From the August 2022 Branch Newsletter
I am grateful for all those who have been able to attend worship In July. And for those who attend by watching live online or by tape delay, thank you as well.
Is it worth inviting someone to join you at church? Is something happening here that means so much to you, you want to share that news with others?
It is my hope each person attending worship experiences God through one of many ways. Word and sacrament are shared, music is shared, being in community is shared. Just being able to meet with fellow members and see who is attending can be a gift as well.
Many people today claim to be spiritual, but not religious. Many would explain that attending church is not needed, or that their experience with church and church people involves a lot of hypocrisy. The culture today is very opinionated, polarized and will easily point to the brokenness of organized religion.
There is no need to argue. I just accept what someone is saying is true to them, and their life experience. I never claim perfection for the church, rather I try to stress unconditional love and grace...from God to us.
This grace includes welcome, forgiveness, acceptance, and generosity. God has all these things for us. And we try living into that and share the same with others, extending all as generously as we can. But we cannot. Instead of claiming we do share these gifts as God has shared them with us, we should say we function as best we can with our blind spots and brokenness.
Blind spots are those things that are sinful, a struggle we have and do not see. And if we can not admit we have them, we risk being the very arrogant agent that drives people away from the church, organized religion. If we embrace the idea, we DO have blind spots, we at least have a sense of humility. That simple switch helps us maintain faithfulness and avoid potential hypocrisy. Sometimes.
Brokenness are the wounds, issues, sin and struggle we know we have. Healing and growth come from admitting and acknowledging this is a reality. We do not hide behind faith, church, or organized religion. We admit our struggle, and remember God still loves us, and our struggle may differ from others, but we all struggle. If we embrace the idea, we DO have brokenness, we at least have a sense of humility. That simple switch helps us maintain faithfulness and avoid potential hypocrisy. Sometimes.
Dream with me a vision where Christ Lutheran Church is a place of welcome healing for all. A hospital so to speak. Everyone who enters needs the care provided by God's grace. Do not differentiate between a heart transplant, broken finger, upset stomach or amputation. Everyone gets the care needed, free, by Christ the great physician.
If you're wounded, or know anyone with a wound, great or small, do you recommend our hospital? The healing is unconditionally offered for free. Jesus just wants us to help staff the building, and make it known what happens here.
-In Christ - Pastor Rob