From The Pastor - June 2017 Newsletter
On the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation, there is much to glean from the history of the Lutheran Church. We have come a long way since the nailing of the 95 Theses back on October 31, 1517, but the basic tenets of our faith are still the foundational structure on which the Church was built. Luther and others were trying to reclaim the Biblical witness and the teachings of Jesus, In the Augsburg Confession (1530)the reformers set forth to present succinctly a public declaration of faith to Emperor Charles V. Penned by Philip Melanchthon, the Augsburg Confession remains today a pivotal document in the formation of our faith.
In Article VII [The Church] we read, "It is also taught among us that the one holy Christian church will be and remain forever. This is the assembly of all believers among whom the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel. For it is sufficient for the true unity of the Christian church that the Gospel be preached in conformity with a pure understanding of it and that the sacraments be administered in accordance with the divine Word. It is not necessary for the true unity of the Christian church that ceremonies instituted by men should be observed uniformly in all places. It is as Paul says in Ephesians 4:4-5, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope that belongs to your call - one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
The church will be and remain forever, because the church wasn't founded by us, but rather by God. The church is the people that God has called into service for the sake of the world. we were called through the waters of baptism and in worship we are fed and nourished for the task of ministry. The Reformation taught us that the church is not a status entity, but a movement. Jesus didn't come to establish a country club, but to inspire mission. Once we were brought into the church, we were sent our for the salvation of others,
What on earth are we doing for the sake of the world? How are we being the church today? Are we being faithful to the mission to which we have been called? Washed in the waters of baptism and fed at God's table of grace, we have an opportunity to live out our faith, inspired by god's Spirit to share the message of salvation with the world, especially in our little corner of it here in Lincoln County. But how is that to be if we sit idly by and wait for someone else to do it? God has called each of us to service in the church. There are many opportunities to be about God's work in the church and the community.
God has called you and is calling you still to enter into ministry for the sake of God's people. Do you think it is important to share faith with our children? So do we and there is a place for you there. Do you think that gathering together in fellowship and mutual support is important? So do we and there is a place for you there. Do you think that reaching out into the community and feeding the hungry is important? So do we and there is a place for you there. Do you think that caring for our elderly who have given so much is important? So do we and there is a place for you there.
The harvest is plentiful. Won't you come and labor with us for the sake of the world?