Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Could I be Lutheran?

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We have been searching for a more permanent church home for some time.   And it is challenging to find a place that meets our hopes of a God fearing pastor that preaches the word,  a bible study that builds on the word,  and friendly and loving people and people who have a accepting open heart for new faces.  We have found one, or two of these components, but not generally all of them together.  Some churches we visited were huge, and sunday worship was like a cattle drive, 3-4 times over each sunday.  The preaching was phenominal there, and the worship was good, but I felt invisible and lost in the crowd.  Other churches had warm people but the preaching was like watered down baby food with no challenge or application to living.  And so a neighbor asked us to visit their Lutheran church.  Lutheran, Huh, Well Martin Luther was certainly the driving force for change in the church, and the reformation God began through him was powerful and carries on these many centuries later.  Why not! 

So we visited and the church service was more formal than Iwould like.  But the preaching, while more of a quick overview, was good.  They spoke of sin, and of death, and of Christ and of his atoning sacrifice.  This was good.  And the bible study class was better – there was passion for the Lord, there was a hunger to honor God there.  Wow, believers wanting to grow, hungry to obey.  This was really good.  So we are visiting with an open mind, considering the options and listening to the Lord about his desires for our lives.

So perhaps Lutheran is it. 

But the funny thing is after 15 years of inner city ministry at a non denominational church I have known diversity, and I have sensed God’s presence in loud gospel music, and quiet and proper violin solos…. There has been a freedom to worship, to lift your hand, or sing off key.  And that freedom I have not found again in this quest for a home.  Perhaps it will never come until heaven.  But I yearn for those times when your eyes and your mind and your heart were focused to heaven, and earth became a distant failt gilmmer as the glory of god mainfest in the praise.

So the question is this.  Why does God give us gimpses of heaven, only to have us return to this sin scarred earth again and search again for another moment transported to his throne.  God has been good to me in my walk with him.  He has lifted me up and seen me through the challenges of burying family and friends, and he has allowed the opportunity to begin ministry, only to show me that ministry is his work, as he pries my hands from the task.  He has given me vision for what will build the kingdom, but the vision is not always tmely, and he shows me that I am not always the one to see the fulfilment of the vision.  I sometimes identify with David, believing that there are ordained purposes for my life, but something in my life reduces God’s usefulness of me.

All things are in your hands, my father, and again, as a small child who needs direction, encouragement and purpose I come to you.  I lay my life before you and again offer everything to you… my mind, my heart, my hands, my feet, my eyes, my ears.  Take my life lord and let it be concicrated only to thee.  May you lead us to a place where we can worship you with our lives, our talents, our breath.  And may we glory in you as we search for your will with a home church, with our purpose and with our very souls.  Faithful is he who called us.  Amen”

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Written by Barbara Bloom

February 10, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Posted in daily life, growth, prayer

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