50 years and counting

We have been graced by another Reformation Weekend. Over 500 years of celibrating the firestorm which was, and in some cases still is, the Reformation. Thanks be to God for Martin Luther and the other Reformers of the Church, who’s courageous stand changed the course of much of the Church, and changed the course of countless lives along the way.

Also, this weekend marked 50 years of ministry and mission for the congregation of which I am a member, Lutheran Church of the Master, Corona del Mar, CA.

 We marked this great milestone with a wonderful pipe organ concert on Saturday evening,  given by the gentleman who donated the organ to us, Dr. Wilbur Melbye of Pasadena, California, followed by a fabulous dinner put on by the Davis and Gratzinger families, members of  LCM.  The dinner was followed by a slide presentation narrated by our current pastor, Pastor Mark Anderson, and our congregation President, Louise Saywer. There were many great old photos from the early days. A terrific reminder of the work that has gone on before us by others in the stream of faith.

Retired pastors Doug Wessell and Robert Collick spoke to us to share some memories of the time they were the pastors here at LCM, and encouraged us to continue our mission here in service to our Lord Jesus Christ, and the community.

On Sunday we gathered for worship and Holy Communion accompanied by the choir and pipe organ music played by Music Director and pianist/organist Tanya Khurgel. The sermon was given by our special guest and recently retired professor and author James Nestingen. Professor Nestingen reminded us that it is not the knowledge of the truth that sets us free, but rather the Truth itself (Himself) who sets us free.

After fellowship and indulging in some terrific leftovers (from last nights spectacular dinner), we gathered back in the sacntuary for Prof. Nestingen’s class on the petition in the Lord’s Prayer,  “Lord forgive us,  as we forgive those who have sinned against us.”  We learned that to be free from our sin and the sins of others, the Lord would have us give them to Himself, both our own sins and the sins of others against ourselves, and as often as necessary. Over the course of time, because Christ Jesus is at work, those sins that are caustic and keep us stuck in the past become less and less a millstone around our necks, and we are once again free to live. It was a terrific class with a great question and answer session. Our great thanks and appreciation go out to Prof. Nestingen for once again making the long trip South to be with us and to encourage us in the faith of Christ Jesus, our Lord.   Thanks Jim!

50 years…500 years…a drop in the bucket in the course of human history and a speck in the universe and span of God’s eternal Kingdom. But the Lord does a great work in these small moments. His mighty work is always accomplished for that which He intends.    

May He continue to bless our congregation and every congregation where His name sounded as the Name above all names, and the one Name by which men and women are brought to a living faith in the Savior of the World, our Lord and our Savior, Jesus the Christ!

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4 Responses

  1. “We have been graced by another Reformation Weekend. Over 500 years of celebrating the firestorm which was, and in some cases still is, the Reformation”.

    October 31st (All Saints Day) is a very special day in my calendar!
    Aside from the days of the Incarnation itself, those times some 500 years ago mark a key moment in the history of the church and of the world, so let’s take a few moments this week to consider and then be thankful for the likes of Luther and Tyndale, Hus and Frith and the many others – common folk who shared the good seed – that the just shall live by faith alone.

  2. Howard,

    Aha! Someone does have a calender and a (church) history book.

    I really should have noted that we had to celebrate it early this year because our pastor and his wife were to leave for a 3 week vacation on the 27th.

    It is good that we do try and remember those brave saints, inspired by the love of Christ , who took a stand (at their own earthly peril) for the work of our Lord that we might be saved…. by faith alone.

  3. It’s not quite Reformation Day yet, but if I may commemorate today St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles.

    There! I’ve gotten that off my mind and actually celebrated a minor special day on the day it is supposed to be celebrated…for once. My calendar skills are very bad in that area.

    Steve, it’s great seeing you hold your own over at DP. That’s a comment war I will relish continuing!

  4. Hannah,

    We know we were early, but we had to due to our pastor going away on vacation.

    Hannah, thanks for taking on the lefties over at DP. it is an honor to be able to fight at your side.

    We may not convince them, but at least they are hearing some things that they may not have heard before in their insular liberal worlds.

    Take care and God bless, my Friend!

    – Steve

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