Excerpt from January, 2019 "The Mountain Top Messenger" newsletter...

God's Blessings to all of you as we enter the New Year and I pray that all of you had a Merry Christmas as well. First and foremost, June and I would like to thank you all for the numerous cards and gifts, we are doing our best to thank each of you personally...
 
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January 2019 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter
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God's Blessings to all of you as we enter the New Year and I pray that all of you had a Merry Christmas as well. First and foremost, June and I would like to thank you all for the numerous cards and gifts, we are doing our best to thank each of you personally, but I have to admit as much as my mother tried to instill it in me, getting Thank You cards out in a timely manner has never been my strong suit. So with that being said I beg your forgiveness in my tardiness or if we missed anyone.

Speaking of forgiveness, as we enter into the new year my mind was on forgiveness. Partly because of some of the readings we had at Christmas time, and particularly the reading from Hebrews chapter 10 which speaks of Jesus as being the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. As I thought of that and considered the Old Testament sacrifice system I began to have a much better realization of just how blessed we are to have Christ in our lives. If you were an Old Testament Jew and had sins or guilt that were troubling your life you had one shot a year to have those sins forgiven and then you had quite the process, a process of works by the Law, that you had to complete to have those sins forgiven. And then once that sin was forgiven if you happened to sin again, you would have to live with that sin and guilt until the next year when those sins were atoned for in the Temple. Not a very forgiving process. But when Christ came, when God entered our world, lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to take our sins to the grave that whole process changed. Christ died once for all. Because of His death and even more importantly, His resurrection, all of our sins, past, present, and future have been atoned for. We, who by faith, seek God's forgiveness, receive it, no waiting for the annual ceremony, no having to present animals to the high priest for sacrifice, no having to fulfill rituals of works demanded by Law. Just forgiveness because of what Christ has done for you. Not only that, but because of the Means of Grace; Baptism, the Lord's Supper, God's Word, and confession and absolution we are able to receive God's forgiveness often. Luther speaks of dying daily to sin, he suggested every morning when you wake up, make the sign of the cross, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to remind yourself of your baptism, ask God's forgiveness of your sins and start everyday anew.

So, as you start this New Year, remember your baptism, remember what Christ did for you by dying and rising again. Remember each and every day your baptism, remember that your sins are forgiven because of what Christ did for you, and through your faith in Him, you too will rise again, and you will be with Him for eternity.

Again, the Lord bless you and your families this New Year and every year until our Lord returns in all His Glory.
Pastor Rick

And now I close with a text from Hebrews 13...

"20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."
excerpt from...
January 2019 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter