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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Growing Together as a Church Family - Part IV: "Resting On What is Important"

As we conclude our newsletter series "Growing Together as a Church Family" we end on an important note. In the book, "Connected to Christ: Why Membership Matters", Peter Speckhard writes,
"it isn't the appeal of the furniture but their function in bringing the gifts of God's grace in Word and Sacrament that matter. It isn't the personality of the pastor that really matters but his official role and function as the one who delivers God's gifts. If you have them, be thankful for a beautiful altar and a pastor you like personally. But don't confuse the beauty of the altar with the importance of what rests upon it, and don't confuse your friendship with the pastor with the importance of what he is there to give you" [pg. 89]

This is an important quote that reminds me daily of why I have been called to serve you. As your pastor, there are times when I honestly forget the "importance of what rests upon it". Its easy to think that our personalities or talents actually bring something to the table. But honestly, it doesn't. My mentor would always say to me, "continue to preach, teach and administer the sacraments, that is what you are called to do". Or as Jesus would say to Peter, "Feed my lambs" [Jn21]. It's simple, delivering God's gifts through word and sacrament ministry. Ultimately, it is to trust in the power and promise of God's gracious Word.

And to all at Faith Moorpark, it is simple as well. We grow together as we receive the Word and Sacrament. We grow together as we rest upon His word that delivers the sacrificial gifts in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is by His work we are saved! [Eph2:8-9]. Baptism saves [1Pet3:21], the Lord's Supper forgives [Mt26; Mk14; Lk22; 1Cor11] and we rejoice together by grace through faith. Yet how easy it is to "major in the minors". And soon enough, rather than growing together in the word and sacraments, we become focused all the unimportant things. The beauty of the church furniture, the personality of the pastor, the amenities, the programs, etc etc etc. All the meanwhile, our eyes are taken away from what is true and life giving.

But remember, we come together as a group of broken sinners [Mt11:28]. It is the Lord who restores our souls as He guides us to the still waters and the green pastures of His Word [Ps23]. I know, it's nothing new under the sun. Not a slick message, or an innovative approach, but we simply rest upon what is important and true. There, we reside in the blessed gifts of our Lord.

As the days, months, years and decades go by, we will continue to grow in the one true faith. I pray that we may all rejoice together in the gracious work of the death and resurrection of our Lord. Yes, we fall short. Yes, we are sinners. Yet the Lord says, "Fear not, I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, and you are mine" [Is43]. Let us continue to grow, grow and grow together as we rest upon the important things: His truth, His promises, and His gifts-the Word and Sacrament!

Be careful of the scorching sun!

Have a blessed August!

✝️ Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:
http://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2019/2019-08-Newsletter.pdf

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