HomeWho We AreOur Founding HistoryParish LifeNewsletter & Calendar
Contemporary IssuesDaily Devotions Confessional Lutheran Sites
Where We Are Located Contact Us
||Newsletter & Calendar - July 2019|
|Pastor Ney's Message- Summer 2019|
SUMMER 2019 Newsletter
As we now move ahead on the calendar into the month of June with Spring in full bloom and Summer about to begin, we may do so with thoughts of the beauty of God’s creation, or in expectation of coming Summer holidays. But June is also significant in that this is the month that the Church celebrates Pentecost. Next to Christmas and Easter, this is one of the most important festivals of the church year, for it is on Pentecost Sunday that we focus our eyes of faith on what the Bible calls, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost was not originally that kind of a celebration. What the disciples and those gathered in Jerusalem for the Pentecost celebration were actually celebrating was the Jewish Pentecost, that is, the Jewish harvest celebration similar to our Thanksgiving celebration (Exodus 23:16). But after Jesus’ death and resurrection and subsequent bodily ascension into heaven, God chose to complete the formation and empowering of His Holy Christian Church, the Church that now celebrated, not a harvest celebration, but a celebration that the promised Messiah had come and had paid for the sins of the world on the cross of Calvary and then arose from the dead on Easter Sunday morning. That message of the salvation accomplished by the shed blood of Christ, had to get out, but the young church and its leaders cowered together in fear of the Romans and the Jewish leaders in hidden rooms in Jerusalem. But then the great miracle of the new Pentecost occurred! As the disciples and other new followers of Jesus were gathered together in one of those rooms, suddenly, a mighty wind blew through the room and tongues of fire appeared over the heads of the disciples and they began to speak boldly and clearly about the Saviour! But in addition to the miracle of new-found bravery to proclaim the Gospel, they were all speaking in different languages, for the Holy Spirit gave them the power to proclaim the Gospel in languages they had never learned. This was not some sort of “glossolalia” or speaking in gibberish tongues as is common today. These was unlearned men, for the most part fishermen and a tax collector and the like, speaking in foreign languages that were understood by the visitors to Jerusalem from other countries. The tongues of fire would have been a visual clue to the people listening to the disciples preaching that day that their message was from God as it would evoke images of the sacrificial altar in the Temple with its holy fire which sends the offering up to God. Fire is also a symbol of purity and purification.
Each disciple made his confession of faith, prayer, and praise to God and a testimony to the love, forgiveness, and payment for sin made by God Himself in the person of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Like the noise of the wind, the languages were a supernatural, heavenly manifestation, designed by God to immediately convince the hearers that the message of the disciples that day was indeed, a direct message from God Himself. The bottom line of the message that day was: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise and to your children, and to all afar off, as many as the Lord, your God shall call to Himself.” (Acts 2:38-39).
As God’s Church today continues to faithfully serve Him, we, like the disciples and first believers at Pentecost have also received the Holy Spirit, poured out upon us without measure at our Baptism. There, God continues to pour out His Spirit so that we are enabled to believe His saving message that we are “saved by grace through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8). And the good news is that God continues to strengthen our faith and trust in Christ alone for our salvation by means of His holy, inerrant Word and His Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion. God does these things to continually increase our faith and also to give us the courage we need daily to share His Good News of Jesus, just like the disciples and other believers of old did. Wherever we go in life, wherever our feet hit the ground, the Holy Spirit gives us the boldness and courage to share the love of God in Christ Jesus to a sin-sick, dying world so that by means of that same Spirit, He might bring many more to faith in Christ Jesus as their only Saviour and Lord.
With a new Pastor soon on the way, I am firmly convinced that St. Peter’s will continue to hold fast to the faith in Christ Jesus and to the Bible as the inspired, true and inerrant Word of God, and will bravely and boldly take the Gospel of Christ Jesus to people in Stratford, Perth County, Ontario, Canada, and around the world…all now under the new Pastor’s guiding hand and under the unending blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This wonderful blessing from God is always upon His redeemed people as they seek to worship and serve Him faithfully. You can count on it!
---Pastor Bill Ney
|Sunday School Fun||St. Peter's Calendar|