Uncertain Identity – Pastor Jane – 2.4.2018

In our Gospel reading this morning, the nameless woman known only as Simon’s mother-in-law, wastes no time getting up and serving Jesus and his disciples after she’s healed… She doesn’t question what’s happened to her or wonder who Jesus is. Instead, she sees the gift and the miracle of his touch that changes her life…

She recognizes Jesus as the incarnation of God who comes to her – real flesh and blood. It’s his touch that makes her whole. It’s simply his touch that heals her.

In the beautiful and vivid words of the Isaiah text, we see the power of God – in the image of a soaring eagle. The strength that God gives to those who are most vulnerable – people who are helpless and voiceless. God is revealed to the people who have lived through the exile – and it’s their faith and perseverance that gets them through.

Remember, they were forced from their homes, scattered as the temple went to waste, and became refugees from the very land that held such promise. They are a people who longed for Jerusalem and wept by the rivers of Babylon – faint and powerless. They are strengthened and made whole through years of burden and years of destruction, with God’s help.

And, it’s the prophet who reminds them – and calls them to remember – calls them to faith as they seem to forget. The prophet asking– “what is it that you don’t get…[that you don’t already know? Haven’t you heard?”] They’re reminded that nothing has changed. God has been walking with them – speaking to them – guiding them. The whole time embracing, enveloping all of creation in his arms.

Isaiah makes it sound so obvious. The God who creates all of this can certainly take care of the smallest among us.

And leave it to Paul who is convinced that the Gospel turns this world of privilege upside down, revealing God’s love.

Our Council was away on Retreat this weekend. A time to plan – to dream – to envision the future of the church. As we seek to define ourselves – our new selves – we asked tough questions. Midst the challenges, there lie countless possibilities – endless opportunities… We’ll continue to seek answers as we move into God’s new future, with signs of the resurrection in our everyday lives.

As we seek new ways to share the Gospel, Council approved the proposal this weekend for a new ministry that cares for the most vulnerable. Roots and Wings is an organization that serves young adults who age out of foster care – are living on their own… They provide housing, and volunteers work with them as tutors and mentors – and encouraging them and guiding them so that they can complete their education – giving them the tools to gain life skills in order to become self-sufficient. There is a sign of the resurrection – there’s the healing for these beloved children. A sign of God’s love in an uncertain world.

As we are touched and healed by Jesus, we are empowered to care for God’s world – serving the church and those around us. On those dark days, we’re comforted by God’s care – by Christ’s own healing touch – and the community of faith that shares the Gospel.

God calls us to this place – to be faithful in our baptismal promise – to be a loving presence to one another here in this Family, through our servant ministry, and in the world.

We continue to listen for God’s call in this new year, in this new time. Because God has spoken and fills us with Easter hope. He lifts us up – enables our witness – strengthens our commitment. God empowers us to live the faith, to walk the walk, and to be the church.

This is who we are. Christ’s church. And, in the words of Martin Luther, “This is most certainly true.” Amen.