WELS
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A note from Pastor Unke
Everybody loves a sequel.

The reason why the concept of a sequel is so appealing is that people so thoroughly enjoyed the original story that they simply did not want it to end.  They want to know more of the story.  Hollywood thrives on sequels.  Some movie sequels are as good as or better than the original (like Toy Story 2) while some are complete flops (Blues Brothers 2).  Good or bad, the concept of a sequel usually excites people.
Did you know that the Bible has sequels in it?  Let me tell you about my favorite.
St. Luke gathered information about the life of Jesus, and was inspired to write his Gospel story of Christ’s life.  Our study of Luke’s Gospel in Family Bible Hour comes to an end on Easter Sunday.  The final verse in Luke’s Gospel reads, “And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”  The believers had seen Jesus rise from the dead and ascend into heaven.  They were moved to worship—an appropriate response to Christ’s death and resurrection!  But our minds naturally move to the common question, “Then what happened?”
Thankfully there’s a sequel—written by Luke himself.  The book of Acts takes up the story right where Luke’s Gospel lets off.  Acts  is one of the most exciting sequels of all time.  Imagine the Hollywood promotional trailer that would go out to describe Luke’s sequel to the story of Christ:
 
[Deep Hollywood announcer voice:]  “The world hated their Master.  The mobs drove Him to a bloody execution.  And it didn’t end there.  His ruthless rivals set their sights on destroying the remaining remnant of His followers.  They were out for blood.  They dragged them out of the city to attack and kill them with rocks.  They made sport of throwing His followers to be torn apart by wild animals.  The tiny clan was outnumbered.  And yet…they had a Story to tell.  The greatest Story ever told.  The world needed to know.  The Story they told would change the world forever.  This is the impossible Story that really happened—and continues to this day.  Their Master was dead; but He is alive again.  Outnumbered by an angry world, these brave warriors went to share the Message that gives Eternal Life!  And now—that message has reached every remote part of this world.  It’s a message of hope and a life that never ends.  And it all started with that tiny group of his followers. You do not want to miss out—you must hear this Story!”
        
Ok, maybe Hollywood could be a bit more creative and dramatic than I.  But this story is not fiction and it truly is a story that must be told.  By God’s grace, we know the Risen and Living Savior.  And we are part of His worldwide army of messengers.  This is our primary purpose in life.  In a way, each of us is part of yet another sequel that extends the story of Jesus, who is the Resurrection and the Life. 
 
So what do people in the growing army of messengers of Jesus do?
     1. First, we arm themselves with the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God.
         That’s why the regular invitation goes out to everyone to join us for Bible Study.  We need to know the truth if our goal is to confess it.   Please don’t consider summer to be a time to give up Bible Study.  We will continue to offer spiritual growth and understanding through our Family Bible Hour even in the summer months.  Why would we take a vacation from growing in God’s Word?
     2. Next, be prepared to welcome visitors into God’s House.
            Although church is a place to catch up and chat with good friends, please keep your eyes open for visitors whom you don’t already know. Go and welcome them!  It makes a huge difference for visitors   to be welcomed and feel as if they are getting to know people quickly.  It makes them more comfortable—and they feel so much more at ease to come back for more of the Life giving message!
     3. Finally, keep your eyes open.  Every day is filled with opportunities to speak to someone about Jesus.  Co-workers often ask about what we’re doing this weekend..(a perfect opening) or how we’re dealing with the pressures of life…(a great chance to talk about the word!)  This is how the army of Christ works! Just talk about the Savior and trust the Holy Spirit to carry out his purpose!
Oh…there’s one more thing!  The final sequel!  In the end; at the sound of the last trumpet; when the skies open up; when Christ Jesus returns we will rise to meet him in the skies and to live with him in paradise.  THAT will be a MUST SEE sequel!  That’s why today, before it “comes out”—we MUST TELL!

Celebrating LIFE with you,
Pastor Unke
  
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