"If God is diligent, surely we ought to be diligent in doing our dury to Him. Think how patient and how diligent God has been with us"
At our Chirstmas Eve service I finished by 11th year as pastor at St. Paul's. During that time many good thinkg have been accomplished. We've gained new members and we've lost some very special folks who have gone home to the Lord. It has been a fulfilling time for me.
Several years ago I considered seeking another call. After 10 years you begin to wonder what else you have to teach anyone, where else will they be willing to follow you. But the Lord made it very clear to me that Joan and I are to remain here. He has told me that I still have work to do among you.
I have, however, wondered what that incomplete work might be. And I still wonder becuse I do not yet see the future clearly.
When I first met with the Church Council 11 years ago I told them that I don't know anything to tell you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I still don't know anything else, not do I really want to. So I guess that's what I'll do, in as many different ways as I can think of.
Most of us would like to see our congregation grow more than it has in recent years. I join you in that wish. But we must always keep in mind that we are not called to be big, or popular, or exciting, we are called by God to be faithful. And faithful means that no matter what anyone else says or does we will preach the Gospel in its purity and celebrate the Sacraments as Chirst would have us do. No gimmicks, just Jesus every day, every week, every month, every year.
I don't believe that such work can ever fail. Nor do I think I was sent here to bury everyone and turn out the lights. God has plans for St. Paul's and we need to work together both to discern those plans and to live in them, laboring in the vineyard. This year let's work hard together for each day that passes brings the Lord's return nearer.