Brothers and sisters of Zion,
“I do not cease in giving thanks for you, praising God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ, remembering you constantly in my prayers” (Eph 1:16; Col 1:3). Indeed, I know what St. Paul means when he utters these words to his fellow believers.
In this world we are always striving for something; working to accomplish the next goal; conquer the next challenge. It is infrequent then, that we have the opportunity to really give thanks, when we perceive that there is always more to be done. Well, thanks be to God in Jesus Christ who gives us the victory out of his own faithfulness and lovingkindness. By the merits of Christ we are set free, liberated to sing our praises to God for the abundance of his blessings.
Though everyday is spent in gratitude for God’s grace, I have occasion to give a special thanks to you, my fellow brothers and sisters, for the generosity you have shown me and my family. Truthfully, I do not believe that any words of my own—no matter how eloquent or poetic—could really describe how appreciative my wife and I are for the abounding love you have expressed at the arrival of our first child. God’s Spirit is most certainly working here in His most holy house, among his blessed people, and it is truly my honor and privilege to serve you as your Vicar.
I am excited to bring our daughter into this house which holds a family: a family that comes before the Lord in humility, receiving the abundant gifts God has given in water and word, bread and wine. Resting and rejoicing in these wonderful gifts we walk together, in the footsteps of Christ and all the Saints, with our dear Martin Luther, placing the Word of God always before us, joining in prayer, lifting up one another in faith, and bearing every burden as one body in Christ Jesus.
Fides ex Auditu,