St. Paul Lutheran Church in Runge wishes each and everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. It is a special time to reflect on our many blessings and thank the Lord who takes care of each of us in every way.
We welcome all who are looking for a closer relationship with our Lord and Savior to attend worship services at St. Paul Lutheran in Runge on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. with Adult Bible Study/Sunday School following the service. Pastor Randal Bruno is our minister and he wrote the following article in our November newsletter.
We had an interesting day once at the parsonage we lived in up north. For some time we had been living with a colony of flying, potentially stinging, insects near the back water hydrant. Some told us they were sweat bees, others called them ground wasps. All I know is that they really liked to visit all the flowers, so I am going to call them bees. We found them everywhere on the property and worked around them most every day. Whenever we filled up a bucket of water for our dog, the bees flew by us, but left us alone. You could say that we have had a very symbiotic relationship. And knowing that the bees potentially do good work for us all, we had left them alone.---All of this changed one day when my wife was putting the garden hose back. For whatever reason the bees attacked and she ended up with a good number of stings. It was a good cause for prayer. After a couple of days of pain and itching, she was fine. The situation, though, does make me think about how there are some similarities in how we treat God.
We all know that God is the creator of all that is around, even the bees. But along with His creation, God is also with us. God is not just a distant observer, God is here. I am not saying that God is living in a hole in the ground by our back faucet. But I am saying that God is around wanting to be present and influential in our lives.--So knowing that we have a loving and caring God, why is it then that we often treat God in a similar way that my wife and I treated the bees? We find them all around, but as long as they leave us alone, we leave them alone.
Part of the issue might be that we tend to think of God just at Sunday morning services. Often that is the time that we have relegated for God to be part of our lives. In other words, outside of the worship service we frequently tell God to buzz off (Pun intended) Perhaps we have forgotten the third Commandment: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. And perhaps we have forgotten the impetus behind Sabbath keeping.
Luther, in the Small Catechism, starts his explanation of this commandment like he does all of them:" We are to fear and love God." He continues with saying that we are not to despise God's Word, but gladly hear it. As I often say to confirmation classes, notice that Luther does not point us toward keeping a Sabbath day; it has a whole lot more to do with keeping Sabbath time. You might even say that it has a whole lot to do with keeping a Sabbath life. That is, a life open and yearning to hear God's Word and thereby letting God in all of our life. Not just a part of it.
Why is it that we tend to not see God or call on God until we need God? Like when we get stung by the world. Yet if we spent more time with God, Sabbath time, we would better realize God as part of our daily life.--Even so, that does not mean that the world will not try to sting us; just that the sting does not hurt nearly as bad.
Deuteronomy 5:12 “Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.”
Peace, Pastor Randy.