Dear St. Lukers,
If you haven’t yet watched worship from this past Sunday, I invite you to do so. It was a beautiful service and Pastor Melissa and Ms. Lana, our Director of Children’s Ministries, pushed us to receive the Peace of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit as well as to share it. They helped us understand the difference between peace keeping and peacemaking, inviting us to join daily in the Prayer of St. Francis which you can print by clicking here.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Which leads us to another prayer, the prayer of Jesus on behalf of his disciples found in John 17. This is the focus for worship this week, another prayer with a definite call of the harder work of discipleship – Jesus’ prayer to God that his disciples would be ONE. Eugene Peterson paraphrases saying: I’m in them and you are in me so that they will be made perfectly one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you have loved them just as you loved me.
Jesus prayed this prayer not just for the disciples with him on that stroll before his arrest. But for all of us. Read John 13-17 as you prepare for worship this week and recognize Jesus’ love for us, his passion and desire for us to be one – not just for one another, but so the world would see him, would know him, by our ability to be one.
Let me just offer these questions as you prepare your hearts for worship and live in our community, nation, and world these next days. How are we doing with being one? What does the world know of Jesus by the way his church is acting toward one another, toward those who disagree or read scripture differently, toward those of different political parties? I’ve been thinking a lot about the liturgy we say in communion: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. A lot of people are talking these days about the coming again portion of that proclamation. I have wondered, if Jesus were to come again right now, or tonight at 9:00 p.m. after the debate, when everyone starts pontificating… I’ve wondered if Jesus would gather all his church together (I mean all) and what, in light of our actions, he would say to us regarding this prayer. As I consider it, the only thing I know to do, is get ready to pray and worship because maybe we need a little more work in that department of making Love matter more.
See you Sunday, whether in the virtual space or the brick and mortar space, remember it’s not St. Luke’s without U.