From The Pastor,
Happy October! I wanted to say thank you to everyone who came to my installation service here at Augustana! It was a great day, what with the Bishop being here, so many people attending the church service, and a nice reception afterwards! Kari and I appreciate the warm welcome that we have received from so many of you here, and the kind words about how you are happy we are here. We are also happy to be here, and look forward to serving you, and serving God and neighbor with you.
The following verses have been on my mind: Philippians 4:4-8--4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians while he was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The church at Philippi heard of Paul’s incarceration and sent a messenger to him with supplies and gifts to show their support. The messenger returned to them with this letter. Despite Paul’s situation, he is still able to encourage the church at Philippi to be joyful! It is only because of the love that Paul feels in Jesus Christ that he can speak these words of faith.
Even though we’re living on the other side of the world and thousands of years away from the original audience, we can take these words to heart as well! We have reason to rejoice no matter our circumstances: through our baptisms our lives are found in God. That’s the greatest thing that matters! Because of God’s hold on us we can be at peace with God and, hopefully, one another; our interactions with one another should be gentle and loving, and our thoughts should be on good, praiseworthy things. Through God’s help we can be a welcoming, loving congregation that worships God together!
Pastor Chuck Meyer