Time to Choose Serious Joy and Joyful Seriousness

from King’s Banner, November, 2016duanes-world

As you read this, the general election is about to conclude. This will be a cause of great joy for some and great anger for others. A critical choice will have been made, and we as individuals and as a nation will be called to receive that choice, work with it, and work hard together to bring the kind of peace and vision that—frankly—is the kind of peace and vision for the common good that only the likes of us at Christ the King Church can bring.

With all followers of Christ, we are called to bring joy to all life around us. And we are called to be serious about bringing joy to all our neighbors. Joy and seriousness are not just emotions or attitudes. They are choices. We choose to be serious and/or joyful when the time demands. It is different, yes, to speak and write this way. But we of Christ the King Lutheran Church are indeed different. God in Christ has made us so.

All politics is local, as they say, but all politics goes global after the local. We wonderfully different people of CtK know that our faith in action is local too, with global consequences. We are the village church with a global mission. And we are now at a pivotal time that invites a choice that is as important in its way as the national one we soon conclude. We have the choice be consequential; to be Christ’s salt and light for the world; to be the vital congregation that steps up as example and leader while too many other faith communities wane and wonder about their future. It is a serious time. But we have joy to bring to each other and the world.

During worship on November 19 and 20, the conclusion of the Christ the King Festival weekend, we all will have the timely gift of choosing to offer ourselves, our time, and our possessions once again. It will be a new and different time to choose to rededicate your selves as members of Christ the King Lutheran Church.

Rededication means that you want all to know that you are a member “again” in Christ the King Church’s mission. You will promise to worship regularly, give of volunteer time (anywhere, not only through CtK) during the next year and avail yourselves of outstanding learning opportunities the next year. And we ask that those who can would state their intent to give as generously as you can. It is so important that we do this. It is an appropriate way to proclaim to ourselves and all that we are ready to “turn to a new chapter” in Christ the King congregation’s celebrated mission.

Rededication of personal membership on November 20, or by mail/email for those who are away, does not mean that those who do not re-dedicate are removed from congregational life here. Anyone who desires to worship and center their lives with this congregation is welcome to do so. And whoever needs it will be swathed in this congregation’s pastoral and personal care! “Membership” today means that we are committed to “go public” about our mission, and that we stand proudly and committedly as members of the Body of Christ at Christ the King Lutheran Church who will be known for what we do in worship and service for each other and the neighbor. It is also a joyfully serious way to show who we are as Christ’s salt and light at this place and time while “the next pastor is watching.”

In great gratitude for God’s grace, we are at a great time to “be God’s best so to support the best” of ministry in our next chapter. The choice we make now—to give generously of ourselves and our resources—is as important as any other choice we make these days, maybe even more important! Make “now” the most precious time. “Now” will never come again. But God does. And God’s mission, which includes us, does. This time, unlike other times, calls for serious joy and joyful seriousness. See you in worship at the conclusion of the great festival of Christ the King.

Love, Pastor Duane