This week I traveled to Albany and opened the Legislative Session with a prayer. I prayed for the body of legislators, their staff, and their families. I prayed that they would be blessed by God and that they would be a blessing to their constituents. Assemblyman Steve Stern introduced Barb and me and gave thanks for St. John’s because we have been a blessing to Huntington for over 275 years. I am proud to be part of the body of Christ at St. John’s and believe that with penitent hearts and steadfast faith, we will continue for another 275 years.
John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The unchangeable truth of the Word is that God is present in our day and that all things are possible with God. God is present in the water of our Baptism, in the bread and wine at the Eucharist, and in the Holy Spirit in the world. I believe that God claims us at our Baptism and anoints us with the Holy Spirit as a member of the Christian Church and that we are empowered with gifts that we will use to be the person that God calls us to be. Life is a spiritual journey and we are taking it together at St. John’s.
We celebrate the Eucharist by remembering the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The prayer of remembrance is called the Anamnesis. This Greek word for remembrance comes from one who has lost their amnesia. Those who have lost their identity or purpose need to re-member the mighty acts that God has done for them and to know to whom they belong. I urge you to call your friends and family who have wandered from the church and invite them to re-member that Jesus Christ is Lord. It takes steadfast faith to proclaim Jesus Christ as the one who died on a cross for our sins and rose from the dead to show us that we will have eternal life. This is the unchangeable truth that we must not only believe, but the truth that we must tell to the next generation. If we only believe that Jesus was a great human being and that he taught a wonderful pattern for us to follow, then the future of our church is bleak.
Re-member the marvelous things that God has done, open your eyes to what God is doing now, believe in the unchangeable truth of Jesus Christ, join us this Lent on a spiritual journey that will deepen your relationship with God, and help bring the next generation at St. John’s to Christ as the good folks at St. John’s have been doing for over 275 years.
In Christ’s love,