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For Your Faith

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church strives to offer inspiring worship and music in the Episcopal tradition. A variety of worship services, at a variety of times, with a variety of worship styles, are celebrated each week. It is our hope at St. Luke’s Church that each worship service will lift the hearts and minds of all who worship in the presence of the Lord.

Worship can also be experienced through our online sermons and music library.

For more information on worshiping at St. Luke’s Church, feel free to contact Father Michael Koehler, Assistant to the Rector, at michaelk@stlukes-sa.net.

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Living Generously 2017

Happy New Year to you! I pray your Christmas and New Year’s Day were filled with joy. Advent and Christmas at St. Luke’s were truly inspiring. From the candlelit Lessons & Carols service to the Advent Wreath Party; from adopting 225 Christmas Angel children to the joy and wonder of our own Children’s Christmas Pageant; it was a beautiful December. Christmas Eve & Christmas Day at St. Luke’s were truly holy. Almost 1,200 people worshipped Christ our newborn King, surrounded by beautiful poinsettias and inspiring music. Many, many, thanks to everyone who made December such a special month at St. Luke’s.

 
2017 is here! For several years now we have used an annual theme to help focus our ministries, our formation, and our life as a parish family. Our theme for 2017 is

Living Generously.

Generosity is an abiding characteristic of God Almighty. Our God is incredibly generous to us. God gives in great abundance. Everything we have is a gift to us from God. Jesus revealed the generous nature of God the Father when he turned water to wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2: 1-11), and when he fed 5,000 on the shores of the Sea of Galilee (the only miracle story told in all 4 Gospels). But Jesus most clearly revealed the generosity of God to us by both coming among us, and by stretching out his arms of love on the cross for us.

We are disciples of Jesus Christ, and we are called to live like him. We are called to live generously. What does that look like? What would it look like for you to live life more generously? Holy Scripture gives us many examples to guide us in living generously. Here are some examples:

Followers of Jesus have generous hearts: In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke describes the early Christians as a community of people who were very aware of, and very thankful for, the blessings of God in their daily lives. He wrote, 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.”
(Acts 2:46) Increasing our awareness of God’s generous blessings to us may be the beginning of living generously.
 
Followers of Jesus practice generous hospitality: In the Acts of the Apostles, we find a description of how Paul and his traveling companions were taken in by a generous host. Acts 28:7 reads, “There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days.”
How might you and I practice generous hospitality in our homes? In our church?
 
Followers of Jesus are generous with forgiveness. Because God is so generous in forgiving our sins, so we are called to forgive lavishly. Jesus commands us to forgive as many as 70 times 7 times (Matt. 28:2). And, Jesus taught us to pray, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” How might we be more generous, and more quick, to forgive those who have offended or hurt us?
 
Followers of Jesus are generous to the poor. Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with examples of how living generously includes giving to the poor. “A generous person will prosper. Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25) Proverbs 22:9 reads, The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
 
Followers of Jesus are generous to God. 2 Chronicles 31 describes all the people of Israel giving from their various gifts and talents to decorate and support the temple. Jesus taught,Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.”
(Luke 6:38)

 

During 2017, we will have plenty of time to reflect upon the theme of Living Generously. Whether it is being generous to the poor or to the work of God in the Church, or practicing generous hospitality or generous forgiveness, by the end of 2017 my prayer is that each one of us will have grown to be more like our God who is so, so generous with his love for us.