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pastor John   Pastor's Page

JOHN ROTHFUSZ, PASTOR - Phone 779-901-0803;  email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear friends in Christ,

Memorial Day is a time to remember. Many people remember only to get out the grill and take a day off of work. But our country first set aside this day to remember those who gave their lives in defense of our nation. Their sacrifice helped to preserve our freedom and our values, and we promised that we would never forget what they have done. Each year on Memorial Day we continue to remember those who have died, counting the cost of our wars and military commitments. As citizens of this great land, we never want to forget the great personal sacrifice that soldiers and their families make even today for our nation.

What would Jesus have us remember? As Christians, we can remember many of the ways that God works in our lives to make us new.

We remember that we are baptized into Christ Jesus, united in his death and his resurrection. Each day we can return to our baptism, and Jesus will wash away our sins and give us a fresh start in him. God has claimed us in our baptism and called us by name, and we can remember that we belong to him forever. We are reminded of our own baptism each time that we baptize a new child of God into our church family. And we can each be reminded of our baptism every time that we shower or splash our hands in water.

We remember our first communion, and every meal since that time, when we gather to share the body and blood of Jesus who died for us. Our Lord calls us to share in this meal with our family of faith, to grow closer to God and one another as we share his presence and “do this for the remembrance of me.” In this meal we are united with Jesus and with all the saints, both the living and those who are with the Lord.

We remember that we are dust, and to dust we will return. On Ash Wednesday, we get a visible reminder of our sin and mortality when we receive ashes on our foreheads. We are all sinners, and we need to remember that we depend on our savior, Jesus. Only he can save us from sin and raise us from death to new life.

We remember our confirmation day, and the promises we made, claiming this faith of our baptism for ourselves, and committing ourselves to walk with the Lord, gather to worship, and serve with his people for all our days.

We remember our graduation, when friends and family praised us, and sent us off to begin a new chapter of our lives. They asked us to remember who we are and where we come from.

If we are married, we remember our marriage vows, our promises to love, honor, and cherish our spouse as long as we both shall live. We remember those vows of love and faithfulness whenever we see a wedding ring on our finger, or shape our lives to fit with the life of our loved one.

Jesus calls us to remember that our work is a vocation, a way that we are given to serve our neighbor and give glory to God. We each have many roles where we serve, in work, family, church, and community. Each one of these roles can be an opportunity for us to touch someone’s life with God’s love.

God calls us to remember that everything we are and everything we have is a gift. Our life, our health, our family, our property and income are all a trust from God, given so that we can be partners in his work of spreading hope and life in the world. We are blessed when we understand that and use our gifts to be a blessing to others in Jesus’ name. We get to do God’s work together as the church, and be proud of all that we do as  Salem Lutheran.

We remember that Jesus has sent us out to tell the good news to all people everywhere. His Great Commission sends us to make disciples, baptize, and teach wherever we go.

Finally, we remember Jesus’ closing words in the gospel of Matthew. “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

What we remember shapes who we are. I pray that we can each remember the many ways that God enriches our lives, as he blesses us to be a blessing to others.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor John Rothfusz

 

JUNE BIBLE VERSE: One of JERRI KUHN'S favorite Bible verses. 27One who spares words is knowledgeable; one who is cool in spirit has understanding.          Proverbs 17:27

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1022 North Main Street - PO Box 105, Sandwich, Illinois, 60548. 815-786-9308