st pauls church of german lake

St. Paul’s Lutheran
Church of German Lake
22693 German Lake Rd.
Cleveland, MN, 56017

March 2022 – Slow Down for Jesus

Some Random Pastoral Ponderings…

Greetings everyone!  I hope that your Lenten journey is bearing fruit and that you are growing in your relationship with God.  I’d like to offer some thoughts (a brief devotion) that may help us on our way.

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:13

Lent can often feel ponderous, overwhelming, and intimidating.  Forty days seem like a long time to focus on sin and repentance…to commit ourselves to deeper Bible study and prayer.  And yet, each year these weeks offer us an opportunity to “hit pause”…to step back from the pressures and hectic pace of everyday life to simply “be” with God and to quietly reflect on what Jesus is doing and the Good News he shares with us each week.

As we pause to listen and reflect on the lessons we’ve heard in worship this Lent, we hear Jesus telling us of God’s extravagant love and forgiveness.  

  • We hear of a God who fights our battle with the devil for us because the devil’s  temptations are too subtle for us to resist.  
  • We hear of a God who longs to reach out and rescue us from our wayward wanderings to gather us under the protective care of His loving arms as a mother hen gathers her wayward chicks.  
  • We hear of a God who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…a patient God who bears with us when we fail to bear the fruits of the Spirit.  
  • We hear of a God who is like a father waiting for his long-lost wayward son to return home. When he does, the father throws a huge party to rejoice and celebrate that what is lost is now found.  This is a God whose love knows no bounds!
  • We hear of a God whose love fills all creation as the scent of a bottle of expensive perfume fills an entire room…an extravagant love that disregards the cost.

Although Lent has traditionally been associated with sackcloth and ashes, sin and judgment, our lessons are filled with stories of God’s unfailing love and grace, forgiveness, and mercy!  The more we listen to Jesus, the more we discover that God is not a God of judgment…but a God of unfathomable love for you, and me, and all people!

This love reaches its climax on Good Friday as Jesus offers his very life on the cross so that we would know how dearly God loves us and, instead of experiencing the wages of our sin which, according to Paul, is death…we experience life, abundantly and eternally!  And, when God raises Jesus from the dead on that first Easter morning, we discover that, contrary to all appearances, death has no hold over us and we can live and love freely and extravagantly…following the example Jesus has set for us.

As God’s people at St. Paul’s of German Lake, may we do just that!


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