Ponderings from Pastor Juli
Light of the Cross Lutheran Church
We make choices every day. Regular or de-caf coffee? Wheat, white, sourdough or rye bread? Drive the truck or the car? Go through the yellow light or stop? Make a doctor’s appointment or wait? Choices, choices, choices – from the minute you wake up until you fall asleep at night, you are making choices.
The poet, Robert Frost, addressed this idea of choices and how making one choice affected his life in a certain way, but left him wondering how the other choice might have made a difference. The poem is titled “The Road Not Taken” (and if you want to see the full version of the poem go to www.poetryfoundation.org
and search for the title). He pictured two roads leading in different directions and he had to choose which one to take – one more well-worn than the other, the other more pristine. He weighed his options and finally chose one road, hoping to travel the other at another time. He took the road less traveled – and concluded that “that has made all the difference” in his life.
We sometimes use a confession of our sins which includes the phrase, “we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
” In church language, those are known as sins of commission (what we have done, but should not have done), and sins of omission (what we left undone but should have done). You can remember examples of each of these in your own life, I’m sure – regretting both choices – commission and omission.
We are not alone in these regrets. Even the apostle Paul acknowledges his sinfulness – and that he was powerless at times to choose the right path. In the book of Romans, Paul says this: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15) And a couple of verses later, he says, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” (Romans 7:19) What Paul is identifying here is the power of sin in our lives. “We are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves” – we may wish to walk one path, but sin directs us to another path and we are powerless against it. Paul acknowledged this at the end of Romans 7 when he says, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a).
We often are confronted with choices – things we should do, but fail to do and things we should not do, but do anyway. We cannot escape the fact that we are responsible for our choices – that we are guilty of the sin whether it is the sins of commission or the sins of omission. We are “in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.”
The conclusion of the confession is a plea for forgiveness and mercy. It is also a plea that forgiven, renewed and led, “we may delight in your will and walk in your ways…” Remembering that we are washed in baptismal waters and claimed as a children of God, frees us from our bondage to sin. It doesn’t mean that we won’t still choose the wrong path – it just means that we are delivered from sins’ consequences and joined to the saving power of God through Jesus Christ. He chose the cross so that we can now be forgiven and can be reconciled to God. Because of his choice, we have the opportunity for new life. Because of his choice, we have the opportunity for a renewed relationship with God. Because of his choice, we have the opportunity again and again, to choose the path that leads to life. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Thank You All
LOC Annual Meeting
- Thanks to everyone who contributed school supplies for our local school children. LOC has had a long tradition of providing school supplies and once again, you all have done a great job in responding to this need!
- Thanks to the guys from the Men’s Crew who helped me with a huge clean out of a garage and storage unit. You took a huge weight off my shoulders with your generous offer of help. You are the BEST!
- To Pastor Juli and everyone at LOC – I can’t begin to tell you all how much I appreciate all of you. My brother, Jim, is at peace at last. He is like my beautiful butterflies in my yard, flying from flower to flower and then on his journey home. Thank all of you for your prayers and sympathy to Bill and I. Sincerely -- Sandy and Bill Ash
The Annual Meeting of Light of the Cross Lutheran Church will take place on Sunday, October 9, 2022 following the morning worship service. Business to be addressed at the meeting includes adoption of the 2023 budget, elections for Council positions Nominating Committee and Synod Assembly Voting members and a presentation on the possible use of the Krautbauer memorial gift, and any and all other business which properly comes before the congregation.
Wedding Bells on October 30!
We are all excited about sharing in the wedding of Pastor Juli and Paul Borgstrom which will take place on Sunday, October 30 at the 9 a.m. worship service. This would normally be a red Sunday in observance of the Reformation, and even though the focus of the service will be a wedding, red will still be the color of the day. A guest pastor, Rev. Jeffrey King, will be joining us to lead worship. He is a former classmate of Pastor Juli’s who is now retired and living in Illinois. Jane Howard will share music at the piano, and Joyful Noise will contribute special music during the service. A catered brunch will follow the service and everyone from the congregation is invited. An RSVP in the form of a sign up sheet is available at the church. Call the office if you aren’t able to sign up in person. By signing up, you make it easier to estimate the number of guests for the caterer. Thank you!
Updating Friends and Family Picture Board.
It has come to our attention that our picture board is in need of refreshing and updating. Normally we would do this by making a new pictorial directory but that is a time-consuming and costly process. Our board contains a number of people who are deceased, or who have transferred to other churches, or moved out of the area. There are also a few pictures of youngsters who are now “all grown up”.
Over the next several weeks, we will be encouraging you to update your picture. Our Office Coordinator, Hannah Sheppard, has offered to take your picture on a Sunday morning before or after the service. We’ll be using a blue background (actually the back side of a quilt) so you can plan your attire accordingly. If you would like to print your picture for your own use, we would charge a nominal fee to cover Hannah’s expenses (not yet determined exact cost). We’ll have a sign up sheet available at the round table so you can sign up for a particular Sunday. We strongly encourage snowbirds to be among the first to respond to this request. If you need further information about this, please direct your questions to Hannah.
Churchyard visits LOC on September 18
On Sunday, September 18 Churchyard makes their annual visit to our congregation and we’ve given them a little extra time in the service to share more of their fantastic music. You won’t want to miss it! Bring your friends too. We will gather a freewill offering to support their ongoing ministry through music.
Interested in Membership?
We are beginning to formulate plans for another New Member Sunday. If you have been thinking about joining, please let Pastor Juli know so that she can include you in the next “class” of new members. If you feel that this is “where you belong”, let us help you make it official!
School Supplies for WELCA Fall Conference Gathering
WELCA is now accepting school supplies for the Fall Conference Gathering on September 24. We will send these with our guest speaker, a teacher from the Onamia school. Some items to consider for these gifts are packets of construction paper, Kleenex boxes, Chlorox wipes, dry erase markers (items to be used by teachers more so than students).