Tag Archives: go

Go but know…

“and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NRSV)

Summer is finally upon us and the time for travel has come!

So go out into the world, but remember when you go you do not leave your church behind because you cannot leave the church behind. You are the church. And you have been commissioned by God to go into all of the world. Luke tells the people in the book of Acts in chapter 1:8 that they will be God’s witnesses in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria to the end of the earth. In our times and here at St. John’s that would be, “you will be witnesses of God in all of Green Bay, in all of Door County and the UP and to the ends of the earth!”

Remember when you go places beyond your home, you are taking the light of Christ with you and you are His witnesses wherever you may go and whatever you may do.

We are the church and we take His message with us through the actions we do and the words we speak.

So go out into the world and have fun this summer, but remember St. John’s is still here waiting for you to return safely, and that you are the body of Christ going into the world as His messengers.

O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20, NRSV)

This is the passage of text most of us know as the great commission. This is where Jesus sends the disciples into the world to make more disciples.

Jesus sends the 11 into the world to share what they have learned. And through the sending of the 11, He also sends us into the world.

And many of us doubt that we are called to go and be a part of God’s plan in the world. We would say we were part of the some who doubted here on the mountain with Jesus. But what if I told you that the part of the verse “but some doubted.” maybe a bad translation? The Greek here is οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν.

οἱ is a masculine plural article or they.

δὲ is a conjunction meaning but or and.

ἐδίστασαν is the third person plural aorist active indicative for to doubt.

So the part of the sentence all together is but they doubted. Of course, some say that the οἱ is redundant and unneeded because the they is implied in the form of the word for doubt and therefore should be translated some. But the other side of this is this is not done in any other part of the New Testament. This is the only time this particular construction is found. And we have to explain why the 11 disciples would have walked with Jesus and witnessed everything He did and when they finally see Him resurrected they doubt what they are seeing.

So how is it possible they worshiped and they doubted? Well, we have to get beyond that doubt is the opposite of faith. Doubt is the opposite of certainty. And wouldn’t you be uncertain about what was going on in front of you at that moment on the mountain? It doesn’t mean you don’t believe, it doesn’t mean you can’t worship, it just means you don’t get it and you have questions. Questions are not bad, they lead us to discover and to investigate.

So don’t fall away from doubting and questioning, lean into the call God has on your life, knowing you are in good company when you wonder about it and question it.


Here is a wonderful cartoon about this:



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Sign over the exits at St. John’s Lutheran Church Little Suamico. 


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cast out

He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, “What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!” And a report about him began to reach every place in the region. After leaving the synagogue he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them. As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. Demons also came out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah. At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.” So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea.(Luke 4:31-44, NRSV)

Jesus freed the man of the unclean spirit by calling it out of him. Then he heals Peter mother-in-law. And He healed many of diseases and cast out demons.

And when He had done all of this, He cast Himself out. He went away to a deserted place to be with God. And then rather than stay there, He went on to other places to do what He had done there.

We are called to go and take the message with of, of people healed and demons cast out. God is moving in and through us, and He will use us to do even greater things than Jesus did!


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These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.(Matthew 10:5-16, NRSV)

This passage is interesting. Jesus sends out the disciples only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Do not go to the Gentiles or to towns of Samaria, but only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.

But we have to understand the community to which Matthew was written. This was a very Jewish community, and there for they would see this as the mission of the Messiah. To go to the house of Israel.

And once the house of Israel is in order we can go out further, but first we get our house in order.

So go and declare my message to all of our house, and help them to see that God is with them…

And I am sending you out like sheep among wolves… For they should be ready for this, but probably will not be.

But always go and know that I go with you.


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After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” (Luke 10:1-17, NRSV)

So how many disciples were there?


Well maybe, but here Jesus sends out 70 others. And sent is the meaning of apostle, one who is sent…

So there were at least 82 apostles. And I would say there are many more. And those other 70 that were sent I am sure were disciples in that they learned from Jesus, at least they did a little before He sent them. Do this and not this. So disciples we are all learners from the teaching that Jesus gives.

So know that there were more than 12 apostles, or disciples, and know if you believe that Jesus died for you and calls you, He also expects you to be a disciple (a learner) and an apostle (one who is sent).

He is calling you to go and tell about Him, are you ready to be sent?


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Blessed to be a blessing!

Stewardship - a way of life

18 months ago I arrived at St. John’s Lutheran Church as the call rostered leader. It has been wonderful being here, even with the welcome we received with the below 0 temperatures to close down school! We have grown together as a mission post in the body of Christ and are doing wonderful ministry together.

And now we are approaching summer, a time when families head to the cabins, and go on vacations. And this is something we need to do. We need to get away when we can for rest and relaxation and time with the family. So go! And remember that you are the body of Christ as you go. You will be sharing His love and grace and mercy with everyone you see and meet.

But as you go, remember we are still here at St. John’s. We are still a part of your life and your faith journey. We will be here, with the same needs we have during the non-summer months. Council met last night and discussed the dwindling checking account. This made me rethink my newsletter article this month, and come into the office and look at some numbers and trends over the time I have been here.

Over the 18 months I have been here, income has been over expenses in 6 months. Which is good, as those spikes can carry us through some of the low spots. And they are what you think they would be, Easter, the car show/auction and November/December. And we are close in the other months.

An easy response to this is, we need more people. Well that is not always a way to solve money issues. As new families do not understand stewardship concepts. I remember the first time I attended worship at a congregation and they started talking about giving. I gave $5 or $10 a week. I did not understand the Biblical basis of giving. And some of our “new” members come from other congregations, and they do have a concept of giving, and stewardship, but maybe life situations right now do not allow for them to give, with children and bills. So more people does not automatically mean more in the plates.

So then we ask our members to give more, when some of us are giving all we can give. And we have given, and have given to special projects and other things the congregation needs. So we just can’t squeeze any more out. And I get that. Some of us are giving all we can.

So what do we do? I wish I had the easy answer and could say, “Here is what we need to do to make this problem go away!” I don’t. So what do we do? Well we start by praying.

Let us all continue to Gather, Grow and Go. Let us gather together for worship and fellowship and building up of each other. Let us grow in our understanding of that we are not giving money to God and trusting Him to do the right thing with it, we are giving back to God what He trusted us with.  Let us grow in our discipleship and our relationships with God and each other. And let’s go into the world to share His love and our understanding of the relationship we have with Him and help others have that same thing. But as we go, let us not forget to still be here at St. John’s through our giving. This can be made easy by joining in on the Simply Giving program which allows you to give electronically any amount you would like on your chosen day of the month. This can be set up as a one time giving or a reoccurring giving option. So even when you are away, you can still be here too!

We can all look at what we have been blessed with and pray about how we can be a blessing.

I am ready to buckle down and live into the relationship we have started and build this mission outpost for God. Are you ready to buckle down with me? Let us be a blessing as God has blessed us!

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Posted by on 2015/06/01 in Newsletter Article


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