The Pastor's Windshield for January 2024

“Be Well, Serve Well” – sounds like a slogan from a gym or an insurance company, doesn’t it? Actually, it is from an insurance provider, Concordia Plan Services, which provides benefits for LCMS church workers and their families. 

Simple as it may sound, there’s truth to this slogan, so let’s build on it a little. It’s important for those serving the Lord’s Church as pastors, teachers, youth workers, missionaries, etc., to tend to their health so that they can have the energy they need for serving God’s people. As best they can, they ought to work at “being well” (holistically) so they can serve well. 

The same applies to Christian men and women in general. Our overall wellness affects our capacity to serve one another in the body of Christ and also our Christian witness to those outside of the Church. This isn’t to say that true Christians won’t get sick, struggle with emotional scars, or run into other hard times. 

Our Lord works through real people with real life problems. Just look at any of the men and women of faith from either the Old or New Testaments in Scripture – all of them were sinful people who dealt with the problems wrought by their own sin, the sins of others, and by the fallen condition of this world. Yet the Lord still chose them, and His strength was at work in their lives despite their weaknesses. 

We further confess as Christians that we are God’s creatures. He lovingly made us; thus, our lives are accountable to Him. He desires that we exercise faithful stewardship of everything He has given us, including our bodies and minds. Doing so also better positions us for loving and helping our neighbors in our daily lives.

Whether or not you’ve made any new year’s resolutions for 2024, it’s worth examining how we can pursue greater wellness in various areas of our lives. 

Beginning on Sun, Jan. 14, 2024, I’ll be facilitating a new Sunday Bible study at 9:00am each week in which we’ll discuss the topic of wellness both in the Scriptures and in our lives. I hope that this class might be an encouragement for you, and, to borrow a line from this week’s sermon, I invite you to “Come and See” what it’s like!

The graphic below was developed by a Lutheran committee on health and wellness in 1997, but I think it still makes a good starting place for this conversation.

Before we talk about health, we need to remember who we are in Christ, our baptismal identity. Drawing daily strength and renewal from His grace and forgiveness, we seek to continue growing in our physical, emotional, relational, intellectual, vocational, financial, and especially spiritual well-being, which involves and relates to all areas of our lives.

As Lutheran Christians, when we talk about “vocation” we’re not just referring to our day jobs but also to our other God-given “callings” (the root meaning of vocation) as disciples, family members, neighbors, caregivers, citizens, etc. It is for the sake of our neighbors whom we interact with in these callings that our Lord would have us “be well” so we can “serve well.”

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Kory Janneke