When we read the words of the “Great Commission” Jesus spoke to his disciples, “Go, and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:18-20), we hear an echo of God’s commission to Abram (Abraham) over one thousand years earlier: “and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:2). The story line of Genesis takes a turn with the story of Abram and Sarai,
as God’s intention to bless all humanity centers first on a family, and then a people. God’s plan of redemption and reconciliation of all things flows through the Jewish people, the Messiah, his disciples, and through us today: to be “a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
A year ago, the Rev. Kirk Nave used “The Blues Brothers” movie (1980) to challenge us, as part of our Next Level Innovations (NLI), to recognize and partner with God’s mission in the world through LUMC. In the movie, the two brothers set out on “a mission from God” to reunite their defunct and dispersed band to help save an orphanage. God calls us to continue the mission of Christ to reconcile and bring salvation to all people, beginning here… and now.
In October, we continue our journey through Genesis, the book of beginnings, to hear the call of God through the lives of Sarah and Abraham and their descendants, who are our ancestors in the faith. The story of Abraham and Sarah, the spiritual forbears of Judaism and Christianity; (Islam also traces its roots back to Abraham and Hagar, Sarah’s maid) invites us to follow in their
footsteps of faith. Their stories come alive for us again as we celebrate the anniversary of NLI, and as we reflect on our partnership and investment in God’s work today. We’ll have some fun along the way reflecting on and sharing our own family ancestors.
We’ll gain inspiration from testimonies and stories shared in worship. And together, may God work in us and through us to extend the story of redemption to include many more!