We Are All About God’s Grace for God’s People

THIS WEEK AT CHRIST THE KING LUTHERAN CHURCH

John 15:8 – “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

How the Father makes us holy

This week we find ourselves in the midst of Jesus’ “Farewell Discourse” in John’s Gospel. On the night before he was betrayed, Jesus had much to share with his disciples and thanks be to God, John provides for us much of that content. In fact, John 13-17 is one long, extended teaching moment for Jesus where he unpacks the necessity of his suffering, the coming power and presence of the Holy Spirit, and how the disciples are to live in light of Jesus love for them. There’s much more to the “Farewell Discourse” than that, but let this suffice for now.

Our text for this week, John 15:1-8, Jesus uses vivid biblical imagery to depict the work of the Father, through the Spirit, in the lives of the disciples. He speaks of himself as the “true vine” and the Father as the “vinedresser/vinegrower.” We, through faith in Christ, are branches attached to and nourished by Christ our “vine.” The Father will make his “branches” grow by pruning. In the words of Proverbs 3:12 – “…the LORD disciplines those he loves…” Unproductive “branches,” on the other hand, will be cut off. What does Jesus mean with this imagery? There is a warning but there is also a gospel promise.

Here is the implicit warning: Unproductive disciples aren’t really disciples at all but dead “branches” who will be cut off, presumably at the Final Judgment. Here’s the promise: Productive disciples will be made even more holy by the work of the Father which in turn makes them more and more productive as disciples. It’s similar to what Jesus says in Matthew 13:23 – “…He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Productive “branches” are disciples that abide in Christ, live in light of Christ’s love, feast on the power of God in Word and Sacrament, and allow the Father to prune sin from their lives. By being open to the Father’s work of making them (and us!) holy, because of being “born again/anew/from above” by the water and the Spirit (John 3:3-9), a rich harvest is produced by God in his “branches,” in people like you. Note who does the work here: God does. He does it all. Apart from him, Jesus says, we can do nothing (John 15:5). But by abiding in Christ, pruned by the Father through the Holy Spirit’s work of making us holy, you will inevitably “bear much fruit” (John 15:8) for the kingdom of God!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chris

This week at Christ the King

Monday, April 23rd
7 PM Executive Committee
***Newsletter Articles due today***
Tuesday, April 24th
1 PM Ladies’ JOY Book Club
6:30 PM Men’s Dartball Banquet (off-site @ Rapid River)
Wednesday, April 25th
9 AM Quilting
9:30 AM Bible Study – John 6:22-40
5:30 PM Choir Practice
6:30 PM Healthy Congregations Workshop @ Immanuel
7 PM Bible Study – Key People in John’s Gospel: Mary, Martha, and Lazarus
Thursday, April 26th
10 AM Coffee Clutch
5:30 PM Finance Meeting
6:15 PM Church Council
Saturday, April 28th
10 AM VBS Work-bee at Trinity-Stonington
5 PM Worship w/ Holy Communion
Sunday , April 29th– 5th Sunday of Easter
9 AM Faith Formation (Sunday School and Confirmation)
9:30 AM Coffee Fellowship Time (Library)
10:30 AM Worship w/ Holy Communion

World Hunger Project

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Worship
Weekend Worship is at
5 p.m. on Saturdays
and
10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
Communion is celebrated at every service and a staffed nursery is available during the 10:30 worship

Youth Faith Formation
(Confirmation)
(Sunday School)
Every Sunday from
9:00 – 10:15 am

Office:
Christ the King Lutheran Church
1230 N. 18th St.
Escanaba, Michigan
Phone: 906-786-7400

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