The year 2016 is behind us, and the year 2017 is before us here at St. Paul’s. What great things are in store for us. For 125 years we have always preached God’s Word. Think of the line of faithful that have been brought into Christian faith at the Baptismal font. Think of the lives strengthened by God’s promises in Holy Communion. Think of those taught God’s Word in school and at church. Now think of those who are missing.
Some of those missing have gone on before us to heaven. Some of those missing have moved or transferred because of work or age. But some who are missing have simply fallen out of the habit of going to church.
In confirmation we are taught the Third Commandment. It says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. What does this mean? We are to fear and love God, so that we do not despise preaching or God’s word, but instead keep that word holy and gladly hear and learn it.” Not despising god’s Word means gathering where it is preached in Word and Sacrament. Here at St. Paul’s God promises to meet you, strengthen you, and assure you of your place as His child.
Our sinful nature would prefer that we didn’t remember the Sabbath day. Staying in bed sounds awfully good. Sometimes you’ve been away for a while and you wonder what coming back will be like. Will people talk? Will they wonder where I’ve been? Maybe. We are all poor and sinful creatures. However, St. Paul’s is not our house. St. Paul’s is God’s house. And as we learn in the parable of the Prodigal, we are always welcome in our father’s house.
This year at St. Paul’s we continue to gather together at our Father’s house. If you have not been here in a while. We miss you. Please come. God gathers us together, and we look forward to seeing you.