This month we will celebrate the ELCA’s 10th “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday!
“This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.” - elca.org
This year our celebration of this day will look different in some ways than in past years. Usually we celebrate this day with service projects. This year God’s work looks like hospitality.
We have a unique opportunity because that weekend, on Sept. 9th, the Inn at Sunset Cliffs will be hosting the Sunset Cliffs Car Show on our property. In other words, the whole neighborhood and beyond will be coming to St. Peter’s and therefore, we are going to take this opportunity to enflesh God’s welcome for those who will be coming to our church that weekend.
Janine Morrow and Darlene Truver are organizing a Kid’s Activity area where kids can come and decorate race cars and then race them along a track. Scott Walls, the Church Mice and myself are working together to beautify our exterior walls so that when people come here they see the living, thriving congregation that exists inside. The choir is going to sing the Star Spangled Banner and two of our Deacons are even going to do a Blessing of the Cars to kick off the whole shebang!
Folks from St. Peter’s are invited to come and meet the neighborhood, pass out cold drinks, work the kid’s activity area, or, if you’re someone who isn’t much for change, do not fear, there will be an opportunity for a neighborhood clean-up following the event on Sunday after worship. Sign up in the fellowship hall if you’d like to participate in representing our church in any of the above mentioned ways!
The thing about God’s work is that it’s not one dimensional. It doesn’t always look like picking up trash or writing cards or filling school kits in an act of service for others. Sometimes it looks like being out in the world where we get mixed up with the people you find out there. That’s where God usually did God’s work through the person of Jesus. It wasn’t limited to the high holy days in the synagogue. Jesus did God’s work in living rooms, at kitchen tables, along the side of the road, in town centers at water wells, where people were busy living their lives. Sometimes his work was in service to the poor, hungry or sick. Sometimes it was hospitality to the tax collector. Sometimes it was conversation with a passerby or sitting on the ground, blessing children.
And so that is what we are going to do this year for “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday - we’re going to put ourselves out there in the community to extend hospitality to our neighbors. Who knows who we will meet and what they might have to teach us? Who knows who we might meet who was looking for a church just like ours? Who knows who we might meet in our neighborhood who will turn out to be just the neighbors we needed?
God’s work is so often the work of showing up where people are living their lives and from there, relationships form, community is built, grace is shared, and the church and world are strengthened. Let’s be the hands that join God in this work!