St John's Lutheran Church, La Grange IL 60525 (LCMS)

St. John's Lutheran Church and School
47th Street and Brainard Avenue, La Grange, Illinois 60525


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Grace Place
March 18, 2012

This weekend’s Grace Place Wellness Weekend is the “keynote” of our Lenten journey, “By His Wounds We are Healed.” I’ve used the analogy of the journey throughout this Lenten season and it would be wrong to see this as the destination. Grace Place is more like the vehicle which takes us to the healing work of Christ.

Monica was in preschool when I bought my last vehicle. My dad often reminds me that I need to think about an upgrade. Though I need a pair of pliers to turn on the headlights and it prefers me as the driver who knows its quirks and need for gentleness, my car gets me where I need to go.

The Wholeness Wheel: a model of health and well-being that flows out of our baptism"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Generally vehicles depreciate in value and the older they get the higher the maintenance costs climb. The vehicle of Grace Place, however, is an investment in our lives that will appreciate in value if we get behind the wheel. The engine that drives the Wholeness Wheel (illustrated here) revs up out of our baptism. It is through baptism that Jesus’ resurrection is applied to our lives, raising us up with him to be God’s new creation. Baptism not only gives us a shiny, powerful, hot new vehicle to drive; it gives us a vehicle that never depreciates or fades away. It never needs maintenance. This vehicle maintains our health.

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ…

Baptism may not depreciate, but we most certainly can devalue it. It is why we need regular occasions for the same Spirit who wraps himself around our baptism to carry out regular maintenance work on us. In such a grace place we meet Jesus who reconciles and brings life back into balance. The Grace Place experience is showing us how to climb into that baptism vehicle and drive it around—not merely in a religious context—but in every dimension of the life we have as children of God. Baptism drives God’s creative and healing work in our vocations, relationships and finances; it is a grace place for our physical, intellectual and emotional health.

"And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation...

Grace Place Lutheran Wellness MinistriesDr. John Eckrich began Grace Place Lutheran Retreats with a focus on church workers. He realized that the health of leaders in congregations and schools directly impacted their ability to carry the ministry of reconciliation to others. Four members of our staff at St. John’s have taken part in a Grace Place Retreat prior to this weekend. This healing ministry has been an appreciable asset in our lives. Two years ago, when the vision was cast by Dr. John, Wheatridge Ministries and others to bring the retreat to St. John’s it was the obvious thing to do.

"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us." (Scripture references from 2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

We all feel the fatigue that comes when we drive through life without the preventative maintenance work of bringing God’s healthy balance into our lives. This Lenten road trip has been a way to heal that fatigue and re-energize our spirit through the one true healer: Jesus. Grace Place is keynoting this journey with a baptismal tune-up. It is providing us the tools for preventative maintenance. This Grace Place, our new creation in our baptism, will have healing applications far beyond us here. We’re driving out of here healed and refreshed to be Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation to the world.



(c)2012 St. John's Lutheran Church and School | 505 S Park RD | La Grange IL 60525
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Pastor's Blogs

Bill Geis has led a variety of missional ministries for over 20 years. He has served as senior pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in La Grange, Illinois since 2004. He is the proud father of teenage daughters, Erica and Monica. His partner in ministry and in marriage, Sandi Geis, serves with him on the team at St. John's as prayer ministry leader, devotional writer and music teacher. He has a passion and calling to rally Christian communities and disciples to help people Meet Jesus in authentic and life changing ways.

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