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Monday, July 6, 2015

07052015 5th Sunday After Trinity - We are to be a blessing!

Sermon Audio (Will be posted soon!)

July 5, 2015
We are to be a blessing!

When Emmanuel built the Education Wing, the congregation was busting at the seams with adults and kids.  Every imaginable space was being used from the loft here in the sanctuary, the rooms behind the stage downstairs, the overflow where a lot of people love to sit to the fellowship hall that bustled with Sunday School classes with dividers.  At the time building on a new addition to Emmanuel seemed the only thing that could be done in light of the fact that the sanctuary of our church had been built only 20 years earlier.  Pastor Clifton Osborn wrote the following in the booklet for the Dedication of the Educational Unit:
“God has blessed us.  We pray that this building will be a blessing to those who follow us….I thank God for the great unity displayed in this program.  Truly the love of God is at work in this congregation.”

Pastor Osborn clearly embodied the belief of Peter as he wrote our Epistle this morning.  Emmanuel was on the verge of large growth and needed the room to grow, expand and offer more for the ministry to and for the saints here at Emmanuel and for all of Goodland.

When Sky Ranch was here we used the educational wing, we channeled our forefather’s and followed the call Pastor Osborn clearly spoke of as we did exactly what Peter calls us to be.  “We are to be a blessing.”

And the blessing we are to be not only began with the building of the church in 1948, the education wing in 1968, but continues even today with our current state of our congregation.  We are a congregation that is different from 1968.  Some of the people are the same, a few more miles on each of us, some have entered the Church Triumphant, but we are ultimately the same.  For our identity is not in our outward appearance that for some like me is graying, but our identity is in what God has done for each and every one of us.

When we were baptized into the Body of Christ, the church, we were changed, reformed, reshaped and reborn as Children of God.  We identify with Jesus Christ and what He has done for each and every one of us.  We can then identify, emulate and be what Peter says, “Be a blessing”.  Our identity as followers of Jesus Christ not only connects us through our baptism to Jesus Christ, but changes each and every one of us.

Our identity also connects us to each other.  Not only are we identified with the church when we are out in the community.  We carry Jesus Christ with us where ever we go and in whatever we are doing.  As I have stated since Pentecost, God is love and we are to love one another.  Whether shopping at Wal-Mart, eating at McDonald’s or Steak and Shake or even playing cards with our friends.  People are watching what we do, what we say and how we act and this is why Peter says clearly we are to be a blessing.  When we are cursed, bless.  When you are talked bad about, bless.  When you have the opportunity to minister, bless.  For in our blessing others, we show our connection not only to Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 222 West 13th, Goodland, KS, but especially to Jesus Christ, in Whom we have been baptized.

Why should this matter?  Well this weekend is a prime example of why it should matter.  Last night our country celebrated July 4th with all the pomp and circumstance, fireworks going til even midnight, comradery with our family, friends and neighbors and a clear identification of our heritage.  Today we sing songs of our native land.  Our identity as American’s is clear, why can and do we not have this same identity as Christians, heirs of Jesus Christ and our baptism into His life, death and resurrection?


Peter inspires us clearly, we need to be a blessing and God can do this through each of us, we only need to fulfill what Pastor Osborn said since we are the legacy that can be a blessing for countless others with our church, our educational wing, but especially the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for all of mankind.  For our God is a God of love and we can share God’s love for each of us and with others as we bless each other and our community for God’s Glory.  Let’s be the blessing and love as Jesus Christ loves each and every one of us.  AMEN.

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