By Walt Wismar, Stewardship Coordinator
This week I wanted to help pastor by writing a little article for this weeks “News and views”. He has been working hard on this for the past 5 weeks. All week long I could not really get my thoughts together. However this morning when I woke up and stepped into the shower, this is what flashed through my brain. It was so clear then. Now 11 hours later I can still remember most of it. Isn’t that weird? I wonder if Tesla or Einstein had a shower. So here you are: shower thoughts from your stewardship helper.
Sometimes I think in hymns and liturgy. Maybe it’s because my grandpa was an organist and choirmaster. He was the most important person to me as a child. And maybe because of that, I have a way of translating life through hymns and liturgy. It may be kind of nerdy, but hymns and liturgy bring me home. They center me. They speak the words of faith that I so often need to hear.
As I got up this morning, in my head was that opening hymn, God Himself is Present. Who knows why? I thought to myself, “Wow. what a wonderful experience we have each Sunday.” We are transported to the very presence of God. Sometimes it seems like you can actually feel it. I know that “feeling” word is a bit edgy for Lutherans -- but you know what I mean. Some days you go to church and your mind is wondering, some days you go to church and you are in a real funk, some days you go to church and it all “comes together”. To think-- there we are with God. When that fact sinks in; its mind boggling. What wonderful comfort and renewal we have with God and with each other. What a sharp contrast to this is compared the cold cruel world. I wish everyone could have this faith and understanding. I want to give it away. Giving faith away what this body of Christ at Holy Cross is all about.
After working hard on this campaign, I have to say for all of us, what a positive experience this has been. It’s not just our dedication to our financial situation. It’s all the action I see. All of us working together, becoming closer, and learning about one another. It’s the faith in action. We see all the seeds that have been planted both 25 years ago and last week. God himself IS present. Right here, with grace, God has blessed the work that our fellow members have done. God himself IS present . Blessing this body of Christ and the work we are doing today. What started in a house has grown to this church and soon to 125 little souls being taught Gods word every day. How awesome has been God’s blessing to Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Rocklin CA.
Another hymn verse that flashed through my head was hymn verse that says. “We are one in the Spirit we are one in the Lord”. Certainly these last few weeks we have all worked together, prayed together learned together. We have been one in the Spirit. Shortly we will take a step in faith together by completing this campaign. We are one in this work. The Holy Spirit is working on us and working through us. This body of Christ. Working together. We are promising one another in faith a portion of our financial blessing. Our unity is being built up. Why? Because we love God, we love each other and we love our neighbors as ourselves. As the song verse says: “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Faith, love and action, not necessarily in that order but it is what we have been talking about for the last six weeks.
The other song that flashed through my head was that portion of the liturgy praise song “power riches wisdom and strength and honor and blessing be to God and the Lamb forever Amen”. I always notice as that hymn is sung, how each of us get louder as the hymn comes to a climax. Why is that? Is it because the organist slows down and pumps up the volume? Well maybe, but I think not. Not every organist plays the hymn that way. Even if I am not paying attention, when we get to that part of the hymn I am right there with you cranking up the volume. Feeling those words and meaning those bible verses and rededicating myself for the week ahead. It’s kind of a cleansing situation. It puts aside anything else in my brain. Something very important is happening. That is my final point. Something very important is happening here. Right here at 4701 Grove Street. What we are doing here is very important to our community, to the world at large and to each other. We are building up this body of Christ. We are building for the future just as our brothers and sisters in faith have done in the past. Holy Cross is living proof that faith works.