The Book of Acts and Coming to Terms with Missionary Work

Recently I have been drawn into the story of Acts. Particularly Acts 2.

I feel like that is cheating as a mission developer. It is cliche to identify with Acts, so for a long time, I refused to give in. And then, we were drawn into the story.

We believe that scripture is alive. It is the living story of God’s action in the world. It is the story of generations past and their trust (or lack of trust) in God. The story of the generations that continues today.

Here is what we read in Acts 2:42-47:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

They devoted themselves to breaking bread and praying. It sounds so familiar.

Every Thursday we bring a meal and prayers to the Eastside of St Paul. We do this because we have been called to generations of apostles’ teachings. And we have been called to do this together.

Most pastors receive a letter of call (like a contract) from the individual congregation they serve. I count myself fortunate that I am a “synodically called pastor.” I am called by every single congregation in the St Paul Area Synod. That means, 106 congregations have a hand in Shobi’s Table! I love this! I am called by the community that breaks bread and prays together. Shobi’s Table is called into being by 106 very different, wonderful lutheran churches. Shobi’s Table is held in common by the synod.

There are congregations who have distributed proceeds to us.
There are congregations that have food to share with us.
There are congregations with space to share with us.
There are congregations that have shared a truck with us.
There are congregations who have shared their people with us.

And awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.

Over and over again, awe comes upon me and so many others. The wonders of God’s work in this community, through so many different congregations is astounding. The ELCA has a tagline: “God’s Work, Our Hands.” I love this. A colleague suggested we should have ours be: “God’s Work, Our Food Truck.” The “our” is a big “our.” This is not Pastor Margaret’s or even Shobi’s Table’s. This is a ministry of an entire synod. And for that, we are incredibly grateful. Without the common life together, we could not do this ministry.

Thanks be to God for you. You are remembered daily in our prayers.

And as always,
Keep Hope Alive!