Love Your Neighbor
April 2020
Dear Friends in Christ
Scripture teaches that each one of us is tempted by our own sinful desires, lured away from God’s good and gracious will by our own wants, and enticed. Then, after falling into sinful desire gives birth to sinful actions; and when allowed to grow sinful desire leads to death. In the quiet of social distancing, the conscience can be easily overwhelmed.

This year’s Lent Midweek, Holy Week and Easter theme has been By His Wounds You Are Healed . In the Lenten series we heard the Wounds of Jesus are our wounds that He carried for us.
Through the Law written on our hearts and through the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai the Holy Spirit convicts us, and we become conscious of sin. Through the Holy Spirit’s work calling us to repentance we confess the wounds of our sin that Jesus suffered for us:

  • It was my wounds of blasphemy and my wounds of violating the Sabbath that caused Jesus to have a purple robe put on Him, be mocked and spit on by the soldiers and a crown of thorns placed on His head.
  • It was my wounds of dishonoring authority, my wounds of murder and adultery that caused Him to be stripped of His own robe, beaten and whipped causing Jesus excruciating pain.
  • It was my wounds of stealing, my wounds of false testimony and my wounds of coveting power that Jesus bore when He carried His own cross to Golgatha, was hung on the cross with nails piercing His hands and feet and lifted up between two criminals who were receiving the just penalty for their sin.
  • It was for my sake that Jesus became sin and was forsaken by His Father, and experienced thirst for drink but also a for thirst for life that He knew was nearly ended and relationship with His Father.
  • It was for me that Jesus, God’s one and only beloved Son, bowed His and died and was placed in a tomb, sealed by Pilate and a guard posted because the leaders of the Sanhedrin for fear of the disciples stealing His body and claiming Jesus had risen.
Because of Christ’s willing sacrifice, your sin and mine has been forgiven. By His wounds you are healed. God accepted Jesus’ righteous sacrifice and raised Him from the dead. On account of Jesus’ death and resurrection, sin and death have no power over us. Even from the cross Jesus forgave those who caused His wounds and crucified Him. He said, “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” And when His saving work on the cross was completed Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Today, the Holy Spirit calls you to faith in Jesus. In all your troubles He invites you, “Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” “The Lord has laid on him {Jesus} the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). 2 Corinthians says, “God has made him a sinner for us, so that through him we would be made just.” Through Jesus, you have been redeemed, justified by His grace through faith in Him.
This month we celebrate a different kind of Easter social distancing in our homes instead of gathering for worship and celebrating the resurrection of our Lord. While we will be separated for a time, this does not nullify what God has done for us. Although we cannot hear His Word in the Lord’s house and receive the Sacrament of the Altar, Jesus still comes to us, alive, through the Holy Spirit in His Word.
Being separated from one another and even from our family is very challenging and can lead us to despair. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus says to you, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” “Don’t be afraid.” This Easter, hold on to the promises God gives you in the risen Christ. Rest your conscience by faith in the wounds that Christ bore for you. Christ has overcome your sin by His resurrection; and He has swallowed and up death forever. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!
Now when you see the wounds of Jesus, you see the grace of God and the steadfast love that He has for you.

Pastor James Kroonblawd
In his March 27 address, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison reminds us that we are still "Joy:fully Lutheran." In Christ, there is much to rejoice and give thanks for, as we pray without ceasing in these challenging days. He holds up the work of Concordia Plan Services and Concordia Publishing House in providing important resources for churches, schools and workers during the COVID-19 Crisis.

Click here to hear Rev. Harrison's message
Click here for COVID-19 resources at LCMS website
Martin Luther Actually Had Some Good Coronavirus Advice Back in 1527
Most people know Martin Luther as a theologian and as the father of the Reformation but he also happened to have some pretty relevant advice for communities dealing with the coronavirus.

Back in 1527, a deadly plague hit Martin Luther’s town of Wittenberg and he  wrote a letter to a friend , explaining how churches should deal with such complicated circumstances. Sure, science has progressed immensely in the last 500 years and we know way more about infectious diseases than we did back then, but the heart of his words still ring true.

