Zion Lutheran Church Congregation

  • Excerpt from July, 2022 "The Mountain Top Messenger" newsletter...

    The other night June and I were watching America's Got Talent, and something happened with one of the contestants that really struck me. There was a young woman on stage...
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July 2022 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter
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The other night June and I were watching America's Got Talent, and something happened with one of the contestants that really struck me. There was a young woman on stage who was going to sing a song entitled "Daydreams" that she had written. As with most contestants she had a bit of back story with it. In her story she told of how she had a record contract and that things were going well with her life and then her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She then gave up her record deal to stay home and take care of her mother. When asked how her mother was doing, she stated that her mother had passed away. Following that brief interview she sang her song which was very moving, and she sang it well. So well that Heidi, one of the judges, gave the woman, Lily Meola, the golden buzzer, which means Lily gets to go directly to the live performances later on. They praised Lily, her song, and even commented that her mother would have been proud of her. Following the closing interview with the judges she was talking with Terry the MC, at which point Lily mention that this song had been one of her mothers' favorites and "I think she would be really happy, wherever she might be".

"Wherever she might be", what a profound and sad statement. I feel safe in saying, at least based on her statement, that Lily is not a Christian. You could see the sense of loss and longing in Lily's eyes. As I watched this segment, and I have to admit I have rewatched it several times on YouTube, not so much the for the song but for the discussions before and after. My heart aches for the loss that Lily feels, I cannot imagine the pain of feeling that a loved one is just gone, gone to "Wherever". It reminded me of what Paul says to the Thessalonians in his first letter, chapter 4, verse 13;
"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope."
As I watched I could see that Lily has no hope. We, as Christians, we have hope, and as we have talked before not the kind of hope like I hope I win the lottery, but the sure and certain hope in the resurrection of the dead through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul continues this way;

"14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words."
That last verse is the key, it is so vitally important, it is so great a part of our great commission of sharing Christ message of salvation to the world; "Therefore encourage one another with these words". Share that message with everyone you know, with everyone you encounter, family, friends, coworkers. Let them know there is hope out there and it is a sure and certain hope. It is not "Wherever she might be" it is at peace with the Lord until we meet again for an eternity in heaven. I pray Lily can find that peace for herself one day.

A reminder that we will be having our church outdoor worship and picnic at Prentice Park on August 14th. You get an extra hour of sleep as worship will begin at 10:00am with the picnic to follow, there will be a sign-up sheet in that narthex closer to picnic time.

Also reminder Bible Study will resume the second Monday of September, I mention that because I really miss it, and I am also considering starting a once or twice monthly men's Bible study in the fall, if you might be interested let me know and also if you have any ideas for topics you might like to dive into let me know that as well. We will talk more when it gets closer, I just wanted to plant the seed for now. Enjoy the 4th of July, be safe, and have a wonderful month. God Bless you all!

The Lord Bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace!

Pastor Rick