Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reformation day


For those that are unaware, today is reformation Sunday, which is a day to celebrate the heritage of the Lutheran church. I remember my first reformation Sunday when I was going to church at St. Olaf. It felt a little weird and I felt a little a bit like an outsider, because I was still pretty new to the Lutheran church. Church today felt quite a bit different than that reformation Sunday. I no longer feel at all like an outsider to the Lutheran church and especially not at my particular congregation (Como Park Luther Church) even though I have only been going there for a couple of months. I realized today that I've become more and more Lutheran.

For one, the Lutheran liturgy feels very comfortable and familiar. This is especially the case because there are a lot of Ole's at my current congregation, including one of the pastors. The stained glass windows even came out of the same shop as the windows in the St. Olaf chapel, so it isn't really a "new" congregation for me per se, just an extension of one I was already part of.

My Lutheranization, is not merely an aesthetic though. I find myself affiliating more and more with their doctrines and ways of looking at Christianity. Working at a Lutheran camp probably did a lot to contribute to this. In particular, the way I read scripture is falling more into line with the Lutheran approach, where scripture is generally categorized in Law or Gospel (although both can often be found in the same verse). Here, Law serves to tell us the way we should act, although there is no way we are actually able to fulfill the Law. Gospel on the other hand is "good news" that tells us about salvation from our fallen state. (Of course what exactly does that fallen state look like? Good question. Read C.S. Lewis.)

The other aspect of Lutheran doctrine that I have grown to embrace is the emphasis on vocation. That is, part of our life as Christians is to find what we are called to do and to use our gifts from God. Thus, the vocation of Mechanical Engineer glorifies God just as much as the vocation of Pastor. Granted, that makes doing my homework an issue of being a good Christian. Makes homework seem pretty darn important if you think about it too much.

So, yep, I guess I'm a Lutheran now. I guess I better get baptized, cause that's a big deal in the Lutheran church.

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