From the Pastor
since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay
aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run
with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to
Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of[b] the joy
that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has
taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2,
The end of September and the beginning of October always reminds me of my
dad's side of the family, my cousin Cheryl, and the important celebration of
Oktoberfest. Actually, I think
about it quite often, not only in October but especially this time of year.
Cheryl played the accordion. She was that person who was quite talented
musically and never had to work at it. She simply could hear the tune and
would be able to play from what she heard. The reason that Cheryl was so
much different from my other cousins is that she played the accordion.
She was a part of a band. The band would travel around to nursing
homes and senior citizen centers to play their music. We had a family friend
named Roger who had a polka band. The band also traveled and played at all
of the Rosin family weddings. The music was amazing--at least for this kid.
When I was a little kid, I loved to hear my cousin Cheryl and Roger and
their friends play. Mostly they
would play polkas which filled my heart with joy.
But they would add a few songs into the mix, and I would sing.
I could not wait for the next family wedding.
I was ALWAYS asked to dance with my aunts and female cousins.
Now, as a little kid, I was sometimes reluctant to dance with these
people who seemed so old to me.
I was usually talked into it by my mother. Once I entered the floor, I ended
up being there the rest of the night.
I also was met with the approval of not only my aunts but especially
my Oma (Grandma). Never mind
that I probably stepped on their feet more than I didn't.
But little did I know that I was dancing with the cloud of witnesses
that would surround and support me throughout life. Little did I know that I
was bringing smiles to faces that maybe hadn't smiled much in recent memory.
Little did I know that I was carrying out God's work in the world by sharing
love and compassion with others.
I tell you all of that to say that the more important part, is that we are
gathered as a community in joyful celebration in worship. We gather together
to be reminded of how much we are loved and how we are surrounded by God's
never-ending compassion, grace and forgiveness.
That cloud of witnesses of my childhood understood the importance of
being together in community.
No matter what, know that you are loved, and you are surrounded by a cloud
of witnesses who are always there to support and encourage you.
Servants together, Pastor Paul <><
p.s. Did you know??
have often been asked questions about Liturgy and why Lutherans follow a
Liturgical, even more important the Historical Liturgy form of worship.
So here now is reason #2.
liturgy is bigger and older than us.
As I reflected on my family gathering of witnesses, something hit me -- when
my family was together in church, we were completely unified. Even
though I was much younger, we were completely united through the liturgy.
We were inserted into something bigger and much older. Indeed, every time
that all of us participate in the liturgy, we are implanted into the songs,
melodies, singing, and theology of the historic church from the past, as
well as the present. We all attend the same church, while
simultaneously joining together with the voices of millions across the world
on every continent and in every language.
Why do we love the historic liturgy? The liturgy is bigger and
older than we are. It is truly multicultural and multigenerational.
p.s.s. - Did you know that Luther said. . . . ???
writes His Gospel not in the Bible alone but in trees and flowers and clouds
and stars." -- Martin Luther