Grace, mercy, and peace are yours from God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ.
I have to admit that I am basking in the afterglow of Reformation Sunday. That was a great service, at least from my standpoint. The hymns were great; Sheila was masterful playing the organ. And the congregation – you were belting out the familiar Lutheran hymns!
It is a moment in ministry that I will cherish. There have been a number of them for me at St. John’s. There will be more, the Lord willing. I encourage us as pastor and people to savor these moments when all things seem right.
No doubt there will be some sad times leading up to my retirement. I was overcome with emotion a couple of times while singing the hymns today. I am not sure why other than I know that this may have been my last Reformation Sunday at St. John’s. There will be those moments too.
My thought is to cherish the moments let whatever come as it may. Let’s keep doing the Lord’s work while He gives us the opportunity to do so.
Right now, let’s look forward to November – one on my favorite months. Soon it will be Thanksgiving. “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 118:1). The Lord has been good to St. John’s and St. John’s has been good to Kathy and me.
I am reminded of St. Paul’s words to the Philippians, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:3-6).
I know I have used this passage before to express my love for St. John’s, but it sums up my thoughts completely. So, as I bask in the afterglow of a great Sunday, I look forward to more cherished moments as together we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.
In Christ Jesus, our Lord,
Pastor Alan R. Hilton