Pastor’s Column for May, 2019 Epistle
Dear Friends in Christ,
In May, we are lifting up ministry in daily life. In truth, this is what we do all year long. There are many quotes out there on the internet falsely attributed to Martin Luther on vocation and calling. Here is something we know Luther said about work, whether the work of the prince or the work of the laborer: “The prince should think: Christ has served me and made everything to follow him; therefore, I should also serve my neighbor, protect him and everything that belongs to him. That is why God has given me this office, and I have it that I might serve him. That would be a good prince and ruler. When a prince sees a neighbor his neighbor oppressed, he should think: That concerns me! I must protect and shield my neighbor…The same is true for shoemaker, tailor, scribe, or reader. If he is a Christian tailor, he will say: I make these clothes because God has bidden me do so, so that I can earn a living, so that I can help and serve my neighbor. (Sermon in the Castle Church at Weimar).
There was a time when my father was not a camp director or the head of camping for the American Lutheran Church (ALC, a predecessor to the ELCA). During that time he wrote a newsletter for the ALC called Salt and Light (based on Matt. 5:13-15 where Jesus tells the crowds that they are both salt and light). The language used around the evening dinner table, because of my father’s work, was Discipleship in Society. I still love that phrase because it names so clearly that the way we care for one another out in society (workplace, nonprofit agencies, schools, playgrounds, recreation) is as important as anything we do inside the walls of our sanctuary or church building. On Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday we asked you to name some of the ways you live out discipleship in society. In May we will share back with you a sampling of what we received in written form. I am looking forward to lifting up and celebrating the many ways our members and friends are already salt and light for the Nampa community and world.