Shepherd of the Sierra Newsletter
WHY EXACTLY ARE WE HERE?
God has richly blessed us as a congregation these past years to have a large number of guests join us in worship each week. This is a true measure of the grace He has toward us as His people.
One of the challenges we have in having new people join us, is that they see Jesus Christ at work in us and we make them feel very welcome when they come into our fellowship.
Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 25 as He was describing the judgment on the last day. Look at verses 35-40, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
This is Jesus’ explanation of what the
Christian life is all about! It’s not just being comfortable and showing love and kindness to those we know, but we need to be open to all!
Read the following story carefully and ask yourself the question, “What would I do in these situations”?
One day, a man went to visit a church, He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver, got out and said, “I always park there! You took my place!”
The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, “That’s my seat! You took my place!” The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.
After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said,
“That’s where I always sit! You took my place!” The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing.
Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, “What happened to you?” The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his
eye, “I took your place.”
Jesus, our Savior, took the punishment and death that our sin deserved. He did this out of love and grace for us as His brother and sister. It’s so easy to get caught up in numbers and full pews on a Sunday morning and forget why we’re here.
God calls us to come to Him because He knows how we’re being assaulted by the world around us and our own human nature which pulls us away from Him.
But He promises that when we come to Him, He will love us, care for us, and fill us with all good things! As we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us!
Everyone who walks into the doors of this church is a special child of God! He rejoices when we come together in His name, and we should too! He promises to be here. He said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
The Smallcald Articles put it this way, “God is abundantly generous in His grace: First, through the spoken Word and the Sacraments, also through the mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren.”
Share Jesus Christ with everyone, whether they are here at church or around you! Rejoice He’s called you His own!
Pastor Norm Milz
Birthdays in August:
Cheryl Keir – August 1
Marion Peters – August 2
Ron Banks – August 3
Jennifer Grothenrath – August 4
Al Neudauer – August 4
Steven Flanagan – August 6
Sydney Johnson – August 6
Eryn Caddy – August 7
Rich Harvey – August 7
Bruce Monteith – August 7
Hal Johnson – August 8
Alison Nunnally – August 9
Maureen Shanahan – August 9
Elayne Woolery – August 9
Sondra Neudauer – August 14
Janet Dutcher – August 15
Sandra Irvin – August 15
Anna Bella Tozzi – August 18
Grace Jameson – August 22
Sue Thomas – August 25
Carole Kalley – August 26
Chauna Renaud – August 29
Peggy West – August 29
Dotti Gaines – August 31
Jean Walter – August 31
Anniversaries in August:
Dave & Pat Colon – August 6 (47 years)
Jim & Carolyn Nunnally – August 6 (36 years)
Russ & Karen Elliot – August 7 (36 years)
Kevin & Julie Stein – August 11 (1 year)
Scott & Tiffany Banks – August 11 (1 year)
Dean & Betty Mahler-Metcalf – August 14 (3 yrs)
Mr, & Mrs. Chad Love – August 15 (4 years)
Seth & Stacie Tatman – August 16 – (5 years)
Marv& Sharon Kientz – August 18 – (29 years)
Paul & Debbie Hochsprung – August 19 (13 years)
Dennis & Tami Buehn – August 21 (9 years)