Series Introduction: The Jesus Adventure: Called → Equipped → Sent → and Restored. This is the pattern of life for the followers of Jesus. The pattern is reinforced in us through our weekly Worship. As we live the Adventure in our everyday lives we develop Wisdom—competence with regard to the complex realities of life. But how, exactly does that work? How are we supposed to live the Adventure in our everyday lives? For the next seven weeks we will explore the Bible’s teaching on what has come to be called Vocation. Vocation is a short-hand way to talk about what it looks like to follow Jesus. Perhaps the easiest way to think about vocation is to call it Service. Vocation is loving and serving the people God has placed in our lives on a daily basis. The Jesus Adventure is the Way of Service.
Sunday, June 23 – As we begin our series, The Way of Service, it is critically important that we clearly understand that our service does not contribute to our eternal salvation.Salvation is 100% God’s grace alone for us through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. But God not only saved us FROM something—sin, death, and eternal separation from him; he also saves us FOR something—”we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works.” Everything we do is now done in response to God for the people around us: family, friends, coworkers, classmates, neighbors, even strangers and enemies.
Whatever You Do
Sunday, June 30 – We live in a society that puts a lot of stress on deciding “what you are going to be when you grow up.” While that’s important and necessary to a degree the Bible’s teaching of vocation (The Way of Service) we discover that we wear many different hats at once. A woman maybe a wife, a mother, a daughter, a grandmother, and employee, and a volunteer in the community all at the same time. Vocation is whatever hat you are wearing at any given moment in time. Each carries its own unique responsibilities and privileges. The challenge is “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
God at Work
Sunday, July 7 – Our God is a working God. The story of the Bible begins with God at work creating the world and finally us “in his own image.” In effect we were created to work. Work is in our design parameters. Work became painful toil as did childbearing and raising a family (our subject for next week), because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Set free from the curse of sin by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection we discover the ability to do our work, whatever it may be, not to make a name for ourselves, not to amass a fortune, but to participate in the creative work of God by loving and serving others.
The Family of God
Sunday, July 14 – “God could have populated the earth by creating each new person separately from the dust; but instead He chose to bring forth and care for new life by means of the family” (God At Work, Gene Veith, Jr.). The family is the place where The Way of Service begins. God created us to love and serve our spouse, our children, and our parents. The mystery of marriage is rooted in the very nature of our Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Broken by sin, but redeemed by Christ, the Jesus Adventure is rooted in our being the Family of God.
I Pledge Allegiance
Sunday, July 21 – The Way of Service, following Jesus, includes living in a particular place, at a particular time, with particular laws and forms of government. What is more complicated, confusing and messed up than politics? Cynicism—only seeing and expecting the worst, or surrender—it’s so bad “I give up”, are the tempting alternatives. As followers of Jesus we have a unique perspective that can save our sanity and enable us to be good citizens.
The Body of Christ
Sunday, July 28 – As followers of Jesus we hold dual citizenship. We live in a particular country (in our case the USA) but we are also part of God’s eternal kingdom. Here in time that citizenship takes the form of being a member of the Church and ultimately a local congregation. Although many in our time have grown weary of the institutional church and imagine they can follow Jesus privately, The Way of Service bids us view our roles in the congregation as a critical part of the Jesus Adventure.
Sunday, August 4 – Created to love and to serve one another in our work, our families, our country, and our congregation, today we conclude The Way of Service by learning we were also created to Rest! Biblical rest is taking time to appreciate and enjoy all that God has done for us, in us, and through us. We can rest in our work knowing that God is in the midst of it using even the most mundane tasks for his good and glorious plan for this world. We can rest in our families knowing the power of forgiveness and reconciliation in Christ. We can rest in our citizenship because God’s in charge, even when he seems to be absent. And we can rest in our life together as St. Luke’s Lutheran Church as we support, encourage, and challenge one another to live the Jesus Adventure.