Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A culture of excuses

We live in a culture of excuses. If something goes wrong, it isn't our fault, the other guy did it, the universe was conspiring against me, I was just unlucky. We are very use to making excuses in our culture.

Yet Christians live a life of confession - when we confess our sin, no excuses are give, no explanations or exceptions to the rule are stammered forth. Simply, I have sinned. I have fallen short. Mea cupla, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Of course, this isn't a popular approach. Admitting I messed up might hurt my self-esteem. I might have to confront the idea that I'm not as wonderful and perfect as I think I am. I might have to admit that I have let things get out of control - that I haven't done what I ought.

And here is the irony. It is in the worship service where we learn to confess, where we confess, and where we receive forgiveness for that which we have confessed. It is in the worship where we see just how highly God values us, far and above any esteem we could place upon ourselves. He sends His Son - that's more worth than I could ever give myself. It is in the service where hearing the Word and bolstered by the Supper we receive the strength to face down the challenges of the week to come.

And yet, when do pastors hear the most excuses? On why someone didn't come to church.

That is irony - a sad irony, but still irony.


Kathy said...

That does make me wonder, why doesn't the Lutheran church have a Sunday obligation like their Catholic cousins? When did that stop?

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

In the Reformation, I would assume. It's that word "obligation" -- which is a term of law. It's attempting to force folks to drink.

And to be honest - the Sunday obligation doesn't work all that well thought, either.