By Pastor Walter Ries, Jr. On September 7th, it was standing room only at the church in Palmar Arriba, as more than 200 people crowded into the sanctuary to celebrate 5 years of Christ amongst us through His Word and precious gifts. The service was marked by special music, with the Concordia Lutheran school children singing the hymn, “Thousand, Thousand Thanks Shall Be, Dearest Jesus, Unto Thee” by memory and also two special pieces of music were sung by our musicians. A banner was prepared to celebrate the occasion and altar paraments donated by Grace Lutheran Church, Oberlin, OH, were placed ont he altar for the first time. The sermon was one of repentance, recognizing that the blessings of our church, school, and orphanage are our Lord’s doing and by His grace. The text of the Publican and the Pharisee reminded us that the petition of the Christian is consistently one of a contrite and humble heart to a merciful Father. Jesus, Himself, took the lowest place of all, in the cross of Calvary. From there, the Father has raised Him to sit with Him at His right hand. By baptism, through faith, we too have seats with Him and crowns, white robes, heavenly mansions, adoption in being called sons and daughters. Yes, we too, by his grace have all been exalted as well. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!