“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians1:3-5
Saint Paul begins his letter to the Christians in Philippi with this wonderful note of gratitude. He is grateful for the partnership in ministry he has shared with these fellow sisters and brothers in the faith. His letter explodes with the joy in his heart, because together they have come to live day-by-day in the abundance of God’s grace. He sees that the faith of this Christian community is active in love. Later in the letter Paul writes, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As I think of the ministry of San Marcos Lutheran I too have been counting my blessings. I am grateful for the partnership which Pastor Karla and I share with each and every one of you. There are stories too numerous to count of the ways you are living out your faith in the work place, at school, with your friends and family. You are stepping up to volunteer in our congregation and in our community. You care about God’s children others would have us forget, and for God’s creation as well. I see the way you show concern for one another and seek to share the amazing grace of God with a world dying for grace, love, and reconciliation.
I have noticed the way we are facing these challenging economic times. I am grateful that we as a congregation are facing these challenging days as people of faith. Many of you have shared painful stories with me of unemployment or under employment; others have seen retirement funds dwindle. Yet, I have also heard stories of God’s presence in the midst of these challenges. I have heard stories of surprising moments of grace in the living of these days. God’s love is abundant. There is no fear so dark that God’s light can not illumine.
If there is one thing I hope you know it is this; I am grateful for the people of God at San Marcos Lutheran Church! I am grateful for the ministry and mission which we share. I truly see faith here that is active in love! We are in this together and we will move into God’s future together…not because your pastors are such wonderful shepherds…not because any one of our members here is strong enough to bear the burden of these days on their own. We will move forward in faith together because God is holding us all together in Christ Jesus. The abundance of God’s love in Christ knows no end! Thank God for that!
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Pastor David Jorstad