St. Paul's Lutheran Church

St. Paul's Evangelical Free Lutheran Church

21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road

Hagerstown, MD 21742

301-739-5442

Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful

The Pastor's Thoughts

"The Parisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 'Why do your disciples break the tradcitions of the elders?  For they do not wash their hands when they eat.'  He answered them, 'And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?'"   Matthew 15:2-3

"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit accorting to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8

As almost everyone who reads this knows, I've been preaching us through the book of Deuteronomy since last November.  It is not the easiest book to preach in this way and I've had to make adjustments and skip material that is not relevant to our spiritual lives.  Some Sunday's are easier than others, but it is important for us to work through even the hard texts because they too contain the inerrant Word of God.

LIfe is full of things that are important but hard to do.  Still, we can't just skip over the hard stuff so we can relish the easy stuff.  What needs doing , needs doing.  And that is true for our life as a congregation of God's people gathered here in Leitersburg.

New times bring new challenges and new opportunities if we are to do the work God is calling us to do here.  And I believe with all my heart God is calling us — you and me —to work for the Kingdom where He has planted us.

There's a phrase some of us have used lately and it is something we should all remember — Tradition is the living faith of the dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. In other words, it is meet, right and salutary that we hold tightly the faith passed down to us by our ancestors — faith that is given by the Holy Spirit. That is tradition. Traditionalism means doing things the way we used to do them because it feels most comfortable to us and we all value comfort — especially in a world filled with change and upheaval.

St. Paul's stands at a crossroads right now. Living in the tradtions of the faith, guided by what God has given us, we have to step out on the road that leads to the future. We remember the past, because it's important. But, as has been said, the past is another country, they do things differently there.

Pr. Culler