Updated: 10/30/2014 9:07 AM
A Message from Our Pastor
As we approach the end of another Church Year, and the beginning of a new holiday season, it is easy to become too busy and lose sight of why we, as a congregation, are here. Before the hustle and bustle of the holidays threatens to overwhelm us once again, I ask you to take a few moments to consider with me exactly why we are here. Before we allow the never ending to-do lists to keep us away from the Lord our God, consider for a brief moment why God calls us to Him.
Why has the Lord gathered us together into the congregation known as Trinity Lutheran Church? This is a question that should be asked occasionally of any congregation that God has established. Because, if we lose sight of why we are a church, then we become nothing more than a social club.
I could point out that the Lord God has commanded us to “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” This means that “We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.” In other words, God has commanded us to take one day a week out of our busy lives and gather together in His Name. But as we know, the law does not motivate us, nor does it allow us to follow it. The law does not give us purpose, only accusation. The law is not the reason that Trinity Lutheran Church exists. There are plenty of other entities that exist for the sake of the law.
I could also point out that going to church every Sunday helps to start your week relaxed and refreshed. After all, our Lord Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). But here again, this is not always the case. Sometimes it seems as if going to church is more stressful than staying home. Especially if you need more sleep, or have those other chores that just can’t wait. “Who has time to spend Sunday morning at church any more?” is the question asked, and too often the answer is “not me.” But the purpose of Trinity Lutheran Church is not to give you a place to physically relax every week. Though, it can be very refreshing when you start the week renewed by the Lord’s gifts to you.
I will point out that the Lord’s gifts are also the real reason that we exist as a congregation. For the Lord has promised to be with those who gather together in His Name, distributing His gifts through His Church, which He has gathered together into congregations like ours. His gifts are like nothing else on earth. For, though they are simple in form and appearance, they are the most wonderful and enduring things that you can receive, and give to others.
God’s gifts of Word and Sacraments are the reason this congregation exists. When we gather together in His name, we are gathered together by God to hear His Word and receive His Sacrament as He comes to us imparting forgiveness and faith. Once we have received the greatest gifts that exist, we are also equipped to be able to share them with others, inviting them to gather with us in the Name of the Lord, so that they also might know the joy of forgiveness and the assurance of eternal life through the blood of Christ shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
So, as we approach this upcoming holiday season, do not give in to the temptation to relegate God to be an after thought. Do not forget that the purpose of the Church is to distribute God’s forgiveness in Christ. Take advantage of the opportunities we have to gather in His name as He comes to us through His Means of Grace.
Blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior,