgiving marks a new beginning. This year with Covid 19 there will be no sit down dinner at the legion. There will be meals prepared but the meals will be delivered to homes. About 600 meals were prepared last year with over 200 delivered to homes. I wonder how many meals will be delivered this year to those who don’t have a home?
Sadly, one of the greatest growth indicators in America seems to be the burgeoning of its underclasses those with the severest cases of the “have-nots.” True, there are those growing richer than rich, stockpiling millions the way the rest of us stockpile cans for recycling. But there are also far more who are so desperately poor, so utterly destitute, that even the barest essentials for existence are beyond their grasp. The only thing equitable about this division is that it seems to cross all ethnic and racial lines. In both black and white America, a small but growing percentage of the population is amassing fortunes, while a small but ever-growing number is amassing misery. There are a few more Lebron James and Bill Gates. But there are many more abandoned babies with AIDS, homeless 12-year-olds, extended families of 20 crammed into one-room apartments, elderly men and women trying to choose between medication and food.
This great capitalist nation upon which God has blessed such bounty is failing to provide the minimal means for survival to an ever-growing segment of our population.
Where are our empty chairs? Where are our extra portions?
When did we decide to shut our hearts and find there is no more love to give, no more bounty to share, no more fellowship to extend?
What will it take to get us to make room for . . . one more name on our “need to visit” list? . . . one more personal note jotted on a Christmas card? . . . one more hour of volunteer work at a mission? . . . one more person in our hearts? One phone call. Amen
we will try to keep you updated as we go along during this time of Covid 19.