In line with the guidance of public officials and health experts, worship at Messiah Lutheran in Park Ridge will be canceled until further notice.
This is a difficult decision to make, since the gathering of the people of God is central to our life of faith. But it is the wise step for us to take as we seek to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 virus, protect the vulnerable, and help ease the burden on healthcare systems.
The church building may be closed but our services continue online, with our weekly worship services found on the Messiah Lutheran Church Facebook page. To receive worship notifications, you can subscribe to our email list by selecting the About Us tab on the left, then click join our email list. Updated information will be sent when it becomes available.
At this point our Assistance Ministry will discontinue food distribution until the stay at home order has been lifted. We care about the health of all of our guests and urge them to stay at home to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If you are in need of food assistance, the Maine Township Food Pantry will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. They are located at 1700 Ballard Rd in Park Ridge. In continued effort to stop the spread of the virus, we will no longer accept clothing donations until further notice.
Reflection for the Seventh Week of Easter
Along with many Chicago sports fans, I was fascinated by the recent ESPN documentary The Last Dance, about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls teams of the 1990s. The series gives a behind-the-scenes look at the those championship years and at Jordan himself.
Jordan is revealed as the most competitive person on earth. He loved and thrived on competition, and was driven not only to win every game he played, whether it was basketball, poker, golf, or tiddlywinks, but if possible to crush and humiliate his opponents along the way. The documentary displays the fierce drive behind the man, who never gave less than his best and demanded that his teammates do the same. As a teammate he was more feared than loved. Success came at a high price.
Sports and the careers of athletes like Jordan grip our imagination because they contain so many of the mixed ingredients of life—talent, hard work, skill, strategy, sacrifice, good and bad breaks, cooperation, concentration, failure, success, disappointment, joy—along with something life does not have: a clear outcome that can be portrayed on a scoreboard.
In competitive sports there is never a doubt about who the winners and losers are. That’s part of their appeal. But in that respect sports are not like life. Life has many hidden dimensions and mysteries, and its meaning is not something we totally grasp.
As we read the Gospels, it becomes clear that Jesus is inviting people to play a different kind of game than the one everyone else is playing. He has a different measure of success. And his victory is not the kind that registers on a scoreboard.
His vision is expressed in the Beatitudes, where success is equated with being poor in spirit, mourning, being meek, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, being merciful, being pure in heart, and being persecuted for righteousness sake.
Success in Jesus’ eyes, it seems, is about being fully human, and about fully facing the mysteries and paradoxes of life. It is about humbly entering into the sufferings of the world, one’s own and others, trusting in God’s power to transform them. It’s about doing what is right in confidence that God will bring it to completion. It is about a life that incorporates both the reality of the cross and the joy of resurrection.
The heroes of this kind of life are not written in the record books, but they are written in God’s heart. For Christians, the game that matters has been defined by Jesus Christ. We learn from him how to find joy and meaning in playing our part.
This Month's MESSENGER
Messiah CALENDAR of Events
Manna Order (Updated via MannaGroup website)
Metropolitan Chicago Synod
ELCA Global Links Newsletter
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Our congregation was officially organized on May 7, 1954 with 35 people present. Since then, Messiah has thrived in the community, and has strived to make Christ’s love known to all who enter our doors – through worship, through education, through our facilities, and through fellowship.
Thank you for your interest in us. If you would like to learn more about us, or would like to become a part of the fellowship of Jesus Christ here at Messiah, please contact our pastor, either in person, by phone, by email, or with a letter. We look forward to hearing from you!