St. Paul's Evangelical Free Lutheran Church

21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road

Hagerstown, MD 21742

301-739-5442

Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful

The Pastor's Thoughts

“Faith is the subtle chain that binds us to the infinite, the voice of a deep life within that will remain until we crowd it thence.” Elizabeth Oakes Smith

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1

I'm sitting in my home office as I write this and looking at the pictures on the wall above my desk. It occurs to me that there are 6 generations of my family represented there — from my granddaughter back to my great–grandparents. The age spread runs from the Civil War down to today.

As we approach our annual day of Thanksgiving I look up and see a lot of things I have to be grateful for. My great–grandparents were farmers, but most importantly, they were people of faith. THat faith was passed down through the generations. One of my early memories was riding with my grandparents to church where we met up with my parents after a week's visit. On my 6th birthday my grandmother gave me a Bible — I still have it as I also have the catechism that belonged to my grandfather, my father and then I used it during my confirmation lessens.

I see two pictures of me as a child, smiling because I was loved, well fed and cared for. I see several pictures of me with the woman God gave me and the children He blessed me with and my granddaughter, from infancy on up — another blessing for an old man.

We talk a lot at this time of the year about our blessings — the things we are most thankful for. But nothing can make us more thankful than the faith that moves down through the generations. Many people call this the Golden Chain. The chain of witnesses that extends back through time and across generations in which one person told another person about Jesus — all the way back to a person who saw Jesus.

We're part of that chain. Those of us who have children or grandcuhildren, well we've tried to pass that faith along to them. The chain is very long now. but the links continue to hold — even against the pulling of a hostile world. Indeed, we can be very thankful to be part of such a great cloud of witnesses.

Pr. Culler