LHM – October 2020 Message

Fireplace Spirituality

It looks like large group gatherings just are not going to happen like they used to.  This has been difficult on everyone.  It has been difficult on practicing Christians.  Is that how it is in the practice of our faith, in our relationship with God?  If the church going system breaks, what do we do?  Do we just privately read devotions and watch a worship service online?

Now maybe you do not think this is a problem.  I can imagine someone saying, “I don’t need to gather with other people to be a Christian.”  And I would say to them, “Well, what do you mean?”  They would say, “Being a Christian is about having a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus.”  I would say, “Yes and No.”

The Bible says God is a father by nature.  And in Jesus, He wants to become the father in practice for everybody.  It brings the Father great joy to bring His children together.  Do we have ourselves in a position with our church attendance broke?  The Bible says we cannot stop gathering with other Christians.  What do we do?  If we cannot get together like we used to, are we out of options?  The answer is no, we are not.  but it is hard to see the possibilities.  Through the perspective of the Bible, there might be something deeper going on.  Something beyond our inability to gather.  As Christians, have we become overly dependent on the church going system to practice our faith?  How do we fix it?

We have been talking of not being able to get together in church buildings like we used to.  It can be a problem.  As Christians, we are called to gather; this is what we do.  We go to church together.  Have you been trying to program your relationship with God like you set and forget a thermostat?  So, you do not have to think about relating to God beyond the act of going to church?  If so, God has more for you than that.  God sent His Word and His Spirit to be the fire in your life.  Maybe you look at your household and all you see are dead embers, and it does not look very hopeful.  But God has not given up on you or your household.  The God who raised Jesus from the dead can enliven the fire in your house.

Sometimes Christians call the church building the “House of God.”  It is true.  It is also true that God wants to make your place His house.  God wants to be the fire in your place.  God promised to dwell wherever His Word was shared.  Wherever the Good News of Jesus was proclaimed, inviting people to respond and praise.  The church building can be the big sanctuary where lots of God’s people gather and the appointed preacher shares the Word of God.  Church leaders and teachers guide the people in their response to God and their prayers and their praises and their life of purpose.  This purposeful life follows you home.  The presence of God fills your household with the light and the warmth and the power of His Word and His Spirit.  That is how God intended.

God knows us, God loves us.  The church is a hospital for the broke, lost, empty, confused, desperate, and rejected.  We pray the pandemic goes away.  We miss gathering in the big sanctuary, without all the risks and precautions.  Know that God’s grace is enough.  The Lord will rill the hearth and home of every household that gathers around His Word and responds with faith-filled prayer.

Christians are part of what God is doing through the Lutheran Hour Ministries.  Your gifts and donations make a very real impact on this ministry every day.  Look forward to seeing how the Lord will work with the Lutheran Hour Ministries.

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