St. James Lutheran Church of Stewart Manor | 116 Elton Road, Stewart Manor, NY 11530 | 516-352-4099
of Stewart Manor
Dear Friends in Christ:
As we move into Summer, we have three holidays in quick succession.
Ascension happened on May 30. On that day we celebrated not the upward travel of Jesus to heaven. Quite frankly, after Copernicus, up is not quite what it used to be. On Ascension we celebrated the continuing presence of Jesus at the right hand of the Father. As Martin Luther pointed it out, Christ is present and active wherever God the Father’s creative, providential, forgiving, and fulfilling activities happen. While we await a future fulfillment of creation in which Christ brings all things into alignment with the will of the Father, Christ is working in quiet and subtle ways to cause that alignment to be real in the lives of his people and in the life of his church. The reign of Christ over all creation is fulfilled in the future, but it is happening already.
Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival before on that day, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples as Luke reports. Now Christians celebrate the gift and downpayment of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (June 9). Because of the Spirit’s presence and activity in the church, faith is possible, unity is possible, forgiveness is possible, and salvation is possible.
On June 16 we celebrate Holy Trinity Sunday. The mystery of God’s being cannot be affirmed using the closed system we call mathematics. God is one. That is the answer to the question of whether God is united and indivisible. God is three. That is the answer to the question of what is the nature of the personhoods or faces of God which make possible our salvation.
In late June we move into the ordinary season of the Sundays after Pentecost in which our texts and focus are on the Kingdom of God: its nature and its growth.
Hoping to see you this Summer, and Yours in Christ,
John Shepherd McKenzie
St. James Lutheran Church