Posted on Jun 07, 2017 by Pastor Dave Whetter
This past Sunday, June 4, we read in John’s gospel: “When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you'” (John 20:19). As I noted in my sermon, Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you,” are more than just a greeting; they are a call to action. In the midst of our fears, Jesus comes to us and says, you have my peace, now go and share that peace with the world.
With that in mind, my note this week is a challenge to take action. Now, I must warn you right now, some of you might take this to be a political challenge, but I don’t mean it to be. This is intended to be a challenge to live our faith, not just talk about it.
One of the things I love about being part of the ELCA is our willingness and insistence on being advocates for peace and justice in this broken world. In fact, if you go to the ELCA website, there is an Advocacy page – (http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Advocacy) - and on that page, it states:
ELCA advocacy works for change in public policy based on the experience of Lutheran ministries, programs and projects around the world and in communities across the United States. We work through political channels on behalf of the following biblical values: peacemaking, hospitality to strangers, care for creation, and concern for people living in poverty and struggling with hunger and disease.
Note what this says: Our Christian call to advocacy is not based on politics, but on God’s word, God’s word that calls for God’s people to be peacemakers, offer hospitality to the stranger, care for creation, and to be concerned for with the well-being of the poor, the sick, and the marginalized. These are not political issues; these are issues of justice and peace, according to God, and so as people of faith it is our call to be active in these earthly issues.
Here is my challenge for each of you: Recently, our Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth Eaton, asked all of us to remember on the 21st of each month to pray, fast and think about advocacy. Why the 21st of each month? The average person/family that is on food assistance programs runs out of assistance on the 21st of each month, which means that the last nine or ten days of the month are the hungriest days of the month for many people in this country. We need to be their advocates.
Fellow Partners in Mission, our Lord has called us to action; will you please join me in this call to action?
Shalom, Pr. Dave