The new church year begins with a wake-up call: Christ is coming soon! In today’s readings, both Paul and Jesus challenge us to wake from sleep, for we know neither the day nor hour of the Lord’s coming. Isaiah proclaims the day when God will gather all people on the holy mountain and there will be no more war or suffering. Though we vigilantly watch for the promised day of salvation, we wait for what we already have: Christ comes among us this day as the word and meal that strengthens our faith in the promises of God.
As I write this article, I am also preparing my sermon for the second to the last Sunday in the 2019 church year, November 17. Yes, the church year always begins with Advent. Usually, that is the first Sunday in December, and we are “Waiting for Christ” on Christmas. However, Christ has already come at His birth and resurrection. But He ascended into heaven until He comes again. So, as we read the Scriptures, remember who is speaking and to whom they are speaking.
In the November 17 readings, Paul speaks to the Thessalonians, who are sitting around waiting for Jesus to return, as if they are waiting for the bus. Paul reminds them, as Jesus reminds the disciples, that we don’t know when He will return. God hasn’t scheduled that bus yet. Rather, God has given us a mission to get done, and when His bus does finally show up, do you want to confess to God that you didn’t get His mission completed and just didn’t think it was necessary?
I didn’t want to disappoint my Daddy or my Mamma when they trusted me with a chore that needed to be completed for the sake of our family. So, by owning the mission, I was motivated to work together or unsupervised and do the best I could.
God has called us to share the Gospel with everyone within our reach. I am witnessing this effort and the impact it has on motivating others to join us. I shared Darlene Altiere’s story last month. Since then, our Youth Group raked leaves at Judy Shaffer’s house. It was a huge job, but with an Army of youth, it became a work of love. After hearing of this service plan, others wanted to be part of it. So, Jacquie and John Thomas showed up with their leaf blower. It is always great to have additional adult leadership, but even more important is how it shows that they care about and are inspired by our youth.
A lot more happened that night. Judy, who leads our Outhreach Committee, shared that they were asking for names to send Thanksgiving Food Baskets to. Our Youth Group has been helping some folks and so Stacey Altiere is helping Judy get those names and will help to deliver.
I think this is God’s image of what mission and ministry are all about. It’s all about relationships. We weave ourselves together in loving service for others and the next thing we discover is that we are inspired to do more. Why? Because we know we are not in it alone!
Is this the end of the story? No! You will hear the “Rest of the Story” next month after we have completed our Christmas Caroling that includes our members, but the Youth Group is going to join us also, and maybe a couple of our little ones from the Friday night Girl Scout group. Oh yeah, the Girl Scout group joined us in our Thanksgiving Food Basket mission, too. They brought some food.
Please join our ministry teams. Get involved! Meet new people! Inspire others to do God’s work!
Church Information…Please remember that you can obtain church information from the monthly Lamplighter Newsletter, the Constant Contact emails you receive, on the church website (www.lllc.org), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Living-Lord-Lutheran-Church-493806727349110/), and postings on the church bulletin board. Church Council Meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board and sent out via Constant Contact. We would like to see a better “open rate” when we send information to you via Constant Contact so that we know you are being informed of the activities that are occurring at the church. If you have any other suggestions on how best to reach out to our parishioners, please see a Council member.