"In God's sight this principle stands
firm and unshakable: all saints live by the same Spirit and by the same
faith, and are guided and governed by the same Spirit and the same faith,
but they all do different external works. For God does not work through
them at the same time, in the sane place, in the same work, or in the sight
of the same people. He moves at different times, in different places,
in different works, and in different people, but he always rules them by
the same Spirit and in the same faith. And each one is compelled
by the work, place, time, persons, and circumstances, previously unknown
to him (or her), to follow God as he rules and guides him (or her).
This is the true knowledge of faith in which
all saints are instructed, each one in his (or her) vocation."
- Martin Luther, Treatise on "the Judgment
of Martin Luther on Monastic Vows" (1521) LW 44, p.269.
While Martin Luther first penned these
lines with male priests and monks in mind (I have added the [or her]),
I believe these words are so timely for the Church of Jesus Christ on earth
today. We, even at Trinity, are made up of many "different people",
with a variety of "different" talents and ideas. We don't always
agree on how things "should be done" at Trinity, and that may be because
being guided by the Holy Spirit we are guided to do "different external
In September we start up again with a new
school year at Trinity Lutheran School. We start up with a new Sunday
school year and new sessions of Confirmation and COW. We start up
again with "different people" added to the mix in the body of Christ we
personify at the school and the church. With these "different people"
comes new ideas, new enthusiasm, new talents and ultimately change.
The thing to remember is that we are all
guided by the "same Spirit and the same faith." It is vital that
we embrace all the "differents" not as difficulties, but as opportunities
given to us by the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and
to create faith in every life we touch.
This will be my first September as Associate
Pastor at Trinity and even though I have been here for almost eight months
I am one of those "different people" guided by the same Spirit and the
same faith. In responding to God's love for me in Jesus Christ I
will try to let God work through me, remembering that it is God that I
serve and no other. There is a certain freedom that comes in knowing
that if "my way" doesn't always work out in what I try to accomplish, I
can know that somehow God is working through me for the sake of the Gospel.
I encourage all of you to prayerfully consider
how the same Holy Spirit is working through you.