Messages from Pastor Bob

September 2023 Recognizing Blessings

Dear Friends of Zion,

I once considered myself a baseball fan. I hardly missed a game when it was televised. I knew the names of the players on the team, as well as the statistics of each player. I followed the team, cheered them on, and if I was able, I would actually go to the game in person. But something happened. I guess I have been too busy and preoccupied. I don’t know the names of the players anymore, nor do I know the name of the manager. I don’t know where the team stands in relationship with the other teams. I don’t even know if they have a chance to make the play-offs. I guess I’m not much of a fan.

Sometimes this can happen to us in our relationship with God. While we used to go to church to worship the Lord and grow in our knowledge of God’s Word, we can drift away from the very means that God has given to us that keeps us connected to Him. Jesus gave us the Sacrament of His Body and Blood for us Christians to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith. That’s why Jesus told His disciples to “do this in remembrance of [Him].”

In worship we hear God’s Word and seek the blessings of His grace. In worship our Lord is present with us. And our presence in worship can reveal how important the Lord is to us, as well. Our presence in worship is also a way of witnessing to others. People who come to church appreciate it when the pews have bodies and the voices of the faithful are praising our Lord. King David once wrote, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” (Psalm 122:1). In a world where so many regard church as unimportant, it is my sincere prayer that people who consider themselves “Christian” will recognize the blessings that God imparts through His Word and Sacraments.

Our world today is not easy for us. We face many hardships and temptations. Parenting has become increasingly challenging. In the face of these trying times, it is good to keep our children connected to our Lord and Savior who said, “Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them” (Mark 10:14). And parents also need guidance and peace that our Lord offers to us.

May God bless you as you stay connected to our Lord.