Here are some pics and the sermon from the groundbreaking service at ULC on Saturday, June 24th. We were filled with joy both to be breaking ground on the new chapel and to see so many of our friends and alumni at the event.
+ Jesu Juva +
Standing Firm on Solid Ground – Luke 6:47-49
Grace, Mercy and Peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen
It is five years to the day since we held the final service at the old University Lutheran Chapel after which that building was vacated and destroyed. At the time and many times in the past five years the words of Psalm 69 have rung true for me, for us:
“Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully… Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”
But the Lord heard our prayers and our weeping and has brought us through the floods. And now we stand today ready to begin construction of a new chapel that His Name may dwell in this place again and be proclaimed from here to the nations.
Many thought (and some even hoped) that when the old building fell down, this congregation would fall with it. But our foundations run deeper than backhoes and bulldozers can reach. This congregation had “dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock,” which rock is Christ. And holding fast to Him, praying to Him, treasuring His grace, and treasuring the fellowship He has given us with one another, we were not swept away when the flood came and beat against us. We felt ourselves shaken, but our Lord did not let us fall.
Miraculously the Lord has provided for us all that we need these past several years. He has expanded our ministry in this place, increased our number, and has provided us land and upon which to erect a new house of worship. But He has also increased our awareness that we are not alone, that we have brothers and sisters throughout the Church who have helped hold our heads above the waters and by their prayers and help have been used by God to bring us to this day. And, I believe, He has helped us recognize even more clearly the true nature of the Church as we have suffered with one another, grown with one another, and loved one another by His grace.
And now what shall we do dear brothers and sisters in Christ? Let us build. Not just this chapel, but one another, on Christ. For though we hope this building, once raised, will stand for generations, we know from hard experience that buildings sometimes fall. But our faith, our fellowship, our community, our mission, need not fall, and will not fall so long as we continue to build on Christ. So let us build: faithful to His Word, firm in our confession, gracious and loving in our demeanor, and zealous in our mission.
And the Lord will keep us, for He is gracious. Though we in no wise deserve His favor, He has favored us and kept us. And He will continue to do so, granting us now a font, a pulpit, an altar, a place; where His Word will be proclaimed and His sacraments given for the life of the world and for our forgiveness and life and salvation. Psalm 69, which I quoted earlier, concludes with these words, and so shall I:
“God will save Zion And build the cities of Judah, That they may dwell there and possess it. Also, the descendants of His servants shall inherit it, And those who love His name shall dwell in it.”
The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting.
+ Soli Deo Gloria +