Sat, Feb. 22

This week at Grace Lutheran

Sunday Service at Grace Community Lutheran Church, 5100 Stevenson, Rimrock, is at 10:30 a.m.

I have just finished reading a book by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum. It was titled “That Used To Be Us” and was about the state of America today. The authors expressed their concerns and also their hopes for the future.

In a key statement near the end of the book they noted that America has always been exceptional but, “Too often in recent years, though, we have treated “American exceptionalism as just another entitlement” They then went on to discuss how we have to compete with the whole world today to maintain what we used to take for granted.

I notice a similarity in this, to the state of Christianity today. All to often we can take our relationship with God as something to which we are entitled. It is entirely too easy to take the forgiveness we receive through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and just go about our lives, as if that forgiveness was an expected event. It is an easy thing to do. Christ died for us a long time ago. Our response to what God has done for us can suffer from this distance. If we had been actual witnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus we would almost certainly have a much different felling about things.

I believe we would live our lives with a very different attitude. Just as the authors above suggested we need a different attitude to have a better future for our country, we as Christians will have better lives with a different attitude about the importance and relevance of Christ in our lives.

The second chapter of Philippians tells us what this would look like in our lives. In short it says, live our lives by imitating Christ’s humbleness and thereby shine like stars for the world to see. The Christian church at large is maybe falling a little short in the shining part. While we may not be able to do much about the whole church, we should at least ask the question of ourselves, do we shine like stars and represent Jesus here today? If this is a part of our lives that could use some growth, the same chapter in Philippians tells us how. If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ--- then make my joy complete by being like-minded.

My hope and prayer for all Christians is that we can learn to be like-minded with Christ. What a difference this would make in the world.

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