The Only Real Hope for the Dying Church…


Devotional Thought of the Day:
2 O God, you are my God— it is you I seek!
For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts,
In a land parched, lifeless, and without water.
3 I look to you in the sanctuary to see your power and glory.
4 For your love is better than life, my lips shall ever praise you! Ps 63:2–4 NAB-RE

Let me know Thee, O Lord, who knowest me: let me know Thee, as I am known. Power of my soul, enter into it, and fit it for Thee, that Thou mayest have and hold it without spot or wrinkle. This is my hope, therefore do I speak; and in this hope do I rejoice, when I rejoice healthfully. Other things of this life are the less to be sorrowed for, the more they are sorrowed for; and the more to be sorrowed for, the less men sorrow for them.

About twenty years ago, there became a movement known as being “seeker-sensitive.”  The problem is that they were looking for the wrong seekers.

The seekers were the people in the pews already, the members and regular folk who came to church, seeking God.  To learn that they could pray like David did in the Psalm above, or like Augustine in the quote in blue.

The seeker-sensitive movement, later re-defined as the “attractional model” didn’t change the course of the Church.  Nor did the counter reaction to it,  which focused on purity of teaching and practice before doing anything else.

In the meantime, the people who could have been seeking the presence of God, who could have learned that God would answer their desire, their yearning for His presence, were given academic studies, and told to save the world. And the Church suffered, having lost her First Love, the one She was betrothed to marry at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

What would happen if we realized God was waiting for us, yearning for our company, desiring our love, wanting to enter our souls, making them fit for Him, and holding them in that condition?

What if we realized that in sanctuaries, we could find the stillness that would allow us to know that He is our loving God, our refuge, our impenetrable fortress?  That there we would see the glory of His love for us, pouring out in the words fo scripture, and through the waters of baptism, and in the celebration that His body was broken, and blood poured out for us?

My dear brothers in ministry, my dear fellow believers walking with Jesus.  Seek Him out!  Know that the Lord is with you!  Yes!  Revealed in Word and Sacrament, there incarnationally, and truly present with you, even when the sanctuary is your body.  For you are the temple of the Holy Spirit in the midst of a broken world that the Spirit would bring hope and healing too.

If what you desire is to see the Church stop its death spiral, seek Christ.  Dwell in Him.  Rejoice in His love and mercy.

Years later, you will look back in awe.. amazed at what He has done.

(1)  Augustine, S., Bishop of Hippo. (1996). The Confessions of St. Augustine. (E. B. Pusey, Trans.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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 April 23, 2016, in Devotions, Poeima, Theology in Practice and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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