The Lutheran “secret sauce” is that we are justified by grace through faith alone.
There are no pre-authorized requirements necessary for us to be made right in our relationship with God. The justifying action, the event that took away the power of sin that separates us from God, was the death of Jesus on the cross. This understanding of God’s grace paves the way for all kinds of joy and freedom. Day by day, each of us is transformed over and over again by the trust that our primary relationship, the relationship with the God who created us, is not up for review and never will be again.
But all too often we stop there at the Good News: we are justified by grace… great! The logical next question is the one that falls off the page and that is, so what? We have no problem talking about what God has done for us. But we soon run into problems when we start talking about what God requires of us! God has freed us for a purpose: to be engaged in a radically different way of loving, seeing, and doing in the world.
For four weeks this summer beginning July 14 at Madison Campus and July 21 at Verona Campus, I invite you to listen and submerse yourself in Biblical stories of people who were challenged to act on what they believed. We will learn that even the most clear cut decisions require deep thought and prayer. We will be confronted with paradoxes and reversals in expectations. We have been freed to be of service to each other and God’s creation.
Love Unconditionally: The story of the Good Samaritan teaches us how to love others, no matter who they are. Read for Worship: Luke 10:25-37
Stop and Listen: Mary and Martha demonstrate the spiritual practice of service must also come with a good dose of listening. Read for Worship: Luke 10: 38-42
Be Persistent in Prayer: Keeping our own side of the street clean means being found constantly in prayer for our own needs as well as our neighbor’s. Read for Worship: Luke 11: 1-13
Look beyond Yourself: The story of the Rich Fool shows that God’s call to action is not intended to be marked down on a future to-do list. Other’s needs are our needs. Taking care of ourselves first is not why Jesus’ laid his life down for us! Read for Worship: Luke 12: 13-21