I have been reading two fascinating books this past month: “Original Blessing: Putting Sin in its Rightful Place” by Danielle Shroyer and “Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted” by Richard Beck…
“Original Blessing” is pushing my understanding of our long-held belief in original sin and why we need Jesus. The author suggests that “the gospel isn’t a story of us being separated by sin from God, but a story of a God who is so faithfully for us and intent on being with us that God became human to help us embody the wholeness and fullness of the life we’ve been made for.” WOW! I can breathe a little deeper as I imagine this kind of God and live more fully into the grace this God promises regardless of whether I succeed or fail.
“Reviving Old Scratch” is an interesting companion to “Original Blessing.” You see, Old Scratch is a colloquialism for the Devil, and the writer suggests that more and more Christians (to say nothing about our increasingly secular society) just don’t believe in the Devil – or have a completely different understanding than what is lifted up in Scripture.
I have much to still read, wonder and discuss with colleagues and friends about these books. This area of focus will surely impact my preaching and teaching, but more importantly, will influence how I see and journey in this Kingdom of God in which I live and love each day.
So why the book reports? Well, it’s to encourage you to continue to grow in your faith and understanding of God’s Kingdom and to lift up why it is important for us to continue to wrestle with theology (how we talk about God) which is the framework of our belief. This growth happens as we gather for worship for sure! AND, in the 3 1/2 years I’ve been at LCHS, I have seen lightbulbs go off for “life long Lutherans,” as they gather each week for Bible study.
Please consider participating in one of the Adult Education offerings this fall. I pray that God will continue to open our hearts, minds and eyes to his love and grace. And more importantly, we might be called to engage in the Kingdom of God in ways that honor our tradition, scripture and God (through the Holy Spirit)…
Blessings and Hope,