Why Sunday is So Important
Because the French Revolution of the late 18th century had taken over France, and the blood of the rulers and priests was being shed unabated, it was alternatively called the Reign of Terror. The Goddess Reason was enthroned in Paris and the nation had taken a horrifying turn.
What the revolutionaries were bent on doing was erasing all vestiges of Christianity from the memory of the collective population, on the belief that Christianity was oppressive and evil. Christianity was not merely disregarded; it was attacked, and its history deemed ugly and an impediment to true freedom.
So the revolutionaries set about this task by tending to such things as changing the names of places which had been named to honor Christian saints or martyrs. No traces of Christianity could remain. (How familiar this is to us who have seen in our own land the cancel culture’s attempts to remove historical figures deemed impediments to true progress.) Thankfully the experiment failed, when ultimately the revolutionary fervor landed in the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte who ended up at least as great a tyrant as the former rulers had been deemed to be, and in the end Napoleon met his demise famously at Waterloo.
Among the changes the revolutionaries tried to enact was also this: to change the number of days in a week, aware that the seven-day week came from the Bible and ultimately nowhere else. While the origins of months and years can be found in nature, by looking to revolutions of the moon around the earth and of the earth around the sun, no corresponding natural phenomenon can be detected regarding weeks. And so, the wild radicals determined, weeks had to go.
This was too much for the peasants, the masses, the people. And so it failed.
But the revolutionaries were right about something: weeks do come only from Scripture. And they used to be called sabbaths, since the seventh day of the week was the day of rest, the Sabbath Day. And the people of God learned to set that day aside for worship and rest, remembering the first Sabbath when God rested from his work of creation. And still to this day calendars count Saturday as the seventh day, a silent testimony to the Creator.
And that brings us also to the importance of Sunday, since it is obvious that our special day of worship is no longer Saturday but Sunday. Why? What happened? Simply, the Lord of the Sabbath arrived. Christ Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath Rest in himself, and therefore freed his people from the strict observance of Saturday, precursor that it was to his coming. But why Sunday, then? The answer is easy. Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday, Easter Sunday. And he made his second appearance on the following Sunday, and he led his church to think of every Sunday as an easy reminder of his resurrection from the dead. There is no other reason for the importance of Sunday, to this very day. And so, as Saturdays are a silent testimony to the Creator, so now Sunday are themselves a silent testimony to the resurrection of our Redeemer from the dead. There is no other explanation for why the early Christians, most of whom were Jews, began to see Sunday and not Saturday as the greatest day of the week.
So let us think this way about Sunday. Sunday is a day of great celebration, for the reality that no one can erase is this: Jesus rose from the grave on Sunday. So let us put on our Sunday best, and set aside our Sunday mornings, and do whatever it takes to make Sunday, every Sunday, another celebration of Easter. For Christ is risen from the dead.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Michaelmas is Wednesday, September 29th. Mass at 7:00 p.m.
Let’s make a special effort to observe Michaelmas, September 29th, which falls on a Wednesday night. It is called The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, and is a day on which we thank God for the protection and help of his holy angels. Come to mass!
October Ushers:Jim Hornback, Otis Anderson, Bill Thompson
10/4 Linda and Larry Rowe
10/1 Richard Melchin
10/1 Sue Murphy
10/2 Diana Shreck
10/24 Eric Meaker
10/28 Carmen Sovanski
10/29 Svetlana Meaker
10/30 Sharon Hartz
Clapper – Brandt Wedding at St. Paul’s
All the members of St. Paul’s are cordially invited to the wedding of Drew Clapper to Lauren Brandt on Saturday, October 16th, at 2:00 p.m., followed by a cocktail hour at Best Western in Annawan at 4:30 with dinner following at 5:30.
Your reply is requested. You may RSVP, as soon as possible, by calling or texting 309-525-2997 or by email to email@example.com
Most of our members are aware that Drew and his family were faithful members here for many years until they moved to Springfield. Drews fiancée Lauren is from Michigan and is currently a member at Zion in Detroit where Fr. Mark Braden is the pastor. Fr. Braden, a longtime friend of St. Paul’s, will be participating with Fr. Eckardt in officiating at the wedding.
We look forward with great joy and anticipation to this grand event, and hope many of our members can be part of the celebration.
Novemberfest and a Gottesdienst Conference
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Mattoon, Illinois
Sunday evening and Monday, November 14-15, 2021
Conference theme: Reactions to Persecution
In an age of mounting animosity toward the Christian Church in our society, this conference aims to get pastors and laypeople thinking about how we might respond appropriately to such things.
For the seminar we are pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. Adam Koontz, Assistant Professor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana as our keynote speaker. Dr. Koontz was recently added to our ranks as a Gottedienst blogger. He’ll be speaking on “Reactions to Persecution in the Early Church.”
We’ll also hear from Rev. Jason Braaten, our editor known for producing The Gottesdienst Crowd, our weekly podcast. Pastor Braaten will speak on “Temptations amid Persecution: Distraction and Indifference"
The day-long seminar on Monday will open with Divine Service at 9:00 a.m. at St. John’s.
