A piece of my own experience with an amazing God What a privilege it is to be the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus invites Himself into our hearts so that we might embrace the love of the heavenly Father. The Lord Jesus gifts His church with the presence of the Holy Spirit so that we might be effective in sharing the good news of God's love for the world. And what a privilege it is to be a pastor within the church. I am not aware of a time when I have lived as an outsider to the love of God. In fact, I have been a life long Christian. It was in high school when this faith took its important turn in my life. A high school counselor asked me the question, "David, what do you want to do with your life?" A short time later, I found myself sitting in my pastor's office, rather sheepishly saying, "I think I want to be a pastor."
Some 40 years have gone by since those days of question and conversation, and I have never regretted where those days led me. This is what I believe, teach and preach as a pastor in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. God loves the world in this way. He gave His son over to death on a cross, so that we might not perish from the presence of God, but enjoy everlasting life with Him. This is what I believe, teach and preach. The fullness of God's intentions toward us have been revealed in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. And the news is good. God is at work making all things new. In the ministry of Jesus- each time the outcast is welcomed, the sick are healed, the dead are raised, we catch a glimpse of what God is up to in His creation. He is restoring life to its original innocence and beauty. And one day that work will be finished. This is what I believe, teach and preach. The church-saints and sinners that we are at one and the same time- is the body of the living Christ bringing His presence of love and forgiveness, hope and a meaningful and purposeful life to the world. This is what I believe, teach and preach as a pastor in the church.
The Holy Scripture is the only source of authority and guidance for the church. Join with me in the great awesome privilege of being the church. Something to think about... The Apostles' Creed: The Condensed Bible One of the oldest recited statements of faith, the Apostles' Creed originated in the third century and was recited at baptisms in the churches of Rome. It slowly spread to all Latin-speaking congregations and later was translated into other languages. Unlike the eastern Orthodox churches, where the Nicene Creed is used exclusively, the Western church has retained two creeds, using the Apostle's Creed at baptisms and during the regular worship seasons of the church while using the Nicene Creed at the festival seasons of Christmas and Easter. Both speak the core elements of the faith as taught in the scripture- grand summaries of the heart of what we believe as handed down through the generations from ones like Peter and Paul. Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you by their martyrdom: Grant that your Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Amherst Lutheran Church
5125 Main Street (just east of the I-290) Williamsville, NY 14221
C.S. Lewis once said, “Christianity stands or falls on one miracle, the central miracle, the
incarnation (coming to flesh) of Jesus Christ.” Is the infinite capable of entering the finite of
the human realm? Can the one who is God by nature take on human skin? Those questions
challenged great Christian thinkers of the past, who found it difficult to tell God what he was
or was not capable of doing. So, they decided that even if we could not fully understand the incarnation, we could accept it.
We do not fully understand most things. Lots of stories, lots of teachings, lots of coincidences in Scripture seem unlikely, beyond reason, but that does not make them false. Space travel, the miracle of birth, the amazing complexity of our DNA, we do not fully understand any of these either, but we accept them as truth.
If we did have a God who was simple to understand, we would probably find ourselves wondering about whether or not His appearance on earth was the work of a truly infinite, all-knowing God.
Even if we cannot fully understand the incarnation, we can accept it. Our God is an awesome God- awesome in power, holiness, wisdom, grace, faithfulness- awesome in His ability to humble Himself and become one of us. Even if we cannot fully understand how a manger, or simple bread and wine, could reveal to us the real presence of God in our finite thinking, we can still celebrate that central miracle, with the greatness of our joy.