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From the Desk of the Associate Pastor

From the Desk of the Associate Pastor

July 2024

It is rare that I have difficulty finding words. I enjoy talking and as a pastor, it is a big part of my job. However, for this newsletter article I found myself staring at a blank screen for a bit longer than I would care to admit. Speaking about congregational life, the Word of God, and our shared faith, are all things that I feel comfortable doing. They are things that I enjoy. With that said, the words do not always come easily. I feel that there are many who do not speak about their faith because they are afraid they might sound foolish, dumb, or be corrected for not having it “right”. That does break my heart because so many have amazing stories. 

I am also aware of the fact that many of us Lutherans come from a more reserved, stoic, and “Germanic” background. Many of us were raised to let our actions speak for us. I believe this is such a beautiful thing. Turn on the news or open up social media and it is a tidal wave of words and most of it is noise. So many words are spoken without love.

Not having words can be frustrating. They are an integral part of communication and it is a spiritual practice to hone those skills. Yet so much can be said without speaking a word. Maybe it is time to follow the words of St. Francis of Assisi and “preach always and when necessary with words.”

I think of Hebrews 13:2 which tells us “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some may have entertained angels without knowing it.” Holding a door, making small talk with a stranger, offering a cold glass of water to someone who needs it, leaving a nice tip for wait staff (maybe even if they do not deserve it) are all ways we can honor this exhortation from the scriptures. Sometimes we might just have to listen and choose not to talk at all (our ears and body language will do all the work).

We will not always have the words. Sometimes it might be the Holy Spirit just telling us to talk less and let God use our hands and feet for redemptive and loving action in a broken and noisy world that needs love to cut through. In the “green season” of growth that is Ordinary Time, let us pray on our call to action through our baptismal identities.

In Christ,

Pastor Andrew

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