On Birds and Other Calls to Bold Living!
With a Thank You to Young (and all) Activists
- an excerpt from a September 2019 sermon by Pastor Peg
Thanks for looking in on us here at Lutheran Church of The Master! Here is a brief, personal and Biblical reflection sharing what’s on Pastor Peg’s heart these days:
Hi friends in Christ,
For all that’s baffling about Luke 16’s parable of the deceptive manager, what I find compelling is how it makes us try to listen. What is Jesus saying – not only in this parable, but in our lives?
What call might we hear, for instance, in the news that in just 50-years we’ve lost 3 billion birds – ¼ of all the birds have been lost in just the last 50 years. What might God, Creator of heaven and earth, and birds, hope we’ll hear and do? Birds are one of today’s many wake-up calls.
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish leader among other youth leaders, has made a difference insisting we wake up about climate science. There are other urgencies too: gun violence for one; hospitality to migrants, de-forestation contributed to by our eating habits. The list goes on.
In today’s gospel a manager is fired because of rumors which may or may not be true. His being fired isn’t the point. And who can guess why the landowner commends his response? What is clear is that the fired manager sees there’s a problem. He sees his future’s at risk. It’s clear, if he does nothing he’ll be in worse shape. One scholar suggests today’s parable might bring to mind the story of the woman hemorrhaging for 18 years. She knows she needs to act, and does!
We too are free to act; to try our best; to give life our all – not needing guarantees we’ll get it right. God empower us to not necessarily guess best answers, but to give our best, our most thoughtful try, our wisest effort. God isn’t a demander of perfection, but an encourager, promising forgiveness when we get it wrong.
In light of today’s many complexities, I hear Luke 16 inviting fresh thinking. Can we trust God is wildly free; that God surprises, like coming as a human baby? Can we trust God is free to choose to really do God’s work with our willing imperfect hands?
God sent Jesus to humble Mary and Joseph with no guarantees how it’d go. God risked love. We too are called to live boldly, creatively, lovingly, with passion and urgency.
-Faithfulness isn’t cynicism or despair, or blaming whoever’s easy to blame.
-Faithfulness doesn’t crawl into holes, or pull wool over eyes.
-Faithfulness trusts God to meet us in surprising ways.
Today’s gospel commends caring enough to act. This parable may be a story for our time: – a call to trust God’s mercy
-more than we fear getting it wrong,
-more than we fear it’s hopeless,
-more than we doubt we make a difference.
Greta shows one person can make a difference. Luther showed that too and taught us to pray diligently, and when a decision must be made, decide, believing all the more in the grace of Jesus Christ. Trust God’s mercy and act!
Thank you for your courageous acts of love!
With hope in Christ whose love is alive in you!