I don’t know if you feel like you have “permission to function as God’s church in your community” or not. I certainly hope you do! That is one of the most important goals we have as a pastor.
You are a Child of God. As you recall from Confirmation, you will recall Martin Luther talking about each of us and our vocation as a Christian in the world. We are first and foremost a Child of God. We are also ambassadors to the whole world. God has blessed us to share His Word and love not only by what we say, but more importantly by what we do.
As we go about our regular work, even in retirement, we are Children of God all day long. We have been blessed to have the Holy Spirit plant God’s Word in our hearts and to help us to believe that Word. Because of that we call Jesus our Savior.
Jesus is also our Lord. He is the creator of all things. As we heard last Sunday (Colossians 1) “All things were created by Him and for Him.” That gives Him the authority to set expectations for those under His reign. We are forever thankful to Him for His endless love and look forward to seeing Him face to face.
We are entering a new season for the Church. Advent is a time when we reflect on our Lord and Savior coming both as a small child, like us, and as our King in all His glory. We will be doing that in a different way this year using what I call “The Stories of the Bible” lectionary. A lectionary is a set of Bible Readings that we use through the year. If you look in your hymnal or in the pew hymnal you will find what we use most years. From page xiv to xix you will find Series A, B and C. (Which we just completed)
For this year I have chosen Bible passages and a series of events that are often not covered by the other lectionaries. Please bring your home Bible with you to church! There is so much we can learn as we see the Word of God come alive in a different way.
May our Lord and Savior bless us this Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas Seasons as we strive to glorify Him wherever we are found.