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Happy May Day!

As we continue through the Easter season celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, May Day is the European festival marking the beginning of summer! We have so much to be grateful for and so many ways to express our thanks to God. The life we have and the ways we choose to reflect our gratitude of God’s blessings are important. From Deitrich Bonhoeffer’s devotional Seize the Day with Dietrich Bonhoeffer I was reminded from his May 1st devotion that talks about “Blessings & Hardship.” He explains God has a way of moving us from dependence and immaturity to responsibility. We cannot grow into maturity without the pain of growth which may include disappointment and suffering of all kinds. But through this comes transformation, servanthood, blessing others, worship, stewardship, and much more! The last sentence for me sums up our Christian journey of faith:

“Having received many blessings from God’s hand, we must joyfully accept the difficulties that come our way in order to become transformed into a much greater Christlikeness.”

People of Christ the King and friends who read this, we have everything we need as blessings from God. What seems to be a pain, is imparting these blessings to others. I shared in the latest giving letter, that your gifts of financial support are developing faith right before our eyes. This past weekend we confirmed 20 youth as they “Affirmed their Faith.” Grandpa Jack, Vicar Sommer and I were able to read their Faith Statement papers and here them through interviews and this is what they said:

  • “Living my belief and faith means being like Jesus every day, not just on Sundays, but every day!” 

  • “I remind myself that if I pray, I may not be able to change the outcome of what happens out there, but I will have God’s power with me as I go through it, which is even better.” 

  • “My faith helps me know what’s right and wrong, and it gives me strength when things get tough. So, no matter what comes my way, I trust that God is helping me through it all.” 

  • “The past year for me and my family was rough and included a lot of change. The first thing I thought of was to pray. Praying made me feel like there was some hope.” 

  • “Prayer has developed a closer relationship with God and myself.”

Faithful responses from our youth remind us, maturing people of Jesus Christ, to live into our faith too. I don’t relish sharing that we face diminished cash flow in giving. We have had to take steps like paying only the interest on our mortgage instead of paying the principle down. We have not been able to have enough come in to contribute to benevolence like Samaritan Counseling, Synod/ELCA support, and others. We all are in the same boat of increased expenses at the grocery store and gas pump to name a couple of places. The challenge is thinking about what we are committed to? What percentage of time and finances do we spend the most on? Sports? Leisure? Travel? Hobbies? etc. How does that percentage compare to what we give back to God with our time, talent, and resources? Giving to God is a spiritual practice that is important and makes a difference in faith formation. As we come into the traditional leaner months of summer (June-August) without your help we will face a greater need. If it’s been a while since you’ve given or reviewed how you give, please take some time to consider how God has blessed you and how you wish to bless others by giving at CtK. There are many ways to do this on our website that you can set up to be reoccurring as well as ACH.

Bonhoeffer shares, a small, intentional step leads to transformation and greater Christlikeness. Together at CtK, God’s love comes to life!

Pastor Nate Gauerke

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