November 30, 2018

By: Mary Alice Erickson

RENEWING GOD’S HOUSE TOGETHER THROUGH GROWING AND LEARNING:  Acts 2:41-42 Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, and to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

 

Sitting in metal folding chairs around the institutional 3’X8’ table, our 8th grade Sunday School class, led by Mrs. Long the wife of our Methodist minister, studied the book of Acts.  That year set the theme for my life.

 

God in the form of his Son, lived among the people in Israel. He brought the radical new idea that loving and serving is the desire of God.  He did not come to liberate and reign. He came to teach, be executed, live again and by God’s grace – saving love – provides us life forever.

 

How, then, should we live?  Listen for the call and discern if this is from God or is that my own thought? Prayer and study of the scriptures are essential.

 

Teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer.  Soon after moving to Peoria, Keith and I found Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church at the foot of Hamilton Blvd hill.  I was not “a Lutheran” and was required to take adult catechism before I could participate in communion. Another milestone.  Here was this man named Martin Luther who dared to question “The Church.” Here was the review of the basic teachings. And ever since, I have thanked God that He led us to this church which is solid in teaching, prayerful, encourages fellowship, and, yes, the king of potlucks!!

 

Discerning the ‘call’ is not easy. We have lived in many places and have made new lives several times. The phone rings and there it is, the question. “Will you help with__________?”

 

As we grow in Christ to love and to serve has to have the foundation in learning, praying, being with other Christians.  Will this opportunity that is offered be a place to show God’s love? Will this opportunity be a place to make a difference in the lives of others as we work together in whatever the project may be?   Being on a bowling team, playing golf in a foursome, leading a Bible study, chairing a community committee (you can name many more) provide opportunities. If we have good listening skills and focus our interests on others, we show love and care as well as learn.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, You bless us daily and we know we do not earn your love which is freely given.  We live by grace and try to listen to your call to love and to serve. We need your help to discern what is right and what is helpful.  Be with us in our daily walk as we grow day by day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

About us

Salem Lutheran Church affiliated with the E.L.C.A. Salem is a vibrant welcoming Lutheran community that, through the grace of Jesus Christ, is connected within by love and reaching out in hope to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one another, the community and the world.

Contact Us

  • 309.688.9212
  • office@salemofpeoria.com
  • 1700 W. War Memorial Dr, Peoria, IL 61614

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