A Message from Pastor Dave
Mark Relyea spoke Sunday about being called. His story and his words were heartfelt about how he was called to follow Christ with Young Life and with St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Thank you, Mark, for sharing that. You gave and give us a good example of following and serving – using your gifts in finance to help the church, using your gifts in faith, hope and love to help your family and neighbors.
Nine young people were confirmed this past Sunday. They listened to Mark. They heard about being called too. Mara, Kaelyn, Brooklynn, Maggie, Niko, Charlie, Benjamin, Jacob, and Liam – all gifted by God and blessed with the Holy Spirit to “serve all people following the example of Christ Jesus.” (Affirmation of Baptism promise #4). “Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism?” They responded:” I will and I ask God to help and guide me.”
During the Reformation, Martin Luther argued that a HOLY CALLING was not just reserved for those in ordained ministry; it belonged to everyone. We call it the “priesthood of all believers.” Too often we reduce the meaning of that to ministry done by lay people at, with, and for the church. Yes, you are valued and needed here at St. Mark’s!
However, Luther also stated that this holy calling extended far beyond church and into our homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods – that we could and can and do serve Christ in a variety of ways and places. He lifted up his wife Katie as one of many role models living out a holy calling. In Ruth Tucker’s “First Lady of the Reformation” she writes: Katie “was a farmer and a brewer with a boarding house the size of Holiday Inn. All that with a large family and nursing responsibilities. She was far more than a simple housewife. In reality, she was what we would consider today a manager of a mid-size business with low intensity production.”
Jesus, Mark, Martin and Katie are all inviting us this November to consider how, when, where, and to what we are called; how we will serve the Lord again this day. Good and Gifted Confirmands and Good and Gifted Church – to be honest – You are needed to serve Christ in, with, and through St. Mark’s AND You are needed to serve Christ in your home and workplace and world!
Let’s take our lead from the confirmands and also answer affirmatively: I will and I ask God to help and guide me with my financial commitment to St. Mark’s; with my physical commitment to St. Mark’s; with my spiritual commitment to St. Mark’s; and in my personal commitment to Jesus Christ, I will do my part with “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”