Thursday, June 23, 2016

July 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I want to tell you that it is such a joy to be your Pastor during this time of vacancy. I look forward to preaching, teaching, and administering God's sacraments for you in the stead and by the command of Christ. This is after all what the church is all about: forgiveness, life, and salvation.

I also need to confess something to you: I'm a poor, miserable sinner. There, I said it. Why do I say this? Because it is a reality I live with daily. As I've gotten to know a few of you - and look forward to meeting more - I've told you about my struggle with depression. It is a hard struggle, a struggle that – at the beginning at least – never seems like it is going to end. At times it seemed like I ought to end it all. No more struggling, no more cloud, no more heavy conscience. However, I'm glad I didn't. I would not be here proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified for you. This is important to remind ourselves, whether we are struggling with depression or not. Why? Because this makes all the difference in the world. It gives us sure and certain hope through those struggles, as there is a promise of God for better things to come at His proper time. The time when we will be face to face with our creator, redeemer, and sanctifier. I'll admit, this a weird time for me. The ups and downs, the "what in the worlds" and the "huhs," and the "what's next" mind set is something I struggle with daily. Am I ready to get back in the game, to do the preaching and teaching? Am I capable, am I ok? Can I do this, and not fail at it? Funny, the answer is always, "No!" This isn't a bad answer. What? What do you mean that is a good answer? Do we have an insane person here? No. This is a good answer, because it is not I who does it, but Christ who does it through me. If we were all left to our own devices all of us would have perished long ago. But thanks be to God we have not. He has sustained me, and He will most certainly sustain you. This is Christ's goal for you and all His children. He has baptized you, speaks to you through the pastor, and gives you His own body and blood that was given and shed for you for your forgiveness. So, it's not about you, it's not about Jesus. It is Jesus for you, no "about" needed. With that said, however, I give thanks to God for you all. A congregation is always a gift a pastor receives since it is always worth caring for. I pray our time together is fruitful.

The Peace of the Lord Be with You Always. Amen

Your Brother in Christ,
Rev. Jonathan Holmes

The full newsletter can be found here:

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