Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baseball Clinic Video

Here's a slideshow\video from the Jose' Mota Baseball Clinic sponsored by FLC for the youth of our community in August.

A Good Day for the Body

The Bible's principal metaphor for the Church is The Body of Christ. That is, that the Church is the body with many members (in fact the original meaning of a "member" is "a part of the body") and that Christ is the head.
"For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another." Romans 12:4-5
Last Saturday was one of those days when the full impact of what it means to be a Christian, a member in the Body of Christ, hits home.
We had a wonderful event for the youth of our community with Jose' Mota bringing a baseball clinic followed by him signing autographs and taking individual and team pictures until everyone was satisfied. What a big-hearted and generous guy!
And Faith Lutheran Church members came in droves to set-up, prepare the field, provide goodie bags with church pen and pencil, candy, event brochure and a baseball for each participant for autographing, including all the members of the San Dimas High School Varsity Baseball Team who volunteered to help mentor the youth. All of this was provided free to the youth. Our members came out to do registration, cook and serve lunch and drinks, again free to the kids. It was a tremendous act of service.
In the afternoon we celebrated the life and mourned the death of our brother in Christ, Bert Smith. Again, Faith Lutheran Church members just stepped up to make sure things got done for the viewing, the funeral and the reception. Scores of details were planned and cared for without any fanfare. It just was done. The family was surrounded with the love of Christ in the many members of Faith Lutheran Church.
In the Body of Christ, the Church, there are many members, each one gifted for some particular task.
We show the characteristics of a Christian community often, but last Saturday we really shined.

Friday, August 6, 2010

More Light, Less Heat

Christianity Today magazine released a sobering article online (click here to read it) about the decision of U. S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker regarding Proposition 8 and its implications for Christian expression, and religious expression in general, found in the full text of the ruling.
What the ruling seems to say is that only opinions shaped by secular wordviews have any place in public discourse. In this respect, however, the ruling seems to be following what is a growing public point of view, that Christians have no right to allow their beliefs to form their opinions.
The outcome of the ruling, however, is what most people will be thinking about as the battle continues to work its way through the legal process.
In that regard, what I have read is that the “sides” on this issue are polarized and that there little, if any, middle ground.
I don’t think that is true.
An article in the online edition of the L.A. Times (Aug. 4, 2010, Gay marriage foes vow to appeal Prop. 8 ruling [Updated] ) includes the following portion of a statement by“Edward E. Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, with which I think everyone can agree: “Homosexuals certainly have every right to the love, companionship and support of another person…”
However, he goes on to say, “ -- but the courts do not have a right to distort the meaning of marriage.”
Let’s just focus on the first part of that statement. Christians have been painted as being “anti-gay” in this debate. I don’t think that is accurate or fair, and it is part of what polarizes a discussion. It’s what makes us talk at stereotypes and not with people as they are, and it happens from both “sides”.
Christians believe that all people are created in God’s image, that all sin and fall short and need a savior, and that all people are loved by God.
I think there would be a lot more light and a lot less heat in this debate if we could start with that.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Wedding Banquet

We asked Faith Lutheran Church members who liked to cook to volunteer their talents and some time to produce a dinner for the families and staff of our Vacation Bible School. It was to be held at 6:30 p.m., just before the closing program.
They did a fantastic job. They filled two long tables with Italian food, including a dizzying variety of pizzas. Not only was is delicious, but it was timely as, along with learning Jesus’ parable of the sower during Vacation Bible School (Matthew 13:3-9,18-23), the children had also learned to grow their own pizza toppings at home in their own gardens.
At 6:30 p.m. everything was ready. We had about a dozen cooks, helpers and VBS leaders, and about three people from the community to eat all the food!
So, remembering what Jesus said about a similar situation, I walked to the door and yelled at the top of my lungs, “FREE PIZZA!”
I don’t think we had anyone come in the door in response to my yelling but, suddenly, cars began to fill the parking lot. Families began to flow in the door. The Parish Hall filled up and people sat down at tables and were fed. In the end there was still enough food to take to our local fire station where the firefighters accepted it with gratitude.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God was like that in the parable of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:2-14).
God invites people to sit at his table. But if we don’t respond, the invitation goes out to somebody else, to anybody good or bad who accepts his invitation to come and enjoy the feast God has prepared.
How do we get into the banquet? Through accepting the invitation; that is, through faith. What clothes do we need? Only a baptismal garment.
How long does the banquet last? It starts now and lasts forever.
Best of all, it’s all FREE!