2021-22 Calvary Lutheran Church Ministry Theme - “Sent…”
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him
who sent me.” (John 6:38).
Are letters sent to nobody in particular? Are soldiers sent to nowhere specific? Are messengers sent with no idea of what to say?
I think we would give a resounding “no” to all of these hypothetical questions. When we talk about the idea of someone or something being sent, we take for granted that there is an intentionality and directedness to the sending. A letter is sent to someone important to us. A platoon of soldiers is sent to someplace strategic. A messenger is sent with something that needs to be heard.
Being ‘sent’ has a reason to it. It isn’t something that kind of…sort of…you know… just happens. There is a purpose behind it. This idea is expressed over and over again within the Gospel of John—both in speaking of Jesus and in speaking of us. Jesus was ‘sent’ from his Father with a purpose. He had a mission to carry out and so Jesus set about this responsibility in an intentional way. Again and again, we hear Jesus speak of “the one who sent me.” Why? Because Jesus did not simply represent himself. Instead, Jesus manifested the presence of God the Father into the lives of others who needed to come to know him. To succinctly sum up his mission, Jesus was sent to reveal the Father. As he says in John 12:45, “And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.”
But in due course in the Gospel of John, after we have heard this repeated refrain that Jesus was sent by the Father, we hear an unexpected development: “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (17:18, 20:21). We too are ‘sent’. As Jesus has completed his mission, so now he in turn gave us a mission. He sent us to reveal his forgiveness, truth, and compassion to a world who does not know him. We do not carry this message to nobody in particular, to nowhere specific, or having no idea of what to say. Instead, Jesus has equipped us with everything that we need to carry out his mission.
The ministry year theme for our congregation is “Sent…” This theme will help provide the direction, connection, and inspiration needed as a congregation to keep us working toward a common goal. Over the coming months, we will unpack and apply different aspects of this theme, but for now here is a brief overview:
As we look to the year ahead, we reflect upon the question, “What kind of church does Jesus want us to be?”
We are "Sent…" - Reflections from the Gospel of John
Sent with a purpose (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 9:4; 14:24)
Sent with forgiveness (John 20:21-23)
Sent into the world (John 17:15-18)
We look forward to the ways that God will lead us and guide us this year on our journey
together. May he continue to remind us of the many ways that he has ‘sent’ each of us
into our family, our work, and our relationship, as we bring the gift of Christ’s life
Thanks for being a part of the people of God here at Calvary! May God bless our efforts
together as we serve the southside of Indianapolis.
— Pastor Kurt Ebert