Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ,
There is room in the van….
On Sunday, October 9, St. James’ organist, Brice Petersen will be offering his first year recital in Northfield. Brice is currently working on a Masters in Sacred Music through Luther Seminary and St. Olaf College. The recital will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church. If you are interested in transportation to the event I will be driving the church’s van “Wanda”. You can sign-up online through www.SignUpGenius.com/go/organ1. The recital begins at 4:00 pm. and we leave the church parking lot promptly at 3:00 pm.
As I think about taking the church van to hear Brice’s recital, I am reminded that we are all on a journey. How we travel down the road is important. Do we pay attention to the changing of the leaves or are we in a hurry to get to the next stop? Do we travel alone or is the car filled with others singing along? Are the driving habits of Christians different from others?
Jesus invites his disciples to travel the road, his way - “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). To find out what that path looks like, all we need do is pay attention to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – to look at the road that he traveled. Jesus’ travel was characterized by compassion, love, inclusion, and welcoming all people to God. The van that Jesus drove had unlimited seats and all were graciously invited aboard – even the sick, lame, diseased, sinners, women, outcasts, children… you name it all were welcomed. Those who could not board on their own were carried by the one who came to bring wholeness to the whole world.
How different Jesus’ way is from the kind of rides that are being offered these days! As I reflect on our culture there is so much division and exclusion. Rides are offered only to those who are like us or vote like us or spend like us… There is also fear as to who might get into our vehicle. What would it look like if we tried to be more Christ like and made room for others? What would happen if St. James took the risk of opening the doors to our church to everyone who lived in our community?
Just some questions as I think about my own driving habits and ask for God’s forgiveness. I look forward to our continued journey together down this stretch of highway… on this wonderful road trip with St. James that the Spirit has arranged. May God continue to bless our travel and inspire Jesus-focused driving as we joyfully head down the road singing.
As always I look forward to seeing you in worship.
The Rev. Walt Lichtenberger, S.T.M. - Lead Pastor
St. James Lutheran - Burnsville, MN
cell phone: (952) 836-8588
emergency pastoral care hotline: (651) 354-1883