This summer we had planned to offer a sermon series themed #HealthyThingsGrow. Given the tragic events in our nation and world, we are also calling for a time of congregational lament, so we add #SummerofLament, as we offer our heavy hearts to God and to each other. Please receive this faithful reflection from Michael Sonnenberg who serves as lead for Friends of the Feast.
What is happening? That is a question I have asked myself over and over again the past few months.
I remember days growing up in my small Midwestern hometown where the biggest news was when someone ran a stop sign but maybe that was just because I lived in a small farming community.
I remember turning on the evening news to hear about Wednesday’s Child or the local basketball team making it to state finals or a local festival and its junk food alley; just all around good-hearted events.
Today, I turn on the news only to hear of another shooting that killed way too many innocent lives. I am not going to say these events never happened before but these days, it has become such a common occurrence, it’s scary to walk out of our homes, to go to work, go to church or go to school; the places that are supposed to be safe havens.
As we reflect on recent events and ongoing issues, we the Church (that’s big C Church) need to figure out how we can respond with justice, mercy and humility.
We, as Luther Place, will continue to gather weekly for worship, spread the Good News by striving for justice, loving our neighbors and walking humbly with God. But this summer, we will do worship a little differently.
As we worship together, let us also reflect on the reason this congregation is here. Luther Place was founded on the principles of reconciliation and peace after the American Civil War.
As we reach out for comfort in times of grief and pain, we can find solace in our Church family. In this summer of lament, we pray for safety and reform. As we gather at the Table, we are bonded in one common thing: Jesus died for all and saved us all from sin. As we reflect on the tragedies of the world, let us gather around the sanctuary as “one table at the table”. As we sing the Lamb of God, please make your way to the outer aisles of the sanctuary: we will commune as one table. The communion assistants will come around the circle to commune all. We will truly commune together as one table in Christ and continue to build AND strengthen the community of Christ that we call Luther Place Church as well as the greater Church.