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  • Letter from the Pastor

    January 2019

    The Threat of Jesus
    Pastor Larry Kassebaum

    “So Joseph got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod.” – Matthew 2:14

    We may think the innkeeper was rude for not finding a room for the holy family, but his behavior pales in comparison to Herod and his murderous response to the birth of the Christ child? Herod wasn’t the only one who came to think this way. Jesus grew, matured and began to reveal to people that God’s kingdom had come to earth. People reacted differently. For some this was good news, for many others it was a dangerous threat to their desires and way of life. 

    It seems that people today would like to believe choices don’t have to be made when it comes to Jesus’ life and ministry. We live in a culture that seems to want the words “nice” and “Christianity” to be completely interchangeable. While being kind, generous, caring, and compassionate and a servant are marks of true Christianity, being nice isn’t necessarily always appropriate. Even Jesus wasn’t always nice. He tipped over tables in the temple and called people names. He was nice to some people and anything but nice to others. King Herod wasn’t the only person who wanted to kill a nice Jesus. The ones who finally succeeded in taking his life were the ones who knew they had to choose to silence Him or serve Him. These are still our only options.

    As we enter the New Year, we would do well to focus on Jesus the teacher and Savior rather than just Jesus the baby. Greed, questionable ethics and rebellion against God’s will have done tremendous damage to individuals and our nation. But it was for such a world that God sent a Savior. The 1st century was a great time for the Savior to be born and now is a great time to be the church. The good news is that even though earthly systems have failed, God is alive and well and grace is still amazing. Tough times have a tendency to remind people that all false gods are doomed to fail. We can offer people real stability and hope because we have a long history of teaching that tough times don’t last but faithful people do.

    I especially want to encourage you put on all of God’s armor as Paul references in Ephesians 6:10-17. Consider one or more of the growth opportunities we will be offering. I especially recommend the Monday morning Bible Study and the importance of becoming a part of a LYFE Group.   

    Grace & Peace,
    Pastor Larry Kassebaum

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    Victory Lutheran Church

    5946 E. University Drive, Mesa, AZ 85205

    (480) 830-5024

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