Deacon's Page 

 

‚ÄúThe Tree of Life: God‚Äôs Promise of Salvation‚Ä̬†
Beginning the weekend of September 17 and
18, Calvary will begin The Tree of Life: God’s
Promise of Salvation, a special ten-week
congregational study. The Tree of Life will include
a ten-week sermon series, Sunday School lessons,
adult Bible class lessons, and special books for all
ages to enjoy at home.
The Tree of Life examines God’s plan of
salvation as it unfolds through the Old Testament
and is fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and
resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Each session
explores Bible accounts that guide us through the
epic story of salvation, from creation in the
beginning of Genesis, to the cross of Christ in the
beginning of the New Testament, and finally to
Jesus’ return on the Last Day in the Book of
Revelation.
The first five weeks will focus on the Old
Testament, while the last five weeks will feature
lessons in the New Testament. We will begin with
creation and the fall into sin, which brought all the
evils we experience into this world. Then we will
look at the unfolding of God’s promise to send His
Son with lessons on Abraham, Moses, King David,
and Daniel.
Then, in the second half of The Tree of Life, we
will focus on Jesus’ coming as our Savior. We will
look at His birth, Baptism, ministry, crucifixion,
resurrection, and His promise to return on the Last
Day to judge the living and the dead.
By the end of these ten weeks, you will be
refreshed with the Bible’s overarching theme
and storyline, equipped with the tools for
unlocking the full riches of each page of Holy
Scripture.
Be sure to join us and invite others to come
and learn how Jesus’ cross became the tree of
life in which God forgives us and gives us
everlasting life. Join the Calvary family as we
explore The Tree of Life: God’s Promise of
Salvation!
Peace,
Deacon Hurst


"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same ay I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples‚ÄĒwhen they see the love you have for each other.‚ÄĚ John 13:34-35

Jennifer ¬†and ¬†I ¬†just ¬†had ¬†the ¬†amazing opportunity ¬†to ¬†spend ¬†our ¬†honeymoon ¬†in ¬†Jamaica. The ¬†location, ¬†weather, ¬†culture, ¬†and ¬†people ¬†we experienced ¬†were ¬†among ¬†the most ¬†beautiful ¬†I ¬†have ever ¬†encountered. ¬†Jamaica ¬†is ¬†known ¬†for ¬†many things: ¬†Reggae, Rasta, rum as well as the phrases ‚ÄėYa Mon,‚Äô and ‚ÄėOne Love‚Äô ¬† ¬†We ¬†had ¬†had ¬†many ¬†conversations ¬†with ¬†locals about surviving COVID in a country where tourism is king, toilet paper shortages in the US, caring for one another, the state of our angry world, war in Ukraine, and ¬†so ¬†much ¬†more. ¬†The ¬†phrase ¬†‚ÄėOne Love‚Äô appeared ¬†in ¬†nearly ¬†every ¬†conversation ¬†and ¬†every greeting. ¬†The ¬†simple ¬†concept ¬†that ¬†we ¬†can ¬†and should ¬†simply ¬†love ¬†and ¬†care ¬†for ¬†one ¬†another ¬†in ¬†all situations, ¬†and ¬†that ¬†we ¬†are ¬†all ¬†in ¬†this ¬†together ¬†is nothing new, Jesus gives us His new commandment in ¬†John ¬†13; ¬†but ¬†it ¬†was ¬†certainly ¬†refreshing ¬†to ¬†hear again and again.
How ¬†do ¬†we ¬†love ¬†one ¬†another ¬†better? ¬†I believe ¬†recognizing ¬†who ¬†we are ¬†and ¬†whose we are is a great start. Being a thankful child of God is ¬†essential ¬†to ¬†make ¬†every ¬†day ¬†a ¬†blessing. Showing ¬†that ¬†thankful ¬†heart ¬†to ¬†others ¬†is ¬†an opportunity ¬†to ¬†share ¬†God‚Äôs ¬†Love ¬†with ¬†everyone we ¬†encounter. ¬†When ¬†our ¬†daily ¬†habit ¬†includes being a thankful, loving child of God the world is simply ¬†a ¬†brighter ¬†place. ¬†Imagine ¬†an ¬†entire community ¬†of ¬†people ¬†loving ¬†and ¬†caring ¬†for ¬†one another ¬†as ¬†Jesus ¬†commands ¬†us ¬†to ¬†do. ¬†A beautiful picture for sure! ¬† ¬†One ¬†morning ¬†I ¬†asked ¬†a ¬†young ¬†worker how he was as he was pushing a cart of towels onto the elevator. He replied, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm alive. The sun is shining. God is so good.‚ÄĚ Amen and amen! ¬†A thankful ¬†and ¬†loving ¬†heart ¬†created ¬†by ¬†a ¬†loving God.

