Every so often, someone will ask me, or it will be asked via a third-party conversation (which is mostly when this happens) questions like this: Why are we doing this or that? What is its purpose? I must admit to being slightly surprised by the question. After all, discipleship ought to be self-evident.
But since this is October, the month when we remember the beginning of the Reformation, a little Luther is helpful to answer this question:
“We conclude, therefore, that a Christian lives not in himself, but in Christ and in his neighbor…He lives in Christ through faith, in his neighbor through love. By faith he is caught up beyond himself into God. By love he descends beneath himself into his neighbor. Yet he always remains in God and in his love…” (Luther’s Works, 31. 371.)
This paragraph comes from Luther’s treatise, The Freedom of a Christian. This long writing can be condensed into a simple premise that a believing Christian is free from sin through faith in God, yet bound by love to serve the neighbor.
Where might Luther get such an idea? The same place we get our ideas of witness and service. The gospels. One example is Matthew 25:39-40, “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
God’s family is pretty large. Our family members in Christ are across the street, and across the world. When we serve anyone, we serve Christ. If we remember to see Christ in our neighbor, we no long have to ask the questions “why” or “what.”
As Luther also said, “God does not need your good works. But your neighbor does.”
Clifton D. Eshbach,
Holy Spirit will host the annual Thanksgiving Eve service on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 beginning at 7:00 pm.
October 13, 2019
Sunday October 13 at 4 p.m. will be our next service of Holy Communion with the Laying on of Hands and Anointing for healing.
Those who attend speak of the support and peace they receive from a service dedicated to healing. Encourage someone to attend with you.
The summer months involve both enjoying the time to be outside (the heat notwithstanding) and to think and plan for what is to happen in the near future. Here at Holy Spirit we are also doing both.
Our annual outdoor worship service on June 30 was a beautiful day to be among God’s creation. And the Tanzanian auction which followed was a great time of fun and fellowship. In July Vacation Bible School was a big hit (again). Children had fun and learned about how life with God is good, faithful and secure.
What a summer it has been. But what a future we are looking forward to experiencing. Planning is moving forward for the fourth annual Blessing of the Animals/Pet Extravaganza, which will be held on our driveway Saturday, September 28. Since we began this event in 2016, it has evolved into a one-stop spot for the public to learn about organizations in our area which support pets and pet owners. This event is precisely the sort of community support which the church can provide. Save the date and show up!
Sunday, September 8 will be our annual Rally Day and God’s Work Our Hands service project when we assemble personal care and school kits for Lutheran World Relief. You can also join the quilt group as they put the finishing touches on some of their creations.
We are also using the Rally Day to observe the congregation’s 60th anniversary. This day will provide an appropriate mix of things so that we can see where we were, and see where we can be headed. Save the date and show up!
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the church of Jesus Christ gathered at Holy Spirit. Together, we continue to fulfill our mission of Sharing Jesus’ Love in Word and Deed!
Clifton D. Eshbach,
Sunday, September 8, 2019
60th Anniversary Observance
In 1959 a new Lutheran congregation was planted in the sparsely populated western suburbs of Lancaster. On Sunday, September 8 Holy Spirit will observe 60 years at this location, now the not so sparsely populated western suburbs of Lancaster.
We will begin the day united in word and sacrament worship. There will be some displays of photos and artifacts from the past. But just as importantly, we will use the morning engaged in service to the world in fulfillment of our mission to share Jesus’ love in word and deed. The article to the right will explain that part of the day.
Of course, there will be refreshments as we get together, in gratitude to God who placed us here, and who continues to call us to the task of proclamation, invitation, and service, in Jesus’ name.
Rally Day! God’s Work. Our Hands.
Rally Day is around the corner! Sunday, September 8th we will all gather in Fellowship Hall after worship to pack School Kits and Personal Care Kits. We need your help to gather the supplies for 50 kits! On the windows in the narthex are “tags”. Grab-a-tag (more than one if you want) and purchase the items needed to complete the kits. Bring your donations back by September 1st and we will get the assembly lines ready to go for the BIG EVENT! In addition to the fun working on the assembly lines, we will have our “last quilt” of the season ready to knot. Even if you have never knotted a quilt before there will be someone waiting to show you how to do it and cheering you on! Come and have refreshments and fun while we work together for an awesome cause.