Meet! Experience! Live!

Drawn to the Cross

A Devotional Journey for Lent 2011
St John's Lutheran Church and School
La Grange, Illinois


Week of
Ash Wednesday
Mar 9 - 12




Mar 9
Thursday Mar 10
Friday Mar 11
Saturday Mar 12

March 14-April 13

Monday 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday Noon

Holy Week
April 17-23
Three Days of Prayer
Together at the Cross

Mon 4/18 - 7:00 p.m.
Tue  4/19 - 7:00 p.m.
Wed 4/20 - 7:00 p.m.

Maundy Thursday
   Noon and 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday
   Noon and 7:00 p.m.
   (Tenebrae @7p.m)

Easter Sunday
April 24

6:30 a.m.
Sunrise Service

8:00 & 10:45 a.m.
Festival Worship with choirs, handbells and orchestra.

Easter Breakfast

9:00-10:30 a.m.

View Previous Years of Devotions from St. John's Archive

Lent 2010
Love Letters

Lent 2009
Meet! Experience! Live!

Lent 2008
United in Prayer





March 12, 2011

Fire Me Up!


Matthew 3:1-17


I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (v. 11)


Were all familiar with the story of John the Baptist his leap for joy when he first met Jesus while both of them were still in the womb, his life in the desert, his diet of locusts and wild honey, his role as the forerunner of Jesus, even his beheading at the order of Herod. Quite a story! He was anything but a wallflower type.

In the passage that is included here, we get yet another picture of John. He is preaching. He has a crowd of followers. And he is engaging them in the baptism for repentance that was an historical practice among the Jewish community.

In the middle of all this, he is at the Jordan River, teaching and baptizing, all the while pointing out that the best is yet to come. That best is Jesus! He is also sending the message that Jesus will transform baptism into the gift of faith, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the gift of fire. What a message!

It is that baptism that draws us to Jesus and to the cross. While most of us dont remember our own baptism event, we do all know at least pieces of our baptism story. And many of us remember that baptism as we use water throughout our days. But we usually think of water as a fire retardant or fire squelcher. So how are we baptized with fire?

St. Paul talks about the fire of faith. Thats the fire we received through baptism. Its the fire that draws each of us to the cross and helps us understand the salvation Jesus earned for us through his death on the cross.

Its the fire of faith that also encourages and emboldens us to talk to others and allow them to also be drawn to the cross through the Holy Spirit.



Dear Jesus, help us each to be fired up for you. Give us courage through your Holy Spirit to show up and speak up at every opportunity to draw others to your cross. Amen.

Shirley Morgenthaler