“The ritual action of Ash Wednesday, ashes being marked on our foreheads in the sign of a cross, reminds us of our brokenness, our mortality, and our dependence on God to work new life in us and through us. We are not in control.” – Kai Nilsen, Engage
Lent is about limits.
The limits of our earthly bodies.
The limits of our goodness.
The limits of our control.
Paul’s invitation is a daunting one in 1 Corinthians 11:1 when he writes “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ” or as the NIV says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
In other aspects of life, it is perfectly acceptable to have a role model. We look up to athletes, movie stars, historical figures, family, friends, professors. But for some reason, when it comes to faith, we shy away from the role model / imitation / follower concept. Why?
This is the third in a series of 3 posts I wrote for a seminary class recently (ok, way back in 2012)…
Missional Assumption 3: Faith is ignited in hearing the Gospel preached
Missional Reality 3: Faith is ignited in experiencing the Gospel practiced
This is probably the point where someone will take away my Lutheran card and exile me to Methodism, but this has to be said.
I am used to taking flack from all flavors of conservative Christians for the “crazy” theology and political leanings of my church. As a pastor-in-training in the most progressive Lutheran denomination in the country it comes with the territory.
When the Sequester affected air travel for the wealthiest Americans (including members of congress) there was public outcry, national media attention and the House and Senate fixed the problem quickly. But as hundreds of thousands of low-income children and families are affected by cuts to programs like WIC and Head Start…there is inaction and silence!
This is the second in a series of 3 posts I wrote for a seminary class recently…
Most mainline churches missed the latest “attractional” church era that stretched from the late 80s to early 00s. Either we were out of touch or preoccupied with preserving the past. Even with all the new talk about going out into the community I think the assumption remains that eventually these new people we are connecting with will join us in our worship services. Why? Because worship is the center of Christian life. No matter where the conversation starts with unchurched people, I think it is hard for us to imagine the main goal to not be getting people into a worship service.