“I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service” I Timothy 1:10
It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 25 years since I began service in ordained ministry. But then I look at my children heading out on their own, and I have to admit the years have passed. I want to express my very sincere thanks to all of you who sent greetings and were so generous in celebrating the 25th anniversary of my ordination at the ELC Community Festival in September. I am humbled by your caring for me and my family, and feel privileged to serve in this place.
As I look back on the past years, I recognize that many things have changed in our world and within the church. The challenges to ministry have always been great, they just differ over time. But what doesn’t change is that all ministry is empowered by the same Spirit. That is true not just for those who serve as ordained pastors, but it is just as true for every Christian. We are all called into particular areas of service, and all strengthened by the same love of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes we might lose sight of the fact that while day to day the church might struggle, in the bigger picture we serve a God whose kingdom will always persevere. We serve a Savior whose love is stronger than human hatred, whose forgiveness is more powerful than human sin, and who gives life which is greater than death.
It is a joy to be a part of that ministry, no matter what else is going on in the world.
Pastor John Twiton
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long. — Psalm 25:4-5
This summer has been full of many journeys and new paths for myself and my family. Thanks to all for your well wishes for Andy and Kristin at their wedding, and for Hannah as she begins her graduate school education at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. While the changes and challenges can be overwhelming, it is always important to remember that the paths we lead are always in God’s presence, and we can rely on God’s Spirit to give us courage and comfort along the way.
As September approaches we think of going back to school (even though for some of us it has been a long time since we were students). In the church we also think about the start of Sunday School classes and confirmation classes, but we miss a lot if we think only of those settings as times to learn the Lord’s path, and to be led in the truth. Each and every day our God longs for us to listen, learn, and know the presence and the power of grace and love in our lives.
I hope that along with sending the young people off to school, Sunday School, and confirmation, that each of us can make a new effort to spend time in God’s Word and worship, to take time to humbly listen for God’s voice, and dedicate ourselves to walking the path of faith and service. Each of us needs that light to guide our way, and the world needs that light to shine through us in the midst of anxious and uncertain times. Please look for ways to be involved, to initiate conversations about faith and service, and find joy in the community of God’ people.
Pastor John Twiton
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Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mount Horeb (ELCA)
315 E. Main St., Mount Horeb, WI 53572