Am I Lutheran Enough?

This is why we need community.

Last night at women’s Bible Study (we call it Pew Sisters, thank you Katie Schuermann), the topic was stepping outside our comfort zone when God asks us to. So many times in our vocations, we are asked to carry out the ¨love your neighbor¨ command in a manner that would have many of us running for the hills.

One woman talked about having to care for an aging parent she didn´t necessarily get along with. One woman talked about having to apologize about something, when she probably could get away with ignoring the situation instead.

There are so many examples of God inviting us to interact with our neighbors in a way that prompts us to stop in our tracks and take another path.

No thanks, God.

That´s going to be too hard.

That´s going to be too uncomfortable.

That´s going to be way too embarrassing!

And this is why we need community.

Having the opportunity to talk through some of these scenarios was valuable to each one of us in the room.

Not only did we get to discuss the nuances of these circumstances, we also stumbled upon the fact that often these things are related to God’s law. Knowing God’s will for me has everything to do with knowing God’s law.

How do I know it is God’s will to stick with my husband even when I don’t ¨feel¨ like it? Because God calls us to honor marriage. (Check out some Scripture about that here.) 

How do I know it is God’s will for me to approach my co-worker with humility and apologize for my behavior? Because God calls us to be humble and admit when we are wrong. (For Scripture about that go here.)

How do I know it’s God’s will for me to encourage my sisters in Christ in their faith and uplift them when they are struggling? Because God calls us to ¨stir up one another to love and good works.¨ (You can find that Scripture here.)

Then discussion developed further that we should guard against helping one another sweep our sins under the rug. When a friend brings up her sin in conversation, we are tempted to laugh it off with a ¨Don’t we all!¨ But how about after we have a good laugh, we consider gently steering the conversation to an opportunity for confession and absolution? Can you imagine?… If when I felt convicted of my sin, I could discuss this phenomena with my sister in Christ and she could remind me of the weight of my actions, but also the grace of God when I repent? What kind of burdens might be lifted if we were encouraging and trusting one another in this way?!

And this is why we need community.

Turns out I really do need friends.

As we shared our fears and scary moments of discomfort, a new worry came tumbling out of my mouth about my ministry –  What if I’m not Lutheran enough?

You guys know this blog is generally about me asking questions and seeking answers. It´s my process of wrestling with Scripture and reality and figuring out where they intersect. It´s honest, and I hope useful, as we all face regular but tough stuff that comes up on a daily basis.

And since deciding to ¨go public¨ with my Lutheranism (it wasn’t really earth-shattering; probably most of my readers knew already), it´s scary to think people might come here looking for a Lutheran girl they can trust. I mean, I WANT that. That’s the whole idea. But when it actually happens, it gets intimidating.

What if I´m not Lutheran enough?

And this is why we need community.

A friend reminded me that my ministry is not one that proclaims to know all the answers. It is the record of my journey and I’m still discovering what it means to believe in this God, and trust in this Word, and rest in His peace.

And I´ll continue discovering all of that until I die.

It´s called Sanctification and Glorification and God is doing it. Halleluiah.  

I´m pretty sure I´m not Lutheran enough.

I´m quite sure I´m not enough of anything.

But God is using His word and His people and His Spirit to guide me and teach me and reveal to me all sorts of things that are making me whole. And someday He will complete the good work He has begun in me.

Until that day, I´m so glad I have community.  

 

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