Who are we? Who am I?
I am a Lutheran Christian.
I believe that the Bible is the inspired, authoritative Word of God without errors. I believe that God’s grace comes to me through instruments such as water, bread and wine, and pastors which only forgive as these are combined with the same powerful Word of God that is the center of my confession. I believe that forgiveness means my sins are removed as far as the east is from the west FROM ME by the power of the saving death and resurrection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I also believe that the FIRST thing I must say of myself is that I am a sinner in need of God’s grace. I have not always done what my Lord requires of me in my vocation. I have not always honored my wife and my children. I have not always performed the tasks of this high and holy office entrusted to me with honor and integrity. My worship and prayers have faltered. I have denied God’s love for me. I have had sinful thoughts, spoken sinful words, done sinful things, wasted precious time, worried about how likable I am, coveted, lusted, gossiped, and basically neglected that same Word of God that I claim to hold so high.
In other words, the problem isn’t “the other person.” The problem is me. The other person is all these things too, but their eye “specks” are not worth comparing to my eye “logs.” I am chief of sinners.
I am a Lutheran Christian. A sinner…and yet by Christ’s grace and mercy…a saint. I did absolutely nothing to deserve this grace and mercy. What I enjoy in Christ (forgiveness, life, and salvation) is nothing but a privilege extended to me by a Christ who somehow loves me. It’s hard to explain something you yourself will never understand. What motivates God to love sinners? What drove Christ to His cross? Surely it’s love. But our world’s shallow ideas of love don’t even come close to this love. Indeed, “toleration-love” is actually lovelessness.
It’s because our modern world knows nothing about this love that it is time for us Lutheran Christians to be who we are; sinners, yet saints; forsaken, yet approved by God; dead, yet alive. All as a gift from the one God who actually loves people enough to save them Himself. (None of the other false gods do this. They ALL tell you to measure up to their standards).
Yes. It is time to be who we are. The world depends on it. The world needs it. My brothers and sisters in Christ need it. And I need it.
We need Christ. The world doesn’t need me, but it does need the Christ who has put Himself in me, body/blood, water/Word.
Time to be who we are. More than Lutheran Christians. Little Christs.
Rejoicing in this undeserved love, mercy, and grace,