Last week was the liturgical one year anniversary (Maundy Thursday) of Shobi’s Table the food truck. Next week is the calendrical one year anniversary of Shobi’s Table the food truck.
The lead up to those first weeks on the street were petrifying. I spent evenings at home wondering with my family if I was insane and if I could run away from the holy spirit. I was told emphatically, that no, I could not.
I should have known that all good things start with snow in April. I was married in April and it snowed. We launched a food truck in April and it snowed. All good things need a little dusting of snow.
In this year, we have given nearly 4000 meals away on the street. It doesn’t feel like it, but we have between 50-100 people each week visit us. Most are the same people each week. We have learned who are neighbors are and what is going on in their lives. We have prayed with women, men and children. We have worshipped on the streets regularly. We have given the Lord’s Supper to folks who haven’t been to Jesus’ table in decades. We have made friends with lutherans (and a few episcopalians and presbyterians) throughout our synod.
It has been a full and good year.
We follow the revised common lectionary at Shobi’s Table. There is a three year rotation and we started with the rotation that uses the gospel of Matthew as its anchor. I wasn’t feeling the legality of Matthew near the end of the cycle in November. I was ready for the new church year to begin in Advent.
We began reading in the gospel of Mark for this lectionary cycle in Advent. I had not intended to do one of those fancy sermon series based on a topic, but it appears God was calling us into a long term conversation about being beloved.
Mark’s gospel is short and to the point. It is an intense reading and Jesus’ ministry is about immediate action. Immediately, Jesus is baptized. There is no recounting of genealogy or fancy story of Mary and Joseph. Jesus is baptized. As Jesus is baptized, the spirit descends and a voice calls out, “you are my beloved son, I am pleased with you.” Immediately, Jesus heads into the wilderness and then immediately after that, he heads off to do ministry.
We learn about Jesus’ ministry through out the next several chapters. In chapter 9, we get the weird event referred to as the “Transfiguration of Jesus”. Jesus glows on a mountaintop with Elijah and Moses. As he glows, a voice calls out, “this is my beloved son, listen to him!”
Here is where the sermon series begins.
I finally connected the dots between the first chapter of Mark and the ninth chapter of Mark.
I realized two things.
When we are baptized, we are baptized into the death and life of Christ. If we are called into this baptism, then we also hear at our baptism, “this is my beloved child, I am pleased with them.”
And, when Jesus is transfigured, we hear again, the call of belovedness, but we also hear a command. We are commanded to listen to this beloved son of God.
We are commanded to listen.
And this is how we have the preaching theme for Shobi’s Table.
Here is a taste of it:
Dearly beloved of God, listen to Jesus! He has called you by name from the tomb. He has called you and said you are good enough. He has called and asked you to trust in the belovedness of your baptism.
Dearly beloved, listen!
Listen and you will hear the call to life. You will hear the call to community. You will hear the call to wholeness.
At Shobi’s Table, we don’t try to change people. We invite people to listen. Listen to the voice of God naming and claiming God’s people. Listen to the voice calling for every beloved child’s transfiguration. For baptism is transfiguring. You, too, can get your sparkle on and have a mountaintop experience. All you have to do, is listen and trust that God has named and claimed you.
Keep hope alive and listen!