Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Being Real in Church?

I've been thinking about something I heard tonight. A statement to the effect that "I want to go to a church where I can be real."
On the one hand, I agree. Church is the place where we go to confess we are sinners, who are without hope apart from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We confess we have sinned in thought, word, and deed. We confess we have not loved God and his Son with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. We confess we have not loved our neighbor as ourselves. We even confess we have left undone things we should have done. Being real is confessing our true state before God and others.
But on the other hand, I disagree with going to church to be real if this becomes an excuse not to pursue what is truly real. For what is truly real, from the biblical standpoint, is Jesus Christ, the one who is the great I AM, from whom all things derive their being. We come to church to get in touch with what is truly real, and what is real is Jesus Christ to whom all things ultimately point. Being real in church means receiving his life, his being, his "realness" through Word and sacrament.
True Christianity goes beyond the confession of sins, and even knowing the truth. True Christianity is about seeing Christ, participating in Christ's life, and learning to be Christ to one another.

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