Rev. Richard Diekmann became our full time minister on September 27, 2015. He has served in UCC ministry over 35 years, most recently in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to that he served in Port St. Lucie, Florida for 25 years.
Note from the Pastor… The Extent of Jesus’ Love
The Hessian soldiers whom King George III engaged to fight in the Revolutionary War knew nothing of love for England. They were mercenaries, hirelings. For every man killed, they received a sum of cash. Three men wounded counted as one dead man.
A hireling does only what he is paid to do. In that respect he differs from the owner, as Jesus said: “The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away” (John 10:12).
In contrast, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He is truly and lovingly concerned about His sheep. He cared so much that He laid down His life for our salvation. Had He been a hireling, that is, had He hoped for personal gain in playing the role of Savior, He would have fled when He saw Judas coming with a band of soldiers to arrest Him. Had He come to seek fame and fortune for Himself, He might have enacted the role of a mercenary, collecting case or credits for every follower He gained.
But Jesus did the opposite. He emphatically declared that He had not come into the world to deprive people of their life, liberty, or happiness, but to give them life. To that end He, the Good Shepherd, met the ultimate test of love: He gave up His life for us on the cross, and this at a time when we were still His enemies. Then, on the third day, that great Shepherd of the sheep rose again from the dead, taking up again the life He had voluntarily laid down. Because He Lives, we too live, now and forever.
Blessings to all, Pastor Rick