St. Paul's Evangelical Free Lutheran Church

21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road

Hagerstown, MD 21742

301-739-5442

Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful

The Pastor's Thoughts

"Train up a child in the way he should go and even when he is old he shall not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

"I choose to give to the last worker as I gave to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? So the last will be first and the first will be last" Matthew 20:14-16

"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out" John 6:37

Better late than never. We've all heard this adage and I guess this month we can apply it to our newsletter, which Joan and I try to get out by the first Sunday of each month but which somehow slipped by this month.

There's another "better late than never" occurrence that is more meaningful than this one, however. It would be wonderful if everyone called by God came to an assurance of their salvation early in their lives. So many people could have such better lives if they lived Christian lives based on Biblical principles. For no matter what anyone says — a Christian walk is much easier than one undertaken without reference to Christ.

I suspect almost everyone has someone they care for, whether a family member or a friend, who seems very far from God today. If you're like me this puts a great pain in your heart — a pain that is eased by our faith and trust in God, but which never seems to go completely away. A friend recently described this as a great hole in his heart because the son he loved has rejected the true faith.

While we wait and wonder and pray for the salvation of those we care for who have wandered off where demons dwell, as the song puts it, we can take comfort in the words of Scripture which offer hope to us.

For example, we can turn to Proverbs and find a promise for those who have raised their children in the Church and yet have seen them go away from it. We can find solace too in Paul's words in the wonderful 8th chapter of Romans. And the 6th and 10th chapters of St. John's Gospel assure us that God is in control and we can trust in Him and in His love.

But we must not forget the Lord's parable of the vineyard where even those who came late received the same as those who came early.

Pr. Culler