†††††††††††† First Presbyterian Church

†††††† 601 South Texas†††† P.O. Box 24

Mercedes, TX† 78570

† fpcmercedes.org†††††††††††††† fpcmercedes@att.net

Pastor:† Esther Hughes, CLP

 

Remembering Who We Are

 

We come to our fall season, with changes to our schedules; the weather will get a little cooler, at least in the mornings, and evenings.† The days will be shorter, we move back into the sanctuary, and we know that the holidays are coming up.† Yes, much faster than we can comprehend.†

We begin our first Sunday of the month with remembering who we are with Christians all around the world as we celebrate World Wide Communion Sunday.† I love that it was started by a Presbyterian minister, in 1933, as an attempt to bring churches together in a service of Christian unity so that people might receive both inspiration and information to know and to remember how important the church of Jesus Christ is.†

†††† It is the meal where we celebrate the past present and future of Godís faithfulness to his people.† It is the meal that reminds us that we are part of Godís people, Godís family, and that makes us one.† It is the meal which reminds us who we are, and that God loves us, and God rescues us, and is faithful always.

†††† It comes in the same month in which we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.† We remember Martin Luther and how he presented his Ninety-five Theses, in which he attacked the indulgence system of the Catholic Church.†† Luther's concerns for the reform of the church was that Scripture alone is authoritative (sola Scriptura) and justification is by faith (sola fide), not by works.†† Some of us may remember the three Principles of the Reformation as Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fides" ("only scripture, only grace, only faith").

††††† The reformation was initiated by Martin Luther and continued by John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and others.† Calvin was an influential French theologian, pastor and reformer during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism, aspects of which include the doctrines of predestination and of the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation.†† We are among other reformed churches which look to Calvin as major influence in our religion.† The word "Presbyterian" comes from the Bible, from the Greek word for "elder." The Presbyterian denomination takes its name from its form of church government, which is to be governed by elders.†

We believe the church is reforming, and always being reformed according to the word of God.† We are reminded that God calls us to be transformed by the Word and the Holy Spirit.†

†††† We are to be reminded of who we are and whose we are as we come to the common table and celebrate with others around the world.† We are to remember those who dared to reform, and to be transformed by Godís grace.† We remember those early Reformers, who made a difference then, and continue to make a difference today, through us.† May we celebrate our roots, and the history of our faith.

In Christ, Esther