Dear Members, Friends, Neighbors, and Supporters of Siloa Lutheran Church,
In this year's Lenten study book by Michael Frost, the author lifts up this passage from 1 Peter 3: 15-16 (It is the same verse I shared in last months' pastor's letter. One of the good ones!)
"but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect."
On page 14, the author writes this observation:
"To fulfill the evangelistic mandate that Paul and Peter and the gospel present us with, we need to be propelled outward, into the lives of our neighbors, but also upward, into deeper intimacy with Jesus. This isn't merely an individual challenge; indeed. Paul seems to suggest that we fulfill our evangelistic mandate collectively, as we move inward into a self-consciously Christian community, acknowledging the evangelists we've been gifted with and the responsibility to live questionable lives,.... We need to become a godly, intriguing, socially adventurous, joyous presence in the lives of others."
Michael Frost believes that some of us are gifted to be bold proclaimers of the good news of the gospel. The rest of us, most of us, are called to live lives that bless others, and eat with and share hospitality with others. We can do this if, in prayer, we listen for God's word for us and, by studying the Gospels, we learn how to become more like Jesus. And in getting to know this Jesus we will be sent, as Jesus sent his disciples, "into all the world, making disciples".
When Frost says we do this "collectively" he means that we do this together. We are not alone. We have each other; our brothers and sisters in Christ. All of us were invited into, and welcomed into, this community, at one time or another, and in one place or another, by Christian folk who loved and cared about us. But, also, as an Easter community, we have the Risen Christ with us" to the end of all time".
Lent is a period of time devoted to preparation for the celebration of Easter, the Resurrection of Our Lord. I wish for all of you and for your families and for the people of this community and around the world a godly, adventurous, joyous Easter!
Peace, Pastor Dan Olson