From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of Reformation Sunday

Hi everyone,

So it’s been a long few days. As you know, our Synod met in Convention and there was a lot to talk about. Not only did we elect a new bishop, but a new Synod Council chairperson as mostly new Synod Council in general. So we are looking at a new day, a new future.

But if you watched any of the livestream or archived footage of the Convention, you’ll notice how important process and order are in these big meetings. While there is nothing wrong with that, but I wonder when we get too caught up in it, does grace get pushed to the wayside? Does the law win over the gospel? Is there room to love?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that our Synod is doing anything particularly nefarious or anything, I just wonder about that whole law/gospel dichotomy. And I wonder how quickly we might forget it when faced up with the business and busyness of life. It doesn’t have to just be about a church meeting, but it could be in own workplaces, in our communities, and in our individual workplaces.

I’m not saying that we should throw all rules out the window and just live in anarchy, but I’m saying that we probably should look in our lives and see where rules are unnecessarily stifling our grace, our joy, and our hope. Because when that happens, I’m afraid our love will be thrown out soon after.

Here are the readings for next week:
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 46
Romans 3:19-28
John 8:31-36

These are the texts for Reformation Sunday. And as you know the Protestant Reformation that happened more than 500 years ago now was all about reclaiming God’s love and all that it stands for. It’s something that founded this church that we are a part of, it is foundational to our call as God’s people, and it is the very thing that sets us free.

Not free to do whatever you want without good order and process, mind you, but free to see the power of God’s love indwelling through the confines and boundaries of that order and process. We are free to be welcomed into God’s grace and to welcome others as well. We are free to bask in God’s love and be empowered to love.

This freedom means that it needn’t be stifled. It shouldn’t be squashed. It cannot be contained. Instead, it can and needs to flow through us and around us, inspiring our hearts and proclaiming good news to all.

I love this Reformation stuff, which is perhaps why I sit in the chair I sit in. But life is just so much richer when we see this. Community is so much more fulfilling when lived in the light of God’s grace. Relationships are just so much more loving when we know and believe that we are free to love.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Matt Meilner on Unsplash

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