Thursday, December 14, 2017
Jude 20-21: But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
If you have been around children, patience and waiting is not their strong suit right now, if at all. Pastor James and I just completed our religion class for the week with our Elementary students. Some of the children mentioned that their favorite activity at Christmas was opening the presents. So we asked, "Do you open the paper or do you rip the paper." Many, if not all, said, rip. I get it. They're excited. They want to see what gift that they received. They do not want to wait.
At the same time, there is one gift that is yet to come. We don't know when it will arrive. It may come any day. It may take months, if not years. The Church has been waiting for this gift for over two thousand years. Now THAT is patience.
One day, Jesus will return. The gift that outdoes every other gift will return. Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, will come, descending upon the clouds after the trumpet call of God. At that time, Jesus will call all believers to Him, those who have died and those who are still living, and they will live with Jesus forever in the new heaven and new earth that God the Father will create.
So what do we do, as we wait for this very special gift? This is what we do. We build up, or equip, our faith and trust in Jesus through the studying and sharing of God's Word as it is inspired and kept from any error by the Holy Spirit. We encourage the Church with God's Grace and light. We engage the Church for service and strength to reach out to people with the gift of Jesus. Jesus, who arrived in our time and space as a baby born in Bethlehem, lived, taught, healed, rebuked, and died in order to forgive us of our sins and make us righteous. In this way, we even more people will know Jesus and live with Him and wait for Him to return. Dear Holy Spirit, move us to equip, encourage, and engage people with the gift of Jesus, Amen.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.