Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Why Church?

Why Do I Need Church?

" …And it is for that reason that I told my friend by the campfire in Grand Marais that that the main reason I go to church is not because I need the community or to learn something new about God or how to live a better life. The #1 reason I go to church is to get saved. Not because going to church earns us any kind of extra credit. Not at all! I go to church to get saved because I don’t live in Galilee and I don’t live 2000 years ago. I live here and church is where Jesus continues to speak and to act… it’s here that the gospel and sacraments of Christ are given out and it’s here that the Son of God comes directly to everyone whose there with all his grace and saving power.

I told him that it’s not enough for me to hear the gospel once as a child, or every Christmas and Easter thinking that will sustain me… I told him that I think we’re all hard wired to doubt, to forget, to twist and turn God’s good news into something that often sounds far less than good I told him that it’s hard for me to believe such incredibly good news—the good news that in Jesus Christ I don’t need to earn my salvation or work hard to achieve peace with God… that these are the very things Jesus died to freely give me—and that the devil and death itself no longer have power over me! And I told him this is such incredibly good news that, honestly, it’s hard for me to go a full week and still believe it. I start to thinking I’m not worthy of it and I fall back into that trap that maybe there’s something I need to do to earn it. I need to have my faith rekindled often so that I can go yet another week assured that I and everyone else that gathers in church with me are God’s very own possessions. That’s why I need the church…."

--J.M. Bjorge (from Sunday’s sermon)

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