Last Sunday we celebrated the life and ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr., who advocated not only for racial justice through nonviolence action, but also for peace, economic equity, and the realization of God’s Beloved Community. It also seemed important to me that we lift up the witness of our Baptist brother, John Lewis, US Representative from Atlanta Georgia and Civil Rights leader, who has been under attack. There are few in this land who have captured and lived out King’s dream for our country than Representative Lewis. As US citizens, he reminds us that “Our struggle is a struggle to redeem the soul of America. It’s not a struggle that lasts for a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or a few years. It is the struggle of a lifetime, more than one lifetime.” This is a reminder and invitation to each of us to keep the faith moving forward. I am keenly aware that this may be a most challenging week in the life of our democratic republic. I urge you to be in prayer as well as witness for the well-being of our people and, indeed, the whole creation. Whatever our involvement, may it be an extension of our faith.
A quick reminder to turn in your annual reports to Betsy in the church office so she can prepare the booklet for our annual meeting, January 29. Also, if you have not yet turned in your pledge form for 2017, please do so as soon as possible to help Jane Chin and the Finance Committee complete the budgeting process.
This Sunday, our text from Matthew’s gospel highlights the beginning of Jesus’ ministry as he calls his first disciples and engages in healing ministry throughout Galilee. Like today’s rock star, his actions go viral and his reputation grows to the point that crowds are flocking to see him. Still, his message echoes that of his cousin, John the Baptist, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” There is an urgency in his announcement that God’s Beloved Community is about to appear on earth and there is great excitement as people leave everything behind to follow him. What would we do if he caught us at work or school or play, saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people”? Would we get up and go?
In Adult Spiritual Formation we will continue our consideration of the excellent video series, Saving Jesus Redux. The excerpts we watch from these videos each week are yielding significant and helpful discussion of and insight into Jesus’ life and ministry.
See you Sunday at 10 AM for worship and Sunday School, including Adult Spiritual Formation. Bring someone along to share the morning with you.
Our theme for this year is “All Are Welcome in this Place.” Let’s make certain that it is so.Pastor Rick