Vertrau Auf Gott!

     Trust in God!

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                                                             PASTOR’S PAGE FOR SEPTEMBER 2017
     14 [But] as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
       How from c
hildhood do we begin to know the sacred writings. In the Lutheran baptismal service this is one of the first things the parents and godparents are asked if they would be sure to provide for the scripture to be learned by their child.
      Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the king-dom of heaven belongs." (Matthew 19:14)
      Jesus calls to the disciples to let the children come to him for to them belongs the kingdom of heaven. Here Jesus says to let the children come now-not later. Too many people voice the erroneous phrase “the chil-dren are the future of the church.” The truth is the children are the church now because you cannot say when in the future they will be ready. Using this erroneous phrase children hear they are not important in church until some future date so if they are not important until the “future” why should they pay attention or even show up until they are of value to the church. When that day comes will they still be interested in a place that only val-ues them at a certain age.
      Our children need to learn they are of great value to Jesus since birth and Jesus called them to come to him now and not be hindered by the disciples. Maybe this scenario could cause us to consider if we may have inadvertently hindered access to Jesus for some young person without knowing we have done so.
      In the baptismal service, the congregation agrees to help bring up children into the faith. But, do we say “We Will” because we just happen to be present at the service or because we truly will assist in the spiritual education of our children not for just this particular church body but for the Body of Christ as a whole. Martin Luther in his “Sermon on the Estate of Marriage” gives direct and no-nonsense instructions to parents about the spiritual education of children. I will be offering excerpts from Luther’s 3rd point in this sermon. You can read this whole sermon on line and googling “A Sermon on the Estate of Marriage Revised and Corrected by Dr. Martin Luther Augustinian at Wittenberg”
      Luther says in this third point to pay a more thorough and continuous attention to the health of the child’s soul. Also, the child is an eternal treasure from God who commands one to protect and so prevent the world, the flesh and the devil from stealing the child away and bring him (or her) to destruction. Again, Lu-ther states that “if you cannot do this then seek out other people who can help, sparing neither money or ex-pense, neither trouble or effort for your children are the churches, the altar, the testament, the vigils and the masses for which you will make provision in your will. It is they who will lighten you in your hour of death, and to your journey’s end.”
       So you can see Luther values all children as the present of the church and church life not sometime in the future and neither should we. Our children present their offerings at Sunday School as we present them dur-ing the service. Our young people offer singing in the service at times, serve as acolytes, crucifers and lectors just as the adults do. Our young people attend Sunday School classes to learn about Jesus and how God loves them as do some of our post confirmation young people. So, you see they are not the future of the church they are the very present now of the church.
      In essence, we are all children of God and we are God’s children now not sometime in the future. Jesus
dies so we will all be children of God no matter what our age in the present and heirs to the inheritance of eternal
life Jesus obtained for us on the cross.
      So, when you see our children take them as seriously as you would take your adult brothers and sisters
in Christ. When asked to help or serve in the process of their spiritual education do all you can to fulfill the
vow made in every baptismal service by saying “I Will”.


          We are children of God joined in baptism,

         Pastor Flavia

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