A Message from Pastor Vern
For the past two days one of the hymns from the WOV (Hymn 783, to be exact) that I remember singing as an anthem in the children’s choir at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Newberry has played on repeat in my head. It’s based off of the Matthew 7 “Ask, Seek, Knock” text. The hymn reads, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Al-le-lu, al-le-lu-ia. Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Al-le-lu, Al-le-lu-ia.”
Thinking about this text, Jesus challenged those who heard him live and in stereo, and Jesus challenges us today to “activate” faith. Ask, seek, knock - these are all action words. And if three actions words in a row isn’t direct enough, Jesus follows this statement in the Gospel of Matthew with another action word - “Do.” If the Bible you use has subtitles, it would be titled The Golden Rule - “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
Last night we had an important Council meeting at St. Mark’s. Council started articulating its vision for ministry next year, specifically through financial planning. 2022 will be here before we know it, friends. And in the closing weeks of 2021, maybe this text from Matthew 7 is helpful to hear again.
Now is a good time to ask, “What is the Spirit inviting us into through our ministry together?” “What goals do we seek to accomplish in the coming year?” “What barriers are God calling us to knock down, or new doors to open?” What other action words is Jesus calling us to see; to be; to do as St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Mooresville, NC and in our greater mission as the body of Christ in the world?
One more note about the “Seek Ye First” hymn. Each verse concludes with the same phrase, “Al-le-lu, Al-le-lu-ia.” Alleluia means “Give thanks/ give praise to God.” I pray that in all of our words, and in all of our actions, that we think, we say, we do, from a place of giving thanks to God for the ways that we are continually and abundantly blessed to participate in sharing and being signs of God’s love.