Love God Above All Things
Dear Saints in Christ,
Love. Perhaps more than any other word and concept is so profound and profoundly misunderstood. It is the subject of song and dance, film and television, religious consideration and philosophical reflection. It is praised and mocked. It is to be applied universally and also avoided at all costs. It seems that, ironically, the World has a love/hate relationship with love.
The problem really lies in the first commandment. “You shall have no other gods. What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” When our love for God is right, then all other love is properly placed and ordered. God calls us to love Him alone and this in turn shapes our lives.
You see what and how we love powerfully shapes our lives. As a simple example: if you love baseball, it shapes your life. If you love baseball, you likely spend your money, your time, and even plan around or for opportunities to play or watch baseball. When you are unable to watch or play you likely become sad, irritated, frustrated and even angry. In fact, when your game is interrupted you may judge people who got in your way. Exchange baseball, for shopping, working, family, camping, fishing, crafting, etc.
You can see how this is beginning to return us to the 1st Commandment. God desires us to love Him above all things. He wants to shape our lives, our money, time, and plans. He will not share us with idols. Why? Because He and He alone can give life, forgiveness, and salvation. No other thing we might love can give us forgiveness, life, or salvation. So God calls us to love Him above all things because He loves us! This is not arrogance on the part of God, instead it is simply true!
“Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love. In this is the love of God made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he has loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 5:8-11)
This is why the rest of the meanings of the commandments say, “We should fear and love God so that…” Our love for God places everything else in a rightful place. It keeps us from being too passionate about things that will not save us and so remain faithful to God alone and His Word. In loving God, we are shaped by His Word to love our families appropriately and rightly. We are shaped to love and serve our neighbor because of their need and faithfully look to God. Why? Because God’s love for us in Christ leads us to love. Love that is shaped by Christ, and His Word.
What do you tend to love more than God? What do you find consuming your thoughts? If not God, it is likely an idol. Do you have certain expectations that when not met leave you feeling frustrated, resentful, bitter, or angry toward others? That expectation, that thing you love has become your god, your idol.
What do you do? God is faithful and just. He is faithful even when we have gone astray. Return to the Lord. He is just in that in Christ the love of God was made manifest and fulfilled in Jesus perfectly and by His death and propitiation you are forgiven and restored to God and able to love Him again through faith. May God grant to us all such repentance to turn our love from things temporal to rightly love Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father.
Peace in Christ,
1 Joyce Hermansen 10 Sharon Bain
2 Nicholas Zuber 11 Kathie Lassanske
3 Ann Lee 12 Anna Korab
4 Jan Bohling 14 Rebecca McHenry
4 Herb Dabbert 20 Marlys Brick
4 Andrew Johnson 21 Rhylan Tschappat
4 Stacey Nelson 23 Jordon Andreasen
4 Tristan Tschappat 24 Aubrey Dockter
7 Viola Schnaidt 25 Lori Salfrank
8 Jody Haar 27 Raymond Schnabel
8 Amara Klipfel 27 Jayda Siebert
8 Rabecca Severson 28 Amy Scepaniak
9 Carl Bulian 28 Terry Small
9 Amy Johnson 29 Tim Medenwald
9 Michael Wendt
1 Todd & Lori Salfrank
5 Herbert & Verdena Dabbert
6 Kenneth & Dorothy Maas
11 Ron & Maralyn Hoops
14 Cody & Ann Lee
14 Justin & Amy Scepaniak
18 Chris & Rebecca McHenry
23 Douglas & Marianne Klipfel
26 Russell & Candy Brandt
27 Brian & Jessica Dockter
Meetings at Our Savior:
Board of Elders – Thur Aug 12th at 5:30 pm
Church Council – Thur Aug 12th at 6:30 pm
Board of Education & Sunday School Staff – Sun Aug 15th after the service
Catechism Meeting – Wed Aug 18th at 5:00 pm
Elders for August – Russ Brandt & Brandon Christianson
Acolyte Schedule –
Aug 1 – Riley Lee & Rhylan Tschappat
Aug 8 – Jayda Siebert & Abigail Andreasen
Aug 15 – Briella Klipfel & Caiden Siebert
Aug 22 – Riley Aman & Amara Klipfel
Aug 29 – Ally Johnson & Riley Lee
Sunday School Teachers will meet with the Board of Education on Sunday, August 15th after the service to receive your materials and plan for Rally Sunday. Teacher Installation will be during the service on August 29th, the same day as the Rally Picnic.
LWML will not be having their August breakfast this year. The next meeting is Sunday, September 5th at 9:00 am.
“Table of Duties”
A Higher Things® Confirmation Retreat
August 6-7, 2021
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Spearfish, SD
God orders everything for our good, including our vocations. Are you a preacher or a hearer? A parent or a child? A boss or an employee? A teacher or a student? Wherever God has placed you, He has put you there to live in faith toward Him and in fervent love for your neighbor. Let’s study the Table of Duties together to better know our vocations and have a deeper assurance of Jesus’ vocation as our Lord and Savior. Fun times! Led by Pastor Chris Hull, senior pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX.
