Rev. Bramwell’s Letter for June of 2022
Greetings in the name of our hated and persecuted Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
June is here. It’s been a year since our Lord revealed His answer to our unceasing prayers for our congregation. For years (decades even) we have been praying that we could reach our neighbors with the truth of God’s Word. We’ve been asking our Lord to reverse the decline in membership and church attendance and counter the stagnation of our own spiritual growth as Christians—to strengthen us and equip us to live the faith.
He heard our prayers. He has answered them and continues to answer them.
He did it in His unchanging, Godly fashion. That is, He answered in a way we weren’t expecting. For years we prayed for the mission of our church and while we prayed, we acted. We hosted community activities (carnivals, dinners, etc.) and launched services (date night, movie night, etc.) While we served our neighbors well, none of these areas of mission work bore the fruit we longed to see.
We loved our neighbors but never truly gained an opportunity to teach them what God says so that they would know the redemptive love of our Lord. So, we continued to pray, “Lord, let us reach our neighbors. Show us how we can reach those who are lost and caught up in the ways of the world. Lord, bring people to our church. Fill our pews. Keep our doors open. Glorify Your name among us.”
It felt like God was saying, “No, that’s not what I have prepared for Humboldt County. I let my church in Eureka close and I let my church in Fortuna close. You don’t know the plan, child, but I will let my church in Ferndale close, too.”
And then came June 2021. It wasn’t through a date-night program, participation in the Chamber of Commerce, or some other outreach idea, but the Lord did answer our prayers. He answered them His way, in His timing.
In God’s divine wisdom a powerful church sign, which spoke directly to our neighbors, was put on display. Immediately, we had our mission work cut out for us and were engaged in nonstop outreach efforts. Nearly every member of the church was sharing the Word of God with his or her neighbors. We were living our faith!
It turns out, that when we communicate God’s Word to our neighbors, when we speak up and share the truth of Scripture (even when it’s an unpopular message), God blesses our faithfulness. Scripture shows that this is how the Lord works. There is no need for ministry programs and we don’t need a big budget or specific training in mission work. All we need to do is what Scripture says: follow Jesus—be faithful to God’s Word.
The beauty of it, as we have seen, is that even the smallest congregation can do it. All it takes is a single Christian who is willing to remain faithful to Christ Jesus and take up the cross that He gives. All it takes is you trusting the promises of the Lord. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. At times it feels hard. Why? Because we’re not used to living out the faith. We’re not used to being hated and ridiculed for Christ’s sake. It hurts. However, when we lean on Christ and turn to His Word for comfort and peace, there is no insult or threat that can rob us of joy in Jesus.
Saints loved by God, may our Lord strengthen you now and forever. May He keep you steadfast in the faith all your days, and especially this month. May you be able to say with St. Paul, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Rom. 8:18)
The Lord is good. He is answering our prayers. The gates of hell will not prevail against Christ’s church, (Matt. 16:18).
Your servant in Christ,
2 Cor. 12:10