United Church of God

Letter From Daniel Deininger - April 13, 2024

Letter From Daniel Deininger

April 13, 2024

April 13, 2024

Dear Friends,
I hope you all have been able to enjoy some warmer weather. It got up to 75 degrees in Helena Friday!  And this Sabbath is supposed to be very nice also, although this coming week cooler weather is being forecast.  It looks like it should be warming up for the Passover next weekend and the Spring Holy Days.

Trip to Ohio
A week ago I was with my Ohio family for the funeral of my Mom's youngest brother, Ervin.  He was number 8 out of 8 children, my Mom as number 7.  He was born during the Great Depression. Times were tough back then but the family survived and he lived to be 92 years old.  Other than his time in the Army, and his last year in a Senior Living facility with his wife, he lived his entire life in the small town of Gibsonburg where he was born. I have fond memories of him, and would often visit him when I went back to see my folks. He was also very diligent in visiting my Father when he was in the nursing home his final years.

He was the last of his brother and sisters to die. So his death was a milestone event.  I wanted to be there to support his family - his five children - my cousins - and his wife, Aunt Beth.  Out of 26 surviving cousins, 24 of us were there. A rather unique accomplishment and testimony to how close the family is.

My older cousin Bob, a retired Protestant minister, conducted the funeral service, preaching a traditional message that Uncle Ervin was now in heaven, but with an emphasis on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ making our relationship with God possible.  Although my understanding of the state of the dead is different than cousin Bob, which I was able to preach to many in the audience at my Father and brother's funerals just a couple of years ago (ie the dead know nothing and are in the grave awaiting the resurrection), I do agree that the sacrifice of Jesus makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God the Father. While they were musing on the meaning of my Uncle's death on Easter, I was thinking about the significance of Jesus being the Lamb of God and His death on Passover.

Passover and Spring Holy Days
Next Sunday evening, April 21st, just after sunset baptized members of the United Church of God will either gather or observe in their homes the most solemn event of the year - the observance of the New Testament Passover as instituted by Jesus Christ nearly 2000 years ago.  [If you are new to our fellowship and not yet a baptized member of United Church of God, please contact me to discuss eligibility for keeping the Passover.]  Passover services will be webcast for those not able to attend.  Directions for keeping the Passover in your home and a recorded Passover message is also available at https://www.ucg.org/members/news/keeping-passover-at-home

On Monday evening we will observe the Night to be Much Observed - historically the night God lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt.. and for us picturing our coming out of the world and living God's way. On Tuesday we will observe the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread - a high annual Sabbath day and convocation  picturing putting sin of our lives. The following week on Monday, April 29th, we will be observing the Last Day of Unleavened Bread - another annual high Sabbath day.

In the days ahead I encourage you to spend time studying the book of John and reading the scriptures pertaining to the sacrifice that Jesus made so that we can have a relationship with the Father, and be reconciled to Him.  Doing so will help you keep the Passover with the peace of mind that you have contemplated the body of Christ and are keeping the Passover in a manner that is worthy of His sacrifice.

What a blessing it is to know the plan of God!  And what a blessing it is that from even before the existence of this earth God and Christ had the awesome plan to make it possible for us to become part  of Their family - through the willing sacrifice of Jesus Christ for each of us!

Revelation 13:8 KJV - And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Titus 1:2 KJV - In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

1 Peter 1:19 KJV - But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1 Peter 1:20 KJV - Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

As you study these verses and the scriptures in the second half of the gospel of John, may you grow in greater understanding of what Jesus did than you have ever comprehended before.

Warm regards!