“Now you [we] are the body of Christ [the Church] and individually members of it.”
—1 Corinthians 12:27
As we head into our fall-winter-spring schedule these next few months, we have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to challenge us. So, in these next four months I want to review our congregation mission statement, “We desire to serve all people.”
Each month I will be writing about a portion of the statement: “We” (October) “desire” (November) “to serve” (December) “all people.” (January). We begin with “We”.
“We” is an inclusive word. This means it is each one of us as individual members combined together which forms this congregation known as “Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church—Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin”. We come from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of family history, faith history, educational history, work history, and life history.
All of the history of all the people who have ever been a part of this congregation, combined together, have made it what it is today—a body of believers in Jesus Christ and His forgiveness from the cross, that are united in what “we” believe and aim to carry out. All our beliefs (which are many) stand upon the Bible. What is the Bible?
“The Bible gathers together the writings of God’s chosen prophets and apostles over a period of more than a thousand years. Through the Holy Spirit, God gave the writers of the Bible the thoughts and words they recorded (verbal inspiration), such that the Bible is God’s Word. For this reason, the Scriptures are both infallible (incapable of error) and inerrant (containing no mistakes). Holy Scripture is therefore entirely reliable and gives us everything we need to know and believe for Christian faith and life.” (“Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation”, CPH 2017, p. 46)
Scripture alone defines what we believe, teach, and confess. These are organized in our Lutheran Confessions and taught with the structure of Luther’s Small Catechism.
“We” also come together in public worship to receive forgiveness, in the Word and Sacraments (Holy Baptism and Holy Communion). “We” draw strength from being together with fellow believers who wrestle with the same sin, frustration, and heartache; and also celebrate the same grace, forgiveness, and peace “we” receive by grace through faith in our Savior Jesus.
When “we” draw together, our resources enable us to accomplish far more than “we” could individually. “We” are stronger and more effective together using the Word of God, than any other tool the world would have to offer as we serve each other and the world in which “we” live.
That is who “We” are. Next month—“desire”.
Shalom in Jesus,
Pastor Peter M. Peitsch