Here at Lutheran Church of the Master we will celebrate by serving Pumpkin Spice Communion wafers through Thanksgiving! How awesome is that!
Of course, it is a joke, but it points to a temptation the church has always been faced with: how much are we in the world or of the world? How can we proclaim the gospel which calls us to live differently from the “ways of the world” if the church doesn’t do things differently?
This is increasingly challenging as the world we live in leaves less and less space for the church. There was a time when Sundays and Wednesday evenings were “off limits” because those days were reserved for church activities. Not any longer.
This is why it is important to have a sense of identity. As a church we call this a mission statement like: LCM is a faith led fellowship called to serve all in Jesus name. Or my friend Bob who likes to tell people: I am Bob, beloved of God, serving.
Knowing who we are and whose we are helps guide decisions when the winds of the world and the culture are trying to blow us in every different direction.
It is Jesus who tells us: I am the vine and you are the branches. (John 15:5) We are attached to Jesus and through Jesus connected to one another. We are not alone and no matter what comes we are connected to Jesus and Jesus is connected to us.
We will still face challenging questions and any number of difficulties, but we will never face them alone.
And we can reserve Pumpkin Spice for coffee and beer and shampoo, and leave the communion bread plain!
Blessings to you and your family this fall.
Pr. Paul Walters