The angel Gabriel appears twice in the first couple of chapters of the Gospel according to Luke. The first response to an angel is usually fear. They bring a message directly from God- Gabriel announces the birth of both John and Jesus. They can be a little feisty (Gabriel renders Zechariah unable to speak) and maybe even hungry. In the Old Testament, Abram and Sarai welcome angels who eat with them and give them the news of their own special baby. Some believe that Jacob wrestled an angel all night in the book of Genesis. To learn more about angels in the Bible, look it up in the index and see what else you may find out! – Pastor Trudy Stoffel
When internship ends, I’ll be moving back in with my parents! I’ll be looking at paperwork and talking with my Bishop about possible congregations for my first call. It will be a very exciting time for me, and GLC will be going through an exciting time of welcoming a new Vicar! I have it on good authority that he’s really cool. I’ve learned so much here and it’s bittersweet to leave, but I know GLC has so much to share with your next Vicar. I won’t be allowed to keep in contact with you all until I find my first call and get ordained there, but once I find my call, I’ll let you all know. Peace!
~ Vicar Sharai Jacob
In Mark 13, the disciples ask, “‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?’” Jesus tells them about the terrible signs, and beautifully describes how people will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds.” But Jesus makes it clear that no one knows the day or hour, not even Jesus himself! Then he shifts their focus away from the future and towards their current time. When we focus too much on the end of the journey, we can miss the ways that Jesus is constantly present with us during the journey. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “…they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.” – Vicar Sharai Jacob
We do have a role in holding each other accountable in faith, and we have all seen it done in a way that harms relationships- with each other, God and the church. A good place to begin is with a definition of sin- and while a list of things would be helpful, that is an indication of our tendency toward law which Jesus fulfilled with Gospel. Pastor Harry Wendt used ‘turning in on oneself’ in his work called the Divine Drama. When we are turning in on ourselves, we turn from God. Our whole orientation pivots around our wants and needs. A Biblical definition is the translation of the word ‘hamartia’, which means missing the mark. When we get really honest with ourselves, we can see the ways we miss the mark with our behaviors. If we keep going we are likely to find an unmet need driving our actions. This is challenging and meaningful work that will then open the way for us to accompany others as we work together to name our sins, mistakes, and hurts, and help each other grow in following Jesus. – Pastor Trudy Stoffel