An open letter to Messiah members:
Thanks to all those who helped Messiah Lutheran Church and School celebrate our 45th anniversary. I created the above video to present during our worship service to help us reflect on our past, present and future together. It includes many (but not all) of our partners in ministry. For a small church, you’ll see once again that we have a long and loving reach! It is not by accident a Thrivent loan representative remarked that we do more than many congregations ten times our size.
At Messiah Lutheran, we live out many signs of discipleship: feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and those at risk, meeting the marginalized and loving them as they are. Our financial stewardship has increased each year (faster than our growing membership), and our volunteering and lay leadership at our congregation and in the community has increased even more so. We have many new partners and now friends in ministry that help us reach beyond Hanover County to the world. Firmly Lutheran, we open our hearts to work with other Christians as part of one universal church, the family of God.
Yet we aren’t just busy bodies. Our activities, programs, wealth, size or location don’t make us who we are. In fact, we sometimes “lack” in those areas by standards of the world. No, we seek to act in response to our greatest gifts from God – hope, faith and love – and that makes all the difference. It defines us, shapes us and is the source of our ultimate significance. It is what makes so many notice our small little church in Mechanicsville as something “different.”
Over six years ago, the love I saw you have for one another attracted me to say yes to the offer of a call as your pastor. It is your love, a reflection of Christ’s own, that inspires me still. It is what amazes so many I meet, and I see it changing the world a relationship at a time. God’s doing something here. Christ is being made known.
Sure we aren’t perfect, and we can always do better. A small church that seriously struggles at times, we have Jesus and we have each other. That’s more than enough, and so we keep on discipling…together…no matter what.
As my friend from the Congo wrote, “Glory be to God for his faithfulness, happy celebration to everyone at the Messiah Lutheran Church and School.” Indeed, it is God’s faithfulness that invited us to be church together and made our celebration possible. Thanks for letting me walk with you. It is my honor, privilege and joy.
Christ the King Sunday
November 24, 2013
(I hope you enjoy the video. Please feel free to share this video with your family and friends.)