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Welcome to Our Community - Pastor Chris Meier

Pastor Chris serves at St. John's Lutheran in LeMars, Iowa. In addition to sending campers, and a current year-round staff member, to IOLBC, St. John's hosts one of our most popularly requested to be on Day Camp teams most summers. We are very sure it is because the people of St. John's are so awesome and has nothing to do with Blue Bunny ice cream being based out of the same town!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” Romans 1:16 & 17

I am a recovering perfectionist. I don’t know why I love “perfection”; it certainly does not love me! In fact, it doesn’t care one whit about me, no matter what the task might be. Perfect in my faith? No. Perfect in my work? No. Perfect in my marriage? No. Perfect in my parenting? Certainly not! Try as I might (and believe me, I have tried!), I have done nothing perfectly; not once, not ever.

I’m sure that, if I could do something perfectly – even something small – I would quickly make that perfection a false god. Indeed, even my striving for perfection is an idol; who do I think I am, anyway? And why is it so “important” to me, to be “perfect”?

Now, you might point out: Jesus commands us to love one another perfectly, even as our heavenly Father perfectly loves us (Mt. 5:48). And here you are right! He commands us to love everyone - even our enemies - just as perfectly as He does. And should we expect anything less? Would he command us “love each other to the best of your ability”? Would he ever say, “show love when you feel like it”? Of course not! His command is “love”, and his expectation is that we love perfectly. But again, I confess: I have done nothing perfectly; not once, not ever. God commands that we love perfectly, but he certainly is under no illusions that we will. In fact, he knows we’ll fail. I cannot love perfectly, even when I’ve tried my utmost. I am a sinner – God have mercy!

Apart from love, perfection is no way to live. Indeed, it is no life at all. But what does God’s word say? “The righteous shall live by faith.” By faith, not by perfection; and here is the beginning of life!

The righteous shall live by faith, and even this faith is God’s doing, so that no one may boast (Gal. 2:8). A good friend, Dr. Chris Crogan, frequently points out: “God gives, as a gift, the very thing he expects in return: He gives faith.” And so, we live by what God so freely gives: faith in Jesus Christ.

Faith in Jesus is no cruel master. Quite the opposite, it is a life of peace and freedom: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30)

The good news is that, while there is no perfection this side of heaven; the righteous shall live by faith; and it is only by faith in Jesus that you are righteous before the Father. The day will come when our faith will be complete, and all our lives “perfected.” Until then, however, we live knowing – and being reminded – that God’s grace is enough, especially for an imperfect sinner like me.

“If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” (Ps. 130:3-4)

Follow Up:

- If you would like to know more about Pastor Chris's ministry at St. John's, you can visit the church's website by clicking HERE.

- In what ways have you let striving for perfection become an idol in your life?

- Do you really believe that faith is all God requires of you? Why or why not?


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