CLC'S JUNE 2018 MESSAGE FROM THE PASTOR. . .

 

“Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22).

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

 

My family and I have just returned from a trip to Michigan to visit family. When we left, it was muddy and there was not much in the way of green. Upon our return, Makenna and Chloe proclaimed, “It’s summer in Vermont!” Indeed, the leaves are out, the mud is dried up, the grass is getting thick, and the weeds are coming fast. It may not quite be summer, but we are, without a doubt, in the season of growth­—lawns need mowing, gardens need planting, trees need pruning, weeds need pulling, and the list goes on. There is no shortage of things to be done. Likewise in the Church we have entered the season of growth.  The season of Pentecost is the longest season of the Church year, taking us all the way to Advent. During this season, we are refreshed and built up in the faith. To say it another way, we learn what it means to be a baptized child of God. We are equipped by the power of the Holy Spirit, to daily put off our old self and to clothe ourselves in the righteousness of God, given us in baptism. You may now be wondering, “OK, what does this mean?”


It means that we are equipped to be “doers of the Word.” The Word of God is active and living. Baptized into His name most holy, we receive the implanted Word with meekness and so are saved (James 1:21). This Word that we receive, Jesus Christ, sets us free. We are perfected through Him and by Him. We are set free to serve our brothers and sisters, “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” The Word of liberty draws our gaze away from ourselves that we might see and serve others and so serve Christ Jesus. James encourages us not to be stained by the ways of the world or deceived by the laziness and self-centeredness of our sinful flesh­, but instead be transformed by the living Word of God.

 

How do we become “doers of the Word?”  As we gaze out our windows, we can readily see the yard work that needs to be done. “I really need to trim that tree, or plant the garden, or mow the lawn.” What about Kingdom work? How do we go about it? Our Lord gives us some surprising guidance in Matthew chapter 25. When the righteous are commended by Jesus for feeding Him, clothing Him, visiting Him, and caring for Him they are left dumbfounded. “Lord, when did we do these things you speak of?” Jesus answered them, “As you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40) And so we find out that in serving others we are serving our Lord.

 

Where do we begin? We begin at home and expand from there as the Lord puts us in contact with others. We look to serve our families, our co-workers, our neighbors, those our Lord places in our lives. Each day new opportunities arise to be doers of the Word. Embrace them as they come and know that in serving others you are serving the Lord. When you feel ill-equipped or inadequate in your service remember from where your strength comes. Return to the Lord. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness, His body and blood for the strengthening of your faith, His Word. The living and active Word in you will make you a doer of the Word. When you doubt your accomplishments, take heart in the fact that that the righteous we unaware of their service to the Lord. There humble works were blessed because they were children of the heavenly Father. Thanks be to God in Christ Jesus!

 

Dear heavenly Father, may Your Word continue to grow in me that by the power of Your Holy Spirit I may be blessed in my doing. Amen.


In Christ,

Pastor Matt

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