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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Celebrating the Past, Anticipating the Future!

In the book of Nehemiah, the Israelites who had been living in exile under the evil Babylonians, have been freed by God and have returned to Jerusalem. Nehemiah leads them in rebuilding the once-devastated city. As they rebuild the city, they find the scriptures and discover that God commanded His people to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles every year. They were to have a huge party remembering the exodus of their ancestors by erecting tabernacles (or tents) and living in them for a week. It was only appropriate to celebrate this festival as they themselves had just returned from an exile in Babylon. God had, once again, redeemed His people from their oppressors.

Fast forward to the New Testament. Jesus has come to lead another exodus, to free God's people from another exile: the exile of sin. All of us are born into the bondage of sin. We are slaves under Satan's regime by nature. But our Jesus has come and redeemed us from that slavery! He has purchased us with His blood and led us into His kingdom. No longer is this kingdom bound to Jerusalem, but God's kingdom is wherever His Word is proclaimed. The kingdom comes to us now through the proclamation of God's Word. The kingdom members are not just Jews, but all people who have faith in the King of this kingdom!

For the last 25 years, one small part of that kingdom has been meeting together under the name Faith Lutheran Church of Moorpark. Here, in our congregation, God's reign has been present in the preaching of God's Word. His Word of condemnation towards sin and His Word of redemption through Christ for sinners has been announced and the faithful have gathered to hear the words of their King for a quarter of a century here.

The life of the church here has been typical of all of God's churches: full of joy and pain, happiness and sorrow, life and death, baptisms and burials, frustrations and celebrations, worship and lament. But, the one constant has been Christ's presence! The life of this church, through its ups and downs, has been grounded in Christ, our Rock! Just like our personal faith, Faith the church has had highs and lows, but Jesus has remained faithful to us throughout. And so, it is time for us, like the Israelites, to look back upon what God has done for us and celebrate!

This October 31st, Reformation Sunday, we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary as a congregation. We will have one service at 9:30 AM full of praises to our Jesus who has done such wonderful things for our church by giving us His Word and sacraments for 25 years. We will remember where we have been and pray about where we are going. After our service of celebration, we will have a great Oktoberfest meal where we will share stories about God's work among us. Please join us for this wonderful celebration as we rejoice in the life of our church, but more importantly, the redemption that Christ has won for us and His Spirit who brings us the fruits of that redemption every Sunday!

Pastor Bob

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