FROM THE PASTOR
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph. 4:1-3
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. We are already two weeks into the season of Lent. For those who participate in the practice of Lent, this is a time when we consider the struggle with sin in the world. But not simply the concept of sin in the world, but our own struggle with sin.
Struggling with sin is not simply assenting to the fact that there is sin in the world – indeed, that is easy to do. Struggling with sin is not simply recognizing the faults of other people and what they are doing wrong. The intent of Lent is that we consider the impact of our sin: in our relationships, in our church family, in our work; this list could continue for the remainder of these pages. And worse yet, not only is our sinful nature tugging and pulling at us, if we are around any other people,…we are involved with those who share our same struggle.
The Apostle Paul shared our same struggle. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, “I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Rom 7:23-4
Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone else saw things the way we did? Or better yet, if everyone thought the way we thought? Maybe…, but we will never know because this has never happened. We might appeal to a close friend to see things our way, only to be frustrated when they don’t. So, what do we do?!?
The good news for the Christian is that God’s Word tells us that these struggles are part of life in a fallen world. The season of Lent and the struggle with sin in this world lead us to the sacrifice of Our Redeemer on Good Friday and the empty cross of Easter. Jesus died to reconcile us to God, and to reconcile us to each other. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:17-8 The road of reconciliation is a road that our Savior calls us to walk. As difficult as it may seem, it is a road we are blessed to walk, together.
As followers of Christ we hear the Word of our Lord which calls us to:
- Confess our sins to one another. James 5:16
- Humble ourselves before each other. 1 Peter 5:5, 6
- Avoid Gossip like it is the plague. James 1:26, Eph. 4:29
- As far as it depends on us… seek peace. Romans 12:18
These are not simply keys for joy, they are necessary for healthy life in a family and in a congregation. To live in this manner does not come naturally to us, this is why Paul urges us to walk in a manner that is worthy of our calling as children of God. We are His, and this is His church – praise God!!!
On Sunday the 11th, we will be installing the council for service this coming year. I urge you to pray for them. I also urge you to respect their time at worship. They are not our servants and they are not our lords; they are called to prayerfully guide our congregation. This is a task that is bigger than any individual. As such, when they come to worship, please let them worship. They need to confess sins, hear the Word of God, and give thanks to God just like the rest of us. In light of this, if you have an idea for them to consider, please write it down and bring it to the office. From there it will go to the appropriate board who will prayerfully consider it, along with other ideas from other members of our church family. This is how our constitution is written and this process helps to keep things from being overlooked. It also allows things to be done in order, and with much prayer, in our fallen world. A world where Christ alone is our peace! He is Risen.
He is Risen indeed! Hallelujah!
Pastor Steve Lundblom