Message from the Pastor
Colossians 3: 12-17 (NRSV)
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
I am sure you all remember this Bible passage from my January newsletter article last year. It is posted on your refrigerator door, right? No? Well, perhaps we should all consider placing it on our refrigerators as a reminder of how it is we can assure the New Year of 2020 being better. That is to say, this passage is a great summary of how God’s people are to conduct themselves in the real world.
My central theme for Christmas Eve and our wrestling with the Holy Innocents text (Matthew 2: 13-23) on December 29th was God’s call to take care of children, and to live lives that provide hope and work toward their peace. Our discipleship in this way does not end on December 31st. In fact, as long as there are children who do not know peace, who are hungry, who are afraid, who are lonely, who are refugees, who are trafficked, who are whatever you can fill in the blank_______, then our discipleship is not over. Our text above, Colossians 3: 12-17, is a great place to start or to continue this work of God.
I would also add that as we move forward into 2020, we live with integrity as we seek out the truth rooted in facts. Too much is going on in society based on feelings, and hearsay, and false accusations on many different levels. It seems that many people and systems now believe it is okay to lie about and smear another’s reputation; that disrespect is okay, and that all is fair as long as we get it our way in the end. This way of living is not of God and needs to end. Unfortunately, it has become so prevalent on all levels of society, nobody wants to take the time or the criticism to try to publically stop it.
But if we, all of God’s children, live Colossians 3: 12-17 with intentionality and integrity, then we will begin to see society change back to the good, and our work in the church will become more joyful. I challenge you again this year, in 2020, to make this Biblical passage your New Year’s resolution, and to practice it faithfully in your family, in your congregation, at work, or wherever your journey takes you.
May the blessings of God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — be yours in abundance in 2020.
Peace in Christ,
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
PASTOR STEINER AWAY IN FEBRUARY
Pastor Steiner and Gwen will be heading to Georgia after worship on Sunday, February 2nd to spend a week visiting his sister. They will return on Saturday, February 8th. During this time, Pastor Sarah Lee-Faulkner (412-512-6855) and Pastor John Gropp (412-680-7867) from our local Lutheran Cluster will be covering for pastoral emergencies. For any normal church business, please contact our church secretaries.
COME WORSHIP — GO AND SERVE