It is hard to believe that we are beginning a new year together. Where has
As I am writing today, it’s the anniversary of the death of Katharina Von
Bora Luther on December 20, 1552. Katie, as she is affectionately known,
was a baker, farmer, beer maker and so much more. As a former nun, in the
convent, she had learned Latin and was well-educated. She was truly a bold
woman, who would even enter into the conversations Luther had with his
students in their home. This was unheard of!
God calls us to boldness as well, particularly when it comes to sharing our
faith with others. As we look back at 2018, our Sunday attendance has
dwindled. Some of our older people are no longer able to attend worship.
So…what are we going to do about it? Are we just going to let everyone
age, be unable to attend and then die as a congregation? That is the
trajectory we’re headed on unless we step up to share our faith.
At our last church council meeting, we talked about ways to reach our
neighbors across the street from us. It was exciting to brainstorm together.
We would appreciate your input. It means we need to engage the “E” word,
evangelism, which makes many of us, as mainline Christians, nervous.
We are approaching Epiphany, a time of revelation. We know it to be the
festival celebrated on January 6, when we commemorate the Magi coming
to Bethlehem. However, I am particularly thinking of another meaning of
epiphany, which according to dictionary.com is, “a sudden, intuitive
perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something,
usually initiated by some simple…or commonplace occurrence or
Can we open ourselves to those epiphanies of life that draw us closer to our
Lord, that put a fire in our bellies, so to speak; that make God’s presence so
real and precious to us that we cannot help but share the good news with
In our Sunday Bible study on the book of Acts, we recently read this
regarding the early church, “46 Day by day, as they spent much time together
in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and
generous hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.
And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being
saved” (Acts 2:46-47).
It is not enough to just be nice and a good person, hoping that in this way
people will notice and be drawn to Christ. There are a lot of nice people.
That’s good, but it is not enough to make people into believers and disciples.
We have to be willing to be bold people of faith, just like the early
Christians, just like Katie Luther, just the way God does not want us to keep
our faith a secret.
May God bless and keep you in this New Year and may we move forward
together boldly as a church.