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Friday, September 28, 2018

October 2018

"You be You" said Professor Joel Biermann at our recent district-wide pastors' conference. "You be you" means: find your truth, pursue your own desires, choose your own reality and live by your autonomous self-governing way. Dr. Biermann discussed this saying to present an accurate picture of what has become of our society today.

Stemming from the seventeenth century, enlightenment thinker, Rene Descartes famous words, "I think, therefore I am". Or in our most current context, "you be you. You are encouraged to recenter your life on yourself rather than God and you will find what you are looking for. Self-fulfillment, self-satisfaction are a few goals that man attempts to find in "You be you".

This reminds me of my children whenever we went on a long road trip. As I was driving the minivan, they would always ask , "are we there yet?". And with great reluctance, I would respond, "No, not yet, we have a ways to go". And as a few minutes passed, like a broken record, they would ask the same question and I would respond with the same answer.

So it is with life. "Are we there yet?". Some will define "there" as a big house or car. Others will define "there" as our reputation, social status, and career. "You be you" the world says, but will we find what we truly need? Though the allure is freedom, prosperity, and fullness, this path will inevitably lead to confusion, despair and utter hopelessness.

"Freedom is found in relationships", Dr. Biermann said. And so true this is! For the world will say that your greatest relationship is "You be you", yet as we look at scripture our greatest and most fulfilling, satisfying, freedom-giving relationship is found outside of ourselves.

"If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free" [Jn 8:32].

The truth is, the Lord answers "Are we there yet?" with the sending of His Son. No longer are we wondering if we are there yet but through Jesus' death and resurrection, He has delivered us to a grace-filled alreadyness. Through His body and blood shed on the Cross we live in the true alreadyness. That is, forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation. No longer are we toiling over the quest of self-fulfillment but through Jesus' words on the Cross, "It is finished", we have received the greatest fulfillment in the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

"You be you" is not defined by self but by the promises of God. "You be you" in the work of Christ. "You be you" in the blessed waters of Holy Baptism. "You be you", in the holy meal of Christ's body and blood given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. For by the grace of God, you have been set free! "Yet to all received Him, to those who believe in His name, He has given the right to become children of God" [Jn1:12]. This is you!

So go forth in His name as you live a life- already fulfilled. Loving and serving your neighbor in the alreadyness that has been given to you by the merits of Christ and the Cross.

Glory to God in the Highest! Have a blessed October!

✝️ Pastor Jeong  

The full newsletter can be found here:
http://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2018/2018-10-Newsletter.pdf

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Glory to God in the Highest! (September 2018)

"The angel said to them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people, For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host, praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace among those with
whom he is pleased!" [Luke 2:10-14]

After seeing Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, the shepherds returned "glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told to them" [Lk2:20]. In response to what the Lord had done, the shepherds proclaimed the Christ and gave all glory to the Lord. And we, in faith, do the same.

Finding its way into the church, the Glory to God "Gloria", laid its roots in the 2nd century. Throughout church history, the gloria has been used and continues to this day.

In the "Gloria", we sing,

Glory be to God on high and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.
We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee
We glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee, for thy great glory.

These are not words that we give to God by our own merits, but they respond to what God has done for us. For we know, ever since the fall, [Rm3:23, Eph2:1, Ps51:5] we deserve nothing but the wrath and eternal condemnation. Yet, the gracious Lord promised to send His Son to be the Savior of the world [Gen3:15]. It is through God’s sacrificial love, that we praise and worship our Lord for His "goodwill toward men". That is, the will to save and rescue humanity from sin, death and devil through the merits of Christ death and resurrection.

Without the saving work of Christ, where would we be? Would we be able to bless, praise, glorify and give thanks to the Lord? What a great moment in the liturgy to dwell upon the glory of God, "and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" [Jn1:14]. Therefore, as we sing the Gloria throughout most Sundays of the church year, it is a wonderful moment to respond in faith to what the Lord has graciously done for us.

For though only art holy; Thou only art the Lord, Thou only, O Christ,
with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Indeed, the Lord is the Holy! The Holy one who took upon the sins of the world so that in His death and resurrection, we are presented holy and blameless in front of God. What a blessed reason to praise our Lord along with the heavenly hosts as we sing [Sunday after Sunday] the Gloria. Giving thanks and praise to God who to this day is present at the altar, giving His very own body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.

Glory to God in the Highest! Have a blessed September!

✝️ Pastor Jeong  

The full newsletter can be found here:
http://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2018/2018-09-Newsletter.pdf

Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email