Pastoral Letter

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 3:22b-24

Dear Zion,

When the world finally gains some perspective—that is, when the whole human race finds itself standing in the presence of God, the old stars fizzling before a greater, warmer light, and the earth itself transforming beneath our risen feet—then every eye in creation will see in a flash the whole sweep of history as God has seen it, and there will arise from the collective human throat a loud gasp of astonishment.

Was it, after all, the cross that mattered?

See, the world knows what God wants (though it may not know that God is the One who wants it). In our human hearts there abides an ancient rumor of beauty, the promise of health and justice, the vision of how things are supposed to be, and this abiding vision is why the world so often gets angry and violent. Enraptured by disappointment and loss, the world (both around us and in us) would win by gunfire and bloodshed, by shaming and terror, and by its own double-tongued speech what God has achieved by silence and suffering.

“Take heart. I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The pierced body of Jesus, rising in glory: there is where beauty, health, and justice have entered the world, and we experience that salvation today in the gift of His body. Where Jesus makes you part of His body (Baptism), nourishes you with His body (the Supper), and puts His Spirit to work in your body (forgiveness, Scripture, prayer, reconciliation, humility, gentleness, and self-control), there is a whole new creation.

Here is why we are the Church, and why we count it’s life and worship our best thing.

Pr. Gjerde