Seeking Part-Time Music Ministry Director

St. John Lutheran Church in Columbia, MD, is seeking a part-time music ministry director.

Hours are TBD and will depend on the details of the conversation between the applicant and the pastor.

Pr. Dan Hetherington is your point of contact. He can be reached at

Devotion for Thursday, February 29, 2024

“And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.  And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (Matthew 4:2-3).

Jesus did what few can do.  He weakened Himself to be vulnerable.  In His vulnerability, the devil came and tempted Jesus to misuse the power which was His.  Misusing power, if even for a good reason, is a damning drug.  Power corrupts.  This is why Jesus has told us that all power belongs to Him.  The only power which is ours is the power to become a child of the Heavenly Father.

Listen carefully to these words.  You and I are not exempt, but we are tempted to think ourselves the exception.  We have been, often are, and will be tempted.  We will fall.  But the grace of the Lord neither excuses us nor flees from us but is always with us so that we can stand up again and walk the path of faith.  Do not seek power but seek the things of the Lord all the days of your life.

You are within me, Holy Spirit.  Make me aware when I am being tempted so that I may listen to You and not the tempter.  Most often I know what to do, but I am weak and do not do what I ought.  Guide me in Your goodness and mercy to listen to You.  Shield me so that I may not go beyond the place where I am able to endure.  Lead me to walk in the light of Your word and resist the temptations that come my way.  Amen.

Devotion for Wednesday, February 28, 2024

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1).

This world is a wilderness, and we are all tempted by the devil.  The wicked one doesn’t care for you but he wants you so long as it is hurtful to the Lord.  But Jesus?  If He can be tripped up, then what God asks of us is more than we can do.  But Jesus is not tripped up and, through the cross, we are given His righteousness.  But take care, for you are still in the wilderness and the devil will tempt you.

Lord, I thank You for the grace which is mine in You.  We all need Your help to overcome the temptations that come our way.  “Lead us not into temptation.”  You know my limits and boundaries and I pray that a shield be placed such that the wicked one have no power over me. “Deliver us from evil,” Lord, You know all that is needed and You must be the One who helps us fights this fight.

Lord Jesus, You went against the devil for my soul.  You went against Him and won.  Your shed blood has set me free from sin, death, and the devil.  Keep reminding me, Holy Spirit, that I am under the wing of Your protection.  Continue to guide me in the way of salvation so that I may humbly walk in the faith You have given me.  You are my leader.  Help me to follow You through the wilderness of this age.  Amen.

Devotion for Tuesday, February 27, 2024

“After He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and settling on Him, and behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).

“In whom I am well pleased.”  At the end of this age, all will stand before the Lord.  We shall all hear, “Thy will be done.”  Either it is us saying to the Lord, “Thy will be done,” or else it is the Lord saying to us, “Thy will be done.”  You can walk in the way of salvation or in your own way.  Jesus came as the perfect obedient Son to lead the way for all who will come into the salvation He alone gives.

Father in Heaven, You have called all to come through Your beloved Son in whom You are well pleased and be reconciled with You.  You have provided the way of salvation in this world filled with avarice and pride.  You have given us will but call for us to give our will back to You.  You love us and bid us do the same with You and our neighbor.  Help us to listen to Your Son.

Lord Jesus, You underwent the perfect baptism of repentance for our sakes and began the work which culminated in Your death on the cross.  Through what You have done You have accomplished for us our salvation.  Lead me this day in all righteousness for Your name’s sake that I may be found having done the Father’s will on earth as it shall be done in heaven.  Amen.

Devotion for Monday, February 26, 2024

“But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him” (Matthew 3:15).

How gracious our Lord is.  He is the One in whom all authority rests, and yet, he makes a request.  The gracious Lord requests that you walk with Him.  He is courteous and asks.  The devil is rude and demands.  Jesus is the One who fulfills all righteousness so that we who have none may gain from He who has all that is needed.  How good and complete is the salvation which He gives us.

Lord, the world I live in is always in such a hurry.  Go here and there and yet get nowhere.  Lead me to understand that only in You is there salvation.  Only by what You have done and are doing am I saved.  Open my eyes to see the magnitude of Your grace and mercy so that I may walk with You and receive all that is needed.  You give me eternal life and it comes as You give it.  No matter the appointments to office You give in the kingdom, You have demonstrated courtesy and kindness to all.

Lord Jesus, bring me to the place where I allow You freely into my life and soul.  Bring me to the place of repentance where I open up and willingly submit to whatever You need to do in me to fulfill all righteousness.  You must be the One who leads, for only You can perfectly do all that is needed in order to accomplish what needs to be done in my life.  Thank You, Jesus, for leading the way.  Amen. 

Devotion for Sunday, February 25, 2024

“Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan, coming to John to be baptized by him.  But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have the need to be baptized by You, and yet You are coming to me?” (Matthew 3:13-14)

All authority in heaven and on earth belongs to the Lord.  But Jesus comes to be baptized with a baptism of repentance.  Why?  It is the really bad man who needs to repent, but he does not know it.  It takes a perfect man to repent perfectly, but then, a perfect man would not need to repent.  Jesus undergoes the baptism of repentance we all need but are unable to do.  He begins saving us in the beginning by doing for us that which we cannot do.

