You may have seen St. John's members wearing bright yellow shirts around campus that say "God's work. Our Hands." at worship, at the West Valley Community Food Pantry, at the Heat Respite Center, our at our shower ministry. While I would love to take credit for such a cool motto & design, this was not our creation. Every year for almost 10 years fellow Lutheran's across our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have dedicated one Sunday to celebrate the call to action
"God's work. Our hands." On this Sunday over 3 million Lutherans put on their yellow shirts to love & serve their neighbor. This is great, but it has me asking the question, "Do we have to wait until September 10th to love & serve our neighbor?"
Clearly, as you can gather from the title of this article, my thought is that we do not have to wait to love & serve our neighbor. In fact, this is our call every single day. You may be asking, "Pastor Dan, how do I love & serve my neighbor on a normal Tuesday when all I do is get out of bed, make coffee, walk the dog, drive to work, eat lunch, drive home, make dinner, and go to bed?" To answer this question I turn to Martin Luther himself, who said, ""Every occupation has its own honor before God. Ordinary work is a divine vocation or calling. In our daily work, no matter how important or mundane, we serve God by serving the neighbor, and we also participate in God's ongoing providence for the human race." Martin Luther understood that God's call for us is for all of us, being the whole person & the whole body of Christ. We cannot only be a leader one Sunday a month, or one day a week, but it is out calling every moment of every day to see our actions as a way to serve others in the name of Jesus.
At St. John's we do not have an event on September 10th to invite you to use your hands to do God's work. Instead, we invite you to use your hands every moment of every day to do God's work & share the Good News of Jesus; at home, at work, at school, on the road, on the street, and everywhere in between. We do have yellow shirts for you and your family ready to be picked up in our office that you may feel welcome & invited to love & serve your neighbor at St. John's. If you want your own please email Jennifer, St. John's Church Secretary, at Office@StJChurchAZ.org.
Rev. Dan Potaznick
Associate Pastor for Outreach
St. John's Lutheran Church, Glendale, AZ
P.S. if you are going to wear your yellow shirt every day, please remember to wash it.