The Pastor's Thoughts
"For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" I Corinthians 3:11
"This Jesus is the stone, rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone." Acts 4:11
"[The Church is] built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone." Ephesians 2:20
As we think about the founding of our congregation we must think too about what it was that led a bunch of German farmers to form this body. The first thing was the distance that separated the village of Leitersburg from the other Lutheran congregations in the area. Travel was hard in bad weather and a five mile trip a serious undertaking. But that is not the real reason St. Paul’s came into existence. The underlying reason for the existence of our congregation was the impact the Gospel of Jesus Christ had on those men and women.
Contrary to what some say, there was a great deal of deism, agnosticism and atheism in 19th century America. Many people paid no attention to church at all. But the founders of St. Paul’s knew Christ and sought to extol God in their lives and worship. Indeed, their faithfulness was such that they wrote in the founding document that, should any of their descendants turn away from the faith, the founders would not be to blame because they would see that the pure Gospel had been proclaimed in this place.
What is that Gospel—Jesus Christ, crucified and risen for you! No Unitarian thought would be found in this place. No other basis for the existence of this congregation would be sought. For the foundation of St. Paul’s could only be that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. The cornerstone of our sanctuary contains the very documents that proclaim this truth—that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Our founders knew that a mislaid cornerstone would undermine the life of a building. And they understood that no church could live unless its cornerstone was Jesus Himself.
As we think of our founders, our minds should be drawn to the foundation that made this congregation possible.