Distributing God’s Love for You is the vision statement of Lamb of God Lutheran Church. It is a typically “churchy” thing to say that most people, in and out of the church, would have no idea what it meant. Makes it sound like the church is a food bank or a clothing give away – both of which are nice things that we don’t do here but support others who do. (We do have a soup and sandwich supper every Wednesday at 5 pm that all are welcome to.) But our motto is about something different. Everyone has heard John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave is only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV) This is the story of Jesus Christ in a nutshell. He was sent into the world by the creator Father to be a payment for the sin (anything that prevents one from seeing God) of humanity. That is God’s love. Even though humanity turned away from Him and turned to their own ways and thinking, God did not give up.
All of history is about God’s plan to restore His creation, especially that which was created in His image Ð humanity, back to the perfection He established at the beginning of time. To do that He sent the one that shared His own substance from before the beginning of time to come into creation and redeem (buy back) those that God had lost. Through that redemption, God provided the means by which humans could once again approach God, receive forgiveness of sin, and have new and eternal life. Receiving that, however, is not automatic. One just has to look out a window or turn on a TV to see the effects of sin that still runs rampant in the world and in our culture. Faith is needed; “… that whoever believes in Him shall not perish …”
Where does this faith come from and how does one receive it? The faith itself is a gift from God (Ephesians 2: 8,9) and it comes to us through His Word and Sacraments. We here at Lamb of God and in Christian assemblies throughout the world have the privilege of being called into service through that same faith given to us to share that same Word and those same sacraments to others. In this calling we have become distributors of God’s love. That is not to say that handing out food and clothing to the poor and needy aren’t also a means of distributing God’s love, but that the proclamation of God’s grace through Jesus Christ is paramount. Just as importantly, this distribution is not for us, the church. It’s not even for God, except that He desires it. It is for you. God provided His Son as an atoning sacrifice so that you, the one reading these words, the ones having heard His Word, all that gather together in His name, can be assured that Jesus Christ gives of Himself specifically for you. As Jesus had His last meal with His disciples and friends He spoke His last will and testament: “This is my body given for you.” He looked at those whom He loved and offered up everything that He is, His own body and blood, so that they could be free from the ravages of sin and its ultimate consequence Ð death. Lamb of God Lutheran Church is here for you. We are here to care for God’s creation and created beings. We will do our best to feed you, to clothe you, to help you with the suffering that sin creates in the world and we will be here to distribute for for you the saving faith in Jesus Christ through God’s Word and Sacraments: God’s Love. Amen.
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