…but I am speaking about genuine faith, which after it has justified, will not go to sleep but is active through love. – Martin Luther
This summer has proven to be another hot and dry one in our region, but one wouldn’t know it by looking at our busy shared life and ministry. The refreshing fruit of our faith was tasted throughout the summer as we gathered for fellowship and worship, continued to serve others in our community, and shared the good news and joy of God’s love with all those we met (both near and far from home). This reflects our life in Christ. We are often told that what makes us Christians is our trust in Jesus as the Son of the Living God. That was Peter’s confession, the confession of the early church, and it is now our inheritance and gift. We did not invent this heartfelt belief. God used ordinary people, places, and events to break our hearts open and invite us into this sacred life-giving relationship through the Spirit. It is a faith that calls us into new life together. Through our faith and baptism, we are made new. We discover who we truly are and whose we really are. Each and every day, new life is possible – the chance to forgive, the opportunity to reconcile, the blessing to be of service. We come to understand that our faith just isn’t meant as a gift for us. We have been given as a gift to a dry and weary world in desperate need of Christ’s love. Attempting to live our faith, we will be renewed and strengthened. Seeking to love our neighbor, new life will spring forth. Our ordinary and sometimes difficult lives will prove to be just as Jesus taught (John 7:38), “As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” We and our world will be made new.
The above pastoral letter was originally published in Messiah Lutheran Church and School’s newsletter, The Messenger (September 2011 edition). To view the entire issue of The Messenger or to see the full calendar of events, visit: http://www.mlcas.org
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations for this article are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.
Photo used by permission © Marcuso/FreeDigitalPhotos.net: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1913
© 2011 The Rev. Louis Florio. All content not held under another’s copyright may not be used without permission of the author.