Today we had a busload of visitors from two of our mission partner congregations near Austin with in in worship today. They brought us a bunch of school supplies that we will give away next week during the Blessing of the Children. We also had a meal after worship. It was a nice chance to be the Church together.
Whenever I know in advance that we will have a large number of visitors in worship who might not speak Spanish, I make an outline in English, so that they can have some sense of what the sermon is about. Here is the outline for today:
God prepares God’s people. God equips the saints for service and building up the Church.
Every Sunday, we say, “Go in Peace, Serve the Lord. Thanks be to God.”
The work of the church continues outside these walls, and outside this hour.
200 families get food from our foodbank every month.
We just started citizenship classes.
With our friends from Austin, we’ll share school supplies with children in our community.
But the work of the Church is not just in congregational programs or one hour on a Sunday. It’s in the daily life of Christians, 168 hours a week.
God prepares us through Baptism and God feeds us with Holy Communion.
In Texas, you need a license to drive a truck, cut hair, or sell snowcones. You don’t need a license to love. Your baptism is enough.
One body, one spirit, one faith, one baptism…
Martin Luther says anybody coming out of baptism is ordained priest, bishop, and pope. We have authority and permission to serve.
Just as God prepares and sends us in Baptism, God feeds and nourishes us in Communion.
We go in peace and serve the Lord, not because we want more people in the pews or more money in the offering plate.
We go in peace and serve the Lord because God calls us to new life.
We go in peace and serve the Lord because God has given us a beautiful message of grace and the promises of Christ and the presence of the Spirit, and it would be a shame not to share it.
God prepares us, so we may go in peace and serve the Lord.