Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reformation Sunday

Today marks the day in the life of a church where we commemorate Martin Luther posting his list of 95 things he didn't like about the church on it's door. We read Luther's words, sang his songs, and even appreciated his bobble-head.

The guest pastor was good -- really good. Her message was essentially that everyday Christ asks us "Who do you say I am?", and that our answer decides if today will be a day of reformation. Huh. Scary.

She hadn't even sat down when I heard a lady behind me say, "That was a really good message. I wish J. would preach more like that -- I get so frustrated with her". Our pastor has been aggressively educating us and preparing us for a new way to do church -- a reformation for the post modern era. We are kicking and screaming.

Last week I went to a Bible study that was formed by a group of 20 somethings who attend the church's evening service, where there is no structured standing up and sitting down and the word "grapple" and the phrase "let's unpack this" are in heavy rotation. Once I realized that these would be all new people and a whole new way of doing things for me, I was kind of excited, as this style of worship and community seems to be the way we're being encouraged to go.

The meal each week will be a "poverty level meal" with a donation of whatever you would have spent for dinner, with extra money being donated to a food program. The approach that the group decided to take was to use Jewish commentary to study Matthew, to better understand the context of the material. These were all people who have service professions or have done international relief work.

In the course of conversation, a few of them made fun of old people in a pretty unkind way. It was a small thing, but it both bugged me and confused me.

There were no bag pipes today, as there often are on Reformation Sunday, and no one made a special effort to wear plaid. No one squeezed in a list of theses on the offering slip. I don't think that anyone even stayed after the service for private prayer, as the Redskins played at 1:00. But there is no doubt that we are in need of reform, that I am in need of reform.

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