A Radical. Ordinary,Practical Faith….Woven Into Our Very Lives

Devotional Thought of the Day:The Good Shepherd, carrying His own.

25  And I have been made a servant of the church by God, who gave me this task to perform for your good. It is the task of fully proclaiming his message, 26  which is the secret he hid through all past ages from all human beings but has now revealed to his people. 27  God’s plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. 28  So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. Colossians 1:25-28 (TEV)

Recognizing time as a reality made holy by a loving God, the Celtic saints valued the daily, the routine, the ordinary. They believed God is found, not so much at the end of time when the reign of God finally comes, but now,where the reign ous already being lived by God’s faithful people.  Theirs was a spirituality characterized by gratitude, and in our stories,we find them worshipping God in their daily work and very ordinary chores.  (1)

140      Live your Christian life with naturalness! Let me stress this: make Christ known through your behaviour, just as an ordinary mirror reproduces an image without distorting it or turning it into a caricature. If, like the mirror, you are normal, you will reflect Christ’s life, and show it to others.

It is rare, but every once in a while people ask me why this blog quotes a Catholic saint by the name of Josemaria Escriva so often.  After all he is the founder of what seem to think is a radical catholic movement called Opus Dei. I am a Lutheran pastor, a spiritual descendant of one who didn’t quite get along with the Catholic hierarchy of his day.

So what are you thinking pastor?  ( Some might even think I am some kind of radical infiltrator, a sheep in wolves clothing, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing!  ( I guess mot only would Lutherans be suspicious, maybe some Catholics might be as well?)

An explanation is in order, and my thoughts this morning, looking on the lake near where I grew up got me thinking about this.

I want, no, I need a practical faith.  Like the quote in green above, like the Celts had.  A relationship with God who is Immanuel, that is God with us!  A daily relationship with jesus – whose names is literally Yhwh (the name of God in Hebrew) and saves,

I don’t want a God who is locked in libraries, or only found in the sanctuaries where He does gather His people.  I need one who bakes bread with bakers (I highly suggest Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of Christ) , and is with kids and collegians in classrooms, and with maudlin 50 year old pastors, going back to where they grew up.

I need, no, we need, a God who is closer to our hearts than our skin. Who brings peace where there was anxiety, where broken hearts find healing.  A God who ensures we are not, whether in Los Angeles or a small New England town, or a city of 15 million in China. that we are never, never alone.

A God who not only shares our lives, but His own, Not just His death, but His glory.

A God who I am grateful to know.

All of my favorite Christian writers talk of such, find rest and sanctuary in this God.  St Escriva and Martin Luther perhaps more than any, but also Gene Edwards, or Martyn Lloyd Jones, Brother Lawrence, or Robert Webber and William Willimon.  In Escriva’s books, it is boiled down simply, naturally, Christ is here… we just need to realize it.

We need a God whom we can worship, because He is here…

And praise and glorify Him, for He is here…. we don’t have to find Him, He found us, even at great cost… and is bringing us home!

(1)  From Celtic Daily Prayer, for October 18:  Original from EC Sellner, Wisdom of Celtic Saints. .

(2)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 690-693). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Editi

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on October 18, 2014, in Devotions, Poiema, The Forge and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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