A church home for God's people.
Hello, and Welcome
Grace Lutheran Church and Pastor Matthews bid you welcome to our home on the web. Within these pages we would like to introduce ourselves and share with you the hope that we have in Christ our Lord. We invite you to join us for worship and fellowship on Sunday mornings, as we grow together in faith, hope and love.
Pastor Matthews' Message
Watching television, listening to the radio and reading articles in newspapers and on-line this time of year, you canít avoid people expressing their thoughts about the year that is ending and announcing their predictions for the New Year. Everyone has their own set of predictions and/or expectations for 2012. Our expectations influence how we look at things and how we respond to events that occur. Every year some of our expectations are shattered by actual events.
On January 1, 2012 the Gospel reading tells the story of Simeonís encounter with the infant Jesus. Mary and Joseph brought the 40 day old baby Jesus to the temple to fulfill the commands of the Law of Moses. Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel to arrive. The Holy Spirit had told him he would not die until he had seen the Lordís Christ. Just like everyone in that time, he must have expected the Christ to be a mighty leader or a powerful figure who would drive the Roman occupiers from Israel. He had a set of expectations for the Messiah.
God had a different set of expectations for the redeemer of the world. As Mary and Joseph entered the temple, Simeon was led by the Holy Spirit to recognize the vulnerable infant Jesus as the Lordís Christ. Not a rich, powerful child of well-connected parents, but a tiny baby born to a young maiden and her carpenter husband. None of the expectations of Simeon were met, but God kept his promise of revealing the Savior to him. In Luke 2 God demonstrates that his plans do not always comply with human expectations. God reminds us ďFor my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.Ē (Isaiah 55:8-9), as he shows Simeon his power in the meek and mild newborn of Mary and Joseph.
No one expected that Godís Messiah would enter this world in the form of a little child. No one expected that the incarnate Son of God would suffer at the hands of the civil and religious authorities. Human expectations were not Godís expectations though. Human ways are not Godís ways. Godís expectations for his Son were that he would suffer and die for the sins of all people; that he would bear the sin of the world on his shoulders and bear the wrath of His righteous judgment. All this so that the crown jewel of Godís creation could be reconciled to him. This was not the expectation of the Children of Israel, or of people in first-century Galilee. It is still difficult for people today to accept Godís ways.
As we embark on the new calendar year, 2012, let us together look at our expectations for ourselves, our families and our Grace community. How can we better reflect Godís expectations in our worship, our homes and our communities? Knowing that Godís ways are not our ways, we can explore together the ways of God, as we gather together in worship, bible study and fellowship. I pray God shatters our human expectations and blesses us with His grace, truth and love.
If you would like additional information, I would enjoy talking with you either by phone at
253-472-7105, or you can e-mail me at: Pastor@gracelutherantacoma.org.
May God bless you today and every day!
Pastor James A. Matthews