Messiah Lutheran Church 6201 W Patterson Av
Chicago IL 60634

August 2014


When I was in college, I spent a couple of summers working as a counselor at Taylor University's basketball camp in Upland, Indiana. Among our guest speakers was a lady named Tonya Crevier (see a professional basketball handler and motivational speaker.

After giving a dazzling ball-handling display, Tonya would share her testimony with the campers, in which she would the stress the importance of being enthusiastic in playing basketball or whatever else they happen to be doing in life. She would point out that by definition, Christians should have enthusiasm, for the have enthusiasm, for the word enthusiasm stems from the Greek words "en Theos", which literally means "in God".

To finish up her talk, Tonya would then ask the question, "What do we have"? - to which the campers were supped to respond, "We have enthusiasm!!" However, she usually would have to ask them this same question several times until their words matched their feelings. For after all, she was talking to a bunch of "cool basketball players", who also happened to be a bit tired from playing in the summer heat and humidity of rural Indiana. But, eventually they would show enough enthusiasm to Tonya's satisfaction!

And, so I ask the members of Messiah, this same question - especially when we find ourselves wearied by the stresses of life and taking the joy of our salvation for granted.

"What do we have?"

I trust that the Holy Spirit would work in all of us to respond by confidently saying, "WE HAVE ENTHUSIASM!!!" - and not just with our lips but with all our hearts, souls and minds, as well!

May God, the Holy Spirit, work in all our members a supernatural enthusiasm at Messiah in faithful worship attendance, the study of God's Word, sharing the Gospel, and in the usage of all the gifts and talents we have blessed with in service to God and our neighbors!

As we sing after partaking of the Lord's Supper, let us "Thank the Lord and sing His praise. Tell everyone what He has done. Let everyone who seeks the Lord rejoice and proudly bear His name. He recalls His promises and leads His people forty in joy. With shouts of thanksgiving, Alleluia! Alleluial"

After all, as Christians, we have even more reason to be enthusiastic about the things of God than a competitive athlete. For their reward is temporary, but our reward will last forever!

As 1st Corinthians 9:25 describes, "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever".

Thus, Galatians 5:2 encourages, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up".

En' Theos!! (i.e, "In God"),

Pastor Wendt

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