Now that September is here and the summer vacation season is behind us it’s time to pick up the pace again and settle back into our “regular routines”. We slow things down in our lives, or at least try to, during the summer months and the same can be said concerning the life of our congregation, St. John’s Lutheran Church. From June through August our Sunday morning Bible classes and Sunday School take a break for teachers to rest, recover and re-energize. This summer the adults filled that space with a book study. A few of the other Bible study groups took a little time out, while the “award winning” St. John’s choir allowed our voices a time of recovery, and our 2nd Sunday Brunches also went on hiatus. Why, even our church organ spent the summer in Portland!
That’s all about to change. The doors of Meadowlane Christian Preschool open again for classes the day after Labor Day, on the 6th of September, and the growth of our school has necessitated the adding of an additional classroom and teacher. 2nd Sunday Brunch, sponsored, prepared and hosted by the Board of Lay Ministers will be back on Sunday the 11th, and our regular pattern of Sunday School and Bible classes will be re-established between the worship services beginning on the 18th. The Monday Women’s Bible study group comes together again this month, as will the Wednesday evening (6:00-7:00pm) study starting September 21st. There is a membership seminar for all who are interested in joining our congregation as full members set for the morning of Saturday September 24th, and I am hoping to start our confirmation instruction class for youth before the month comes to an end. I must not forget Sunday evening bowling, we should be back in the alleys again this month too.
That’s a lot of activity, and it takes a lot of faithful people to pull all of it off; those volunteering to serve and those who volunteer to be served, learning and growing in faith and fellowship. The Apostle Paul exhorts the congregation that he founded in the Greek city of Corinth with the Scripture passage at the top of this article. He tells them to stand firm in their faith, to be rock solid and immovable, and to be “abounding (being full of; overflowing) in the work of the Lord.”
Is that something that we are known for today; abounding in the work of the Lord? Our culture seems to tell us that we should abound in our own work, so that we can elevate ourselves and have more stuff to enjoy. And just what is the work of the Lord? How can I do it if I don’t know what it is? For the answer to that question we must simply look to, listen to, and follow, the words of Jesus himself. What was his work? He tells us quite clearly and simply; “The Son of Man came indeed to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10 Moreover, in his final words to His disciples before ascending back into heaven He gives us our marching orders. In Matthew’s Gospel He commands us to go to all the world to teach and baptize, making more disciples. (28:19-20) According to Luke Jesus tells them to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
The work of the Lord is bringing about the salvation of people, building up the Church, all believers, to accomplish this mission through the power of God the Holy Spirit working in the words of the Gospel. Anything related to this mission is the Lord’s work, be it in worship, in education, outreach, encouraging the faithful, caring for the needs of others, both within the Church and outside of it, and anything else that points people to Jesus.
God promises that everything we do in this regard will have value, nothing will be done in vain. No task is menial, nothing goes unnoticed, at least before the eyes of the Lord. God takes our humble service and gives it power, His power, to accomplish great things. Along the way we store up treasure in heaven, and receive the reward of peace and contentment in this life knowing that we are being used by our Lord for the most important work in all the world; His work!