Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Parking lot reflections

So, the parking lot is a sheet of ice, slush, and rain, but for the first time since December, I can see the lines. So instead of randomly aiming, I can actually be sure that I am parked properly (or not, depending on how badly I parked).

This reminds me of a recent discussion from Confirmation. We talked about the Lutheran emphasis on "Word Alone" (and also Faith Alone and Grace Alone, but it'll take us a few weeks to cover all three). For some things, it is easy to see what this means. As Lutherans, for instance, we only recognize two sacraments, because those were the two Luther found to be supported by Scripture. (Of course, we have other things that are a lot like sacraments, but that's another discussion.) So this is sort of like parking in a lot when the yellow lines are clearly visible--everyone can agree on whether I parked badly or not.

But a lot of things are not so easy. (For example, the Bible does not actually say anything about cell phones or computers or the Internet, because they hadn't been invented yet.) Then, it's a bit more like parking on a snow-covered lot. It's harder to tell where the lines are. If you are familiar with the lot, though, you can do a pretty good job, and you can tell if you are getting it really wrong. A stranger, though, would be at a loss.

That's kind of how we are in the church. We spend time with the Scriptures, reading God's Word and being shaped by it. We spend time in Christian community, as well, and in worship, and prayer, and these things shape us into the kind of people who can discern that, well, maybe it would be a good idea to turn off your cell phone during Sunday worship (or maybe, under certain circumstances, it might not be). And when we're not sure what the answer is, maybe that's a good time to continue to be shaped and formed, by reading the Bible (not just the parts we agree with), spending time in Christian community (again, not just the parts we agree with), and worshiping God.
~Pastor Sarah

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