Volume 35 March 2023 No. 3
There are no specific instructions in Scripture about how exactly to fast. The Church has had much to say about it over the centuries, but none of that is a reflection of anything the Scriptures actually say.
So the restriction of meat has been a staple of fasting for a long time, but it’s nowhere commanded.
The Church of Rome has made it a “holy obligation,” which isn’t particularly helpful, since part of the very nature of fasting is that it’s voluntary, a self-imposed form of bodily discipline.
Yet one may choose voluntarily to follow Rome’s lead and limit or omit meats during Lent (for some reason fish is has not been considered meat in this sense, and one explanation for that is that the fishermen had a strong lobby in ancient times to keep the pope from declaring fasting also from fish). At least on Fridays it’s a helpful thing to be more concerned about fasting, especially if we remember that Friday was the day on which Jesus gave Himself into death for us.
But for us there is no command, except for Jesus’ warning in the Sermon on the Mount, that “when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (St. Matthew 6:16-18). Hence, care must be taken in this and any spiritual exercise, that it be not undertaken as a devious means of impressing others. It’s between you and God.
And of course, some people would be better advised not to fast in the way Rome prescribes, if, say, they have a medical issue that keeps them from eating enough in the first place. So how you fast is up to you.
Jesus does assume that Christians fast, for He says (above) “when ye fast,” not “if ye fast.” And the apostles fasted, and the prophets, and the Israelites. And it’s a good thing to learn bodily discipline, and Lent is a good time to practice it.
And when we get to the end of Lent, we break the fast with a great feast, on Easter Sunday. The feasting includes the Easter Breakfast, with a reminder that the term breakfast, is, literally, breaking the fast.
So let’s look ahead to that, but meanwhile enter and benefit from Lententide and its emphasis on self-discipline, extra meditation on the Word of God—especially as it emphasizes our need for repentance and what our Redeemer has done to win for us undeserved salvation, as He willingly and without compulsion gave Himself into suffering and death for us.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Memorial Service for Grant Andresen Set for March 6th
Grant Andresen passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus on February 10th; the family, following his own wishes, has expressed a desire for a memorial service at St. Paul’s, which we have scheduled for Monday, March 6th, at 11:00 a.m., with visitation at 10:00 a.m. A catered luncheon will follow. The burial of his remains will take place in Iowa, at a date shortly afterwards. Grant was well known and loved at St. Paul’s for many years and will be missed. He was unable to attend for several years, living at a care facility in Rock Island. Arrangements were made for him to attend regular services at Immanuel in Rock Island, which is a few minutes from where he lived. Though he greatly appreciated that, his eager desire was to return to St. Paul’s which he had not seen since before the remodeling. He finally was able to attend one Sunday in January, which was a high point for him and for us.
3/1 Barbra Kraklow
3/25 Carol Eckardt
3/19/1977 Jeff and Diana Shreck
Council meets Wednesday, March 15th, at 5:30. This is the third Wednesday of the month.
Jim Hornback, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells.
The regular schedule or the first Tuesday of the month (March 7th) includes Vespers at 6:45 pm (all are welcome) and Elders at 7:15.
In Our Prayers
Our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following. Anyone wishing to update the list by addition or subtraction, please inform the pastor.in our parish:
Don and Sue Murphy, Linda Rowe, Sharon Hartz, John Sovanski, Sandra VerPlaetse, Bea Harris, Grant Andreson, Jewneel Walker, and Emmy Wear, Kris Harden, Jim Watson, John Ricknell
beyond our parish:
Anna, Katie, and Jodi Rutowicz [Harris relations]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter]
Elizabeth Godke [Sharon Field’s mother]
Oneida Hendrickson [Ricknell relative]
Janice Hart [Judy Thompson’s sister]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknells’ grandson]
Tim Newman [Shreck relation]
Theresa Moore [Ricknells’ niece]
Kathy Boeger [re Harrises]
Allison Leezer [relative of the Kraklows]
Shannon Watson [Jim’s daughter]
Richard Heiden [Carol Eckardt’s father]
Jeff Lewis [Carol Eckardt’s brother in law]
Pastor Justin Kane
in the military:
Donny Appleman [at request of the Ricknells]
Richard Heiden [at request of the Eckardts]
Eli Wetzel, Traven Wetzel
Eric Verplaetse [Sandra’s grandson]
James and Ann Lee Armstrong
Marcus Prentice [son of Felicia Baker]
any unborn children in danger of abortion; Debra Reeves’s children Rae Beth and Drew Wayne; those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Venezuela, Iran, Pakistan, India, China, North Korea, and elsewhere.
Woodpecker Inspires Designers, Knocks Evolutionby Brian Thomas, M.S., Ph.D.Dr. Thomas is a Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research in Dallas, Texas.
When boring into wood in search of food, a woodpecker exerts so much force with each strike that its beak should crumble, its skull should crack, and its brain should be reduced to mush. However, a suite of design features absorbs the shock and ensures that these tragedies do not happen. How are these features able to provide such effective protection?
