Welcome!Blue-cross-transparent

 

Community Lutheran Church is part of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS).  Our church is a thriving community of believers, and lovers of the word of God. We hope you will join us for Worship on Sunday to experience for yourself the fellowship of Christ.

 

 

CLC Responds to the Coronavirus, a note from Pastor Rasmussen on Tuesday, March 14:

 

Stocking Up on Basics

 

The First Commandment: You shall have no other gods.

 

What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

 

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10)

 

“Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” (Matthew 10:28-29)

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

 

Fear abounds. It is a feat to get through the headlines and maintain a normal pulse. Most have stocked up and are staying put. Very good. (If you are unable to get out and are in need, please contact the church and we will do whatever we can to serve you.) We pray to God that these measures will help to slow the transmission of the fearful virus. The Lenten phrase now comes more naturally—“Lord have mercy.”

 

During times of uncertainty, our faith is often put to the test. I’d like you now to ponder this question: What is your greatest fear? Perhaps your greatest fear is the unknown of this virus, and what might happen if you or someone you love contracts it. Perhaps your greatest fear is the stock market, your employment, or the supply chain of necessary goods and medicines. Or, it might be that you cannot do whatever you want whenever you want. Or, maybe, you fear that you have lost your sense of control. Or, perhaps, your greatest fear is death itself. When we have identified our greatest fear, we have unmasked our idol. If you are having trouble identifying your greatest fear, let me ask you this: What are you doing? Where are you going? Our actions also unmask our idols, that is to say, our false gods. Is your fear, love, and trust in God above all things? “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6) So, what are we to do?

 

We begin every Divine Service with the answer—Confession and Absolution. Isaiah 53:6 concludes: “and the Lord has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.” Throughout the season of Lent, we also sing the answer to this question prior to the reading of the Holy Gospel. “Return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and abounding in steadfast love.” (Joel 2:13) We turn from our false gods, to the one true God, and we confess our sins. Then, God who is faithful and just forgives our sins and we are cleansed from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Why all this talk about sin in the midst of spreading illness?

 

Well, many of us are currently worried about the things of this world. The temptation is great to place our fear, love, and trust in people, places, and things, that is to say creation, rather than in the Creator. When we partake of this temptation, great harm is done to the soul. True peace and salvation—everlasting deliverance—does not come from creation, but is a gift from the Creator; the plan of the Father, carried out by the Son, and delivered to you by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Consider now the father who brought his sick child to Jesus. The father said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe, help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:22-24)

 

The father’s prayer is our prayer. It embodies the tension of real life. We ask for the strength to cast our cares upon the Lord and the faith to believe that all things are possible for one who believes; “that for those who love God all things work together for good.” (Romans 8:28) This is not to say that coronavirus is good. It is also not to say that Christians who truly believe are in no danger of contracting illness. It is to say that whatever happens is in the Lord’s hands and will work for good for His children. God’s ways are so far above our own, and so we pray, “I believe, help my unbelief.”

 

Furthermore, as Christians, death should not be our ultimate fear. It is not the worst that can happen. Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.” (Romans 6:3-6) “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:7-8) And, so, St. Paul can be so bold as to say, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

 

Brothers and sisters, place your fear, love, and trust in the One who has delivered you from all fear, in the One who took your sin to the cross and grave that you might never be forsaken, that you might have life without end. This is how great God’s love is for you!

 

What to do? Cast your cares on the Lord. Engage His living and active Word, that His Spirit may lift you up and give you strength. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33—but please do read Matthew 6:19-34.) PRAY. Serve others in need, knowing that in doing so, you are serving the Lord. [And finally, as you are able, come into His presence that He may give you living water that wells up to eternal life.]

 

The state has taken extreme measures to curb the transmission of the coronavirus. Schools are closed. Bars, restaurants, and many other businesses and gathering places have been closed or are operating with minimal social contact. It is important, that we, the church, cooperate with these measures with the hope of slowing the infection rate. We do this not out of fear, but out of love for our neighbor. The decision has been made to suspend all services beginning immediately. I never imagined that we would have to give up so much for Lent. Again, we make the sacrifice out of love for our neighbor.

 

During this time of social distancing, which I like to refer to as “social fasting,” we must reach out, in appropriate ways, to our brothers and sisters in Christ and our neighbors. If you are in need of service or prayer, please contact the church. I hope to deliver weekly devotions to you via e-mail and also deliver, via e-mail, an audio file of my sermon and prayer. The hope is that you will continue to be engaged with and fed by the living Word of God. This is far from ideal. It is most certainly a fast, a purposeful going without. This fast will have an end. The feast at the conclusion will be a memorable one!  

 

Have no fear little flock;

Have no fear little flock,

For the Father has chosen

To give you the Kingdom;

Have no fear, little flock

(LSB 735 verse 1)

 

In His service, for you,

Pastor Rasmussen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 1560 Williston Road

South Burlington, VT 05403

Office: 802-864-5537

clcvt@comcast.net

 

Regular Worship Sundays at 9:30 a.m.

Sunday School & Adult Bible Study immediately following worship.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 Emphasis for the Church


As the Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, pondered his new role and the task of restructuring the national office, he focused on the work and emphasis for the church.

These phrases—Witness, Mercy, Life Together—illustrate how the church lives and works together to proclaim the Gospel and to provide for our brothers and sisters in Christ in our congregations, communities and throughout the world.   And in all we do, Christ is at the center, leading us, sustaining us, keeping us focused on our mission.  This will never change.

 

Witness

“For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.”

– 1 John 5:7-8

 

Mercy

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

– Mark 10:45
 

Life Together

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

– 1 Corinthians 1:9

 


 



 

 
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