PASTOR’S MESSAGE - June 2024

Behold, Your Brothers and Sisters -

In biblical terms, the people in the pews around us are our family. Like the members of our biological family, we have not chosen them for ourselves, but they have been chosen for us. And we are, therefore, inseparably bound to them. Because we belong to Christ, we belong to his family.

In John’s account of the crucifixion, we read, When Jesus saw his mother and disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home." (John 19: 26-27)  At Christ’s declaration, Mary and John became family to one another and demonstrated all the loyalty we would expect from a biological mother and son.

Later, when Paul wanted the Roman Church to welcome and help Phoebe, he called her, “our sister” (Rom.16:1). When Peter wanted to commend Silvanus, he called him “a faithful brother” ( 1 Pet. 5:12.) When the apostolic writers wanted to address an entire congregation, they frequently called them “brothers” or “brothers and sisters.” The people in the pews around us are, in fact, our family.

And here is the point: That is also true of us. As Christians, we have a common bond that is both unique and powerful. We might wonder on any given Sunday morning what we have in common with those around us. Churches often bring together people from very different backgrounds, with very different views of the world. It would be easy to describe all the ways that we are different from one another, and to focus on that. But just like the people in every church, what we have in common is far greater - for we have all been touched by the healing love of our Savior. We are all united by a shared Savior. We have all been saved, healed, and blessed by Jesus. And that is much more powerful than any differences that we might have.

As we affirm our relationship to the people of our church and overflow with affection for them, we testify loudly to the world that we are not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. Not because they are perfect, but because they are being made like our only sibling who is Jesus Christ. In our Christian brothers and sisters, we see something the world cannot see - that is, we can see Christ Himself in them.

Because God’s people are our family, we will hold our own preferences and priorities loosely ( Acts 4:32). We will open our hearts and our doors. We will pull up another chair to the dinner table and add another name to our prayer list. We will give them our groceries and furniture and smiles. We will share their grief and trials and disappointments. We will look for ways to show love.

Your Sister in Christ,

Pastor Perucy N. Butiku - Coverage Pastor

 

Regular Schedule

Sunday

  • Sunday School
    – 10:00 AM
  • Worship
    – 10:15 AM
  • Coffee Hour
    – 11:15 AM
  June 2024  
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Contact Us

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church
2332 Grand Avenue
Baldwin, New York 11510
Phone (516) 223-1951