Minnehaha Communion Lutheran Church - Pastor's Message
Minnehaha Communion Lutheran Church -  "Building Relationships With Christ and Each Other"

PASTOR'S MESSAGE: Salt of the Earth
– Preached by Pastor Sally Ankerfelt, June 18, 2017

Dear friends in Christ, grace to you and peace from God our Creator, Christ our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our Guide and Comforter.  AMEN

I have a question for you. How many folks do you need to start something important?

I was at a strategic planning event for a group for whom I volunteer. It’s a relatively small group right now that is trying to do some really big things. They were really trying to figure this out, too. One of the things we asked was: What’s a good number to get something rolling from the ground level?

Do any of you remember that commercial for Faberge? It was a shampoo. In the commercial, they said, “You’re friends will tell their friends and then their friends will tell their friends…and so on and so on and so on!”

So, you really don’t need many people to get something going. You only need one. And then you need one other person who sees the value in what you’re doing and is so excited about it that that one person will tell at least one other person and that person tells at least one other person and so on and so on and so on.

Notice in our Gospel text that when Jesus first began his ministry, it was just Jesus. Just Jesus – one person. It says, “Jesus went about all the cities and villages.” Can you imagine that? One person! But look at what that one person was doing. It says he was, “teaching, proclaiming the good news, curing people and having compassion.”  Jesus, this one, was sure of what he was doing, which was bringing people a new way to live, bringing them love, healing and acceptance. In other words, he was committed to bringing about God’s kingdom. And because he was committed, his actions showed it. And because he actions showed it, people’s ears perked up and then they spoke up.

And so the crowds grew bigger and bigger and bigger. And then Christ gained
some folks, his disciples, who followed him.

It can be so easy, these days to be led to believe that you have to have a certain number of folks before you can get started with something big.  And if you don’t have that magical number, then it’s a no-go. It’s a different perspective, isn’t it? All the questions we sometimes ask: “How many came? Were there enough present to keep it going? Should we call it off if only a few come?”

But, really, that’s not how Christ operates; and we can go back even further than that – that’s not how God operates. Think about it: God sent a Son – one Son to bring the world (and you and me) back to where we belong. God started with one.

And that One, that Word made flesh - that Christ- stepped out with faith and confidence.

We are called today, too.  Did you notice, in our Gospel, that Jesus says, “The Harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.” When we hear this, we may at first hear the impossibility of it, but after thinking about this for a while, I see in Christ’s words the possibility of it. He is not letting the magnitude of the task shut down his disciples. Instead, he has confidence that they will be able to get the job done and make a difference. He is encouraging them in their work of healing. Just as before, he gives us the "authority over unclean spirits and to cure every disease and every sickness, to go to the lost sheep and proclaim the good news.”

Today, Christ lays before us a new way of going about things. We can start, even when there is just one. What is needed is not the number, but the commitment, the energy, the excitement for what we are doing.

And friends in Christ, I personally think what we are sharing is better than organic wheatgerm and olive oil Faberge.

We have the love of Christ as our message. The love of Christ! And that is a message that people are hungry for. We have a message more powerful than anything: that there is someone who loves you unconditionally, someone who is noticing any silent pain or sorrow or may be having, someone who reaches out with healing and brings hope for a better time to come.  Someone who reaches out when you are lost.

This Christ who says, “This world is not the whole story. There is more; believe me, there is more. I give you my body and my blood- my very life – to show you that there is more. You can live in that hope!”

That is the message we bring to each other and to the world. And then we live that message by embodying that love as much as we humanly can. We embody it in our noticing the pain of the other, in reaching out to the one who needs healing and in being hope for another person.

Minnehaha Communion is taking this message seriously, too. We are creating the healing hub in our fireside room, a room that will be designed for helping people feel a sense of hope and calm. This room will be available to our community. And we are making a Free Little Library. But our free little library will have something different. It will have a place for people to put prayers and concerns with a promise that we will pray for them however they wish –either personally at our staff meetings or during a worship service with all of you.

When we do this, whether we are one or many, I guarantee you that folks will take note and then they will tell someone and they will tell someone and so on and so on and so on.

So, what do you say. Are in on it with me? Shall we take up Christ’s call together and you, personally in your own life?

Let us be a part of the sharing, the connecting, the hope and the healing. We have been given authority and permission to be about speaking and doing the Good News. Why not recommit ourselves to this purpose again today?