Scientists have examined woodpecker design strategies to find the answer. In a study published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Sang-Hee Yoon and Sungmin Park of the University of California Berkeley analyzed what makes the woodpecker’s shock absorbers work so well. They discovered a set of four essential features, which were described in a New Scientist article:
These are its hard-but-elastic beak; a sinewy, springy tongue-supporting structure that extends behind the skull called the hyoid; an area of spongy bone in its skull; and the way the skull and cerebrospinal fluid interact to suppress vibration.
The research duo set out to copy each of these features. They mimicked the beak’s resistant structure with an exterior metal cylinder. Inside that was a layer of rubber, inspired by the woodpecker’s hyoid, and then an interior layer of aluminum to imitate the interaction of the skull and cerebrospinal fluid. In the woodpecker, the nearness of the beak to the skull reduces vibration.
The cylinder was packed with beads in an arrangement intended to mimic the way the bird’s porous bone material absorbs impact energy. Yoon and Park nestled sensitive electronics within the beads, and then the whole device was fired from an air gun at an aluminum wall to see how well the electronics were protected.
Modern airplanes are equipped with flight recorders that capture important information. These devices are held in shock absorbers that can withstand 1000g, which is 1,000 times the acceleration force of an object near the earth’s surface. The new woodpecker-inspired shock absorber withstood 60,000g, thus offering possibilities for “remarkable improvement in the g-force tolerance”of man-made devices.
The woodpecker has long been considered a living refutation of big-picture evolution. In his book The Evolution of a Creationist, author and speaker Dr. Jobe Martin tried to imagine a Darwinian scenario whereby the woodpecker might have evolved from another type of bird:
Let’s suppose some bird decided that there must be all kinds of little critters, which would be good for lunch, hidden beneath the bark of trees. This bird decided to peck through the bark and into the hardwood tree. On first peck, this bird discovered problems with the way it was put together. Its beak shattered when it slammed against the tree, its tail feathers broke, and it developed a migraine-strength headache. With a shattered beak, the little bird was unable to eat and so it died.
Of course, a dead bird could not evolve any further.
Each feature that Yoon and Park mimicked includes specified material and arrangements, and all four are required for a woodpecker to effectively drill holes into wood. However, these remarkable structures are still not enough to enable the bird to extract its vital food from beneath tree bark. So, the woodpecker was equipped with an extendible, spear-shaped tongue, stiff tail feathers, and a specialized toe arrangement so that it can cling to a vertical tree trunk.
There is no natural way for a whole suite of required, specified features to just “get together” all at one time. Perhaps unwittingly, these University of California researchers corroborated that the only way to achieve all-or-nothing design is by purposeful intent. Thus, the woodpecker is a testament to the superior engineering skill of its Creator.
Catechism and Bible Class Schedule
The schedule for classes this season is as follows:
Junior catechesis on Tuesdays at 5:00 pm.
Adult Bible class on Saturdays at 11:00 am, in addition to Sunday mornings.
A Little Story about Bowing and Kneeling
The following tale is told about a coarse and brutal lout. While the words “And was made man” were being sung in church, he remained standing, neither genuflecting nor removing his hat. He showed no reverence, but just stood there like a clod. All the others dropped to their knees when the Nicene Creed was prayed and chanted devoutly. Then the devil stepped up to him and hit him so hard it made his head spin. He cursed him gruesomely and said: “May hell consume you, you boorish ass! If God had become an angel like me and the congregation sang: ‘God was made an angel, I would bend not only my knees but my whole body to the ground! Yes, I would crawl ten ells down into the ground. And you vile human creature, you stand there like a stick or a stone. You hear that God did not become an angel but a man like you, and you just stand there like a stick of wood!” Whether this story is true or not, it is nevertheless in accordance with the faith (Rom. 12:6). With this illustrative story the holy fathers wished to admonish the youth to revere the indescribably great miracle of the incarnation; they wanted us to open our eyes wide and ponder these words well.
(Luther’s Works, Sermons on John, Vol. 22, p105)
Choir rehearsals again!
In preparation for special music during Holy Week and Easter, choir rehearsals have started up again. The first Wednesday in March will have to be skipped, as Pastor and Carol plan to be visiting her father in Florida for a few days that week, so we plan to resume rehearsals on Wednesday, March 8th at 5:30 pm. Check the calendar and make a special note of it: March 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, and April 5th. We will not rehearse after that unless we decide we need it.
Midweek Lenten Services
Following an old Lutheran custom, we suggest people to make a little more effort to come out for midweek masses during Lent, as another laudable way of observing the season. It’s a good part of the Lenten season. 7:00 Wednesday evenings.
Look for sign-up sheets that will be appearing soon in preparation for Easter: the opportunity to purchase lilies, and a sheet to sign up for the Easter breakfast. Mighty are the preparations!
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443
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