St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Rockford MI

A Message for You

May 10, 2012 // 0 Comments

One Truth or Many ‘Versions of Truth’ by PASTOR MARK W. LOVE St. Peter’s Lutheran Church As people who live with so much information and so much informed information provided by commentators and interpreters of anything and everything of our world, we are also a people left to decide whose version, interpretation and commentary of the facts are the truth. Our society today denies that there is one truth by which all things can be judged—there are only interpretations of it. While this can be a hassle, many people like it because it allows them to pick and choose those “versions of truth” that permit them to have what they want. In short: “Getting or keeping what I want or think is right will determine what is ‘truth’ for me.” Variations of truth and the acceptance of them are both born of selfishness. We only have to go to Adam and Eve to see this one real truth. There was God’s truth and Satan’s “version of truth”—selfishness led them to accept the “version of truth,” which is NO truth at all, that gave them what they wanted. Another important reason why we like to be able to pick and choose “versions of truth” is that the real and unyielding truth makes demands of us and it will always cost us something. Just as a person will adopt a certain “version of truth” to obtain something, this same person will also adopt the same or another “version of truth” to retain something. Consider the people who say, “It is such a big problem and I’m just one person, there is nothing I can do.” This “version of truth” allows them to obtain an excuse for their lack of participation, and it also allows them to retain their time, energy and money for their own use. The unbeliever uses the “version of truth” that says “religion is all a matter of interpretation, there is no way to know the truth.” This “version of truth” provides the individual with a reason not to listen or study the Word of God, and it has also allowed him or her to retain his or her ungodly life. In His high priestly prayer, Jesus asked God the Father to “sanctify them […]

Local residents serve Lord in Steeler country

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

As the summer is winding down, a group of high school students from Rockford and Cedar Springs chose a selfless way to spend one week of it. The group of nine students and five adults from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church went on a mission trip to a once booming steel town called Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Beaver Falls was once a very prosperous community, thanks to two very large steel mills that the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie built over 150 years ago. The steel mills closed in the 1980s and the town has not yet recovered. At the invitation of a local congregation to help this struggling community, the senior youth of St. Peter’s chose to go to Beaver Falls and “Serve the Lord in Steeler Country” (the theme for this mission trip). Their trip started on Sunday, July 12 with their commission and blessing at the early worship service. After a long drive, they were welcomed by the very friendly people of Mount Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church. The St. Peter’s group teamed up with other youth groups from Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. The church’s classrooms, kitchen, fellowship hall and showers served as their home for the next six nights. There were several different projects lined up by Mt. Olive with the local community. One team worked at removing overgrown shrubs and brush that completely covered steps that connected two different level streets. Doing this eliminated an extra mile of walking required to get to the other street. Many locals commented that they never knew those steps were there. Another group worked on cleaning up a vacant lot that had become dangerous with broken glass, metal shards and overgrown vegetation that made it prime for drug activities. The group from St. Peter’s was split up to handle four different jobs throughout the week. One team helped at the local fire station with whatever they needed done in preparation for the annual carnival they put on as their major fundraiser. The kids had to wash the fire trucks so they would look nice for the parade on Wednesday, then they had fun trying on the firemen’s safety gear and equipment. Angela Barnes was a little freaked out when Gabe Westveld found the ax. They helped prepare the […]

A Message for You – July 16, 2009

July 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

The omnipotent vulnerability of God by PASTOR MARK W. LOVE St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Rockford “Christ helps us,” Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote from his prison cell, “not by virtue of his omnipotence, but by virtue of his weakness and suffering… Only the suffering God can help.” (Letters and Papers from Prison, pp. 360-61, Trans. R.H. Fuller-Macmillan New York 1972) When it comes to loving mankind, God does not need to be pushed into the full consequences of living out His love. It is in living out the fullness of His love that God is being who God is. Such love, in its willingness to suffer the full consequences of that love, is judged by fallen human reason to make God too weak and too vulnerable. Such love would seem to deny His omnipotence. Yet it is in such weakness and vulnerability that God demonstrates the true omnipotence of His love in that He freely empties Himself and suffers for the sake of those He loves. Such love does not consider, and never regrets, the price it willing pays for being so vulnerable. Such love sees only the need for such weakness and vulnerability and the blessed benefit of it. It is through such vulnerability that the Son of God willingly comes to meet mankind and save him. Such vulnerability for the sake of another is the perfection of love. Inasmuch as we have been united with Christ in baptism, Christ is with us in all circumstances and conditions of life. In all these conditions, the love of Christ sustains and upholds us so that we can in faith dare to love and live with the risks of being so vulnerable that others might be touched by the love of Christ-through us. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing! Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name! For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations,” Psalm 100:1-5.