Happy New Year from Navajo

Dear Friends in Christ,

Merry Christmas, or Blessed St. Stephen’s Day.

As a part of Christmas, for the last two years, we have had confirmation students pack and pass out boxes to elders in the community. This year we don’t have a confirmation class, but we do have young people in the church, and they still passed out boxes, sang carols, and prayed with senior citizens and their families.

passing out boxes to elderly in the navajo community tim norton lutheran indian ministries

At a time of year when it easy to lose sight of God’s gift to us in Christ, these young people put into practice Jesus’ words that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 19:35).

We had a wonderful group of 40 children that worshipped with us on Christmas Eve. Some came with their parents and others came on their own. Many of them returned from activties we had over the summer, like Vacation Bible School.

We had a Christmas program with Angels, Wise Men, and Shepherds. It was a great celebration of Christ’s birth, the good news of great joy for all people.

Earlier in the fall a church, who had previously visited, returned. Trinity Lutheran from Wahaiwa, HI came for 4 days and did devotions and crafts with the families at church. They also shared a little bit of Hawaiian culture with a hula and Hawaiian food.

In between the major events our days are filled with being a part of people’s everyday lives and showing them how God is present through it all. This includes going with them as they haul wood, sporting events (volleyball and basketball), Miss Navajo pageants, kinaldaa (coming of age ceremony for young women), and our main focus of worship and Bible study.

Two more people were baptized this past fall, and for that we praise God.

 

Please thank with us for:

  • The Group from Trinity Lutheran in Wahaiwa, HI and their visit.

  • The Children attending worship and V.B.S. that the seeds of faith would grow

  • The man and his daughter baptized in September.

Happy New Year!
The Norton Family

Me, Myself, & I: Week 1 - Monday Morning Devotions

lutheran indian ministries monday morning devotions me myself and i unholy trinity banner (1).png

In this season of resolutions and self-help, where we focus so heavily on ourselves, let’s delve into idolatry - putting something (or someone) else in the place of God.

These seven weeks are brought to you by Pastor Ricky Jacob, who serves the Native community of Winnebago, Nebraska.


Greetings to you in the Name of our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

I have been reading a book by Michael Lockwood, entitled 'The Unholy Trinity.' Now, just who makes up this Unholy Trinity? The Unholy Trinity is 'Me, Myself, and I.'

'The best way to detect a forgery is to be intimately acquainted with the original, so you can tell the difference between it and a fake. The same is true with idolatry. The best way to recognize an idol is to know the true God.'

Each and every person has been born with a natural knowledge of God, however this truth does not inform one of who God is. This knowledge comes from only one place: the Sacred Word of God. And yet, man's natural knowledge of God attempts to form God in a way that is similar to his/her Creator.

Throughout these weeks we will learn:

  • The idol of the Self and Providence. God the Father is the one who provides us with all good things; all who think they can provide for their own creaturely needs apart from him are idolaters.

  • The idol of the Self and Love. Our heavenly Father calls us to love him above anything else; all who love themselves more than him are idolaters.

  • The idol of the Self and Justification.  Jesus Christ just justify us sinners with a righteousness that is not our own; all who attempt to justify themselves are idolaters.

  • The idol of the Self and the Worship of God Incarnate. No one can know or come to the Father except through his incarnate Son, who comes to us now through the means of the Gospel; all who devise their own path to God or worship of God apart from Christ incarnate are idolaters. 

  • The idol of the Self and God's Word. The Holy Spirit reveals God to us through his Word; all who bypass the Spirit-breathed Word and attempt to know God by means of their own reason are idolaters. 

  • The idol of the Self and Repentance The Spirit must free us from our idols and create true faith in us; all who think they can produce true faith and its fruit without relying at all times on him are idolaters.

This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words from the third chapter of Proverbs: “'Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" [Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV].

Longing for Home (Advent Devotion) - Monday, December 31

Longing for Home (Advent Devotion) - Monday, December 31

The desire to “go home” is in the hearts of many Native Americans, too. 

Jesus also left His home. But He chose to do that because He longed for everyone to live with Him in heaven (John 3:16 and 1 Timothy 2:4). Trusting in His work of salvation on the cross fulfills the longings in our hearts. 

Worship Like a Wise Man (or Woman) (Advent Devotion) - Saturday, December 29

Worship Like a Wise Man (or Woman) (Advent Devotion) - Saturday, December 29

How did the Wise Men worship Jesus? Bow down and give gifts. A quick visit, in and out? Probably not. The best guess is: They spent lots of time with the toddler Jesus. They came, and they stayed, but we aren’t told for how long. And they gave gifts. Not just a few little presents, nicely wrapped with bows, they brought treasure, lots of treasure. This is what it means to worship, to invest significant time and treasure to honor the King.

Kissed by a Prince (Advent Devotion) - Thursday, December 27

Kissed by a Prince (Advent Devotion) - Thursday, December 27

It is true that we are all frogs and toads, and the post-Christmas lull can cause us to forget, but we who are now alive in Christ have a Prince who has rescued us and promises us peace for today and hope of eternal life with Him. With whatever croaky voices we have been given, let us sing His praises everyday!