Perhaps the church, at its best, is “all ears.” God urges the faithful, again and again, to “listen up!”—to heed the word that gives life. So it was with Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Martha, and the early church at Colossae. So it is today as we join the assembly to hear the word of God, the word of life.
To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind is to reflect God’s mercy in responding to one’s neighbor. That mercy found its most profound expression in the “gospel that has come to you”—namely the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That gospel mercy comes to us again today: at the font, at the table, and from the pulpit. It is very near to you.
God is the source of our nourishment. Jesus’ invitation to “take and eat . . . take and drink” is a repeated one. In holy communion, in the word read and proclaimed, in the assembly of the people of God, the dominion of God has come near. Rejoice! Your name is written in heaven.
We have no good apart from God. That makes Jesus’ call to follow him an invitation to freedom. This is freedom to revel in the Spirit’s fruit: love, joy, peace, and patience. This is freedom to not be imprisoned by anything that would keep us from the fullness of the life God has given us. This is the path of life.
This Sunday’s texts paint startling pictures of the horrific nature of sin. The church’s repeated celebration of holy communion counters that tragic reality in a continued showing forth of the death of Jesus until he comes again. It is a dramatic declaration of “how much God has done for you.”
“O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Today we celebrate the holy Trinity. Paul writes that through Jesus we have peace with God, whose love pours into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, giving us lasting hope. We celebrate the gracious One-in-Three, eternal Three-in-One, as we worship in community; as we share water and word, bread and wine; and as we bring God’s love and hope to our neighbors.