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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.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sinners and Saints

What does it mean to you to be a “Lutheran?” For that matter, what does it matter to you to be a Christian? How can we begin to claim and articulate our identity as Christians, and as Lutheran Christians in today’s world?

There’s a lot to being a Christian, and Jesus the Christ (from which we get the name “Christian”) is core to our identity in this regard. But many people make Christianity more than Jesus the Christ. Many make the Bible or the Church or Morality or Liturgy our identity as being a Christian. But all Christians—at some level—seem to find God best revealed and/or expressed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God.

It’s when we start getting into the details of how we understand and live out the love of God in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit that we get down to our identity as “Lutheran.” Image result for saint and sinnerFor example, as Lutherans one thing we believe is that no one person is more holy than another, not even Martin Luther. All people are both saint and sinner at the same time, and because of this reality, no one of us can claim to be holier than any other. Not all Christians believe this, but if you do, you might be a Lutheran…

And you might be Lutheran if…you believe Holy Communion is the most important part of worship, but it’s OK to miss worship every now and then.

You might be a Lutheran if you think that thinking about your faith is not something trivial, but actually one of the better uses of living your faith.

You might be a Lutheran if you believe that God’s law is important, but God’s grace is even more important.

You might be a Lutheran if you see the Bible as God’s word telling us about the Word of God in Jesus Christ.

You might be a Lutheran if every time you talk about church, worship, the Bible, Sunday School, Confirmation, or music you like both the high-brow and the low-brow stuff. And you like to switch.

Image result for jelloYou might be a Lutheran if you know that cottage cheese can be added to Jell-O in order to make it “special.”

You might be a Lutheran if everything in your life is highly ambiguous, murky, and potentially filled with dread, but yet, you still get up in the morning and go about the business God has for you. With coffee. Lots of coffee.

If you’re Lutheran, although you don’t believe in luck…it never hurts to have good luck.


If you’re a Lutheran, paradox is true for just about everything except God’s love, Jesus’ death, and the Spirit’s empowerment of your life. And that’s enough for you. Most days.

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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