Quick question: When was the last time you allowed yourself to take a new perspective on something? You know…ordered something new from a restaurant you go to often? Switched up your commute to or from work? Loved your enemies? Blessed them when they don’t wish the best for you? I ask because our text for this week suggests that we should do just that. In our study on the Gospel of Luke, we currently find Jesus turning a lot of commonly-held beliefs and ideas on their heads. He doesn’t just offer new ways of seeing things, he completely redefines what his listeners think they already know. Pastors Jenn and Jad will be preaching this week in worship about how Jesus helps us to ReConnect with our core values of Discipleship and Service, specifically in Luke 6:27-35:
“But I say to you who are willing to hear: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other one as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t withhold your shirt either. Give to everyone who asks and don’t demand your things back from those who take them. Treat people in the same way that you want them to treat you.
If you love those who love you, why should you be commended? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, why should you be commended? Even sinners do that. If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, why should you be commended? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to be paid back in full. Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. If you do, you will have a great reward. You will be acting the way children of the Most High act, for he is kind to ungrateful and wicked people.”They’ll be helping us take and in-depth look at the passage known in Luke as the Sermon on the Plain. I know what you’re probably thinking, “But, Pastor Jeremy, isn’t it the Sermon of the Mount?” Not in the Gospel of Luke! I invite you again to see all things with new eyes, even the things that we find familiar and hold close to our hearts. Make sure to stay up to date on our study of the Gospel of Luke by reading chapters 6 and 7 this week. Whether you join us at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m., on campus or online, we’re excited to worship together!
Speaking of different perspectives, I’m excited to announce that Marc Middleton, founder and CEO of Growing Bolder will be speaking at St. Luke’s on September 23 at 6:30 p.m. in Founder’s Hall (click here to RSVP)! While Growing Bolder is the title of his most recent book, it is also the name of his media network which is made up of extremely popular television and radio shows along with a magazine. He’ll be speaking about what it looks like to defy the common misconception that growing older means accepting limits and decline. Attendees will get to hear stories about real people who have retired, become empty nesters, found new passions and callings, all while ascending in age with grace, strength, and health. What will make the event even more exciting and special is that after his presentation, he’ll be interviewed by his friend and former co-journalist, St. Luker Andrea Batchelor! Directly following the event there will be a ministry fair in the Santos Welcome Hall, where attendees will have the opportunity to connect with the different ministries that could be the catalyst for discovering a new passion and calling in life. You won’t want to miss it!
My prayer for you this week is that, as we meditate on our core values of Discipleship and Service, that you feel the love and support of those who brought you to and continue to support you in faith. May the spirit of God embolden and empower you as you venture to do the same for others.