As Bishop Hanson expressed so well, the ELCA is a church deeply rooted in Scripture and tradition, and yet always open to the movement of the Spirit. This month, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America it is good to be reminded that we are a vital part of something much bigger than ourselves – not just our own ELCA, but the Christian Church throughout the whole world! We who follow Jesus are a global community, and as such, we share in a wonderful mission; God’s mission to save the world! God has called us to be active participants in his plan to reconcile all of creation to himself.
This is the vision and the purpose for which we exist as a community of faith; to do God’s work with our hands. And we at Zion have been doing it for 141 years! That is truly something to celebrate! If you stop and think about it, it is a very freeing thing to know that the good and important work that we do is not our work, but God’s work. That means we are not responsible for the outcomes; God is. God will guide us, inspire us, correct us and encourage us so that his will is accomplished, through us. God will bless our efforts and can even use our mistakes to work out his purposes. That frees us up to take some risks, to try new things, to succeed and to fail, trusting that it will all work out for good in the end.
With that in mind, one of the most important functions of the church is to pray for direction and listen to the Spirit, always striving to discern what God would have us do. If we do this, then we can go to sleep at night confident that all will be well.
As we celebrate the anniversaries of the ELCA and of Zion, we do so with gratitude for what God has done and with anticipation of what God will do, through us and for us, in the coming years. What an adventure it has been so far! We invite you to join us on our journey.
Happy Anniversary! Pastor Barb <><
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105