Our St. Patrick’s Day outreach was fun, with many good conversations had. Of course it doesn’t hurt to dress in a kilt, and play the pipes. People want to talk to you and it’s not hard to steer the conversation to St. Patrick, to spreading the Gospel in Ireland, and to spread the Gospel to them here in Dogtown. It’s such an easy opportunity to talk to people about Jesus. And I always have the Jewish people come and ask if we are Irish or Jewish! That is also a great conversation starter, because often the implication is that the Irish are Christian, and the Jews are not, so how can you be both? Then I get to tell them that you can be Jewish and believe in Jesus. By the way, our parade won the Readers’ Choice award for the second year in a row as the best parade in St. Louis. And our bagpipe band, St. Louis Irish Pipes and Drums, won the award as the best bagpipe band of the parade…and yes, there were more than one. If you are on Facebook, you can find new Facebook pages, one for St. Louis Irish Pipes and Drums, and one for Congregation Chai v’Shalom. Come and visit? I’m never sure what this means but “Like us on Facebook!”
The Passover Seder season saw me in Chicago, Central Illinois, and of course St. Louis. Our congregation’s Seder hosted 104 people, several of whom are Jewish, and a lot of children who wouldn’t really dance with me to “Pharaoh, Pharaoh.” I guess that’s OK, cuz I’m gettin’ too old for that! Well, we’ll see.
One of the traditions of Passover has become deflecting comments from well-meaning Lutherans who don’t believe that Christians should celebrate Passover. I say “well-meaning” as I try to put the best construction on it, but it is frustrating to continue to have to defend the Seder as a great opportunity to grow in our faith, and share our faith with others. I just don’t see why they don’t get it. One of the great blessings of the season for me was a last-minute invitation to a woman whom I met and found out was Jewish and a holocaust survivor. She had been rounded up and imprisoned in a concentration camp when she was 8 years old. Having survived the holocaust, she made it to the U.S., and has lived here ever since. Her confusion was not so much that I am Jewish and am a Christian, but that I could be a Lutheran pastor. She came and we went through the Seder and she enjoyed it, had good questions about Jesus, and wants to get together later. So please pray for her. We’ll call her Elisheva (Elizabeth) and hope that in her older age, the angel of the Lord would come to her with the gift of faith as we bask in the glory of the resurrection. Christ is Risen. Alleluia!
P.S. Go Cards! (OK, so maybe it’s about baseball a little!)