“S/he calls together (his/her) friends and neighbors, saying ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the (sheep, coin, son) that was lost.’”
Luke 15:6 & 9
This week, in addition to starting up our Fall Schedule again and blessing all students and teachers, we will begin our Adult Christian Education Program. The first series for this season focuses on the Parables in Luke. Parables were a literary genre used during Jesus’ time as a way to explore a particular topic. Most often, these stories make a statement about the human condition in that setting. Jesus—table turner that he is—often called listeners (and that includes us) to flip the circumstances, and to apply the lessons they learn in their own lives.
Luke’s Gospel often points to what is called the Messianic Banquet—a heavenly feast where Jesus welcomes everyone. Here at St. James, each week we issue an open invitation to the Table, where “all are welcome”. Every person has a place at Jesus’ table, perhaps especially those who are “lost”. During Sunday’s class—at 9:30 a.m. between the morning services—we will discuss the meaning of “lost” for the Jewish people of the Ancient Near East. Above all, this Messianic Feast is a place for rejoicing, for giving thanks to God, for celebrating with friends and neighbors.
In this issue of our “Good Newsletter”, we invite you to two celebrations: first, to our Stewardship Dinner, on September 17, where we will share our stories of thanksgiving, along with some delicious salmon, and the inspiring voice of Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Managing Director, Jeffrey Hermann. Every voice is valued at this feast, as each story weaves together our Body of Christ. Please RSVP online or with Tish Strill. Second, we gather after church on Sunday, October 9 to celebrate the retirement of Deb McGarry, faithful administrator to St. James Church for 14 years.
By opening his table companionship up to those who were considered “lost”, suffering, outcast, Jesus places a new definition on what it means to live according to God’s law of hospitality. As the liberator of the people, Jesus welcomes everyone – men and women, poor and indebted, sinners and saints – to participate in God’s redemptive Grace. Let us gather together and talk about this amazing, abundant and nourishing Good News! AMEN!