This retreat is intended for confirmation youth, so any youth entering into or currently in confirmation instruction are welcome.
If you are interested in attending,
let Eric Johnson know ASAP. (216-6701)
Catechism Class Information Meeting – There will be a meeting for students in grades 5-8 and their parents at Our Savior on Wednesday, August 18th at 5:00 pm. Pizza and pop will be provided by the Board of Education. Classes will start September 1st at 5:00 pm.
Sunday School Rally Picnic – There will be a picnic for Sunday School families in the parking lot on Sunday, August 29th immediately following the service. Food will be provided by the Board of Education. Sunday School classes will start on Sunday, September 5th at 9:30 am.
Brown County Fair – Aberdeen Area Lutherans for Life will have a booth at the fair August 16-22. Volunteers are needed on Tuesday, August 17th and Sunday, August 22nd. There is a sign-up sheet in the narthex. If you have any questions, call Vicky Baumgartner at 216-8967.
Tuesday Morning Bible Study – Join us at 6:30 am on Tuesdays at Our Savior, we are currently reading the book of Nehemiah. Everyone is welcome!
Wednesday Bible Class: Beginning to End
Often times reading the Scripture is intimidating. We will be embarking on a walk through the Scripture on Wednesday nights at 6:30PM for nearly the next year, beginning on August 4th. We will read together and discuss the working of God throughout the Scripture from beginning to end, His plan and work to redeem the world to Himself. Plan to come and hear what God has done, how He has brought us into this, and what He will do.
Saturday Bible Studies – 9:00-11:00 am on the Second Saturday of the month:
Aug. 14 – St. John’s Stained Glass – Ready for a field trip?! We will have this class at St. John in Columbia. While many stained-glass windows (like Our Savior) portray the narrative of Christ’s life, St. John’s windows are full of historic Christian imagery. However, our awareness of this imagery has sadly been lost from our common knowledge. We will recover, review, and grow in appreciation of how these direct us to Christ and His Word.
If any members of Our Savior would like to ride together in the van to St. John’s, meet at the church and we will leave at 8:30. Catechism students are encouraged to attend!
Sept. 11 – The Book of Revelation – Have you ever studied the Book of Revelation in 2 hours? Me neither, but we will take a crack at it! This book often captivates and divides Christians. We will first understand what it is and what it isn’t, then unpack some of the most controversial areas, and finally take a closer look at some of its clear teachings for us to grow in Christ and the fullness of His promises.
Oct. 9 – Division: Good? Bad? Both? – Our world is divided in so many ways. We see it in our political system and our day to day lives as lived out still in these pandemic days. We see it in the church. While we won’t “solve” the world’s divisions or the church’s, we will see how division can be bad, as well as good. We will, prayerfully, grow in our understanding of division and also better understand how we approach and live in such division.
Nov. 13 – Loving Sinners – It has often been said, “Hate the sin and love the sinner.” However, this is made more difficult today because many have connected their sin with their identity. How do we navigate these realities while still standing firm upon the Word of God the truth taught therein? We will look into and hear the Word of God speak to and help us navigate these relationships and God willing, be ready to give witness to the truth of God.
Evening Prayer Services – There will be short evening prayer services offered again at Our Savior on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, beginning on September 1st (between catechism class and Bible Study).
2021 LWML SD District Christian Life Retreat
“God’s Quilt of Comfort—Wrapping Up in the Psalms”
Scripture Verse: Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant (Psalm 119:76).
Faith Lutheran Church, Pierre, SD
September 17 & 18, 2021
The LWML SD District Board of Directors, in their January 9, 2021 meeting, made the decision to postpone the April 2021 LWML SD District Spring Retreat until September. They have also decided to combine the District Retreat and the usual fall Christian Life Workshops. There will be only one Christian Life Workshop for 2021.
This event is centrally located in hopes that more will be able to attend.
Please register by August 27, 2021.
St. John’s Columbia
2 Mark Yeske 15 Darren Dennert
4 Dwain Buntrock 17 Barry Sieber
4 Dwight Buntrock 20 Cathi Podoll
7 Hudson Eichler 22 Jordan Rice
8 Cheryl Kampa 24 Nicole Pierson
10 Brent Miller 28 Kerry Hansen
8 Keith & Naomi Underberg
12 Lyle & Cathi Podoll
St. John’s Usher List
Aug 1st – Roger & Sharon Zastrow
Aug 8th – Ray & Cyndy Larson
Aug 15th – Tony & Amanda Bisbee
Aug 22nd – Karl & Val Eichler
Aug 29th – Brent & Barb Miller
Click on the "Calendar" tab on the website to see the August Calendar.