Milestones

Our congregation celebrated their centennial tonight.  A wonderful time of friends old and new celebrating God’s goodness together.

What is it that we do as a congregation that matters, that makes a difference in the world?  Every week we hear the Word of God that reminds us of our death in sin, and then assures us of our death in Christ that actually makes us alive.  Every week sins are confessed.  Every week forgiveness is assured.  Every week the Word of God kills and makes alive again.  Every week hope is found not in our resolutions or aspirations, not in the promises of the world around us or our best intentions, but rather in the Word of God that called us into existence, redeemed us from death in sin, and even now, often without our recognizing it, is re-shaping us into more Christ-like people.

In this congregation young and old are baptized in obedience to God’s Word.  In this congregation people kneel around the table the Lord has prepared to taste forgiveness and grace and the promise of life in the tang of cheap wine and processed bread wafers.  Tap water.  Mogan David.  Mass produced communion wafers.  Every week we are reminded that God works through the simplest and most overlooked things.  We are reminded that we follow a man executed as a common criminal, despised and ignored and ridiculed by those more worldly and wise.  We follow a man who is more than a man, but who gave up his glory and majesty in order to become one of us, so that He might save us.

If we’re looking for milestones, it is that Christ crucified and resurrected has been preached for 5,200 weeks in a row.  Many of those weeks more than once.  The dead in Christ have been laid to rest in anticipation of being called forth to eternal life.  People have been comforted with the hope of the Gospel that the sufferings and losses of this world are not the final word on our lives or the lives of those we love.  Meals have been served and consumed.  Fellowship has been lived out.

These are not the milestones that our fame-bleary world demands or expects.  But they are the humble milestones of obedience.  Obedience not to a call of glory but of humility.  A call that demands that those who aspire to be first must learn what it means to be the servant of all.

What a blessing, a privilege, an honor it is to be part of this congregation’s story.  Not the owner of it.  Not the author.  But just one of many characters who have lived their lives out in various ways in this community of faith, this humble little window on the kingdom of God.

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