From the Vicar

“The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name” (Exod 15:3). “[He] goes
forth like a mighty man; like a man of war he stirs up his furry” (Is 42:13). “Yahweh,
your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory” (Zeph 3:17). The Old Testament
often speaks in similar metaphors about the power and might of God. He is the King of
Glory, strong and mighty; mighty in battle (Ps 24:8). The ancient Israelites knew a God
that was so close that he fought for them in physical and spiritual battles.

We too have been given a God who is close. One who comes in flesh and blood
not as the prototypical warrior, but as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the
world (Jn 1:29)! This Lamb, this Savior Jesus, is the one who goes uncomplaining forth
to die for your sins, so that you may be bold and take heart through faith in his resurrection
which overcomes the world (Jn 16:33). Jesus gives you the victory (1 Cor 15:33),
overcoming sin, death, and the devil so that you might never again be harassed by
deaths sting!

The mercy and steadfast love of the Lord, which surpasses all our understanding,
has the ability to draw all people to himself as sheep of his very own fold. That includes
those who serve as soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in our nation’s military. The
church is given as the bride of Christ to baptize, preach and teach in the name in his
name. It dolls out his goods of mercy and forgiveness to all those who repent and believe
in this good news (Mk 1:15). Just so must it consider how to approach those who
have, and continue to serve in uniform, bringing the life and love of Christ into even the
darkest of places.

As an enlisted Marine, and now Chaplain Candidate in the Navy, I have been
called to serve the church which renders such gifts, to our fellow citizens who protect us
at home and abroad. Here at Zion we are fortunate to have brothers and sisters who
serve and have served; those of honored memory, and those still living in our midst.
Therefore, part of my internship project for my last year as your Vicar, will be to gather
information about all these fine men and women who are or have been members of Zion
in the past. In this newsletter you will find a questionnaire. This information will be
gathered and published in a booklet in honor of Zion’s veteran community. Another part
of my continued work will be to reach out towards the larger veteran community—
extending the presence of this congregation, and the love of Christ, to those around us.

There is a battle that rages, and the prize is our souls. Each of us are engaged differently;
but our defense is the same. Amidst this threat, we have the assurance of victory
in the one who conquered death and comes to say. “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:19).
He has given you his own armor (Eph 6:10-20), and has promised to bear you up (Ps
91:12). So, hold fast to him in love, and embrace each other in the fight of faith.

Fides ex Auditu,

Vicar Joe