Pastor Larson’s Corner: Sent
When I graduated from the seminary, I was assigned to the Canadian District of the American Lutheran Church. My first call was to a two-point parish in Northern Saskatchewan. Serving a congregation in Saskatchewan was not a part of my plans for the ministry. When I was sent there by the church, it came as quite a shock. Although it was difficult getting used to the idea of going so far away from home, it turned out to be a wonderful experience.
We have just finished celebrating the coming of Jesus into the world. Jesus was sent into the world to redeem the world and to make known the love and grace of God for the world. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says these words to His disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” With these words Jesus envisioned a church that would send workers into the world just as He had been sent into the world. These workers would preach the Gospel of love and grace and minister to the needs of the world around them.
Unfortunately, few people ever have the chance to be sent somewhere to do the work of the Gospel. When I was sent to Canada 50 years ago, there was a real shortage of pastors there. It was a wonderful opportunity for me, and I have never felt more needed or blessed. It may be difficult to imagine volunteering for duty wherever the church discovers a need. On the other hand, we can easily imagine what it would mean for the mission of the church if its people stood ready to go wherever they were sent. The message of Christmas calls us to do just that. During this post-Christmas season, let us think together as to how we can respond in faith to the words of Jesus, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.
Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.
Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at email@example.com
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 15, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.