Dear Members and Friends of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd,
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
During this season of Lent, we are reflecting on Martin Luther’s rediscovery of the priesthood of all believers, using a booklet by Dave Daubert as our basis. In 1 Peter 2:9-10, we read, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. Once you weren’t a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you hadn’t received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (CEB)
As a pastor, I have a specific call for preaching, teaching, pastoral care, spiritual guidance, and working for the common good. But Luther and the Bible are clear that we have all received a call as baptized children of God, to live and to share Jesus. God calls each of us, in our own unique ways, to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ – if necessary, using words; more often, through acts of love and justice. God calls each of us, in our own unique ways, to pray for one another and for our world. God calls each of us, in our own unique ways, to serve one another and work for the common good.
Sometimes, we focus our life as Christians too narrowly on the institution of the church, centered in a building and inwardly focused. Jesus truly calls us to gather together, to learn and pray and grow and serve one another. But then Jesus sends us, as a royal priesthood, a holy nation, to share the love and justice of God with our neighbors. That is ultimately why hosting Lutheran Social Services, the Northwest United Neighbors, and our WINGS after school program have been so healthy for us this past year: we are living our calling as a royal priesthood to live and share Jesus in new and renewing ways. We are expanding our mission tables, welcoming others to join us at the feast and celebration of grace.
I invite you on this journey of faith, this quest of hope, this adventure of love!
Living and Sharing Jesus in 2015,
Pastor Eric Lemonholm