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Pastor's Update 


October, 2018

Dear Members and Friends of Grace,

On a busy October calendar, what seems like a minor matter has a prominent place. Late in the month we have an appointment for the lawn sprinkling system to be winterized. Almost 18 years ago the parsonage property was professionally landscaped and the work included an in ground sprinkler system for the lawn. It still works well, although it needs a little maintenance and repair from time to time. In October the winterizing will mean more than shutting off the water for the winter. The whole system has to be blown out with pressurized air, so that water does not remain in the lines. Without this process the pipes will freeze and we will have extensive damage.

Regular maintenance is an important part of caring for things that we want to last. When we ignore pipes or systems, the paint on our houses or the condition of our windows, things deteriorate and problems can come. Often the repair is much more costly and inconvenient than the proper maintenance would have been.

God describes our relationship with him as something that needs maintenance too. Our faith in the Lord Jesus and our standing as God’s children through faith is a precious thing. As a matter of fact, God wants us to understand that peace with God through Christ is more valuable than anything in this world. God has called us out of the darkness of ignorance and unbelief into the marvelous light of his grace and love in Christ Jesus. God has washed us clean of the guilt of our sins through his Son’s death on the cross and filled us with the joy of salvation. Our life with Christ is worth holding on to, worth treasuring, and worth maintaining. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” He told Martha, “One thing is needful.”

 Just as the world was cursed by the introduction of sin, way back at the beginning, so that things deteriorate and decay and fall apart, so sin and Satan are at work to make our faith falter and waste away if it is not properly maintained.

God is glad to provide the maintenance that our faith provides. We will have to pay a company to come and maintain our sprinkler system, but God freely sends his Spirit into human hearts, he freely and graciously fills our souls with the nourishment of his Word, and he generously pours out his grace as we receive strength from the body and blood of our Savior, which God gives us with the bread and wine which we eat and drink in Holy Communion.

But it has to be on our calendar. My October calendar has a date reserved for winterization. Your weekly calendar has an appointment that calls out to you as well. Your daily calendar needs a reservation for time spent with the word of God and with prayer. Through the ongoing nurturing that comes from his Word, God builds up our hearts and our faith, so that we are assured that the Almighty is with us, that God is our Refuge and Strength. With him we can find strength and confidence in all the situations that we face each day. And when it all is over, we have the promise of an eternal day in the eternal light of our God.

How about making an appointment? You do not have to call ahead; just put it into your schedule and keep it. God will bless you with peace and joy in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
                    Pastor Hartwig


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