Pop quiz!
Who is my neighbor?
a.  That wacky guy next door.
b.  Any person God has put in my life.
c.  Any person for whom Christ shed His blood.
d.  All of the above

How do I show God’s love to my neighbors?
a.  Provide for their earthly needs.
b.  Offer them shelter during a hurricane.
c.  Build them a wheelchair ramp.
d.  Tell them about Jesus.
e.  Visit them in a nursing home.
f.  Welcome them into the Church.
g.  All of the above (and more).

Pencils down. Ready to check your answers? Read on.

In His mercy,
Rachel Bomberger, Managing Editor,  The Lutheran Witness
Here Are a Few Ways to Love Your Neighbor Well in Coronavirus Season
Tyler Huckabee, March 16, 2020

We’re living in unprecedented times, which as always require unprecedented measures. As the spread of coronavirus threatens an unprecedented test for our global healthcare infrastructure, it also provides an unprecedented opportunity to love others, and that’s an opportunity we shouldn’t let pass us by.

‘We care for people; that’s who we are’
Al Dowbnia and Amanda Booth, July 23, 2019
From flood relief in Houston and Nebraska to hurricane aid in North Carolina and Puerto Rico, from Mercy Medical Teams in Africa to outreach to the imprisoned in Indiana, LCMS World Relief and Human Care delivers the mercy of Christ in everything it does. Click to view video.
And Who Is My Neighbor
Steve Schave, July 11, 2016
Several bystanders kept on walking as Hugo Yax, a homeless man age 31, lay dying on a sidewalk in one of our nation’s largest cities. He had been attacked and left for dead. There was no denying that he was in need of help because he had collapsed and was lying in a pool of blood. Some people stopped to look, most simply side stepped him completely, one took a picture. Clinical psychologists have now labeled this as the “bystander effect” where we are too busy, too detached from the real world, too concerned about getting entangled, or just expecting someone else to come and help.

Psychologists have even named a syndrome for it, but Jesus would stop with the first syllable, not syndrome, but sin. Read entire article.
Giving Offerings to my Congregation in Difficult Times
By Mark Hofman, executive director of mission advancement for The LCMS, March 23, 2020

For LCMS congregations and schools to survive — and thrive — our worship offerings must continue as much as possible when the world is largely locked down and people are prohibited by law or, by a desire to keep pestilence from spreading, from attending church services.
This is hardly a demand of you to give in tough times. You are free to choose and make decisions that are best for you, made by you. Giving to the Lord is between you and the Lord.

We confess this:  All charitable giving is voluntary.  All charitable giving is a prayerful response to the Gospel. Our salvation is not rooted in what we give or what we do; rather, it is already secure because of what Christ has accomplished for us.

Take care of yourself, then as you can in your vocation and are able, care for others. Read entire article.
Calling all students! Can you make a picture for a resident at Good Samaritan in Inver Grove Heights? Staff are asking for colorful pictures made by children that they can use to brighten residents' rooms. Mail them to Good Samaritan or to TLO Church office and we'll get them to Good Sam's!

Good Samaritan is also in need of hand sanitizer. If you have some to spare, please drop it at  Good Samaritan  or TLO Church.
From God's Word
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
   his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
   they tell of your mighty acts.
                                                        —Psalm 145:3-4
If you would like to know more about worshiping our Lord, have questions about anything you've read in the Bible or want to talk about any aspect of your faith, contact us ! We'd be glad to visit with you about it!
TLO Disciple, with a topical study in each issue, is distributed primarily via email on the first of every month. Print copies are available by contacting the TLO Church office at 651-454-7235 or via email.
Calendars, volunteer information, serving groups and the like will accompany the TLO Together, on the last Wednesday of the month.  Click here to subscribe to TLO Together  . This publication is also mailed upon request.

Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950   Highway  55
Eagan,  MN   55 121