The Pastor’s View 2016-10-14T08:25:13+00:00

The Pastor’s View

March 2018

Lent is the special church season in which we especially remember the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. Some focus on what we should give up for God, and as long as the motive is based on what God has first done for us that can be a very good spiritual discipline. But it all has to start with our generous God; indeed, we love and respond only because He first loved us (1 John 4:19 ). Of Course, our Lenten Midweek theme this year is taking on something for Lent — Luther’s Catechism. Try to read through his Small Catechism each day and through the Large Catechism once during this Lent season. And remember that it’s still all about Jesus.

I’ve seen a couple of versions of this poem (most anonymous) but still running down a claim by a Lyle C Rollings III to have written it about 2006. I really like the thought:

The greatest man in history, Jesus, had no servants, yet they called Him master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him healer. Had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He did not live in a castle, yet they called Him Lord, He had no earthly throne, yet they called Him King. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today!

Great thought and Luther’s Catechism so reinforces a true and certain trust in this Lord and Savior that we focus on during Lent. Please join us throughout March as looking at the Catechism helps us grow in our understanding, appreciation, and love for our Lord Jesus. We end March this year with Holy Week and start April with Easter, when we remember how Jesus takes away our sins, gives us life in Him now and forever and gives us a solid foundation on which to build our lives upon. Without Him… we can do NOTHING! But remember His Words: “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit” (John 15:5). Or Paul’s inspired words: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).


See you in Divine Service,

March 1st, 2018|

February 2018

      The Lent Season begins this year with Ash Wednesday on February 14, Valentine’s Day, and ends with Easter on April 1, April Fools’ Day (no kidding!). Of course, Lent is something we should take seriously because it reminds us of how much our Lord Jesus sacrificed for our privilege to be part of God’s Kingdom. “In Lent, many Christians commit to fasting, as well as ‘giving up’ certain luxuries in order to ‘replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s journey into the desert for 40 days’” (Wikipedia). For our Lent midweek services, instead of giving up something we will be taking up something — a focus on Luther’s Catechism. If you would like a printout of Luther’s Large Catechism to read through this Lent season, they are available at church.

A totally different but also serious subject: at the last Atlantic Ministerial meeting a couple of our local police officers talked with us about responding to an active shooter. Unfortunately, the news makes it clear that this is a situation to which even a Christian congregation has to consider how to respond. One message that we need to know which I’m not sure how best and most appropriately to communicate is how we could best respond individually to such an emergency in our midst. If our response is to cower and try to hide under the pews, we’re all easy targets. But if the attacker is being hit with hymnals and other objects thrown at him or her, the attacker’s intention is much more difficult to carry out. Pray that we and no other congregation ever face such an emergency because we live in a world corrupted by human sin. Of course, the only real, ultimate answer is found in Jesus.

See you in Divine Service,


February 3rd, 2018|

January 2018

I recently ran across an article that suggested you should dress up to fly on an airline because you’ll get treated better. “Joking aside, the other reasons are the more obvious ones: However unfair it is, you’re generally treated better if you’re dressed better.”

We often say “One cannot judge a book by its cover.” And yet so often, don’t we do just that. Someone looks better so we think more of that one or are more patient, more accepting, nicer…. “My friends, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance” (James 2:1 GNT). None of us meets God’s perfect standard under the Law and we all are in need of God’s grace. At times though, we Christians have been guilty of giving other the impression that one has to get cleaned up before you can come to church… that one has to do a certain amount of righteous works before God will apply His grace to us. However, the essence of the Christian faith is that salvation is through Christ alone, not by human good works. With the new year, let’s make sure we focus on loving people as God loves them and not on their outward appearance. Let’s make sure that our congregation’s buildings and grounds don’t just look good but are a place the love of God is found shining through for all people . Transformed by His grace, let’s share His grace with all.