Lord, I too need to confess that I am in bondage to sin and cannot free myself.  I too need Your grace and mercy to be freed from my sins in order to become a child of God.  I need what only You can give me.  Help me to see that this faith You have given me is not some once and done thing, but a matter that will take the whole of this life.

My Lord and Savior, You have come into this world to accomplish all that the Father has purposed.  All that any of us needs to know, You have given so that we might follow You as You make of us what You will.  Help me to humbly submit to You, the author and finisher of my faith, so that I may go where You lead as You bring me fully into repentance and forgiveness.  Amen.

Devotion for Saturday, February 24, 2024

“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12).

We know what Jesus will do.  For round one, He has told us to leave the wheat and chaff together.  Round two, He will separate the wheat and the chaff.  This age is often talking about those we think are chaff and making them into wheat.  That is not our business.  As many as see the light are they who will be made into children of God.  Those who are in Him shall be gathered together, for they are His bride, the church.

Jesus, You told the disciples that they knew what You were doing.  Here it is made clear.  You are making children of the Heavenly Father in this age.  You call everyone, but it is “as many as follow You” and who come into Your presence, purpose and power that are saved.  You have given Your Holy Spirit to sift our hearts so that the wickedness of this age may be sifted out in order for the goodness You pour in to remain.

Lord Jesus, You are working through me and the daily struggles are my cross to bear.  Guide me today as You sift my heart by the power of Your Holy Spirit so that I willingly and humbly walk in the Father’s will for all that needs to be done.  Burn up within me all that is not useful.  Pour into me all that is needed so that I may live as a child of the Heavenly Father.  May Your will be done in me.  Amen.

Devotion for Friday, February 23, 2024

“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).

Never forget who Jesus is.  The Lord God, Creator of the universe has shown up.  Yes, He makes Himself approachable, but He is still God.  What we do pales in comparison with what He does and who He is.  He who is the Alpha and Omega will accomplish what He has purposed.  We are baptized in water.  He comes and fills us with His Holy Spirit and empowers us to become children of the Heavenly Father.

How then shall I live knowing these things?  Shall I go on as if nothing else mattered?  Guide me, Lord, in the way of life You know I need to live.  I am unworthy, but by Your grace and in Your power, I can do all things necessary.  Lead me, Lord, in the way of living life such that I may now and always be guided by You, the author and finisher of my faith.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and open me to receive all that You command.

Lord Jesus, my Savior, You have done so many wonderful things for me.  Now, help me to return the favor and begin again the journey of becoming like You.  Through the Holy Spirit, which You have given me, help me to do those things today which are right for one of Your followers to do.  Let me not look at any others in the way of thinking who is worthy, but instead, to look through eyes of compassion to help all of those in need.  Amen.


Editor’s note: Bob Rognlien is a Lutheran (LCMC) pastor, author, and discipleship expert. Per Pr. Rognlien, “…the window for organizing and inviting people to such an event is rapidly closing!” Also, the video review Pr. Rognlien recorded for Lutheran CORE on his book Recovering the Way can be watched here.

For over 30 years now pastor Bob Rognlien and his wife Pam have been leading people in historically-rooted, spiritually-focused pilgrimages, following the footsteps of Jesus and Paul. Now they are releasing a feature-length documentary film called “Following the Footsteps,” which journeys with a group of pilgrims who are walking in the footsteps of Jesus and captures the impact of encountering the “real” Jesus. This non-profit film is designed to give people a taste of who Jesus really is and what happens when you learn to live his Way, so that they will be drawn to know him more and follow him more closely. 

We want as many people as possible to experience this non-profit film in the hope they will want to draw closer to Jesus! Will you help us share this film with the people in your church and wider community? We are inviting Lutheran CORE congregations to host a free premiere screening of the film in their church or local theater on Palm Sunday weekend, March 22-24. Because we don’t expect you to promote something you haven’t seen, we are offering you the opportunity to preview the film over the next week. If you feel the Spirit nudging you, visit to find out how to preview the film and read information on hosting a free screening.

Devotion for Thursday, February 22, 2024

“And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit is being cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:10).

This warning is important.  Only the Lord knows the heart, but there appears to be many who simply give lip service.  Their actions are like the world’s and do not reflect any of the Lord’s commands.  Those who are not rooted in Christ will be cast away.  Where are your roots?  Are you living the life to which you have been called, or is your life no different than the one who hates the Lord?

I know I am conflicted because of this world in which I live, I also know I do not do the things I ought, but also, Lord, I desire to be one who is Yours.  Sink my roots into You and let the fruit that grows in me be Your production.  Guide me in Your goodness to look to You and seek after You always.  May the living water You give flow deep in me always.

Lord Jesus, Master of my soul, You know all that is needed.  You know me better than I know myself.  Guide me in Your goodness and mercy to produce fruit befitting one who is Your follower.  You have forgiven my sins and I am empowered by Your grace.  Help me to live with what You have given me and to fulfill Your Great Commission to go out into the world and obey all that You command. Amen.