Pastor’s Corner


It’s Finally Here!

The school year is complete this week for Cross and for many other local schools. Memorial Day weekend is officially the “unofficial” start of summer, camping and cookouts. Many students and teachers have been looking forward to this moment—the anticipation has brought out the best (and worst) us all. But now, it is all in the past as the transition to summer is in full swing.

On June 4th, the Church will enter the season of Pentecost. This is a season when we celebrate and participate with the first disciples at the arrival of the long awaited Holy Spirit. The anticipation of the arrival of the Holy Spirit has brought out the best and worst in the children of God.  The Holy Spirit finally came to the believers 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus, 10 days after His ascent into heaven.

This long, often agonizing wait caused Peter to go back to fishing, Thomas to doubt and others to question. But the wait also allowed for the selection of Matthias to replace Judas, the reinstatement of Peter after his betrayal and the time to refocus on what God said rather than the thoughts of man (Luke 24:25)

As summer approaches and school ends there is a little more “time” in the schedule. Our natural temptation is to fill it up with things to do. I know summer often feels more chaotic than peaceful. That is because we are so uncomfortable waiting. We don’t like to wait for God to show up any more than the Disciples did. But, we can learn from their trials!

This summer try to make some time that is unscheduled evenings, weekends, or entire weeks. Give this time to the Lord and see what He will do with it. Remember, you may need to wait for Him. Your neighbors may be too busy to connect; you may even get sad you don’t have something planned. But, then, the Holy Spirit will show up and connect you to a neighbor, or a family member, or give you the time to do something you’ve dreamed of but never “had the time for.” You may even realize this is the best summer yet because you let the Lord lead you instead of telling Him what to do and where to go.

The Disciples had to wait, and often so do we. The time of waiting can be just as valuable as the time of “doing” if we let God do what God does. Keep close to Him this summer and you will be amazed at everything He is doing and, everything He is doing through you! “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh…And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:17,21)

In Christ,
Rev. Erik Gauss

Pastor’s Corner


Won’t You Be My Neighbor

“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine?  Could you be mine?…”  Say these few sentences to anyone my age and in an instant you’ve most likely transported them back to their childhood. Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood was a television show that helped children learn about themselves, others, and the world around them.  And that theme song is still stuck in our heads!

Won’t you be my neighbor? What does it mean to be a neighbor? There is a serious problem with affordable housing in the Greater Aurora area. Even though they have good paying jobs, many working families only make$22,000 to $45,000 a year. Because of their income level, these families cannot qualify for a mortgage with a bank. Their only choice for affordable housing is often in substandard rental properties that are unhealthy and unsafe.

This is where Habitat for Humanity comes in to help. Fox Valley Habitat is a Christian housing ministry that believes in empowering working low-income families through home ownership.  They provide a hand-up, not a hand-out. Cross is one of 30 churches that has partnered together to build a home for a lady named Rubi Mata and her two daughters through an opportunity called Faith Build 2017.

On Saturday, June 3rd, the members of Cross Lutheran Church are able to take part in actually building the house for this family. From 8:30 – 4:30pm, a small team from Cross will be on the onsite, swinging hammers and putting up walls for this future home. But in order for this event to occur, you need to register TODAY! Space is limited to just 15 people, and you must be at least 16 years old to attend this first event.

There are a few steps to register for this event – so talk with Pastor Matt ASAP and he can give you a t-shirt and registration packet (you can also pick up a packet on your own in the fellowship hall). This is a perfect opportunity for our congregation to demonstrate the Good Samaritan’s love not just in word or speech, but in truth and action.  Let’s get our hands dirty and make a difference for Rubi and her kids. Won’t you be her neighbor?

Please contact Pastor Matt at if you have any questions.

Pastor’s Corner


Stay Awake!

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42

One translation says “stay awake,” another says “be ready,” and still another says “keep watch.” Do you get the idea?  God wants us to keep our eyes and ears open at all times so that we remain safe and effective in ministry until He returns.  The Greek meaning of the word is to give concentrated attention to something and be cautious so no evil will overtake you.

This definition puts in my mind a person at a military post, always watching and always vigilant because the enemy may attack at any moment. In war you never know where the enemy will strike from or when it might happen.  Imagine the relief and joy when instead of an enemy cresting the horizon it is actually reinforcements.  What joy and celebration!

So it is with us, the people of faith. We are ever vigilant, alert, and ready because the devil prowls like a roaring lion.  He is looking for a weakness in our defenses so he can get a foothold in our life.  If it is up to us, we get distracted, fall asleep at the post and become a victim of evil.  But, when we remain alert, what we notice is that Christ and the angel armies are there with us; reinforcements against the devil’s schemes and cunning ways are right there for us.  What joy and celebration!

Because we have Jesus means we have peace, but it doesn’t mean we can let down our guard. We must stay alert because the devil not only continues to attack us; he attacks the world around us.  Our story is that we have been recruited into a battle for eternity.  The war has been won; Christ is risen and eternal life is won for all who believe, but the devil continues to try to steal faith, hope and eternal life.  He works to turn souls away from God and toward anything else.

Stay awake! Tell your story, God’s story.  Help others to remain alert against the craftiness of the evil one so that, when the Lord returns, there will be much joy and a great celebration.  Joy and celebration from a people of faith so large, no one can count!

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9

His servant and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss

Pastor’s Corner

Title Slide

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”
2 Timothy 3:12.

This statement from Paul in a letter written to his young prodigies Timothy, is haunting. ALL?!? All who desire to live like Christ will be persecuted? What about all the public teaching today that says God wants to bless, bring success, give you your best life, and protect you from evil? What of the promises in scripture that say we will not cast our foot against a stone, or the promise that nothing can steal us out of the hands of our loving God? Is the Bible in conflict with itself? And which perspective is correct?

The truth is God’s people will experience persecution as they try to live out the faith, but will also have peace in the midst of that persecution. The peace that God promises is try peace. It is not an absence of conflict but the presence of God in the midst of our troubles that gives us peace. True peace comes from knowing that faithfully enduring hardship or persecution can be used by God in powerful ways. Ways we never imagined. True peace comes from knowing that no matter what we do or where we go, if done in the name and love of Jesus, He will bring forth results that glorify Him.

As for the persecution…. God sends us out into the world to share the good news of Jesus. The good news shared to a world that doesn’t want to hear it will bring persecution. It could be worldly persecution or spiritual persecution. It doesn’t need to be life threatening persecution but the point is, a faithful life isn’t a life without challenges. A life without challenges is a life led in lies or a life led in selfishness. If we live for God and go to places He wants us to go we should expect resistance, hardship, persecution. We can expect it from the enemy and from other “believers” who do not understand (think Jesus being persecuted by the Jewish church or His own disciples.)

What is our response? Paul writes in 2 Timothy that we 3:14ff that the people of faith are to persevere in the presence of persecution. Hold fast to the faith that has been given to us, and to remain acquainted to the sacred writings. In other words, read your bibles and believe what God is telling you. But, don’t believe blindly, believe as one who recognizes how God has made himself known throughout history. God continues to make himself know to us, if we open our eyes and are willing to see it.

Persecution because of our faith is unavoidable this said of heaven. If we persevere, God will use that persecution to make an eternal difference. Let this give you strength to endure and peace in the midst of troubles everyday until He returns.