Monday, September 30, 2013

Ready for battle, soberly aware of the stakes

     Sure, there has been some good-natured ribbing between myself and Brenda Johnson on Thursday's upcoming debate. Yes, it is also true that there is a certain level of pride in wanting to keep our win streak (now at 20) intact.

     I do find myself consciously trying to push that pride down and focus on what is really at stake because it is no small thing. As I often find myself amazed at the level of my own weakness, I should not be. That again, is that stubborn pride within me that I must fight to vanquish, with the help of God's Grace.

     That I need God desperately and that my soul cries out for Him is not a matter in dispute. It is quite plain, it is quite evident, it is quite uncontested. I know very well how sinful and weak I can be and I certainly don't need anyone to point it out to me. This is to say that I am a Christian- one who loves, worships, adores and desperately needs Jesus Christ.

     I doubt Brenda, if asked, would deny that she needs Jesus as desperately as I do. I also, do not doubt that she desires to follow Him every bit as much. The difference is how we find Him.

     Do we find Him at the christmas tree or at the tree of the cross? Is He found in the green pastures or the storm? Do we find Him in our joys or in our sorrows, in our triumphs or in our tragedies? Is His grace showered on us at once or given to us drop by drop like an IV?

     I believe some people spend too much time looking for Him in the wrong places or, at least, in the right places at the wrong times. If you haven't got the Jesus of the gospels right, how can you hope to get the Jesus of the end-times right?

     Thursday's debate is so critical because it goes to the heart of who Jesus is and what His church looks like. Sola Scriptura makes us orphans, left to try and find our way, as best we can, with nothing but a book we can't understand to guide us. I know that Jesus did not mean for it to be that way. He left us a church to be His hands and feet- to comfort, to minister to us, to guide us. He left His Holy Spirit to lead us through that church, not against it.

     This debate is about helping people find Christ, where He is- in His church. Jesus gave us His Scripture, yes. He gave us His Sacraments and His ministry as well. His church is the true path to heaven, His infallible Scripture, in her care.

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