St. John's Lutheran Church LCMS

July Message From Pastor Rick

Can you believe it, July is already here.  Sometimes as we move ahead in time, it is also good to stop, look back, and reflect.

This last Spring, in May, I had the opportunity to bring some Junior High Confirmation youth to a, “Higher Things” Confirmation Retreat at Camp Comeca, Cozad, Nebraska.    All reported having a great time, and look forward to going again next year.

The theme for this year was “Vocation- from the Table of Duties of Luther’s Small Catechism.”  On Wednesday, we had high winds, thunder, lightening, rain, and hail, which took out canoeing and the Zip Line, yet, everything went really well.

Higher Things is a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, like KNGN Radio.  Higher Things specializes in providing good ministry to College, High School, and Junior High students. They have a monthly magazine consisting of current topics, written by LCMS pastors, and even a website “higherthings.com”  Each summer, Higher Things offers 3 regional High School Youth Gatherings, in each month in the summer- One on the East Coast, one the West Coast, and one in the Midwest.  Each gathering is held on a College campus.  The motto of High Things is, “When we worship we worship, when study we study, and when we play we play.”

Sometimes, the topic of Vocation is overlooked.  In the day of Luther, it was believed that only certain people, doing certain things, were credited with doing, “good works.”  These good woks were good enough to shave time off spent in purgatory after death, and in some cases, even provided “get to heaven free pass.”  Usually, the people who could do “good works” were workers of the Church or for the Church. This resulted in huge cultural shift in Germany during the time of Luther.  Many wives and mothers left their family to become a nun, joining a Convent. Also, many husbands and fathers left their family to become a monk, joining a monastery.  This had a devastating effect on families in the day of Luther.

Knowing something was wrong, Luther searched the Scriptures. He discovered that God assigns people an Office(s), and Vocation, as they go through life. These include: Father, Mother, Husband, Wife, Son, and Daughter, Citizen, and Christian.” When a Christian executes the duties and responsibilities of their Office, they serve their neighbor, and also God. God hides behind the mask of our neighbor. Our neighbor includes: ourselves, our family, our friends, and anyone in need. For Jesus says, “Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto Me.”(Matt. 25:40) These are good works acceptable to our God.  We also believe that good works naturally flow from faith, and where there is faith, there is also always good works.

Pastor Gutz in his class, showed a video from Pastor Jonathan Fisk, on “dating”, to the 7th and 8th Graders.  Pastor Fisk has an awesome website and awesome segments on a variety of topics.  His segments are geared for College and High Schools students.  His website site is, “worldvieweverlasting.com”.  Our Lord has richly blessed us with awesome youth. He has also blessed us with awesome resources for our youth.

Lords Blessings have a great July   Pastor Brad Rick