Pastor’s Corner: Choosing

I have a lot of sympathy for historians. They take on the task of telling truthful, even accurate, stories about events that happened long ago. Since I frequently have difficulty remembering what I did yesterday, this seems like a miraculous achievement to me.

Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that the Gospels describe the life and work of Jesus differently. They were written decades after his life, death, and resurrection, and contain the best memories of his followers – as they’d been remembered, then re-told, and told again, and finally written down.

For instance, the Gospels don’t agree on what Jesus told his followers to do in the first days after his resurrection. In Luke, Jesus tells them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. In Matthew, he tells them to return to Galilee; he’ll say more to them there. In its shortest version, Mark’s Gospel has no message from Jesus at all. And in John, though Jesus has a fair amount to say about faith when one has not yet seen, he gives them no instructions. Somewhat lost, a group of them return to Galilee and, of all things, take up fishing again.

I often wish that Christian faith offered more obvious guidance on What To Do Next. As Jesus observed, we always have the poor with us – which means that there are always more needs in the world, more loss in the world, more pain in the world – crying for our attention and response. “Feed my sheep,” Jesus told Peter, but he didn’t tell him which sheep, and he wasn’t clear about what they needed to eat.

Choosing is our job.

This season we’re beginning to work on assisting our neighbors without homes. We’re assembling baskets to welcome those who do find homes. And we’ve collected rubber slippers to put on children’s feet. There will be more: more choices to make, more things to do.

Be assured that throughout it all that the risen Jesus accompanies us through every moment of the journey.


Pastor Eric

The image is Balázs János’ painting of the miraculous catch of fish.

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on April 20, 2017

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