12022018 Advent 1 Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

"God gives us treasure to share our faith and testimony!"

 

12022018 Advent 1 Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

December 2, 2018

"God gives us treasure to share our faith and testimony!"
Sermon Audio

If one would come to the church and upon trying the doors on the upper parking lot find they were locked and walk around the church either direction to the doors on the lower parking lot, they would invariably walk by at least one form of testimony of Emmanuel Lutheran Church.  As is the tradition of most churches, a cornerstone is placed when buildings are built and dedicated. This is a milestone event for any congregation. We here at Emmanuel have three milestones on our current property. They confirm our testimony where we demonstrate, “God gives us treasure to share our faith and testimony!”

These milestones not only connect with our current location, but find their roots in Export as well as back to the first meeting of the people who are our founding fathers up on Hills Church Road.  For it was the dream of the charter members to make a testimony of what God’s love meant for the people who mined the mines for coal here East of Pittsburgh. Their desire was to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the gifts God had given them and grow their faith and have a clear testimony that “God gives us treasure to share our faith and testimony!”

This is what led to the building the church in Export on the hill, expansion and moving to our current location and building upon the sure foundation that we find in Jesus Christ and His love for all of mankind.  Today in our gathering to worship we again clearly connect through our readings with Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem, what Paul’s desire was for the Thessalonians for them and us to share our love and grow and especially of the covenant of God with His beloved, King David.  These are many of the pillars that have given us the strength we need for our daily challenges, the ability to connect in love with one another and for all of us to share with our community the treasure expressly given from God for us to share as good stewards of God’s gifts to us.

Yet, is today, our celebrating our paying off the mortgage for our sanctuary only a destination?  Or is it the opportunity for something else? Could our celebration instead of being a destination, be a launching point for us?  If it is only a destination to claim ‘we have paid off the mortgage’, then we potentially do not understand the gift of the Gospel God has given us.  The faith we have been given in a living and loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For the faith God gives us will not rest, nor does it desire for us to be content to sit on our laurels.  God’s plan of salvation is meant to be the spark that ignites like a rocket in directions of potential and possibilities of caring and sharing with others the love of God for us and for all of mankind with the treasure we have of ourselves, our building and believing that “God gives us treasure to share our faith and testimony!”

We the people of God here at Emmanuel have been called by God’s Word this morning to again covenant with one another, but especially with God to share His Word and His Blessings and clearly demonstrate His love for us and all of mankind.  You see the treasure we place into the offering plate, given to God for the Glory of God is given to the church in order to share our faith with countless others here at Emmanuel, but especially in our world. And our celebrating paying off the mortgage is a testimony of how God has blessed each of us and He can and does use His blessings and His treasure given to each of us as good stewards in order for each of us to remember “God gives us treasure to share our faith and testimony!”

The treasure we have of our time, talents, treasure and testimony, God encourages us to use these in order that others can hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our being set free from sin, death and the devil.  It is not just about the message on a Saturday or Sunday from our sanctuary, nor is it solely about a building. For our building as beautiful as it is is meant to be not only a beacon and a place to come and hear God’s Word, but truly it is to be like a diving board at the local pool.  God means for our church to be the board we can jump upon and be sprung into our community in order for each of us to believe that “God gives us treasure to share our faith and testimony!”

Today, we with our Commitment Cards and celebration of the burning of the mortgage come to demonstrate our ongoing relationship with God as good stewards of God’s daily gifts unto each of us.  We celebrate today the milestone of paying off the mortgage for our sanctuary that Pastor Held was a champion of for God’s Glory for future generations to worship and praise God within both today and many years to come and for our community to hear God’s Word until He comes on the last day.  

We are reminded that as good stewards, our covenant and commitment today especially includes our giving our time, talents, treasure and testimony back to and for God’s mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For in the offer of salvation heard in the Word, received from the altar and that strengthens each of us for our ministry as stewards of God’s gifts we show our individual and collective belief that ‘the best is yet to come’ here at Emmanuel.  And today we, the people of God can spring forward out of and off the springboard of our church out into our community. We can demonstrate our trust of one another and commitment to God with our time, talents, treasure and testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is for all of mankind, including each and every one of us gathered here at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Export, PA!  And we can show how we are united as the Body of Christ who springs forward together today, tomorrow and for another 198 years so God’s Glory can be fulfilled as we continue “Sharing Our Faith!” AMEN!