Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shall me make a start?

For several months I have been looking forward to launching this blog. Its purpose is simple: to serve as a means of communicating with members and friends of St. Luke Lutheran Church. I hope that this site will not simply be a billboard of only my thoughts and reflections, but rather a forum in which we can be "in conversation" with one another and the world around us. But things take time, and time takes time. So, in the meantime, shall we make a start?

For now, the plan is to post an article during the middle of the week that will attempt to get us thinking about and reflecting on the themes that we likely will encounter in worship and learning the following Sunday. There are no guarantees, however. In the course of any given week there may be something else that will drive the conversation. But for the most part, we can look to this blog as a source as we anticipate and prepare our hearts and minds for our Sunday assembly.

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The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" The Lord replied, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. (Luke 17:5-6)

This coming Sunday we hear this imperative from the apostles. If we take this text out of context, it sounds only like the apostles are frustrated and selfish. This plea comes immediately following Jesus teaching about forgiving those who sin against us even repeatedly. Those who keep sinning and keep repenting are to be forgiven.

This is difficult for us to accept. Aren't we to repent and sin no more? Rightly, or at least understandably, the apostles feel inadequate or at least challenged by this. So they plea for more faith. But how much is enough? Maybe if we just had a little bit more faith, we could manage.

What does it mean to you to have faith? How did you get it? How do you keep it?

The Conversion of Saint Paul, 1600
 Caravaggio (1571–1610)

Conversion is the topic of our Faith Formation Forum this Sunday at 8:45 AM.  Here are some questions you can begin to consider between now and then:
  • When are we ripe for conversion?  
  • Is it once and done? 
  • Is is once, for all? 
  • Who takes the initiative? 
  • What does conversion have to do with faith? 
  • Can we have faith and still be in need of conversion? 
  • How much is enough? 
  • Is a mulberry tree capable of obeying us?
I encourage you to take a little time and ponder these questions and reflect on the readings listed below for this Sunday. Email this link to a friend as well and invite them to come with you this Sunday for the first in a four-part series called Faith Formation Forum.  Meanwhile, stay in One Peace!  -cf

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Sunday, October 6, 2013
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Prayer of the Day
Benevolent, merciful God: When we are empty, fill us.
When we are weak in faith, strengthen us.
When we are cold in love, warm us,
that with fervor we may love our neighbors
and serve them for the sake of your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
Psalm 37:1-9
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10

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