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Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Turlock, CA

Pastor's Thoughts for February 2009


Each month our pastor writes to us from our Turlock church to share his thoughts on a topic of religious significance. His goal is to link the word of God as it is presented in the Bible and apply it to the context of our daily lives. Although each of these messages is dated they are in fact timeless in their spiritual significance.

The Surprise Continues

Christmas is all about surprises: Lives are never the same after an encounter with the Christ child. The time after Epiphany demonstrates many different ways to respond to God’s call. The baptism of repentance described in Acts causes people to immediately speak in tongues and prophesy. When Jesus calls the first disciples, the fishermen leave their boats and follow him instantly.

On the other hand, Jonah is a fine example of how God also calls flawed and uncooperative people to carry out God’s purposes. And who but God would have thought to call Saul, that violent persecutor of the followers of Jesus, to be a key figure in the spread of God’s word to the Gentiles?

In scripture and in our own lives, God's gifts don't always come in the desired form. A suffering Savior, rather than a triumphant Messiah, was not what everyone expected nor wanted - then or now.

The time after Epiphany ends with the Transfiguration. The clear message of this event is that neither Jesus nor his followers can stay on the mountaintop, removed from the mess, suffering, and evil of human life. The surprise the wise men experienced at the beginning of Jesus' earthly life continues at its end in His expectation of all his followers, including you. We are to responsibly be his presence, irregardless of the cost.

-Pastor Starkey