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Monday, November 1, 2010

Remembering the Past, Anticipating the Future: Part 2

Excerpts from Pastor's Sermon

On October 31st we celebrated our congregations 25th Anniversary. It is always wonderful to look back on the past and remember what God has done for us. It is our past that shapes our present and informs our futures. Just think about the Lord's Supper. When we receive the body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine we do it in remembrance of Christ's past sacrifice on the cross for our sins. The benefits of that sacrifice (the forgiveness of sins, the promise of Christ's presence, strength for our faith) are then given to us when Christ comes to us in that present moment in the meal. And, this informs our future! We know that our future in eternity is secure because here in this meal Jesus is giving us the salvation He won for us on the cross. The past shapes our present and informs our future.

The church is always at work with these three periods of time in mind. We do everything in light of the past. We work hard in the present to do the kingdom work God has called us to so that we may leave a faithful legacy for the future. All of these, the past, present, and future are always at work in the hearts and minds of those who believe in the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

This means, then, that we as a congregation cannot allow ourselves to get stuck in the past. Rather, we must celebrate what God has done in the past for our church and honor it by seeing what God desires for our church in the future. As we look back on God's work in our midst and see where he has brought us, we must ask where He is taking us in the future? What is God's plan for our church and how can we adjust ourselves to make sure we are on board with what He is doing?

I cannot say that I know the future for our church. But, I can say that God has a glorious future for our church. Looking back, we can see the wonderful things He has done. Looking at us now, He has built us up and equipped us with many gifts. All of this, I believe, He has done so we might faithfully and prayerfully seek how we are to utilize these gifts for the furthering of His ministry in Moorpark.

As we look into the next year we see the Lord giving us many wonderful and exciting opportunities. We will begin to have more serious conversations about a building expansion, we will continue to work with Centro Cristiano Hispano on establishing and Lutheran presence in the Hispanic community, and we will be working with a few other congregations through Cures and Connections to find out how we might increase the impact of the Gospel in our little corner of God's creation.

The one thing we know for sure as we look to the future of our church is that there is one thing that will not change, and that is God's love for us in Christ Jesus. God does not change how He feels towards His chosen people, you and me. He loves us through the blood of His Son and has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts and in our midst. With so great a salvation and so loving a God who has given us so much and is giving us so much, we can boldly move forward as a congregation knowing that this same God will continue to give us so much.

Pastor Bob

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