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Pastor’s Corner Pastor Joe Hackett, pastor, Peace United Church of Christ Gladbrook, Iowa

September 5, 2019
Northern-Sun Print
The Invitation

Growing up, and even today, receiving a formal invitation in the mailbox was exciting. When you opened it, did you feel special? It didn’t really matter what the event or activity was as it felt great to be included. In today’s faster paced and more electronic (email, texting, Instagram, Facebook) world, that special invite seems to have lost its excitement. Yes, it is still special to receive it and be included but something is missing. In the Gospel from Luke 14:7-14, Jesus was once again teaching through a parable. Jesus was talking about extending and invitation to those that might not be part of the welcome or in crowd. In verses 13-14, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” This open and welcome invite is more that just feeling good about taking care of those that may be less fortunate. It is more about being humble and not expecting any repayment or a “payback invite”. As we look to God and to Jesus’s teachings, it is all about leading and living a faithful life here on earth. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, all of us will receive a place in the heavenly Kingdom. Yet we are asked to put our faith and love of God into action. This can be hard, especially when we need to go outside our comfort zone to live out our faith. Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus say being a faithful follower would be easy. During our communities’ transition to the fall season and school staring up for many families, time will get busy. Churches are returning to a regular familiar pace of worship and faith formation which took a break for the summer. This is the time for all of us to start thinking about that invitation to our neighbors to come on a faith journey. It is up to each one of us that call ourselves a faithful follower of Christ to extend an open, warm and loving invitation to our neighbors to join us. For those of you reading this article, here is an invitation to worship, to learn and to participate in any one of our great Church communities. I know walking through a door to the unfamiliar is scary and hard, just know that you are welcome as a Child of God and the message that Jesus has taught is for you, no questions asked. There is a list of churches in our community on this page, please feel welcome at anyone. I hope to see you on this faith path in the future! Blessings and Welcome! Pastor Joe Hackett



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