Expanding God’s Kingdom

Standing on the banks of the Jordan River, Joshua and Caleb saw the promised unknown future of the Israelites. Forty years ago, God had led them out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. During their time in the wilderness, they saw God perform signs and wonders, the parting of the Red Sea, providing manna and quail to feed his people, bringing water from the rock, and leading them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They had been given the Commandments, the priesthood and tabernacle during their sojourn in the wilderness; cornerstones of the relationship God would have with his people for 1500 years to come. But their time in the wilderness was not easy. MaThe Bibleny of their family and friends with whom they had come out of Egypt would not accompany them into the Promised Land. They had seen disobedience and judgment as they made their way from Egypt to the banks of the Jordan River. By God’s grace, they had arrived at the land promised to their father Abraham so many years ago.

As a congregation, St. Paul has spent the last year (or so) in the wilderness. We have had to come together to solve a financial crisis in the preschool, give sacrificially to retire the mortgage debt, and pray without ceasing for the success of The Gate—all while in a pastoral vacancy. The wilderness is not a bad place to be. The Israelites learned to trust God in the wilderness and came to know him both as a loving father and a righteous judge. They saw God at work. But was the wilderness—and not the land God had promised to the Patriarchs.

And so we are now standing on the proverbial banks of the Jordan River, about to cross over into the Promised Land. The Preschool is on solid financial and spiritual ground, adding programs and improving the quality of the Christian teaching the children (and their families) receive. The Gate is officially a sister congregation in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. And, by the time you read this, there is a very good chance we will be debt free; the voters moved to begin the process of calling an Associate Pastor.

Just because the Israelites would go from a diet of manna and quail to milk and honey it did not mean that their work was done. Those of you who have read the book of Joshua know that the Israelites were kept busy in the Promised Land, driving out the inhabitants and establishing the worship of the One True God. In the same way, just because God has allowed us to overcome obstacles and challenges does not mean that he will now give us an extended period of R & R. Over the next year, by God’s grace, we will begin to realize our true ministry potential here at St. Paul.

Thank you for the support you have given to the ministry and mission of the congregation you call home. And please continue to pray for God’s guidance as we seek to reach out with the good news of Jesus to the Ankeny community and beyond!

In Christ,

Pastor Duncan

 

 

Service Times

Saturday 5:30pm
Sunday 8:00am and 10:45am

Sunday School and Bible Class
Sunday 9:30am

Upcoming Events