The strong and true words of Martin Luther way back in the 16th century echo through the years. "God is our refuge and strength! A very present help in trouble." Times change. The years roll by. You and I change. But God never changes. "Jesus Christ, the same. Yesterday, today, and forever." Dear Friend in Christ! It is past time that we take God at His Word and trust Him to bring about that which is His will for you and I and for the whole world. The Word of Christ rings out, "Fear not! I have overcome the world."
Here at CTK we have continued, through all the troubles, to offer the Divine Services of God’s House. Each Saturday and Sunday the saints of God gather together and celebrate the power and majesty of God in Christ. We hear His Word. We confess our sins. We receive the Absolution and are sins are removed. We confess our faith. And, the apex of every Divine Service, we receive the Body and Blood of Christ for forgiveness and eternal life.
Now is the time for you who have been absent because of the troubles in the world to come back in person. Now is the time for you to reach out to your friends and fellow members of CTK and invite them to return to the in person, congregational worship that is the salient feature of the whole Christian Church in heaven and on earth.
"Fear not!" must be our watchword. The patently ridiculous contemplation of people thronging to ball games, restaurants, family gatherings, and stores and absenting themselves from the only things that have an eternal dimension simply proves that "the jig is up!" Unless one is ill, there is no reason to absent oneself from Jesus and His Word of Life in person at CTK.
We are marvelous with Worship, Bible Study, and Sunday School. We have cleared the decks so that fellowship and friendship once again will be a defining characteristic of CTK. Each week we open the Scriptures and proclaim Christ and receive all His gifts. Please, don’t miss out! Jesus "holds the field forever." You need not fear and you need to stop making excuses. "Repent and believe the Good News!" See you this weekend. God bless you.
Dear Friend in Christ!
“Come into the daylight’s splendor.” It’s time, dear friend, to “pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Start all over again.” Yes. This past eighteen months and more we have been buffeted by the fear that naturally rises when there is danger of disease and death. But now, as we look back and take stock of the realities of the situation, we find that risk of very serious illness and death is much diminished. Vaccines and much better therapeutics are now available and we may be justifiable more confident in our health and safety.
Of course, the last eighteen months and more has been a very trying time for CTK, too. Prudential decisions based on safety and health prevented many folks from regular attendance at the Divine Services of CTK and reception of the Lord’s Supper. And, sadly, those who are spotty in attendance already, are even more absent from God’s means of grace at CTK.
Yes, we’ve been online with Live Stream Services each week and with our Bible Studies through the week each week, and this is good. But there is no substitute for in person participation with your friends and neighbors of CTK. Why? Because that’s what Jesus calls you to. He Himself was active in both Temple and synagogue worship with His family and friends. Saint Paul urges, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Dear friend, Satan loves to separate you from Christ and each other. The very best way for him to do this is to convince you that being in the Word of Christ and His Sacraments is optional and not important or, worse still, a health risk. But we risk much more than health and safety when we stay away. We risk our own immortal soul. Why sacrifice your faith for the sake of convenience and fear? It’s a dangerous path and leads to destruction.
But, dear friend, you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! He has conquered the power of Satan and the wickedness of this passing away world. “Come into the daylight’s splendor!” Sunday, September 12 is our Homecoming Day. Come to Church at 9:30 and stay for a great fellowship dinner following. You will hear the Word of Christ. You will eat His body and drink His blood. Your faith will be renewed. Let’s pray for one another and gather in Spirit and in Truth.
God bless you, Pastor Loewe.