Your Blog Steward

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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Reformation Reminder

Central to Martin Luther's (him of the Renaissance age, or "Reformation" as theologians call it)understanding of sin was the idea of it curving into ourselves. Sin is always an ever tightening circle of death that seeks always to enclose and entrap us in smaller and smaller areas of life. Sin contracts into each of us until we are left only with our own selves, and it is tough to defeat despair if you are all alone! Jesus Christ breaks those chains which constrict us, and in our new-found freedom life and all its infiinte possibilities are opened to us to live. Freedom in Christ is that ever-expanding reach that embraces the farthest corners of the universe (if there is such a thing as a "corner" in our universe...but no matter where it is God won't stop reaching outward.)

This frustrates me to no end when I visit or hear about most Christian congregations. Almost to the one, every single congregation starts and stops its ministry at its front door...and even those that encourage, chastise, maniupulate, or invite to ministry outside those doors often fail...although there are a precious few which may succeed...In other words, congregations are enclosed in sin, bound by their own front doors, and the freedom they have received in Christ goes for nothing...very sad...

Part of the reason I no longer serve congregations with their own buildings is because if we at Prairie Table are going to be bound by sin; well, we are going to be bound by something other than our front door! I know most--if not all--of my ordained colleagues would gladly give up trying to coddle and encourage people to be "little Christs" to each other so that they could actually do the priesthood of all believers to which we have been called. But since most of my colleagues have buildings, and the buildings have front doors, they spend their time trapped in the sin from which they have been freed--trust me--that gets frustrating, and I am completely sympathetic to colleagues that leave the ordained ministry to do something useful with their lives--you go! And to those who stay in the ordained ministry...you are always in my prayers...I know how tough it is no matter how high the high...

So at Prairie Table we are not too big on "doors." There are no rules of engagement, there are no admittance requirements, no thoughts about who is "in" or who is "out." We have all kinds of crazy here...Our sin is out there, encompassed by our own human frailty and failure, but redeemed by a God who never stops expanding, never stops creating, never stops making things new...thanks be to God! May your tables be full, and your conversations be true.

3 comments:

Diane said...

musings on "doors"...

Martin Luther pounded his 95 thesis to the door...

What purpose do doors (and locks for that matter) on a church have? Are they intended to keep people in or out?

What are the bricks and mortar that we use to keep people out? Or are we creating a sanctuary for those in need?

I don't think it does any of us any good to keep Jesus (hid) behind any door.

just saying...

Scott Frederickson said...

I like it. Thanks for the musings...of course, if Luther would have had the internet...

Diane said...

ah, yes... he did use the technology available at that time...