Monday, August 16, 2010

What Church is For

In the Luke 13:10-17, the gospel for this coming Sunday, Jesus breaks the orderliness of worship in order to do something very important.  As he was teaching at Sabbath worship, he interrupted his sermon in order to set a woman free from an invisible evil that had been weighing her down for eighteen long years.  The one who was in charge of worship told the people that this sort of healing should not be happening on that day.  But Jesus told him and the other religious leaders that there is nothing better than that someone should be set free -- even if it does happen right in the middle of worship -- or, as we might say -- right in the middle of Sunday church.

What is church for?  Why do you come to church for worship?  Do you expect God to show up and do things there, or do you expect to leave pretty much the same way as you came?  If in any way we come to church thinking that we are in control; if we limit God through formal or informal "orderliness;" if you never see the flow of worship broken up by the need to actually pray for a particular person in need; if people are not literally set free from bondage... I wonder then if we are really being "church" in the way Jesus would have us be.  Jesus breaks the pattern for the sake of someone in need.  I think we need to be doing that too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 is my last Sunday of service as pastor of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato.  We'll be reading the Bible verses about setting a woman free and another passage about satisfying "the needs of the afflicted" (Isaiah 58:6-14).  What will God want to do during worship that day?  I hope and pray that our orderly worship will never keep the Holy Spirit of God from doing His freeing work.  Let's pray that God will act among us on Sunday and every day when we gather in Jesus' name.

1 comment:

  1. The fog has finally begun to lift - it's been a long summer of frustration, confusion, anger, sorrow, pain, and hopelessness. Thanks for sharing this Pastor Steve. It helps one to understand. It's all about putting things in perspective and saying "Let go, let God."