October 2023 Pastor’s Perspective

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

October brings many opportunities to live and celebrate the power and presence of Jesus Christ.

Harvest, fruitfulness, completion, and resplendent colors in the world stir an appreciation for the marvel and mystery of God’s creation. October of warm days, chilly mornings, moonlit nights, vibrant colors fading to brown, wiener roasts, football games, grey skies, and bright blues.
One childhood friend was born October 2nd, brother Timothy, was born October 12th, daughter, Mary was born October 17th, son Matthew was born October 20th, sister, Maryanne, was born October 22nd, Nancy’s birthday is October 28th and cousin, Marcie, was born October 31st.
Autumn and the month of October reveal the move of God’s Spirit bringing forth fruit in completion while planting newness and hope for the future.
We know sorrow in the passing and transformation of life. My father, died in a farm accident on October 17th, daughter Mary’s birthday. October birthdays of Maryanne and cousin Marcie were days for celebration, but unexpected deaths made their birthdays quiet remembrances.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:35-38
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. New life in Christ brings transformation so we become the people God created us to be, and share the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ with people of this age. Called to be Christ’s presence in this age, the Lord plainly asks us to preach, teach, share all we know of 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.
Life circumstances are not the same as Luther’s in 1505. Christ the Lord brought new life, renewal, and revival in the midst of strife in the church. Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church will lead us through difficult and painful times. God Almighty reveals himself to all who acknowledge our need and cry out for the saving mercy Jesus offers! Zeal and passion numbed by routine, struggles and failures in our minds, resistance of unrepentant folks accusing us of judgmental attitudes and hypocrisy, spiritual warfare ignored in an era of “enlightened thinking,” many and varied reasons for loss of wild and reckless abandon to Jesus.
Salvation is available for all who come by faith in the power of his eternal life. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He leads us 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 a time as this!

In Jesus, Pastor Paul

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