Welcome Into the Body of Christ

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

I can’t think of a better time to resume blogging than the first week of the new church year.  I have neglected this blog far too long and if anyone was anticipating posts from me and sensed disappointment at not seeing them I apologize.  While I am not ready to admit falling victim to the deadly sin of sloth, I will readily confess that I have not given this task of blogging very high priority.  I can plead that writing a sermon and the preparation involved therein, in addition to my other numerous pastorals duties, have taken me away from any sense of devotion to this particular page; but that is a feeble excuse.  So as we say in the church as we begin worship, “I confess to God Almighty, before the whole company of heaven, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned in thought, word, and deed by my fault, by my own fault, by my own most grievous fault…”

Let your light so shine before others

That out of the way, I can now jubilantly share the news that on Christ the King Sunday we welcomed five new saints into the body of Christ via the sacrament of Holy Baptism and one additional brother by affirmation of baptism.  It was a day of rejoicing at The Lutheran Church of the Covenant and most assuredly in the realm of heaven.  I said to the newly baptized in my sermon, “Our mission now is to be a royal priesthood, to be the bearers of God’s word to announce forgiveness and healing to those weighed down by the burden of sin, to share God’s love with all humanity, and to guide those same human beings into the glory of divine love.”

Our church’s motto is: Reaching Out, Reflecting Christ, Renewing Lives.  Our hope is to live into that motto, realizing that we have not and perhaps will not totally achieve it.  But  God’s grace is a mighty force that moves us through the power of the Holy Spirit to do God’s will and to grow the Kingdom here on earth.

I pray that God’s grace will also be with me as I attempt to attend to the duty of using this blogging space more frequently so that you, dear reader, will be filled with the joy and richness of realizing God’s love through these pages.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” [Romans 15:13]

Published by pastorallende

Retired Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Social justice and immigration reform advocate. Micah 6:8. Fluent in English and Spanish. I enjoy music and sports.

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