In our prayers for you, we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
-Colossians 1:3-4; 9-12
We’ve been blessed at Redeemer to have a number of new visitors over the past few weeks, and it’s been great to tell them about all of the exciting things that are happening at Redeemer, from our work in the community to our small groups to our faith formation activities. But what I’ve found myself emphasizing in talking to them was how great the people at Redeemer are. And it makes sense because if we didn’t have great people, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to do the work of the Gospel and create disciples in the way we do!
In reading Paul’s letter to the Colossians from this week’s lectionary, I was struck by how similar the prayers that Paul offers for his community are to my prayers for our community. I give thanks that I get to be part of a community that feels called to examine itself and actively engage in anti-racist training. I give thanks for the devotion of our members to serving those in need. These are things that are ingrained in the history of the congregation as well: we haven’t just paid lip service to issues around us but dreamt big and built Lutheran Towers, started a food ministry, supported the founding of Goshen Valley, supported mission developments to try and reach new people.
And it’s because of that that I’m excited about our current planning process because it allows to see where God is calling us next. And while I don’t know what it will be, I feel certain that God is calling us to engage more of the issues we find in our community and in the world to help share God’s hope and love with the world.
Gracious God, I give you thanks for this congregation and for the work that your Spirit inspires them to do. Be with us in our daily lives and inspire us in our work, so that we might continue to hear your voice and to be your hands and feet in the world. Amen.