I am a Christian of the Lutheran tradition. I was baptized, confirmed and ordained at Breckenridge Lutheran Church in, of course, Breckenridge MN. When the faculty at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa was reviewing me my senior year, they made a comment about me. Maybe they wrote that I was too Lutheran. They said, “he may not be able to work with other faith traditions.”
I do play well with others, but the point is: I am a follower of Christ. I walk in Lutheran shoes.
I have for the most part been proud of the Christian church, we are not perfect and have done some terrible things. But being called a Christian has been a positive title. However, right now in American society, some of my brothers and sisters in the faith are, frankly, making a mockery of what it means to be a Christian. There, I said it!
One comedian stated: “I love Jesus. It is his fan club I am not so happy with.” For me the state of Christianity in America is not good. We are getting embroiled in political debates, cultural debates and uncivil debates, looking for victory and not caring about victims. We look for the win and are forgetting that we already have by God’s promise in Christ.
As a pastor, I am called to proclaim Good News to nations that doubts all news. As a Christian, I am called to love others as God has loved me. This is seen as a weakness by many and an option by others. As a Lutheran, I focus on the cross of Christ a sign of God’s Free Grace that saves me. While many in society focus on our value in dollar signs.
I believe that now, more than ever we are called to look at what we really believe. Is following Christ about religion or about faith? Is believing in a God who becomes one of us a weakness or a gift? Is John 3:16 & 17 a catch phrase or God’s saving Word?
Remember that Jesus is the light that comes into our world of darkness and shares it with us, so that we can share it with others. No matter how dark it gets, the light will not be overcome or extinguished. This is my hope for all of us.