BONUS: This Conference will be sandwiched between two evenings of Novemberfest: starting Sunday night, when Gottesdienst will be hosting a Picnic, Biergarten, and Gemütlichkeit under a heated tent at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tuscola, a half hour up the road from St. John’s, beginning at 5ish. And then on Monday after Vespers we’ll have a pizza party followed by more of the Biergarten and Gemütlichkeit.
Here’s a chance to spend some quality time with fellow Lutherans and pastors who have been missing District Conferences for up to two years. So join us for some good times!
REGISTRATION: $50 per person — includes picnic, lunch, pizza dinner, and Gemütlichkeit.
Additional information and registration through www.Gottesdienst.org.
Altar Guild Notes
Emmy Wear at Williamsfield Home in Williamsfield; Emilie Ricknell at home, Dick Melchin at Hammond-Henry Extended Care in Geneseo, Dale Baker at home, Jewneel Walker at Kewanee Care, John Sovanski at home.
In Our Prayers
Our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following. To update the list please inform the pastor
in our parish:
Emilie Ricknell, John Ricknell, Linda Rowe, Emmy Wear, Don and Sue Murphy, Dick Melchin, Bea Harris, Allan Kraklow, Sandra VerPlaetse, John Sovanski, Tara Wagenknecht, Grant Andreson, Dale Baker, and Jewneel Walker
and beyond our parish:
Anna, Katy, and Jody 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]
Dennis Hoag, Tim Newman [Shreck relations]
Theresa Moore [Ricknells’ niece]
Kathy Boeger [re Harrises]
Allison Leezer [relative of the Kraklows]
Shannon Watson [Jim’s daughter]
Loren Lindstrom [Alissa’s Grandfather]
Maxine Bitting [Judy Thompson’s sister in law]
Loren Hartz [Sharon’s brother]
Yvette Baker [Dale Baker’s daughter-in-law]
Rosemary Bloome [Don Murphy’s cousin]
Pastor Jacob Sutton
Pastor Justin Kane
in the military
Donny Appleman [at request of the Ricknells]
Richard Heiden [at request of the Eckardts]
Luke Van Landigan [grandson of Dick Melchin]
Jaclyn Alvarez [daughter of Kris Harden]
Eli Wetzel, Traven Wetzel, Shawn Wetzel
Eric Verplaetse [Sandra’s grandson]
Jake Mahaffey, Trevor Shimmin, Shad Draminski
James and Ann Lee Armstrong
any unborn children in danger of abortion
those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, India, North Korea, China, and elsewhere.
NIGERIA: Pastor and Other Christians Killed
16 September 2021
On Saturday, September 11th, Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali left his home in the Zangon Kataf area of Kaduna, Nigeria, and set off for the town of Kafanchan, but was not heard from again. Early the next morning, a search party found his body, which was inflicted with bullet and machete wounds, less than a kilometre from his home.While the assailants and motives for Rev. Ali's murder have not yet been identified, thousands of Christians have been killed in Nigeria by Islamist militants. At least 11 other Christians were killed on September 12th in a separate attack on the village of Apyizhime Jim, including two pregnant women. According to one witness, the total number of victims from the subsequent attack has not been determined to date, since many others from the village remain missing. Of those identified, ten belonged to another church overseen by Rev. Ali, along with one member of a local Catholic church. It has been verified that the second attack was carried out by Fulani herdsmen.
In response to Rev. Ali's murder, the governor of Kaduna State publicly expressed his condolences to the family and church members, then made an appeal for calm. He also called for intensified security efforts to apprehend the “perpetrators of the heinous killing.”
CHINA: Christian High School Raided
16 September 2021
On the morning of September 4th, the Maizi Christian Music High School in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, was raided by police, religious affairs officials and local school district administrators. All staff and students present were arrested.
Principal Xu had received a warning through his landlord the previous day, informing him that "a test" was coming. During the raid, the authorities confiscated various school possessions – including pianos, computers and documents. After 24 hours' detainment, the students and most of the staff were all released from custody. At last report, the whereabouts of Principal Xu were unknown. According to a friend of the principal, his home had been raided six months prior and his phone was tapped.
Christians from various churches are working to obtain a lawyer to represent both the principal and the school. Potential accusations against the school may include financial charges of “illegal education” because tuition fees were charged to the students. Furthermore, since the students are under 18, there may also be charges of “enticing minors to religion.”
SAUDI ARABIA: Christian Escapes the Country
16 September 2021
Over the past several months, Christians around the world have been following reports about a Saudi Arabian Christian referred to as “A” or “Adam.” For more information, see our previously published reports, which are available at our country report.
In early July, it was reported that the immediate family members of the accused were able to relocate to a safe country where they are being protected. However, at the time, “Adam” had to remain in Saudi Arabia while appealing a conviction for allegedly attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity. A recently received report confirms that he has been able to join his family.
According to Christian friends, even though “Adam” had become disheartened, he was determined to stay in Saudi Arabia in order to set a good example and demonstrate his willingness to suffer for his faith. However, these friends convinced him that taking care of his wife and sons was also a priority. According to one friend, “‘Adam’ felt that Saudi Arabia was his home, and it was there that he wanted to serve the Lord.” She added, “But if his departure appears to be a loss for the Christians of Muslim background in the country, he will continue to serve the Lord in his new country.”
Source(s): Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Christian Post, The Guardian, Christianity Today, ChinaAid, International Christian Concern, Open Doors
see www.persecution.net for more.
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
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