Peace,
Deacon Hurst

Lord, I need You

Lord I need You,  oh I need You 

Every hour, I need You 

My one defense, my righteousness 

Oh God, how I need You 

Matt Maher, Lord, I Need You (refrain) 

. I cannot tell you how many times over the last three- or four-years words to this effect have entered my mind and crossed my lips. These years included an extended pastoral vacancy, a divorce, the deaths of my parents, a pandemic, and more. You know, you have lived though many of these very things and more as well and I am confident that similar thoughts and phrases have accompanied your daily lives as well. 

I need the Lord, and He is here. What does He look like? He looks like my Calvary family when they love me, even when I am prickly and unlovable. He looks like cards and gifts that I do not expect or deserve, but sure do appreciate. He looks like conversations in the parking lot after a long meeting. He looks like Calvary leadership reminding me to use my vacation time. He looks like a friend asking me if it is okay to share a hug. He looks like a fellowship hall of people enjoying a Super Sunday with some of the kids and a puppet named Gordy. 

 This is the Lord meeting our needs and more. He comes to us through Christian friends and family who are sometimes just as broken and hurting as we are. He shares some of Himself through them. He comes to us in Word and Sacrament to strengthen and preserve us as we travel life’s winding roads. He promises He will never leave us of forsake us. These are the most comforting words I know. 

Please do not expect the Lord to appear only in the form of Bible pages and footnotes or perfectly presented scripture readings, Bible studies, and worship. Does He appear in those things, of course He does, but not only there; our Lord meets us on the ground floor and provides daily strength, hope, and love in His perfect Word, even when our presentation is imperfect. He gives us a family of faith to lean on, love on, and grow with. Does it get any better? Not on this side of eternity.

 Peace be with you all and thank you my Calvary family. 

Deacon Hurst

Reformation

O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 
This week I was reminded of a song we used to sing at Lutheran West chapel services back in the 80s. The song was based on the above verse from Isaiah and it went something like this,
Abba, Abba Father, 
You are the potter, 
I am the clay, 
The work of Your hands. 
Mold us, mold us and fashion us 
Into the image of Jesus Your Son, 
Of Jesus Your Son. 
I’ve been thinking about the idea of REFORMATION. It may seem obvious to us now, but God has approached the idea of reformation in a way that I think is very foreign to us. God takes what He has and molds or remolds it into something that will work for His plans. 
We see this is Eden and with Noah when God doesn’t destroy everything and start fresh, but uses what was broken and remolds it to do His will. We see a similar approach in the Protestant Reformation. God could have scrapped the corrupt church and its false teachings completely, but instead, He once again shows mercy and remolds something beneficial and beautiful from what had become far from what He envisioned. 
God does the same with each of us as well. The beautiful vessel He had planned to make of us has been corrupted by our own stubborn vision. God could have dumped or destroyed us and sent back to the ash bin any old time. Instead He remolds and fashions us into His image. He doesn’t give up on His children, His church, or His creation. He claims us as His own and makes us new in Christ. He makes us presentable and useful once again. He gives us a reason not only to exist, but to truly live…to find life in Christ. What will you do with the gifts God has given you? 
Peace, 
Deacon Hurst 

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