Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ our crucified and risen Lord.
In the same year World War II began, the German theologian and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer published in 1939 a book entitled Life Together. Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran minister, wrote the book while teaching at an underground seminary. Later Bonhoeffer became an active participant in the resistance to Hitler’s Nazi regime and would be executed for that political resistance on April 9, 1945. The subject matter of Life Together was Christian fellowship. Bonhoeffer understood Christian community to be a gift from God. He wrote “The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.”
Christian fellowship is a gift from God and one for which we are to be thankful. As we continue to find ways to reconnect as a community of faith, your participation and presence enriches our mutual fellowship. We come together to worship, learn, and serve. In doing so we support and care for one another as well as communities beyond our church. Bonhoeffer described the Christian community as one of love: love for God, each other, and those beyond the community. He described the importance of caring for each other: “A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses.”
This community of faith can provide tremendous assistance to its members and visitors as we pray for and offer encouragement to one another. In addition, our Christian fellowship can be a wonderful gift to those outside of this particular community of faith. Our invitations to come and experience the presence of Christ in word, sacraments, and community have the potential to connect with a person seeking God, community, or purpose. Our acts of love and charity help meet the needs of those in Gettysburg and around the world. Christian fellowship is a community of love extending God’s good news through words and deed to all. When we come together under the auspices of God to make Christ known to all, Christ Lutheran has a mission that involves both in-reach to those already assembled and outreach to those not present.
Know that all are welcome at Christ Lutheran. Now is wonderful and fitting time to recommit and reconnect with your Christ Lutheran community offering your gifts and love while at the same time receiving the gifts and love of fellow members of the Christian community. Come, serve, grow, connect, care and love in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Stephen Herr