Reflecting on 777 Days with You

     Typically, when it comes to this monthly newsletter article, I try and find a devotional thought, something to teach, or introduce to you. This month I hope you will allow me the opportunity to simply reflect on our life together at St. Matthew Lutheran Church. 
     It has been 777 days since I began serving as your pastor. I have learned a lot and still am learning. Thank you for your patience, prayers, and encouragement along the way! As Martin Luther’s Sacristy Prayer expresses so well, “Lord God, You see how unfit I am to administer this great and difficult office. Had I been without help from You, I would have ruined everything long ago.” 
     Whenever a pastor prays this it is always true. God is the one sustaining His Church. She isn’t mine nor is she yours – the church is God’s, for He purchased and won her with His own dear life. This place we call after the first of the evangelists, (St. Matthew) belongs to God. He has been the one steering and guiding us to accomplish His mission and ministry these last several months. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
     Whether in meetings or casual conversations, I am amazed to see God at work in your lives! At the end of the day I find this the most rewarding part of ministry: to see God at work in you. He continually calls us back from our errors to the strength of His Truth; He still makes His love and forgiveness known to us through Christ in the Word and Sacraments. And He sends us to others through joyful service to them in His name. What joy!
     In addition to all this, our “little church” has grown over these past 777 days. Thanks be to God! Not only in numbers, but also in depth. Ours is a healthy growth because it is growth which comes as a direct result of God’s Word being studied, proclaimed, and received on a daily basis. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127). This is most certainly true!

 
May God bless us! May His grace keep us ever in His saving grip, and cause us to live as His saved and sent people!

In Jesus’ Name,
Pastor Jeff
October 2018
Pastor Jeff Burgess
St. Matthew Lutheran Church
A Congregation of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
211 E. Hinman Street 
Mancelona, Michigan  49659
Church Office: 231-587-8442
Church Email: stmatthewmancelona@gmail.com