I’m sharing a Sunday reflection on my faith as I found the below picture yesterday looking for a picture for my cousin’s birthday. I’m guessing it’s about 1986 at Sundahl Lutheran in Aneta, North Dakota.
Today many of us are still connected from this faith foundation and community. I counted at least 10 in this picture are Facebook friends of mine, real friends long before social media.
In our small town today and across the nation, less of my generation and beyond goes to church, any kind of church. We have a lot of excuses. Churches haven’t evolved with us. The Bible is not changing and remains the foundation of the Christian church. I’ve had historical and legalistic discussions with friends on the Bible. I’m not doing that today in this blog post. Instead this is more of a Sunday afternoon reflection…or ramble from me.
Many of my friends and I tend to pick a part what is wrong with churches. As Christians, we lose focus on Jesus. We get stuck on denomination or church details and blame others than focus on our own relationship with God and how we can live out His teachings.
Truthfully, I feel under attack as a Christian in America. I think this is exactly what the enemy wants me to feel. Over the last few years, I’ve rooted myself deeper into my faith. I am not wavering. My seeds of faith were planted decades ago but finally are blossoming in my everyday life now in adulthood.
While churches don’t get us to heaven, the picture I found reminds me of the Christian teaching my parents and many other parents gave us and the call I have to continue to live out His teachings.
There isn’t a perfect church. Churches help me grow in fellowship, outreach and learn from Biblical teaching. Sometimes churches make me feel uncomfortable. I suppose many of my friends can relate. Rather than go back, others walk away. I decided to dig into scripture, pray and know I need to push to learn and grow.
I’ve prayed about it more than I’ve talked about it which is why you don’t see me preaching and teaching on my faith. I’m in prayer right now, seeking the next step and answers. Those closest to me outside of the big internet world know I’ve been on a journey. Others have walked alongside in a similar journey. It’s challenging and spiritually making me grow in my faith in Jesus.
Today our 9 year-old played piano in our small town church and we listened to a message from a series on the Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount, a much-loved Biblical passage in Matthew. I was reminded again of the photo. I am living out a faith rooted in me and it is taking seed in a next generation, our kids.
I am grateful for a strong faith that started for me decades ago and church community to help plant the seeds in our kids. It doesn’t matter if you have a picture like the above one or not. You’re welcome in so many churches across America. God’s got this. No matter where you are now in your faith, there is a church for you. A church in your neighborhood, community or area that loves you, will help you grow in your faith and utilize your talents to reach others, glorifying God.
As the banners say in the pictures, Thanks be to God and To God be the Glory.