Church Tour: Lutheran

I own the complete sermons of Martin Luther. Not joking. All seven volumes grace the top of our bookshelf. I think Martin Luther was an incredible figure, and I have more than once imagined myself nailing a 95 Theses of my own to several church doors. I don't condone his anti-semitism or sexism, but I do respect the steps he took to spark a movement that encouraged Church with less hierarchy and more individual pursuits of Christ.

Eric spent several years as a kid/teenager in an LCMS congregation (that's Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, the more conservative branch of Lutheranism.) From that perspective, it was great for me to go and better understand his theological upbringing.

I love church bells, so being welcomed by hymns ringing through the steeple was beautiful. The service was fairly traditional, perhaps most akin to Methodist, but without the readings. The Lutheran church is often accused of being too archaic to reach out to people and be relevant, but I found this church to be particularly interested in growing and evolving. The priest used some great pictures (I looked for them online but can't find them) to illustrate God's trinitarian love for us. I found them quite helpful. Also, representatives from the Church Extension Fund presented the congregation with a check. The CEF allows individuals to invest their money and donate the dividends to churches in the synod. What a great idea!

I saw God moving here to paint a picture of grace for people who feel very unworthy. Lutherans seem to focus a great deal on our original sin nature, which can be unbalanced, but can also remind us that no one is better than the other. If, at a base level, we are equally sinful, then we can't consider ourselves above each other. And of course the miraculous part is Christ's all-consuming mercy and grace, which is really the point anyway.

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