Grace By Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Norfolk

“The Blind Receive Their Sight”

Scripture says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” God sent his Son to give us spiritual eyes to see. Through the cross of Christ, we can see and know God’s love for us. If we are troubled by our sins, we can know Jesus suffered for them on the cross, and forever removed them from us. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” Whoever believes in God’s Son, will not perish, but will have everlasting life.

Seeing clearly is having assurance that our sins are forgiven, and that God is at peace with us for the sake of his Son. Having good vision is knowing that Christ lives to never die again. Because he lives, we too will live. Unfortunately, we are not born with this knowledge. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.” And, “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” Even Jesus’ own disciples had spiritual blindness. When Jesus revealed how he would save the world through his own suffering and death, “They understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them.” They couldn’t bare the thought of their powerful leader being so humbled on the cross. They didn’t even seem to hear that he would rise again.

Yet, God sent his Son to heal our spiritual blindness. With his Spirit working through the Word, God grants us true repentance and faith. Jesus comforts us saying, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

— The Rev. Wyatt Rosebrock

St. John’s Lutheran Church, Norfolk

Today’s festival is a bridge between the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle that comes to a close today and the Lent-Easter cycle that begins in several days. On a high mountain, Jesus is revealed as God’s beloved Son, echoing the words at his baptism. This vision of glory sustains us as Jesus faces his impending death in Jerusalem. We turn this week to Ash Wednesday and our yearly baptismal journey from Lent to Easter. Some churches put aside the alleluia at the conclusion of today’s liturgy. This word of joy will be omitted during the penitential season of Lent and will be sung again at Easter.

— Randy Rasmussen, pastor

Norfolk Church of Christ, Norfolk

Up front, sin looks exciting. Sin offers a shortcut to what seems desirable to us, an easy path to what we feel we are missing in life. God warns us that sin brings death. When we know all that our sin accomplishes it will help take the allure of sin away from us. We often think that whatever sin does to us we are willing to take that pain. I use to think of my sin this way: "I can take whatever I deserve." The problem is, we have no control over the consequences of our sin: who gets hurt and how they are hurt are beyond our determination. When start considering the price of sin, the devastation it brings, the less power it can over us. As we think of what our sin has done and continues to do, we come to cherish all the more the grace and salvation of God. Be with us Sunday to worship the Lord and contemplate sin.

— Jeff Schipper, minister

First Presbyterian Church, Norfolk

'A lighter moment'

Do you ever have those moments where you struggle with how you are going to do something? Maybe you are doing a repair on the back porch step, or maybe you are making a complicated dish in the kitchen. Then, one of two things usually happens. You either abandon your project or you get some help from a person or a book (or these days, a Youtube video).

But sometimes, less commonly than the others, a third thing happens – all of a sudden, you get an inspiration. You have a great idea for getting your project done. In the cartoons, they always show that as a light bulb going on over the top of the person’s head. We often say, “I saw the light.”

This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday. The Transfiguration is a mysterious event in Jesus’ ministry on earth. In front of three of his disciples, Jesus undergoes a startling change – he glows with a bright light. Two of the greatest figures of the Old Testament show up – Moses and Elijah. The disciples hear God speak from heaven, and they are terrified.

The Transfiguration is what is called a theophany – a God visitation. With the heavenly light, Jesus reveals who he is to the three disciples and makes them promise not to tell anyone about this event until after the Son of Man is raised from the dead.

Join us in worship this Sunday as we discuss the Light of the World.

— The Rev. Brian Johnson

In other news

MADISON — We’ll start this story like every other sports story, with a game. Head coach Dan Fuhs said that he was concerned about one of his players heading into this one though, an East Husker Conference tournament game against Tekamah-Herman, which had already beat the Dragons twice.

On March 1, Cody Murphree was in Thurston County Jail’s outdoor recreation area. When the jailer watching him left to check on something, Murphree climbed up a basketball hoop, loosened bolts in the fence surrounding it, creating an opening. From there, he climbed to the roof of the building…