Greetings in Christ!
Merry Christmas once again! Today is the last day of Christmas before we enter Epiphany tomorrow. Thank God for Bethlehem’s light in these dark winter days.
+ Lectionary study returns this week on Tuesday at 7pm at the Pastor’s House (1302 4th Street).
+ There is a Stewardship Town Hall Meeting Thursday January 15th at 6:30pm at Luther Memorial In Blacksburg. We need at least two representatives to help us discern the best practices for stewardship and pledging for CLC. Let Pastor know if you’re interested!
+ If you’d like a copy of one of the old hymnals or songbooks, they’re on tables in the Fellowship Hall. Please leave a freewill donation to benefit our Highlander Lutherans campus ministry. Leftover copies will be donated.
The author of Acts describes an interesting scene where some disciples of Jesus have not yet received the Holy Spirit. Paul, confused by this situation, asks, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" The disciples answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
Huh?!?!? Never heard of the Holy Spirit? Third person of the Triune God? Did you not pay attention in confirmation class?!
Of course, this reaction is a bit overstated; in the time of Paul and the other apostles, the Holy Spirit’s activity was a new movement, a fresh wind, associated with baptism in the name of Jesus.
Often times we feel far removed from God. Unlike those first disciples who didn’t know the Holy Spirit, each of us, at our own baptism, received the gift of God’s Spirit. Even when we feel far from God, God is not far from us, but rather alive in us, active as the spirit of faithfulness and justice, of righteousness and mercy.
In this new year, we all will face the realities of life that make us feel distant from God in Christ. At those times, it is the gift of God to remember our baptism, not just as a splashing or dunking of water, but of the entrance of the Holy Spirit fully into our lives. God remains at work in us, not only for our sake, but for the sake of the whole world. Thanks be to God!
Grace and peace,
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