October 2022 Pastor’s Perspective

Grace to you and peace from God our Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit!

On a sultry day in July of the year 1505 a lonely traveler was trudging over a parched road on the outskirts of the Saxon village of Stotternheim.  He was a young man, short but sturdy, and wore the dress of a university student.  As he approached the village, the sky became overcast.  Suddenly there was a shower, then a crashing storm.  A bolt of lightning rived the gloom and knocked the man to the ground.  Struggling to rise, he cried in terror, “St. Anne help me!  I will become a monk.”
The man who thus called upon a saint was later to repudiate the cult of the saints.  He who vowed to become a monk was later to renounce monasticism.  A loyal son of the Catholic Church, he was later to shatter the structure of medieval Catholicism…this young man was Martin Luther.  Here I Stand; A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H. Bainton, p.15

We are not called to be Martin Luther.  We are called to new life in Jesus Christ.  His life in us will bring transformation and hope in the ways that are necessary for us and the people of this age. God has called us to be Christ’s presence in this age.  He plainly asks us to preach, teach, share all that we know about Jesus with others.  He invites us into the most joy-filled and rewarding purpose of offering life, love, healing and hope to all we meet.  

We are invited to share what we know: For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” Romans 1:16-17

Our circumstances of life are not the same as Luther’s in 1505. God Almighty continues to make himself known to all who will acknowledge our need and cry out for the saving mercy Jesus has made available to all who believe! The numbing of zeal and passion through the monotony of routine, noise of past struggles and failures in our minds, refutations of unrepentant folks accusing us of judgmental attitudes and hypocrisy, spiritual warfare ignored in an era of “enlightened thinking,” many and varied reasons for a loss of the wild and reckless abandon to Jesus. Behold, Jesus still reigns in power and majesty. He is present with us to save and transform all who call upon his name.

The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:8-13

We share the mysterious and marvelous power of God in ministry! Luther would later write a hymn of the triumph of God for us:
In devil’s dungeon chained I lay – The pangs of death swept o’er me. My sin devoured me night and day – In which my mother bore me. My anguish ever grew more rife, I took no pleasure in my life – And sin had made me crazy.
Then was the Father troubled sore – To see me ever languish. The Everlasting Pity swore To save me from my anguish. He turned to me his father heart – And chose himself a bitter part, His Dearest did it cost him.
Thus spoke the Son, “Hold thou to me, From now on thou wilt make it. I gave my very life for thee – And for thee I will stake it. For I am thine and thou art mine, And where I am our lives entwine, The Old Fiend cannot shake it.”

Salvation is available, all who come by faith are held in the power of his eternal life. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Our Heavenly Father leads us in His harvest as we answer the call to seek and serve the least, lost, and lonely; offering Jesus Christ! Making disciples of Jesus Christ is the heart of mission. Pray the Lord of the harvest for guidance, direction, wisdom, empowerment, and opportunities to carry on his harvest in wonderful ways for such at time as this!

In Jesus, Pastor Paul

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