January 6, 2014
Views from church on December 22 with ice reflecting in the trees.
December 7, 2013
Excerpt from Latest Newsletter
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
As the kids have returned to school and the "boys of Summer" push to make the final run to the playoffs, we realize the season of Fall is soon upon us. Another sign is Labor Day weekend, when soon after many of the pools will close, and the last outdoor family gatherings and picnics occur. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Though even as Christians, we are sometimes tempted to believe that work is a resulting consequence of the Fall in the Garden of Paradise, we are told that, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it" (Genesis 2:15). Work was a part of God's original intent for His "crowning achievement" in creation. After the Fall, work became difficult, as God said, "thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:18-19).
I may not be speaking for all, but I often grow restless before vacation comes to a close; I have a built-in need to be productive, to accomplish work in a pattern as it was originally designed by God, with six days labor and one day devoted to rest.
In the Gospel lesson for this coming Sunday (Luke 14:1-14), the Pharisees are so caught up in observing the Sabbath that they are asking "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" Jesus challenges them by a question in retort, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” And they had nothing to say.
We are indeed blessed to be able to work, even as we hear Jesus in His words saying, "My Father is working till now and I am working" (John 5:17). As citizens, serving our vocations out in this earthly kingdom, seeking the final rest in the heavenly kingdom, may we serve out our vocations in a way that promotes the glory of our Lord. Amen!
In His grace,