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About Us

Our Grip On God’s Word

the History

While the presence of Lutheran Churches in Oconomowoc was fairly well established and rooted by the early 1970’s by the larger Lutheran Synods of America, there was no church in the area from the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). Through the vision of the Mission Board of the Lutheran Church in America, land was purchased in 1975 at Lord of Life’s present location on the northeast corner of Cty. Roads P & Z.

Thus, a small Lutheran Church on the northeast side of Oconomowoc was poised to strengthen it’s grip on the truth of God’s Word and the certainty of salvation and share it with the surrounding community. Because of Lord of Life’s grip on the truth of God’s Word, the congregation united around these foundational beliefs of Holy Scripture on which confessional Lutherans stand: “By Grace Alone, By Faith Alone, By Scripture Alone.”

Not long after Lord of Life’s 10th anniversary on April 5, 1987, this congregation joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1988. The decision was later made, and we currently are, a member of the NALC, North American Lutheran Church. 

Hear From Pastor Mike

April, 2024     

      “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down                            His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives                                                 for our brothers and sisters.”                                                                                              I John 3:16

       It has been a long time since I’ve written a love letter (even longer since I have received one!). Letter-writing, in general, has become almost a lost art. Sure, many of us still send cards for special occasions like birthdays or Christmas. We may scratch down a few lines and sign our names at the bottom, but the sentiments or verse written on the card came from the mind of someone else. Still, in an age where most people prefer the speed and convenience of emails and texts, we still get a good feeling when someone takes the time to send us a card or a letter.

      But not all letters bring good tidings with them. During World War 2, men in the service of our country sometimes received a “Dear John” letter. The phrase soon came into commonplace use as referring to any letter where a woman breaks off a relationship with a man. It had to be doubly heart-wrenching for the guys in our armed forces. Not only has the woman you love rejected you, but you are a thousand miles away and there is nothing you can do about it.

      Throughout the month of April and the first two Sundays in May, our theme will be “God’s ‘Dear John’ Letter.” However, this is not a letter to John, but a letter from dear John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. We will be looking at the book of 1 John, a short epistle of only five chapters but it packs a wallop! We do not know the original recipients of this letter, but it appears to be written to a group of first century Christians somewhere in Asia Minor. Like many churches, this congregation had its share of struggles and problems. With patience, John attempts to get this group back on track. The plan he maps out for them is based on love: first and foremost, God’s love towards us. In fact, the word “love” is found 38 times in this epistle.

     Through the Scripture we know that John was the disciple “whom Jesus loved.” Of the Twelve, he is the only one who was at the cross. In His dying hours, Jesus even turned the care and protection of His own mother over to this disciple. Apparently, John held a very special place in our Lord’s heart. And it was this divine love, poured into his soul, which moved John to love others.

      In the verse above, we are reminded of what true love is: a willingness to sacrifice one’s own interests—and even one’s own life—for the sake of other people. This is what makes churches such interesting places. Every Sunday a group of people, who might otherwise have little in common, come together for one reason: to worship and celebrate a great God! In the world, we might never have known each other, like the nameless, faceless people we walk past in the grocery store. But God has joined us together for His purposes. He knits our hearts together in a tapestry only He could design. Two years ago, I was a stranger to most of you. Now we sing together, laugh together and—yes—sometimes cry together. We are no longer strangers, but friends.

      What a Friend we have in Jesus! Because He laid down his life for us, we have the assurance that the Lord will never reject us. We are not going to get a “Dear John…” letter from God. As a young man, whenever I fell in love, the world changed. I was happier and more patient. The things that I would typically find irksome did not seem to bother me at all. I felt great! I am still in love, but the object of my desire has changed. Now it is Jesus. I look forward to sharing this love letter from the dear disciple John with all of you.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Mike

March, 2024

“For the word of the cross is foolishness to
those who are perishing, but to us who are
being saved it is the power of God.”
       I Corinthians 1:18

     In his popular book, The Jesus I Never
Knew, Philip Yancey laments the fact that the
denomination in which he grew up did not have a
worship service on Good Friday. To Lutheran ears
this may seem unusual, but it is more common
than we think. Lent, Holy Week, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are not a part of many
denominations’ traditions. In other words, they go
straight from Palm Sunday one week to Easter the
next week, without remembering the suffering and
execution of our Lord at Calvary.

 
     It is not my intention to provide a critique of
how other churches go about their business. They
are responsible to God, not me. The vast majority
of these congregations certainly preach the Gospel,
namely, the Good News that Jesus has suffered
and died for our sins and was resurrected to bring
us new life. To go directly from the parade on
Palm Sunday to the celebration of the resurrection
on Easter may fit in well with the feel-good philosophy of our age, but it lacks one vital element—
The Cross. As St. Paul reminds us in the verse
above, the cross is where the power of God is to be
found.


     Good Friday is the central event in Christianity. It is no surprise that churches are fuller on
Christmas Eve and Easter. These are holidays that
even the secular world acknowledges to one
degree or another. But on Good Friday, most
people go about their business as usual. It has a
place in our calendars, but not our culture.


    Within all four Gospel accounts, the passion
of our Lord gets more ink than any other event in
His life story, more than His miraculous birth and
even more than His marvelous resurrection. The
evangelists saw the cross as central to ministry of
Jesus. Our Lord kept reminding His disciples that
His endgame was rejection by the Jewish leadership, suffering and sentencing at the hands of the
Gentile government, and, finally, execution at the
hands of sadistic soldiers. It was only after the
resurrection that His followers understood the
meaning behind this travesty. And their sorrow
turned to joy! In order to truly understand the good
news, you have to know the bad news. That is why
the cross is so central to the Christian life.


    For me, Good Friday is the most important
date on the Church Calendar. Even before I was
back in the ministry, I would schedule the day off
from my weekly job. It was a time for contemplation and reflection. And, of course, it was a day for
awe and worship. At the cross, I see the great
lengths toward which humankind will go to get
God out of their lives. But I also see to what great
depths God will go to prove His love. He was willing to die that we might live! That gives me the
power to carry whatever crosses I feel I may have
in my own life.


    I hope to see many of you at our Easter
Service on the last day of March. But I also pray
that you will spend some time, two days prior, to
thank Jesus for his sacrificial love. This world has
seen its share of Black Fridays. It is such a
blessing that Christians have one Good Friday
each year to celebrate!

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Mike