Para Vista Lutheran Church

Weekly messages from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Para Vista Inc

Blessed are the Persecuted: Pastor Reid Matthias

March 27th, 2020

Where does our help come from? Not necessarily the building or the worship service, but Who we worship there. Our help comes from the Lord who reminds us that He is also outside the building. And maybe this is the thing; the information that the Church has lacked for so long. Jesus stands with us even more so outside the walls of the church building. Jesus whispers to us, calls us to something greater, and in this time of isolation and confusion, His voice leads His Church, the Body of Christ to an incredible and amazing sight.

Blessed are the Peacemakers: Pastor Reid Matthias

March 20th, 2020

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

Of all the things created in the world, from the Coliseum in Rome to the Pyramids in Egypt, from the Great Wall of China to the ABC building in Collinswood – each of their architects perhaps would have said that their task was infinitely easier than creating a sense of lasting peace in the world.

The creation of things unseen: making friends, making judgements, making amends and making peace, are far more difficult than laying brick on top of mortar. In the case of peacemaking, the construction is difficult because the building materials are so scarce.

Thus, we understand that Jesus was changing the entirety of the world’s perspective by stating: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

In the chaos of the world around us, humanity seems to have lost its sense of peace. For many, the Coronavirus scare has allowed the age old enemy – fear - to raise its head and we battle against each other, fight for life, clawing and scrabbling to the top of the heap so that somehow we aren’t crushed at the bottom.

In the midst of the confusion and chaos, there is a segment of people, the children of God; peacemakers all, who stand calling out to the mountain of fear: “Look, children, come buy bread for free! We have enough to share! Our enemy is not of flesh and blood, but of Satan and the principalities of darkness!”

Come, follow us into the light. Come and find peace that passes all understanding.

This week, as our Beatitudes series continues, we look at one of the great biblical peacemakers, Abigail. Read her story with me and help me apply it to our world today.

Remember, you are children of God.

Pastor Reid

Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 25

Blessed are the Pure in Heart: Pastor Reid Matthias

March 17th, 2020

As we peer through the lenses of children, whom we almost always understand to be pure of heart, we can reconnect with Jesus’ words when he said, “If you want to see the Kingdom of God, you must turn and become like these children.”
Matthew 5:8, Matthew 18:1-5, Matthew 19:13-15.

Pastor Rolly Stahl: The Merciful

March 10th, 2020

We explore the much loved story of Joseph: the teenager with the special coat who drew contempt from his brothers after sharing his dreams with them. The favourite son of Jacob who was sold as a slave by his brothers, spent several years in an Egyptian jail, and who, at the age of 30, became Prince of Egypt.  Yet in spite of his hardships, we do not see Joseph sitting around feeling sorry for himself. He gets on with life in the knowledge that God is with him. The Lord gives him wisdom and favour, and his work is a blessing to all he serves. Joseph ends up saving his extended family, along with the people of Egypt and the surrounding Middle East.  By seeing the hand of God turning messing into blessing in his life, Joseph finds the grace to let go of past hurts, forgive his brothers, and consistently treat them with kindness.  Who are you still angry with? What hurts are you still carrying that enrage you every time you recall what “that person” did to you?  Bitterness...it keeps poisoning your soul, polluting your life, stunting your spiritual growth, and blinding you to the unfailing love and good purposes God has for your life! If you don’t want to remain stuck there for the rest of your life, take a leaf out of Joseph and Jesus’ book: forgive them!

Matthew 5:7, Genesis 50:15-21 (for the back story start at Gen 37:1)

Hunger and thirst for righteousness: Pastor Peter Steicke

March 2nd, 2020

Jesus says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied." The word 'fill' or 'satisfy' is the same one used after the feeding of the 5,000. There, they all ate, they all were filled, and there were 12 baskets left over. 
When Jesus gives, he does so abundantly, leaving you completely sated. Not just a little bit of righteousness, or half an in-filling, or a snippet of acceptance. Rather, a completely ridiculous, overwhelmingly abundant display of acceptance, deposit of righteousness, and endowment of favour.
God is satisfied with you!
Matthew 5:6, Psalm 63

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