This is the first newsletter of Shaped by the Cross Lutheran Mission (soon to be Lutheran Church). In first issues, it is traditional to say something memorable or even historic. The most memorable or historic thing I can say is that Jesus Christ went to the cross to bear the burden of our sins and the wrath of God, and has won eternal salvation and life for us by doing so. That truth is what this newsletter will always be about, even while it tells the reader about other things, such as congregational events.
I chose to name the newsletter for two reasons; first, I prefer a newsletter to have a name, and second, I want to keep the words of Jesus about "the narrow way" in your minds. There is far too much in this life that tempts us to deal with our faith as a relatively insignificant detail in the vast complexity of our lives as 21st century people. There is really nothing more important, however, no matter how urgent other things may seem. Jesus once said, "What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" If the whole world is not worth enough, clearly the pressures and details of our lives day-to-day must not distract us from that "one thing needful." So, our purpose here is to keep our eyes fixed on that narrow way which leads to life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
The other thing I hope to do in this issue is record right at the start the reason for the name of our congregation. We have chosen the name "Shaped by the Cross". Our name is intended to look both backwards and forwards. Our initial impetus to form this congregation arose out of the experience of the cross in the heat of controversy and conflict. We began as a sincere effort towards peace, with the fervent and sincere hope that both we and those we left behind might find a blessing in freedom from the contention which had troubled us all for so long.
Our name also looks forward to living the life which Christ has promised to all those that believe - a life shaped by the realities of His suffering and death on our behalf, and lived under the cross which He may appoint for us from time to time. We began with a prayer that we might be given the grace to be faithful and to confess Christ in every circumstance, that we might support one another and reach out to those who do not yet believe with the love of Christ, and that our individual lives and our parish life together is truly shaped by the cross. So, we chose that for our name.
May our Lord use us to accomplish His will and bless and keep us!
Yours in the Lord,
These sermons are for the Church. If you find it useful, go ahead and use it -- but give credit where credit is due.
Shaped by the Cross Lutheran Church's Website can be found by clicking here.
Send Pastor Robin Fish an email.