Right Click to Download: 03-31-13
Years and years ago, I had a conversation with a college student who was processing the story of how he had come to be a Christian. He was struggling a bit because some of his friends insisted that being a true Christian meant knowing when (precisely) one had given their lives over to God. Yet he couldn’t recall a single defining moment in his spiritual life. He had gone to church for just about all of his life, and he was very aware that this alone didn’t make a person a follower of Jesus. He had been baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran tradition, and he had tested and examined and owned his own faith even as he was continuing to grow in his understanding and expression of that faith in Christ. Was he missing something?
It’s vital that we don’t underestimate the importance of making a personal response to God’s grace and of commitment to believing in and following Jesus Christ, His son. For some people, there comes a moment where like Jacob, we wrestle with God and emerge with a new name. Yet we should be careful about creating fences defining who is in and who is out based on our own experience with God. Continue reading “From the Pastor’s Desk: Back to the Well”
A new Coffee with Jesus posted on Facebook is often a bright spot in the morning – usually communicating something very profound along with more than a little sharp wit. To folks who are used to a ‘tame’ Jesus – it can be a bit jarring.
Lent is a season connected to food in many ways – from “Fat Tuesday” where folks celebrate before entering a time of fasting, to the somber meal of Maundy Thursday recalling the Last Supper / New Passover Jesus shared with his disciples, to the feast of Easter, where family and friends and church members often gather in a variety of meals celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.
In the midst of all of this, I’d like to offer a quick but fascinating Bible Study. Luke, above and beyond the other three Gospels, tells us about Jesus the dinner guest.
What do these passages tell us about who Jesus hung out with?
What do they say about Jesus’ priorities – about ours?
What do you think would Jesus say to us, if we were bold enough to invite him over to our homes for dinner?
It’s easier than it used to be. I seem to recall that changing the time on our old station wagon meant holding in one button (never could remember which one) for a few seconds, pressing something else, wiggling your nose just right and then maybe… Wait, was the radio supposed to be off or on for it to work?
But I digress. My point is that when we come to something we know but don’t use very often, it is often hard to recall or put back into practice right away. The same goes for our faith lives. We all know that faith is more than “head knowledge” and it is more than “heart knowledge”. They both need to get lived out day to day in our relationship with God.
I think most of us get this in the big picture sense, and being on the journey together means we’re figuring out how to put this into practice one bit at a time, following Jesus, being changed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live into the Father’s mission. Continue reading “From the Pastor: The Things We Forget…”