Pastor's Letter - April
Grace and Peace to you in the name of the Risen One who we will celebrate on Easter Sunday, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen!
Very recently the check engine light in my Volkswagen came on. I was worried- I've only had the car since 2014, and I am creeping up on 150,000 miles, but I was hoping it would last another year or two- but when the code was read, the reason the check engine light came was because there was a system update in the computer.
Whew. Nothing to be terribly alarmed about.
Maybe you've had something like that happen. The check engine light is never a welcome sight. Nor is a bill that comes to your mailbox that you didn't expect. Or a might higher bill than you expected. Or news that you didn't want to receive. Results of a medical test that were different than what you had hoped for.
You know, the Easter story is the story of Jesus solving the "check engine" light on the righteousness of humankind. We had proven ourselves sinful time and time again. Over and over again we as a humanity had fallen short of God's law. When it came down to it, we just couldn't do it. Israel would rebel over and over again. Kings would come and go, most of them remembered for nothing more than corruption and reigns marked by controversy.
The "check engine" light on humanity was on. Then comes Jesus. And in one sacrificial act on the cross, Jesus shows us how much he loves us. He shows us how much God the Father loves us. And in that, we are saved.
It's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our faith is about our actions. I'm not saying that our actions aren't important- but we are Lutherans, and we don't believe in works righteousness. Our righteousness is due to Jesus and Jesus alone. However, our actions are in response to a loving God who died on the cross for the sake of the world.
This past month, we completed our third apartment for a homeless family as part of our continuing work with Brethren Housing Association. We fulfilled two requests for assistance through our Miles to Mend program. We worked hard to raise money so that members of our congregation can go to Cincinnati this summer and work out God's love in a different context. This is what God makes possible through the cross.
There are smaller things that are important, too. I see you do them every day. I see you when you do acts of kindness for your neighbor, when you share love with someone who is hurting, when members of our congregation keep in touch with those who are homebound or going through a hospitalization. All of those things are ways in which we work our God's sacrificial love in the world.
Let us continue to do this for those we know and those we don't. The world needs more of it every day!
See you along the way,