We live in a world where people are no longer asking: “What kind of Christian are you?” but “Where is God? Show me.”
For too long, churches have responded to people longing and searching for God by telling them what denomination they are, their history, and who their ancestors were. We are trying not to do that. So, if you are looking for God, let us show you where we find God in our tradition.
The Cross - It’s a foolish and weird place to start, but it is what we believe is true. When we talk about where we find God, we look to this odd and confusing tool of death where we believe Jesus was killed. This place where God, in Jesus, experienced heartbreak and loneliness, where are of the sin and pain and suffering of the world comes together and is borne. This is the place, where Jesus welcomed a thief into the Kingdom, and saked that God forgive his murderes for “they know not what they do.” We don’t believe that we find God first in the pretty sunset, but instead in the dark and painful places of the world, bringing grace and mercy and life into death and darkness.
Grace - Sometimes you’ll hear this big word: justification. It basically means that we believe that we see an feel God each time we confess that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We believe that Jesus does all the work and we do all the receiving of such a gift, and that Jesus still saves us even when we mess it up, and that’s grace, and you’ll find God there.
Worship - We are a people that believe that God shows up when we get together to hear the holy words of the Bible, when we gather to share in the Bread and Wine in which Jesus comes to us, to pour out the waters of Baptism, and to sing together
(we sing, a lot). When we gather in grief and in joy, and in everything inbetween, God is found. We think it’s really a miracle that God shows up when people sin, listen, and are brought together by the Holy Spirit.
Our Lives - We believe that God calls people to be humans, to live life, sometimes in families, sometimes single, always as someone walking humbly, loving mercy, and joing justice in the name of Jesus. We believe that God shows up there, in our jobs, our families, our kids, and our relationships, and it doesn’t matter whether you are single or married, gay or straight, boomer or millenial, Republican or Democrat.
Our Neighbors - Martin Luther once said that ‘God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.’ We believe that God through the Holy Spirit, is loose in the word, sneaking around and causing grace and peace and mercy and forgiveness to show up in the world where we least expect it. In this way, God shows up in our neighbors, coming to us in those with whom we share this world with, and who Jesus asks us to serve.
One more thing that we often get asked, do you worship Martin Luther? Are you Christian? Catholic? I don’t get it!"
No, we don’t worship Martin Luther. We don’t even think he was particularly holy or special. We just happen to believe he got a few things right, at a time when the Church was doing a few things wrong, and so our movement took on his hame.
Sometimes you’ll hear us say that we are both Evangelical and Catholic. That’s confusing, but it’s realy not. Lutherans are a people with a message of God’s grace for the world in Jesus, not a worship style or a certain way or praying, which makes us Evangelical. But, we are also a people with a tradition, one that we believe goes back to earliest days of the church, particularly liturgy and sacraments, which makes us Catholic.