“Now which of these … was a neighbor…?”, Jesus asked.
The man replied, “The one who showed mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” —Luke 10:37
Our 2017 Stewardship theme, “Go and do the same,” is a powerful reminder of our commitment to be genuine followers of the gospel. It is a call to discipleship, to be more like the image of Jesus, so that our faith may be recognized by our actions toward others. As one level, we could infer that our “job” is to do for others the way that the “good” Samaritan did for the man who fell among robbers. Be kind, compassionate, generous and concerned for others in need. Give of yourself. Give financially. Make a difference. All laudable characteristics, to be sure.
At another level however, it is a commitment not just to particular actions or behaviors, but a dedication to a way of being—a dedication to ‘being sanctuary’. It is about being agents of transformation in the unfolding Realm of God around us. It is about extending the blessings of health and wholeness to all of creation, because we are certain that this is ultimately what God desires. The world is broken and hurting and we are called to be a movement for wholeness among its many fractured pieces. We are agents of grace, mercy, love, sanctuary.
Now more than ever, (even as our country is torn by the divisiveness of partisan politics and populism)—people need sanctuary and a way forward toward reconciliation. Now more than ever, our vision to ‘be sanctuary’—to create circles of love and care, to seek justice and build community—offers good news to people who hurting. Now more than ever, we must amplify our vision, tell our story, grow our community and move toward sustainability for Sanctuary—because everybody needs a little sanctuary.
Faithful financial stewardship is one way we work against the powers that harm and divide. Our generosity funds the mission and ministry of Sanctuary—which is surely a sign that God’s realm is among us, right here, right now. Gifts of time and talent serve this work as well!
God has done, and continues to do remarkable things through and with us—things that matter, relationships that matter, a vision of Sanctuary that matters! Your prayers and your participation are keys to helping us get to the next level of discipleship and sustainability. We know that when the early church gathered, they did so with glad and generous hearts and that there was no need among them (Acts 2). We desire such a spirit of true community to be among us.
You are invited to prayerfully consider what it will mean for you, as you seek to “Go and do the same,” to be a faithful disciple, to be an active and engaged part of ‘being sanctuary’.
With love and prayer,
Sanctuary UCC Staff and Leadership Circle