The Rev’d Nathan Corl Minnich, STS
Ordained Lutheran Pastor of the North American Lutheran Church
Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.We are nearing the chief celebration of the church, the very central act of God in our salvation, the raising of Jesus from the dead. The conquering of death destroyed sin, death, and the power of Satan over us all. No more do we need to fear the grave…any more than we fear our bed in sleep, for if we have been united with Him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His!
This central tenant of our faith rests on the foundation of the mystery of what happened in that Jerusalem tomb on Holy Saturday. In all that you do, say, and believe, do you profess Christ crucified, died, AND RISEN? I ask you this question with great confidence that through the weekly celebration of the Holy Supper, you have been drawn closer to the Savior by his very Body and Blood, instituted for us at the Last Supper as an everlasting command, promise, and physical presence. The immeasurable worth of this mystery is to be held in the highest veneration. The most glorious miracle is physically present with us always. The ‘how’ behind the true Body and true Blood, under the and through bread and wine remains the mystery of our faith. Yet, it is faith itself which brings us to the fullest understanding of this mystery. By this faith we have been saved, each and every time we offer nothing more than a repentant heart and believe. The gift of true body and true blood is the real presence of Jesus Christ our Lord, present in the fullness of his incarnate flesh, the same flesh that was beaten, crucified, and took up life and walked out of the grave!
Now, how did you do during Lent? Did you challenge yourself by the LENTEN APPEAL? Did you do well? Did these simple steps make a difference in your life? Read them again, just maybe they have become a habit.
- PRAY DAILY – simply repeat the prayer in your weekly bulletin, and remember BY NAME the prayer list names
- COME – to the worship of the Lord. Can you add just one Sunday to your current schedule? We can all engage this level. If you never miss a Sunday, add an evening service (which is a different experience all together) If you are present only once in a while, you miss so much of the Holy Scripture and its story! One more is easy!
- WORK-In all the things that need done for your home to stay safe, clean, repaired…the same is needed here.
- GIVE – Too often I am disheartened when I hear of churches who speak of offering all the time…you don’t often hear that mentioned here, but let’s be honest…without giving increases (even just a small amount) the ministry struggles to grow. Let’s show this world that we intend to grow beyond imagination, help fund some ministry of Salem with your treasure, therein will be where your heart grows too!
- HELP – Others need us more than we know. If Salem is helping a need that is close to your heart, get in, get involved. If we are not, let’s get started! You know of needs, more often much quicker than the church.
- WORSHIP – There is so much more to worship than just being here! There are no barriers for your active participation except the ones you see. Lectors, communion assistants, choir members, prayer readers, greeters, children’s support, learning, visitation, transportation, acolytes, etc. Every part of your being can worship God.
Appeal: means to make a serious or urgent request. I do appeal to you all. Urgently, because your faith is so vitally important to your salvation, your confidence in the face of difficulty, your comfort in the face of pain, your hope in the face of death. Seriously, because I do firmly believe that there is nothing more serious than your faith. In life, all else can wait, and even if it never comes and you spend your days longing for something that never becomes reality, Faith is seriously everything you could ever want.
In the blessed assurance of life everlasting, through the merits of Christ Jesus alone, and because of His resurrection from the grave, I pray that you will find forgiveness of sins and hope eternal.