the church being the church

Today was a good day to be Lutheran. {Let’s face it: Every day’s a good day to be Lutheran.}

But today the LCMS sent nearly 40 missionaries into the field to bear witness to Christ, to show His mercy to their neighbors, and to join in a joyful, contented life together.

Today, the Church was the Church.

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It’s easy to get caught up in all sorts of things: who’s more missional or who’s more confessional, who has more of a heart for people and who loves doctrine above all else.

And those are good discussions to have. True dialogue gets down to the bone and marrow and sinew, and it’s there, in those sometimes difficult conversations, that people grow and learn.

Today, though, there were no discussions. Today, the Church was simply the Church.

She did what she does best: proclaimed Christ’s Gospel and offered His Sacraments to the faithful.DSC_0093

Not all of these missionaries are going to African jungles. Some will live in huge cities. Some will live in small towns.  Some are pastors. Some will teach languages. Some will care for little children. Some will work with adults. Some have been overseas before. Some have never left home. DSC_0095

And yet the Lord has seen fit to draw each one of them to a specific time and a specific place to share His forgiveness, the love He has for all of His children, to bring order to chaos and light to darkness. DSC_0102

And through it all, it was and is Jesus doing the doing. Over and over for the past two weeks at missionary orientation, these men and women heard that it is not their work, not their mission, not their anything really.

It is all Jesus.

He is doing the doing. He is working. He is bringing the lost to Himself.

And we, the Church, we simply get to take it all in. 
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These are the days that remind us that we are different from what goes on around us.

We aren’t the Red Cross.

We’re not Habitat for Humanity.

That’s not who we are.

In fact, the Church is not in the business of competing with the world. The Church can’t out-culture the culture.

And she doesn’t want to.

It’s not her job. DSC_0139

Instead, she wants to be who she is: the hospital for those sick with sin, the inn for the world-weary traveler, the safe house for those fleeing temptation, fear, and worry.

She is the place of Christ. And Christ is there to give all His best.

And when He has given more than the Church thinks she can handle, He piles on still more. DSC_0116

Today was a good day to be Lutheran. But really, every day is a good day to be Lutheran. Because when the Church is the Church, when the Church does what she does best, it is truly the day He’s made.

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And we rejoice.

And we are glad.

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3 thoughts on “the church being the church

  1. Very good. Aside: Do you suppose it is light enough in the chapel to afford the use of a circular polarizer? It might help cut reflections from one plane of glass or the other, so long as you aren’t shooting straight at the side you want to cut the reflections from. Maybe it would un-clutter the background a bit? 2 Crucifixes though – very nice.

  2. So glad you posted this as we were only with you in Spirit! What a tremendous two weeks to get us started on this journey. Thanks to you and all the staff at the IC who made orientation such a wonderful experience! I am heading to Nicaragua tomorrow in a more enlightened frame of mind. 🙂

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