Sunday, May 28, 2017

Devotion 5.29.17

If you are a true fan of baseball, you are inherently an unhappy person because you possess a skill to analyze the sublime during the course of a game.  True fans know the averages and the aspects of the game that hold their attention.  It's not the races around the base paths by the hotdog, the mustard, and the ketchup that holds a baseball fans attention.  Those, in fact, deter from the true game for the fan.  Instead, it's the numbers and figures and strategy that hold their attention. So, the fan is aggravated by the constant need of John Q. Average who wants a game that produces more runs, has more activity around the game and between innings, and other such nonsense.  I'm a true fan.  You just want a watered down game that holds the attention of a gnat because you can't sit in your seat for three hours and enjoy true baseball.

We tend to hold faith in the same light.  My faith is a truer faith than yours because those things we adhere to are much more imbedded in scripture than yours.  My faith is truer than yours because my walk is clearly more aligned with God's will than yours because people of your faith don't adhere to the values and principles people of our faith do.

I do get a smile on my face when I pass a church that declares itself free from religion.  If more than one person is gathered in the midst of that body, they have a body of beliefs.  If they teach scripture, they have to arrive at a meaning from the passage.  Once there, they have an interpretation that is reflective of a specific teaching, which may go back hundreds if not over a thousand years, or one that is recent, but still, it becomes a part of what the church teaches which is, in truth, a doctrine.  They have unwittingly created a religion by declaring themselves free from religion.

However, the best start for faith is to learn what your church teaches.  As a spiritual leader in the household or a person learning about faith individually, what is it that your church "confesses" (teaches)?  For Lutherans, we turn to Luther's Small Catechism, which he wrote specifically for home instruction for children from parents and as a summary of faith for pastors in the fields in the 1500s.   In his introduction, he begins by asking, "What is Christianity?"  Luther simply answers, "Christianity is the life and salvation God has given in and through Jesus Christ."  Luther cites several passages for this including John 14:6:  "I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me;" and, John 17: 3, "This is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."

The gospel message is at the heart of what we believe.  We pray that we, or people of any other faith within Christianity, never lose sight of that simple message.  We also pray that people who don't know Jesus Christ (from faiths not Christian or those who don't have a belief) learn about the love and forgiveness and grace that He brings.

Hope Men's Ministry

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