Miraculous Comeback

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Matthew 4:15-17

One might say that the Old Testament tribal lands of Zebulun and Naphtali were in need of a comeback. These two lands were ransacked and their inhabitants deported by foreign invaders.

But God orchestrates the greatest comebacks. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 9, Zebulun and Naphtali are singled out for future honor by God. And in our Bible reading today, we see the comeback perfectly executed, the promise perfectly kept.

The land of Zebulun and Naphtali became known as Galilee in the New Testament, and that was the very place where Jesus began his preaching. Could there be a greater honor than getting to hear sermons preached by the mouth of God himself? Could there be a greater comeback than going from the shadow of spiritual death to the light of the kingdom of heaven?

Could you, too, be a witness of such a comeback? Not only a witness but also a beneficiary and a participant by grace, through faith! For the One who was dead, Jesus, is now alive. And the ones held captive by their fear of death, now have been set free. The people once bound for hell, are now heirs of eternal life. Believe it and rejoice in the…Greatest Comeback Ever!

Gracious Savior, how great and how merciful you are, in calling miserable sinners from darkness to light. Lead me to repent and to look to you in faith, that I may live with you eternally. Amen.


New Sunday Schedule starts Feb. 12th

Living Hope will be assisting other WELS churches in the Omaha area until their pastoral vacancies are filled. Pastor Jeske and Pastor Helwig have worked out a schedule so that all congregations will be served with Word & Sacrament. Living Hope’s new schedule will continue until notified. It is a blessing to be able to help our fellow believers!

February Schedule:

Sunday, Feb. 5th Living Hope’s old schedule

9 AM Sunday School & Bible Study
10 AM Worship Service

Sunday, Feb. 12th new schedule

8:45 AM Worship Service
10:15 AM Sunday School & Bible Study

Sunday, Feb. 19th new schedule

8:45 AM Worship Service. Following the Service Pastor Helwig from Gethsemane Lutheran Church will make a presentation to the congregation.
10:15 AM Sunday School & Bible Study

Sunday, Feb. 26th new schedule

8:45 AM Worship Service
10:15 AM Sunday School & Bible Study

Living Hope’s Calendar with Service and Sunday School times.

Omaha Area WELS Churches

What’s on your calendar?

Feb. 12th ~ Sunday morning schedule change

  • Worship Service 8:45 AM
  • Sunday School & Bible Study 10:15 AM

Feb 19th ~ Adult Progressive Dinner

  • Begins at 4:30 PM
  • The sign-up sheet is by the coffee pot.

Wednesday Lenten Service: A light meal will be served at 6 PM.
Worship Services will be held at 7 PM.

  • February 22 ~ Ash Wednesday, with Communion
  • March 1 ~ Midweek Lent Service
  • March 8 ~ Midweek Lent Service
  • March 15 ~ Midweek Lent Service
  • March 22 ~ Midweek Lent Service
  • March 29 ~ Midweek Lent Service

Holy Week

  • Sunday, April 2 at 8:45 AM ~ Palm Sunday Worship Service
  • Thurs. April 6 at 7 PM ~ Maundy Thursday Worship Service with Communion
  • Friday, April 7 at 7 PM ~ Good Friday Worship Service

April 9th ~ Easter Sunday

  • 8:45 AM ~ Easter Worship Service
  • 10 AM ~ Easter Brunch

My Eyes have Seen Your Salvation

Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
Luke 2:28-32

Simeon was waiting for the promised Savior. When Simeon received what he was waiting for, Jesus was perfect in every way. It is why Simeon was able to tell the Lord, “You now dismiss your servant in peace.” Simeon could die in peace because his eyes had seen his salvation.

Imagine Simeon letting the baby wrap his little hand around his finger, the way babies do. That same hand would be pierced by a spike and nailed to a tree. That same precious face would be darkened by fists and bloodied by a crown of thorns. But that act would mean light for a sin-darkened world.

And that means you, dear friend. Jesus was born for you, to die for you, to win forgiveness for you. Like Simeon you can say, “Lord, now dismiss your servant in peace. I have peace—the peace of knowing I have eternal life through you.”

Lord Jesus, when you finally dismiss this servant through death, I know that when I open my eyes again, they will see your face, for you have done what you have promised for me. May I always sing your praises as Simeon did. Amen.


The Washing

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life.
~ Revelation 22:14

In his Civil War book, Glory Road, author Bruce Catton shows us how dirty a human being can get. He recounts an episode in which a soldier leaves a prisoner-of-war camp to rejoin his old unit. His time as a POW had left him filthy beyond description. He asks his comrades to help him get clean. They take him into a river, strip off his clothes and begin to wash and scrub. Only after this continues for a time do the man and his friends realize that he is still wearing an undershirt. The man’s body had become so encrusted that it had been impossible at first to tell the difference between a soiled piece of clothing and his own skin.

The soiling nature of sin does the same thing. From the dark thoughts we allow to fester in our minds to all the deeds of love conveniently left undone, sin does more than leave a dirty streak here and there on our souls. It makes us spiritually filthy beyond description. Left to ourselves, our hearts are so encrusted by sin that it’s impossible for us to see how lost we really are, how deep the pit really is.

That’s where Jesus comes in. We didn’t see how lost we were. But he did. We didn’t see how far we had fallen. But he did. He took us to the river of his grace. He washed us in the waters of baptism. He cleansed us in the blood he shed on Calvary’s cross. Now we stand before him in robes of white. Now, through faith in him, his forgiveness is our personal possession.

There are moments when the same old stench from the same old sinful habits can fill our nostrils with despair. When such a moment comes for you, remember who you are. Remember what Jesus has done. He has gone to the cross to wash you clean. He has risen from death to assure you that not one of your sins remains. Through his eyes your life is fresh and clean and new. Your days as a filthy prisoner are long gone.

Lord Jesus, in those moments when I stumble and the stench of my old sinful habits fills the air, remind me of the washing I have in you. Fill me with your peace. Empower me to get back up and to walk again with you. Amen