It was enough for me to struggle in my study with Hebrew, if only to discover that Jesus’ name means “The Lord makes room.” I shared my discovery with “our homeless friends” in a recent morning devotion. It is not uncommon for someone to interrupt, if not challenge me during these devotions. “If that is true,” exclaimed one of our worshippers, “that changes everything!”
Yes, it does. This is why Luke, the gospel writer, plays with that name in telling Jesus’s story. He says they laid Jesus in a manger, because there was “no place for them in the inn.” The baby Jesus grows up to befriend any and all with no place, making a place for them at his table. Everyone has a place with Jesus.
Once Jesus visited the home of Zaccheus, a man without any friends. He was a sinner, a tax collector. “Today salvation has come to this house,” Jesus announced. He was playing with the name salvation, which was also Jesus’ name. “Today the Lord makes a place at your house, Zacchaeus!”
As we enter this holy season, we are named as God’s beloved, baptized as we are in Jesus’ name. There is no place we can be but that God, the Lord, makes room for us.
Wherever your place, that is God’s place, too. This is our Christmas joy of Jesus, Emmanuel, the Word-made-flesh, who dwells among us in grace and truth.
And, that, dear friends, changes everything.
Pastor Steve Klemz
Taken from the 2018 Stewardship Report handed out on Oct 28th and available now online:
Connecting Through Grace
Thank you! You are a gracious and grace-filled community. This stewardship report flows from your generosity, creating new ministries and ways for us to be a people connecting through grace.
Thanks be to God for the gift of this community. It is our most precious gift, overflowing from God’s heart, shaping and calling us to be a community of grace. How do we see the Spirit connecting us through grace?
Look deep into the cup where love is poured, ‘”for you.” Feel joy celebrated and, when one is in sorrow, we all taste salt. See our fun and fellowship; sacrifice and service; conversations and consolations. Let the music and worship wash over you. In all these connections there is grace, connecting us with the very life of God.
Because of your financial gifts, we have explored new ways to be people of grace. More than prayers for the care of creation, we have made the commitment to reduce our carbon footprint through building renovation. We are connecting more and more children with God’s grace through our VBS outreach and choir days. We are a community of compassion, connecting with refugees at the border, where Cristo Rey Lutheran receives our gifts as Milagro de la Frontera (Miracle at the Border).
What if a stranger should drop in and ask about “this community of grace, this connecting through grace, —— what does it look like?” We can sweep our hand over every aspect of our life together and truly say, “It looks like this.”
To download the entire Stewardship Report, click the link below.
Pastor Steve Klemz
The color for hope.
The liturgical color for the Advent season, heralding our Advent prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus.”
Overheard from Let Me Shine Preschool children, “My school is in the blue church.”
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church – the place of hope, the gathering place with Jesus.
BLUE NO MORE
The blue walls are gone, replaced.
Alas, they could not contain our hope, to be wise stewards of our carbon footprint.
The blue walls are gone, but they are now transformed, redeemed.
Cut into pieces, they are etched with the sign of the cross.
Jesus said of the cross, “I, when I am lifted up, will draw all to me.”
Paul said of the cross, “it has broken down the dividing wall of hostility.”
Behold, the cross shaped wall has become a gospel bridge.
MILAGRO DE LA FRONTERA --- Miracle at the Border
With your donations, these crosses created a miracle.
True to their blue character, they are a miracle of hope for Cristo Rey Lutheran Church, El Paso.
Pastor Rose Mary reports: “We received 22 asylum seekers today. They came tired, hungry and seemed lost. They ate, registered, received new clothing, showered, ate dinner and began to relax. As always, we welcomed them we offered God’s hope and love to his children. Thank you for being mission partners with your support for Immigration and Refugee Ministry.”
HOSPITALITY REPLACES HOSTILITY
The bridge of hospitality replaces the wall of hostility.
Thank you for opening the borders of your hearts.
Thank you for your generosity! To date, $3,318 has been raised for Cristo Rey.
Thank you for your prayers and support for Juan de Dios Lopez.
Thank you, Bob Hackworth, Jimmy Krzysik and Christian Hackworth, for your labor of love, crafting the crosses.
Caminante, no hay puentes se hace punetes al andar. (Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks.) --- Gloria E. Anzaldúa
With Christ, Pastor Steve
CONNECTING THROUGH GRACE
We are a Reconciling in Christ community. All are welcome!
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Rocky Mountain Synod
ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
8:15am Awakening Worship
9:15am Sunday School
10:30am Traditional Worship