Thursday, October 2, 2008

Not really liking the real Christian life

So, I teach an adult catechism review - and yesterday's discussion of the 4th Petition turned quite law heavy and long. . . instead of 20 minutes or so focusing on the fact that God GIVES us daily bread, even without our asking. . . it turned into a insightful examination of why we hesitate to actually believe this -- and why we can be so fearful and such poor stewards.

It was useful - I got to point out over and over that the Law is never fully satisfied by the Christian - there is always more and more that could and should be done. That's an idea that isn't common. The Christian life, true Christian life, is always about serving your neighbor - no ifs, ands, or buts. And that's daunting.

But the fact is that we are never content with bread to this day - we worry about the future and fret and frit. Now, this is not to say "savings are evil" - no, that's responsibility - but generosity is even more important than savings (and your savings also should be for the benefit of your family as well).

We aren't shaped by the Cross, so often. When you are carrying your cross, there is no worry about tomorrow - for you will take up your cross and be put to death today. The Christian life is a series of Good Fridays, where we give of ourselves as Christ gave of Himself -- and also a series of Easters, where we rejoice and celebrate in what our Lord gave us - you know - worship.

But we don't really talk about the putting to death one's own desires, or even so much of daily drowning the old Adam. We don't talk about following Christ - and if we are to speak of our actions, that is what our actions must be - follow Christ - humble yourself, even unto the point of death.

Actually, I do talk about the Christian life quite often - it gets preached all the time - but wow, our sinful flesh doesn't life it - and it sure isn't what you see on the bookstands at the falsely-so-called Christian bookstores. That is why above all things, a Christian is humble - because when you understand what the Christian life ought to be - you understand how horribly you fall short. And so you confess your sins and receive forgiveness and joy and blessing from Christ. How astonishing that we have any joy whatsoever in this life - and yet that is just another measure of how wonderful God is to us.

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