Monona Ev. Lutheran Church 4411 Monona Dr., Madison, WI 53716
Welcome to Monona! Wishing everyone a Blessed Easter - 2019
+ From Agony to Ecstasy +
Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,
As we now approach Ash Wednesday (March 6th), and the Lenten season, the Christian message fundamentally remains the Word of the Cross. This message is not merely that God kept His promises of old and sent His Son into the world, but above all that God's Son humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of dying on the cross in payment for our sins. It is the story of Christ crucified for our forgiveness. It is the Gospel of the child born in Bethlehem and the man on the cross of Calvary. And that makes it a stumbling block and foolishness to unbelievers. Only to those who are being saved is this message the wisdom and power of God.
The Word of the cross totally condemns us as we are by nature. If God had to suffer in that way and that much in order to take our place and bear what we deserved, then surely we cannot boast about ourselves before God. As Law, the cross is a terrible judgment on us. If we see God's own Son crucified for us, we must also see that we are sinners who were under the wrath and the curse of God. But the cross conveys another more powerful message as well: through the Christ who died on it, God accomplished our salvation. God's wrath and curse fell on Christ instead of on us, so that we who believe in Him might receive God's love and blessing.
To unbelievers, the cross is God's foolishness and weakness. What kind of a God lets Himself be killed? What kind of a God is led like a lamb to slaughter and doesn't even open His mouth to protest? But that is just how God lets us see Him—in Christ crucified. It's a stumbling block for those who look for God to reveal Himself only in glory and power. But for us who believe, Christ crucified is the wisdom of God and the power of God to save us. Christ took our sin upon Himself so that by His suffering we might be saved.
That is the Christian God—the One which enables us to examine ourselves and our lives-styles especially during the season of Lent—the God who became man in Christ Jesus, in order to reconcile the world to Himself. That is the God who loved each of us so much that He gave up His one and only Son for us. That is the God who, through the cross, opened His heart to us fully so that we can now cry out to Him, "Abba! Dear Father!"
So, what are we to do with such love, mercy, and grace and with a knowledge that surpasses all human understanding?
From agony to ecstasy: blood, sweat, and tears; heart, hands, and voices. These are the themes and titles of our midweek Lenten series for 2019. Sorry, but such themes as these will not necessarily help you win friends and influence people, get along better with your family members, or be more successful in your profession. After recent destruction from weather events, after Hurricanes and wildfires, after international skirmishes and urban homicides in which so many precious lives are lost, I believe we’ve all been sobered up a bit to realize that there are more important things in life than pleasure and success.
The season of Lent was established to deepen our faith and understanding of life with God in Christ. I sincerely hope that you will attend this midweek series and so postpone less important things and plan to attend all the Wednesday services.
Our series this year is somewhat unique, I believe. We’re going to talk about some very ordinary experiences and ingredients in our Lord’s Passion, and in our own lives: blood, sweat, tears; heart, hands, and voices. We will try to demonstrate how the agonies of our Lord produced the great ecstasies of our faith.
Blessings on your Lenten journey!
Thanks for Visiting
Please enjoy browsing our site. We welcome your questions and comments and look forward to visiting with you at one of our upcoming worship services.
To all who are weary and need rest,
To all who are lonely and need sheltering love,
To all who sin and need a Savior, and
To whomever will come, our church opens its doors in the name of Jesus Christ.
Member congregation of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod