What happens when the members of the congregation prayerfully decide to close the doors of the congregation? I can tell you that sadness fills the rooms when the vote is completed. Tears flood the room. Doubt fills the heart. Fear stammers off the tongue, “What is going to happen to us now?” Unbelief rises as tall as the Tower of Babel. How can God let this happen?
I am the Pastor of Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Duluth, Minnesota. The doors will close on Sunday, August 18 + AD 2013 with a final Divine Service at 3:00 PM.
As the Pastor, the very under-shepherd of the crucified, risen, and ascended Christ; the only resolve I have for my members is the cross, the very altar of sacrifice where Jesus stood in the place of every sinner and atoned for our sins.
As the Pastor, I cry with the members. I’ve never been through anything so trying in all my 52 years on earth. However, my hope is not in myself. I cannot do anything for my members. My hope and theirs is none other than Jesus. See 1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Cor. 9:8; Eph. 3:20; Lam. 3:32; Heb. 6:19-20; Ps. 42:5; Ps. 146:5-6; 1 Thess. 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; and Rom. 15:13).
The greatest challenge concerning the closing of the doors is that the members think their church is destroyed. Even when the bulldozers come and knock down the building, the Church still stands. The Church is not made of brick and mortar with beautiful stained glass windows.
The Church is alive. She is made up of the Baptized who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior from sin, death, and the power of the devil. Closing the doors is a great act of faith knowing and believing that Jesus will not forsake you and that the Church is not being destroyed. Closing the doors is about trusting in God above all things.
I would ask that you pray for the members of Lutheran Church of Christ the King, my bride, Tami, and of course me as I continue to do the work of the Lord to bring them the comfort of Calvary and the Resurrection tied up in the Blood of Christ.
I would also ask you to pray for the brothers and sisters of Christ Lutheran Church in Superior, Wisconsin and their Pastor, Rev. David Schoessow, as they prepare to receive my members on Sunday, August 25, + AD 2013.
To God Alone be All Praise and Glory now and forevermore.