Immanuel Lutheran Church
Pastors Perspectives April 2018
Learning and Growing in Faith
Lately, the question has been asked "Why do Lutherans have classes for Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation and New Members?"
Jesus was a rabbi which meant he was both a teacher and a preacher. For Jesus, teaching and preaching often went hand-in-hand. The Sermon on the Mount is a prime example of Jesus teaching people about the kingdom of God. It begins "When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven " (Matthew 5:1-3). His disciples asked him "Teach us to pray" and he taught them the Lords Prayer (Luke 11:1-4).
As Christians, we are people of faith but not blind faith. God gave us not only a body and soul but also a mind. The mind helps us think and reason. It helps us understand what we believe and why that matters.
God comes to us in Word and Sacrament through Holy Scripture and through the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, which are called the "means of grace." When I was ordained as pastor, one of the promises I made was to "faithfully administer the means of grace." One way of helping ensure that we, as a church community, are faithful in our administration of the means of grace is to offer Christian education for people at key faith/life milestones.
Our mission is to be a "Welcoming community rooted in Christ, growing in faith and serving with joy!" Learning about the Bible and Christian faith helps us to be rooted and to grow in our faith.
Some things about faith are a mystery. There are some things about faith that we will never fully understand. But for those things that we can understand, we seek to be faithful in offering opportunities for people to learn. As we learn, faith takes root and grows. Amen!
Blessings on your faith journey,