Imagining the Future of the Church – Part 1 of 4
We participate in the synodical church renewal program Imagine. In this sermon series I give you my take on where the church is heading.
It seems that the church is increasingly irrelevant in a more and more secular society. However, I think the news about the impending demise of God and God’s church are highly exaggerated. At all times and all over the world people seek the connection with the divine and hope to be touched by the Spirit of God. The divine is a universal need of humans that cannot be replaced by materialism.
But the old model of being church does not work any more. Judgementalism, homophobia and hostility to science do not speak to people who refuse to check their brain at the door. God is not a gap filler for currently incomplete scientific knowledge. God is the prime source and motor for love, healthy relationships, ethical and healthy choices, community, justice and peace.
We are saved by God’s grace alone. God in Christ promised to love us and that makes us free to be “Agents of God’s Grace” here on earth.
Hence the church needs to put God’s love front and centre. When we preach love and grace, then we must live love and grace. It doesn’t really mater how orthodox your beliefs are, when the way of life your beliefs inspire is as volatile, judgemental, mean spirited, corrupt and violent as the wrathful God you imagine. The very vocal segment of Christianity that holds those beliefs drives the people away from the gospel in masses.
That means for us that we must preach and live God’s love and grace.
Rev. Olaf Baumann, sermon, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Angeles WA.
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