Who’s there? No need to knock - come right in! We open our door and…
WELCOME ALL IN CHRIST’S LOVE
I was raised Lutheran, since 5th grade when our family joined First Lutheran Church in Columbus Indiana. Back then, “in the old days”, Catechism was taught by Pastor Jim on Saturday mornings - yes, Saturday mornings!! (We also walked up hill in the snow both ways on the way to Catechism!) Whether I realized it or not at the time, the teaching of Martin Luther would be key to my future life as a wife, mom, Christian, career professional and member of my community.
Over the past couple of years I have been doing some “Lutheran Refreshing”, reading the history of our church, re-reading the Small Catechism and I realize Luther was a pretty radical guy. At his time in history, translating the Bible for the masses was transformational. Luther’s welcoming the masses through his translation of the Bible, is very meaningful to me. His action is a symbol to open up to others. He realized that God’s love is a gift to us, not something to be withheld, no knocking required.
RLLC has been and continues to be in a transformational time. With Pastor Lecia’s guidance, we continue to see how our church can be more welcoming, opening doors to new people in our community. The first action is to make our Christian home welcome to all who grace our door ways.
Whether we intended to our not, the Guiding Principles of Risen Lord Church echo Luther’s 44th Thesis that says we exercise ourselves through loving actions. Our loving actions connect us to the community through actions, words, open doors, peace loving…
I remember working on those Principles, did we realize we had connected to Martin Luther’s original thesis so directly? I wonder who was really at work in the room that day we completed our Guiding Principles?
One of the books I have read is Together by Grace edited by Kathryn A. Kleinhans. It showed me that ”Luther affirmed that all human work is a calling from God if done in faith and for the service of neighbor. According to Luther, God doesn’t need our good works, but people do. Christian faith, then, should express itself in how we live in our professions, in our family relationships and as citizens, since these are all areas for the service of neighbor.”
One aspect of our Front Door that I really miss is our corner mosaic statue of Jesus with his outstretched hands. The outside of the building just seems incomplete without it, but it’s not a symbol that we are incomplete inside. We continue to work in our faith, love our community, welcome all and seek out God’s guidance. The mosaic has been key to our community in recognizing who we are and where we are located, but I think we need to see it as a new symbol where Jesus’ out stretched hands says all are welcome and have an open invitation to come right in. Our renewed symbol of welcome should be celebrated and open to the community for all who wish to enter our doors…no knocking needed.