Archive for October, 2011

Reformation

October 30, 2011

If you worship at a Lutheran Church this Sunday, it’s likely that you’ll celebrate Reformation.  Yu already know that on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther set in motion a movement to reform the church of his day.  We Lutherans are the inheritors of that movement.

Inheritors do have a gift but with it goes a responsibility.  The church has a responsibility to always be in Reformation and we have that responsibility as possibility as Lutherans.  For me what we inherited was an emphasis on God’s grace, on God’s steadfast love for all people.  God calls to proclaim that grace, God’s love for a world God created and loves dearly.   None of us is excused from that calling of proclamation for God has made us a part of the priesthood of all believers.  Our identity is as saints because God through Jesus says we are holy and as sinners because we live in a broken world.  Sinner saints and saintly sinners.

As inheritors of the Reformation God calls us to love this world God loves dearly.  That world belongs to God and God is always active in it.  We join this God of action in providing for and protecting all that God has made.  It’s a privilege and a duty that God grants to us.

I remember the days when our worship on Reformation Sunday was a reminder that thankfully we weren’t Roman Catholic.  I’m grateful now that our Reformation worship is truly a call to continuing reformation of our lives and our congregations and our world.  Change is the constant for us as the inheritors of the reformation Luther began almost 500 years ago

Happy Reformation celebration!!!

 

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Called but not chosen?

October 6, 2011

This blog has been idle for a little while.  I haven’t been preaching in September, so I haven’t paid as much attention to the scripture readings coming up.  I have an assignment later in October, however, so I’m stepping back into the flow of the scriptures we’re all hearing.

Having just read the readings for Sunday, I’m left scratching my head.  The gospel reading in particular is troubling.  Jesus tells a parable about a king who plans a wedding banquet.  When the invitations go out, those invited laugh it off and even kill the delivery workers.  So the king kills them all and has his servants go out in the street and invite everybody in–the good and the bad.  Good news there for us who through Jesus are invited to God’s great feast of joy.  And yet the story concludes with the strange wrath of the king toward someone not suitably dressed.  the conclusion:  Many are called but few are chosen.

The community for which Matthew writes his gospel is a mixed community.  Some are super Christians claiming special gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Matthew sees others as shallow Christians.  For Matthew true faith is lived out in right living.  At the same time he discourages a judgmental attitude toward others.  Judgements about sincere faith are to be left to God in God’s good time.  So the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

We could read this story as a call to invitational evangelism–inviting others into the faith community of which we are a part.  How good a “church member’ they may be, how good a “follower of Jesus” they may be is not up to us to decide, but simply to invite them and let God work in their lives. In the end God will make the judgements.

Listen to the first reading as well.  What good news it is that even God can change God’s mind.  We are constantly creating idols for ourselves, we turn away from God and God would be rid of us.  But Jesus intervenes on our behalf and God changes God’s mind and continues to be our God.  In our baptism God has made us a promise to always be our God.  We trust God not to have a change of mind, a change of heart about that.  But it is Good News to us that God is not just an angry God, but a God of steadfast love.

May you enjoy these days of beauty and let them remind you of God’s great blessings.