Pastor's Perspective

Summer-to-Fall

 










Sitting on my porch today, with the sun on my face but the cool breezes that whispered of fall blowing across my skin, made me think about the Gospel lessons in these past few weeks. We have been walking through many stories in the book of Matthew that are leading us up to the description of the Passion of our Lord.

 

In these texts the identity of Jesus as the Christ is being revealed and considered. Preceding the lesson for the first week in September are several miracles:  the healings of the Canaanite woman’s daughter and others at the Sea of Galilee and the feeding of the five thousand. Then follows demands by the Pharisees and Sadducees for a sign as to who Jesus is. Last week, we find Peter’s declaration of Jesus as the Messiah. And then as we follow the next few Gospel readings in the weeks to come, there are the stories of the Transfiguration and another healing. Clearly, Matthew’s intention here is to emphasize the person and divinity of Jesus of Nazareth and to relate him to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah.

 

But that made me think again of what our own expectation is of Jesus as the Messiah. Just as I felt the sun on my face today and relished the lazy feeling of warmth and languidness that comes from the last vestiges of summer, today I also felt the brisk bite of the breeze that cautioned me to wrap up and think about the cooler temperatures that are ahead of us.

 

As Christians, we are given this amazing gift of grace from God through Christ that frees us from the fear of sin and death. It is warm and hopeful and provides us with comfort. But then there is the other part of the Gospel that reminds us that the path we follow is not always easy. To follow Christ means to follow the way of the cross. There will be biting winds of sacrifice and toil. As we are freed from the fear of death, we are freed for the work on behalf of our neighbor.

 

As the days grow shorter and the darkness grows longer, let us think about the life to which God is calling us. We are not always meant to stand in the light and be warm. We are also called to stand in the cold with those who are in need. We are also called to be the voice for those who are in the wilderness.

 

God’s power is not revealed only in the light, but also through the dark and murky places of weakness and misery. That is where Jesus walked. That is where he leads us to walk. That is where he strengthens us to bear the burdens of discipleship to which we are called.

 

Peace and blessings…

RevJenSig002

 

 

 

 

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October 22, 2017

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