Message from the Pastor

1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

We all acknowledge the fact, we are by nature sinful and that we have disobeyed our Creator in thought, word, and actions. We have done what is evil and failed to do what is good. For this we deserve God’s punishment both now and in eternity.

And that stops us in our tracks. . . and it sinks in. . . and it compels us to respond: “But I am truly sorry for my sins, and trusting in my Savior Jesus Christ, I pray: Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.”

And because of God’s great love for us in, with, and through Jesus. . . He does (have mercy). . . we are (forgiven). The worst of sinners, forgiven.

We who are members of the Lord’s church at Trinity, Salem, and Good Shepherd know that this nurturing (preaching and teaching law and gospel) is one of our purposes for existence. We come together to praise God for working faith in our hearts through His Word and Sacrament of baptism. We are strengthened in our faith by this same Word and Sacrament of Holy Communion. We are preserved in faith by both Word and Sacrament until He fulfills His promise to us, He who has prepared a place for you and “will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3). This is strength for life now. This is comfort for the life of now. This is security of the the life to come.

The other purpose of our church is outreach (evangelism). To share the message of Christ and Him crucified and sins forgiven with all and any who do not know that they have a Savior in Jesus the Christ. Essentially, we’re hanging a sign out in front of our church saying: “Sinners Wanted: Inquire within.” You were invited, and now, here you are. So are your friends, and relatives, and neighbors, and co-workers. They need this same Word and Sacrament that you needed. . . that you still need. Do “they” need it any less than you?

So, if your answer to that last question is “No,” then what are you going to do about it this week?

Essentially, we have a sign hanging outside our church that says: “Sinners Wanted: Inquire within.” When they enter, this it what they’ll hear: “God, our heavenly Father, has been merciful to us and has given his only Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Therefore, as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit.”

And the people of God reply, “Amen.”

Now, let’s plan a little responsive action, following that “Amen,” for this coming week.

Have a blessed week in Jesus as you live out your “Amen,”
Pastor Hanneman pastor.hanneman@gmail.com (406) 635-2180