OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH
3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
February 22, 2023, 7:30 PM
Divine Service with the Imposition of Ashes
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Easter Day is the heart and center of the Christian Year, for apart from the resurrection of our Lord there is no salvation. Saint Paul writes:
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:17–20)
From ancient times the Church has prepared for Easter by forty days of fasting and prayer which call to mind the Savior’s fast of forty days in the wilderness. In the English-speaking world this forty day season is called “Lent,” a word which comes from an old English word “lencten” which means “spring” and refers to the lengthening days at this time of year. And just as earth comes to life after the death of winter, so also the Lenten season is a time of spiritual renewal through reading and meditating on God’s Word, through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In Christ’s sermon on the mount (Matthew 6:2–21) it is very clear that our Lord expects those who would follow Him to devote themselves to prayer, fasting and almsgiving—not because God needs our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving but because we do if we are to be ever more closely conformed to the image of the Savior. We pray in response to God’s command and promise that our prayers are heard. We fast because our bodily appetites—though good in themselves—are disordered through sin. We give alms as a weapon against selfishness remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) and because of the tremendous need that meets us on every hand. Do keep in mind the needs of the GEDCO food pantry and the Helping Up Mission. Boxes for donations are just inside the door near the church office.
Lent is a time for saying no to everything in our lives that contradicts Christ and His love for us and for every human being. We need to hear God’s Word calling us to repentance, we need to hear God’s Word showing us the Lord Jesus in whose death our sins are dead and who calls us to follow Him in faith and hope and love. Again this year we will have our Wednesday evening Lenten services at 7:30 PM, preceded by a soup supper at 6:30 PM. On Ash Wednesday we have the Divine Service with imposition of ashes. On the other Wednesdays in Lent we have Vespers, the church’s order for evening prayer, with the Litany. Dr. Luther regarded the Litany as “next to the holy Lord’s Prayer the very best that has come to earth.” The late Rev. Dr. Luther Reed wrote: “The Litany is a responsive prayer of the church, penitential in character but unselfish in its intercession for all human need and mighty in its grasp of the grounds for divine compassion.” In a word, the Litany is one of the church’s treasures; sadly, it has in more recent times been a neglected treasure.
No one can look at the world today and fail to see the ravages of human selfishness, greed, and lust for power. No one can fail to see the groaning of the fallen creation in earthquake, fire, and flood—to say nothing of the ravages of disease. Through all of this God is calling us to repentance and amendment of life. Is His voice being heard? Are you and I hearing His voice?
The Church Council continues to address the maintenance of our buildings and will keep you informed as progress continues. We are hoping to have some necessary work done to the organ in the weeks ahead which will mean that we will be without the use of the organ for several Sundays. The piano in the front of the church was recently tuned so that it can be used while the organ is out of commission.
Do consider joining us for the adult Bible Class on Sunday mornings at 9:45. We continue our study of the First Epistle of Saint Peter.
We continue to remember all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Robert Siperek, Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. In my recent visit to Maggie Doswell she told me how much she appreciates the cards sent to her. She remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford is still at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardway is at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.
If you are not able to come to church and want to receive the Sacrament at home, do not hesitate to call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do let me know if you need a ride to church. We are continuing to livestream our services at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook.
Remembering that every Sunday—also every Sunday in Lent!—is a “little Easter,” the Lord’s People are in the Lord’s House at the Lord’s Own Service every Lord’s Day.