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Monthly Message


Yet another newspaper article reported a poll demonstrating that mainline churches are in
decline, non-denominational churches are growing shallow Christians, people jump from
one church to another, and more people than ever are declaring themselves to be non-
religious altogether. This trend has been in place for at least the thirty-four years I’ve been a
Lutheran pastor. Though these polls no longer surprise me, they do make me pray ever
harder for Christ’s Church and for our world covered in the darkness of ignorance and sin.
In many ways, the Christian Church is at a crossroad.
If you’ve ever tried to change or control the way another person thinks and behaves, you
know how fruitless that effort can be. All we can do is to change ourselves. In other words,
we can only change how we respond or interact with the other person whose thinking and
behavior we disagree with; that alone is what we can control. It is the same with the world
and the church; if we want to change it...all we can do is to change ourselves
Mahatma Gandhi said of the Church in his day: “I like your Christ; I do not like your Chris-
tians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I am convinced that there is no church
structure, style, administration, system, strategy, or organizational paradigm that will
change the church in ways which will be winsome to the world in terms of changing it from
darkness to instead seeking the light of Christ. It will take what the church really is in its
essence; it will take each member becoming holy in the true sense of the word as Christ is
holy; being in the world but radically not of it. We will never change the world by telling it
how bad it is; it will take each member becoming holy in the true sense of the word as Christ
is holy; being in the world but radically not of it.
And this is the crossroad that we face, not just ecclesiastically but personally as well. Each
one of us as the Church faces crossroads in our daily lives which move us either closer to
God’s plan or further away. How do we decide which road to take? This is our Lenten jour-
ney this season. Many of us like our Christ; we just aren’t sure we want to be like Him when
it comes time to go His way or another.
Each Wednesday evening you are encouraged to worship with us to share experiences of
Biblical figures who found themselves at a crossroad. Their stories inspire our own. Each
Sunday morning, during 10AM Bible study, we will gather in small groups to unpackage
those stories and apply them to our own situations. So in a very real way, this Lent is in it-
self a crossroad event for you. Will you just go on as you have always done, or will you begin
to take another road, another way, that just might make all the difference in your life and in
the lives of others who love and need you to be more Christ-like in your decisions?
Where will you be and what will you be doing on those days? Lent is a Crossroad gift to you
this year from God Himself. Lent is the Church (its essence being you) seeking to be made
holy that the world would not be condemned by Christ and His Church, but rather be saved
(changed) through Him. Christ has worked faith in us; now it is time for us to work on our
Yours each day at the Crossroad of His Grace,
Pastor Chuck
Posted by Monthly Message at 1:00 AM