Dear St. Lukers (Purple People for whom “Kin-dom” Love matters more),
The pressure of the culture and current events is making our work harder and harder but Jesus knew what he was talking about. He knew that Kin-dom living, family of God living, would be the harder choice and showed us the way to awaken our discipleship to this work, knowing that with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do hard things. Matthew 18-20 is a crash course in the discipleship work of purple love:
- All people, regardless of the world’s boxes, are God’s beloved people. Our responsibility is to live in ways to not make others stumble. “We are not here to be right, but work to get it right.” ~Brené Brown
- When we stumble, or someone has stumbled against us, we go to them and work it out. We won’t always get it right, but we covenant to stay to make it right.
- We are people who are forgiven and so we forgive. We forgive not out of some magnanimous gesture within us, we forgive as a replication of the forgiveness we have received. Forgiveness is not the end goal either…it’s the first step to making it right in order to move toward Kin-dom values and goals.
- Final step – Purple People make love matter more through extending viral grace. Grace that is contagious and is able to spread faster than evil, darkness, or judgement. Grace that recognizes the offender and offended, the forgiver and forgiven, the red and the blue…all matter the same to God and receive the same extravagant grace from Jesus.
Understanding and practicing this work may actually be the hardest work of all. Jesus in Matthew 20 punctuates the original question in Matthew 18 the disciples asked “who is the greatest?” with the parable of the workers. Read it before Sunday. In fact, read chapters 18-20 altogether. It’s tough ya’ll. It will change you. Or at least…if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and a citizen of the Kingdom of God…it should. It will mean the grace that we mete out based on our bias, or hurts… gets upended. Watch out when you say you follow Jesus – because Jesus actually demands more than we want to admit.
New on moving forward on-campus…please watch your Weekly Update and special announcements in worship and on social media as we work toward bringing limited numbers of guests back to campus for an 11:15 a.m. worship service on October 11 in addition to continuing our online worship at 9:30 a.m. We are also working on a camp-meeting style, socially distant, outdoor picnic we hope to announce later this fall.
In order to attend anything on campus, including worship, there will be a reservation system. We want to start smaller than our social distant capacity in the Sanctuary (which is only 225 people) to give us time to practice guidelines, so we ask you to consider splitting your time between online and on campus as you begin considering making plans. We will have videos next week to help you see and understand the guidelines which will include reservations and a health declaration form completed by Saturdays, masks, no congregational singing, and no gathering before or after worship. These are all guidelines every church is following across denominations based on the data and science for safely gathering. It will give you time in the space, and a chance to see faces, but remember, it will be different than what you may be thinking. It’s a new day in how we gather and that includes how we worship. But as we have been understanding from Jesus, this is what it means to be disciples who seek to live for the good of all God’s beloved. And we can do hard things.
Until then, may grace and love find you until we gather online for worship together this Sunday,