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Pastoral Message for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost - June 21, 2020

Pastoral Message

(for members and friends of)

Geeseytown and Newry Lutheran Churches

3rd Sunday after Pentecost

June 21, 2020

We begin by remembering:

Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will

acknowledge before my Father in heaven, but whoever denies me before

others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)

Let us pray:

Teach us, good Lord God, to serve you as you deserve, to give and

not count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to

seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, except that of knowing that

we do your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Scripture: Romans 6:1-11 & Matthew 10:24-39

Thoughts from the Pastor:

These two scriptures talk about the cost of discipleship and

remembering that we were buried and raised with Jesus in baptism. As I

sat down thinking about these two scriptures, I can remember how I started

out discovering what being a disciple of Jesus Christ was all about in your

life, in the church, and with my friends. One day I answered the phone and

my pastor asked me if I would be the chairperson for evangelism in the

church. I thought for a moment and then I told my pastor, I have no idea

what evangelism is all about and how you do it. My pastor told me not to

worry about it because she just needed a name to put on the church

papers for the conference. At that time in my life the thought of evangelism

really turned me off because I had some bad experiences with people

standing on a corner handing out salvation papers also called tracks.

One lady told me after I refused to take on her tracks that I was on

my way to hell. Actually what she said to me did not surprise me. And the

reason why is because I had other clergy (not Lutheran) tell me I was going

to hell because I refused to attend his church and believe in their teachings.

Judging a person’s faith is not evangelism or an example of being a

disciple.

My friends, first this is not what Jesus wants us to do with our faith in

him and God. Evangelism really means sharing the good news of what God

did in sending Jesus Christ into this world with salvation for sinners. Being

a disciple of Jesus Christ begins with sharing your faith journey with Jesus

and God another person. One critical point in sharing your faith journey is

the ability create and have a trusting relationship with another person. We

always need to remember each one of us has a different faith journey. The

Holy Spirit is within our hearts guiding and directing our lives in many

different ways.

I forget who told me how they shared their faith with others, but I can

remember what they told me, “I just tell a person that I have attended my

church all my life and I believe in Jesus and God, and I know through

various experiences in my life that they are with me and helping me.” This

person was acknowledging Jesus to others. And they did it with a plain

simple manner without judging someone and they did not judge anyone.

Looking at verse 32, we see that Jesus wants us to acknowledge him

before others. People have different experiences in life and have

encountered Jesus and God in many ways. In other words, faith journeys

can vary in many ways with people. When you share your faith with others

remember the Holy Spirit is within you guiding and directing you. Consider

this faith- sharing opportunity to be a blessing from God for you and the

other person. Whether they believe in Jesus and God from your faith story

is a decision between them and Jesus and God. Jesus only asks us as a

disciple of his to acknowledge him to others.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Henry

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Geeseytown / Newry Lutheran Parish

info@GNLutheran.org

Newry Lutheran Church

1030 Shamrock Lane

PO Box 397

Newry, PA 16665

P: 814-695-3036

 
 

Geeseytown Lutheran Church

462 Route 22

Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

P: 814-696-0743

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