Pastor’s Message October
In the Lutheran tradition, our readings follow a three year cycle called the Revised Common Lectionary. Each year is known by a letter (A, B, C) and has certain trends within it. For example, certain books of the Bible occur more frequently in certain years and often over several consecutive weeks. We are currently in Year C, which we started last year at Advent and will continue through Christ the King Sunday. Year C is known for having many of the Gospel readings from Luke. If you have been reading along or worshipping with us, you may have already noticed this. But have you noticed what Luke loves to talk about?
Luke loves to talk about parties and celebrations. So many of Jesus’ teachings happen at dinners or use the images of banquets. There are also the celebrations expressed through spontaneous song. Even before Jesus is born, people are receiving good news and suddenly start singing their praise for God. Luke also loves the underdog, so to speak. Luke is always pointing us to the marginalized, the poor, the widow, the women, the outcast. The Gospel of Luke amplifies these stories from unlikely people to tell the story of Jesus’ life more than Matthew, Mark, or John.
So, I find it fitting that October at Grace will be filled with Luke. We have a month full of opportunities to live out our mission – worship God, make friends, uplift people. From meeting people in the community at festivals to parties of our own (shameless plug for the installation here), we have a celebratory month ahead. We will also embark on a capital campaign in October, For All The Saints. To even consider doing this shows how we, once entertaining an uncertain future, are starting to see the very beginnings of the tides turning. We have so much demand for the building, we need to make all the spaces comfortable year round. Grace the underdog has gone from an uncertain future to an uprising in the community of visibility and vitality.
One of my favorite parts of Luke, besides all the details of Christmas, is way at the end, after the resurrection. Jesus is walking alongside two people who do not recognize him but tell him all that has just happened in Jerusalem. Then, Jesus starts teaching them the scriptures about God’s promise but without revealing his identity. After a day of walking, they all break for dinner. As soon as Jesus took the bread, blessed it and broke it, the two people recognize him. Jesus vanishes, but the two people say to each other, Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us? (24:32)
The Gospel of Luke can reveal many things about us – particularly that Jesus is very present within Grace – the building and the community, the worship and the ministry, and most importantly all of us. We can resonate with The Gospel of Luke by recognizing that Jesus loves to celebrate. Jesus loves to work through the underdog. And Jesus appears to us even when do not recognize him at first. Maybe it will take us pausing and reflecting on the moments our hearts were burning within us. Maybe it will take longer than we want or not look how we want. But Jesus is here. All the time. And he too will be partying with us all of October.