And he [Jesus] said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47)
Image comes from the NASA Image and Video Library
If you are following the 2019 Year of Scripture Daily Reading Schedule, you should be just over halfway through the Gospel of Luke.
At our Fall Gatherings, I have been inviting us to consider that Jesus commissions His followers to be a “Sent Church”, and not a “Settled Church”. Think about the difference between being “sent” and being “settled”. Are there places in the life of your parish where the Holy Spirit is stirring things up and sending folks out? Or are things mainly staid and settled? And how might we make the shift from “settled” to “sent”? Over the next few weeks, I want to explore how each of the Evangelists (Gospel writers) depicts the charge of the church after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
In the Gospel of Luke chapter 24, the crucified and risen Jesus appears to his disciples and charges them to proclaim the forgiveness of sins in his name to all nations. Luke takes seriously this notion of “all nations”, and the truth that the Gospel of Jesus transcends all ethnicities, tribes, and languages. The love of God, through Jesus, is for all people, and not just for the folks who look, talk, and act like us.
A few questions to ponder
- Do the folks worshiping in the pews of your parish reflect the richness and variety of the community in which God has placed you?
- How do you not only serve, but also witness to the love of Jesus, with the folks you are serving through food pantry and feeding ministries?
- What barriers and boundaries might God be calling you and your parish to cross over in order to reach “all nations” with the promise of the Gospel?