As we’ve been singing in our Offertory this past month: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me…”

See you in Divine Service,

December 31st, 2017|

December 2017

The November-December season can be very busy and difficult especially for those hosting festivities or grieving a loss. Last year I received a postcard from our church-body’s health care service encouraging “Take Care of Yourself So You Can Give More.” I’ve adapted the suggestions below:


Tips for Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

Count your blessings. Rather than getting wrapped up in commercial aspects of the holidays, celebrate the blessings of family, but more importantly, celebrate the undeserved gift of forgiveness, life, and salvation through the birth of Jesus.

Indulge in fun instead of food. Food is often the main attraction of holiday get-togethers—and typically it’s not the healthy kind. Consider adding activities to shift the focus of your holiday festivities (playing a team sport, ice skating, dancing, Christmas caroling, walking after your meal, etc.).

Don’t stress over where to go. Deciding who to spend the holidays with can be hard, especially for those with extended family geographically dispersed, newlyweds, or new parents. Choose what makes you happy.

Remember, you’re not alone. Look for health resources especially on the internet or from Lutheran Family Services. Our church family is always ready with prayer, so contact the church office for special needs.

I’ll add one thought, always remember that Jesus is the reason for the season; indeed, He is the reason for every season of our lives!

See you in Divine Service,

December 1st, 2017|

Our stewardship emphasis for November 2017 is “Disciples Living as Grace-filled Stewards.”  What does it means to be a disciple of Jesus?  When Jesus calls us to follow Him and we follow, we begin our journey as disciples.  In the early part of Jesus’ public ministry, Jesus called His 12 disciples.  They came from various walks of life, but they left everything behind and followed becoming inseparable from their Lord.  They spent approximately three years with Jesus, learning and listening.  The Holy Spirit called them by the Gospel, as He does us today.

During His time on earth, Jesus showed His disciples how to love and show mercy to people in need with Himself as their model.  He changed peoples’ hearts and lives, gave them a new purpose for living and gave them hope for their eternal future.  After Jesus had spent time preparing His disciples for ministry, He sent them out to disciple others.  These empowered disciples continued Jesus’ ministry of preaching and teaching the Word, baptizing, and loving all people.  Through the proclamation of the Gospel, many unbelievers became followers.

After Jesus’ ascension, these 12 disciples left a huge impact on the world.  God graciously empowered and used these ordinary men for the extraordinary task of carrying His life-saving message to the world.  They became instruments through whom God worked.  In the same way, God uses ordinary people like us to be His disciples who carry the message to those who will be lost without hearing and believing in it.  As Jesus’ disciples, we are the channels through whom He delivers His life-saving Gospel.  We become Jesus’ hands, feet, and mouth to share the Good News of Jesus’ love to all people.  By being disciples, we fulfill our Lord’s command to go and make disciples.  Thanks be to God for giving us the privilege to serve Him by serving others as His disciples.

See you in Divine Service,                                     


November 2nd, 2017|

October 2017

In 1517, a professor at a fairly new university in a fairly obscure town in Northern German sought to debate the church practice of selling “indulgences” because he thought this practice implied that the paying of money was the source of forgiven sins instead of trust in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It’s doubtful that Martin Luther realized what he had started because within a year his “95 Theses” were recognized as a threat against the Pope and church authority; as a result, he was summoned to Rome to stand trial for heresy (false teaching against the Church).

The politics of the day intervened so that Luther wasn’t executed (as others “reformers” had been) and the resulting Reformation shaped much of Europe and Christianity. For us Lutherans, the focus is the emphasis on God’s Grace Alone as our only source of eternal salvation which we receive through Faith Alone in Christ crucified for our sins which God, the Holy Spirit, works as we learn this truth from Scripture Alone. It’s all about Jesus! We will especially be celebrating this trust in Christ the weekend of October 21 & 22 with Dr. Dean Wenthe. Please plan to attend!

See you in Divine Service,

October 2nd, 2017|