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A Message from Pastor Matt

August 10, 2019

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Dear St. Paul’s Family,

The Privilege of Doing Ministry

One of the defining aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry was the relationships that he had with those who answered the call to follow him.  The group of disciples were a diverse group of people from many walks of life.  Some were fishermen, day laborers, and even a tax collector—and those were just the 12 initial disciples.  Other women and men would become followers: homemakers, farmers, laborers, Pharisees, ex-convicts, Roman officials, and even a former persecutor of the church and Roman citizen named Paul.

Despite the diversity of disciples, the church’s mission was singular: to spread the message about  Jesus and God’s love for all of humanity.  The early disciples not only preached about Jesus, but healed the sick, fed the hungry, and comforted all who suffered.  Their worship of the resurrected Christ did not end with Sunday’s benediction, but followed them into their homes and places of work.  Love, mercy, grace, and inclusion became the defining parameters for Jesus’ followers as they interacted with the world around them.

Two millennia have passed since Jesus sent forth the first disciples to minister on his behalf.  While much has changed in our world, the love of God through Jesus Christ has not.  Our charge as modern-day disciples is the same as those first followers:  to spread the message about Jesus and God’s love for all of humanity in the words and actions that fill our days.  Not all words and actions done by Christians or in the church are from God.  Dogged adherence to doctrines and rules that marginalize or ostracize individuals and groups are seldom from God.  Nor are words or attitudes that are racist or abusive to others.

How are you doing with your singular charge to show God’s love to others in thought, word, and deed?  How have you brought someone encouragement or hope in their time of need?  How have you helped to mend the social fabric frayed by partisanship, tribalism, distrust, and fear?  The ministry of Christ’s disciples is not something that happened a long time ago in a land far away.  Christ’s saving work happens right in our own homes and towns, in the places where we work and play.  Christ calls us to be part of the beloved community of his resurrected body.  I pray that we are all ready for this life-saving calling.

May God bless our journey,

Pastor Matt

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