Vertrau Auf Gott

     Trust in God!

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Sunday School ~ 10:15 a.m.

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We are Third Article people!

The Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed, that is. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. This article defines who we are, the people of God

gathered in this place by the Holy Spirit.

I remember as a 14 year-old having to memorize each week a portion of Luther's small catechism, resisting all the time, because

there were much more important things to be doing. However, the value of this routine became clear when I heard Katherine

Koob, one of the two female hostages kept 444 days in Iran, speak of her experiences. She tells of how, in solitary confinement,

she survived, in large part, by reciting the catechism that she had memorized. Who would have predicted that that onerous duty

would play such a vital part in her keeping faith and hope in that situation.

The portion that has stuck in my memory all these years is Luther’s explanation of the Third Article.

I believe that I cannot, by my own reason or strength,

i believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him;

but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened

me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith,

in the same way he calls, gathers, and sanctifies the whole

Christian Church on earth…

This is how we have come into being as a community of God’s people. We are gathered by the Holy Spirit in this place. St Paul’s

like all the Christian Church, is not here as a mere coincidence, a twist of fate, a chance occurrence. We are here as part of God’s purpose. The Greek work translated as “church” means those called together; not a random gathering, but those called

together by God.

If, in fact, this is true, then there must be a significant purpose behind our being here. “But we are so small”, you might say.

Remember that throughout the history of God’s people, the least, the most insignificant seeming, the most unlikely are called to accomplish God’s greatest purposes. It is as if we are forced to allow God to be God; to seek our mission in God’s kingdom,

and to rejoice in our role in God’s intentions.Our calling is to be faithful in our life and ministry together.

Truly, we are Third Article people.


Pastor Paul




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